Sunday, December 31, 2006

Looking back and forward......

2007 is almost here, bringing a blank page. Before I start to scribble on the new one, a last look at 2006:

Saturn in Leo around mid-sign this summer was well and truly felt in this family circle. A broken bone (daughter with Leo rising). Sports injury resulting in surgery (grandson with Leo Sun). New, badly designed computer system at workplace which nobody could make to work properly for months (Son with Leo Sun). Series of unexpected medical checks resulting, eventually, in nothing to worry about (myself, tr.Saturn opposing Aquarius Sun) and another daughter who had the same Saturn opposition aspect as me now has tr. Pluto sitting between Jupiter and Venus and has health problems. Worry about all of the above for my husband (Leo ascendant).

On a brighter note, I've just noticed that Jupiter transited my North Node in January at the same time as transiting Uranus hit my natal Jupiter in Pisces - I bought my first astrology software then! Jupiter was back at my North Node again in August when I opened this blog!

MY PREDICTION : 2007 will be filled with some good and some bad, with interludes of the mercifully indifferent.

"Happiness is too many things these days for anyone to wish it on anyone lightly. So let's just wish each other a bileless New Year and leave it at that." -Judith Crist

A Bileless New Year everyone!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

An Example in Art of Jupiter Opposition ?

" Prosperine" by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
"The Boyhood of Raleigh" by John Everett Millais
"The Lady of Shallot" by William Holman Hunt.

Using hindsight blended with a modicum of astrological knowledge can throw up evidence for astrology's truths. So, here I go again!
This example may seem obscure, especially to folks in the USA, where the Pre-Raphaelite movement was, and is, largely unrecognised, it didn't travel across the Atlantic as well as did Art Nouveau and Art Deco. There is an interesting astrological phenomenon involved though, so please bear with me !
In England, in 1848 three artists banded together and decided they'd had enough of the current British art scene which they saw as stagnant and uninspiring. Paintings then consisted mainly of boring landscapes depicting cattle, or stags at bay, seascapes, still life studies, or family portraits. The three artists seeking change were Dante Gabriel. Rossetti, William. Holman Hunt, and Sir John Everett Millais. The name of the movement they founded - "Pre-Raphaelite" stems from their aim to take inspiration from a time before the artist Raphael set standards in art which they felt had been followed for too long.
Their vision was real, unidealised landscapes, figures drawn from life, to real proportions, and grouped without stylised arrangement. They favoured subjects drawn from poetry, religion or mediaeval tales. Paintings were to be vibrant, so they used a white paint background base - which certainly adds impact when viewed next to other contemporary Victorian art. Vivid colour and lyrical forms were to be used for dramatic and emotional effect. Several other artists soon joined the original three, and their work became well known, attracting both criticism and praise from contemporaries.
I've looked at 12 noon charts for the three principal founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. I half expected to see some link involving Uranus.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti born 12 May 1828, London, England.
William Holman Hunt born 2 April 1827, London, England.
Sir John Everett Millais born 8 June 1829, Southampton, England.

Putting the 3 charts charts side by side on screen threw up a very obvious similarity. Jupiter opposes Sun, Moon or Mercury in each case.

ROSSETTI - Sun 21* Taurus, Mercury 8* Taurus Moon 4* Taurus opposed by Jupiter @ 7 Scorpio.
MILLAIS- Sun 17* Gemini opposed by Jupiter 9* Sagittarius.
HOLMAN HUNT -Sun 11* Aries opposed by Jupiter 9* Libra (Pluto and Mercury at 5* and 17*Aries respectively

(Probably less significantly, in all 3 charts Neptune in Capricorn (widely) opposes a personal planet in Cancer.)
The oppositions involving Jupiter MUST be significant. But how?

Skyscript has this to say about such aspects
"The opposition of the Sun and Jupiter suggests an over-expanded ego. Jupiter deals with judgment, and with this aspect, the drive for significance is subject to being overemphasized. There is often a tendency toward extravagance and pretension. You can have too much optimism, and promise more than you can deliver. There is a continuous need to control urges to enter grandiose schemes and avoid ostentatious manners. The strength of this aspect lies in the ability to apply much charm to gain the approval of those dealt with in daily affairs. There is often much talent and creativity associated with this aspect." ( Jupiter/Mercury opposition is mainly similar).

Pretension, over-optimism, grandiose schemes, fit the bill quite well. I guess it was pretty pretentious in those days to think one could do better than "the establishment" in art. It must have been quite a challenge to stand against the status quo in the art world of Victorian England. Uranus would seem a more appropriate focus in such a case, yet this group of artists were actually looking BACKWARD for inspiration, rather than inventing a new style, so Uranus energy may not be applicable.

Weboteric Astrology says:
"Jupiter rules the law and moral authority, and our attitude to these issues. It brings a strong desire for understanding and the tendency to have powerful opinions and convictions The aspects Jupiter makes shows a psychological identity characteristic where the need for expansion, influence and understanding is paramount. These aspects show the specific personal drives where the search for wisdom is most intense"

Even though Jupiter is found in 3 different signs, elements and modes (Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius - Air, Water, Fire - Cardinal, Fixed, Mutable) there is still a strong link between the three charts. Jupiter is in a similar section of the relevant sign (7 or 9 degrees) and in similar aspect to Sun and/or Mercury.

Whilst I don't feel confident about interpreting those Jupiter oppositions, I AM confident that they are significant. Whatever the true meaning of this aspect IN THIS CONTEXT, it doubtless had some part in drawing the three men together.....a specific personal drive common to all three artists.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood disbanded after a few years but, in England at least, their body of work has endured. I enjoy their paintings. I saw a collection of Pre-Raphaelite art last year at the Manchester City Art Gallery, it was wonderful to encounter the real thing at close quarters.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Thanks to Venus and Mars (I think)!

Yesterday I decided to change the look of my blog. It wasn't as difficult as I had imagined : change basic template, dabble with html (after reading a variety of advice on other blogs) - voila! The hardest part was finding a graphic to add to the header. I chose and tried several, all looked fine, then I realised they were all subject to copyright. Eventually I decided to use a photograph I took myself last year in Manchester, England. I cropped it, and......well, it'll do for now! I wonder what starry influences set me out on yesterday's task? I've investigated transits and found that Venus was transiting over my Mercury while Mars passed over natal Venus.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Saturn and The Big Band Leaders

Here is yet another crop of luminaries from my favourite generational group, Pluto in Gemini, well known Big Band leaders from the 1930s and 40s. There were others too, of course, but these are some of the most widely recognised. I looked at a 12noon chart for each, hoping to find some hint of similarity.

Duke Ellington 29 April 1899 Washington DC
Jimmy Dorsey 29 February 1904 Shenandoah Pennsylvania
Glen Miller 1 March 1904 Clarinda, Iowa
Count Basie 21 August 1904 Red Bank, New Jersey
Tommy Dorsey 19 Nov. 1905 Shenandoah Pennsylvania
Benny Goodman 30 May 1909 Chicago, Illinois
and from Britian -
Ted Heath 30 March 1900, London
Geraldo 10 August 1904, London
Joe Loss 22 June 1909, London (?)

What separates a band leader from other musicians? The Big Band leader had under his wing a group of at least 16 to 18 musicians. They were often "on the road" travelling from venue to venue - away from home and family, liable to fall foul of excess alcohol, drugs, sex, and they would certainly be a mixed bunch of varying temparament. The band leader needed the ability to draw these individuals together to rehearse and perform. He would command respect and trust. The first words which sprang to mind were "discipline and organisation" and the next was "Saturn".

The band leaders in my list are legendary. Their musical ability is beyond question. It is an extra quality I'm looking for - something that set them apart from other musicians.
Without benefit of birth times, it's down to the "broad brush and stand well back" approach once again!

I felt sure that Saturn had to be involved. Discipline, organisation, business savvy, and an almost paternal attitude would be involved in finding success as leader of a Big Band.

The most common aspect involving Saturn in these charts is opposition to the Moon, it occurs in four of the six American band leaders. Of the remaining two, one has a Saturn/Moon conjunction and the in the other Saturn (widely) opposes Sun. From the British trio there's a close square and a trine in Saturn/Moon, and a Saturn/Sun opposition.

American band leaders

Jimmy Dorsey and Glen Miller were born only a day apart, so their charts are similar. Both have Saturn at 14* Aquarius opposing Moon at 19* Leo ( Saturn being conjunct Mercury and Venus).

Benny Goodman - Saturn at 19* Aries opposing Moon at 19* Libra

Tommy Dorsey - Saturn at 26* Aquarius opposing Moon at 22* Leo.

Duke Ellington (the Daddy of 'em all) - Saturn at 23* Sagittarius and Moon at 29* Sagittarius

Count Basie - Saturn at 16.51* Aquarius and Sun at 28* Leo - wide opposition is the best I can find here.

British band leaders
Ted Heath - Saturn at 4*Capricorn and Moon/Mercury at 4* Aries - square

Geraldo - Saturn at 17* Aquarius, Sun at 17* Leo (Moon at 2* Leo) - opposition

Joe Loss - Saturn at 21* Aries, Moon at 24 Leo - trine.

As these calculations are based on 12 noon charts, there will be some Moon degree discrepancies. I think a loose picture still emerges though. It seems to show the discipline and structure of Saturn pitted against emotional and instinctual Lunar reactions, or less frequently against the native's Sun. I'm not sure how to interpret these aspects in this particular context. All involve major personality components Moon or Sun with Saturn, most within reasonable orb. In general it would be safe to say that Saturnian energy is directly affecting these personalities, often in a fairly dynamic way.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Scorpio's Daughter - Georgia O'Keefe

Georgia O'Keefe born 15 November 1887, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin - time unknown

If I had been unable to find Georgia O'Keefe's birth data, I could almost have guessed it from the "keywords" found in a variety of on-line biographical pieces. For example:

Her paintings present crisply contoured forms that are replete with subtle tonal transitions of varying colors, and she often transformed her subject matter into powerful abstract images.

Her subjects were often enlarged views of the skulls and other bones of animals, flowers and plant organs, shells, rocks, mountains, and other natural forms. Her mysteriously suggestive images of bones and flowers set against a perspectiveless space have inspired a variety of erotic, psychological, and symbolic interpretations. Her later works celebrate the clear skies and desert landscapes of New Mexico, where she moved after her husband's death in 1946. She is regarded by critics as one of the most original and important American artists, and her works are highly popular among the general public.

Some of her best known work includes her flower and plant forms such as 'Black Iris' (1926), an elegant work construed by many as being sexually suggestive though this was denied by the artist.

"O'Keefe was a 'natural': not a naive or primitive painter by any means, but one who seemed to be instinctively in touch with the vibrations of the cosmos." Robert Hughes.

Georgia O'Keefe's chart shows 4 planets bunched together in Scorpio - Jupiter 17*, Sun 23*, Mercury 27* and Moon 28*. Venus and Uranus in Libra. Mars in Virgo, Saturn in Leo. Pluto is in Gemini (another of that Pluto in Gemini crowd!) Neptune is close to Pluto but at the end of Taurus. Neptune exactly opposes Moon, and the other bunched Scorpio planets. How could her intense Scorpio-ness NOT shine through her work?

O'Keefe spent much of her life in her beloved northern New Mexico, she died aged 98, in 1986, and her ashes were scattered from the top of a mountain she had looked out on from her home.
She had received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Gerald Ford in 1977 and the National Medal of Arts from Ronald Reagan in 1985.

Christmas Day in Oklahoma

Christmas Day here in south west Oklahoma was wonderfully clear and bright, but windy and cold. Family gift-giving had taken place at a pleasant evening get-together on Christmas Eve, so we had the whole day stretching before us. We packed some sandwiches and soft drinks and headed for the Wichita Mountains - a low range some 50 miles from home, enclosing Mount Scott and a Wildlife Refuge.

There's a paved road to the top of Mount Scott, which rises two and a half thousand feet above sea level. That's me (above) at the top of Mount Scott - there are lovely views - miles of the Wichitas on one side and the great plains on the other. A Native American legend tells that The Great Spirit once appeared atop Mount Scott after a devastating flood. I love the mountain because my maiden name was Scott ! It's actually named for an American General in the war against Mexico.

After admiring the views, battling the brisk wind, and feeling for a while that we were the only humans on Earth, we descended into the 59,020 acre WichitaWildlife Refuge. After driving for a while, probably the only vehicle for many miles, we came upon a herd of around 25 buffalo. They were quite unfazed by the approaching car, wandered in the road right in front of us . We stopped in their midst, they looked at us with disdain, moved slowly on, and continued with their munchings. I opened the window and tried to chat, but they would have none of it.
It was not your usual Christmas Day, but one I shall remember for a long time !

Monday, December 25, 2006

Neptune's influence on 5 American Pin-up Artists

Top by Gil Elvgren. First row left by George Petty.
First Row right by Alberto Vargas
Bottom row left by Rolf Armstrong.
Bottom row right by Earl Moran.
What I most enjoy, in using astrology, is to find a group of people with something in common, and look at their charts to see if there's a common thread. I tried this in earlier blogs relating to a group of humorist/writers of the Pluto in Gemini generation. Now, without realising it, I've picked another group of Pluto in Gemini individuals. I had in mind a group whose work has great similarity - artists who specialised in painting the classic American pin-up, popular in the mid-20th century.

I already knew the names of a few American pin-up specialists - Alberto Vargas, George Petty and Gil Elvgren, because I admire their work. I was surprised to find, on doing some research, that there were dozens of such artists. However, the three I've mentioned, along with Rolf Armstrong, their forerunner, and Earl Moran, were five classics, and stand for me as the truest representatives of the genre. Examples of the work of each are pictured above. Luckily I was able find their birth dates minus birth times. I think any major link should be apparent from 12 noon charts (me and my 'broad brush, stand well back' approach! )
Rolf Armstrong 21 April 1889 Seattle Wa
Earl Moran 8 Dec 1893 Belle Plaine Iowa
George Petty 27 April 1894 Abbeville La
Alberto Vargas 9 Feb 1896 Arequipa Peru
Gil Elvgren 15 Mar 1914 St Paul Minnesota

I DID find a common thread! All 5 artists have Pluto in Gemini, 4 have Neptune in Gemini too, but that's purely generational. It's the fact that their Suns form close aspects with Neptune which I found significant.

Rolf Armstrong - Neptune 00*Gemini Sun at 1*Taurus - semisextile (+ Pluto is at 4*Gemini)
Earl Moran - Neptune 12*Gemini Sun 16* Sagittarius - opposition (+Pluto 9* Gemini)

George Petty - Neptune 11*Gemini Sun 7* Taurus - semisextile (+Pluto 9*Gemini, Jupiter 5* Gemini)

Alberto Vargas - Neptune 15*Gemini Sun 20 Aquarius - trine (+Pluto 10* Gemini)

Gil Elvgren - Neptune 25*Cancer Sun 24* Pisces -trine (Pluto 29* Gemini)

Neptune/Sun aspects found = 2 semisextiles, an opposition and 2 trines - all within 5* orb, Pluto is drawn into most of these aspects too.
Whether links would be apparent in charts of other, similar, artists, I don't know, birth dates couldn't be found. It's likely, though, that after the success of these frontliners many copy-cats emerged. This area of commercial art must have appeared to be a nice money-making opportunity. Copy-cats might not necessarily have the same starry background as the icons.

Neptune... hmmmm?
Let's see what the experts have to say - remembering that Pluto is involved too, which must add some extra, and slightly different, energy to the mix.
Cafe astrology says "Planets that Neptune contact are often colored by fantasy and dreaminess, and a vulnerable nature that may be susceptible to disillusionment. Here, we find hope that is sometimes unrealistic, a poetic and intuitive outlook, and compassion".
Astrology on the web says " On a higher level it rules visionaries, and those who are glamorous and charismatic."
Skyscript(Charles Harvey)- " Neptune is the planet of poets and mystics, of alcoholics and pornographers, of film makers, advertisers and illusionists. Her dream-like qualities bring a self-deceiving charisma and an enchanting glimpse into the mysteries of ecstatic merging...............This can lead the Sun-Neptune(individual) all too readily into being seduced into living out the prevailing, family and cultural myths, into living a socially acceptable lie."

MY OWN INTERPRETATION ( as it applies to the 5 pin-up artists)
Using artistic talent, possibly indicated elsewhere in their charts, they drew on Neptunian energies to depict an idealised female with perfect face and figure, scantily clothed and teasing, often looking attainable - like the girl who lived nextdoor. An illusion indeed, because the male would probably find females in his circle of acquaintance to fall far short of the standard set by these illustations, which continued to please him, even so. Dream girls, Neptunian illusions, communicated to a wide audience via the energies of Gemini.
It should be emphasised that these pin-up illustrations were in not ever crude or pornographic. They retained a certain innocence, in some cases with an almost adolescent hint of humor.

Pin-up art had its roots in Europe around the end of the 19th century. Henri Toulouse-Latrec and Alphonse Mucha (who had his own blog entry earlier) were some of the first artists to realise that the female form could attract the attention of the public when used in advertisements, magazines and posters. Raphael Kirchner emigrated to the USA from Eurpope at the start of World War 1 and sowed the first seeds of pin-up art in the states. Rolf Armstrong and the others from my chosen group were probably inspired by his work and followed in his footsteps. I wasn't able to discover Kirchner's birthdate, other than "1876" - Neptune and Pluto were both in Taurus in 1876. Perhaps the Gemini generation of artists, inspired by Kirchner's style (rooted in Veunus?) updated it to appeal to the American male and perhaps a younger age group. As time went on, World War 2 brought a big new audience of lonely young American males to admire the work of exponents of pin-up art. Petty, Vargas and Elvgren girls even decorated the noses of US fighter planes - inspiration for the brave crews. The updating by Pluto in Gemini artists also involved using new tools - pastels and oils were gradually replaced by the airbrush, bringing even more realism to their illustrations.

The heyday of pin-up art was undoubtedly the 1940 and 50s, photography came into its own after that, and mostly overshadowed these artists, who stand as representatives of a bygone era and Neptune/Pluto in Gemini.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

An Astrology Blogger's Christmas Song

An Astrology Blogger's Christmas Song - Sung to the tune of "The Christmas Song" (Chestnuts roasting by an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose.......etc.)
With apologies from Twilight to Torme and Wells who composed the original in 1946.

Astrologers telling us what's due next year,
Bloggers churning out their prose,
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir,
And folks forget their astro woes.

We all know that planets
So well aspected
Help to make the season bright,
Hearts send trines to friends far and near,
Love's all around, just for tonight

We know that Saturn's on his way,
He'll bring new rules....
And he'll be here to stay,
And every astro fan is gonna spy
To see predictions coming true by and by.

And so I'm offering this simple phrase
To bloggers and their readers too
Although it's been said many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you !

Friday, December 22, 2006

Sun Sign Astrology

I'm often puzzled and irritated when reading the critical thoughts of "serious" astrologers about other astrologers who specialise in Sun sign astrology.

What is their problem!?? Sun sign astrologers play a big part in keeping "serious" astrologers in business.
I'd guess that 9 people out of 10 who contribute to the livelihood of "serious" astrologers, through personal consultations, or purchase of their books, are first drawn to the subject via Sun sign columns, or books (such as Linda Goodman's) based on Sun sign astrology. It ill-behoves one to bite the hand that feeds him.

Even the worst astrology columns in local newspapers, and there are some REALLY bad ones, serve to keep the concept of astrology alive. Good Sun sign writers such as Jonathan Cainer and Rob Brezsny, can inspire readers to delve deeper into the subject, whilst offering regular doses of inspiration and wisdom, rather than out and out predictions of the "tall dark stranger" kind.

It is possible, of course, to get into what I call "the Sun sign rut", but anyone sensitive to astrology will soon find a way out of that rut. Those less sensitive will still find plenty to play with among the Sun signs, and this is definitely better than nothing. Knowledge of traits attributed to the 12 zodiac (Sun) signs is helpful when moving deeper into astrology -time is not wasted reading Linda Goodman's books, or any other descriptions of the 12 signs.

The reason Sun sign astrology remains popular, and that people at parties still love to ask "What's your sign", is because there IS a golden nugget of truth there. It doesn't shine through as brightly in every person, but it's always there. The Sun sign is an easy handle to grasp, a clue to work with - and let's face it - it's fun!

"Serious" astrologers can take themselves far too seriously. It's obvious that astrology is not yet an exact science, nor anywhere near, and probably never will be. All astrologers are whistling in the dark, to some extent. Make it a friendly, happy tune, please, guys!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Carl Sagan and astrology

In several blogs yesterday, the 10th anniversary of the death of Carl Sagan was remembered with tributes from science fans, and self-proclaimed sceptics. It's something of an anomaly that he is one of my own heroes. He was never a friend of astrology, he was a critic of so-called pseudo-science. Perhaps because I have doubts of my own about certain areas of astrological doctrine, I understood his views to some extent. I sense though that, deep down, he stood not too far away from my own beliefs. One day it might emerge that he and the astrolgers were both partially correct.

I wanted to add my own tribute to the 'blogathon' tribute out there, but felt that it would be unwelcome. Here - a day late - using his own words, is my tribute.

From the last chapter of 'Cosmos'

"And we, we who embody the local eyes and ears and thoughts and feelings of the cosmos, we have begun at least to wonder about our origins -- star stuff contemplating the stars, organized collections of ten billion billion billion atoms, contemplating the evolution of nature, tracing that long path by which it arrived at consciousness here on the planet earth, and perhaps throughout the cosmos. Our loyalties are to the species and to the planet. We speak for earth. Our obligation to survive and flourish is owed not just to ourselves but also to that cosmos ancient and vast from which we spring!"

and from "The Cosmic Connection"

The fate of individual human beings may not now be connected in a deep way with the rest of the universe, but the matter out of which each of us is made is intimately tied to processes that occurred immense intervals of time and enormous distances in space a way from us. Our Sun is a second or third-generation star. All of the rocky and metallic material we stand on, the iron in our blood, the calcium in our teeth, the carbon in our genes were produced billions of years ago in the interior of a red giant star. We are made of star stuff. Our atomic and molecular connection with the rest of the universe is a real and unfanciful cosmic hookup. As we explore our surroundings by telescope and space vehicle, other hookups may emerge. There may be a network of intercommunicating extraterrestrial civilizations to which we may link up tomorrow, for all we know. The undelivered promise of astrology-that the stars impel our individual characters - will not be satisfied by modern astronomy. But the deep human need to seek and understand our connection with the universe is a goal well within our grasp. "

Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere

Each of us feels the pull of the winter solstice. Sometimes we call it the stress of the season, but perhaps we are also sensitive to the great cosmic forces involved. At this season each of us undergoes a new beginning, a new initiation, as the god within stirs, however slightly. And without a sense of these wonderful initiation Mysteries being portrayed in our Christmas story, it can become a distant event -- which it is not. It is right here with us, and we will experience it every year as the cosmic clock returns to the winter solstice, when even the worst trials and tribulations have within them the seeds of light and triumph.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Living with an astro-agnostic

Question: How does a woman who lives and breathes astrology (or her version of it) cope when married to an astro-agnostic ?

Answer: She develops a thick skin, and finds every available opportunity to point out astrological "coincidences" to her beloved. She takes advice from Ovid: Gutta cavat lapidem - Dripping water hollows out a stone.

She: "Look, dear - he won the race just as Jupiter was passing over his Mars!"
He: "Huh??"

She: "Did you realise that when your daughter broke her foot Saturn was exactly conjunct her ascendant?"
He: "No!" (worried expression)

She: "Have you noticed that I often become temperamental when the Moon is full ?"
He: " that No."

She: The TV started acting up AGAIN when Mercury was retrograde, do you find that significant?
He: "Mercury was WHAT??"

She: Look at this chart luv, your North Node is exactly joined to my Venus. Isn't that nice ?
He: (Looking sheepish) Sounds delightful!

I think my ploy is working, but slowly. Last week, when out to dinner with family, someone was telling my husband about the doings of an acquaintance, and happened to mention that they had the same birthday as my husband: "He was born on the same day as you, but 10 years earlier". "What time?" said my husband... a reflex action ! After all, he's heard me ask the same question so many times ! Gutta cavat lapidem ? Or did I catch a wickedly teasing gleam in the beloved's eye ?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Astro-Population Explosion

"Two hundred years ago, the average person on Earth might meet 200 to 300 people in a lifetime. Today a resident of New York City can live and work among 220,000 people within a 10-minute radius of his home or office in midtown Manhattan.

Only one city in all of history -- ancient Rome -- boasted a population of more than a million before the 19th century. London became the first modern city with a population over 1 million in 1820. Today 414 cities boast populations of a million or more, and there's no end in sight."

The above extract from a news article yesterday set my mind off on an astrological track, unrelated to the original topic of the piece: What effects have there been, or will there be, astrologically, as a result of population explosion?

My thoughts:

a) There will be more people on Earth who have identical, or similar birth charts than ever before in human history. Of course, their similarities will be stretched into wide variation due to ethnicity, locality, background, and other factors, but basic character traits could survive externalities. In densely populated areas such as New York, place of birth being closely similar too, the effect could be more extreme.

b) There will be more people born into EVERY second, and nano-second, tiny fragments of time, with minutely different alignments of planets and points. It's possible that in past history no births might have taken place at all in these microscopically tiny segments of time. Could this bring forth elements of human nature not before experienced - previously unimagined abilities perhaps ?

c) A greater number of people within each generation gives the outer planets influence over more people. Their influence will not be stronger individually, but greater weight of numbers could produce more noticeable generational differences.

d) Would greater weight of positive/negative polarities cause opinions to become ever more emphatically polarised ?

e) Perhaps an increased interest in astrology in past years is one tangible result, both generationally, and individually - more people born with "just the right alignments"?

There are probably more inspiring potentialities..... some more sinister ones, too, come to think of it... I'll decide not to....think of it!

Monday, December 18, 2006

"Blinded by Starlight" by Frank McGillion

I've always been convinced that one day proof will be found that there IS some kind of "cause and effect" mechanism behind the basic premise of astrology, i.e. that the Sun, Moon, planets and their relative positions in the sky at time of birth, have physical effect on humans (and other creatures). Some astrologers moved away from this type of theory in the face of attack from scientists intent on discrediting astrology. I am not an astrologer, and I am not interested in what sceptic scientists have to say on the matter. I know what I know !

A book by Frank McGillion, "Blinded by Starlight", provides me with cause to hope that some scientists retain open minds on the matter of astrology. I bought this book when it was published about a year ago, and recommend it to anyone who has given up on the idea of an astrological "mechanism".

Here's an extract from Garry Phillipson's review:

"The book's central thesis is as follows -
The pineal gland is an important factor in the way we perceive the world and act in it; the pineal produces its effects by secreting melatonin; it has been demonstrated in laboratory conditions that magnetic fields and exposure to light affect the production of melatonin; therefore anything which affects light levels or changes magnetic fields on Earth (which of course includes some celestial phenomena) may be linked to human character and behaviour; if scientists were less blinkered they would pursue research into correlations between celestial and terrestrial influences; the pineal gland is a promising place to start such research, because by examining responses in the pineal to celestial phenomena we could, so to speak, cut out the middleman - avoiding the need to isolate significant behaviour patterns in large groups by going directly to (some of the) causes of that behaviour - light and magnetic fields, and their effects on the pineal...........................
.........He certainly succeeds in suggesting that - within a scientific frame of reference - there is something going on in the relationship between celestial and human affairs. He also provides abundant evidence to sketch the means by which this something may be operating. I think he would acknowledge that it can't yet be clear where an investigation of this work might lead, but the case for pursuing it is clearly established here."

Full review at:

Sunday, December 17, 2006

E.B. White: Mixing Elegance of Virgo with Softness of Cancer.

E. B. White born 11 July 1899, Mount Vernon, New York (No time known).

E.B. White has been popping up all over the place this week, attracting my attention, calling "Hey, you've blogged my friends, Thurber, Nash, Parker et al - what about ME?" Sorry, EB ! Here it is!
ASTROLOGY: Sun and Venus in Cancer. Mercury in Leo. Moon and Mars in Virgo. Jupiter in Scorpio, Saturn in Sagittarius. Pluto and Neptune in Gemini, Uranus in Sagittarius.
I notice that his Mars in Virgo is sandwiched between Moon at 1* Virgo and Jupiter at 0* Scorpio. His Cancer Sun and Leo Mercury are sandwiched between Moon (again) at 1* Virgo and Venus at 1* Cancer. To me this feels as though he is protected, cocooned by benefic influences. That's probably fantasy but there is a softness in his chart. His Saturn is at 18 Sagittarius trine his Leo Mercury, opposing Pluto in Gemini, all good for a professional writer! Jupiter trines Venus, which no doubt contributed to his long and happy marriage.

Elwyn Brooks (E.B.) White began his writing career as a reporter and he ended it as one of the most celebrated children's authors of his time. He created Stuart Little (1945), Charlotte's Web (1952) and The Trumpet of the Swan, all considered children's classics.

In an interview, E.B. said that he began writing "early--as soon as I could spell." After graduating from Cornell University in 1921, E.B. began his professional writing career. He worked as a reporter for the United Press, the American Legion News Service and the Seattle Times. His wisest career move came when E.B. joined the staff of the New Yorker. Not only did he publish editorials, verses, and essays, but he also met other writers such as Dorothy Parker, James Thurber and Robert Benchley.

E.B. married Katherine Sergeant Angell in 1929. Together, they had one son. . In 1939, the Whites moved to a farm in North Brooklin, Maine, where E.B. continued to write. He said the animals in his barn gave him ideas, and also helped dispel the depression he sometimes felt. While living in Brookline, E.B. published his three famous children's books. He also revised William Strunk, Jr.'s manual The Elements of Style, which was published in 1959.
E.B. White won many awards for his writing, including a special Pulitzer Prize in 1978. He died on October 1, 1985, of Alzheimer's disease.
Another biographical note states:
"When E. B. White was young, every child in his school had to give a speech or recite a poem. White worried about this assignment all year long. He was so embarrassed to speak in public that whenever he was asked to speak, he would write a speech and have someone else read it aloud. "
His Cancerian Sun and Venus could well have been responsible for early shyness, but I'd say they were later a major influence in his 48-year long and happy marriage.

Born under a writers' sky, E.B. White had Pluto and Neptune both in Gemini, with Moon and Mars in Virgo and Saturn trine Mercury. Natural structure and discipline is apparent there. Jupiter trine Venus may be his link to publishing - his books are still in print today. A quote from a touching interview in the New York Times after his wife's death nicely shows his Virgo influence:

"As he warmed to his memories of Katharine, he would act her out--his wife reaching for the phone with one hand and a cigarette with the other, rolling up her long hair "around and around like this" and putting in many pins, cluttering up the sofa and coffee table with her papers. "She was impervious to disorder," said this tidy man. "I'm neat--I can't start work on something unless I clear the decks."
I feel sure that E.B. White was a dear man. I look forward to reading "Elements of Style" in the hope of learning to emulate his elegance, to some small degree. I'll conclude with a couple of quotations from him - still so apt today:
"I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority."


"The time not to become a father is eighteen years before a war."


I've mentioned elsewhere in this blog that I believe those of us who feel drawn into astrology have a particular type of sensitivity built-in. I haven't yet been able to find out where and how this is represented in a natal chart. Perhaps it isn't, not completely.

I like to think that one example of this astro-sensitivity occurs when we feel "attracted to" a particular actor, singer, writer, teacher, or anyone actively communicating either communally or personally with us. I've found, in my own experience, that in almost all cases of such "attraction" there turns out to be some correlation between my astrology and that of the other person. This is most remarkable when it arises from non-personal communication such as TV or film . How can it be ? Actors in film and TV are portraying fictional characters. How does their astrological self bleed through their performance to find my astro-antenna ? I don't know, but it has happened to me too many times for mere coincidence, and I'm certain that others have experienced it too.

That kind of astro-sensing is enormously significant to me. It's a flag waving right in front of my eyes bearing the words "Something IS going on here!!"

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Charlotte's Web of Synchronicity

This week I've been bumping into synchronicity more than usual. Should anyone stumble across this blog entry and be unsure what synchronicity is, here are a couple of definitions which appeal to me :

"A wink from the Cosmos"........ (This puts it neatly in a nutshell )

"The uncanny coincidence. The unlikely conjunction of events. The startling serendipity. Who hasn’t had it happen in their life? You think of someone for the first time in years, and run into them a few hours later. An unusual phrase you’d never heard before jumps out at you three times in the same day. On a back street in a foreign country, you bump into a college roommate. A book falls off the shelf at the bookstore and it’s exactly what you need. "

And one possible explanation for all of this -

"No, you're not crazy. You are part of the Universe, and the Universe is communicating with itself."

So, my recent chain of synchronistic events went something like this:

I wrote a blog about James Thurber, one of the Pluto in Gemini writers that I love(see list on left).

I noticed that one of his books was co-written by E.B. White (with whom I was not familiar).

I searched for information on E B White, noted he had written a book called "The Elements of Style" ( hints to become a more stylish writer.) I ordered it, for this I need!

Researched some more, noted that EBW also wrote children's books including one called "Charlotte's Web"- I had never heard of this book before (I'm English, remember.)

Went out to a family dinner last night, "Charlotte's Web" was mentioned in conversation, in jocular manner in connection with reading matter for senior students.

Came home, glanced at the local newspaper - noticed one of the films showing in town is "Charlotte's Web" this point I began to feel the hairs prickle on the back of my neck!

We switched on the TV, watched Letterman interview someone I'd never heard of who turned out to be connected with the film "Charlotte's Web" (one of the voices, I think.)

I still await delivery of "Elements of Style", but am pretty certain that the Cosmos is giving me a wink, telling me that I've chosen my writing mentor well.
E.B. White deserves a blog entry. He shall have one.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Mr. Irresistible meets Astrology World.

Yesterday evening we attended a "do" at the local High School. My husband's grandson was taking part in a pageant to find "Mr. Irresistible" - a spoof of the "Miss Whatever" beauty pageants which used to be popular. The grandson didn't win, though he put on a grand show. The winner was 'PJ' a diminutive oriental lad, all of 4ft 6", wearing heavy-framed spectacles. From appearance alone, he seemed the least likely winner, measured against some of his tall, athletic opponents, representatives of various sporting endeavours. PJ was wonderful - talented, funny, infectious and the audience loved him. I kept wondering about his birthdate!

That led to a silly idea which occurred to me later. How wonderful to live in "Astrology World" where birth data was commonly available. The programme to last night's event would have contained all eleven contestants' data: e.g. "Damien Yardley, 4 August 1988, Comanche, Oklahoma. 5pm ". The audience, equipped with portable technology, (something like an i-pod) could have swiftly calculated the salient features of each contestant's chart.

Enlarging on this fantasy: in "Astrology World" the newspapers, instead of printing "John Brown, 42, of London......" would print "John Brown, born 3 April 1965, London, England at 6pm"...... . This man's personality would be as an open book to us all, courtesy of our astro-i-pods. Fashion stores would arrange their goods along such lines as - "Dresses for Scorpio stelliums", "Suits for the man with a well-aspected Saturn", or "Nightwear for Neptunians".
It'll never happen of course, and that's for the best. We'd lose some of the mystery in life, and last night's show might not have held the magical surprise that it did.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Outer Planets and TV Drama.

I wonder if the long stay of Uranus in Pisces and Neptune in Aquarius has been quietly influencing writers and producers of TV drama series.

In the past few months (in the USA) we've seen "Medium", "Supernatural" "Eureka", "Threshold", "Heroes", and just this week "The Lost Room", all with paranormal-type themes. The Sci-fi channel has always specialised in this type of programme, but most of these were shown elsewhere.

Tales of aliens and space travel have been around for a long time, of course, as has the wonderful "X-Files", so it's not that this is a completely new trend, it just seems to have blossomed or become more extreme of late.

The new stories have elements which have appeared in short stories,or comic books in the past, but are now being presented to a much wider audience. Characters from different walks of life find they have supernatural power (Heroes). A town where the paranormal becomes almost normal (Eureka). Everyday objects have taken on incredible functions and abilities (The Lost Room). There were some more familiar themes of a medium assisting the police (Medium and Supernatural), and aliens re-writing human DNA (Threshold).

Uranus and Neptune in mutual reception might well have had a hand in this flurry of science fiction-cum-fantasy shows, both in their production, and in the audience's willingness to accept them.
It is odd that writers who invent themes of this type scarcely, if ever, think to use astrology in their plots. Why ?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Dennis Kucinich - Scorpio's Iron Hand in Libra's Velvet Glove?

I am an English woman in America, a socialist, and concerned about the future. I believe the choice the people of the USA make in the 2008 election could make or break, not only the USA, but the planet. ( I hope by 2008 to be eligible to vote myself, by the way, so am taking a keen interest in events.)

The Washington Post reported yesterday:

"Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich launched his second bid for president on Tuesday, a long-shot candidacy fueled by his frustration with his party's effort to end the Iraq war.
"I am not going to stand by and watch thousands more of our brave, young men and women killed in Iraq," Kucinich said to applause from a crowd gathered at City Hall. "We Democrats were put back in power to bring some sanity back to our nation."

I like what I've read about this man. He's my kind of politician. If Al Gore doesn't run in 2008, Dennis Kucinich would be the next best choice, in my opinion.

Astrologer Maya del Mar, who sadly died recently, wrote about him prior to the 2004 election. Birth data: 8 October 1946, Cleveland, Ohio. Maya had obtained a birth time for him, which I'm assuming is correct (5.53pm).

Maya del Mar pointed out Dennis's interesting Pisces connection. I like better his Scorpio connection. Mercury, Jupiter, Mars and Venus at 1*, 2*, 9* and 26Scorpio respectively. Sun at 15* Libra, Neptune at 8* Libra. Moon Pisces, Ascendant 14.56*Aries. Saturn at 7* Leo (so his Saturn return is now past.) As Maya mentioned the Sun is in good aspect with all 3 outer planets - I think that has to be an advantage in anyone's chart.

Dennis's Scorpio influence will give him the intensity and determination this fixed sign is known for, and which will be needed in whichever president has the dubious pleasure of taking up the reins of the USA after the next election. The USA will need a very strong hand at the helm to negotiate a change in course, I'd guess that this man IS strong enough. I'm glad his Sun is in Libra, for in spite of his intensity, he'll have charm, and with help from his gentle Pisces Moon, he has great potential to woo the public. Might this be an iron hand in a velvet glove? If it is - perhaps that is exactly what's needed at this point in time. Dennis's Aries ascendant (if the birth time is right) is directly opposing his Sun, Aries/Libra axis, mid-sign - said by some astrologers to be the most potent area of any sign. Sun opposing ascendant is thought to imply a Libra "feel", especially if Sun is in 7th house, which it is, in this case, AND in Libra!! So this opposition is underlining and emphasising Dennis's Libra characteristics. This opposition can also mean skill in negotiation, being able to "stand in another's shoes".

An extract from his recent announcement of intention to run for president, which illustrates his aims:

"My home is in Cleveland. Each day I see the effect of our misplaced national priorities on my city: The number of factories and businesses, large and small, closing. My constituents and people just like them across America are losing their jobs, losing their middle class status and being pushed into poverty. Blue and white collar workers in the city and suburbs are losing their homes. They are losing their hard-earned retirement. A total of one hundred million Americans have no health care or are underinsured. Budget deficits have crippled school districts.

Many cities are in financial trouble, forced to lay off vital city workers, unable to finance repairs to bridges, roads, water systems and sewer systems. The price of natural gas is rising. Huge utility rate increases are in the offing. It is getting more and more difficult for people to make ends meet. Meanwhile millions of entrepreneurs whose ingenuity will create new jobs by bringing forth advanced cleanenergy technologies are being starved for capital.

I live in the same working class neighborhood in the same home I purchased thirty five years ago. My parents raised seven children and never owned a home. We lived in twenty-one different places by the time I was seventeen, including a couple of cars. I know what people go through. I have seen first hand the effects of poverty and social disorganization. I also know of the powerful strivings of the human heart. I know that with just a little help, a little encouragement, and a little money, people are capable of creating new wealth and new worlds. That creative power is part of the birthright of all Americans.

I also know what the destructive power of war does to families and to our nation.. I know what Vietnam did to this country and did to my family. I know how it divided our nation and set America apart from the world. The war in Iraq has already taken its toll on Cleveland and in communities like Cleveland across the United States. The war, tax cuts for the already privileged, and our trade policies have become a massive engine to redistribute upwards the wealth of our nation and to transfer our national wealth out of the country. Policies which divide people and fracture the social compact are inherently
un-American. Our nation’s very name makes of striving for unity a sacred cause."


Dennis Kucinich may be an outside choice, for Democratic candidate, Mrs Clinton and Mr. Obama are presently getting most of the publicity, but there's a way to go yet, and a few more bridges to cross. We shall see !

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Richard Dawkins, the astrologers' nightmare.

It appears that Prof. Richard Dawkins, astrology's bete noire, is preparing to launch another attack on his favourite target, the astrologers, on British TV. (See Jonathan Cainer's "Thought for the Day" at Tuesday 12 Dec.)

Around ten years ago Dawkins opened a diatribe with:
"Astrology is neither harmless nor fun, and we should see it as an enemy of truth, says Richard Dawkins, author of 'The Selfish Gene'. Why, he asks, do so many of us indulge in these pre-Copernican dabblings which are nothing short of wicked fraud?"
more at

That opening gambit reminds me of our Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe who is very vocal on the subject of global warming, and continually insists that it's one of the biggest hoaxes of all time.

Dawkins and Inhofe should get together - they'd make a good pair.

I have my own opinions about astrology, some of which might bring a wan smile to Dawkin's face. I do not ascribe to everything the astrologers tell us. But I DO have unswerving faith that there IS something going on - something which is capable of being observed by those with the right kind of sensitivity. I think that's the key to it all. Sensitivity. Some of us are extra sensitive to light, some to sound, some adversely sensitive to pollen, cats, etc. It seems natural to me that there is a kind of sensitivity some of us have which "appreciates" or "sees" astrology working, while others remain blind.

Dawkins feigns affront that astrologers can make lots of money from this so-called "fraud". He conveniently forgets that he makes money too, from his constant harping about astrology, in the form of publicity for his books, TV fees, fees for articles in the press. Pot calling kettle ?? Hypocrisy ??

Monday, December 11, 2006

Astrology Message Boards

One of the first things I did when my first home computer was set up, some five years ago, was to look for websites relating to astrology. My searches led me, eventually, to several message boards, or forums (fora?) I've contributed or lurked on one or two of these from time to time ever since.

Astrology message boards are a great resource for beginners and intermediate students - the trick is to find one compatible with your own level of knowledge and style of applying it.

After reading the boards for a while it becomes obvious that each appeals to a particular type of contributor. There are a few boards for beginners who love to chat in terms of Sun signs, often about relationships and love affairs, e.g. "Is Taurus and Scorpio a good match?" There are one or two which specialise in traditional astrology or Vedic where contributors are mostly experts. Members there have been known to deal harshly with the odd hapless beginner who stumbles in by accident, asking for someone to look at his /her chart - in the hope of a free reading! Those boards are probably best used for reading and learning only, unless one is very experienced or very thick skinned! I'm neither, so I lurk. Luckily there are some boards which appeal to the in-betweens, like me, who have climbed out of the Sun sign rut, but are not up to elite conversation with the experts. All types of boards have helped me to form my own views about this fascinating yet frustrating subject.

I've noticed that interest in astrology message boards has decreased in the last year or two. Former contributors may have found other things on-line to spark their interest, blogs perhaps, or My-space, Flikr, and similar sites. Some message boards might well face extinction in the next few years. Unless there's a regular input of ideas and questions from a reasonable number of contributors, and some "new blood" is added occasionally, interest is bound to drain away. It would be a pity to lose them, but a kind of cyber-evolution may be in action - it'll be inevitable at some point in the future.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Accidental Prophets

A recent search for information about various writers and novelists illuminated an unexpected side issue.

In my blog entry relating to James Michener I noted that he seemed to have amazing foresight. Several of his novels featuring a particular country, in depth, were each followed some years later by the same countries coming into prominence on the world stage. In a long interview here:
he said "I think that some of us have a deep seated sensitive antennae about what is going to happen."

I had decided to look into the biography of Nevil Shute, author of one of my favourite books "A Town Like Alice". I discovered that Shute wrote a couple of novels which, later, seemed to have been prophetic. "No Highway" published in 1948 dealt with what might happen due to metal fatigue in aircraft. His ideas came close to fact with the Comet disasters of the 1950s. "What Happened to the Corbetts" also published as "Ordeal" was written just before the start of WorldWar2. It tells how badly aerial bombing affected a town similar to Southampton, in the south of England, and how the bombing of civilians became a major part of the war. British people of a certain age will have no trouble recognising this as fact! His novel "On the Beach", a story of the world ending as a result of the explosion of atomic bombs, thankfully has not yet proved prophetic. It could still be "pending" however, should people forget the warning bells it rang! Shute also touched on a slightly supernatural theme in a novel called "Round the Bend" in which an aircraft mechanic becomes the mystical leader of a religious movement.

Seeing a slight correspondence between Michener and Shute, I searched around for other instances of novels which seem to portray events which later came to pass in real life. It appears that American writer Morgan Robertson produced an early example in his story "Futility" . He told of a ship called Titan which sank in a way eerily similar to The Titanic, 14 years later. When this book was written there were no ships of such enormous size being built. Robertson also appeared to be crystal-gazing when he later(1914) wrote a book called "Beyond the Spectrum". In this book, he described a war in the future, fought using aircraft which dropped "sun bombs" on their targets. These were powerful enough for a single bomb to destroy a city. When this book was written, aeroplanes were small, flimsy, and unreliable machines capable of carrying one person. Nuclear weapons were still unimagined. Robertson's war began in the month of December, as did the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which brought the USA into WW2.

Michener was born 1907, Shute 1899 and Robertson 1861.

There are, of course, common sense explanations for the authors' apparent ability to see into the future, these men were not deliberately trying to predict events, as far as we know.

Michener didn't foresee actual events, but was drawn or inspired to write about countries which later came to prominence for one reason or another. He was widely travelled, highly intelligent, politically minded and had lived in all the countries he wrote about. Common sense would say that he was "putting two and two together" with a bit of Aquarian intuition.

Shute was a skilled aeronautical engineer as well as novelist. He had technical knowledge more than sufficient to foresee possible outcomes where the area of his expertise was involved. "An accident waiting to happen", in the case of metal fatigue, and some extrapolation of known facts in the case of aerial warfare ?

Robertson was the son of a ship's captain and spent some time as a cabin boy himself, so the sea was "in his blood", he had no doubt heard some tall tales from the old salts he must have encountered. These, with a little embroidery, might have helped him to invent his ship Titan. His "Beyond the Spectrum" published in 1914 is harder to explain.

Those are explanations for the sceptics. Someone more open-minded, and sensitive to peculiar coincidences like these, might see a different explanation.

Novelists and short story writers continually tap into vast resources of imagination. For hours at a time, on a regular basis, their minds are "elsewhere", concentrating outside of mundane events. Isn't this akin to meditation? Could it be that as they concentrate so intently in realms of the imaginary, coloured with knowledge stored in their memory banks, they somehow seep through a time barrier or into another dimension?

Any correspondences in the natal charts of these three writers in question could help in finding an explanation.

Morgan Robertson born 30 September 1861 Oswego, New York
Nevil Shute born 17 January 1899, Ealing, England
James Michener born 3 February 1907, New York

Using my limited astrological skills, without the aid of a safety net - I mean time of birth, concentrating on major aspects, and placements only ....drum roll:

1. All 3 writers have Sun and Mercury in the same sign (not uncommon.)

2. Uranus opposes Pluto(Shute), Uranus opposes Neptune(Michener) and Uranus squares Saturn/Jupiter(Robertson). The first two are generational, but might still have significance.

3. In Robertson's case Neptune opposes Sun. Shute and Michener both have Neptune and Sun inconjunct.

So.... attention is drawn to the outer planets, especially Neptune's links to the Sun. (The orbs are a bit wide, but Neptune is slow, so perhaps it's OK.)

More detail:
Robertson: Sun at 7 Libra/Neptune at 00Aries (Aries Point) opposition
Shute: Sun at 27 Capricorn/Neptune at 22 Gemini- inconjunct
Michener: Sun at 14 Aquarius/Neptune at 10 Cancer-inconjunct

I doubt that opposition and inconjunct aspects are obvious choices to produce the effect in question - but who knows? It's said that Neptune represents imagination, among other things, and mysticism. Maybe the push-pull of an opposition, or friction from an inconjunct aspect in a natal chart can produce an effect in the mind of the native strong enough to push aside the "veil" of present reality. This effect would be most likely to show up when those with such aspects engage in mental activities which need acute concentration. An interesting subject to research !

Morgan Robertson, the writer with Sun and Neptune in opposition, dispayed the most surprising ability of the 3, but the other two writers do show lesser, or more explainable abilities, which are still remarkable.

Perhaps the best explanation (for now) is that intense concentration of a mind with certain Neptune/Sun energies built-in, and knowledge in specific fields, gained from experience, can result in reasonably accurate prognostication.
It sounds reasonable enough to me!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Louisa May Alcott, Sagittarian - More than a Little Woman

Louisa May Alcott born 29 November 1832, Germantown, Pennsylvania.

The only books I remember clearly from my childhood were written by this author. I received "Little Women" as a gift one Christmas, and after reading it with much delight sought out its sequels "Good Wives", "Little Men" and "Jo's Boys". Louisa May Alcott wrote much else, of course, but these books were what brought her fame.

Louisa May was one of four daughters of transcendentalist and teacher Bronson Alcott, and Abigail, his wife, a vocal proponent of women's rights. They settled in Concord just outside of Boston. Louisa May and her sisters were educated mainly by their father. They were often in company of his friends who included such luminaries as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne and other literary figures, all of whom lived nearby. The Alcott family was not materially prosperous however, the children grew up in basic poverty, but surrounded by intellectual richness.

Louisa May began writing early, first for her sisters, in the form of poems or plays which they would perform. She was forced to take any kind of work available for a few years in order to help the family finances, but she continued writing short stories and poems which were published in popular magazines. At age 22 her first book, "Flower Fables" was published . It was not until age 35 that she wrote "Little Women". The tale is partly autobiographical, drawing broadly from the experiences of herself and her sisters during childhood. At least 30 of her books were published, "Little Women" has never been out of print.

Louisa never married. In later life she became an advocate of women's suffrage and was the first woman to register to vote in Concord, MA. Her health had been permanently damaged when serving for a short spell as a Civil War nurse. Louisa contracted typhoid fever, she recovered but suffered the poisoning effects of mercury from a drug used at that time to cure the disease . Her health failed gradually, she died, aged 56, two days after her father had passed away. Interestingly her father was born in 1799, on the same day and month as Louisa May - 29 November.

So, does Louisa May Alcott's astrology fit? I have noticed that some internet sources offer a birth time. I believe this has to be suspect. I doubt that records of birth times were kept in 1832. In most states it was not until the 20th century that time of birth was officially recorded. The time offered gives a Virgo ascendant and Gemini midheaven, which for me is a little too "convenient" for an author!
I suppose it is possible that in some of Louisa May's writings or diaries she has mentioned an estimated time of birth, but I'm doubtful - why would it be of any importance to someone who had no interest in astrology ? I'm not convinced, so will continue minus birth time.

Sun and Mercury in Sagittarius with 19 degrees between them. Sagittarius is the sign of philosophers and free thinkers. It has been said that Louisa May, though surrounded by transcendentalist philosophies in her young life, did not ascribe to them herself - she followed her own free-thinking, possibly fuelled by her Moon and Uranus in Aquarius.

Saturn is in Virgo, squaring Mercury within 2 minutes of arc - the writer's Saturnian link!

There is a Grand Trine in Earth linking Mars in Taurus, Saturn in Virgo and Neptune in Capricorn. I believe that this accounts for Louisa May's determination to provide for her poverty stricken family, which she continued to do throughout her lifetime. If she had any ambition or inclination to write worthy intellectual tomes, she decided to forego it in favour of writing what she was sure would sell and provide for her loved ones.

Jupiter, the publishing planet and traditional ruler of Pisces, lies strong in that sign, it squares Louisa's Mercury in Sagittarius, and opposes Saturn in Virgo, producing dynamic energy between the writing and publishing planets.

Pluto in Aries trines her Sagittarian Sun, but exactly squares her Venus in Capricorn. Perhaps while powerful Pluto may have aided her deepest ambitions, did the powerful, if diminutive, planet place an obstacle to her love life ?
She is quoted as having said "I have fallen in love with so many pretty girls, never once, the least bit, with any man". Whereas nowadays that statement might be thought to imply a certain sexual orientation, in the 19th century I very much doubt that was the case.

I think Louisa May Alcott's astrology is fitting , even without the benefit of a birth time.

My interest in astrology inspired me in the past to try to categorise the sisters in "Little Women" according to their archetypes. I decided that Jo, who I'm sure was Louisa's alter ego had to be Aquarian (reflection of her Moon) . Meg, the homemaker seemed to me to depict Taurus. Amy, the spoiled, vain sister was typically Leo. Beth the gentle one fitted Pisces well, I thought. All four elements were covered, though I doubt the author was aware of it!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Larry McMurtry, Son of the West and Son of Mercury

Larry McMurtry, born 3 June 1936, Wichita Falls, Texas. (Birth time unknown)

"Lonesome Dove" is what I know best of this author. I read the book, watched the TV series, bought the DVDs, and have watched them countless times. I was enthralled by this tale of the old West, almost as enthralled as I was by James Michener's "Centennial". How strange that I should find myself, at a fairly late stage in life, not too far from the locations of both books. We visited Archer City, Larry McMurtry's home town last summer, had a coffee in the famous "Dairy Queen" there, and saw his enormous used book store "Booked Up". We visited the location of Michener's "Centennial" in Colorado this year, too.

The information on Larry McMurtry's life available on the internet is basic, and not very revealing. The following is from Yahoo

Prolific author and screenwriter McMurtry has carved a niche as the chronicler of a fictional West (with particular emphasis on his native Texas) in transition. He is credited with reviving the genre and imbuing it with realism laced with satire. Although he has written novels set in other areas of the US, the flavor of the Southwest permeates. Raised in Archer County, TX on a cattle ranch established by his grandfather, McMurtry began his literary career at North Texas State University writing for the literary magazine "Avesta." Upon graduation, he worked intermittently as a teacher, first at Texas Christian University (1961-62) and then at Rice University (1963-64 and 1965-69). He continued his literary career as well, working as a freelance journalist and book reviewer.

Larry McMurtry is the author of twentyseven novels, including "The Last Picture Show", "Terms of Endearment", "Lonesome Dove", winner of the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and, most recently, "Folly and Glory". His nonfiction works include a biography of Crazy Horse, "Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen", "Paradise", and "Sacagawea’s Nickname: Essays on the American West" Several of his novels have been adapted for TV or movie screen.

His astrology:

Venus, Mercury, Sun and Mars are all in Gemini at 5, 8, 12 and 14 degrees respectively. What better indication for a literary career than a stellium in Gemini ruled by planet Mercury? Saturn doesn't link easily with those planets though, at 21 Pisces. Disappointing, because I feel sure that Saturn often does link into an author's astrological signature . Perhaps in McMurtry's case his generational planets Uranus and Neptune, both in Earth signs Taurus and Virgo, lend a certain amount of stability and discipline ? Or perhaps Capricorn was rising at the time of his birth. The publishing planet Jupiter lies at 20 Sagittarius, widely opposing his Gemini stellium, could the tension of this opposition perhaps be the catalyst which led him from teaching to writing? His Moon lies in Scorpio. Pluto, the third generational influence, is in Cancer. Saturn, Moon and Pluto form a Grand Trine in Water. McMurtry doesn't strike me as a superficially emotional writer, but he does imply deep understanding of emotional matters, often too ethereal to put into words. The relationship between Gus and Captain Call (Lonesome Dove) is a good example of this. Much later in his career McMurtry co-wrote the screenplay for "Brokeback Mountain", which deals with a relationship between two men - different from that in "Lonesome Dove", but dealt with in a similarly compassionate style. He was able to touch me sufficiently to bring tears in both instances. Perhaps this is his Water Grand Trine at work.

Larry McMurtry is a true "son of the West", with an innate talent for words. He has enabled us to share some of the magic which lies within the history of his beloved country.