Thursday, April 30, 2009


Swine 'flu pandemic? Oh joy! Yet another verse to add to our current song of woe.

I suppose it's not too surprising that something like this should emerge just now. The astrological "atmosphere" is ripe for anything doomy and gloomy. Pluto in Capricorn, Saturn more or less opposite Uranus, both send less than optimistic messages to our astrologers. But both may have potential to turn things around... later, and to our advantage, once the initial stages have passed. Pluto draws out what's harmful, causes discomfort, but then allows healing to take place. Saturn and Uranus struggle to find balance between rigidity and flux. There really isn't a true point of balance, but out of the struggle will emerge something new, different, and possibly better.

We're in a cycle of astro weather, and it will pass just as the tornado season here in middle America will pass. Most nights this week excitable TV announcers and weathermen have been threatening us with "hail the size of golf balls", potential rotations which could turn tornado-ish at the drop of a hat.... "go to the safest part of your house......." they tell us. The husband advises me that the safest part of our house is the liquor cabinet, so.....! We've missed most of the worst of it, thus far, but we'd best not start getting complacent. I feel nostalgic, at times like these, for the measured, reassuring tones of BBC news readers. I am thankful, though, for the technology which allows the weather people here to track storms and troublemaking weather so closely, giving us plenty of warning of imminent disaster.

Tornado watches, 'flu watches, the economy, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Rush Limbaugh....We should remain calm but vigilant, careful but serene, wash our hands a lot and.... yes...avoid spreading panic and paranoia.

Let's go along with Dr. Seuss:

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”

Oh - nearly forgot - it's our 5th wedding anniversary today! At least there are no troubles there!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How Did I Get Here?

That recent question at Plinky Prompts had me digging around in the archives. I'd written a post, some years ago, about what brought me to astrology blogging. I took the long way around - not always the pretty way - but it got me here in the end.

Some of what follows is a condensed post from 2006, my earliest blogging days, brightened with the addition of a few pics, edited and dusted down.

MY JOURNEY INTO ASTROLOGY (from 10 November 2006).

Astrology has played some part in my life for over 50 years. For the greater part of that time my knowledge was sketchy at best. I strained to understand a world beyond Sun signs, but had difficulty accessing information. In my younger years things were very different from now. The Astrology Bandwagon proper had not yet started to roll - no computers, no internet. I lived in England in a small town where the library and book shop carried no books on astrology.

As the 1950s moved into the 60s then the 70s, things began to look up. Hippies, their culture, New Age, and "Hair" the musical with the song "The Age of Aquarius" brought astrology into public focus. By now I'd moved from small town Yorkshire. I puzzled over the fact that my marriage to a Libra Sun person failed dismally, when Aquarius and Libra were thought to be such an excellent match. I started reading more books and any specialised magazines I could find. Nothing I read enabled me to get much beyond Sun sign astrology. I was hampered by my blind-spot in mathematics. Trying to calculate a natal chart from written instructions with nobody to ask for advice was too daunting a task.

In the early 70s, with a new relationship, a stable emotional background, home base in the northern city of Leeds, and a job in the civil service, a new era for me began. Amongst colleagues at work were 3 who shared my interest in astrology, and tarot. At last I had someone with whom to share ideas.

I bought my first astrology report in the early 1970s, from a an advert in an astrology magazine. The report was expensive, and took a long time to arrive. It was produced on a typewriter which had seen better days - uneven type and fading ink upon three foolscap sheets of good quality blue paper. I remember its appearance very clearly, but no longer have it - lost along with all of our possessions in an horrendous fire in 1996. That report gave me my very first information about the other planets in my natal chart. The astrologer estimated, from the vague information I'd provided, that Leo was rising at my birth. I laboured for years under the misapprehension that I had Leo rising.

Astrology content in newspapers had increased by this time in both quality and quantity. Russell Grant had a column in the Daily Mirror - a tabloid which my partner insisted on buying because it was the only British left-wing newspaper then, apart from the rather snooty Guardian. In those days Russell Grant was doing well as a leading newspaper astrologer, and I enjoyed his writing.

I don't remember exactly how or when I discovered Jonathan Cainer's column. Perhaps it was in a women's magazine, or a Sunday newspaper. I immediately felt that this was the astrologer to watch. When he took over from Russell Grant at the Daily Mirror I was overjoyed ! He later moved on to the Daily Mail, we moved to the Mail too.

Just why I was so keen on these Sun sign columns, I'm not sure. I knew that there was much more to astrology, yet the newspaper columns presented something to hold on to, something day by day helping to keep astrology alive for me. Perhaps I was holding on instinctively, until I reached the point of being able to discover more for myself.

That point of discovery came with my first home computer, purchased at the end of 2001, and later with the acquisition of astrology software. By then my life had changed. I'd married Himself and moved to live in the USA. Because of everything I'd absorbed, knowingly and unknowingly over 50 years, learning enough to fill the many gaps in my knowledge came with comparative ease, with the help of a brief course, and lots of secondhand astrology books.

That's how I got into astrology. Blogging followed. I'd grown bored of contributing to astrology message boards, and wanted to try my hand at a spot of writing, without expecting many - or any - readers to find my blog. Initially I simply wanted to practice writing about a subject which has always fascinated me, and wrote just to please myself. I still write, primarily, to please myself, but it's a very welcome bonus to know that somebody else reads what I've produced.

It was through the kindness of the (then) small band of existing astrology bloggers that I was gently shepherded in to the group.
Jeffrey Kishner, Elsa, April and Barbara all generously welcomed me into the fold. And here I've stayed, aiming to write daily for exercise, experience and discipline. The discipline part must come from Mercury in Capricorn - Aquarius Sun enjoys freedom much too much to be disciplined!

I'll always feel grateful to my blogging colleagues for their early encouragement. Grateful too for readers who pass by, either regularly or accidentally, and find anything of interest here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


If what I've read is correct, American Idol this week has a theme which pleases me no end: "standards made famous by members of the original Rat Pack".

Adam Lambert, Danny Gokey, Kris Allen, Allison Iraheta and Matt Giraud will take us on a nostalgic journey through what could be some of the best ballads ever written - or then again, their choices might turn out to be surprisingly inappropriate.

This is my own favourite genre - "the standard" sung, or swung, with either a jazzy swagger, or deeply felt wrenching emotion - especially as it was portrayed by my all-time greatest idol, Frank Sinatra. Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Junior, other singing Rat Pack members, also have their own repertoire of great songs from which the contestants could choose.

It's interesting that we have three contestants with Sun in Taurus in the final five. (Taurus is ruled by Venus, planet of music and the arts). I'm still rooting strongly for Adam and his quirky Aquarian styling - he is unique! Susan Boyle - eat your heart out!!

Let's see now - Adam Lambert, my favourite of the Idol Pack: early Aquarian with Moon in Aries (me too!) What would suit him this week, a slow moody ballad or a swingin' swaggerin' song? He has done a couple of slower, moody heart-wrenching songs in recent shows, it's probably time for something more up-tempo. I'd love to hear him sing "I'm a Fool To Want You" - he won't, it's another slow one. He could work up "Witchcraft" into something special with his own brand of pizzazz though - or "I Get a Kick Out of You", "I've got you Under My Skin" - all would bend to Adam's quirky styling. Or how about the ubiquitous "My Way" - very Aquarian! Or Sammy Davis's "I've Gotta Be Me"?

Danny Gokey: Sun in Taurus, Moon in either late Leo or early Virgo - my second favourite. He has the voice and attitude to do justice to almost any Sinatra song. I hope he chooses Sinatra. So many lovely songs : "It Was A Very Good Year", "September Song", "Laura", the list is endless for a singer like Danny.

Kris Allen, Gemini/Cancer cusp, is fairly light, middle-of-the road-ish, can sing well, though is not often breath-takingly good. He could manage either moody ballad or swaggering style: "Fly Me To The Moon", "Summer Wind", "Girl From Ipanema" - would all be good choices. Dean Martin's "Arriverderci Roma" would be something a bit different for him - though hardly a "standard" in the true sense.

Allison Iraheta, another Taurus Sun, but this Taurus has attitude! She reminds me of a young Janis Joplin. Difficult choice here - "Ain't that a Kick In the Head" springs immediately to mind - it was sung by all 3 of the Rat Pack, at different times I think; I like Sammy's version best. "Somethin' Stupid" might work for her, I guess, or even "My Way". I can't imagine Allison singing a ballad, but she could suprise us - she should, to display her versatility. What if she comes up with a really smoky version of "It's quarter to 3, noone in the place 'cept you and me....." (One For My Baby and One For The Road) - but that would hardly be suitable for her tender 16 years!

And so finally, to Matt Giraud, the third Taurus Sun, with Moon more than likely in Aquarius. He has already worn a hat, almost Sinatra-style, for his performances on several occasions. He's quite capable of doing a creditable version of any swinging song made famous by the Rat Pack Members: "Baby Won't you Please Come Home" (Dean Martin), Chicago (Sinatra), "I've Got To Be Me" (Davis), alternatively he's capable of something slower and moodier - "My Funny Valentine", "Drinking Again", "All My Tomorrows"......sigh!

I really don't care what they choose to sing - it's all good, and they're all good enough to do justice to some of the best songs ever written!

This, I shall enjoy!


What they sang, in this order, and my marks out of 10 (written down before the judges spoke)

1. Kris - The Way You Look Tonight - 7
2. Allison - Someone to Watch Over Me - 9
3. Matt - My Funny Valentine - 6
4. Danny - Come Rain or Come Shine - 8
5. Adam - Feeling Good - 10

Simon Cowell seems to be trying to get rid of Allison, for some peculiar reason, trying to direct viewers' votes. She was definitely second best after Adam tonight. Adam is simply amazing.!!

I thought the band was too loud over Danny's song - badly balanced, otherwise it might have sounded a lot better and worth 9.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Magnetism & Imitation

My old copy of R.H. Naylor's "Home Astrology", around 70 years old, pages yellowing and brittle, is still a source of interest, as part and parcel of the history of popular astrology. I've mentioned the book previously, here. Picking it up last evening, opening it at random seeking inspiration for today's post, I read these words:

"Some people are naturally magnetic, i.e. others are blindly attracted to them. This power of attraction often appears to be entirely independent of physical appeal or character".

Mr. Naylor goes on later to warn that,
" There is no greater enemy of personal magnetism than the modern passion for imitation. The young people of today are so busy trying to model themselves upon their favourite film star, theatrical celebrity or public figure, that they forget to be themselves."

Ah! Mr. Naylor (wherever you are - probably in that great astrology conference in the sky), it was ever thus, and will be for ever more, I suspect!

"BE YOURSELF" he says "The real you is quite unlike anybody else, and for just that reason, it is naturally attractive."

Digging deeper into astrology than the Sun Sign, it becomes blindingly obvious how unique - and I do mean unique in its literal sense - each of us is. Nobody else is born in exactly the same place at exactly the second you took your first breath. Not even your twin, if you have one. Every living thing on this Earth is unique. Every dead thing, too, come to think of it.

It's hard advice to take, for a young person though - not to imitate others. Imitation is part of how we, as humans, and creatures of the Earth learn. We watch our parents and siblings, and imitate them. Later we read and watch, and imitate when we write our first letter, or draw our first scrawly piece of artwork. Almost every great writer or artist has been inspired by someone else before them. That's just the way life is.

I clearly recall, in my schooldays, trying to copy somebody else's style of handwriting, because my natural style didn't please me. The school mistress fairly quickly recognised what I was up to, and gave me a lecture along the lines of Mr. Naylor's advice. I felt squashed and embarrassed for a while, but little by little I adjusted my handwriting, until, though it did retain whispers of the style I'd so admired, it was different, and solely my own.

What I think Mr. Naylor was really saying is that, however much we admire and wish to emulate another person, we should aim not to be a carbon copy. I guess nowadays that would be better expressed as "photocopy" - carbon paper having long since been re-categorised as "antique".

Although each of us is unique, we do have close relationships, astrologically, with many around us. It's not at all surprising that we latch on to a certain style - or a certain smile - attached to someone whose planetary blueprint complements our own. What I find absolutely fascinating is how this can happen without knowing anything about the other person. That's the "magnetism" which Mr. Naylor mentions so often in his book.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Susan Boyle Phenomenon

I'm back. So, what did I miss? The never-ending Susan Boyle razzamatazz springs immediately to mind. I didn't really miss it though. How could I? Each time I switched on the TV in the several motels where we hung our hats last week, in New Mexico, Arizona, Texas - there she was!

It's quite obvious to me, now, that the whole thing, this side of the Atlantic, is a huge set-up. Probably being used as a prelude and "come-on" for the new season of America's Got Talent, due in the near future.

That is not to detract from the fact that Susan Boyle has a lovely voice. But then, so have thousands, perhaps millions of ordinary women (and men) across this and other lands. Susan is the one who has drawn the short straw. I say "short straw" because, now, I fear for her. Lines from one of the musicals, in which I suspect Susan dreams of appearing, keep drumming in my head whenever I see her face on the screen:

Eva beware of the city
It's hungry and cold, can't be controlled, it is mad
Those who are fools are swallowed up whole
And those who are not become what they should not become
Changed, in short, they go bad.

Bad is good for me
I'm bored, so clean, and so ignored
I've only been predictable, respectable
Birds fly out of here, so why oh why oh why the hell can't I?
I only want variety, of society....

But - what of the astrology?

Just about everything which could have been said about her chart has already been written by professionals - after that little matter of correct date of birth was cleared up. She's a 1st of April 1961 gal, after all, it seems. Born in Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland at 9.50am.

A couple of tidbits which seem particularly pertinent to me, and which I haven't yet noticed mentioned elsewhere, are these:

Susan's natal Mars is at 13.35 Cancer, if birthtime is correct it's in the first degree of her second House of earnings, money and possessions. Sirius (14.05 Cancer), brightest star in our skies is conjunct her Mars.

"Sirius is traditionally described as exhibiting the qualities of both Mars and Jupiter; among other things it awakens the jovian qualities of ambition, pride, fame, leadership, wealth and emotionality, but is also noted for the martial qualities of fires, drought, and danger through impetuosity. "

So, perhaps throughout those fairly drab, uneventful, and probably impecunious years, Sirius had a little something stowed away up his sleeve for our Susan!

There's also the matter of her natal Pluto lying conjunct North Node of the Moon, an ultra-sensitive point in any natal chart. I came across the following when reading about Jim Morrison's chart last night, after watching a DVD of "Doors". We'd picked it up in a junk shop on our journey home:

"World-renowned artists often have Pluto powerfully placed in their charts, for the planet also signifies where the potential to influence of the mass of humanity lies within the chart. Amongst its other functions it acts as some sort of collective tap-root. Examples of sixties icons with strong Pluto placements abound; the Beatles all had hard Moon or Mars aspects to Pluto, Beach Boy Brian Wilson has it conjunct his Sun/Moon midpoint, Mick Jagger has Pluto conjunct his Sun and Bob Dylan has Pluto sextile Sun."(Link)

The producers of Britian's Got Talent had obviously been strongly affected by Susan and had sensed the impact she'd have on the general public - especially the American public, well known for tending to be over-emotional and excitable if properly stimulated!

Et voila! We have a phenomenon.

I hope that Susan's Saturn in Capricorn (its own sign) will do its bit in keeping her feet on the ground in coming months and years. Those lyrics from "Evita" keep on drumming in my mind!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Bull of Taurus & A Trip

Aries has almost run its allotted span for this time around. Taurus edges ever closer. Whereas The Ram seems a vaguely appropriate symbol for Aries, I often think that The Bull seems nowhere near as appropriate for Taurus. The zodiac sign Taurus is ruled by planet Venus - quite incompatible with bullishness I'd have thought.

Taurus is one of the three Earth signs, and is Fixed in quality, from whence the Taurus reputation for stubbornness arises, it's not alone in this though. Aquarius, Scorpio and Leo are all Fixed signs and also tend towards obstinacy.

Perhaps an image of a bull with its four feet planted immovably upon Mother Earth could be said to represent Fixed Earth well enough, but what of the musical and/or artistic talent Taurus also represents, a reflection of ruling planet Venus? A more Venusian symbol for Taurus would be nice - a flute, a mandolin or a flower, even.

For a rather wordy, but enlightening run-down on the characteristics of Taurus, one cannot do better than read the words of astrologer C.E.O. Carter. The article is vintage 1957, some of the references seem dated, but the heart of the piece remains very relevant, 52 years after it was written.

I may as well repeat my monthly reminder here: there really is no such creature as....."a Taurus". Neighbouring signs can colour Sun in Taurus traits, almost beyond recognition. Aries and Gemini characteristics may be prominent in a person with natal Sun in Taurus, courtesy of Mercury and/or Venus placements. These personal planets can never be more than one or two signs away from the Sun's position. Taurus modified by either or both Gemini and Aries becomes a very different animal from that staid, conservative, earthy, reliable, stubborn yet artistic or musical individual so often expected from reading about Taurus alone. The occasional person with Sun, Mercury, Venus, Moon and ascendant all in Taurus might display more stereotypical Taurean traits, but people of this type are few and far between.

Posted around this time last year, I gave a couple of real-life examples of the above, from my own life story - (link).

I won't be posting again on Learning Curve for several days. We're setting off tomorrow morn on a road trip, heading west. Jupiter, planet of travel (and luck) is sitting on my relocated ascendant just now - that's nice!

We'll follow the path of old Route 66, between Oklahoma City and a point somewhere east of Flagstaff, Arizona. The Painted Desert and Petrified Forest in eastern Arizona are our proposed destination - though knowing my navigation skills, we might finish up somewhere entirely different. Trips like this are always a great adventure, and a blank page waiting to be filled.

Maybe I'll post a few thoughts and photos from my own (new) camera on my other blog pages "THE REST OF IT", as we progress on the trip. That's a link for any passing reader who'd like to check. Normal service will be resumed on this blog in around a week's time. ~~~~~~~ Byeeeee!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Arty Farty Friday ~ Robert Frank ~ Capturing Real Life

A look at another photographer this week: Robert Frank. His work is classed as "street photography". He's most famous for the photographs in his two books "The Americans", and "The Lines On My Hand".
(Portrait of Robert Frank, left, in his house in Nova Scotia1969-1971 by Walker Evans)

Born in Switzerland, he spent much of his adult life in America. He came to realise that the reality of America was (and is) far different from the myth, The American Dream. Nowadays this is more widely appreciated, though less well known in the 1950s when Mr Franks was wielding his camera throughout the states, depicting a vastly different story from that offered in some of Norman Rockwell's lovely illustrations. America had, and still has, two sides.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the publication of Robert Franks seminal photo book The Americans, the National Gallery of Art organized a comprehensive exhibit of his work. Read more at

An unconsoling portrait of his adopted country, the 83 photographs in the book are a record of the Swiss-born Frank's on-the-road travels in 1955 and 1956. It is a country of empty highways and drained faces in barrooms, divided by race and income. Frank's people seem bereft, beaten. It's a portrait by an outsider identifying to his fingertips with other outsiders.

The pictures rewrote the rules of photography, and a comfortable living. Their blurry casualness and tilted frames jazzed nearly every photographer of note to come along in the 60's. Visual motifs hold "The Americans" together -- jukeboxes, crucifixes, cars, televisions -- and the Stars and Stripes flutters throughout the pages like a tattered ghost. The book galvanized successive waves of artists, and not just photographers. Tune in to any beautifully bleak, high-grain, low-definition MTV video and you're probably watching refracted Robert Frank.
(From NYT Magazine)

Frank's photographs from Wales, England and elsewhere appear in his second book. His sharp insight, cuttingly critical at times, but with innate compassion and an artist's eye, provides much to enlighten future generations.

Born 9 November 1924 in Zurich, Switzerland. Time of birth unknown, 12 noon chart below.

It's a Watery chart, with Grand Trine linking and blending the Scorpio, Pisces and Cancer planets.
Here is incisive insight from Scorpio, compassion, sensitivity and artistic imagination from Cancer and Pisces. He has Fire energy too, sufficient to propel him to the success he achieved - this is reflected by his Aries Moon (whatever his time of birth), Jupiter in Sagittarius ( strong its own sign) and generational Neptune in Leo. Depending on time of birth the Fire planets could form a second Grand Trine.

The characteristics of his older years, described in the extract from Vanity Fair, below, stem from that Scorpio cluster, and possibly from his unknown ascending sign.

Frank Roberts is 84 now. From Vanity Fair (here)
"He has reached that age when a man does not have to apologize for his cruelties, his eccentricities, or his grooming habits. His prints have sold for more than a half-million dollars, but he shambles around looking like a Bowery bum. He has by turns been described by people who do not know him as ornery, reclusive, hard, manipulative to the point of destructive, and cold as a bowling ball. He rarely gives interviews. He speaks in short, elliptical snatches and views life with the detached outlook of an undertaker. He came to China to have a look before he dies. “To travel the road of possibilities,” he said. “Turn on a whole new audience.” "

"As he traveled around the country in 1955–56 making the photographs that would constitute his landmark book, The Americans, Frank's impression of America changed radically. He found less of the freedom and tolerance imagined by postwar Europeans, and more alienation and racial prejudice simmering beneath the happy surface. His disillusionment is poignantly embodied in this image of a disheveled African-American man disengaged from the crowd and asleep in a fetal position amid the debris of an Independence Day celebration on Coney Island."

This was one of the last still photographs Frank made before he devoted his creative energy to filmmaking in the early 1960s. As such, it may be interpreted as an elegy to still photography; the lone figure functions as a surrogate for Frank himself, as he turned his back on Life-like photojournalism to concentrate on the more personal, dreamlike imagery of his films."

"It's not the pretty or the sweet life, but the real life I looked for and got."(Robert Frank).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Eventful Aries Cycle

Glancing down Wikipedia's list of events for this day in previous years, I noticed that it had been a particularly disastrous day, with high loss of lives. Three notable examples:

1945 – More than 7,000 die when the German refugee ship Goya is sunk by a Soviet submarine torpedo.

1947 – Texas City Disaster: An explosion on board a freighter in port causes the city of Texas City, Texas, to catch fire, killing almost 600

2007 – Virginia Tech massacre: The deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. The gunman, Seung-Hui Cho, shoots 32 people to death and injures 23 others before committing suicide

Searching further, I came across astrologer Jan Warren's article from last year:

I notice, too, that Jan has a more recent article on this topic:

Let us hope, and will, that 2009 will not provide any futher addition to those awful lists of events.

I dislike ending on a depressing note. There are a couple of events from today in history which reflect another side of Aries: the leader, the "firsts", these deserve a mention:

16 April 1912 – Harriet Quimby becomes the first woman to fly an airplane across the English Channel. Beautiful lady! Tragically she died in an aircraft accident on 1 July the same year.

16 April 1943 - Albert Hofmann, a Swiss scientist best known for having been, on this day, the first to synthesize, ingest and learn of the psychedelic effects of lysergic acid diethylamide aka LSD. Whether this was, in general, A Good Thing, is a moot point, but it was a "first".

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I read recently in our local newspaper that Halliburton have started laying-off employees. It seems that no company is immune from current financial problems - even this giant. Digging around in the archive files I came across my February 2007 post about Halliburton. I've wiped away a few cobwebs, added chart and photograph of the man himself, and now give it a re-airing:


What follows is the result of a walk in the park on a sunny winter's afternoon. I stopped for a photograph by a statue, and thereby hangs a tale!

Halliburton is a dirty word these days. Not many can find a good thing to say about the company, perhaps for very good reason. It was not always so though, and nowhere is it more apparent than in this small Oklahoma town where Erle P. Halliburton established the headquarters of his first company in 1919.

One of the inscriptions on his statue (left) reads:

"Erected 1993, in memory of a man who left an indelible impression on Duncan and Stephens County. He touched the lives of many people, no only as the county’s largest employer, but as a perpetually inquisitive person whose technical inspirations became legends in the oil industry around the world. His deep and abiding concern for the welfare of the people of this area and is remembered fondly."

Erle P. Halliburton was born in Henning, Tennessee on 22 September 1892. (No time of birth known, chart below set for 12 noon).

Sun conjunct Saturn may account for many of the characteristics highlighted in the extract which follows. It's said that this conjunction can indicate the "self-made man" who has succeeded through sheer hard work and determination." An abundance of Air and positive polarity in his chart endowed him with an agile mind - quick in thought, determined in action. There's a Grand Trine in Air linking Sun/Saturn in Libra to Mars in Aquarius to Neptune/Pluto in Libra. These Airy and helpful links emphasise Mr. Halliburton's innate intelligence, inventive talent, and ease in dealing with all things intellectual.

The chart also likely contains a "Mystic Rectangle" - a configuration consisting of two oppositions Mars/Venus and Moon/Jupiter (depending on time of birth) with trines and sextiles joining these Air and Fire planets.

Kevin B.Burk, astrologer, says this about mystic rectangle configurations:
"Once an individual has integrated a Mystic Rectangle, it represents a core of strength for them, and a solid foundation that can be a great gift in handling whatever else life throws at them."

The generational Pluto/Neptune in Gemini conjunction is a part of the Air Grand Trine mentioned above, Neptune is connected, astrologically, to oil - very fitting!

A short extract follows. It comes from Dan Briody's book "The Halliburton Agenda: The Politics of Oil and Money" The passages highlighted in red relate rather well to the astrological factors I've mentioned above.

"Before there was a $13 billion company, before the World Wars and the Texas oil boom, before there were pet presidents and vice presidents, campaign contributions and gov ernment contracts, union busting and sanction dodging, there was simply a man, fiercely struggling to escape poverty, doggedly pursuing his piece of America's manifest destiny. At the time of his birth, September 22, 1892, in a small farming town on the outskirts of Memphis, Tennessee, the name Erle Palmer Halliburton stirred no national emotion. It held no political intrigue. It had no impact on government or business. It was only the name of one of five sons of Edwin Gray Halliburton, an anonymous jack-of-all-trades, who would not live to see Erle's thirteenth birthday. Halliburton, as a name, meant virtually nothing to anyone outside of Henning, Tennessee. But Erle Halliburton was determined to change all of that.

As a young boy, Erle Halliburton showed a natural inclinaion toward mechanics, often dismantling and reassembling devices for pure recreation. While boys his age in Henning were playing with toy trucks in sand boxes, Erle was tinkering with gears and repairing simple machines. His curiosity drove him to understand how things worked. He was an excellent student, completing both elementary and high school courses over an eight-year span by age fourteen. Yet, even then, Erle Halliburton was uninterested in the idle trappings of youth. In what would become one of his trademark characteristics, he was intensely focused on higher aims.

After his father passed away in 1904, the Halliburton family was left with little money and even less opportunity. Two years later, hopelessly impoverished at age fourteen, Erle decided it was time he left home and pursued his fortunes elsewhere.

Diminutive in stature at just 5 foot 5 inches, the future of the Halliburton clan was resting on Erle's narrow shoulders, the new man of the house. But he brimmed with confidence, promising his family he would not return to Henning until he had pocketed a million dollars, a claim that no one could have taken seriously at the time. Underestimating Erle Halliburton would be a mistake that many of his contemporaries would repeat over the years, for as author and Texas historian J. Evetts Haley put it, Halliburton was "fired by the stern disciplines of hunger and want."

Alone, directionless, and penniless, Halliburton embarked on a worldwide journey that would take him from Brooklyn to Manila, working dozens of jobs as varied as driving a locomotive to selling automatic stokers. At age eighteen, he joined the U.S. Navy and received the first formal training of his young life, serving two tours and working engineering and hydraulics before leaving the service in 1915. The work suited Halliburton's mechanical mind, and he ultimately ended up in Los Angeles, running a pressure irrigation project for the Dominguez Irrigation Company, pulling down $100 a month.
After nine years of wanderlust and job-hopping, Erle Halliburton found the oil industry."...................

I'm tempted to add "the rest is history". I wonder whether Erle P. Halliburton would approve of what his company has come to stand for ?

Under my original, unedited, post of February 2007, HERE, there's a lengthy comment which might be of interest to passing readers.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Idol At The Movies

American Idol's theme tonight is reported to be 'Songs From the Movies'. I think I now have correct birth dates for the remaining seven contestants, so, using Sun sign only, a few songs which might suit each hopeful performer:

Allison Iraheta ~ 27 April 1992 - Taurus ruled by Venus - "Stand By Me" (Stand By Me) - because Taurus is Fixed Earth.

Anoop Desai ~ 20 Dec. 1986 - Sagittarius ruled by Jupiter planet of excess - "Everybody's Talkin'" (Midnight Cowboy).

Danny Gokey ~ 24 April 1980 - Taurus ruled by Venus - "Nobody Does It Better" (The Spy Who Loved Me) because nobody does it better than Venus!

Kris Allen ~ 21 June 1985 - Cancer ruled by the Moon - obviously "Moon River"! (Breakfast at Tiffany's)

Lil Rounds ~ 20 October 1984 - Libra, Cardinal Air sign - "I Believe I Can Fly" (Space Jam).

Matt Giraud ~ 11 May 1985 - Taurus Fixed Earth ruled by Venus -"Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" (Armageddon).

Adam Lambert ~ 29 January 1982 - Aquarius Fixed Air ruled by Uranus planet of the unexpected - "Bohemian Raphsody" (Waynes World), but he sang it at his audition, so probably won't duplicate. 2nd choice: "Take My Breath Away" (Top Gun).


Only one song I'd chosen was actually sung - "Don't Want to Miss a Thing" - Allison sang it, not Matt (still Taurus though!). She did a great job with it too.

Best performance: Adam with "Born To Be Wild" - I am reliably informed by Himself that he knocked the Jim Morrison version "out of the ball park! I am an avid fan of Adam. I just wanted to hear him sing every song the others had sung. Guess I've drunk that old Kool-Aid!

Anoop and Danny both sang very well - "Everything I Do" and "Endless Love" respectively. Kris's rendition of "Falling Slowly" from the lovely movie "Once" was very good. Matt and Lil were, for me, the weakest, singing Cohen's "Ever Loved a Woman" (Matt) and "The Rose" (Lil).

Monday, April 13, 2009

3rd Rock From the Sun

Continuous re-runs of "3rd Rock" are a welcome TV diversion. The show was originally broadcast between 1996 and 2001. I never did get a chance to see any of the episodes when they were aired over in the UK, and wasn't even sure what it was all about. I saw my first repeat here in the US and immediately loved the show. Now we pounce with delight on 3rd Rock repeats.

From Wikipedia's 3rd Rock page

"As many intelligent people know, aliens are all around us. This is a story of a band of four such explorers. In order to blend in, they have assumed human form. This is the High Commander [Dick]. He has assembled an elite team of experts: A decorated military officer [Sally], a seasoned intelligence specialist [Tommy] and, well, they had an extra seat [Harry]."

The premise of the show revolves around an extraterrestrial research expedition attempting to live as a normal human family in the fictional city of Rutherford, Ohio, where they live in a loft apartment. Humor was principally derived from the aliens' attempts to study human society and, because of their living as humans themselves while on Earth, to understand the human condition. In later episodes, they became more accustomed to Earth and often seemed to be more interested in their human lives than in their mission.

The show derived much humor from the contrast between the outward appearance adopted by each of the aliens and his or her actual, internal nature. Dick, far from being a wise and fatherly figurehead, is arrogant, self-absorbed, petulant, faddish, and often downright foolish. Inside Sally’s glamorous form lives the weapons and security officer: uncouth, swaggering, and macho. Tommy, the oldest of the group, is morphed into a teenager, his former wisdom at odds with the strange and often humiliating life in which his teenage persona and raging hormones casts him. Only the oddball of the group, Harry, seems comfortable with Earth — yet he is the weirdest of them all, particularly when his built-in radio function takes unexpected control over his body, relaying orders from the aliens' home world in an odd, booming voice.

My favourite character is Harry, played by French Stewart, who, for some reason cracks me up far more than the others. His oddball straight-faced delivery appeals to me, and it's a great foil for the more manic styles of John Lithgow and Kristen Johnston who play Dick and Sally. Tommy, the youngest character is the most sane of the bunch, probably reflecting the maturity of his hidden alien persona.

I couldn't resist looking into the astrology of the four actors. 12 noon charts below will accurately show planets in signs (click on image to enlarge), but ascending signs and degree of Moon in each case will not be correct.

French Stewart (top left)plays Harry: 20 February 1964, Albuquerque NM, has Sun conjunct Mars in the first degree of Pisces, with Uranus opposing, and Saturn and Mercury in Aquarius. He'd find it easy to be zany and oddball with that line-up!

Joseph Gordon Levitt (top right): 17 February 1981, Los Angeles CA, plays Tommy. Sun/Mercury/Venus in Aquarius, with Uranus (his Sun's ruler) squaring Sun from 00 Sagittarius. Another who will slip easily into his quirky character.

John Lithgow (bottom left):19 October 1945, Rochester NY, plays Dick, the Commander. Sun/Jupiter/Neptune/Venus all in Libra with Uranus trining these from Gemini.

Kristen Johnston (bottom right): 20 September 1967, Washington DC, plays Sally. Sun/Uranus/Pluto all close together in Virgo, Mercury in Libra and Jupiter/Venus in Leo.

It's interesting that in each case Uranus, the planet usually connected with everything oddball, quirky and zany is linked to personal planets by aspect or conjunction. It's not surprising then, that these actors found it easy to relate to the characters they were asked to portray - and that they did so with such resounding success. List of awards and nominations here.

Harry: I want to make the world a better place. I want to give mankind the gift... of electricity.
Tommy: They have electricity.
Harry: Ah, then my work is done!

Dick: What's the point of having a democracy, if everybody's going to vote wrong?

Dick: Welcome to Rusty's. How may I serve you?
Customer: How do you make your burgers?
Dick: Excellent question. First, a clamp comes down onto the cow's head, forcing it onto a conveyor belt, where a prod is inserted into the cow's rectum, electrocuting it.
Customer: Gimme two.
Dick: Thank you, and remember: at Rusty's, E-coli is not on the menu.

[Tommy is selling chocolate door-to-door and he encounters a priest at one door]
Tommy: Hi, Father, I'm selling chocolate so the high-school band can go to Washington... and learn about they can become priests.
[The priest closes the door in Tommy's face]
Tommy: Fine then; they'll stay here in Rutherford and worship Satan!

Sally: The Official Boy Scouts' Guidebook. Who're the Boy Scouts?
Harry: They're an elite, prepubescent, paramilitary society and I'm going to follow their ways.
Sally: But Harry, you're neither elite nor prepubescent.
Harry: All in good time, Sally... all in good time.

Dick: Where would we be without the agitators of the world to attach the electrodes of knowledge to the nipples of ignorance?

Dick: Harry, are you naked or am I seeing things?
Harry: Actually it's a little of both.

Tommy: [about a movie Harry has seen] How was it? I heard there was an awesome shower scene.
Harry: Oh, yeah...but then this naked girl got in and you could barely see the shower.