Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Happy Birthday Al Gore!

Today, 31 March, is the birthday of Al Gore. Some months ago I suddenly felt a wild enthusiasm for him to run in the 2016 presidential election, posted about it and placed a little "Run Al, Run" pic in the sidebar. After a while, I realised that it wasn't going to happen, at least, not without some intervening changes. For instance, Hillary Clinton declining to run, or some huge climate-related calamity occurring in the USA. Thankfully the latter hasn't happened (yet), the former still could, but it's an outside chance at best. The other day, while planning a post, I noticed a few fairly recent references on the net mentioning Al Gore as potential presidential candidate. He has not indicated any intention, nor will he, I guess, and yet I still cannot give up hope completely. To me he seems like the obvious president we need.  For some reason I cannot explain, he inspires confidence in me, something few other politicians can do, even the best of the rest.

Here are links to three references mentioned above, and a related video from MSNBC.

Al Gore could challenge Hillary Clinton for presidency
Why the GOP Should Fear Al Gore in 2016
The Case for Al Gore in 2016 (MSNBC) (VIDEO)
The Case Against Al Gore in 2016

My own posts on Al Gore, since 2007, can be accessed via Label Cloud in the sidebar.

Another look at Al Gore's natal chart, using data from astro.com.

Blog friend mike's comments under my post in June last year (Run Al, Run!) included these astrological pointers:

He does have some very beneficial astrological transits in the coming couple of years. Jupiter will be in his first-house of Leo conjuncting his natal Mars-Saturn-Pluto and forming sextiles and trines to other natal planets. Several eclipses will be on his Sun-Neptune opposition, as the transiting North-South Nodes conjunct these two planets. He has transiting Chiron on his Mercury (Chiron just went retro at this point, adding more significance). The recent grand cross involved his Sun-Neptune, which may have invigorated his philosophical interests...and the ongoing Uranus-Pluto square has just finished with his Sun-Neptune involvement. The transiting South Node was conjunct his North Node about a year ago, which tends to induce a re-evaluation of responsibilities to the self.

There's a straightforward interpretation of Al Gore's natal chart by astrologer David Railey at Star IQ, HERE. I don't know when it was written, but I suspect several years ago. I don't immediately agree with all of it, but then, I wasn't in the US in the days when the adjective "wooden" was attached to Gore. I've not perceived this about him at all. The last paragraph of Mr Railey's piece is a nice summing up:

In his heart of hearts (Sun in Aries), Gore would probably like to be more aggressive and direct, but would that ring true for him? His Pisces Mercury adds empathy and imagination, while his Capricorn Moon brings restraint, both very un-Aries traits. Yet, a balanced combination of Aries’ pioneering edge, Capricorn’s sense of duty and Pisces’ compassion suggests a range of power, commitment and caring that could serve the nation well.

What's missing in that summing up, for me, is mention of the Leo stellium in Gore's first house: Pluto/Saturn/Mars in Fiery leader-oriented Leo - transformative intensity (Pluto); authority, science, status (Saturn); dynamic energy & natal Sun's ruler (Mars). Oh my!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Memorable Con-Trick Movies

Last Sunday, while in Alamogordo NM, we went to the flicks, saw Focus, starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie. It's an entertaining story about confidence tricksters. Nice change from the current trends for mega-slam-bangers and Young-Adult-style dystopias.

Con games have long been a popular theme for movies, and books - in fact con games have been part of life too - though far less entertaining when they're for real! There's a little more about confidence tricksters in general partway down an archived post HERE.

My most memorable movies (or TV fare) with con-trick themes:

First memory surfacing is from the wonderful 1970s TV mini-series based on James Michener's long novel, Centennial. In part of the story, in late 19th century Colorado, Mervin Wendell (Anthony Zerbe), his wife Maude (Lois Nettleton), and young son Philip (Doug McKeon) arrive in Centennial. They appear to be itinerant actors but turn out to be charlatans and con-artists working their way across the new railroad towns a step ahead of the law. Their favorite con is called the "badger game".

An earlier movie (1966), not seen by me until later on has remained clearly in memory: Big Hand for the Little Lady - it stars Henry Fonda, Joanne Woodward, Jason Robards. The con involved here is part of another popular film theme - the card game.

Another -

The Skin Game (1971) with James Garner and Louis Gossett features a con game involving the slave trade. This sounds like a very unpleasant idea, yet in the hands of James Garner and Louis Gossett the film turned out to be one of my favourites of this genre.

Later on -

Primal Fear (1996) with Richard Gere and Edward Norton stayed in memory, mostly due to its ending - and Ed Norton's great acting. It's not a typical con trickster story, but comes within that broad category....as does

The Producers
(1967) - an old Mel Brooks film seen very recently on Netflix. Not typically con-trickster fare but involves a memorable con-trick.

There are lots more, but those are the ones wedged securely in my own memory banks. Are any wedged in yours - including films, books and confidence tricks in general?

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Da-di-da of Uranus

Without as much time as usual to research and prepare an Arty Farty Friday post for yesterday, I posted something else. I've since dug out this post from 2007, it was really about art, but there's brief mention of Uranus transits in Aquarius, Pisces and Aries. At that point in 2007 our current Uranus in Aries transit was still to come. I had to grin as I read my 2007 words "...Rebellion needs a hard edge - Uranus in Aries could well bring it forth in future years." I experienced that hard edge myself recently - see Thursday's post! My Saturn and Moon in Aries were not doing me any favours this week, courtesy of my Sun's ruler Uranus!

Here's the archived 2007 post:

A recent short article by comedian Richard Belzer, "I Want My Dada" led me to Google-search Dada, and wonder about Uranus in Aquarius transits.

I'd heard about Dadaism before, but had never fully understood its significance. The Dada movement was short-lived. It survived roughly from around 1915 to 1920, founded by a group of European artists, writers and creative thinkers with the basic intention of protest against the World War then raging, the establishment and current bourgeois attitudes and values. ArtLex defines Dada thus -

"An early twentieth century art movement which ridiculed contemporary culture and traditional art forms. The movement was formed to prove the bankruptcy of existing style of artistic expression rather than to promote a particular style itself. It was born as a consequence of the collapse during World War I of social and moral values which had developed to that time." ("Republican Automatons" by George Grosz, right)

From Belzer's article:
"All (so-called) modern thought was called into question. It was reasoned that at that point in history we had become so barbarous that precious human life was chillingly expendable for the most ill-conceived and deceptive purposes."

Astrologically I think it's very significant that during those years Uranus was transiting the sign of its own modern ruler, Aquarius. This is the planet of rebellion, invention and revolution, much strengthened in its home sign. That Uranus transit through Aquarius coincided almost exactly with the time-span of Dadaism, also, of course, with the first World War (1914-1918).

I'm not sure that Richard Belzer's call ("I implore, I compel, and I all but beg those in the creative community to once again question and challenge") to follow in the footsteps of Dada is going to get very far. Uranus is now (2007) transiting the more philosophical, softer hearted sign of Pisces. I doubt that a new and improved Dada movement can be expected anytime soon. Rebellion needs a hard edge - Uranus in Aries could well bring it forth in future years.

The more recent Uranus in Aquarius transit which occurred between April 1995 and March 2003 included the fateful September 11 2001, and events which reverberate still. As far as I know, there was no movement comparable with Dadaism during that transit. There were protest marches against the proposed invasion of Afghanistan, and later, Iraq but no definable movement which could be labelled as an "ism". We are still too close to that period to see it properly in focus, and importantly, in context with what is to come next. Historians of the future may detect things in that period which are invisible to us now.

More examples of Dada art can be viewed via Google Image.

A few words more to add, now, about Dada art in general:


Dada and Surrealism were two movements that developed as a reaction to the confusion following World War I. Dada started in the neutral city of Zurich in Switzerland immediately following the end of the War. Dada, however, was not intended to be a new art movement. According to Tristan Tzara, one of the founders of the movement, “The beginnings of Dada were not the beginnings of art, but of disgust.” People were confused and angry after the Great War, and their rage fueled their artistic creativity. They sought to break down conventions in the arts in order to bring forth a new, improved culture. Even the name “dada” mocked the time period because the name for the movement was decided upon by randomly choosing a word from the dictionary. The Dada movement made thorough use of obscenities, satire, humor, puns, and everyday objects (usually with a little tweaking) to evoke feelings of rage or shock. It was whimsical and original, which is perhaps why the public enjoyed the movement while it lasted. One of the most famous artists of the Dada movement was Max Ernst. One of his most famous pieces was called “Celebes,” painted in 1921 (see below). The painting is of a creature that somewhat resembles an elephant. It shows darkness (via the colors) and mockery (disfigurement of the creature), which are key aspects of Dada art. The Dada movement subsided around 1923, which gave way for a similar movement to prosper in its place: surrealism.

It seems the idea for this painting originally evolved from a smutty German short poem about an elephant- read the poem HERE.


[Dada] Participants claimed various, often humorous definitions of “Dada” — “Dada is irony,” “Dada is anti-art,” “Dada will kick you in the behind” — though the word itself is a nonsense utterance. As the story goes, the name Dada was either chosen at random by stabbing a knife into a dictionary, or consciously selected for a variety of connotations in different languages — French for “hobbyhorse” or Russian for “yes, yes.” (HERE)

 Da-da (New York Dada Group) by Richard Boix (1921). Ink on paper.

Friday, March 27, 2015


Flamin' Nora (as we used to say in Yorkshire), not again! The Ophiuchus issue. What brought forth a re-play of this - it has whiskers on it? Slow news day ? That's hard to believe.

Seemingly something in a newspaper in the UK, or maybe the BBC - not certain, but something recently annoyed my favourite Sun sign astrologer sufficiently for him to get his Mars on and tell 'em what's what and what isn't.

Are you Ophi-curious? See Jonathan Cainer's piece HERE.

Unlike Fox News I shall attempt to really be fair and balanced and provide a slightly alternative view from UK astrology blog Astrotabletalk, HERE.

What I think, as if anybody cares, is that nobody, even the most erudite of astrologers, of any stripe, knows what astrology really is. How it's possible to feel certain about that, and all it entails, has to rest with what each individual finds most persuasive, relying on their own life experiences, and those of others. While this will not tell the hows and whys of it, it will give confidence that there is, for whatever mysterious reason, some validity in the most basic parts of astrology's claims.

As mentioned several times in these posts, my own interpretation/theory of astrology is that it's all about the cycles. Cycles of time in space. The planets and the 12 zodiac signs act as markers in time and space, separating possible "atmospheres" of different sorts, differences which affect us on earth, as we come into earth's atmosphere from the womb, continuing to affect us and our body/mind chemistry all through our lives, as we experience, to varying degrees, other atmospheres and mixes of atmospheres as they cycle along, mixing, colliding easily or with difficulty. Something like that, anyway.

The standard 12 sign zodiac, and its astrological elements (Earth/Air/Fire/Water) and modes (Cardinal/Fixed/Mutable) has worked for me, in my life and experiences - not always, and not always exactly, but pretty nearly so, enough that I retain belief that "something is going on". Therefore, I'd support the astrologers who do not wish to incorporate a 13th sign.

Barry Goddard's point, at Astrotabletalk, about using Ophiuchus in a divinatory sense, if that's what strikes an astrologer as being important, can hardly be argued against. Not being of a divinatory persuasion myself, I'm not qualified to say more.

I don't see any great objection to treating that part of the 12 sign zodiac which covers Ophi's realm as another questionable area such as, say, the Via Combusta (if an astrologer or astrology fan sincerely cannot bear to ignore Ophiuchus altogether).

PS - I scribbled a bit about this old issue in January 2011 when it had surfaced (again) - see
Sun signs, Ophiuchus and all that jazz

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Being Pegasus ?

We got home late yesterday afternoon, a couple of days earlier than expected, one of us a little the worse for wear.

Long story short:
Our plan "A" (I-40/Route66) as far as Flagstaff AZ, with side trips to Grand Canyon and Sedona) was scrapped when we reached Albuquerque NM. I-40 and the city were just so congested and chaotic traffic-wise, I couldn't stand to think of another day and a half of the busy-busy-busy on I-40 with risk-taking drivers more in evidence than in either OK or TX. So, instead of an overnight in Albuquerque we headed further south, stayed a night in Socorro, then on to Alamogordo NM. There was a tentative plan for side-trips to Las Cruces, and White Sands, for a second look with less heat to contend with than last time; and a trip to the National Solar Observatory in the mountains around 30 miles from Alamogordo.

On Monday morning we set off from Alamogordo for the Solar Observatory -
a wonderfully scenic drive through the Lincoln Forest,
with steep very winding mountain roads, mostly all to ourselves. As we got close to the site, blue road signs appeared at varying distances, beginning with "Neptune", "Uranus" , on and on to "Mercury". (I snapped the signs from the car window.) Observatory is at about 9,600 feet from sea level. Reached the site, looked around the museum there and set off to do the round of the three actual observatory buildings, a short distance apart. On the way from the first to the second building - a tall white structure up at which I was gazing, unknown to me there was a slight indent or bump (not sure which) in the walkway. I went flying - not to the Sun like Pegasus but to Mother Earth camera in hand. I tried to stop myself, just didn't make it, but luckily - or not - the camera, while saving my face/jaw/nose/teeth from damage, was in such a position for me to land on a curved side edge of it, throat-first.

First aid at the museum/visitor's centre provided some antiseptic wipes for the multiple grazes and scrapes on both my hands and an arm. The assistant there called for first aiders from another site. They arrived and provided Band Aids, and a cold pack to help stop swelling. My voice had just about disappeared - little more than a croak, and throat very painful where it had hit my camera. They offered to call for an ambulance, but other than the throat thing, and minor scrapes I felt alright, so we opted to go back to Alamogordo right away and visit the Emergency department of the hospital there to have someone look at my throat.

The general doctor in Emergency suspected I'd bruised my trachea and advised to speak as little as possible. I was given a CT scan with IV ("for contrast")- I thought this was all a bit over the top - but whatever! After a long wait a specialist arrived with the results. She said there were a couple of things to be concerned about, possibly unrelated to the accident. She was going to send me to an ENT specialist. Croakingly I reminded her that we were not from the local area, and it would be better for us to get home to see my local doctor. One of the concerning things she had mentioned is something I and my GP are already aware of, has been tested and is nothing to worry about. I didn't go into long explanations to her, my voice was practically non-existent at that time. The other thing she mentioned, a "mass" on the epiglottis sounded more worrying. Anyway, they provided a print out and disc of the CT scan to take to my doctor. We left, and after a while, when coughing in the car, I spat out a glob of blood/mucus - possibly the "mass" they had seen. Throat bled some whenever I coughed, but after a few hours stopped bleeding. Throat remains very sore on left side, voice nowhere near normal yet, but slightly better. It'll take a few days more.

So...that's my tale of woe!

Edge of White Sands in the distance

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Exits left....

Last post for a few days. It'll be the birthday of anyjazz on 22nd, in celebration of that we'll be heading out tomorrow morning in a westerly, Route 66-ish direction. We're not certain for how long, maybe just a couple of days, or maybe a week, depending on how enthusiastic we feel once "on the road again".
If you ever plan to motor west, Travel my way, take the highway that is best.
Get your kicks on Route sixty-six............
You see Amarillo, Gallup, New Mexico, Flagstaff, Arizona....
Enthusiasm might even last until that latter point, from which a couple of side trips would be a possibility, north to Grand Canyon, South to Sedona with its great scenery, New Agey touristy attractions, and its four alleged vortices which, in Sedona I think are called vortexes. But I shall not be at all surprised to find that we end up somewhere quite different, in a place we've never heard of, let alone thought of visiting.

Anyway, in other words there'll be a bloggy eclipse here, as well as the solar eclipse, tomorrow.

On the topic of travel, yesterday I found this lovely set of great photographs and comment - well worth a look: 50 Reasons to #Love the World

Also - one of my American heroes, Dr Cornel West appeared on Letterman's Late Show the other night - Dr West is always, always worth hearing:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Astrology is all about the cycles, in the short and medium term, epochs in the long term. Simple cycles of each planet's orbit around the Sun, more complex cycles of aspects made and re-made between planets as they travel. Some cycles are easy to recognise, once the basics of astrology are understood. Saturn's 28-ish year cycle, punctuated by 4 x 7-year markers, is possibly the most frequently talked-about with regard to natal astrology. Uranus takes roughly 84 years to cycle the zodiac, these days that's near to matching a human life cycle. Longer astrological cycles can identify themselves in corresponence with mundane and historical events and themes.

For an expert's words see
this chapter on Astrological Cycles from Dane Rudhyar's book ASTROLOGICAL TIMING, The Transition to the New Age.

Some older posts of my own relate to cycles - some are definitely astrological, others could well be:

100 year cycle

75-year cycle

60-year cycle

560-year cycle

248-year cycle


“There are only patterns, patterns on top of patterns, patterns that affect other patterns. Patterns hidden by patterns. Patterns within patterns. If you watch close, history does nothing but repeat itself. What we call chaos is just patterns we haven't recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can't decipher. What we can't understand we call nonsense. What we can't read we call gibberish. There is no free will. There are no variables.”
~ Chuck Palahniuk, "Survivor".

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Memorable Moments in Poetry

The Sun will be in the segment of the zodiac known as Pisces for a few more days, Pisces and poetry go together like pizza and pepperoni! So...a few minutes pondering on poems. There's already a post on memorable movie moments; taking that format into poetry land, I've culled a few moments embedded in my own memory - sufficiently so that I didn't have to look them up before typing (though I did check later, for accuracy.)

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk....

From Ode to a Nightingale by John Keats.
(I could've sworn the first line had "head" instead of "heart" though! Maybe that's because I sometimes say these lines to myself when I have a pesky headache.)

And still they gazed
And still the wonder grew
That one small head
Could carry all he knew

From The Deserted Village by Oliver Goldsmith

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

From Four Quartets, #4 Little Gidding by
T.S. Eliot

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

From The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats

And I shall spend my pension
on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals,
and say we've no money for butter.

From When I Am Old by Jenny Joseph

Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

From Remember, by Christina Rossetti

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same......

From If by Rudyard Kipling

The Moving Finger writes: and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy piety nor wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
Nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.

From Edward Fitzgerald's translation of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

Any especially memorable poetry moments for readers passing by?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Music Monday ~ Singing us out of the last of those Uranus/Pluto blues

Mid-March 2015 - right around now in fact - sees the last of a set of seven pesky square (right angle) aspects between Uranus and Pluto. These square aspects have been lurking around in especially troublesome mode since June 2012, at around 8 to 15 degrees of Aries (Uranus) and Capricorn (Pluto), affecting other Cardinal signs (Cancer and Libra) by aspect too. While results of their sporadic, uneasy quadrilateral quadrille may not, as yet, be fully realised, the seeds have certainly been sown. Those two planets reputedly signify unexpected change and long-term transformation via some often challenging routes. The square aspect in astrology indicates an uncomfortable connection between inharmonious elements/signs. This can manifest as stress and tension. When the two planets involved are slow-movers, as are Uranus and Pluto, results are most often seen in mundane events, and not always immediately. Astrologer Philip Sedgwick has a good current piece on this topic - see End of One Era. If an individual had natal planets close to degrees and signs involved in the Uranus/Pluto squares, there could have been corresponding areas of tension or stress arising in that person's life, around the times of the square aspects.

We should give 2012-2015's set of Uranus/Pluto squares a musical send off. It'll be a few decades before their like occurs again.

How about The Last Blues Song? It's sung (and danced) here by Julie Andrews and Sandy Duncan -

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Sooner Be Somewhere Else

Jon Stewart summed up the latest in a string of embarrassments for those of us unfortunate enough to live in what's known as The Sooner State (I guess that title nowadays is best translated as meaning "sooner be somewhere else").

Video of the Jon Stewart segment is HERE.

What irritates me, in tandem with the ignorance and ugliness displayed by university students, is that people consider these yobbos still to be "kids". To my mind 19-year-old people are not kids. 9-year-olds are kids.

Take a time-travelling trip back to the 1940s in Europe and Asia - we'd encounter 19-year-olds risking their lives every day in armies, navies and airforces. Sad to report, though, as far as American military personnel were concerned racism ruled, whatever the age of those concerned. Segregated units existed, no better than the segregation going on in their hometowns. That is where the cancer originated, it's a cancer that keeps on coming back, no matter how many good people have done their their best to excise it and begin a healing process.

So the two students leading the racist chanting have apologised. They said, as new members of their fraternity, they were taught the offensive chant. Yep!

That's the lamest excuse I can imagine for a 19-year old to give. I'd take that from a 6-year-old maybe ("Johnny taught me to pull the cat's tail and make it squeal"). Dang! FFS, doesn't a 19-year old have the gumption to question what someone is "teaching"? So what would happen if a student being taught a racist chant questioned its content? Has anyone even tried this? No? Why not? The answer stares back at me. Racism has already been taught, at home, from an early age, the lesson was learned; any thought of protesting wouldn't even enter their minds.

Members of the small sensible fringe of folk in this backward state wait, depressed but sure that it will not be long before another embarrassment hits the websites, You Tube, Twitter, Facebook. "Senator takes snowball to congress to explain why global warming is a hoax"; "education department seeks to change history books to put the USA in what they think of as more "exceptional" light...." they keep on coming.

The Rude Pundit posted a story this week, relevant to the above, about his own experiences with members of one of those ridiculously juvenile, elitist, fraternity cliques. It's an interesting read.

Why should America tremble with morons like these in the wings to take over governments, corporations etc. in due course?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Arty Farty Friday ~ Norman Bel Geddes Had "Seen the Future"

Norman Bel Geddes (art deco, designer, 1893-1958). The 2.49 minute video below, plus a couple of quotes, put what we need to know neatly into a nutshell, and saves wear and tear on my typing fingers too. While I'd never heard of Norman Bel Geddes until now, his daughter Barbara was a familiar face, as "Miss Ellie" in the TV hit series Dallas , a decade or two back.

Norman Bel Geddes was one of those only-in-America figures, part grandiose visionary, part inspired tinkerer, part exalted entrepreneur, and all self-creation — right down to designing his own name. The Futurama exhibit Bel Geddes created for General Motors at the 1939 New York World’s Fair attracted 5 million visitors, and as they left the building they were handed a button that said “I Have Seen the Future.” Boast and slogan rolled into one, those words were also advertising for Bel Geddes. Seeing the future, and remaking the present in its image, was what he did. (See HERE)

From Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas website
When you drive on an interstate highway, attend a multimedia Broadway show, or watch a football game in an all-weather stadium, you owe a debt of gratitude to Norman Bel Geddes (1893–1958). Bel Geddes was both a visionary and a pragmatist who had a significant role in shaping not only modern America but also the nation's image of itself as leading the way into the future. Bel Geddes was a polymath who had no academic or professional training in the activities he mastered—designing stage sets, costumes, and lighting; creating theater buildings, offices, nightclubs, and houses; and authoring prescient books and articles.

Bel Geddes believed that art, as well as architecture and design, could make people's lives psychologically and emotionally richer. He influenced the behavior of American consumers and helped make industrial and theater design into modern businesses. Believing that communication was key to shaping the modern world, Bel Geddes popularized his vision of the future through drawings, models, and photographs.

He was born in Adrian, Michigan on 27 April 1893. I haven't found any birth time so far, the chart is set for 12 noon.

"I Have Seen the Future"...? There simply has to be some strong Uranus link in his natal chart - or Aquarius, or both.

All but one (Mars) of his natal planets are in degrees 1-10 (first decan) of their signs. Not sure whether that's significant; if anything it means that the signs' attributes will shine through clearly. First 10 degrees of any sign are said to be governed by that sign's ruler.

Sun/Venus/Jupiter form a tight cluster, a stellium, in Venus-ruled Taurus, this underlines Bel Geddes' artistic talent which has manifested through his visionary design skills, in a way rather bigger, grander (Jupiter) than products of yer average artist with paintbrush and canvas.

Natal Moon could be in either detail-oriented Virgo ruled by Mercury, or Venus-ruled Libra; either would be fitting. Saturn in Libra here draws artiness from Libra to modify, but not extinguish, its solidarity and serious intent.

Here it is! Uranus, planet of all that is futuristic, unexpected, a tad eccentric. A generational planet, but in this case closely aspected - in opposition from Scorpio to those three Taurus planets. Uranus is shaking up any traditional feel towards which Earthy Taurus might easily be drawn, instead Uranus injects into the mix a longing for all that could be new and exciting, while Taurus stubbornly retains practicality as a requirement.

Uranus is further emphasised by a Yod formation which links, by helpful sextile, Mercury (communication) to Neptune/Pluto (creativity/transformation) in Mercury-ruled Gemini; then links both to Uranus in Scorpio to form the Yod's apex. This, though a scratchy kind of mix draws out the futuristic from what might otherwise have remained in realms of the mundane.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Pisces Sign-wise

 From Searle's Zodiac by cartoonist Ronald Searle
The more posts I write, and the more natal charts I inspect, the less I feel able to label anyone with the name of the zodiac sign through which the Sun was travelling as they were born. There are clearly defined labels and characteristics associated with each zodiac sign, available in any astrology text book. These are labels and keywords applying to essences of the signs; they are almost always stated in descriptive terms which are human-related, in order to assist readers wishing to learn how to interpret the natal charts of humans.

Other than for a small number of people who, at birth, had all personal planets and ascendant in just one zodiac sign, text book guidelines for any single zodiac sign, taken as description of a person who was born as the Sun traversed that sign, are going to seem anywhere from a touch off course to miles adrift in a sea of confusion.

Bearing that in mind, a look at Pisces, last of the 12 zodiac signs, through which the Sun now travels. Pisces, like Aquarius, has two potential rulers: its traditional ruler is Jupiter, but modern astrologers hold that Neptune rules Pisces. Jupiter does fit its other sign of rulership, Sagittarius, very well. How did it traditionally fit Pisces? Jupiter's reputation for excess could relate to a potential for addiction associated with Pisces; Jupiter has links to religion and philosophy, the Age of Pisces, through which many astrologers consider we are still wandering, was marked by the start of Christianity.

Neptune as Pisces modern ruler: Neptunian traits can be reflected in any sign if Neptune is strongly placed and aligned in a chart, same thing applies to traits of Uranus, modern ruler of Aquarius. I'd hesitate to apply reputed Neptunian traits (e.g. love of the sea, film/photography, highly creative, dreamy, foggy) automatically to anyone born with a strong showing of Pisces in their natal chart, unless Neptune were linked by aspect to personal planets.

On the whole I find it safer to rely on Pisces' astrological element and quality for guidance: Mutable Water. Translated = gentleness, sensitivity, emotionality, empathy. Once Pisces is thrown into the natal mix, though, it becomes part and parcel of something else.

Let's use a metaphor: natal chart as ...a salad. Lettuce (or any leafy vegetable), the base of many salads, remains lettuce or leafy vegetable whatever else is tossed into the bowl - but its flavor blends differently when taken as a mouthful of lettuce and walnut, or lettuce and olive , or lettuce and strawberry, with a delicate vinaigrette ...or, well, you get the idea. Lettuce is still lettuce, but it takes on a different characteristic depending on accompaniments. Unless you ate a bowl of lettuce, unadorned by dressing, even without salt and pepper, you'd never experience the true flavor and texture of lettuce. Likewise, unless a natal chart is composed purely of personal planets and ascendant in a single sign, you'd never see unadulterated Pisces (or any other sign) in a human personality.

I'd like to write about a purely Pisces person, I'd love to meet one, I don't know one. I know one with Sun at 1 Aries, Mercury at 29 Pisces, and Saturn at 26 Pisces - the husband! He's "cuspy" - but proper astrologers don't often give "cuspiness" much credence. I can "feel" his Pisces parts (he doesn't allow just anyone to do this!) They are, however, always being frog-marched into hiding by Aries, not to mention being occasionally outshone by Moon and ascendant in Leo.

So here we have Pisces manifesting as someone with artistic talent, love of photography; with a rather quieter nature than is often found in Aries Sun + Leo Moon and rising - yet with a background in management; impulsive and spontaneous, but can't remember what day it is or what he had for breakfast, or even if he did in fact have breakfast. It's all rolled up into one....Aries modifies Pisces, Pisces modifies Aries, and Leo modifies both and is, at the same time, itself modified. As it happens, in the husband's chart Neptune trines Jupiter - so the two rulers of Pisces are in harmony with each other, and Neptune semi-sextiles Moon, so Neptune's link to photography is relevant here.

What I'm trying to say, in convoluted fashion, is that although every sign has it's intrinsic meaning, it's unwise to assume that the sign's text book meaning will show up unmodified, or even in an outwardly recognisable form, in a flesh and blood human being.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Netflixing & Beyond ~ The Killing & Joel Kinnaman

The Killing, a four season TV series adapted from a Danish series, began in 2011 in the USA, on AMC channel, with a 4th season produced by Netflix. This series has been our staple diet for the past couple of weeks, becoming more addictive by the episode. I'd been wary of watching yet another police detective series, we'd overdosed on 'em already this year. I'm very glad now that we did venture in to it, and were hooked. Plaudits have to go to writers as well as actors, naturally - but without talented actors even the best scripts will sink without trace in audience memory.

There are just one or two familiar faces involved, in secondary or minor roles, the two leading actors, Mireille Enos (Detective Sarah Linden) and Joel Kinnaman (Detective Steven Holder), were completely unknown to us. After a slow start, the pair have impressed us more and more with each episode. In fact, I'm convinced Joel Kinnaman in particular will, before long, become a superstar- Initially on the big screen, but I hope he'll return to TV in another series.

After The Killing, Kinnaman played the leading role in a re-make of Robocop, and has another big screen role coming up later this month, as Liam Neeson's son in Run All Night. We watched the Robocop re-make last week. Kinnaman was good in the role, but it doesn't offer the same kind of scope as The Killing. To be honest, Kinnaman is much too good for the Robocop part, but it has made his name familiar to millions more people.

Rather than rattling on about themes of The Killing, and spoiling someone else's enjoyment of it in the future, I'm going to say simply that its one of the best, top of my list in fact, among shows in the same police detective genre. We've watched, via Netflix, this year Broadchurch, The Fall, Top of the Lake, and Luther, I found The Killing more constantly engaging than any of those. Husband thought it well-acted, well-scripted, but a tad depressing. Ah well...he's a big Blazing Saddles-type fan, so he would, wouldn't he?

I'll concentrate here on Joel Kinneman. As episodes progressed I became intrigued by the character he plays, and plays so well: quirky, flawed, street-wise police detective, Steven Holder. He plays well against his less quirky but equally flawed female detective partner, Sarah Linden. There's that kind of love/hate chemistry and loyalty between them that audiences brought up on shows such as Moonlighting and Law and Order SVU (me) revel in. We'd watched seasons 1 to 3 before I looked for the actor's history in detail, plus his date of birth. He's Swedish born, with dual citizenship Sweden/USA - mother Swedish, descended from Ukrainian Jewish immigrants to Sweden; his father American born.

In a video interview (see below) Kinnaman mentions that he spent a year in high school in Texas as an exchange student. He says that the accent, general style and demeanor he adopted as Steven Holder is largely based on the voices and attitudes of his friends there. He said that the school was quite segregated - redneck types and black & hispanic minorities. He found friendship more easily with the latter two groups, enjoyed their attitudes and quips, drew on his memories of these when playing Holder. It works so well!

The video interview is a must watch for fans of The Killing and for fans of Joel Kinnaman.

There's also a shorter video interview with Jon Stewart - this one about the Robocop role.

Kinnaman comes over as being quite non-starry, down to earth, even a little shy at times, a world away from Steven Holder.

Why was I finding Joel Kinnaman's acting so engaging? I even dreamed about him (as Steven Holder) one night! Cut to the chase: I'd noticed his date of birth was 25 November 1979. In deciding to prepare this post I used my software to calculate a 12 noon natal chart for him - bingo! Moon in Aquarius (whatever time of day/night he was born). My Aqua-astro-anntenna was at it again! On looks and build alone, I'd have guessed on some strong Gemini emphasis - but unless he has Gemini rising I'd be wrong. I'll not post his natal chart - that would seem overly intrusive. I'll say just that he has Uranus conjunct Mercury in Scorpio, Sun, with Neptune conjunct Venus in Sagittarius, Moon in mid-Aquarius (at noon) and three personal planets in Virgo.

I'll be watching Joel Kinnaman's ascent with interest. He has, already, entered what I call my ABBO (always be a bit of) Hall of Fame, along with Bryan Cranston (there's always be a bit of Walter White in Bryan Cranston); Damien Lewis (there'll always be a bit of Brody and Major Winters in Damien Lewis). In Joel Kinnaman, there'll always be a bit of Steven Holder!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

2010 - 2030 - Yet another cycle?

Five years ago, Patrice Guinard of C.U.R.A. (The International Astrology Research Center), made a "true and wonderful" prediction for the twenty years 2010-2030 . It's brief, read it HERE. (I'm not able to access the noted "provisos" though.)

The prediction doesn't fill me with eager anticipation! It is based on Pluto - say no more!

With its high latitude, Pluto cannot easily form aspects, especially the conjunction or opposition, with any planet. But when its latitude is lower, these aspects are possible.

What's this about latitude? I did once get into the declination thing in astrology, but discarded it as being either not useful or "a bridge too far" when combined with the many other variables available. Latitude is another way of describing declination in astrology (I think).

From astrologer Paul Newman's piece Declination for Beginners
In a nutshell, declination is a form of latitude rather than longitude. It is the measurement of planets north or south of the celestial equator, which is the Earth"s equator extended into space. It is worth remembering that when we talk of an exact conjunction of planets in a zodiac sign—for example the Moon and Saturn in Leo—these would not necessarily be conjunct in the sky. They would be conjunct by longitude (maybe appearing one above the other) but not necessarily conjunct by latitude or declination.* Similarly, the Moon and Saturn may be conjunct by declination (parallel to each other) but from different zodiac signs and therefore not conjunct by longitude. Separately either of these types of "conjunction" (longitude conjunction, declination parallel) has an equal force, but the strongest possible conjunction in astrology is when two planets are conjunct by longitude and parallel by declination at the same time. They would then appear to be conjunct in the sky. This may also help to explain why some transits seem stronger than others.

Here's what librarising.com has to say on astrological latitude
The ecliptic or Sun's apparent path is a belt of some 16 degrees thick(8° north and 8° south) where all the planets including our Earth orbit. Only Pluto and the dwarfs(as well as most stars) deviate from this belt. Wheareas east-west on the ecliptic is measured as LONGITUDE(in degrees), north-south of the ecliptic is measured as LATITUDE(in degrees). So planets in longitude and latitude in astrology refer to their position with respect to the sun's plane or ecliptic as seen from Earth. How this all translates to terrestial co-ordinates is another matter.

So then, taking Patrice Guinard's prediction into account, here's yet another potential cyclical pattern in astrology. Is it likely to be as significant as some other, better known cycles though? At least, it needs to be taken into account when considering them. When Pluto is involved in other cyclical patterns - aspect cycles such as the Uranus/Pluto squares we've experienced in the past few years, if any points in that Uranus/Pluto cycle coincided with Pluto's low latitude cycle (they all did), results could prove to be more intense, more clearly defined. What we need to be doing is looking for any other cyclical patterns involving Pluto, from now until around 2030, and marking 'em with an asterisk!

Staying on CURA's website, a piece titled Astrological Cycles in History by Palden Jenkins is well worth a good long read. There's a lot to digest there, but as a taster, maybe try starting part-way through the piece at the section headed Uranus-Pluto cycles and the storms of history.

Penultimate paragraphs of the piece (it was written in 2002 by the way):
At present, many prophecy buffs look toward the year 2012 as a time of drastic change. Though end-of-the-world type anticipations might turn out to be exaggerated, there nevertheless is a Uranus-Pluto square from 2012-15. At a square, new impulses arising from a conjunction are put to the test - there is a manifestation crisis. The astrologically-logical likelihood for 2012 is that the paradigm-shift issues of the 1960s will be forced by circumstance to deliver their goods: ecological ideas, women's power and techno-globalism, to name but three bundles of issues, will probably have to handle an emergency. War, institutions and boundaries (Aries-Capricorn) are predictable front-runners for likely trouble. Knowing how things are nowadays, this aspect is likely actually to bring a hailstorm of major issues.

But the choices now are fundamental. We need to realise, for example, that war no longer resolves conflicts as once it did. This is now a pragmatic issue, not solely a moral one or the domain of lettuce-eating pacifists. In the twelve years up to this aspect, we possess the choice to make major proactive forward-steps, or to continue delaying and avoiding such challenges as long as possible. As in 1930, on the previous square, when economic and social crisis demanded drastic action, so around 2012 we tread perilous paths along which the choices we make might have enormous and rapid outcomes. Ten years after 1930 the world was at war. What will the world be like in the decade following 2012?

Monday, March 09, 2015

Music Monday ~ John Denver

Harrison Ford's plane crash last week brought to mind the tragic flying accident that took John Denver from us some 18 years ago, in 1997. Happily it seems Harrison Ford's injuries are not fatal.

In booklet accompanying a double CD of John Denver's songs, Rocky Mountain Collection reviewer Colin Escott wrote:

"John Denver always offered more than music. Once he caught your ear with a melody, he had something he wanted to share with you. Taken together, his songs come close to offering an integrated version of how life can be lived, as well as an invitation to get concerned about our world, and see beyond ourselves. His work was, and still is,an unfailingly upbeat celebration of life and its possibilities. He has never shied away from sharing what he felt and what he knew, nor has he shied away from exposing his tender and vulnerable side, no matter the cost."

Astrologer Zipporah (Zip) Dobyns wrote about John's chart in 1997, John Denver Flies On , after the tragic flying accident in which cost him his life. I'll not even try to match her long, scholarly assessment, but will include a copy of John's natal chart here, and make a very brief note of what stood out for me.

Ms Dobyns had access to birth certificate data from Lois Rodden of AstroDatabank.

John was born on December 31, 1943 at 15:55 MWT in Roswell, NM. He died on October 12, 1997 when his private plane crashed into Monterey Bay, California.

Pluto lay, exactly, on North node of the Moon. I wonder if, for him, that was an ill-omen?
He was always going to be a communicator - Gemini rising with Uranus/Mars right on the ascendant, a forward-thinking communicator too, whose life could well be punctuated by the unexpected. Sun in solid, reliable Capricorn was in sextile to his gentle Pisces Moon this is a good blend for someone whose business is music. His Venus, planet of the arts, in Scorpio reflected the soft yet intense and sometimes melancholy flavour of his songs.

Among the several patterns in his natal chart this Yod stood out for me. It links natal Sun to Uranus (the unexpected) and Pluto (death, darkness) by quincunx (an uncomfortable aspect).

John travelled to China, Russia and Africa on missions of detente and mercy - his concerns covered nuclear power, nuclear arms and world hunger. He probably, quietly, did much more good than many of today's "celebrities" frequently lauded for their efforts. He was a man we could ill-afford to lose. His message, in this song of his, Rhymes and Reasons, remains timely:-

Some of the lyrics:

And you wonder where we're going
Where's the rhyme and where's the reason
And it's you cannot accept
It is here we must begin
To seek the wisdom of the children
And the graceful way of flowers in the wind

Though the cities start to crumble
And the towers fall around us
The sun is slowly fading
And its colder than the sea

And the song that I am singing
Is a prayer to non believers
Come and stand beside us
We can find a better way.

(Words and music by John Denver)

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Pedestals Not Required - Human Nature Past and Present, Heroes and Flaws.

If you can, please spare a few minutes to watch
"Ballad of Billy John" :

The song is probably fictional in its detail, but exploring any comment thread just about anywhere on the net will reveal content not far from that described.

Ironically enough, I watched the video straight after having read an essay by Dan Falk at Salon. The essay contains, as a kind of side issue, some theories that we humans are now more moral, sympathetic, empathetic, ethical than we were in the past. Hmmm.

You would’ve hated your heroes: Why history’s great people seem so morally deficient. Winston Churchill was racist. Albert Einstein was a chauvinist. And that's not even the half of it!

The title tells enough about the essay's content for the moment. We've all, at one time or another, come across similar discoveries about our "heroes", even about our friends and families - and ourselves: i.e. we and they are simply humans with human flaws. With regard to those who lived in a different era from us, they were humans living in a world with different cultural mores and norms, it's not logical to compare their mindsets and values with ours...it just isn't!

Snips from the essay:

It is tempting to dismiss such examples of jerkdom by noting that “times were different” back then. But why were they different? Why are they better today? One bold hypothesis is that we have become, objectively, increasingly moral over the course of time. Several prominent thinkers, including Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker and Princeton philosopher Peter Singer, have argued in favor of this idea. Singer in particular spoke of an “expanding moral circle”: While we once only cared for those in our immediate tribe, we now interact with (or at least, are aware of) people from around the world, from many different backgrounds. We have come to care about those who are outside our group, to feel their pain, to object to their suffering. (This is, arguably, the territory that Shakespeare was exploring with Shylock’s “Hath not a Jew eyes” speech in “The Merchant of Venice.”)

In Pinker’s 2012 book, “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence had Declined,” the focus is on the decline of violence over the course of history. But running in parallel to this decline in violence, he argues, has been a rise in moral virtue: Pinker suggests there may be a “moral Flynn effect,” akin to the rise in global IQ scores over the last century described by James Flynn. The two effects, incidentally, could be linked: As we get smarter, Pinker argues, we’re better able to imagine ourselves in the positions of others, and thus more likely to sympathize with them, and recognize their right to well-being.

Oh my! We feel their pain and object to their suffering do we? That's questionable! I suspect Iraqi civilians and Afghan peasants will feel differently, as will the loved ones of those in countries caught in US drones' "collateral damage". I agree with commenter "happyhaze" ~
I don't see the point of rooting around in the past to find SOB's that were not all of a piece, considering that we got a peace prize winner living in the here and now who believes it is fine to kill by remote control anyone deemed enemy, along with whoever is in range of the drone blast. Might makes right is one hell of a foundation for ethical conduct.
As for Churchill, he was a racist, a reactionary conservative, true enough, and the British people booted him out after World War II ended - they had the good sense to realise that it was time for a different approach. "Horses for courses". A brilliant wartime leader and orator is a brilliant idea for the people, but only in times of war. He remains a hero to me and thousands of others for what he achieved. A comment among the many following the essay:
"Even a-holes can be heroes when we need them."

As to the question of whether we humans are more moral, ethical, empathetic now than humans were in the past, I think not. In a small way, think again of those cruel comments appearing online day by day -with no cause other than mean, negative intent...and worst of all, they are contagious

We look at the past, and present, through our own lens, that's all we possess, and that lens must inevitably colour our view. Our education, experiences, lifestyles have formed us, and our lens; the people of the past, their education, experiences and lifestyles formed them and provided the lens through which to view their their present, and past. We are on different turns of the spiral of time/space, the view varies with each turn. I suppose "deep thinkers" and authors such as Messrs Singer and Pinker are wearing glasses with rose-coloured lenses, with sincere intent to make us feel better among the ongoing chaotic idiocy and calamity of this world.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Arty Farty Friday - Michelangelo - A Question

The man considered by many to be the greatest sculptor and artist of all, Michelangelo, was born, according to AstroDatabank, while the Sun rolled through zodiac sign Pisces in the year 1475. Why, I'm wondering, have I never featured Michelangelo in these Arty Farty Friday posts before? Ah yes - the old Julian/Gregorian calendar question - as it relates to astrological calculations. I've questioned this in the past (here), but without finding clarification. I do understand the calendar change-over and reasons for it in general. In astrological matters the accurate translation of dates from one calendar to t'other is going to be of extra importance.

"Moses" by Michelangelo
For Michelangelo, born in Italy, on (Julian style) 6 March 1474 - which becomes 1475 Gregorian Calendar because 1 January, not 25 March was turn of year by Gregorian. Several sources for this date, and a time of birth, are quoted in AstroDatabank's page. The change to Gregorian calendar would also transfer 6 March (Julian) to 15 March 1475.
AstroDatabank confirms this, yet proceeds to calculate the natal chart using 6 March. The sources quoted mention that Michelangelo's birth was on a Monday (6 March was a Monday Julian-style), but that would not be the case using Gregorian calendar when 6 March becomes 15 March. I have to suppose that Gregorian calculations are used by today's astrology software, so to find out where the planets were situated on the zodiac at the time Michelangelo was born, wouldn't we have to look at a chart for 15 March ?
I'm puzzled! AstroDatabank's compilers are experts - I'm not arguing with them, but seeking explanation.

For comparison with the chart at AstroDatabank, and out of curiosity, here's a chart set for 15 March 1475, in Caprese, Italy at 1.45AM (data as at AstroDatabank, apart from the day.)

The charts for 6 March and 15 March 1475, throw up what some would consider a crucial difference - Sun in early Aries on 15th rather than Pisces on 6th. I don't see that as any great problem though - Michelangelo was everything Aries is cracked up to be wasn't he? His natal Moon would have been in Cancer rather than Pisces - I'm sure astrologers could live with that - the emotional sensitivity of Water is still there - and in a Cardinal rather than mutable sign. There are still Grand trines linking personal planets to Neptune and/or Uranus.

His rising sign using 15 March would have been Capricorn rather than Sagittarius. I don't see this as a stumbling block, especially as in this chart Moon was very close to Saturn, Capricorn's ruler. I've always considered Capricorn and Saturn emphasis to be very relevant to artists who are drawn towards sculpture, first and foremost - the solidity, strength and hard work involved - as against simply wielding a brush full of paint. Michelangelo shone brightly in paintbrush wielding mode too, of course (Sistine Chapel ceiling etc), but sculpture does seem to have been his true love, and a far rarer skill - to his high standard anyway.

I'd still be interested to know the thinking behind AstroDatabank's choice of dates from which to calculate position of planets in Michelangelo's natal chart. The celestial bodies would surely have been situated in the positions known to us, in later centuries with Gregorian calendar, as 15 March - aren't those the planetary positions we need to be looking at?

I haven't yet come across any astrology-driven blog or website with interpretation of a Michelangelo's natal chart for 15 March (Gregorian). There's mention of Michelangelo's natal chart in an article in a book I have (Best of National Astrological Journal 1933-35). I've mentioned the article before, in different context (see HERE.) What's stated doesn't tie in completely with AstroDatabank's version, or the 15 March chart.
"Michelangelo had Capricorn on the ascendant with the Moon three degrees away. His heavy stone-work, massive sculpture, his diligence in his work and the great length of life all show the influence of Saturn. It is true that he had the Sun and Mars in Pisces in the second house. Manly Hall says that Pisces rules Catholicism, and the Roman Catholic church was certainly Michelangelo's strong outlet."

For me, the plot thickens!

Wandering through some comments/reviews of a Michelangelo biography by Miles J. Unger, published last year, Michelangelo: A Life in Six Masterpieces, I noticed this comment by David Wineberg who had read the biography (I trust he will not mind my using his comment/review here), it might help to throw light on the comparative accuracy of charts for 6 and 15 March...or not.

His life was a constant controversy. He made enemies, he dodged (metaphorical) bullets, and he made art. He was an unpleasant misogynist who ironically adored nothing more than portraying the human body. He was universally recognized as the greatest, within his own lifetime. He lied and embellished, but his art speaks for itself. It all makes for a great read.

He was doubly cursed; he lived in interesting times, and was an interesting character. Michelangelo's greatest achievement was to fuse the artist and his work. That is a huge transition point, centered on Michelangelo in this warts and all biography. Because in addition to taking art in a whole new direction, complementing rather than being subservient to religion, Michelangelo turns out to be arrogant, obnoxious, self-centered, narcissistic, antisocial, overbearing and uncaring about any of it. Despite it all, he was the first superstar of art.

He never married, and there were of course questions about his sexual preferences, what with all those nude males he clearly preferred. He deflected them all by saying his art was all the wife he could handle. Later in life, he risked having close relationships with younger men. He was a drama queen; his favorite tactic was to threaten to quit unless he got everything he wanted. And he quit often anyway. He was a notorious abandoner, starting projects and never completing them. There are far more of them than completed works.

Despite abusing his body with little food, minimal rest, and zero care, he lived into his eighties. He outlived nine popes, and worked with five of them. They were often personal friends of his from childhood, which allowed him to be even more arrogant and petulant than he would otherwise. He seemed to have written it all down in letters and poems, and it is juicily reproduced here. This biography is as flesh and blood as Michelangelo's sculptures and paintings, a fitting framework if ever there was one. (David Wineberg)

I guess it matters not a jot, really, which natal chart is more accurate, as far as Michelangelo's genius is concerned, that's a given. Astrologers (and annoyances like me) are the only set of people who will care about position of the planets as this seminal artistic genius was released into the world.

 Rachel and Leah by Michelangelo