Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I often wonder how writers feel about their stories and books when time gives the lie, or more accurately the misjudgement, to the timing of their plotlines.

It's an odd experience to read science fiction and post-apocalyptic novels and short stories written many years ago, finding that the author has set his plot in a time-frame which now, in 2007, is in the past. Nothing remotely close to their imaginings has happened - life has gone on, albeit with changes, some discoveries, new technology and a few new traumas. The authors were storytellers, not astrologers or psychics, they were not predicting events. The fact that they set their plots in a specific time frame, though, indicates that they considered the chosen date to be realistic and believable, at the time of writing.

George Orwell's "1984", and Arthur C. Clarke's "2001 A Space Odyssey" are two of the best known examples. A lesser known book called "Down to a Sunless Sea" by David Graham is yet another. I bought a secondhand copy this week. I'd read it back when it was originally published (first in the UK then in the USA) in the late 70s/early 80s. I lent it to a friend , who lent it to another, and it was lost for ever. I was surprised when I flicked through the book again to see the date the author had specified for the action to take place - 1985. The world had exploded into nuclear war, eventually leading to a pole shift. How odd that seems now, 22 years later. Sure enough there have been flurries of war and terrorism, but nothing matching the author's vision - USA crumbling, hunger and violence everywhere, citizens trying desperately to escape from America to Europe. Perhaps what he imagined for 1985 is yet to come - or perhaps it will remain an author's imaginings for ever.

There are some examples of similar misjudgements, related to TV presentations at TV Tropes Wiki (scroll down to section on "TIME".) A remark made there highlights an interesting point:
" Writers in the 1950s and 1960s thought that placing something in "The Year 2000" was as good as placing it a million years in the future. Even today, The Future is generally 300-500 years hence, even if we've developed a vast star-faring civilization. Some of this is a product of the progress-mania of the early 20th century -- after all, if in your lifetime, you'd seen mankind go from inventing the airplane to walking on the moon, it didn't seem all that unreasonable that we'd be living on Jupiter by 1999. This sort of thing gives many shows set Twenty Minutes Into The Future a shelf-life of about fifteen minutes. "

What surprises me most is not what authors imagine, but that they risk specifying dates. This can detract from a very good tale. In spite of the fact that a story is just that - a story, many readers must find themselves wearing a slight sneer when dates now well past are specified: "Neener neener neener. It didn't happen!"

I think we can be reasonably certain that many of the thoughts we have about 2008, 2010 and 2012 will prove to be just as misjudged as some plotlines from past literature.

Monday, July 30, 2007


Once upon a time it was thought that people in the USA were less prone to snobbery than those in the UK and Europe. I suppose this idea originated due to the fact that many European countries remain monarchies. A monarchy underpins an eschelon of aristocracy, which in turn used to spawn class consciousness and its close cousin snobbishness.

Snobbery isn't just related to bloodlines though. Snobbery can be found in many circles. Sport, music, art, literature, entertainment, food, wine, etc. etc. In a nutshell, snobbery entails looking down on others in an attempt to make oneself feel superior - about anything at all.

“True individualists tend to be quite unobservant; it is the snob, the would-be-sophisticate, the frightened conformist, who keeps a fascinated or worried eye on what is in the wind” said writer Louis Kronenberger.

C.E.O. Carter had this to say in his Encyclopedia of Psychological Astrology (and, for once, I have to remark critically, in places, on his words!)-

"Snobbishness is characteristic of Leos and Capricorns (tsk, tsk, Mr Carter - judging by Sun sign?)who are still centred on the material aspects of things. It is probable that the better sort of Capricorn (tsk tsk!)is conscious of, and a believer in, class distinctions, but is quite ready to pay each man his due according to his own view of what ought to be accorded to a man in such a position (erm....eh??) This belief in the value of caste is part of the love of orderliness which Saturn gives; there is a feeling that every one has, and should have, his right place in life, and should keep there, unless he can raise himself by worth, expressed in such terms as Saturn can respect.

The snobbishness of Leo is due to the enhanced idea of their importance which some members of that sign possess."

I do get the gist of what Mr Carter says, and I have to remember that he lived in a different era from me, with slightly different attitudes. I'm pretty sure that he would not tar all Sun Capricorns and Leos with the same brush, but was using a kind of shorthand, which those writing about astrology in brief fall into now and again (myself included).

Summer and winter born people are likely to have some Leo and Capricorn planets in their charts. The key factor is how strong are those planets, what aspects are made, and from whence, and what kind of snobbery?

Regarding Capricorn: it's quite common for Sun Capricorns to have planets in Aquarius - probably the least likely sign to embrace class snobbery, and vice versa -Aquarians often have Capricorn planets...so where does that leave us?

Instead of wondering "am I (or some other person) snobbish?", a better investigation would be "what am I (or you) snobbish about?" This assumes that each one of us has a whiff of snobbery somewhere within our personality.

I'd better put up my own hand to something here. I'd like to think that in general I'm not snobbish, but I guess I AM a bit snobbish about writing and speaking correctly. Not with an elegant accent - just correctly. In my younger dating days, if a would-be boyfriend was a sloppy speaker and unable to string a sentence together, I'd turn up my snobby nose. In my natal chart Mercury (planet of communication)is in Capricorn, ruled by Saturn and almost on the descendant, so in a strong position. One victory for Mr Carter, then!

HeWhoKnows feels much the same as me about correct writing and speaking. He has Mercury in Pisces, but it is conjunct Saturn, ruler of Capricorn. I have to suspect also (whispering) that he's a leeetle bit of a music/jazz snob, and in his natal chart Saturn/Mercury sextiles his Venus(music)/Uranus conjunction in Taurus. He also has Moon and ascendant in Leo....nudge nudge, wink wink. Another tick for Mr Carter!

I found this video on YouTube. "How to be a Pretentious Snob". The presenter is just 19 - from New Zealand I think. It made me laugh. I reckon he has talent.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Climate of Backlash

Yesterday I decided to spend a little time catching up on blogs I've neglected to read for a while. I started at Barbara's "Silverwheel Astrology" then moved on to Dr. Glen Barry's at "Earth Meanders" (17 July post)- I got no further.

Although the authors of these two blogs hold opposite views about climate change, the bloggers and many comments speak out against Al Gore and his "mission", albeit for different reasons.

It's no surprise that Al Gore is an irritant to those skeptical about man-made, or indeed any global warming. I can understand also why dedicated environmentalists might feel miffed to see him, with celebrity helpers, getting so much publicity when their own efforts have gone well nigh unnoticed over many years.

Al Gore is caught in backlash coming from both sides of this debate, not only in blogs, elsewhere too. Backlash is a by-product of success, of course, so I suppose it was to be expected. I'm not sure whether there's a coinciding astrological transit - transiting Mars is hanging around his natal Venus just now - maybe that's it.

I've noticed recently another discernable backlash. People who appear to have been scolded and chided by over-eager "Greens" are becoming weary of it. Over-zealous nagging is never helpful, and eventually turns counter-productive.

My personal opinion on climate change remains that human activity over the last century has contributed to, and exacerbated, change which may or may not be part of a natural cycle. I feel pretty sure that even the most qualified expert doesn't know for certain what's going on, or what's in store for the future. Isn't risk limitation the best way forward? It surely must be, unless we are truly short-sighted and uncaring, for the risk is scarily unquantifiable. Isn't this what Al Gore's mission is all about?

Solutions involved in combatting man-made climate change (whether one believes that it exists or not), would greatly benefit humans and the planet in the long term. Deforestation is patently bad for the planet. Huge mountains of waste plastic and other non-degradable materials will someday become a menace if nothing is done to reduce them. New sources of energy will be essential in coming decades - oil will someday run out. If population isn't limited soon, Mother Nature will do it for us. Glaciers are melting - proof is there for all to see. Ocean levels will therefore rise, to what extent is uncertain. Whether currents such as the Gulf Stream will be affected is also a consideration. Banning new development on flood plains, and vulnerable coastal areas, would surely benefit the environment whether catastrophe comes in our lifetime, or things trundle along much as they are now.

As for Al Gore's penchant for recruiting celebrity helpers - what does it matter about their motives or their lifestyles? The message is the important thing. Their luxurious lifestyles give these people the freedom to do what they are doing. It's the superficial, yet essential, side of Al Gore's mission. He's attempting to reach the youth of the world - those who will have to deal with after-effects from long decades of our not caring.

I admire Al Gore a lot, my only disappointment is that, so far, he declines to run in the 2008 presidential campaign. Without strong action from the government in the USA, which I suspect will not be forthcoming under any other presidency, nothing will change here - except, perhaps, the climate.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Week That Was

I reckon this puts much of what we've read and seen this week in the shade:

MONTEZUMA, Iowa: Two teens are marching across the country for peace, hoping to gain followers and attention with each step they take.

Ashley Casale, 19, and Michael Israel, 18, had hoped others who opposed the war in Iraq would join them on their 3,000-mile (4,800-kilometer) walk from San Francisco to Washington. But since they started off on May 21, it has usually been just the two of them.

It was not what Casale planned when she started a Web site and sent fliers to colleges nationwide to promote what she called "March for Peace." Still, after 1,600 miles (2,575 kilometers) and three pairs of sandals, she seemed satisfied with the march's progress.

Full article at International Herald Tribune HERE

Generationally these two teens "have their heads screwed on right" (as my grandma would have said.) When they were born, 1988/9, Neptune, Pluto, Uranus and Saturn would have provided a generational mix of Sagittarius, Capricorn and Scorpio as background for their personal planets. Passionate (Scorpio) about their cause, with plenty of common sense and determination (Capricorn), going to extremes to make their point(Sagittarius).

To paraphrase an old Irish blessing :

May the road rise up to meet to meet them
May the wind always be at their backs.
May the sun shine warm upon their faces,
and rains fall soft upon them.
And until they reach their destination ,
May their God hold them in the palm of His hand.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Last lap of my journey

Today the last lap of my long immigration journey begins. Today's the day I'll be mailing my application for US citizenship. As it happens, transiting Mercury is just a couple of degrees away from my natal ascendant, and transiting Moon conjoins natal Venus - seems like a reasonably good omen!

I didn't choose the day because of anything astrological, I've chosen it because it's the first day I become eligible to apply, and because on 30 July the total fee will rise from $400 to $675.

The next stage will follow in a few weeks when I'll be called in for fingerprinting. After that there'll be a long wait of several months before the main interview, then another wait until the next available Oath Ceremony. I'll be watching transits closely to note whether any astrology fits appointment dates as I receive them.

In the meantime I'm brushing up on US history and government. As part of the main interview I'll be asked 10 questions on "civics" from a list of 140, and will need to answer at least 6 correctly. Then they'll test my ability to, er..... speak and write English! Apparently they go through the motions with this little test whether one is a naturally English speaking/writing person or not. It's probably all about discrimination.

I'm hoping to be a citizen in time to vote in the 2008 election!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A very good year......and Ansel Adams

1902 was a very good year for the arts. Oddly (or perhaps not), the prevailing astrological stew brought forth numerous men who were later to become film producer/directors. A few of the better known names are: David O.Selznick, Vittoria de Sica, Anatole Litvak, Harold Schuster, William Wyler, Darryl F. Zanuck - and there are others. Composer for musical theatre, Richard Rodgers, writers Ogden Nash and John Steinbeck, aviator Charles Lindbergh, TV personality Ed Sullivan, astrologers Grant Lewi and Carl Payne Tobey, and photographer Ansel Adams are also of this rare vintage. SEE HERE for more.

The position of the outer planets almost certainly contributed to this cornucopia of talent. Pluto lay between 17 and 19 Gemini, Neptune between 29 Gemini and 3 Cancer, Uranus between 18 to 20 Sagittarius. For a good part of the year Pluto (and sometimes Neptune) opposed Uranus in Sagittarius. Saturn remained in Capricorn throughout the year.

From amongst that line-up of luminaries I've already blogged about Ogen Nash (here),. I've mentioned the two astrologers in several blog entries too. Next up is famous photographer and conservationist, Ansel Adams.

Ansel Adams was born 20 February 1902, allegedly at 3am, in San Francisco. That 3am birth time is so convenient that I do wonder if it's a guess or rectification (I must learn to be more trusting and less cynical!)

A birth time of 3 am puts those magical outer planets near to the ascendant/descendant angles, giving them extra importance and strength. They are trining or sextiling his most personal planets, Sun, Venus and Mercury which lie in the last degrees of Aquarius and 00* Pisces. His Moon at 4 Leo opposes Jupiter at 3 Aquarius. This time of birth puts MC in Libra, ruled by artistic Venus - but no planets are there.

I see Ansel Adams as a clear blend of Aquarius and Pisces, with extra dynamism coming from his Moon in Firey Leo and the Sagittarian ascendant. Sun Mercury and Venus trining Neptune and sextiling Uranus are likely to be the key features here.

Neptune rules photography and is also the ruler of his (just in) Pisces Sun. Uranus, ruler of his Aquarian planets rules the technology involved in cameras generally, so the sextile to his personal planets will have been helpful.

It's becoming a little clearer now why so many film director/producers featured in that list of 1902 luminaries !

Below is a small sample of the work of Ansel Adams, with two quotations attributed to him.

"It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment".(The more things change, the more they remain the same!).

"It is my intention to present - through the medium of photography - intuitive observations of the natural world which may have meaning to the spectators."

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A story about astrologer Grant Lewi

Here's a little story about 20th century American astrologer Grant Lewi. It's taken from the preface to his book "Heaven Knows What", first published 1935, my second-hand edition is 1947, and has a preface by Carl Payne Tobey, another American astrologer who was around at the same time as Grant Lewi.

We're told in the preface that Grant Lewi was "restless Sun-in-Gemini conjunct the node of Uranus, with Leo on the ascendant, Sun in opposition to Uranus". He didn't believe in paying for life insurance because he said he had no intention of dying right away. When he was 48 and a half he changed his mind and bought life insurance. Right after his 49th birthday he died of what was thought to be a cerebral hemorrhage. So he had saved himself 30 years of life insurance premiums. He finally paid one premium and the insurance company had to pay off!

Carl Payne Tobey recalls that he was told by folks in Tucson, Arizona where Lewi lived, that they thought he knew he was about to die. As well as the story about insurance, there were reports that he had refused to make any appointments for the month of August. He told people "I'll consider it if I'm still here." He had joked about not knowing whether he would even be around in August. He died on the morning of July 14th 1951. People were sure that he had been ready.

Apart from my little gripe about Grant Lewi's take on Aquarius Sun with Aries Moon (me), which I feel is undeservedly harsh, I warm to his style. It's said that he didn't use progressions or fixed stars - which information immediately recommends him to me ! "He wasn't concerned with why astrology works. He was more concerned with the fact that it does." Hmmm. I should try to emulate him in that respect myself, I guess.

I do like the astrologers of Grant Lewi's and Carl Payne Tobey's generation. Their general attitude and style of writing occasionally appear dated, but that's to be expected. What they have to say can be refreshing and enlightening. Second-hand copies of their books are available for next to nothing at Amazon and Alibris.

Monday, July 23, 2007

M. Night Shyamalan

After watching "Lady in the Lake", a movie shown on HBO last week, I wanted to find out more about its writer and director, M.Night Shyamalan. I'd seen some other films he has written/directed - "Sixth Sense", "The Village" and "Signs", but hadn't fully connected the dots until now. Probably because when I'd come across his rather unusual name in the credits my eyes balked and skipped over it!

There's an easy-to-find link between these films, they're all somewhere between science fiction and fairy tale, mystical, with a touch of horror (but not the gratuitous gory, nasty horror so prevalent in movies nowadays).

I wondered whether I could spot anything in his natal chart which might match his style. He was born on 6 August 1970 in India. Some websites give place of birth as Madras, others Pondicherry, still others Mahe.
I've chosen Pondicherry. I reckon the planets will be in the same degrees - wherever. 12 noon chart, as no birth time available.

M Night Shyamalan has been slated and accused by critics of vanity, affectation, insecurity....you name it, they've said it about him . But couldn't the same criticisms be levelled at just about any human on the face of this fair planet, at different times in different stages of their lives?

I've watched some YouTube videos of interviews with him (HERE"S ONE). He comes over, to me, as a rather gentle person, certainly unaffected in his attitudes but determined not to fall into the trap of making films which spawn sequal after sequal in an effort to pander to the almighty(?) dollar. If he IS vain, he has a right to be proud of his achievements in writing and directing. He started at such a young age - he has been making home movies since teenage, writing and directing real movies since 1995, when he'd have been 25.

His chart shows Sun conjunct Mars in Leo. Vain? Of course. He's cute too!

Mercury, Pluto and Venus all in Virgo (ruled by writer's planet Mercury). Pluto and Venus conjoined.

Moon at 12 noon was also in the last degrees of Virgo - but with a birth time after 5pm Moon would be in Libra along with Uranus and Jupiter

Neptune in Scorpio and Saturn in Taurus, opposing each other complete the picture. This is an aspect many around his age would have shared. House position would really be needed to personalise it, I guess. It could though account for the criticism he excites - Saturn (the "square" critical establishment) opposing the writer's imaginative, dreamy Neptune.

Shyamalan's work displays a lot of Neptune - this planet is opposed by Saturn, sextiled by Pluto/Venus, semi-sextiled by Jupiter - so there's a lot going on here, no doubt stimulating his imagination 24/7. The Moon could well be involved too, if only we knew his time of birth.

His Sun/Mars conjunction is going to be a strong driving force in his life, personal and professional. This may be where the critics direct their niggles! He is probably very strong willed and determined to go his own way, no matter what. Yet, those closest to him will know a softer side I think, courtesy of those Virgo and Libra planets.

I'd have expected a few more Uranus connections to show up. M. Night Syamalan's work is fairly strange - "out there where the buses don't run"! This planet lies at 5.56 Libra, so it is just about sextile his Sun/Mars conjunction.

Neptune just has to be the star of the show in this man's firmament though. Any of his films will confirm it. I wonder if it's on his ascendant. With a birth time of 1.15 pm it would be, with Scorpio 28 ascendant, the Moon would be conjunct Venus/Pluto in Virgo - now that really would be an excellent fit!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

A poem, and news of a challenge met.


Stars have ways I do not know,
Enormity that checks my thought,
Yet on the loom of their fine glow
The fabric of my dreams is wrought.

I look into the stars, and one
After one, convictions die,
While more than I have lost is spun
Delicately across the sky.

I look into the stars, and all
The fuming purposes life gives
Pass, like mists of evening fall,
And all life never has been, lives.

Illustration from Neopets

The challenge mentioned in the title is HeWhoKnows' reply to the tag game/meme about songs/music.

HWK typically took his time, whereas I had rushed into it head first! HWK's contribution is an interesting read, for true music lovers as well as musical plebs like myself. When it comes to our attitude to music we're chalk and cheese. I go for the words every time - he goes, almost always, for the music. Is this down to my Mercury in Capricorn and his in Pisces, I wonder? He likes to "sense" the meaning, I like to have it spelled out. Or is it just a "guy thing"?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

My nice surprise.

Yesterday I logged on to find that Michelle of Crow's Feet had nominated me for a Creative Blogger Award. I was shocked and flattered. I've noticed a variety of little award symbols on blogs during my travels around the internet and often wondered how these came about. Now I know!

Thank you, Michelle, for the nomination and for directing me to the source of many of the award symbols I've seen around - a blog called Writers' Reviews.

I'm especially honoured to be nominated in this particular category. Look at the description of the award - I can't claim to fill all of the description, but part of it does say, loud and clear, "Aquarian Sun", I'll claim that part!

"This award originated with Christy at Writers Reviews, and is "for those who bring unique and creative elements to their blogs. For those who incorporate art, music, creative writing, photo's, and other beautiful visual effects into their website. For those who put a unique spin on things and come up with new ideas. This award is for the artsy, the funky, the inventor, and even the rebel. This award is for those creative individuals who stand out from the crowd."

I've looked at my relocated chart and transits for yesterday. Transiting Neptune (imagination and creativity) still conjoins relocated Aquarius ascendant, and transiting Mars 4 degrees from natal Uranus (planet of the unexpected) in re-located 3rd house of communication. I think those might fit, and that relocation charts might actually work - another surprise!

Thanks again, Michelle !

Friday, July 20, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bonnie and Clyde

There's a good piece about this notorious pair at Crime Library. I'm borrowing a few extracts, and adding my thoughts in an effort to see whether we can observe astrology at work. My comments are in blue italics.

The double chart is for 12 noon, as neither birth time is known. The inner chart is Clyde's, outer Bonnie's.

"Bonnie and Clyde were meant for each other. And they clung to each other while they fought back against the elements. (See their natal Venus placements - right opposite one another at 24 Pisces and 23 Virgo, and their Suns opposite at 3 Aries and 7 Libra)

They were children of a nationwide economic depression ......

(There's no doubt that Clyde was the leader, Bonnie the follower )
An anger dwelt within Clyde, having been born ragged and made more ragged by the Depression.(See his natal Mars conjunct Uranus - Mars must signify his anger at perceived wrongs to 'ordinary' people (Uranus) His Mars and Saturn, two "heavy" planets are in mutual reception, Mars in the sign ruled by Saturn (Capricorn) and Saturn in a sign ruled by Mars (Aries) probably adding devastating strength to both planets. In my software's section on "Lilly Strengths", which shows one way of calculating planetary strength, devised by William Lilly an astrologer of the distant past, Mars' strength goes right off the chart!

He sometimes killed in cold blood, and always tried to justify the murders as if he had a right to pull that trigger, thus releasing somehow the seething that built up like a volcano deep inside him. (Natal Pluto within a few degrees of his North Node(sensitive point in any chart) This may have pointed him towards his imagined "path in life" - a path of death. Jupiter in Virgo opposite Mercury in Pisces - in mutual reception (both trine or sextile Neptune in Cancer)were sure to have bestowed an over-active and exaggerated imagination, which, with hindsight, amounted to a death-wish. Bonnie had natal Jupiter opposite Neptune)

Perhaps he actually believed in his own special privilege. As the fame of Bonnie and Clyde grew, they shot their way out of police loops, each time growing tighter and tighter, and claimed that the "laws" they killed just happened to get in the way between their fiery outcry and the rest of the country. Their killings were not personal, they contended. But, the government took them personal. And Bonnie and her man were marked for death.

Depression had lowered a hideous shroud over the nation. The American Dream collapsed along with Wall Street in 1929.

Historian Jonathan Davis, in an excellent A&E Cable Network-produced Biography on the two bandits, says of Bonnie and Clyde’s crimes, "Anybody who robbed banks or fought the law were really living out some secret fantasies on a large part of the public."

Even more than their insurgence against their status in life was Bonnie and Clyde’s devotion to their own. With police and government detectives constantly on their trails, sometimes literally by inches, they time and time again risked their own lives to protect the other. Says Marie Barrow, Clyde’s sister, in Biography, "They never worried about anything else but each other." (Bonnie's natal Mars is only a degree away from her Sun, indicating an anger equal to Clyde's, though it's said that she never carried a gun herself.)
In their getaway cars, Clyde and Bonnie habitually carried a Kodak box camera; they loved to pose in dramatic tableaux wielding shotguns and revolvers, self-parodying the gangster image they realized they had earned. More than that, they loved to pose together, embraced or kissing, having other gang members do the snapping. When they died, the police found an undeveloped roll of film under their car seat -- photos of them together, looking adventurous and deeply in love. (They seemed to be living out a game - nowadays folks do this with more safety to themselves and others, via computer games !).

They knew they were going to die, maybe next week, maybe next month. Maybe in the morning. "

On 23 May 1934 the two died when government agents ambushed their car. On that date Pluto had moved to 22 degrees Cancer, and lay opposite their natal Uranus, in Clyde's case Uranus/Mars conjunction. It seems to me that their days must have always been numbered by this transit of Pluto, the great cleanser.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Oh no! "Posh" Spice is here!

I wonder what America will make of Victoria Beckham. I thought I'd exchanged "Posh" and her razamatazz in the UK media for Paris Hilton and Britney Spears when I moved to America. Now I discover I'll have to shield my eyes from three directions!

Jeff Jawer wrote a profile of Victoria, aka Posh Spice, aka Mrs David Beckham, HERE.

I note from other sites that her birth time might be in question. That's not surprising, birth time is not recorded on birth certificates in the UK, so many folks have only a vague idea what time they were born. Astrotheme has a "time unknown" 12 noon chart. Astrodatabank is wisely silent on the matter. Some websites say she was born in Harlow, Essex, others in Hertfordshire. I don't think this matters a lot chart-wise, there are not too many miles between the two locations.

I've set up the chart for Harlow, Essex at 12 noon.

Jeff Jawer has things pretty well covered, of course. I'll just add that Mrs Beckham has no planets in Earth signs in her natal chart - perhaps her feet, and ideas, are not anchored too firmly to Mother Earth - even so, flights of fancy have been turned into reality in her case. She has a dream lifestyle many would envy (not me!) Mercury is trine Neptune and Venus/Jupiter is square that planet of dreams, as Jeff Jawer pointed out, these aspects are significant in a lifestyle such as Mrs Beckham's.

Mercury in Aries and Venus/Jupiter in Pisces are semisextile - as I mentioned last week, I find that a tricky aspect to get to grips with. Aries and Pisces are so dissimilar, yet there's that connection between them - which can result in a life-long anomaly. In Mrs Beckham's case, the anomaly may be a very useful one professionally, bringing drive and ambition to her more dreamy side. The Pluto/Mercury opposition will add yet another facet, possibly making the anomaly even more noticeable to those who know her well. We can't really even surmise about her true personality, the one the world never sees.

Natal Moon at 12 noon is in Aquarius. With a birth time of 5pm or later though Moon would have moved into Pisces. The 12noon Moon forms a lovely Air Grand Trine with Mars/Saturn in Gemini and Uranus in Libra - but somehow I don't think that fits. Victoria Beckham may be a sharp lady, but not THAT sharp (for instance she didn't grasp that many Americans do not appreciate ironic humour, and her spoof documentary about her lifestyle did not go down well - see HERE). I wouldn't be at all surprised to find her natal Moon in Pisces, along with Venus and Jupiter.

You know, I think old "Posh" might eventually fit in well in California, she was made for that lifestyle. Had she been deposited in Oklahoma though - well, that's another matter entirely!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Ed Harris and Jackson Pollock

Ed Harris born 28 Nov 1950 Tenafly, New Jersey

A maverick artist and an actor/director born a generation apart. The actor/director brilliantly portrayed the artist in a self-directed movie.

Jackson Pollock born 28 January 1912, Cody, Wyoming

Ed Harris starred in and directed the movie "Pollock" in 2000. It's said that Harris's father once bought his son a book about Jackson Pollock because he felt that Ed bore a strong resemblance to the painter, perhaps this was the start of the actor's apparent fascination with this man.

Jackson Pollock's art is very much an acquired taste. From biographical notes, and from the movie, it appears that Pollock was "poster boy for Aquarius Sun"! His natal Uranus, modern ruler of Aquarius is very close to his Sun - it's just barely in Capricorn - in the last minutes of the sign, and his Sun is at 7.31 Aquarius - close enough to combine forces with the sign's ruler, I'd wager! Pollock was never satisfied with the status quo, always trying for something different. I used to think of those later Pollock works, the paint splatter ones, as a cynical money-grabbing exercise. I changed my mind, after seeing one or two originals on visits to art galleries. There's a lot of skill involved - more than one might initially appreciate. These pieces have a regular "rhythm", yet Pollock danced around his canvas on the floor, slinging paint hither and thither in seemingly random fashion - yet the finished product looks somehow planned - the colour distribution, the clever choices and mixes of colours. This one is entitled "Lavender Mist"

It seemed logical to me that the actor/director would need a deep understanding of the character he was to portray, and that somewhere in the natal charts of these two people there'd be a link.

There is.

So where is the astrological link between these two - the actor who seemed to understand this oddball character so well, and his subject? I felt sure there'd be a connection. If we had birthtimes for both men there would quite likely be more links to note.
(The inner chart is Jackson Pollock's, the outer that of Ed Harris.)

Pollock's natal Venus lies at 9 Sagittarius Ed Harris's natal Jupiter at 9 Sagittarius (conjunct).
Ed Harris's natal Venus is at 28 Sagittarius Jackson Pollock's Jupiter at 29 Aquarius (sextile)
Their natal Suns are at 7 Aquarius and 5 Sagittarius (sextile)

These Venus/Jupiter and Aquarius/Sagittarius connections must surely have much significance here, even without quoting cookbook interpretations. These might fit, but for me they're superfluous. The "feel" of a connection is there. I reckon that astrology is stranger than anybody realises - stranger even than Jackson Pollock.

Here's a link to one of several YouTube offerings on Jackson Pollock. This one shows Jackson Pollock himself at work and explaining his methods. JACKSON POLLOCK

For a good biography and examples of his work, see HERE
Pollock died in 1956 in an alcohol-related car accident.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Memory - Digital and Human

At the weekend we upgraded my computer's memory, known to geeky types as RAM, I think. HeWhoKnows manfully donned an anti-static wrist strap to plumb the depths of my trusty Dell.

256MBs of memory had proved adequate for my modest needs until I started mucking about with Windows Movie Maker, and wondering about more software for the future. Delly now boasts a big 2 GB. HWK carefully inserted two new memory sticks, obtained via the internet, et voila ! My computer gives a quicker, cleaner and crisper performance than ever before!

I got to thinking about human memory, and turned to astrologer C.E.O. Carter's Encyclopedia of Psychological Astrology to see what he had to say about it:

"Memory depends chiefly upon Mercury. If this planet is strong, especially in fixed signs, the memory will be good. The Moon and Cancer should also be considered; they often bestow a very retentive memory if strong; and attention should be directed to the third house........Mercury afflicted by malefics in cadent houses or mutable signs generally impairs the memory and a strong Pisces element in the nativity often has the same effect."

I've read elsewhere that Cancer can bestow a retentive memory, I'm lucky enough to have one, so perhaps I should thank my Cancer ascendant for it. I'm not convinced that the ascendant sign is mainly involved in "how others see you and how you see the world" - I've come to the conclusion, from experience and observation, that the rising sign simply becomes part of the personality mix, the recipe - colouring, augmenting and modifying other factors. My natal Mercury, strong near the descendant angle in organised Capricorn, is likely to be helpful to memory too.

HeWhoKnows has Mercury in Pisces, conjunct Saturn - and he is pretty absent minded and forgetful. C.E.O. Carter nailed that one! I have to say though, when it comes to remembering anything connected with jazz HWK is amazing. He might not know what day it is, or even what month, or what he had for breakfast, but he knows who's playing trumpet and who's on piano, etc. the minute he hears a piece of jazz !

Perhaps one day humans will be able to go to the store(or hospital),for new memory sticks to upgrade what Mother Nature bestowed. That'd be fun!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Lyrically Tagged

I've been tagged to write about 5-10 songs that had an impact on my life. I want to relate this in some way to astrology, so I'm going to bend the rules a little.

Thanks Michelle, at Crow's Feet and Jeff at Psychosomatic Wit .

The rules:
1. Each person who wants to join in has to write about
5-10 songs that had an impact on them in their life.
2. They should link back to me as well as Michelle and Jeff.
3. Then, if so inclined, tag one to five more people.


Singers and singer/songwriters seem to affect me more when there's some astrological connection between my natal chart and theirs. I've been surprised to note this, but it's true enough.

Everything Neil Diamond has ever written and sung always "hit the spot" for me. I've known for a long time that he's a Sun Aquarian, but with the computer came extra evidence that his Sun is only a degree from my own, his Mars is 5 degrees away from my Venus in Sagittarius. We're of the same generation - early Pluto in Leos with Uranus in Taurus and Neptune in Virgo. To pick one special song from those he's written is well nigh impossible. Let's see - "I Am, I Said" says how I've often felt, "Red, Red Wine", and "Longfellow Serenade" also come immediately to mind.

"Well, I'm New York City born and raised
But nowadays, I'm lost between two shores
LA's fine, but it ain't home
New York's home but it ain't mine no more"

(Substitute England for New York, and Oklahoma for LA - and it fits!)

Songs - any songs - from two famous Sun Sagittarians always soak right in. Frank Sinatra's Sun and Mercury conjoin my Venus in Sagittarius, he had Jupiter in Pisces like me, too. How to choose a song from the Sinatra repertoire? Off the top of my head - "Love's been good to me", and "Witchcraft", but literally any and every song he has ever sung becomes, for me, the definitive version. "My Way" always makes me smile, too - it fits me like a glove!

Tina Turner, another Sagittarian Sun, has Venus in Sagittarius within degrees of my own Venus, her Saturn in Aries matches mine and is also within minutes of my Moon. She's of my generation too. "Simply the Best" has always made me feel happy, and anything she sings grabs my attention.

Paul Simon is a songwriting genius. Those early songs he sang with Art Garfunkel are true modern classics, I can listen anytime anywhere and am always entranced. "American Tune" sends shivers down my spine, being a (legal) immigrant in the USA. Paul's Mars at 16 Aries is 4 degrees from my Moon. His Moon is 3 degrees away from my Cancer ascendant, and his Mercury conjoins my North Node in Scorpio.

"We come on a ship we call the Mayflower,
We come on a ship that sailed the moon
We come at the age's most uncertain hour
And sing the American tune
But it's all right, its all right
You can't be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow's gonna be another working day
And I'm trying to get some rest,
That's all, I'm trying to get some rest."

Eric Idle can always make me laugh. His "Galaxy Song" from Monty Python is priceless.
His natal Jupiter is smack dab on my Cancer ascendant, his Sun in Aries is 5 degrees from my Moon, and his Mars 8 degrees from my Sun. The last lines of "Galaxy Song" always crack me up -

"So remember when you're feeling very small and insecure how amazingly unlikely is your birth
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space ''cause there's bugger all down here on Earth."

I'm tagging my husband Anyjazz, at "Thinks Happen" and Chrispito , at Astroturf- who I suspect might enjoy this challenge.....and anyone else who'd like to join in, of course.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Poker, (astrology)blogging, and life

At the hairdresser's the other day I thumbed through a two month-old women's magazine. Bored with advice about losing weight, refurbishing the kitchen and how to declutter everything in sight, a short piece about "Poker and Life" drew my eye. I know diddly-squat about poker, but the piece was written by a well-known female actress, how boring could it be? The gist of her article was that the many lessons she has learned from playing poker could equally be applied to life in general. Her points made a lot of sense . At home I looked for an on-line version of the article. I didn't find it, but I found a different one, just as good, perhaps even better, by Mark McGuire at Timesunion.comblog, called "Life and Poker".

As Mr McGuire points out in his opening paragraph

"Saying “(fill in the blank) is a lot like life: …” makes for easy bumper-sticker psychology. We can draw parallels and insight and metaphorical significance from a host of sources, whether it's kindergarten or a movie or crossing a busy street."

In the world of astrology though, saying "astrology is a lot like life" seems superfluous, redundant. Blogging, then? Astrology blogging, blogging in general?

"(Astrology)Blogging is a lot like life" - that might work.

Let's see. We'll take 5 points from Mr. McGuire's article and apply them to (astrology)blogging. They still work! I'm wondering though, whether what this actually tells us is that blogging is a bit like poker!

"You can be the most talented and get crushed … or be out-classed and still come out a winner. Nothing is guaranteed, and there’s no such thing as a sure thing."(In blogging the enthusiastic amateur has as much chance as the professional to interest an audience - sometimes).

"Sometimes you have to ignore the averages and go with your gut. Intuition may be the most valuable sense next to common". (In choosing what to blog about, and how - and what to leave alone.)

"Nothing is sometimes something if you just stay in. We often have a better hand than we think." (When bloggers doubt themselves because nobody comments and the hits are few, it's worth hangin' in there - things can change rapidly.)

"Opportunities are rare; you must recognize them. Picture a little Robin Williams on your shoulder whispering “Carpe Diem,” until he gets so annoying you have to swat him with a card rack. Then it’s too late; the opportunity is gone. Curse you, Robin Williams." (In blogging - pounce on a news story, article, real life or astrological event - capitalise on it quickly before it gets stale.)

"Everybody wins, everybody loses. Don’t get too high or too low. You’re never as good or as bad as you think." (In all things!)

I can't resist quoting Kenny Rogers' famous song "The Gambler" here -

"You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table.
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Being Rational

To paraphrase an old Buck Owens song "All we have to do is act rationally". I try to - most of the time, but when reading other blogs, particularly on new age subjects, and even sometimes on astrology, I feel that what I call my rationality somehow gets in the way. Even so, I can't change my mental wiring - nor can any of us.

One of my favourite astrologers of the past, C.E.O. Carter, has this to say about rationalism in his Encyclopedia of Psychological Astrology

"Rationalism is usually the result of a prominent and strong Saturnian influence and of the earthy element, which both tend of make the native fully alive to the logic of facts and the actualities of existence. From a more mental standpoint the same is true of Mercury and his signs. In the horoscopes of rationalists it is probable that the watery signs will rarely be to the fore, although Scorpio sometimes inclines to materialism.If the influences are for the most part good, we may look for open-mindedness; if they are adverse, and especially if the fixed signs are involved, we may look for bigotry."

In my own chart Mercury in Capricorn, with Saturn in Aries semi-sextile Uranus in Taurus probably describes my awkward rationality. My mind wishes to be logical, especially with Sun in Aquarius. Aquarius's modern ruler, Uranus is in earthy Taurus semi-sextile Aquarius's traditional ruler Saturn, in Aries. In addition My Aquarian Sun is semi-sextile Jupiter in imaginative Pisces, not known for its logic.

The semi-sextile is a peculiar aspect to get to grips with. It occurs when planets lie at the same (or closely similar) degrees of signs nextdoor to each other. Two quite dissimilar signs and elements with a close chart connection, producing something in one's life which is always a kind of anomaly. That's how I see it anyway.

In my own case the anomaly is my unshaken belief that there's "something going on" in astrology, yet some scepticism remains, driven by rationality. I find it difficult, nay impossible, to accept certain parts of astrological doctrine. Watery elements in my chart - Jupiter in Pisces (at midheaven natally), Mars in Scorpio, and Cancer ascendant probably serve to widen and aggravate the split in my approach to these matters.

Acceptance is the answer. What we can't change, we live with and hopefully enjoy, whilst trying to accept gracefully that others are doing the same.

This definition of the word "rational" from The Ludwig von Mises Institute is interesting

"Rational. Arrived at by the use of the peculiarly human mental processes by which man strives to connect his ideas as consciously, coherently and purposively as possible in order to plan the attainment of ends sought. In view of the human fallibility in selecting the best possible reasoning for attaining the ends sought, there is no implication as to the correctness or incorrectness of the reasoning. Consequently, all conscious human actions whether or not appropriate for the ends sought, are rational."

So, there we are. We are all rational, but in different ways.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"Jinny", Virginia Wade

It's Virginia Wade's Birthday today.

"Who?" I hear a passing reader wonder.

She was born 10 July 1945, Bournemouth, UK. Virginia Wade was a British professional tennis player in the 1970s.

Wikipedia tells that:

"She won three Grand Slam singles titles and four Grand Slam doubles titles. She is particularly remembered for winning the women's singles title at Wimbledon in the championship's Centenary year on July 1, 1977, currently the last Briton to do so. "

I'm not a tennis fan, nor a fan of any sport. Virginia Wade was so well known in her heyday that even I was aware of her. In England she was affectionately referred to as "Jinny".

Her 12 noon chart show that she has Sun and Saturn close together (discipline and ambition) in Cancer. The Moon may be in Cancer too, but could have moved into Leo if Virginia were born later in the day, after 5pm. I suspect that's likely. Mercury and Pluto are close together in Leo, probably indicating the powerfully incisive mind a world-class tennis player needs to keep on top of their game. Mars, usually considered important in sports, is in Taurus, and here's the thing - it's closely trine Jupiter in Virgo. This must surely be important.

What is very noticeable is that on 1 July 1977, when Jinny won the womens' singles title, transiting Mars was at 18 Taurus, while her natal Mars is 20 Taurus. Transiting Jupiter at 19 Gemini was square natal Jupiter at 21 Virgo, but just 4 degrees from natal Uranus in Gemini. I'm not sure if or how all this ties in, but Mars conjunct Mars had to give great strength, which she undoubtedly needed and demonstrated.

I remember an occasion, probably in the early 1980s when my late partner and I were on one of many vacations in Tenerife, Canary Islands. A couple who saw us regularly in a music bar called me over one night and said " When we see you come in, we always say "Here's Jinny" - you look so much like Virginia Wade!" I was flabbergasted, and couldn't for the moment remember what she looked like. I said they were very kind - hoping that it was the appropriate thing to say! I can kind of see what they meant - the hair, the nose - but we don't really look alike.(See below - at similar ages.) The coincidence is that Virginia's Sun and my ascendant are within 2 degrees of each other!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Chris Cooper, aka "What's-his-Name"

Chris Cooper is one of those actors whose face many people used to immediately recognise but couldn't easily put a name to. I first remember him as "July Johnson" in the wonderful TV series "Lonesome Dove" - Larry McMurtry's epic tale of the Old West. I fell in love with this tale, watched recordings of it over and over again. How appropriate that Chris Cooper was actually born in July, presumably like the character he played so well.

It's his birthday today!

I'm pleased that in more recent years Chris Cooper's name has become better known, due to his brilliant portrayals in films such as "Adaptation"(for which he got an Oscar for his supporting role), "Seabiscuit","Breach" "The Horse Whisperer", and several others.

Mr.Cooper is not the starry type. You don't see his face in the tabloids, his name will probably never be a household word. He is said by some commentators to be "an actor's actor". For me, whenever I see his face on screen it's like bumping into an old friend.

Born 9 July 1951 in Kansas City Missouri. No birth time available. (12 noon chart shown).

It's no big surprise that he remains out of A-list razamatazz. The main thrust of Chris's chart comes from Cancer and Virgo planets, a combination which, when strongly featured, is more likely to produce a low-key, somewhat withdrawn and reticent personality, rather than a flamboyant movie star image.

I enjoy looking for reports of interviews with people I'm trying to write about astrologically. Very often I find snippets which exactly describe what can be seen in their natal charts.

"CHRIS COOPER wants to do good work, not make friends.
Becoming famous is not nearly as important to Chris Cooper as doing it right. That single-minded devotion to detail (VIRGO) has served the 56-year-old-- who seems just as perpetually concerned (VIRGO) in person as he usually does onscreen -- well in his career, which includes more than 40 films."

"There is often a stark contrast between an actor's real personality and his onscreen persona. Fortunately, this does not hold true in the case of Hollywood's "Mr Nice Guy" Chris Cooper. If the testimonies of his movie peers are anything to go by, the earthy, kind-hearted roles(VIRGO/CANCER) Chris is known for are very much a reflection of his own character." (SEE HERE)


"I like to do one job at a time, go home , spend some time with the family (CANCER), and eventually a script will come my way. " (HERE)

Sun, Uranus and Mars in Cancer, Venus, Moon and Saturn in Virgo (Moon's degree uncertain, as birth time is unknown). There's an opposition between Jupiter and Neptune, with squares between his Sun/Uranus conjunction and these two planets. I've searched the cook-book interpretations for inspiration about these aspects, but none of them satisfies me. I get the feeling that many are based on observation of one (or maybe two) characters known to the author. This isn't always helpful. In interviews Chris Cooper often talks about the importance of imagination(Neptune) - I'd guess that in his case these squares and the opposition act as a kind of dynamic motor, driving the imagination, led by Neptune, fuelled by Jupiter. (I may be wrong, of course, for there may be other significance in his private life, unknown to us).

Two video interviews with Chris Cooper, available on YouTube, are interesting, and do seem to support the impression I get from his natal chart.

Interview 1

Interview 2

The sadness, which I believe shows clearly in his face, is almost certainly a result of a family tragedy. Chris Cooper and his wife had one son, Jesse, who was born prematurely and suffered a cerebral haemorrhage which left him with cerebral palsy. The Coopers were determined that he should have the best possible education, and campaigned on behalf of others in similar situations. Jesse eventually became an Honor Student. Tragically he died aged 17, on 3 January 2005. It's notable that transiting Saturn was retrograding within degrees of Mr Cooper's natal Sun over the following months. That must have been a truly devastating time for him and Mrs Cooper.

"Jesse was a key component in their lives. They adored him and he knew that. And we knew it because they were never afraid to show it. If you chanced upon the Coopers at Stop & Shop, they would lovingly pet Jesse's face as they spoke with you. He was always in their thoughts. If Jesse was sick and Chris had a guest appearance out of town, the choice was easy for Chris...he stayed in Kingston, with Jesse. Certainly other choices were available for the Coopers, but they remained steady in a lifelong commitment to maintain a family unity, which included Jesse as an ever present part of the family." (SEE HERE)

Finally, three quotes from this admirable American actor:

"I suspect that a lot of studio executives still think of me as 'what's-his-name'"

"I've got research, I have my own life experience I can apply, and I have my imagination."

"I'm thrilled with my body of work."

So am I, Chris, all of it - but you'll always be "July Johnson" to me!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Al Gore and Live Earth

In spite of the razamatazz of the Live Earth concerts yesterday, and in spite of the fact that I greatly admire Al Gore and all he's trying to do for the environment, I still can't help feeling let down by his continued insistence that he will not run as a presidential candidate in the US 2008 election.

My logical pain-in-the-arse Aquarian mind keeps saying to me
"But what's the use of it all? Without the right people in charge of the USA, nothing will change on a large enough scale to make a difference. Look at the presidential candidates who have announced so far. Who is making the environment their big issue?"


Persuading us to change our lightbulbs for low energy ones is fine, as are all the other things we can do as individuals to help the situation. These efforts will not be enough to make a difference without a high level of governmental involvement to enforce required changes, as only government can do. I don't see promise of this from anyone currently on the debating platforms.

Al Gore knows this.

Things just don't add up.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


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Friday, July 06, 2007

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Sarcasm and Irony

Is it possible to identify a predisposition for using sarcasm, or the ability to appreciate irony, from a natal chart?

I've noticed that astrologers tend to point to Scorpio and Mars in particular when writing about this. Mercury has to be closely involved too, as we're considering styles of communication.

I am not a great fan of sarcastic humour - it usually aims to hurt, mock or offend another person. "Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit" was a warning drummed into me from an early age! Even so, it's almost impossible to stifle a guffaw at some of the satire (based on sarcasm and irony) aimed at any political or celebrity figures I happen to dislike. I have to admit, too, that I've been known to make the odd sarcastic remark.

Irony, in general, is not as deliberately hurtful as sarcasm, it has no target, it just "is". A situation can be perceived as ironic without anyone saying a word. It occurs when the exact opposite of reality is conveyed by word, deed or situation.

Sarcasm and irony are distant cousins - I like the explanation of the differences from Spindle Works
Here's a brief extract:

"Irony and sarcasm are not the same. An ironic word is born; a sarcastic one is made. Irony is expressed spontaneously; sarcasm can reflect upon its words. Irony sees the caricature and expresses it simply. Sarcasm sees the caricature too, and passionately reinforces it........ One is gripped by irony, but one grasps at sarcasm........Irony is the strength of the weak; sarcasm is the weakness of the strong."

I guess that one needs to have particular mental wiring to appreciate the irony in a situation. That same mental wiring may also be capable of bringing forth sarcasm.

I can see why astrologers would suspect that aspects involving edgy Scorpio and belligerent Mars might be significant factors to look for if trying to trace sarcasm in a chart. I wonder if hard-nosed Saturn and critical Virgo might have a hand in it too. The whole chart must be considered of course, not forgetting that background and family also play an important part. The kind of role models and teachers a person had in youth, who he/she has tried to emulate, social and racial background - all these are bound to be involved, equally with astrology.

HeWhoKnows is fond of sarcastic humour. I've tried hard to train him otherwise, but new tricks and old dogs spring readily to mind (was that sarcasm?) I've looked for indication of his liking for sarcasm in his natal chart. Sun at 1* Aries, with Mercury and Saturn at 29* and 26* Pisces respectively, means that all three could be said to be conjoined, though in different signs. Saturn might be the culprit there, perhaps sharpening a hard edge to an otherwise gentle communication style. No planets in Scorpio, but the nadir of HWK's chart (opposite point to midheaven) is only minutes away from the first degree of Scorpio, where also is found the point at which the Moon is farthest from Earth(also known as Black Moon Lilith). I wonder if this could be significant. Mars at 2* Sagittarius is trine his natal Sun at 1* Aries.

It's interesting to see those early degrees popping up here (again), involved in a particular type of humour. Early degrees have seemed significant in the charts of some cartoonists in earlier blogs, and HWK adores cartoons. His Moon and ascendant are in light-hearted Leo - this must be a saving grace, because his own sarcasm stops well short of being cruel.

My own Mars in Scorpio sextile Capricorn Mercury may partly account for my own lapses into sarcasm (of which I am less than proud!)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day

It's America's birthday, "Happy Birthday America !"

But wait....is it really America's birthday? Isn't it, more accurately, the anniversary of America's (or even more accurately, the USA's) graduation? It's the anniversary of the time when the United States got rid of outsiders who were governing its life, and became independent - a kind of graduation!

America's true birthday was when the landbridge between it and Asia disappeared. No astrological chart for that exists. So when astrologers use one of several charts to represent the USA, putting its Sun in Cancer and using whichever ascendant they prefer, they're discussing the government, not the land.

I've lived in the USA for almost three years. I'll be sending in my application for citizenship later this month, confident enough that this country, where I'll spend the rest of my days, and whose government at present is going through a sickly phase in its history, will "get better soon". A new prescription will be provided in 2008.

Norman Rockwell's illustration entitled "Mending the Flag" seems somehow appropriate today.

My time here has brought some disappointment, some surprise, but also some great pleasure. I love the land, its diversity, its beauty and its grandeur. I love its history, particularly here, in what used to be the Wild West. You can almost, but not quite, see history happening. Oklahoma will have been a state for only 100 years this year. Within one elderly lifetime a person could have seen the empty parairies blossom into towns and cities with vast stretches of highway between, and oil wells, ranches, fields of cotton, corn, wheat. Not all development has been for its good, of course, but progress is largely unstoppable, except by Mother Nature.

Happy Anniversary, U.S.A.!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Sensuality of Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt was one of the most sensual and erotic artists of his time. He was born 14 July 1862 in Baumgarten near Vienna, Austria.

Some of his paintings are very well known, easily recognisable and often reproduced -for example "The Kiss".

Klimt went through a phase of using gold leaf in his paintings, which does make them outstandingly memorable, and adds to their splendour and sensuality. I'd say he was "ahead of his time" generally, which usually means Aquarius or Uranus strong in the natal chart.

It's tempting to compare Klimt's chart with Edward Hopper's - I wrote about Hopper HERE. The charts of these two artists have some similarities, though their work isn't similar in style or content. They show two quite different sides of the signs of Cancer, Taurus, and Virgo. Whereas Hopper painted loneliness and homes, Klimt's focus was mainly on femaleness, and the sensuality of it - the brighter side of Cancer and Taurus; he did paint some good landscapes too. We have to remember also that Klimt was born in Europe and lived his life there, Hopper in the USA, very different backgrounds.

Some of Klimt's works are unsuitable for "a family blog" so I've chosen some milder ones to feature!

I fully expected to see some Scorpio exerting strong influence in Klimt's chart, but no planet lies there. If he were born between approximately 1.20pm and 4pm he'd have had Scorpio rising - very likely! His Moon is at 1* Pisces at Noon, if his birth time were around 8am his Moon would lie in Aquarius, but then Virgo would be rising - not too likely. An early (5.30am-ish)birth time would give Leo ascendant and Moon Aquarius - a little more likely?

Saturn square Uranus in his natal chart, the status quo challenging the avant garde, Uranus and Venus are within 4* of each other, and I'd say that the avant garde won - his paintings proclaim it. Sun and Jupiter are in sextile - Cancer/Virgo - two signs which strike me as very feminine in flavour, Jupiter egging the artist on to be more flamboyant, more luxurious, with his gold leaf, and to paint large works such as the Stoclet Frieze.

Saturn and Virgo are conjunct though, within 4*, so really what we have is Saturn and Virgo challenging Uranus and Venus - I could see that as signifying the new challenging the old fashioned, and the erotic challenging the pure and virginal. That more or less sums up the feel of Klimt - in his own time. He's still pretty tame by today's standards, however. His natal Cancer Sun along with that Uranus/Venus conjunction, shines out from his paintings of women, I think. Perhaps, in expecting to find Scorpio here, I was mistaken. Klimt didn't present women as "sex objects to lust after" he presented them with, I believe, sincere respect, and love.

I particularly liked some of his simple sketches - sketches appeal to me more than anything. I had a framed print of this in England, but had to leave it behind due to lack of space - it was big! I wish now that I'd posted it on to myself!

Paintings top to bottom: "The Kiss". "The Virgin(or Maiden)". "The Stoclet Frieze/Tree of Life". "Hope". "Danae". "The Three Ages of Woman". "Couples" sketch. More information HERE.