Friday, November 30, 2007

Mike Huckabee

So far, I've been ignoring the Republican presidential candidates in this blog. Today I'm going to redress the balance, and, as I'm not an astrologer, I don't need to remain objective - I can be as partisan as I choose.

I'm not impressed by any of the Republican hopefuls, their opinions are directly opposite to my own in every area. I find it almost impossible to believe that they are being serious when they state their views on any topic.

I hear titters from the back of the room as I angrily pound the keys. A warning from HeWhoKnows, who can tell from the rhythm of my fingers that I am not pleased.

"You'll get nasty comments!"

"I can cope", I reply.

Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas, is a Baptist preacher, plays bass for a rock group and told Matt Taibbi, a writer for "Rolling Stone", that he has "jammed with the likes of Percy Sledge and Grand Funk Railroad, and how he prefers John Entwistle to Flea's slap-and-pop style of bass-playing."

Mike Taibbi's article for "Rolling Stone" is well worth reading. He defines Huckabee as "The latest It Girl of the Republican presidential race".

There has been a mini surge by Republican voters towards Huckabee recently, and he has even tugged at the heart strings of a few middle-of-the-road Democrats. It's all down to his rather more compassionate veneer, something lacking in other conservative candidates. He's smiley, witty and is not quite as charismatically challenged as his colleagues. He appears to have feeling for the poor and under privileged and actually does try to follow his own church teachings - but only up to a point. His views on abortion, gay marriage and immigration leave a lot (everything in fact) to be desired.

He doesn't believe in evolution. Could a man who doesn't believe in evolution ever be President of the United States? Would he be any worse than the current incumbent? Probably not, come to think of it!

Born 24 August 1955, Hope Arkansas. I can find no record of Mike Huckabee's birth time on-line, so this is a chart for 12 noon on his date of birth.

Uranus, Jupiter, Pluto, Mars and Venus all in Leo - a hot quintet cooled down by Sun and Mercury in Virgo.

All those Leo planets must incline him towards the public stage, be it pulpit or political platform. What would he like to hear - in his wildest dream? "Lights, camera, action!" Virgo Sun and Mercury are solid and sensible, nitpicking and critical, they probably find it hard to get along with his Leo-driven alter ego. I would like to know his time of birth to discover where this cluster of planets falls.

Natal Moon is going to be in passionate, somewhat paranoid Scorpio, along with Saturn, whatever his birth time. Neptune in Libra completes the set.

Jupiter and Saturn in Scorpio are in exact (to the minute) square aspect. Robert Pelletier ends his assessment of this aspect in his book "Planets in Aspect" like this: "Faith is your greatest ally when nothing else seems to work for you. It can sustain you through difficult periods and comfort you when you reach your goals with assurance that you have done your job well."

One thing Mike Huckabee does have is plenty of faith.

From Matt Taibbi's article linked above a recent appearance at the Prestonwood Baptist Church near Dallas, he told audiences that Christians are sitting in the pole position of the race to Armageddon. "If you're with Jesus Christ, we know how it turns out in the final moment," he said. "I've read the last chapter in the book, and we do end up winning.""


"One of his first acts as governor was to block Medicaid from funding an abortion for a mentally retarded teenager who had been raped by her stepfather — an act in direct violation of federal law, which requires states to pay for abortions in cases of rape. "The state didn't fund a single such abortion while Huckabee was governor", says Dr. William Harrison of the Fayetteville Women's Clinic. "Zero."

Matt Taibbi tells us that, as president, Huckabee would support a constitutional amendment banning abortion and would give science a back seat to religion. "Science changes with every generation and with new discoveries, and God doesn't," Huckabee says. "So I'll stick with God if the two are in conflict." "

If Mike Huckabee were to become president, I think we'd have to find some way to leave these shores. And I'd best leave it at that.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Eros, Philos, Agape

Love and relationship matters are uncharted territory into which I seldom venture for this blog. Experience has shown me that these areas are largely a "crap shoot". With a modicum of common sense and basic knowledge of astrology, though, it's often possible to avoid too much of that other kind of crap. Without venturing far into said territory, I'll risk a mention of something I discovered and learning !

I'd noticed the word "agape" used to close a reader's comments on various news articles. The word is, I understand, pronounced a-ga-pay, not agape, as I'd initially read it to myself, assuming that the commentor was "agape with admiration" for the article upon which they'd commented. I discovered, however, that agape (a-ga-pay) is one of a trio of Greek words used to describe types of love: Eros, Philos and Agape. I'm not certain that the three words should be capitalized, I'd say not, but most sources seem to disagree. Eros is the Greek god of love, of course, but here we're not talking about the god.

Eros = romantic and sexual love. The word "erotic" originated from this.

Philos = friendship, affection, brotherly love, any non-sexual love. I guess that "philosophy" derives from this, and Philadelphia, known as "City of Brotherly Love".

= the highest, the ultimate, unconditional love, and love encompassing all humanity and all of life.

I decided to try to relate these three concepts to those I have of the 12 zodiac signs. We each have all 12 zodiac signs in our nature, and are capable of experiencing all three types of love. Most relationships evolve. An eros relationship will evolve, eventually into a philos relationship, after lust, heat and excitement have subsided. A philos love could develop into eros - and back again! Agape, if I understand it correctly is the ultimate evolution, not necessarily in connection with a one-to-one relationship, but with mankind, all living things, and the world.

Aries, Taurus, Leo and Scorpio seem, to me, to mainly connect with eros love - self-oriented, sex-oriented.

Aquarius, Gemini, Libra and Cancer seem more akin to philos - brotherly, motherly, friendly all spring to mind here.

Sagittarius and Pisces have, to my mind, most in common with agape. They are somehow more evolved, outward looking, compassionate and humane. Aquarius might fit here, as an alternative - with Sagittarius moving to join the philos bunch.

I don't see Capricorn and Virgo as clearly connected to any of the above, but they're bound to fit somewhere.

So.....shall I start using "Agape" at the end of letters and messages, instead of my usual "Love" or "Best Wishes"? It seems a tad lofty. I think I'd best stick with "Love", plain and simple.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Buffett Therapy

I'm not familiar with most of his work, but whenever I hear Jimmy Buffett's "Margaritaville", my spirits lift immediately, and stay high for a long time after, same thing happens with "It's 5 o'clock Somewhere", which he sings with Alan Jackson.

Yesterday morning the first voice I head was Jimmy Buffett's, ZIP - I immediately felt cheerful and optimistic! As I was at the keyboard I decided to look at Jimmy's natal chart, but first hazarded a guess at his Sun sign. Sagittarius, first choice, I thought. Or maybe Gemini. Wrong!

Jimmy Buffett was born on 25 December 1946 in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Astrotheme give time of birth as 1.08am.

Sun, Moon and Mars in Capricorn (Sun and Mars conjoined). What a surprise! Mercury in Sagittarius though - I wasn't totally wrong. Mercury is opposed by Uranus in Gemini. there are two interesting configurations here.

1. A Yod: sextile between Moon in Capricorn and Venus/Jupiter in Scorpio, both quincunx Uranus in Gemini. Uranus is the business end of the Yod, and is also opposing Mercury in Sagittarius - so quirky forward-looking Uranus is seriously active in this chart, with the energy of the sextile focused towards it from Venus and Jupiter (music, publishing and luck) and the Moon (emotion and feminine energy).

2. A configuration made up of trines and sextiles with the Mercury Uranus opposition as its base. Interlinked trines and sextiles involve Pluto and Neptune, as well as Uranus, all in aspect to Mercury in Sagittarius - so the planet of communication is hooked up harmoniously with all threee outer planets. Here, probably, lie his writing skills (songs and books).

Three planets in Capricorn, Sun Moon, Mars - here lies his talent for business: his empire of music, books, videos, nightclubs and clothing lines, and his yearly concert tour which places Buffett on the Fortune magazine's list of highest earning entertainers. Pure Capricorn!

Whenever Jimmy Buffett comes to mind, so does the sea, the beach, good times, and no worries. The sea is obviously in his blood. His father worked in a local shipyard, his grandfather was a ship's captain. Natal Neptune (the sea planet) is at 10 Libra, 12th house (which is Neptunes own domain) and just 8 degrees from ascendant, so it holds a strong position in the chart.

Here's a YouTube sampler of the Buffett style:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Jupiter's People

Sagittarius and Pisces, traditionally both ruled by planet Jupiter, described by 20th century American astrologer, Carl Payne Tobey in his book "Astrology Primer for the Millions". His assessments throw some light on similarities and differences between two zodiac signs ruled by the same planet. What he had to say about the people of Mercury(Gemini/Virgo) Venus(Taurus/Libra) and Mars(Aries/Scorpio) was covered in earlier months - relevant links at the end of this post.

The author focuses on something I hadn't given much thought to previously - the links between pairs of zodiac signs with a common planetary ruler in traditional astrology. I find this fascinating, and in true Aquarian fashion have to wonder "Why? How might this work ?" Questions with no answers.

This month it's the turn of Jupiter's people - anyone with emphasis on Sagittarius or Pisces, via the Sun, a cluster of planets, the Moon, rising sign, or midheaven in the natal chart.

The author tells us that, whereas Gemini and Virgo (see Mercury's People)relate to the nervous system, Sagittarius and Pisces are connected to "something beyond the nervous system, which is in some way connected to it. These signs relate to some of the phenomena, that orthodox science and academicians are afraid to investigate.The psychic powers are related to Pisces while intuition is related to Sagittarius."

Mr Tobey points out that, in modern astrology, Pisces is ruled by Neptune and Sagittarius by Jupiter. Traditionally both came under rulership of Jupiter, hence, perhaps, the similarities.

"Both of these signs have a strong curiosity about the unknown and something akin to a religious interest, although it may not be a church type of interest. The consciousness of both signs goes beyond the usual, everyday affairs of life. Survival and money making isn't enough."

Some similarities between the two signs:
They are less inclined to live by rules and regulations, not inclined to be atheists, less likely to doubt life after death, or existence in form prior to this life, both recognise the vastness of the unknown and less likely to accept what authorities say about it. Both signs like to travel and explore.

"Yet in other respects, these two signs are the opposite of each other", the author tells us.

Sagittarius is direct and to the point, outspoken with no heed for consequences- "plain simple honesty, the sort of thing society requests, but can't take."

"The Sagittarian is in a constant state of evolution. Seldom do we find one of these people who remains within the church in which he was brought up. Not easily brainwashed, truth is more important to them than loyalty to any church, family or heredity. Interested in all branches of knowledge, anything to do with hidden truth."

"The average Sagittarian is more jovial than other signs. If you need help he won't walk by. If you are down he will want to cheer you up, and he may then try to indocrinate you with his philosophy, not to indoctrinate you but to cheer you up and give you a better, more optimistic outlook..."

"Pisces is the opposite of Sagittarius in many respects. In place of intuition it is likely to have psychic powers. It may dream things before they happen. It lives partly in some other, unknown world. It can have mental and emotional problems that Sagittarius is not likely to know about, unless it has some very negative Neptunian afflictions. In place of outspokenness, Pisces is secretive. Instead of wanting to tell the truth, it will tell you what it thinks will have the best effect on you, or the effect that it desires. Nobody ever knows just what the Pisces person thinks because it never tells its true thoughts to anyone .....because it knows that society is too brainwashed to to be able to face the truth."

"Pisces people are sympathetic and compassionate, like Sagittarian folk they have a good sense of humour, Piscean humour is subtle though."

Mr Tobey considers that: "The sign (Pisces) can consume a great deal of alcohol without becoming alcoholic, in fact many Pisces seem to thrive on alcohol without finding it injurious. Scorpio is more likely to become alcoholic, perhaps because of guilt. Whatever it (Pisces) may do, it doesn't have any feeling that it is wrong. In its own way, Pisces is a type of moralist. Its heart goes out to the lower beings, the ones who are really being abused. It doesn't believe God is so sadistic as to approve the moral codes of modern society"

"Whereas Pisces recognises that most moral codes are strictly phoney and born of hypocrisy, it doesn't try to change them, it goes around them and does what it wishes, secretly. Sagittarius on the other hand crusades to change the laws and is too apt to mistake hypocisy for ignorance. It can't really believe that human nature is dishonest because its own nature is not dishonest."

"Mars People"
"Venus People"
"Mercury's People"

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Emma Lazarus and her "Huddled Masses"

Yesterday's theme of immigration led me to
Emma Lazarus, the poet who didn't live to see one of her poems become a legend, gracing what is arguably the most recognised statue and symbol in the world: the Statue of Liberty.

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame,
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door
(by Emma Lazarus,1883.)

Emma Lazarus was born in New York City on 22 July 1849, into a wealthy Jewish family.

From NPR
"Lazarus was a Sephardic Jew, a descendant of people expelled from Spain centuries before. She often wrote about the "Jewish plight" in her poetry. She was an early Jewish nationalist -- advocating for a Jewish state in Palestine as early as the 1880s.
Near the end of her life she became an advocate for disenfranchised immigrants, who were arriving by the thousands in the late 1800s. She wrote The New Colossus at age 34. Less than five years later she was dead of cancer, never knowing the impact her poem had on the nation."

Emma Lazarus started writing poetry at an early age and by her teens had a volume of poems published. She caught the attention of Ralph Waldo Emerson who became her lifelong mentor. Other than the famous poem above, most of her work has now sunk into obscurity.

Her natal chart (12 noon version shown) indicates that Mercury (communication, writing) was in trine with Neptune (imagination), a most helpful aspect for a poet. There's also a square aspect between Saturn(history, tradition) and Mercury, which may be representative of her early poetic themes from classical antiquity, which appeared to fascinate her.

In common with the rest of her generation, Miss Lazarus had Pluto and Uranus close together natally, in Aries. In Emma's case these planets lay in square aspect to her natal Cancer Sun, which may connect to the challenge of her activism on behalf of the many Russian and European Jewish immigrants who arived in New York after the pogroms of the 1880s. Her natal Jupiter trines Uranus (the humanitarian and rebel planet) so, as well as challenge she had some astrological support in her efforts as an activist. Emma never married and little is known of her private life.

In today's political climate the words of Emma's poem seem somewhat hollow, but the principle expressed has to be seen a noble aspiration.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


I'm going to try a little astrological
Sherlock Holmes-ing.

The past week has been a case of "first the good news, then the bad news", for me. I was relieved on Monday to find that the authorities had, after more than 16 weeks, cashed the cheque which accompanied my US citizenship application. Later in the week came an announcement that processing times for the applications of people in the citizenship backlog will be 15 to 18 months(the norm is 7 months or less). This means it will be too late for new citizens to vote in the 2008 presidential election. I was half-expecting something of the sort, but seeing it in print was like a slap in the face.

The press have latched onto the situation. Washington Post, Boston Globe, Fox News and others have carried articles about the citizenship backlog which is likely to deny would-be new citizens the right to vote in 2008. Even the BBC picked it up.

Hints of political fingers twiddling the knobs have been put forward, most clearly in The Daily Kos, here.

This debacle might well be nothing more than evidence of incompetence and bad organisation, of which those currently in power are able to take advantage. On the other hand, was there some sinister planning going on long before the fee increase? It seems to have been timed "just right" to eliminate millions of new voters from the coming election.

A good astrologer could ferret out the answer. I'm not an astrologer, let alone a good one - but I'm closely involved in the situation, so I'll wade in and take a look.

Government proposals for increased fees were made public in February 2007 and the new fee structure announced in May, to take effect from 30 July 2007. The fee increase was the catalyst which brought forth a huge surge of citizenship applications. It's reported that the majority of these came from Mexicans and other Latinos. How was that information accessed ? It is probably a guess. Action organisations targeting those groups, were encouraging them to become citizens and vote. This, probably with an eye to getting fair outcome to the illegal immigrant situation here in the US.

The slower moving planets are involved in matters such as this, which affect large groups of people. The situation has developed with the following background: Pluto and Jupiter in Sagittarius. Sagittarius is connected with travel and foreign lands, so it figures that immigration will also come under its "umbrella". Jupiter relates to expansion (increase of fees). Pluto relates to transformation - the timelines for all kinds of immigration visas, and citizenship applications have certainly been transformed ! The astrological background fits!

Saturn (planet of rules, restrictions, limitations) was in the last third of Leo until the beginning of September. When it then moved into Virgo, the effects of the huge backlog, and restrictions it would impose upon applicants, started to become apparent.

BUT - had there been any political manipulation?

Neptune, planet of the hidden and mysterious, was in Aquarius throughout, and in sextile (harmony) with Saturn (limitation, restriction). Could this facilitate hidden agendas, and an atmosphere conducive to manipulation?

Proposals for fee increases -
February 2007 - Neptune 19 Aquarius. Saturn 22/21 Leo retro (SEXTILE)

Announcement of new fee structure -
May 2007 Neptune 21-22 Aquarius. Saturn 18-19 Leo (SEXTILE)

Increases implemented July 30 2007 -
Neptune 21 Aquarius. Saturn 25 Leo. (SEXTILE)

It would seem to be an easy matter for the government to allocate extra money to the department's budget to ensure processing in, at most, 12 months. After all, the fee increases were supposed to be for the purpose of improving or maintaining levels of service. There's no hint that help will be forthcoming. An opportunity to eliminate millions of potential Democratic votes from the equation in November 2008 must present a temptation to a Republican government whose popularity appears to be declining rapidly.

We must draw our own conclusions.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007


No astrology today, but a chance to say Thank You to visitors to Learning Curve on the Ecliptic for landing here, and an even bigger Thank You to any brave enough to actually read my scribblings. Thank You, also, to all those other bloggers and astrologers whose talents and knowledge enrich and brighten my days.

This will be my fourth Thanksgiving. The holiday still feels a little "foreign", but very pleasant. I'm thankful for having a brand new family here in the USA, who have unstintingly welcomed this ageing orphan and spouse of their Paternal Elder, "HeWhoKnows", into their midst.

And I'm thankful that, on Monday this week, the USCIS at last cashed the cheque I sent to them in July with my application for US citizenship. This doesn't take me much further along my journey to citizenship, but at least I'm on the train now!

In a world in which there often seems little to be confident about, there's still plenty to be thankful for.

Cover illustration (1924) by J.C. Leyendecker

Happy Thanksgiving to y'all in the USA !

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Two Artists, Cubism, Uranus and Algol

I drafted a post about Cubism a few weeks ago, then decided it was too boring a subject for the blog, and abandoned it.

After reading Nick Kollerstrom's article on fixed star Algol featured last week in Astrology News, I decided to look again at my draft. It was pointed out in the article that Pablo Picasso, one of the creators of Cubism, had fixed star Algol conjunct Jupiter in his natal chart.
Whilst I don't necessarily see Cubism as being fired by any nasty Algol influence, it's interesting to note that Georges Braque, the co-creator of Cubism,and close friend of Picasso, had Algol close to his natal Sun.

The hallmarks of Cubism are the ’breaking down’ of form and space into geometrical shapes. Cubism broke from centuries of tradition by rejecting the idea that art should depict a single viewpoint. Instead they used an analytical system in which three-dimensional subjects were fragmented and redefined from several different points of view simultaneously.

After reading of the close relationship between Picasso and Braque, which lasted for a number of years, (described here at "Oh Pioneers!") I decided it'd be interesting to compare their natal charts.

"In the spring of 1907, Georges Braque visited the studio of Pablo Picasso for the first time. In the years that followed, the two artists, apparently so unlike in background, temperament, and possibly even in aesthetic, became essential to each other, forging a relationship that was part intimate friendship, part rivalry, part two-man expedition into the unknown. The young men were constantly in each other’s studio, scrutinizing each other’s work, challenging, stimulating, and encouraging each other. They went off to paint in different places and returned to compare results. They invented nicknames for each other, shared jokes and pranks, dressed up in each other’s clothes and took photographs. Along the way they invented a new language of painting that destroyed time-honored conventions of representation: they invented what came to be known as Cubism. ("Weeping Woman" by Picasso, left)"

Georges Braque born 13 May 1882 Argenteuil, France. 9.00PM

Pablo Picasso born 25 October 1881, Malaga, Spain. 11.15 PM

They were born around 7 months apart, so the outer planets (Pluto, Neptune, Uranus and Saturn) were similarly placed in both natal charts.

There's a cluster of four planets in Taurus in both charts. Taurus is ruled by Venus, planet of the arts. Pluto, Neptune and Saturn are all in Taurus, and in Braque's case his natal Sun is present too, in Picasso's chart Jupiter makes up the foursome, fixed star Algol is a part of the configuration in both charts, which may or may not be significant.
(Braque's "Houses at Estaque", left)

The two artists' natal Moons were in trine, in Fire signs, as were their ascendants, which probably compensated for some of the more obvious personality differences stemming from Sun Scorpio (Picasso), Sun Taurus( Braque), and the clusters of planets in Picasso's case being in 10th house - the public stage, whereas in Braque's chart most planets lie between houses 5 and 7 - much further from the spotlight. Picasso is still a name almost everyone recognises, whereas Braque is now familiar only to those with a particular interest in art.

Natal Uranus lay at 17 and 14 Virgo in the two charts, trining some of the Taurus planets in each case. The close relationship between Braque and Picasso began around spring 1907 coinciding with the time when transiting Uranus (planet of change, invention and innovation) reached 11 and 12 Capricorn and remained in trine to their natal Uranus positions for a few years, very likely until the time when the two artists went their separate ways.

It has been suggested that in working together, side by side in the same studio, they may even have worked on one another's paintings. After the two men drifted apart, their work became more distinctive.
(Man with Guitar by Braque, far right)

(Picasso's "The guitar Player", right.)After Picasso and Braque went their own ways they remained loyal to what they had shared during these years. They never betrayed what transpired between them.

I'd guess that transiting Uranus in trine with natal Uranus played a significant part in what went on between the two artists. When Uranus moved on, so did their relationship.

I'm not sure what it is about Cubist art that attracts me - the colours are neutral and sludgy - I like that, and there are lots of angles and subtleties which please my eye. I hesitate to venture beyond the superficial, it all seems too weird.

More of the work of both these artists can be viewed via Google Image.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Different Astrological Perspective

Some time ago I bought a used copy of Carl Payne Tobey's book "Astrology of Inner Space" (Second printing, 1973). Part of the book is devoted to Mr. Tobey's theory that the astrological sign/house count popularly used, starting with Aries as the first sign, ruling 1st house, moving on via Taurus, finishing at Pisces/12th house, is open to question. He proposes Leo as the first sign, Cancer 2nd, Gemini 3rd etc. on to Virgo/12th. In his experience he says that this count has proved to be more accurate. He writes that he worked with the traditional sign/house meanings for seven years: "It wasn't all wrong, and it wasn't all right, but there seemed something the matter with it. The cults were teaching that you must accept astrology "on faith". I wasn't about to accept anything on faith. I was testing". A man after my own heart!

Mr Tobey was driven by a feeling that cults and esotericists had stood in the way of others determining the truth of astrology. Many observers considered that as an astrologer he was "before his time". He reveals that he read the 2000 pages of Madame Blavatsky's book "Secret Doctrine" and, along with his own practical astrological experience of some 50 years, an almost throw away remark in an unrelated paragraph of that book convinced him that this revised "count" was the correct one, and the one used by the ancients. Madame Blavatsky had written:

"Everybody knows that Capricorn is the 10th sign but it used to be the eighth".

Mr. Tobey's revised count isn't easy to absorb initially. I found it useful to read the chapter on Aquarius (my own Sun sign) first. Aquarius, as we know it, is the 11th sign and relates to 11th house. In Carl Payne Tobey's revised reckoning it becomes the 7th sign/house (angular, replacing Libra). Both signs are of the Air triplicity, so there are similarities anyway. The author argues that the concept of brotherhood traditionally allocated to Aquarius, has a questionable relationship to in that sign, and that the compassion and brotherly love attributed to Aquarius, in some natives, may come via Pisces, the adjacent sign where often Mercury, Venus or other personal planets may lie. He gives examples to support the theory.

CPT considers that because Aquarius thrives on change, it can become destructive when change doesn't occur. He felt that Libra's attributes, and its ruler Venus, better connect to the friendly 11th sign and house.

As for the 7th house representing marriage, he puts the idea forward that the 7th house represents the unknown, that which is still to be revealed. I suppose, because 7th lies opposite the ascendant where a personality is first "revealed", the unknown would, indeed, lie opposite. This might tie in with unexpected change, inventions, etc. represented by Aquarius's modern ruler, Uranus.

I have yet to read the chapter on each sign in detail, but a quick glance has convinced me that it's worth giving thought to this theory. For instance, moving on to Capricorn, ruled by Saturn: this would become the 8th sign rather than 10th: Saturn rules death, 8th house does too. And doesn't 8th house have connection with insurance? That's big business, which Earthy Capricorn would understand well.

Scorpio as 10th sign/house? The house of public status and recognition, career etc. - CPT considers that Scorpio has high level executive ability, and does well in politics, in the public limelight. That's pretty obvious in the USA's current Democratic presidential hopefuls - 3 Sun Scorpios and one with a Scorpio stellium (mentioned in yesterday's blog about Joe Biden).

Virgo would, by this revised count, become 12th house in place of Pisces - which I reckon doesn't work quite as well, it's the most difficult swap for me to accept. Pisces replacing Virgo as 6th - health issues? Well the addictive personality which is sometimes connected with Pisces is certainly unhealthy. Pisces' traditional ruler was Jupiter (modern ruler Neptune). It is often noted that Jupiter can be found connected with death in a Well, yes, OK. You can sense a kind of "echo" in all these exchanges.

Below is the "Leo clockwise count" in full - Sagittarius and Gemini retain their places as 3rd and 9th sign/house.

1 Leo
4 Taurus
5 Aries
6 Pisces
7 Aquarius
8 Capricorn
9 Sagittarius
10 Scorpio
11 Libra
12 Virgo

This system puts the 4 Fixed signs on the angles instead of the 4 Cardinal signs. That seems somehow appropriate.

If nothing else, Carl Payne Tobey's theory shakes the bag - makes one open the mind to examine a new perspective, which is never a bad thing.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Joe Biden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Senator Biden re-married in 1977.

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

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

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pisces + Scorpio = Poet

A work by one of my favourite poets, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow mentions astrology! Having looked at his natal chart, a predominance of Pisces and Scorpio tells me that he may have had some respect for the subject.

A few lines from "To A Child":

By what astrology of fear or hope
Dare I to cast thy horoscope!
Like the new moon thy life appears;
A little strip of silver light,
And widening outward into night
The shadowy disk of future years;
And yet upon its outer rim,
A luminous circle, faint and dim,
And scarcely visible to us here,
Rounds and completes the perfect sphere;
A prophecy and intimation,
A pale and feeble adumbration,
Of the great world of light, that lies
Behind all human destinies.

Longfellow commanded, in his heyday, both in America and Britain the fame and celebrity we accord to rock stars. His poetry is now looked upon by some as unfashionable, not by me. It's easy to read, and understand. "Accessible" is, I think, the term used in literary circles. Fashionable, as applied to poetry, usually means unintelligible! His epic poem "Hiawatha" has long been a favourite of mine.

Born in Portland, Maine on 27 February 1807, Longfellow's ancestors hailed from Yorkshire, England (my own native county).

(12 noon chart used as no time of birth known)

An appropriate natal chart for a poet ! The element of Water dominates. Sun Mercury Pluto and Venus all in Pisces, and trining Uranus, Saturn and Moon in Scorpio. (Moon's degree unknown for lack of birth time).

On-line biographies indicate that Longfellow was a gentle person, but from a young age ambitious for fame as a writer. His Scorpio planets would have been the driving force, I guess, whilst those 4 Pisces planets fired his imagination and vision.

Jupiter at 00 Aquarius squares Aquarius's ruler Uranus at 00 Scorpio. Mars in Virgo opposes the stellium of Pisces planets. These are challenging aspects in a chart which would otherwise have seemed serene. Some events in his life may mirror these challenges. Longfellow married twice. His first wife died following a miscarriage, his second wife died as a result of her clothing catching fire. No doubt the melancholy which seeps through some of his poems stems from these sad events.

Walt Whitman is reported to have said, after Longfellow's death:
"He comes as the poet of melancholy, courtesy, deference--poet of all sympathetic gentleness--and universal poet of women and young people. I should have to think long if I were ask'd to name the man who has done more and in more valuable directions, for America."

Another favourite poem by Longfellow "A Psalm of Life" was so admired by a Chinese Mandarin that he presented Longfellow with a folding fan covered with the words of that poem, written in Chinese.

A Psalm of Life

Tell me not in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou are, to dust thou returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow
Find us farther than today.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, - act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sand of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us then be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

Still good advice, here in the 21st century, HWL!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Home Style

Sometimes I visualise living in a house or apartment decorated and furnished in minimalist style. Maybe natal Neptune in Virgo in 4th house is responsible for this craving for neatness and purity of design. Actually, though, with an ever growing collection of paintings and prints and the usual decorative tid-bits around, our home is far from minimalist. Being married to a clutter-bug of the highest order adds to the scene. I must attract clutter-bugs. My late partner was the type who'd go through the trash to reclaim just about anything I threw away because "we might need it one day - you'll be grateful then!" HeWhoKnows is one step further along the road to clutterdom, he can often be seen picking stuff up off the street - shopping lists, buttons, coins (Neptune in Virgo in 2nd house of possessions - what went wrong?) Sigh.

I suspect that there's a marked difference in the natal charts of those who prefer and achieve a minimalist environment, who feel comfortable with starkness, and of those who need lots of homely comforting clutter, pretty flowery prints, pillows, ornaments etc.

By nature, Taurus and Cancer are the homeliest of the signs, a lot of either in one's chart would tend to incline a body to comfort - minimalism wouldn't appeal. Virgo, whilst an Earth sign, could probably still cope with the starkness of minimalism - though rather based on wood tones than black and white.Capricorn and Aquarius (traditionally ruled by Saturn) could probably deal with starkness too, as could Leo if they considered minimalism to be a status symbol! AnyonewithSagittarius prominent likes a lot, I guess they'd go for opulence, comfort and clutter. Prominent Libra enjoys beauty rather than utility or trendiness, so a homely, pretty style for them. Gemini could care less, as long as there's a bookshelf, a TV, CD player and computer around, they could live with minimalism, but they wouldn't notice. Pisces and Scorpio, two emotional Water signs would, I think, go for imaginative and attractive styles, more likely leaning towards comfort. Aries - I'm not sure - someone with lots of Aries in their natal chart wouldn't care deeply about their surroundings, they're too restless and too busy doing stuff.

Other cultures, past and present have, from necessity, lived with a type of minimalism - their only option. A prediction: in years to come people everywhere will return to a very much simpler way of life, a million miles from both the studied stylishness of today's minimalist decor and the opulence and clutter of traditional styles.

A short video, compiled by yours truly, illustrates a few "all or nothing at all" styles of living.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Comets - who needs 'em?

Comet Holmes has been causing a stir among astronomers and astrologers recently. We managed to see it for the first time on Wednesday evening, when the skies were completely clear over the old homestead. Opinions vary as to this comet's astrological significance, inevitably some are gloom-laden and depressing. I'm going to ignore those - I can see more depressing items than you can shake a stick at, every day in news articles on the web. I sure as hell don't wish to think about anything extra that Comet Holmes may have in store for us!

In the 21st century we don't need comets to bring us death and destruction, we can do it all freehand, thank you very much. War in Iraq, potential attack on Iran, dreadful events in Darfur, famines, greed, torture, sick children without health care, environmental destruction, the USA slipping silently and uncomplainingly into fascism. We are playing a blinder, aren't we? Anything that Comet Holmes can bring, on top of that lot, is likely to be pretty insignificant in the great scheme of things.

Comets have been fascinating Earth's population throughout the centuries, a few examples of this below, from The first two, plus small illustration at the start of the blog entry, are from 1910 (Halley's Comet), the third is from the 15th century, and the last from the 19th century.


Oh - I nearly forgot ! Happy Birthday Oklahoma! Oklahoma became a state on this day in 1907, today it celebrates its Centennial.

Paint it "blue" in 2008, Okies, and then.....(singing)

"You're doing fine Oklahoma,

Oklahoma OK

O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A, Oklahoma!!!"

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Missing Ingredient

Steven Pinker, research psychologist and professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT and author of "Words and Rules", HERE asks :

"What is the missing ingredient — not genes, not upbringing — that shapes the mind?"

Astrologers (and people like me) know the answer, but not exactly how the process works. Why not test a theory that broad astrological principles may be involved in the answer to this question? Astrologers, in cahoots with psychologists such as Professor Pinker, might discover much of value to both science and astrology .

Brief extracts:

"If genes have any effect at all, it must be total. But the data show that genes account for about only about half of the variance in personality and intelligence (25% to 75%, depending on how things are measured). That leaves around half the variance to be explained by something that is not genetic........................
...............growing up in the same home — with the same parents, books, TVs, guns, and so on — does not make children similar.

So the variation in personality and intelligence breaks down roughly as follows: genes 50%, families 0%, something else 50%. As with Bob Dylan's Mister Jones, something is happening here but we don't know what it is. (I say......"Or do we?")

Perhaps it is chance. While in the womb, the growth cone of an axon zigged rather than zagged, and the brain gels into a slightly different configuration. If so, it would have many implications that have not figured into our scientific or everyday way of thinking.................... "

And again...

David Sloan Wilson's article
"Are Liberals and Conservatives Different Species? The Answer is Yes" is an interesting read, but it also left me feeling really sad that astrology cannot command the $$$ required for an experiment such as the one he describes. If only more scientists would wake up, experiments like this one could be modified to take in birth data so that it could be analysed by astrologers. Dream on!

A few extracts:

For years I wanted to study people in the same way that I am accustomed to studying beetles and fish--not just in the laboratory, but also "in the field" as they go about their everyday lives. I finally found my chance when I met Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the famous psychologist who is best known for his work on peak psychological experience (Flow) and who pioneered something called the experience sampling method (ESM).

The ESM is simplicity itself. People are outfitted with devices that beep at random times during the day, prompting them to fill out a short questionnaire recording where they are, what they are doing, who they are with, and a checklist of psychological states on a numerical scale. Each beep is like a flash bulb that captures a snapshot of the individual's experience. Mihaly and others have used the ESM on thousands of people to study a variety of subjects. When I met him at a conference and began talking with him about the ESM, I immediately realized that it was the equivalent of field studies on other species. I therefore teamed up with Mihaly to use some of his past studies to ask questions inspired by ecological and evolutionary theory.

We began with a multi-million dollar project that Mihaly had conducted with sociologist Barbara Schneider to examine how young people prepare to enter the work force. Thousands of American high school students had participated nationwide by providing extensive background information and being beeped for a week, for roughly 50 snapshots of their individual experience.

With this as our "field study," we began to think about altruism and other do-good behaviors as a strategy that can succeed in some environments but not others. That story is recounted in a chapter titled "The Ecology of Good and Evil" in my book Evolution for Everyone.

Imagine the priceless information astrologers could glean from being included in an experimental survey like that one ~!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Rhymes and Reasons

It's time for mid-week uplift.

A booklet which accompanies the double CD album from which I took the track for the video, below, says this:

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

Astrologer Zipporah (Zip) Dobyns wrote about John's chart in 1997, "John Denver Flies On" not long after the tragic flying accident in which cost him his life 10 years ago. I hesitate to add anything to her scholarly assessment, but I will include a copy of John's natal chart here, the one in the linked article isn't too clear, at least to my own eye.

Pluto lies EXACTLY on North node of the Moon. I wonder if, for him, that was an ill-omen?

John travelled to China, Russia and Africa on missions of detente and mercy - his concerns covered nuclear power, nuclear arms and world hunger. He probably quietly did much more good than many of today's superstars who are regularly lauded for their efforts.

A man we could ill-afford to lose. His message is still timely:-

So you speak to me of sadness
And the coming of the winter
Fear that is within you now
It seems to never end
And the dreams that have escaped you
And the hope that you've forgotten
You tell me that you need me now
You want to be my friend

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

For the children and the flowers
Are my sisters and my brothers
Their laughter and their loveliness
Could clear a cloudy day

Like the music of the mountains
And the colours of the rainbow
Theyre a promise of the future
And a blessing for today

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

It is written from the desert
To the mountains they shall lead us
By the hand and by the heart
They will comfort you and me
In their innocence and trusting
They will teach us to be free

For the children and the flowers
Are my sisters and my brothers
Their laughter and their loveliness
Could clear a cloudy day

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

(Words and music by John Denver)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Nancy Pelosi has turned out to be one of my biggest disappointments to date as an example of a woman in power. She is the first woman to serve as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. As the highest-ranking elected woman in American history, she is second in the line of presidential succession.

She has shown herself to be spineless, along with most of her Democratic colleagues, male and female. I expected so much more of a Sun Aries, whatever the gender - but I forgot about that stellium (4 planets) in Taurus. Stubborn? Ultra-stubborn! And supportive of the status quo.
(Chart for 12 noon - no time of birth available).

She has taken impeachment (of Dick Cheney and/or George W. Bush) "off the table" and remains determined, with John Conyers (chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and a Sun Taurean) to keep it there.

The courageous attempt by Dennis Kucinich last week to bring the matter to the attention of Congress again with his resolution HR 333 (regarding the impeachment of VP Dick Cheney) could have been more successfully received with her support and encouragement. Instead it has been returned to the Judiciary Committee where they report that they are "too busy" to deal with it.

"For Dennis Kucinich, nothing and no one will suppress his allegiance to his country and to his abiding principle of strength through peace.

So when Speaker Pelosi tells the cowards in her House that “impeachment is off the table” because the fight to impeach is too hard, Kucinich doesn’t believe her. No one ever told him being a Congressman would be easy. No one ever told him maintaining democracy was a cinch. When the President and Vice President commit acts as egregious as lying the nation into illegal war, illegally surveilling their own citizens, endorsing and allowing torture, and more, the strong don’t stay quiet. It’s the weak, like Pelosi, Hoyer, Emanuel, Clyburne, Boehner, Murtha, Blunt, and over 400 others in Pelosi’s House of Wacks - Democrats and Republicans alike - who do......"

(From an article HERE)

Ms Pelosi's Mercury in Pisces sextiles Uranus/Venus in Taurus - soft, wimpy but very stubborn. Even rebellious Uranus isn't getting a look in, it seems. Saturn at 00 Taurus squares Pluto at 00 Leo, which one would expect to indicate a pretty powerful square-off between the powers of structure, rules and laws (Saturn) and transformatory Pluto - it doesn't seem to be working well....or maybe it does, depending on how one sees things.

I watched Ms Pelosi on TV last week hosting the Jefferson Jackson Dinner, when six of the Democratic presidential candidates gave speeches. She came over to me as a slightly nervous person, unsure of what she was doing, rather jittery. I was surprised. So very different from Hillary Clinton. I'm not a fan of Ms Clinton, due to the strings the corporations must surely have upon her after she has accepted all those huge donations, but I do have to admire her confidence and showmanship.

Nancy Pelosi might well be a delightful companion and a capable adminstrator in normal times, but times are not normal, and she is not fulfilling her duty. Anyone who can take the time to read articles and comments around the internet will have gathered that there has been an outcry from US citizens for impeachment proceedings to take place. E-mails, telephone calls and letters have in their thousands been sent to members of Congress encouraging them to support Congressman Kucinich's efforts. Nancy Pelosi could have been instrumental in leading that support - she failed. I believe she has failed her party's supporters, failed her gender, and failed her country.

Monday, November 12, 2007

We Lost An Aquarian

I'm pretty sure that some astrologers or bloggers before me will have written about Norman Mailer, who died last week. I'm going to carry on regardless, however, because he was a fellow Sun Aquarian. Mr. Mailer was aged 84, experiencing a 12th Uranus transit to his natal Sun. That planet lay at 11 Pisces when he was born and is currently at 14 Pisces.

Norman Mailer was born in Long Branch, New Jersey on 31 January 1923 at (according to Astrotheme) 9.05 am

As a change from a brief interpretation of his chart I decided to take an article by R.J. Eskow "Norman Mailer's City", quote a few extracts, and relate them to Mailer's astrology. This way, one can see astrology working. (My comments are in red.)

..... What would you admire about Norman Mailer, exactly? His brilliance? His omnivorous interest in any and all subjects? His seeming fearlessness in venturing opinions, often highly eccentric, about any topic? His willingness to try almost anything, from electoral politics to film-making? (Sun and Mercury in mentally based often eccentric but brilliant Aquarius, semi sextile Aquarius's ruler Uranus in Pisces. Planets well scattered throughout chart = versatile individual)

Then there's the matter of Jewish identity. Mailer's generation of Jews, our fathers' generation, struggled with manhood and virility in the American context. But while Philip Roth wrote, Mailer acted out on the public stage. He stabbed his wife, for Christ's sake. What kind of human being does that, and why? Was it some ritual exorcism of the curly-headed boy beaten up by gangs from another neighborhood? (Belligerent Mars in its own sign of Aries in first house of self, trine natal Sun in unruly Aquarius. Pluto in Cancer squares Aquarius Sun, trnes Aquarius's ruler, Uranus - something of a dangerously explosive anomaly there?)

The 60's/70's Mailer loved to coin words. "Factoid" was the most famous, for a fact-like construct that illustrates a truth even if it's literally false . But there were others. Somewhere he wrote about a "thanatosphere" where he believed the dead hovered around the Earth like a second atmosphere. Of course, he didn't really believe it. Belief, too, can be a factoid. (Pisces ascendant is ruled by Neptune planet of illusion/delusion)

(And again dreamer Neptune itself - in the sign of Leo with a trine from Saturn in Libra - Saturn the constructor).......... Mailer designed cities in his dreams..... it caught my eye when Mailer wrote a piece for the New York Times Magazine in 1968 called "Cities Higher Than Mountains," and built a sculpture to illustrate it.

Mailer was unafraid to enter into areas where he had no credentials (Aquarian know-it-all?). In "Cities Higher Than Mountains" he was willing to radically (Aquarian word)redesign the American urban landscape, despite his lack of architecture experience......Mailer proposed that we spend the next forty years recreating urban America according to his vision (Neptune again), influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright but all his own, of suspended communities towering over greenscapes and farmlands. (More evidence of illusory Neptune trine structural Saturn?)

Had we followed his suggestion, the radical re-engineering of America would be concluding this year. I didn't realize until his death that Mailer's undergraduate degree from Harvard was in engineering. (Saturn, in Libra, widely trining Sun in Aquarius may represent his engineering credentials.)

There are no planets in Earth signs - which probably adds to that wildly imaginative nature - nothing to keep the feet planted firmly on Mother Earth!

R.I.P. Norman Mailer - you were a fine example of Aquarian eccentricity and rebellion against the status quo.