Friday, February 29, 2008

A Stately Astro-Mnemonic

I need a mnemonic to help me remember the 13 original states of the USA. This for my civics test, coming up in relation to US citizenship. For luck, I'm going to use astrology in the mnemonic. This astrology is highly suspect, but it might help me remember the first letter of each state, which should kickstart my memory banks.

Venus Mercury & Mars Retrograde Carry No News of Saturn, Neptune's Nervous, Pluto Dominates Gemini

Rhode Island
New Hampshire
North Carolina
South Carolina
New York
New Jersey
Georgia to remember the mnemonic?

From a list of 96 questions applicants are asked 10 and must give correct answers to at least 6 of them. Most are straightforward, it's the few where the answer involves lists I hesitate over. EG: "Name the amendments(to the Constitution) that guarantee or address voting rights". My American husband couldn't answer that one - even HeWhoKnows didn't know! (Answer: 15th, 19th, 24th and 26th amendments. They relate to women's right to vote, the right of all races to vote, making it illegal to prevent someone from voting for not paying poll tax, and lowering voting age to 18.)

No more civics lessons - I promise!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Daily Dazzles

SUNDAY:- Celebrity time with avengance. The Oscars. I have what some might see as an unfortunate trait (only one?)- dislike of celebrities. This time of year brings on the worst symptoms of my affliction, a bit like 'flu season - well actually it's 'flu season and Oscar season both. Unfortunately there's no shot available for celebrity-itis. Might this affliction of mine stem from something in my astrology? Natal Sun in obtuse and rebellious Aquarius is a start. Saturn (limitation) in Aries in 10th house (public status)- maybe Saturn, the old misery, in this position tends to put a damper on celebrity worship. Grand Trine in Earth signs adds to the mix anchoring feet to the ground, helping to breed an innate distrust of glitz and glitter.

MONDAY afternoon, a letter arrived from the United States Immigration and Citizenship Service notifying me that I should attend for interview on 11 April. This has been a long time coming - since July 2007. On Monday Venus and Mercury were less than 4 degrees from natal Aquarius Sun, with Mercury having not long since moved from retrograde to direct motion, it all ties in nicely. Chances are that I shall be a citizen in time to register to vote in November. The long immigration treck will soon be over. It started with a UK fiance visa for himself, enabling him to be resident in the UK, followed by a marriage visa for me to enter the USA as a Permanent Resident back in 2004, then further hassle to remove conditions from my Permanent Residency last summer. With a following wind I should finally reach the end of this rocky road sometime this summer, after an Oath Ceremony. Then, transformed as a US citizen (dual US/UK citizen to be exact), I shall be saying a resounding "PHEW!!"

TUESDAY evening's TV viewing hovered between rock and a hard place - American Idol and another Democratic debate between El Obama and La Clinton.

American Idol has thrown up a likely winner already. David Archuleta won rave comments for his rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine". He's the youngest contestant, so if he does eventually win, my theory that this year's astrological factors favour the more mature contestants will be proved wrong.

They say Tuesday's debate may have been the last of the season, I hope they are correct. Nothing new emerges now, just regurgitation of what we've heard many times before.

Senator Obama, when speechifying on the campaign trail, and when debating, displays two quite different sides to his personality. He doesn't light up the debate platform as he does stadiums filled with adoring crowds. His sparkling Leo Sun, Mercury and Uranus seem eclipsed by his strong Saturn in Capricorn, which lies quincunx(inharmonious)to Uranus. Uranus dazzles at campaign rallies, with promise of change, unity, and that "Yes we can!" In the debates Saturn appears to dampen things down considerably.

WEDNESDAY - An earthquake hit the UK, mild on a global scale, but pretty unusual for Britain. Eclipses are thought by some to be precursors of earthquakes, but there's no scientific evidence for this. There was a lunar eclipse last week. Coincidence?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Leo x 2 - Rhett Butler and Darius Danesh

It's always a pleasant surprise to receive late comments on old blog posts. I got one last week relating to a December post about "Gone With the Wind", and astrological links to the novel's characters.

A commentor let me know that a musical version of "Gone With the Wind" is due to open in London's West End soon, and the person chosen for the part of Rhett Butler is none other than Darius Danesh - a name probably not familiar in the USA - yet. Darius was a contestant in the very first series of UK's "Pop Idol" in 2001(from whence came "American Idol" shortly after). Darius didn't win, he came either third or fourth, I forget which. He did have a very enthusiastic following, including myself. He came in for some ribbing by commentators and journalists because of a remark he made during auditions when trying to motivate fellow-contestants. "There's a lot of love in this room", he said on one occasion, and it stuck! There was always a slightly new agey feel about Darius - a throw-back to the '60s.

Since "Pop Idol", it appears that Darius has made good, with five top ten singles in the UK, and he has played leading roles in stage musicals in London's famous West End - a surprising departure, I'd have thought, but a very successful one it seems.

As mentioned in my December post, the Rhett Butler character is thought to reflect the astrological Leo stereotype. Bingo! - Darius Danesh has natal Sun in Leo!

Darius was born on 19 August 1980 in Glasgow, Scotland. (No birth time known, so I've used a 12 noon chart.)

The first thing I noticed about his natal chart, even before looking at the sign placements, was a beautifully regular integration of the planets in semi-sextile, sextile and trine patterns - following around the chart from Venus to Neptune.

Sun semisextile Saturn, sextile Mars, trine Neptune.
Mercury semisextile Jupiter, sextile Pluto, trine Neptune.
Venus widely semisextile Mercury, sextile Jupiter, widely trine Uranus.

This says, to me, that he is very comfortable within himself, his various talents, music, acting, composing are well integrated and feed off each other. There is a square aspect between his natal Sun and Uranus which will ensure everything doesn't come too easily, and provides him with some dynamic challenge to keep current.

The Moon's degree is uncertain without time of birth, but if Darius were born pre-9am Moon would lie in Scorpio, a later birth time would bring Moon into Sagittarius. It would be interesting to see how the Moon fits into the overall pattern, also, of course the all important ascendant. If anyone reads this and knows Darius's time of birth, I hope they'll comment. I'd guess at Leo or Libra, or maybe even Cancer rising.

His Leo Sun and Mercury shone through his TV performances as I remember them. That very nice Neptune/Mercury trine is going to be helpful for both his songwriting and acting abilities. I can't see anything too negative in this chart, to be honest. His Saturn Return will come up in October 2009, which might send his career in a different direction. Perhaps he'll move on to straight acting, movies, or towards something completely different.

Darius's natal chart, using sidereal zodiac, leaves his Sun in Leo, but Mercury moves to Cancer and Venus to Gemini. The semi-sextile/sextile/trine pattern remains but is not quite so easy to see at first glance. Both versions of the chart could be seen as valid. I noticed a gentleness in him which matches Mercury in Cancer, and his Mercury/Neptune trine moves from Fire to Water with sidereal Neptune in Scorpio -that would fit songwriting and music even better than the Fire trine.So the two zodiacs seem equally valid.....once again.

It'll be very interesting to watch how Darius's career develops. Will he cross the pond to be a hit in the USA, or will he remain a jewel in Britain's crown ?

Here he is singing one of his self-penned hits "Color Blind"

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Astro-harmony in "Falling Slowly"

It was good to see Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova receive their Oscars on Sunday evening for Best Original Song: "Falling Slowly", from last year's movie "Once". It's a lovely song from a gentle, non-glitzy, non-starry movie. We saw it and enjoyed it, but never expected it to be mentioned at the grand Oscars ceremony. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova the movie's virtually unknown leading actors also wrote the winning song.

I wondered whether there would be some harmonious links in their natal charts. Here they are, calculated for 12 noon as birth times are unknown.

Glen Hansard was born in Dublin, Ireland on 21 April 1970.

Marketa Irglova born in Valasske Mezirici in the Czech Republic on 2 March 1988


There is harmony in common clusters of Earthy planets. Hansard has Sun, Saturn, Mercury and Venus between O* and 22* Taurus (ruled by Venus the music planet). Irglova has Uranus, Saturn, Mars and Neptune between 0* and 9* Capricorn, so the planets in Earth signs, Taurus and Capricorn are in harmonious trine.

Both have close aspects between Mars (energy, dynamism) and Neptune (imagination, creativity, dreams), Hansard's Neptune/Mars are in opposition, Irglova's are in conjunction.

Both have Venus (planet of music) close to another personal planet Hansard's is conjunct Mercury(planet of writing & communication), Irglova's conjunct Jupiter (which rules publishing & luck, among other things).

Their natal Suns are in wide sextile, but unfortunately without times of birth their Moon's positions are unclear. At 12 noon both Moons lay at 28* of Libra and Leo, either or both could move into the next signs with birth times from early evening onwards. Ascendants remain unknown.

There's sufficient evidence, even without times of birth, that these two people would understand each other and have little trouble harmonising together, as is well illustrated by their co-written song and their performances in "Once". Here's the song, as performed in the movie:

Monday, February 25, 2008

Mike Huckabee's Leo & SNL

The more I see Mike Huckabee on TV, the more I warm to him - not his politics (perish the thought), nor his religion, just his personality. He's real. Know what I mean?

I wrote a blog about him (here) earlier in the presidential campaign. Since then I've seen him interviewed, listened to his speeches and watched his reaction to winning and losing after primaries, with growing appreciation.

Governor Huckabee's latest appearance, in Saturday Night Live at the weekend was fun. The man's a natural. I wish he'd give up his current career and get himself a chat show or something similar. Something far removed from religion or politics. He's entertaining, warm and charismatic, you can't learn those qualities, they come part of your astrological package. Five Leo planets form a big part of Governor Huckabee's astro-package. He has already tried two professions suitable for a quintuple-Leo personality, one more remains: show-biz! I'd bet good money that he'd be a bigger success there than he could ever be in the other two.

"There's a greater chance that I would dye my hair green and get tattoos all over my body and do a rock tour with Amy Winehouse than there is that I would run for the Senate, so let me put that to rest."

"And the ultimate thing is, I may not be the expert that some people are on foreign policy, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night."

PS: Speaking of Saturday Night Live, I'm not passing this opportunity to re-air Saturday night's opening skit. It's not the part featuring Governor Huckabee, but it provided some unexpected and refreshing spoofing of the media's current intoxication with a Senator. At last, somebody noticed!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Of Saxophones & Sun Signs

It's funny how often my mind defaults to astrology. The other evening, searching for an entertaining interlude away from politics, we landed on a TV show featuring saxophonist Dave Koz, "At the Movies". Thinking that HeWhoKnows (the husband) would enjoy this I stopped channel-surfing and said, "This is your cup of tea!"

I was rewarded with look of barely disguised disdain.

HWK is a was going to say snob, but Americans don't do snobbery(or so it is told). No, he's not a snob in any way at all, but in the realm of musical appreciation he is a bit of an elitist. He loves all kinds of music and knows perfection when he hears it. He considers Dave Koz and his ilk, which includes musicians such as Kenny Gee, Richard Clayderman, "too schmaltzy", too populist.

"You mean too accessible to the great unwashed?" I enquired.

My mind slid into its default astrology mode, zeroing in on Sun signs, despised by the astrological elite, embraced by the great unwashed,

I went on to lecture HWK, much to his dismay:

"If it wasn't for musicians such as Dave Koz and Kenny Gee many people wouldn't listen to music at all. They play sweet, easy, accessible music. Some listeners will go on to investigate other musicians - for instance someone listening to Dave Koz tonight might decide they really like the saxophone, start listening to other players such as Ben Webster and your idol Paul Desmond. Without having listened to Dave Koz they'd never have known about those artists. Some listeners might even be inspired to learn to play the instrument themselves. The same thing happens in astrology - people read Sun sign columns and articles relating to their "star sign" and get interested. Some decide to investigate the subject in more detail, and often go on to study it in depth - as I've done. Yet the astrological elite despise Sun sign astrology."

"Yes, I appreciate that, but I wish he wouldn't keep acting to the camera - he's a bit of a ham".


I don't often link to my husband's blog, I'm doing so now because the first part of Saturday's post is relevant to what I've just written, and the second part is, I reckon, worthy of an Obama speech writer (wink).

Mine is a populist Aquarian Sun, I am a proud card-carrying member of the great unwashed (figuratively speaking!) I like Dave Koz and his ilk.

Here's a YouTube piece from the TV show mentioned above. Dave Koz and Vanessa Williams perform "The Way We Were".

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Pisces & Neptune Dominant

We've rolled into the tropical zodiac sign of Pisces this week. Keywords for Pisces include: sensitive, imaginative, creative, intuitive,abstract, compassionate, introspective, religious, clairvoyant, versatile, procrastinating, fatalistic, idealistic, unworldly, vague, easily led, addictive.

Neptune, modern ruler of Pisces, is briefly described by Rob Tillett:

"Neptune, the planet of deception and spiritual enlightenment, rules the oppressed and abandoned: the misfits of society. On a higher level it rules visionaries, and those who are glamorous and charismatic. It represents spirituality, mysticism, and ideals.

Speaking personally, Neptune's house position and its aspects with other planets in your chart will describe spirituality, abstract thinking, illusion, disillusionment, and areas of your life where things aren't always what they seem. It rules derangement, guilt, persecution and describes the potential for experiences related to confinement, abandonment, and addiction or physical intolerance to drugs and alcohol.

Neptune's role in society is often to cloud the issues, making things seem other than they are. Neptune is the master of disguise. Ruling oil, liquids, solvents (and makeup!), this mighty force usually operates beneath the surface, but can be brought into the forefront of consciousness when affected by significant transits from the visible planets."

Instead of my usual video picture book of well known people, for Pisces/Neptune I've included lists below, and this video compilation, first posted during last year. It's an attempt to present, in sight and sound, some of the qualities of Neptune and Pisces. (Sorry - video removed).
Lists at Astrotheme of well known individuals with Pisces or Neptune dominant in their natal charts, who are also well-known in America and English-speaking countries, were quite a bit shorter than I have found for other zodiac signs. I wonder why that should be? Pisces is last of the twelve signs, before the zodiac starts anew with Aries, at vernal equinox. Perhaps the zodiac simply ran out of steam! Pisces is the 12th sign, connected to 12th house, which is considered to be a hidden and secret place. It's appropriate then that we don't have long lists of household names here - though there is certainly a streak of real genius and inspiration among them, including some connected to astrology.

Percentages are included in some cases to show the range, none is much below 40% for Pisces and 21% for Neptune.


Laura Dern (53.21%)
Googie Withers
Paula Prentiss
Lou Costello
Sidney Poitier
Patrick Duffy(40.43%)

Benjamino Gigli (47.67%)
Dame Vera Lynn
Kurt Weil
Johnny Cash
Kurt Cobain (39.70%)

Jean Baptiste Morin de Villefranche (Morinus)(46.02%)
Evangeline Adams
Moby Dick Jacobs(43.16%)

Elizabeth Barrett Browing (52.81%)
P.D. Ouspensky (47.89%)
Alexander Graham Bell
Patty Hearst
Victor Hugo
Vincent van Gogh
Bugsy Siegel (40.22%)



Tom Courtenay
Tallulah Bankhead (22.86%)
Dirk Benedict

John Philip Sousa(28.77%)
Frank Sinatra (25.26%)
Leontyne Price
Renata Tebaldi (21.09%)

Richard Nolle (24.64%)
William Lilley
Johannes Kepler (22.60%)

Henry Rider Haggard (31.31%)
Nancy Mitford
David Puttnam
Pierre Balmain
Marc Chagall
Charles Darwin
D.H. Lawrence
Jerry Springer(21.61%)


Friday, February 22, 2008

Famous Philanderings USA and UK Style

As the lunar eclipse progressed, under thick cloud cover, on Wednesday evening we were watching a 10-year old movie on HBO, "Primary Colors". I first saw it years ago, back in the UK, but in those days much of its significance would have gone right over my head. This time I thoroughly enjoyed it and, by the time the Moon was again shining above the clouds, I understood it. The story-line is very apt just now, with politics and the presidential race full in our faces.

"Primary Colors" the movie was adapted from a novel, originally said to be the work of an anonymous author, later unmasked by a clever literary analyst, as journalist Joe Klein. It's a semi-fictional satirical story of a presidential candidate in the USA. The tale manages to integrate the complexity and ethics, or lack of them, involved in politics generally. By the movie's conclusion the viewer is left wondering whether, in politics, the ends do sometimes justify the means.

John Travolta and Emma Thompson play the parts of presidential candidate and wife, Jack and Susan Stanton - very thinly veiled caricatures of Bill and Hillary Clinton, the plot gently satirizes their adventures in the 1990s. Travolta did a wonderful job, I thought. I've been a fan of his since "Saturday Night Fever" - how he has evolved since those days! We happen to share Aquarius Sun with Pluto in first house opposing Sun in 8th, with Cancer rising. Similarities end there!

One key element in the "Primary Colors" plot was, not surprisingly, Jack Stanton's philanderings. Coincidentally, today 22 February, is the birthday of Christine Keeler, who was closely involved in the philanderings of a high level politician in Britain, in the early 1960s. Christine Keeler, the leading player in what is now known as the Profumo Affair.

The Secretary of State for War, John Profumo entered into an affair with high-class prostitute, Christine Keeler, not realising that she was also sleeping with (among others) a naval attache at the embassy of the Soviet Union(Russia), and this was during the Cold War, don't forget! The affair resulted in John Profumo eventually resigning his government post. I think I'm right in saying that those who lived through the "Profumo Affair" in Britain have never forgotten it, it almost brought down the whole government.

Christine Keeler's 12 noon chart reveals some Taurus planets on each side of, and close to, Fixed Star Algol (25 Taurus)traditionally thought to be the most malefic of all stars. Algol certainly turned out to be an ill omen for Keeler's reputation and those connected with her. There's a Grand Trine linking Uranus, Neptune and (out of sign) Venus in her natal chart, which could be seen to describe her effect on her clients -illusion of love leading to delusion and some unexpected results.

Robin Williams has said "God gave us all a penis and a brain, but only enough blood to run one at a time". Yes indeed!.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Handily Wonkish Rant

As Mercury turned direct after its recent retrograde period, it tickled my fancy that words (the province of Mercury, planet of communication) suddenly started coming under the microscope in Mercury's other province, the media.

I'd decided to draft a blog post on the subject of words myself, when I noticed the media pouncing on Barack Obama, because he had borrowed some of the words used in his speeches from another politician (one of many articles here). Then, hardly missing a beat, Senator Obama's wife was hauled over the coals for words she'd uttered in a speech (here).

Anyway, my wordy Mercurial ramble-cum-rant goes like this:

During the past few months I've noticed a couple of rather oddly applied words appearing with strange regularity in what I call journalist-speak. Journalists are a bit like parrots, they pick up words and expressions from each other, repeat them, ad nauseam for a while, before forgetting all about them and moving on to the next batch. This is fine, as long as the meaning of the "in-words" is clear.

"Wonk" is an example of current journalist-speak. It is being used, on occasion, to describe some politicians. In Britain (also in the USA, I'm reliably informed by my husband) "wonky" means unstable, wobbly, not reliable. I couldn't see how this definition fitted the context when I came upon the word recently in several articles. After a brief search, I discovered that "wonk" is also applied to a person who studies a subject or issue thoroughly or to excess. Some politicians can be termed "policy wonks", or have a "wonkish attitude". The two definitions of "wonk" and "wonky" no doubt have different roots, but that doesn't make things any less confusing for the reader.

Another current example of journalist-speak is the adverb "handily". For example: "he beat Clinton handily". I'd always used "handy" in a practical sense: "the table was placed in a handy position (or handily) for easy access from both entrances". Apparently its use has expanded. Winning "handily", though not hard to translate into plain English, could surely be better and more accurately expressed as winning "easily" or "with a wide margin", if that is what a writer intends to convey. Or does it perhaps mean "usefully", i.e. that it was a win which was badly needed? It's just not clear, at least not to me.

Some journalists, in an effort to be trendy, put what they see as style before clarity and accuracy. Which reminds me of a sentiment in one of Bill Watterson's "Calvin & Hobbes" comic strips:
“The purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure pure reasoning, and inhibit clarity. With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog!”

End of rant.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Candidates Part III

Since Monday I've been looking at at astrological thumbnail sketches of the leading candidates for the upcoming US presidential election. Interpretations used are from Llewellyn George's 1934 book "Student Chart Reader of Horoscope Indications", chosen for scrupulous impartiality. It's impossible for there to be any subconscious connection to events or characters on the US political scene of late 20th/early 21st century. Today it's the turn of the last of the three candidates for sketch treatment: Republican Senator John McCain.


August 29 1936, at 9am, Coco Solo Air Base, Panama Canal Zone.
See natal chart at AstroFutureTrends

SUN in Virgo

"In Virgo the Sun makes the native modest, thoughtful, serious, contemplative and industrious with desire to refine the mind and acquire knowledge. Learns quickly, is philosophical, a good reasoner and usually has a good command of language. It gives a good endurance, reserve force, quick recuperation and as a rule Virgoans do not show their age. Quick tempered but not a fighter as Virgo prefers arbitration. Loves order, beauty, art and literature, Not easily discouraged or kept down, although somewhat given to worry. Is idealistic yet practical, frugal yet speculative, ingenious, careful, cautious and usually endowed with good forethought. Very active and seldom contented long at a time. Desires wealth but not able, as a rule, to acquire wealth easily. Interested in hygienics, diet and labor conditions."

ASCENDANT in Libra (with 9am as time of birth)

"Love justice, order, peace and harmony, usually very courteous, pleasant and agreeable persons; although quick to anger, are easily appeased. They are fond of beauty in all forms: in nature, art, music, literature etc., and can enter with zest into refined and cultured pleasures and amusements and greatly enjoy the company and society of brave, happy, sunny and mirthful people. They are affectionate, sympathetic, kind, generous and compassionate; idealistic, artistic, adaptable, constructive, intuitive impressionable and inspirational. They admire modesty and refinement; are ambitious but dislike unclean work and all discord. The best outlet for their talents is in the professions, and they have ability for lines requiring good taste, neat touch and fine finish. Mental-vital temperament.
Mental tendencies:
Good mental abilities, keen sense of perception with foresight and good comparison, imaginative or artistic; good natured, hopeful, cheerful, genial, humane, just, orderly; usually amorous, loving but changeful, fond of society and amusements. Like to "go places and do things", be in style or up-to-date. Fond of fine clothes and jewelry."

MOON in Capricorn

"Tends to bring one before the public in some manner, but whether beneficially or otherwise depends upon the other indications in the chart.

If the Moon is well aspected at birth, especially by the Sun, (in this case they are both in Earth signs, but not in close aspect) may attract attention as a prominent and respectable person. If the environment has been good it may manifest as rulership, generalship and administrative ability.

If the mental rulers (Sun, Moon, Mercury and rulers of 3rd and 9th cusps) were afflicted and the early training neglected it gives a vague indeterminate mind, lack of creative energy although ambitious; misfortune through women and lax control of the appetites. Usually has enemies whether merited or not, and some drawback or difficulty attached to the occupation or reputation of the native. If the aspects in the chart are generally good it indicates honors and prominence; the native has ability to interest others and inspire confidence; a good organizer and welfare worker.

This location is also indicative of care and caution in money matters. The nature is often too cold and calculating and at times too regardless of the feelings of others."

Oddly, in Senator McCain's case, I see the Moon as more indicative of the public person we see, rather than the Sun/ascendant picture, as in the cases of Senators Clinton and Obama. Other factors in his natal chart are needed for clarity, one example is Mars in Leo, indicating a forceful and militant character, it lies in his 10th house of public status, making it a focal point in his career.

Three thumbnail sketches of leading candidates are complete - I thought the first two depicted very recognisable traits, from what little we know of the real people involved. This third example, for me, is less clearly recognisable without involving more of the natal chart.

Now, as we see them approaching the final rounds, coming out swinging, keeping their guard up, we have to hope, somewhat forlornly, that there will be no hitting below the belt.

May the best person for the job win!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Candidates Part II

Yesterday I looked at an early-20th century astrologer's interpretation of the Sun, ascendant and Moon positions in the natal chart of Senator Hillary Clinton. Next up is the candidate many suspect will be our next president - but not before a couple of hard fights, first against Senator Clinton for the Democratic nomination, then for the presidency of the USA, against the Republican party's nominee, still to be decided, but probably John McCain.

Let's take a look at what astrologer Llewellyn George had to say about the placements of Sun, ascendant and Moon in Senator Obama's natal chart.


August 4 1961 Honolulu, Hawaii 1.06pm (time uncertain)
See chart at AstroFutureTrends

SUN in Leo
"In Leo the Sun gives an active mind, good nature, generosity, many friends. Is a natural leader, ambitious, independent, determined, persistent, industrious, honest and very conscientious; philosophical, philanthropic. Quickly angered but quickly appeased. Has a sunny disposition, is frank, oputspoken, candid, forceful and greatly appreciates affection in which he is usually ardent and sincere. Magnetic, intuitive and inventive; fond of children, sports, drama, honors and high office."

Scorpio (if time of birth is correct)
Note - This is the same interpretation as for Hillary Clinton's ascendant -
"Reserved, tenacious, determined and secretive, somewhat inclined to be suspicious or skeptical and stingingly sarcastic. They are quick-witted, quick in speech and action, alert, forceful and positive. They are often blunt, brusque and seemingly fond of contest; nevertheless they make staunch and splendid friends. They possess grit and enterprise that will enable them to reach high attainments. They accomplish their purposes by subtlety and strength of will, or by force if necessary. They have mechanical skill and much constructive (or destructive) quality. They enjoy travel, are fond of investigating mysteries and things occult. Although appreciating luxury, can be very frugal and exonomical. They are natural detectives, sheriffs, bailiffs, chemists.....gifted for accomplishing things requiring muscular skill or aggressive enterprise. Motive-vital temperament.
Mental tendencies:
Quick, keen, shrewd, critical, penetrating mind and keen judgment. Strong will and determination; self-reliant, bold, fixed views. A subtle mind, hard to influence, not easily imposed upon, willful, courageous, energetic and active when interested but at other times indolent. Sarcastic or impulsive and very angry when provoked."

MOON in Gemini at 00degrees if birth time is correct.

"This location of the Moon gives the subject an agreeable, warm-hearted, sympathetic, humane, progressive and ingenious nature, with the capacity of being very reserved in some matters, but fluent concerning local or national affairs. Strengthens and enlivens the intellect, inclines to literature and gains pleasure from books or scientific pursuits. Gives an active body and a versatile, receptive mind, responsive to new ideas and capable of following artistic, literary or professional occupations.

Dislikes quarreling and warfare. Subject to many changes and some journeys. Through lack of caution or prudence apt to be drawn into embarrassing or difficult positions."

It's interesting that, provided these birth times are correct, Senator Clinton and Senator Obama share a Scorpio ascendant. The interpretation does seem to fit them equally well. Senator Obama's Sun brings more warmth and likeability to his personality, Senator Clinton, on the surface, is a more determined, potentially aggressive, and driven character, yet Pisces Moon tells a different story about her inner self.

The differences can be seen at work "in the flesh", quite easily. And it's a moot point who is better fitted for the specific job in question. Choice is a matter of personal taste, judgement and the viewer's own astrology.

Tomorrow, a look at Republican Senator John McCain.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Candidates - Part I

Political spin is in the air non-stop here in the USA these days. My interest is kept alive by the hope that I'll be able to vote in the presidential election, if called to interview, then oath ceremony, and become a US citizen by early fall.

There are a lot of conflicting messages going the rounds on-line, on TV, in newspapers. There's also plenty of downright nastiness aimed at one or other of the candidates. I'm already tired of that part, so have decided to go back to astrology basics as a way of shutting out the noise, prejudice and other people's viewpoints.

A thumbnail astrological sketch of each candidate is as good a starting point as any. It's amazing that even using the most basic and simple parts of astrology, I can still see it working.

I'm using an old book, "Student Chart Reader of Horoscope Indicators" by Llewellyn George, published in 1934, written by a British born astrologer who emigrated to the USA. Expert interpretations of the candidates' charts by professional astrologers have been carried out already, but this impartial exercise, using textbook interpretations from long ago, unconnected with current affairs, will help clear and focus my own mind, and may be of interest to anyone who is unfamiliar with Llewellyn George's work.

Brief interpretations for Sun, Ascendant and Moon positions, the big three in any natal chart, will be copied exactly as they appear in the book. Other planets, houses and aspects are not part of this thumbnail experiment. Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama and John McCain are the likely contenders, I'll cover them over the next three days.

Ladies first -

October 26 1947, Chicago, Illinois. 8.02am
Natal chart available at AstroFutureTrends

SUN Scorpio
"In Scorpio the Sun gives strong characteristics and shrewd, keen judgment. The Scorpion native is critical, suspicious, skeptical but enterprising, reserved, tenacious, determined and secretive. Fond of luxuries but economical and calculating; restless, energetic, fond of travel especially on water and admires grandeur in nature. Attends to own affairs in business but in matters of duty may make trouble for others. In speech plain, blunt, sarcastic and forceful; in politics or law very aggresseive. At best, original, scientific, sagacious, daring and creative, capable of much success through bold enterprise. Fine engineers, contractors, surgeons, chemists, detectives, and sheriffs are born in this sign."

If 8.02 am is correct time of birth (uncertain)- -Scorpio rising

"Reserved, tenacious, determined and secretive, somewhat inclined to be suspicious or skeptical and stingingly sarcastic. They are quick-witted, quick in speech and action, alert, forceful and positive. They are often blunt, brusque and seemingly fond of contest; nevertheless they make staunch and splendid friends. They possess grit and enterprise that will enable them to reach high attainments. They accomplish their purposes by subtlety and strength of will, or by force if necessary. They have mechanical skill and much constructive (or destructive) quality. They enjoy travel, are fond of investigating mysteries and things occult. Although appreciating luxury, can be very frugal and economical. They are natural detectives, sheriffs, bailiffs, chemists.....gifted for accomplishing things requiring muscular skill or aggressive enterprise. Motive-vital temperament."
"Mental tendencies:
Quick, keen, shrewd, critical, penetrating mind and keen judgment. Strong will and determination; self-reliant, bold, fixed views. A subtle mind, hard to influence, not easily imposed upon, willful, courageous, energetic and active when interested but at other times indolent. Sarcastic or impulsive and very angry when provoked."

MOON in Pisces
( This is going to be the Hillary Clinton we do not see on the public stage!)

"Kind, benevolent, retiring, sympathetic, fond of luxury, comfort, diversity, change, beauty and harmony. Meets with many misfortunes and obstacles which tend to make the native feel irresolute, inert, downhearted and easily discouraged at times. It gives a taste for reading and keen perception of romance, having a powerful and fruitful imagination. As a speaker, writer or composer is copious, fluent, earnest and very correct in details.

Inconstancy is indicated in love affairs; generally has a hard time saving money. If the Sun also is in a watery sign or watery sign ascending the native is likely to grow corpulent.

With the Moon in this location the native is often very receptive, mediumistic or inspirational and responsive to psychic conditions generally. Suffers both physically and mentally through adverse environment, uncongenial surroundings and misunderstanding."

I see that as being a fairly accurate overview. There are many qualities described which would prove invaluable in the fights and difficulties the next US president is bound to face after the inauguration in January 2009.

It'll be Barack Obama's turn tomorrow.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Heretical Thoughts

When comparing tropical and sidereal versions of a natal chart, I've found that often both provide a reasonably accurate interpretation, yet there are around 24 degrees difference between the two zodiac systems.

What if, in both versions of the zodiac, the division into 12 signs, passed to us by ancient astrologers is just too detailed and precise to fit real-life living breathing mortals in the 21st century ?

All the widely used astrological systems stick to the 12 classical sign divisions, Aries through Pisces, apart from Uranian astrology and Harmonics, both of which ignore signs completely and concentrate only on planets. I've found that there's proof enough that the signs have value, but I do get the feeling that there is much more "wiggle room" between them than has always been assumed.

An astrolger, I can't remember the name, once pointed out that "there are no walls in space", how true that is! A longish "blending in" phase between each cusp would result in a more complex system for sure, but one which would follow the rules of nature more nearly. Nature doesn't move abruptly, from one situation or stage, to another, it does so gradually. Even in the case of what seem to us to be abrupt events - earthquakes, hurricanes and such, the causal factors have gradually built up over a period of time, sometimes centuries, sometimes days, but never instantly - on/off.

Any blending-in phase would need to be too long to account for the 24 degrees of difference between tropical and sidereal, using a zodiac of 12 signs. I wonder whether anybody has ever experimented with, say, seven or eight signs, re-interpreting them, using traditional meanings in a subtly different mix.

I've always accepted that astrology is a natural phenomenon, so these thoughts fit my own perception. People who look on astrology as a mathematical phenomenon, or in the realm of the spiritual or metaphysical, or those who stick firmly to the system of the ancients, would not find this view tolerable, I realise that.

Just thinking (heretically)!

"Heresy is another word for freedom of thought"(Graham Greene)

Still on the subject of change, but in an entirely different arena, a question which some may consider equally heretical.

A large part of the population of the USA seems passionate for change, hope, peace and unity, as evidenced by their unbridled enthusiasm for Barack Obama, his promises and policies. How is it, then, that Dennis Kucinich, who offered a Department of Peace, single payer health care plan and other goodies was almost totally ignored by these same people? John Edwards was similarly ignored. He promised to move the country away from the corporate stranglehold in which it now finds itself, which would have been a much bigger and better change than anything Obama envisages. A strange inconsistency here methinks. Neptune in Aquarius & Uranus in Pisces showing perhaps? Fog, illusion, delusion, confusion in the realm of change, and change in the realm of fog, illusion, delusion....

Just wondering!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Almost a Cosmic Order for Obama?

While searching the archives for something else, one of my posts from early last year seemed to jump off the page and yell at me. Mercury is still retrograde for a couple more days, so it's an appropriate time to do a bloggy backtrack. What attracted my eye was an excerpt from Jan Morris's article in UK's Guardian newspaper dated 14 February 2007. Re-reading it now, it seems almost prophetic. Why? Two words Barack Obama.

I've re-arranged and slightly edited the original post, placing the article extract at the beginning, with details about Jan Morris and her astrology following. I've also added a natal chart which didn't appear in the original post last year.


Jan Morris, America & Astrology

Jan Morris, a remarkable woman, British, historian, novelist, traveller and author of some 40 books, wrote a piece about America in the UK's "Guardian" in February of 2007

Quoting the final paragraphs:

"The Great Republic(USA) is great still, full still of decent clever people trying to be good. Even now, it is as free as can be expected, and its democracy is fundamentally honest and robust. It laughs at itself, criticises itself and dislikes itself just as much as we do.

All it needs is someone with a key to unlock that Idea again, and I hope it will be that next president, whoever it is, even now gearing up for the election. Please God, may it be a poetic president. Inspiration has been the true engine of American success, and all its greatest presidents have been people with a divine spark. The dullards may have been efficient, respected or influential, but the Jeffersons and the Roosevelts, the Lincolns and the Kennedys have all been, in their different ways, artists.

So may it be a president with the key of original inspiration who can release the Idea from its occlusion. All the ingredients are still there, after all - the kindness, the imagination, the merriment, the will, the talent, the energy, the goddam orneriness, the plain goodness - all there waiting to burst out once more and bring us back our America, blessed and blessing too."


Born a male, "James", on 2 October 1926 in Clevedon, Somerset, England. In 1949 James Morris married and over the next years fathered five children. In 1972 he underwent a sex change operation in Casablanca and became Jan.

Jan Morris has led an amazingly eventful life, both before and after her transformation - see BBC profile

Her natal chart (set for 12 noon as no time of birth available) shows a Grand Fixed Cross , involving Saturn/Mars in Scorpio/Taurus, and Jupiter/Neptune&(Moon?) in Aquarius/Leo. There's another opposition between Uranus in Pisces and Venus in Virgo. All these aspects point to challenge - fairly intense challenge too as it turned out! The chart does contain some good aspects for an author. Mercury(communication) in Libra is trine Jupiter(publishing planet) in Aquarius, and semisextile disciplined Saturn in Scorpio.

The period around her sex change operation, say between 1970 and 1974, must have been an extraordinarily difficult few years of radical transformation. Uranus conjoined her Sun, and Pluto conjoined her Venus in 1970. Pluto conjoined her Sun in 1974. It would be interesting to know her ascendant.

Jan MorrisFrom her profile, it appears that Jan Morris has certainly lived a life eventful enough for two characters! On the subject of gender she has said:
"To me gender is not physical at all, but is altogether insubstantial. It is soul, perhaps, it is talent, it is taste, it is environment, it is how one feels, it is light and shade, it is inner music"

Friday, February 15, 2008

American Idol Junkies

I've infected HeWhoKnows(the husband) with my own enthusiasm for musical talent shows. I was a great fan of several such programmes on British TV, when I arrived this side of the pond the beat went on, taking a previously oblivious HWK with it. If nothing else, Idol is a welcome break from that other manic contest going on currently in the USA !

Idol 2008 has been in full audition mode for a few weeks and has now reached the stage where numbers have finally been whittled down to 24, in preparation for viewer voting.

There are no birth dates available yet, so contestants' astrology is going to be sparse until later in the series. The positions of slower moving planets could have some bearing on the type of singer a TV audience might favour, over the 3 or four months to come. Pluto and Jupiter will be in Capricorn, with Saturn in Virgo, giving a somewhat Earthy feel for the duration of the contest. I'm wondering if viewers might prefer one of the older contestants this year, Capricorn favours maturity, Saturn in Virgo has a no-frills down to Earth feel too.

Jordin Sparks, last season's winner, was one of the youngest contestants in the 2007 shows. This year there are still some talented young teens around, but those in the late 20s age group might be aided by the more Earthy astrological atmosphere. During the 2007 contest we had Pluto and Jupiter in Sagittarius, with Saturn in Leo, both Fire signs. A different atmosphere prevails for 2008.

Uranus and Neptune in Pisces and Aquarius respectively, remain in mutual reception , as they were throughout last year's contest. This combination should aid creativity for those most sensitive to the influence, depending on individual natal charts.

These are names of stand-out singers we'll be watching for as the season progresses, culled from Michael Giltz's article HERE.

"Michael Johns (age 28) -- the raspy voiced dude who sang "Bohemian Rhapsody," which was another terrible idea (I thought) until he delivered a really confident rendition.

Syesha Mercado -- very cute contestant who struggled all week with a hoarse voice. She nailed Aretha's "Chain Of Fools" to say the least and also looks like a lock for the final 12.

David Archuleta -- the 16 year old Tiger Beat cover boy of the future (and by future I mean three months from now). Totally adorable in an aw shucks way. How can you not like someone who talks about "that tingly feeling" he gets when an audition goes well. All the judges want to adopt him and so will all of America. He sang "Heaven" by Bryan Adams, which I thought would be too old and slow for him but he sang it confidently."

Thursday, February 14, 2008


With Venus, Jupiter and Pluto in Capricorn, and Saturn in Virgo, Valentine's Day this year is likely to have a pretty down to Earth feel about it. Moon and Mars in Gemini, with Mercury in Aquarius ought to lighten things up though.

To celebrate the day, we're intending drive up Mount Scott, in the nearby Wichita Mountains. Then we'll visit a wildlife refuge close by the mountains, an appropriately earthy venue, and a trip we had to postpone from Christmas Day when we both had the 'flu.

To further mark Valentine's Day, in time honoured fashion, a home-made offering to readers who find themselves here, by accident or design. Thank you for your visit.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

All you need is....

Valentine's Day comes around again tomorrow. The day used to have a peculiar feel for me. My long-ago first husband was called Valentino, after the saint who gave this day its name. The marriage was the complete antithesis of anything connected with "his day". I'm happy to report that I learned some lessons and became a better picker. Two good 'uns out of three ain't bad!

My old stand-by "Encyclopedia of Psychological Astrology", by British astrologer of the 20th century, C.E.O. Carter, is now rapidly falling apart, but before I administer sticky-tape, a search for his take on that elusive commodity LOVE:

Mr Carter had this to say:-

"LOVE. I have been gently criticized for omitting to mention this emotion in former editions. Perhaps the reason was that the word is used in so many senses as to be almost valueless.

It seems, however, that Love always implies an attachment to something or somebody and a desire to enjoy its, his or her presence and this is equally true whether the object is, perhaps, a house or country or a person. In a word, Love produces or seeks to produce happiness through association with something or somebody and so comes naturally under Venus, Libra and the 7th house. If these are well configured, the attachment fulfils its promise and does produce happiness; if otherwise, only sorrow and disappointment result.

A second characteristic of Love is that it seeks to benefit the object of its affection even to the extent of great personal danger or self-denial. This would appear to be a matter mainly of the Sun, and it is indeed true that Leo is a great lover and in the good types ready to give much to the beloved in affection and service.

Sexual love or desire I should place chiefly under the Sun; but it seems likely that several planetary values might enter into this condition, according to the underlying motives in particular cases. For example, the flirt desires to exercise power over a man, whilst an instinct to hold and possess may be stronger in a man than the anticipation of actual physical enjoyment. And so on."

Mr. Carter's views are a little behind the times for the 21st century, with regard to his last thought. In these days of equal opportunity, flirts come in all three genders, and the idea that man's best aim is "holding and possessing" left the building long ago. I'm sure, though, that Mr Carter was spot on with the astrology.

In my own case, Mercury is the only resident of 7th house trining Neptune, squaring Moon and semi-sextiling Venus. The square to Moon from Mercury in 7th may be the reason for a remark in the first astrologer's interpretation I ever bought, back in the 1970s. The astrologer informed me that I may find that romantic associations end in disappointment (or words to that effect). I'd already been there and done that, by then. An unfortunate pattern doesn't need to repeat itself though. There were a few more, non-binding, bad choices and consequent minor disappointments, but I became a little more aware with each one. When it came to making serious long-term commitments, the pattern didn't repeat itself. The mildly helpful aspect of Mercury to Venus probably helped.

Marcus Aurelius, that wise old Roman Emperor and philosopher had some good advice on the topic of love:

"Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart."

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Astro-retro Fashions ? - No, no, no!

Judy Licht's article "The Frill of It All" alerted me to an upcoming fashion trend of which we are unaware, here in the sticks of deepest Oklahoma. Not that it'll affect the way we women dress in these parts, but it's interesting that fashion is trying (allegedly)to hark back to looks embraced in the 1950s and early 1960s.

From Judy Licht's article:
"Another Fashion Week here in New York, another frenzy. But hidden in all the hairspray, hubbub and hilarious air kisses are clues not only to what we'll be wearing next season, but what that says about us as a society right now, what we're feeling, and where we may be heading. Fashion historians have long known that clothes are just as accurate a barometer of the culture for which they're created as any political or literary histories.

O.K...So what are they saying this time???? Everybody is craving comfort clothes. No, not the soft stuff you wear on the weekends. We mean the kind that reminds everyone of the late fifties and the early sixties, the last time, it seems, when everything was truly right with the world. The last age of innocence. With an economy that seems scary, but still a bit of an enigma; an election that for the first time in decades seems to be providing an unknown factor (i.e., choices), everyone wants it to be simple again. ..................... great trilby hats and slim single breasted suits for men..they've embraced the sheaths, the full skirts, swing coats and sweaters that screamed oh so subtle under-the-girdled-sex, for-women."

Oh dear! I well remember the circular skirts, and the hobbling sheaths which required contortionist-like skills for the wearer to be able to sit down at all, nevemind elegantly. And the required matching shoes, gloves and handbag. Not that again, please!

"Simple", the author said. Simple it ain't. Trust me, I'm old enough to know from experience!

Anyway, back to astrology - two of the outer planets, thought to influence the collective: Uranus (change, inventiveness, novelty) and Neptune (imagination, creativity, dreams) - correspond with the ingredients involved in fashion trends.

Using tropical zodiac, and covering the period mentioned in Judy Licht's article, from early 1950s to 1956 Uranus was in Cancer, Neptune in Libra. From 1957 to 1962 Uranus was in Leo, Neptune in Scorpio.

The fifties followed a decade of grinding restrictions affecting almost everything, including clothing in Europe and, to a lesser extent in the USA. In Britain people were allocated "clothing coupons" a form of rationing. When World War 2 was over, the fashion industry re-grouped, and by 1950 it seemed like party-time for them.

Uranus moving from comfortable, homely Cancer into more extrovert and showy Leo, and Neptune slipping from elegant Libra to passionate Scorpio heralded some style changes during the later part of the period in question.

Circular skirts and easy little dresses, (a la Doris Day) characterise the easy, homely "apple-pie" phase, of Cancer/Libra, followed by Audrey Hepburn's and Jackie Kennedy's sleeker, more sophisticated looks during the phase of Leo/Scorpio.

"Sweaters and under-the-girdled sex", said Judy Licht...she obviously hasn't experienced the reality, which had more in common with suits of armour and chastity belts!

Currently Uranus is in Pisces and Neptune in Aquarius. I'm surprised that fashion needs to look backward for inspiration during this astrological atmosphere. Neptune and Aquarius in mutual reception (in each other's ruling sign) ought to be breeding creativity of the highest kind.

Why would fashionistas want to look back to this era? It's a mystery. Perhaps the designers promoting these looks have heavy retrograde influence in their natal charts. Some clients and customers may fall in love with these looks, but I suspect it will be a short-lived affair. It's definitely not for me - I'll parody Amy Winehouse:

They’re tryin to make me go to the fifties
I said no, no, no!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Astrology & The Healing Blues

On Saturday evening I was introduced to a genre of music of which I'd not previously taken much heed - The Blues. Janiva Magness was the featured performer at our local theatre. She has a wonderful, strong voice and is a great performer - she reminded me a little of Tina Turner, with shades of Janis Joplin. Her birth data is elusive, it's a pity, for her story is interesting. She has had much sadness and many obstacles in her life, and found refuge in singing the blues at an early age. She mentioned several times during the evening that she holds a deep belief that music is healing - especially blues music.

There's a YouTube interview with Janiva with some details of her lifestory HERE.

Here she sings a heart-wrenching song "You Were Never Mine" .
Not all blues are as melancholy as this - they can also be bitchy, sexy and downright naughty!

Blues music is such a well defined genre, I wondered if some of its best known stars might have something in common astrologically. As Ed Kopp wrote in "A Brief History of the Blues" :

"When you think of the blues, you think about misfortune, betrayal and regret. You lose your job, you get the blues. Your mate falls out of love with you, you get the blues. Your dog dies, you get the blues.

While blues lyrics often deal with personal adversity, the music itself goes far beyond self-pity. The blues is also about overcoming hard luck, saying what you feel, ridding yourself of frustration, letting your hair down, and simply having fun. The best blues is visceral, cathartic, and starkly emotional. From unbridled joy to deep sadness, no form of music communicates more genuine emotion.

The blues has deep roots in American history, particularly African-American history. The blues originated on Southern plantations in the 19th Century. Its inventors were slaves, ex-slaves and the descendants of slaves - African-American sharecroppers who sang as they toiled in the cotton and vegetable fields. It's generally accepted that the music evolved from African spirituals, African chants, work songs, field hollers, rural fife and drum music, revivalist hymns, and country dance music."

What astrological factors does that bring to mind? Saturn aspects, mainly with Mercury (communication - which includes singing). Saturn says angst, difficult times, barriers.... next, some emotional depth - Moon and its aspects, Water signs, perhaps a lot of negative (Yin) polarity.(Wikipedia: "Yin "shady place, cloudy, overcast; the dark element: it is passive, dark, feminine, negative, downward-seeking, consuming and corresponds to the night.")

I picked the first three names HWK (my husband) suggested as quintessential blues singers - B.B. King, Robert Johnson, and Muddy Waters, and looked at their natal charts. No times of birth are available for any of them, which severely limits any search for Moon aspects and house positions, so I looked mainly for Saturn aspects, Water, and polarity in their charts.

B.B. King, born 16 September 1925, Itta Bena, Mississippi.

Saturn sextiles Mercury and possibly Moon, (which could be anywhere from 1 to 12 Virgo). Jupiter trines Mercury. There's a loose Grand Trine in Water linking Pluto, Uranus and Saturn. Negative polarity dominates positive 9 to 1!

Robert Johnson, born 8 May, 1911, Hazlehurst, Mississippi.

Saturn conjunct Mercury and 7 degrees from Sun, Saturn opposes Jupiter and sextiles Mars.Moon would be in Virgo and possibly in trine to Sun/Mercury/Saturn if born before 10pm.Grand Trine in Water, Jupiter/Mars/Neptune. Negative polarity dominates positive 8 to 2.

Muddy Waters born 4 April 1915 , Rolling Fork, Mississippi. (Note: Wikipedia's stated birth year, 1913, for Muddy Waters should be 1915 according to the above linked bio.)

Saturn squares Mercury/Mars. Moon in Sagittarius (degree uncertain) might well oppose Saturn in Gemini.
Water predominates, negative beats positive polarity 6 to 4. Stellium in Watery Pisces.

Conclusion: Saturn aspects Mercury in all three charts. Negative (Yin) polarity dominates in all cases. The element of Water is a big factor in all three charts, via Grand Trine or stellium.

The blues these men sing, or sang, are traditional in style, Janiva Magness' blues are a more contemporary version, but still with the same key ingredients.

One of my husband's photographs from Saturday night (click to enlarge):