Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I got me a Twitter account a short time ago, but it remained dormant. I've picked it up again to "follow" one or two Twitterers whose tweets I felt might be of interest. I have to say though that I don't feel at all "in the zone" or on Twitter's wavelength yet. Maybe the stars are not aligned for me at present. Mercury, the communications planet is travelling through Gemini - great for communication in general, but not for me in particular. I don't have Gemini emphasis in my natal chart. It could well be a better astro-atmosphere for me when Mercury reaches Virgo in a month or so. I have Mercury hooked up in a Grand Trine with Neptune and Uranus in Earth signs.

I've been reading up how best to use Twitter. There's some good advice around the net. I'll link to a couple of examples at the end of this post, in case a passing reader might find it useful.

Having waded through several helpings of advice though, I still feel.....I don't know....pretty worthless Twitter-wise. Who would want to follow me in 140 character bites? I'll follow a handful of well known people out of curiosity, or to pick up information about upcoming TV shows or concerts, or political rallies. I have no such interesting tidbits to promulgate to the Great Unwashed. Maybe a few potential new blog readers, who could accidentally stumble upon my tweets, would emerge if I were to tweetingly "pimp" Learning Curve on the Ecliptic. But astrology isn't univerally appreciated, and I could get myself labelled as some kind of weirdo, tinfoil hat-wearing twit, when venturing outside of our cloistered astrology-blogging world. (Slapped hands! Re-read your yesterday's post, Twilight!)

I'll continue treading the Twitter waters, perhaps something will occur to me as to how best to proceed - whether 'tis nobler to dive right in... or not.

The Benefits of Twitter for Bloggers
Twitter Tips for Bloggers

How to Get Followed on Twitter(Video)

And interesting views on
Blogs vs. Twitter? It's the Interactivity (blog + comments).

Monday, June 29, 2009

Stonewall, Prejudice, Astrology......

We watched a DVD of the movie "Milk" a while back and ever since, I've been juggling with ideas for writing something about gay issues, or about Harvey Milk, probably the most famous figure in the struggle against gay prejudice in the USA. Or, I wondered, how about the astrology of the Stonewall Riots - which occurred just 40 years ago, 28 June 1969. As so often though, I find that the pros have "been there, done that". Why wouldn't they?

An article by astrologer Eric Meyers, Lactose Tolerance: Harvey Milk & Gay Acceptance, covers Harvey Milk's natal chart.

Madam Lichtenstein, at The Starry Eye has written about the astrology of the Stonewall Riots (here).

During my searches I also found a very interesting piece, based on a lecture given last year by astrologer Lee Lehman:
Lee Lehman Draws Parallels Between Astrologers and Gays.

This is a thought I'd never considered before. I'm not a professional astrologer, so maybe it doesn't affect me - yet really it does. I could dare to adjust the premise to be "parallels between prejudice against astrology and prejudice against homosexuality". I don't accept that the relative seriousness of the two areas of prejudice are anywhere near comparable. Prejudice against astrology is a minor problem compared with gay prejudice, which is capable of spoiling the lives of others - something I'd say is evil. Yep, evil!

I have, on occasion, felt sheepish about mentioning astrology in conversation. I don't feel ashamed of my interest, I mainly want to avoid ridicule of my pet subject. I'm not normally afraid of voicing my views on tricky topics: politics or religion, but when it comes to astrology, I have to feel I'm on very friendly ground before I'll even say the word. So, in a very minor way, this is the kind of feeling many gays must have, I guess.

I gather, from some of the comments which follow the article quoting Lee Lehman's lecture, that there's a certain amount of elitism (my pet hate) going on in astrological circles, especially in the attitude displayed towards Sun sign astrologers. Astro guys ought to stick together. There are all kinds of roads into astrology, none is better than another.

From here on I shall remember this article, remember the struggles of our gay friends, which are ongoing, and stop being such a wimp about mentioning astrology. If young Adam Lambert can stand in front of TV cameras, and a Rolling Stone interviewer and say "I am what I am....I am gay and proud" - I can stand before anybody and say, "Astrology works, I enjoy using it, prejudice against it is unfounded and unfair."

Sunday, June 28, 2009


In the latter quarter of the 19th century, the method of image photo transfer onto carbon tissue covered with light-sensitive gelatin was discovered and was the beginning of rotogravure. In the 1930s–1960s, newspapers published relatively few photographs and instead many newspapers published separate rotogravure sections in their Sunday editions. These sections were devoted to photographs and identifying captions, not news stories. Irving Berlin's song Easter Parade specifically refers to these sections in the lines "the photographers will snap us, And you'll find that you're in the rotogravure." In 1932 a George Gallup "Survey of Reader Interest in Various Sections of Sunday Newspapers to Determine the Relative Value of Rotogravure as an Advertising Medium" found that these special rotogravures were the most widely read sections of the paper and that advertisements there were three times more likely to be seen by readers than in any other section. (Wikipedia)

If it worked for the Sunday newspapers, I'll try it here!

Images are borrowed from my husband's vast collection of old "found photographs" featured at his Lost Gallery blog. I've added my own astrological captions.



JUPITER IN SAGITTARIUS ("Pray as you enter")




Fred with Larry, his dearly beloved pet.In 1948, during a bold experiment, Fred and Larry exchanged places. To this day, no one knows which is which. Larry is not married.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Week That Was: Goodbye Farrah & Michael.

The serious drama unfolding in Iran was pushed to the back of the shelf for a while on Thursday when news of two deaths took the headlines. First came news of Farrah Fawcett (I'll always think of her as Farrah Fawcett-Majors) having succumbed at last to cancer, then the shocking report of Michael Jackson's untimely death.

Farrah was a fellow Aquarius Sun - possibly one of the best looking and most luminous Aquarian women ever. My husband rates this famous poster of Farrah alongside that other famous iconic image: Marilyn Monroe standing over a grating with skirt blowing up in the breeze.
RIP Aquarian beauty.

Michael Jackson's death has sparked another bout of communal grieving which looks like becoming comparable to that for John Lennon and Princess Di. I feel sad for Michael's family, and for his legion of fans. I wasn't a fan. I'm not of the generation who grew up listening to him. His music barely touched my consciousness.

Astrologically, his Virgo Sun probably(depending on time of birth) opposed his Pisces Moon and reflected the conflict within him, evidenced by his troubled life. His Virgo Sun and Pisces Moon were under stress, too, around a year ago, from transiting Saturn - could events triggered by that transit have been at the root of what, eventually, occurred on Thursday?

A verified time of birth isn't available, but over the years rectification of Michael's natal chart has been attempted by astrologers. Results have put the most likely times of birth at either around noon or very late at night, close to midnight giving ascendant in either Scorpio or Gemini. Astrologer Paul Newman points out, in his article HERE,(both charts are shown), that Gemini and Scorpio influences are already heavy in the chart, even discounting the rising sign. Sun conjunct Pluto = Scorpio influence as Pluto is Scorpio's ruler. Sun in Virgo, and Virgo is ruled by Gemini. So neither estimate of Michael's birth time is conclusive, the truth remains a mystery. RIP Michael Jackson.

One of the best articles I've seen about last week's celebrity deaths is by Ted Anthony who covers American culture for the Associated Press

"Two lost icons: For Generation X, a really bad day".

Mr Anthony points out that Farrah and Michael were icons for a generation - Generation X. As I see it, for many of that generation's members this loss could be the first they've felt quite so keenly, almost a rite of passage, one might say.

Ted Anthony's article ends thus:

In the 1990s, members of Generation X would often laugh in bars about how the time of the Boomers was passing -- about how the quaintness and naivete that made up the 1960s was, finally, a grave being danced on by Kurt Cobain. Today, members of that same generation sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings of pop.

A sexy poster upon a boy's wall in which a young woman grins wholesomely. A record album called "Thriller" and its attendant music videos, built upon the notion that sexiness came in the frisson of hints and suggestions rather than in cutting directly to the big reveal.

In the end, finally, they stand as the relics of a generation -- one that struggled to find its place and now, suddenly, while still young, one that must wonder if it is as passe as the paper and vinyl that its icons' most memorable moments were etched upon. We don't need another hero? After this week, are we sure?


For MJ fans, there are some photographs you might not have seen before on my husband's blog for 29 June

Friday, June 26, 2009

Arty Farty Friday ~ Neptune & Art in Glass : Tiffany, Lalique, Chihuly.

When someone mentions glass and art in the same sentence, three names spring immediately to my mind:

Louis Comfort Tiffany
Rene Lalique
Dale Chihuly

No great detail today, I want to point out just one clear similarity in their natal charts: the position of Neptune.

According to "The Rulership Book" by Rex E. Bills, Neptune rules among many, many other things.....glass. Neptune also rules creativity, and is very often found well aspected or in a strong position in the natal charts of artists, all kinds of artists. There's a double Neptune whammy for artists who work with glass then!

So...portrait, natal chart and a few samples of the work of each artist.
(Where time of birth isn't known the chart is set for 12 noon.)


Note: Neptune is in its own sign, Pisces in the first degree, and conjunct (joined) to the Sun in the last degree of the previous sign, Aquarius.

Tiffany's glass dome ceiling at the Chicago Cultural Center - a nice one for astrology buffs! Enlarged portion next.

Tiffany stained glass window

Tiffany lamp


Note: We do have Lalique's time of birth, coutesy of Astrodatabank, so the house position of Neptune here is accurate. Neptune is, once again, in it's own sign, Pisces. Not as close to Sun as in Tiffany's case, but in the same house - 10th house of career and public status. Neptune is also in harmonious sextile (60*) to Venus, planet of the arts.

Examples of Lalique glass:


Note: Neptune exactly conjunct(same degree) as Sun, probably quite close to Moon also, though without time of birth this is uncertain.
More about Chihuly and his work at a post from the archives here

Chihuly's work is so gorgeous, dramatic and varied that photographs don't do it justice, but here are a few samples anyway:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Chart Rectification

Knowing your exact time of birth is key to being able to use astrology at its most accurate. Unfortunately it's not easy to obtain information exact enough for detailed astrological purposes. In the USA time of birth is routinely recorded - but whether this is always accurate to within 5, 10, 20 minutes (or more) is anybody's guess, and relies on the efficiency and care of hospital staff (unless a relative is present at the birth and also interested in astrology). In some cases just a few minutes difference can mean a different rising sign, sometimes even a different Moon sign, which, in turn affects the time when transiting planets conjoin or aspect natal planets and points.

The rising sign, also known as the ascendant, is the zodiac sign which was coming over the horizon at your place of birth, at your exact time of birth. It is thought by astrologers to be one of the three most important factors in the natal chart, along with positions of Sun and Moon.

There's an imponderable involved here though: is the exact time of birth when the baby's head appears, when the umbilical cord is cut, when the baby takes its first breath? Or should we, in truth, be more concerned with time of conception (almost impossible to establish)? We can only do our best, follow our own feelings on the matter.

Professional astrologers can be of assistance in establishing a likely time of birth for clients who lack the information. If the client lists exact dates of highly significant life events (serious illness, operations, marriage, divorce, moving home, change of career, etc.)the astrologer can use these to estimate a birth time, using complex methods. Any rough timespan the client knows of, from conversation with parents, is of help. It'll be more difficult if the client has no idea at all of their time of birth, not even day/night or morning/afternoon, but I believe an estimate could still be made.

I had problems discovering my own birth time. My birth occurred at home, the story, as told by my father misled me somewhat. He said he thought that I was born "around tea time" - in our world that would have been around 5pm. A birthtime of approximately 5pm would mean Leo was rising. My mother had no reliable memory of my birth time; not surprising because she suffered a hemorrhage and almost died. She did offer once: "I think it might have been about 3 o'clock, but I'm not sure".

I struggled with the idea of having Leo rising for many years. The only link with Leo tendencies I could identify in myself was a tendency to hanker after the most expensive version of anything I went out to buy. "Champagne taste, and beer money", my Mum used to say.

Many years later, after both my parents had died, my mother's sister who had been present at my birth told me that she felt sure I was born around 2.30pm. Unwilling to go against my Dad's estimate completely, I decided on a time of 3.30pm, splitting the difference. This made Cancer my rising sign. I felt it fitted my personality better, especially the way I was in youth, and to some extent even now.

There must be thousands of people in the UK with no clear information on their times of birth, it's such a pity there's no requirement for authorities to record them. After I moved to live in America and started learning the finer points of astrology,I asked a professional astrologer who specialises in rectification to look at my chart. After considering a list of some 10 to 12 events in my life so far, and with a time span I offered - 2pm to 6pm - the astrologer estimated a birth time of 2.27pm. He said that although he was not as sure as he'd like to be about the exact degree, he was certain that Cancer was rising at the time of my birth. A time slightly later than 2.27pm would shunt Sun from 8th to 7th house. I could argue for either, and wouldn't be surprised if the true birthtime were to be somewhere between 2.27 and 3pm. I decided work with the time the astrologer came up with - doubt has to stop somewhere!

(Edited and modified version of a post from 2007)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"Equilibrium" & Christian Bale

We watched the 2002 movie "Equilibrium" on Sci-fi channel the other night. While it's not the best sci-fi movie I've ever seen, I enjoyed it - apart from some of the over-long action sequences involving a fictional martial arts gun skill called "Gun Kata".

The storyline, by Kurt Wimmers, is set in a 21st century world, after a 3rd world war has left utter devastation in its wake. Those who then assumed power had decided that a fourth war would wipe out life on Earth entirely. They determined that the way to avoid that would be to supress all human emotion and passion in humans. A totalitarian-type state emerges. The population is completely controlled, forced to dose regularly on a drug which prevents them from feeling any emotion. A ruling class of "clerics", highly trained in martial arts, with a chief known as "Father" has the job of supressing resistance from the few humans who have managed to escape the drug regime and retained their emotions. These unfortunates, when caught, are ritually incinerated alive.

Finally, it's a fight between good and evil (isn't it always?) An original good intention, to prevent war, had turned into an almost bigger evil than war itself.

I was particularly interested in the basic premise, because I'd had the same fundamental idea in my own, one and only attempt to write a short story, "Regions of the Homewind" (here). In my story's world the banishing of strong emotion to protect the human species had taken on a different, and more kindly, complexion.

A quote from "Equilibrium"

Mary: Let me ask you something.
[Grabs his hand]
Mary: Why are you alive?
John Preston: [Breaks free] I'm alive... I live... to safeguard the continuity of this great society. To serve Libria.
Mary: It's circular. You exist to continue your existence. What's the point?
John Preston: What's the point of your existence?
Mary: To feel. 'Cause you've never done it, you can never know it. But it's as vital as breath. And without it, without love, without anger, without sorrow, breath is just a clock... ticking.

Christian Bale played the leading part of Cleric John Preston with some style, I thought. I took a look at his natal chart. This is a 12 noon version as his time of birth is unknown.

No wonder he was able to play a person with no emotion so well - he has no planets in Water signs (the emotional signs) in his natal chart. He has Sun and two personal planets in Aquarius, a sign said by some astrologers to be cool, aloof, and fairly emotionless. OOOokay, says this Aquarian blogger! Also, I'm noting that the Moon's apogee (Black Moon Lilith) the point at which Moon is farthest from the Earth, falls close to Bale's natal Sun. I don't know how significant that might be, but, bearing in mind that the Moon represents, among other things, our mother and our emotions, a news story involving Bale recently, recorded at Wikipedia might be relevant:

On 22 July 2008, Bale attended a London police station by appointment and was arrested in connection with an alleged assault on his mother, Jenny, and sister, Sharon, who called the authorities. After being held for more than four hours, he was released on bail, pending further investigation. He denied the allegations and on 14 August, 2008 British police declared that they would take no further action against him. The charges were dismissed for lack of evidence.

There have been other angry outbursts on sets of his films too.
Bale himself has said,"If everyone really knew what a jerk I am in real life, I wouldn't be so adored in the slightest."

He has aggressive Mars in Aries (strong in its own sign) and square his natal Sun - a constant challenge to his "self". His natal Moon could be in either late Aries or early Taurus - I'd guess Taurus - it's in conflicting Earthy element to his Airy Sun, whereas Aries would make for a more harmonious inner/outer self (Moon/Sun) . There seems to be some underlying conflict in his nature, if news stories are anything to go by.

There is a nice Grand Trine in Air signs in Bale's chart. It links Uranus, Saturn and Mercury - a harmonious circuit indicating easy intellect, though with unpredictable thought patterns and a hard Saturnian edge to his attitudes.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Musical Birthdays

Today is the birthday of Duffy, pop vocalist from Wales, UK. I wrote about her chart last November, see here.

It's also the birthday of Randy Jackson today (record producer, manager, musician, singer and American Idol judge); and Slash (Guns 'n Roses guitarist); the late Adam Faith (British pop singer); the late Stuart Sutcliffe (Beatles' guitarist); the late June Carter Cash, as well as several other musicians whose names are not as well-known.

Who's next for "the treatment"?

Randy Jackson.

Born 23 June 1956 in Baton Rouge LA. No birth time available so chart below is set for noon.

Hmmm ...his chart has a mix of planets in early and late degrees - not much in mid-sign. This will lead to some good integration, I guess.

His only Cancer placement is his Sun (unless it was his rising sign, but without time of birth that remains unknown). Cancer Sun is flanked by Uranus at the very beginning of Leo, with Pluto conjunct Jupiter at the end of the sign. On the other side of his Cancer Sun are Venus and Mercury in Gemini (Venus, planet of the arts, being conjunct Sun which represents the self). Natal Gemini and Leo emphasis is very helpful for those in show-biz. Love of limelight (Leo) and ease of communication (Mercury in Gemini) are necessary tools of the trade. Randy's natal Moon will be somewhere in early-ish Capricorn whatever his time of birth - he will have a well-grounded attitude and a good helping of business sense, which is obvious from his success as manager/producer in the cut-throat music business.

I like the way he has little runs of planets or asteroid in similar degrees,
e.g. 27* Leo/Libra/Scorpio.
10* Aquarius/Pisces/Gemini.
These throw up some helpful aspects, as well as a challenging square - but all in all I'd say they indicate a very well-integrated personality.

As one of the four American Idol judges, Randy comes across as non-egotistical, reasonable, down to earth, courteous, helpful and friendly - almost the opposite of the dreaded Simon Cowell.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Zodiac Sign CANCER

Cancer ~ 22 June to 22 July-ish: dates vary very slightly from year to year. This is one of the mid-summer zodiac signs and a tricky one for me to write about. Even though it's my natal rising sign, I don't feel terribly in tune with it. I suspect my Sun and Moon (Aquarius and Aries) are always at odds with Cancer - two against one ! My sentimental Cancerian tendencies come to the surface at times - times when I get weepy for no good reason. I'm a wee bit shy, too, another Cancerian trait, a tendency to avoid situations where I'd feel uncomfortable. Aquarius/Aries, of course are always there, jeering in the background.

I haven't known many people with Sun in Cancer in real life. Perhaps I just don't gravitate towards them, nor them to me.

Astrologer Grant Lewi, in his "Astrology For The Millions" said, among other things, that Sun in Cancer means, first and foremost, a need for security:

Capable of great self-sufficiency, or of being a clinging vine, the Cancer branch will take the turn as indicated by the roots, which must always be in secure soil. If independence serves security, Cancer will be independent; if security depends on another, Cancer will cling. If security requires taking a chance, Cancer will take a chance - generally, if possible, with someone else's money ...."though Lewi goes on to say that the Cancerian will have as great a sense of responsibility towards another's money - as great as if it were his own......."Direct possessiveness toward what rightfully belongs to him makes Cancer outstandingly successful in business. .....Tops as home-making sign, the maternal-paternal instinct is powerful......will go to great lengths to protect mate and children."

That refers to Sun in Cancer, not Cancer rising, so it isn't surprising that I don't recognise myself there.

C.E.O. Carter, British astrologer from the past describes Cancer in this article. He specifically makes reference to Cancer rising:

I should say that Sun in Cancer is better than Cancer rising, and of course the Moon in Cancer is good. Not only kindly, but shrewd. It is not difficult to understand why it is not a very good ascending sign. Of course, as I am never tired of pointing out, it all depends on what means by "good." But the ascendant and
midheaven are the most exposed parts of the figure, and it seems on the whole desirable to have strong signs there. In these latitudes Cancer rising usually brings Pisces on to the meridian and so one gets an unusually sensitive personality. Now Cancer is certainly timid. Like the crab itself, it is apt to scurry to its hole on the appearance of danger. Yet, paradoxically, it is a lover of travel.
That's more like me - especially when I was younger, not so much now. In any case, after relocation to the USA my ascendant skewed around to Aquarius.

As usual, when writing about any zodiac sign, I have to remind myself and passing readers that there is really no such being as "a Cancerian", not in any meaningful way. A Sun in Cancer native is quite likely to have (at least) Mercury and/or Venus in either Gemini or Leo, not to mention the importance of the zodiac sign where the Moon is found, and the ascending sign. Cancerian traits, far from being text-book strength, can be very, very dilute in the Sun Cancerian personality. It would take a person with Sun, Mercury, Venus, Moon and ascendant, all in Cancer, to bring about an undiluted showing of Cancer characteristics, and even then some of them could be outweighed by any remaining strong placements on angles or sensitive points. This is, of course, why those stupid experiments based on Sun signs, carried out by anti-astrology skeptics, always come up with conclusions which put astrology in a bad light.

(Somewhere on an East Yorkshire beach, 5 years ago).

Sunday, June 21, 2009


When we reach Summer Solstice I feel a little sheepish. I'm supposed to celebrate, but quite honestly I don't enjoy the summer months. I especially don't like them here in SW Oklahoma.

Perhaps it doesn't help that I am, by birth a winter person, born in the depths of a snowy January on the cold northeast coast of England. My Aquarian Sun doesn't relish 90 - 100 degree heat. Even my Aries Moon gets wimpish at those temperatures.

It's too darned hot in Oklahoma, from June onwards right through until the Fall gets properly underway around mid-October. There are too many biting vampire bugs who love my blood, and to whose attention I am particularly sensitive. There's too much pollen blowin' in the wind and it kick-starts serial hayfever symptoms which hang around indefinitely, whether I dose myself with the tablets or not. There's always the risk of a stray late-term tornado whizzing across the plains towards Chez Twilight, too.

Whinge, whinge! On the positive side - it's all downhill from here to the Autumn equinox!

I've been trawling through photographs taken during my last summer in England. The temperate climate of East Yorkshire helped a lot! These were all taken within walking distance of my old home.
(Humming: "Mmmmemories light the corners of my mind, misty water-colored mem'ries of the way we were....Scattered pictures -"

SOLSTICE GREETINGS to all summer-lovers - and Solstice Sympathies to kindred spirits who long for the Fall.