Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Supplement ~~ MOON

Astrologers will consider it highly significant that the 8.8 earthquake in Chile occurred close to the time of Full Moon. Richard Nolle at Astropro did warn of a clear potential for earthquake around 28 February, with the weekend's "Super Moon" (Moon at nearest point to Earth). It wasn't possible, though, to predict the actual location. There's a lot of detail to plough through on his website; there are parts relevant to the earthquake in the 2010 annual prediction section, and in the February 2010, both in "Futures" section.

Sincere sympathies to all affected by this most recent catastrophe.

By: ari' anna arena

This night
All light
Full still moon

Lamp lit
Full still moon

Many faces
Secret places
Full still moon

Supernal eye
In the sky
Full still moon

Big stone
Cold Alone
Full still moon

In reverie
A memory
Full still moon

Only one
You are

Only night
to dream




Saturday, February 27, 2010

Irwin Shaw & Rich Man Poor Man

I noticed from Wikipedia's lists of births and deaths of the great and good that today was the birthday of novelist Irwin Shaw. His best-known novel, probably because it was adapted for TV as a mini-series in the mid-1970s, is Rich Man Poor Man. That mini-series paved the way for many others - it was the original, and perhaps that's why it has remained in my memory so clearly after all these years. Or perhaps it was the portrayals of the brothers by young Nick Nolte and Peter Strauss that made the tale so memorable.

Rich Man Poor Man is the story of two brothers (a sister appears in the book, but not the TV series) during the period following World War 2 - 1945 to the early 1960s. The two brothers, Rudy and Tom Jordache were, in nature, polar opposites (of course!) I doubt that Irwin Shaw had astrology in mind, but Rudy was archetypal entrepreneur business man, driven by Saturn/Capricorn/Leo, a touch of Virgo too. Tom the disreputable rebel with his heart in the right place - Uranus/Mars/Aquarius, with a touch of Cancerian sensitivity.

Shaw achieved more critical acclaim for his short stories than for his novels, but TV producers and movie makers saw potential in his novels. As he'd started out script-writing for radio shows such as Dick Tracy, it could be that his natural writing style favoured adaptation to audio/visual media. Not all writers have such a style, nor would the more elitist among their number seek to acquire it.

Irwin Shaw was born on 27 February 1913 in The Bronx, New York. His parents were Russian Jewish immigrants, which fact, later in life, caused him to move to settle in Europe for 25 years, after the McCarthy shenanigans, when he was placed on the Hollywood blacklist.

There's not much detail of his personal life on-line, other than two tidbits, and both come out in several of his novels: that he was a keen sportsman, and generally left-leaning politically. In Rich Man Poor Man Shaw's proletarian sympathy is summed up by one character's rule-of-thumb: "Never trust the rich."

Irwin Shaw is another example of the Pisces/Aquarius mix I've been encountering recently in my posts. His Sun and Mercury are in Pisces, but it's energetic and sporty Mars conjunct rebellious Uranus in Aquarius semi-sextiling his natal Pisces Sun which is the true key to his nature I suspect.

Unless he was born before 1am his natal Moon was in ebullient Sagittarius, and likely formed a planetary chain of harmonious aspects: Moon semi-sextile its ruler Jupiter, semi-sextile Mars/Uranus, semi-sextile Sun. An indication of a well-integrated personality, I'd say. And there's more... because if you move in the other direction : from Mercury to Venus, a semi-sextile, with another semi-sextile to Saturn, same on to Pluto, same to Neptune. So there are two separate planetary chains going on, one covering Pisces to Sagittarius, the other Pisces to Cancer. Fascinating! The broad interpretation: a well-integrated personality, with a variety of skills and interests.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Arty Farty Friday ~ Honoré Daumier

It might seem irrelevant, in 2010, to feature a 19th century caricaturist/satirist. What could satire of 19th century France have to offer to 21st century mortals? In the hands of Honoré Daumier it offers us a chance to see that nothing much has changed - fashions and technology - yes, they have changed, of course. Attitudes, politics - no change there! Daumier's cartoons satirised the corrupt regime, the injustice of the law courts, and the hypocrisy and greed at the heart of things. (Left: His lithograph titled (as translated)"Ungrateful country, you shall not have my work".

Today is the anniversary of Daumier's birthday. Born 26 February 1808 in Marseille, France; at age 8 moved to Paris with his parents. His father was a glazier, and didn't support his son's intense desire to become an artist, so young Daumier had to go to work in a bailiff's office. He later was able to study at the Académie Suisse and worked for a lithographer, which experience set him on the road to success. He quite obviously, as well as inborn artistic ability, had a natural flair for acute observation, a love of ordinary folk, a gift for seeing the comedic side of everyday life, hatred of political injustices - and war. It is considered that Daumier did as much as any artist of his time to raise the political and social awareness of the citizens of France.
"Throughout his forty-year career, Daumier created nearly 4,000 lithographs, first for the political journal La Caricature and later for the daily Parisian periodical Le Charivari. His early political images addressed the inequality and corruption of King Louis-Philippe’s July Monarchy. One drawing landed Daumier in jail for several months, indicative of the government’s repression of political caricature during much of his lifetime. After strict censorship laws were passed in September 1835, the artist shifted from political attack to social satire. His victims were the members of the French middle class, of which he was one. His images poked fun at pompous politicians, pretentious lawyers, picturesque individuals at the community baths, artists and writers in the throes of creativity, as well as urban development and the trials of commuting—all things that vex us to this day!" (Link.)

As well as the lithographs for which he is best-known Daumier painted around 200 canvases in oil, many depicting everyday life in France, as well as watercolors and small sculptures, all of which comprise, it is said, the largest visual legacy of any artist before 1900.

Dumier died blind and in poverty. though the people of France enjoyed his caricatures, the elite of the artworld didn't recognise his talent until decades after his death.

Now, here's someone even more Piscean than Elizabeth Barrett Browning (mentioned in my post last Saturday). Daumier had Pisces Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars and Pluto (birth time 3pm according to Astrotheme, but Moon in Pisces whatever time he was born). Jupiter in Aquarius and Venus in Capricorn. Daumier had more Pisces input, but I'd say he was considerably more stable than Ms Browning the poet. Personal planets and ascendant in Fixed signs, Aquarius, Leo and Scorpio, with Venus in common-sense Capricorn provided valuable balance to an overload of dreamy, artsy Pisces.

Saturn in Scorpio trines Mercury in Pisces and sextiles Venus in Capricorn. Venus semi-sextiles Jupiter in Aquarius and Jupiter semi-sextiles Mercury in Pisces - which means that a planetary loop linked an acutely perceptive Scorpio Saturn to communicative and humanitarian Pisces Mercury, arty but practical Capricorn Venus, and expansive, jocular Jupiter in mentally active, socially aware Aquarius.

Some examples of his work from Google Image:


GARGANTUA - This one, a depiction of King Louis-Philippe, led to a prison sentence for Daumier.







COMET (again!)



"Tiens peuple, tiens bon peuple, en veux-tu en voilà ! " (I think this means something like "Hang on good people - is this what you want? Here you are!")

Thursday, February 25, 2010

USA: The Uncaring State of America.

The disgraceful saga that is the debate on health care reform in the USA trundles on interminably. To someone like myself who lived for many, many decades in a country where socialised (not socialist) health care is the norm, the debate appears ridiculous - the result ought to have been a foregone conclusion. How can a country, priding itself as a world leader, allow hundreds of thousands of its citizens to live without access to adequate levels of healthcare ? How can the population have been sitting idly by for so long when even those citizens who have dutifully paid their health insurance premiums for years are told, when serious illness befalls them, or a family member, that "you are not covered for that", and either bankruptcy or further suffering - or death - must ensue?

Is there something inherently immoral in the American citizenry, that they have not long ago - decades ago - demanded that something be done about this parlous state of affairs? It can only be that a large proportion of the population does not care about their fellow-men and women - and children. Simple as that. And this is a country which prides itself as being A Christian Nation. Please.

People of the USA would like to think of themselves as compassionate, friendly and forward-looking, and tend to advertise themselves as such. This isn't always the picture onlookers see. Although I'm now an American citizen myself, I'm still really an outsider, an observer of much that's alien. Some attitudes I notice here are more foreign to me than those I suspect I'd encounter among the inhabitants of of some lost tropical jungle.

If I'm feeling kindly, I could put it all down to the fact that the USA is a very young country, as compared with the countries of Europe. Some western states, in particular, are not much more than a century from the days of The Wild West, when it really was every man for himself. How long will it take for the minds, and hearts, of people in the United States to catch up? Too long.

Insurance Corporations have a stranglehold on things now, the country is being run by what may as well be termed mercenaries, verging on sociopathic, but the people, over time, have allowed this to happen. Their votes have been sending successive lawmakers to Congress and to the White House. Successive administrations have in their turn allowed the disgraceful situation to continue and worsen. At root, the people themselves are to blame - for their carelessness.

This post originally ended at that point - but then I read something at Think Progress which lifted my spirits a bit. New York Rep. Anthony Weiner spoke up clearly on the side of the people yesterday, when the House of Representatives debated the Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act, legislation that would repeal the 65 year exemption health insurance companies have from anti-trust regulations.

Speaking on the House floor, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) lambasted Republicans for being “a wholly owned subsidiary of an insurance industry,” prompting an offended Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) to lodge a complaint:

WEINER: You guys have chutzpah. The Republican Party is the wholly owned subsidiary of the insurance industry. They say this isn’t going to do enough, but when we propose an alternative to provide competition, they’re against it. They say we want to strengthen state insurance commissioners and they’ll do the job. But when we did that in our national health care bill, they said we’re against it. They said we want to have competition but when we proposed requiring competition they’re against it. They’re a wholly owned subsidiary of the insurance industry. That’s the fact!

LUNGREN: Mr. Speaker I ask that the gentleman’s words be taken down.

WEINER: You really don’t want to go there, Mr. Lungren. [...] Make no mistake about it. Every single Republican I have ever met in my entire life is wholly owned subsidiary of the insurance industry. That is why —

LUNGREN: Mr. Speaker I ask that the gentleman’s words be taken down once more.

WEINER: Look, the point is very simple, there are inequities in the present way we distribute insurance. There are winners and there are losers. The winners are the insurance industry. [...] There is not bipartisanship on this particular issue. The people who sit on this side, at the risk of offending anyone, generally support the idea of standing up for the American people in their battle against big insurance. And the people generally speaking who sit on this side of the chamber and specifically speaking as well in a lot of cases, simply won’t permit that to happen and haven’t for a generation. Well, that is going to end now. [...] Enough of the phonyness. We are gonna solve this problem because for years our Republican friends have been unable to and unwilling to. Deal with it!” (applause).

Bravo Mr. Weiner!

A quick look at his natal chart reveals that he has rebellious Uranus conjunct Sun, Mercury and Pluto all in discerning Virgo.

This is what the USA desperately needs more of!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Capitalism & John Haines, poet.

Notes on the Capitalist Persuasion
by John Haines

"Everything is connected to everything..."
So runs the executive saw,
cutting both ways
on the theme of all improvement:
Your string is my string
when I pull it my way.

In my detachment is your dependency.

In your small and backward nation
some minor wealth still beckons -
was it lumber, gas, or only sugar?
Thus by imperial logic,
with carefully aimed negotiation,
my increase is your poverty.

When the mortgage payments falter,
then in fair market exchange
your account is my account,
your savings become my bonus,
your home my house to sell.

In my approval is your dispossession.

Often in distress all social bonds
are broken. Your wife may then
be my wife, your children
my dependents — if I want them.

So, too, our intellectual custom:
Your ideas are my ideas
when I choose to take them.
Your book is my book,
your title mine to steal,
your poem mine to publish.

In my acclaim is your remaindering.

Suppose I sit in an oval office:
the public polls are sliding,
and to prove I am still in command
I begin a distant war. Then,
in obedience to reciprocal fate,
by which everything is connected,
my war is your war,
my adventure your misfortune.

As when the dead come home,
and we are still connected,
my truce is your surrender,
my triumph your despair.
(From Poetry Foundation).

John Haines was born in Norfolk, Virginia on 29 June 1924, with Sun/Mercury/Venus and Pluto in sensitive Cancer, between 0 and 11 degrees. Moon was in sign of the writer, Gemini (whatever his birth time). What I see as most relevant in the chart is a Yod linking serious Saturn and creative Neptune in sextile with Uranus (planet of the rebel) by quincunx. Being translated that means serious-minded creativity manifesting in a somewhat radical/rebellious fashion.

Much of John Haines's writing in both poetry and prose is a critique of a society that he sees locked up, as the philosopher Martin Heidegger phrased it, "in a destitute time." His vision and voice are somber and serious, at times profoundly apocalyptic. There is little room in Haines's poems for humor, playfulness, or what might be called "the domestic." Writing of his experiences as a homesteader in Alaska, Haines was recognized early as a "nature poet" whose interests were divided between his activities as a hunter and trapper, on the one hand, and his concern over environmental degradation of his adopted state, on the other. His awards include two Guggenheim fellowships in poetry (1965 and 1984), a National Endowment for the Arts Grant in poetry (1967), the Alaska Governor's Award in the Arts for his lifetime contributions (1982), an honorary doctorate of letters from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alaska Center for the Book (1994). (See Dictionary of literary Biography)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


In days of yore, in the UK, when I travelled a lot by public transport, a cry of "Terminus!" by the 'bus driver, conductor or a railway employee would be directed to passengers, to alert any snoozers when the vehicle reached the end of the line. Little did I realise then that a kind of timewarp was occurring.

Terminus was the Roman god of boundaries. Once upon a time on this day, 23 February, a celebration in his honor was held: Terminalia.

As Terminus seems to have had some connection to Jupiter, it's appropriate that Terminalia was when the Sun was in zodiac sign Pisces, whose traditional ruler is Jupiter. I can't help wondering though, why Saturn isn't involved here somewhere. In astrology Saturn has more to do with limits than Jupiter. Jupiter is connected more to expansion than boundaries. Jupiter and Saturn could be said to be opposites.

A bit of mythology (from the website linked below):

Jupiter was the son of Ops, the earth mother and Saturn, the prevailing sky god who ruled over the rest of the Roman pantheon. Saturn had usurped his oppressive father Caelus in order to assume the position of supremacy; however he quickly became tyrannical himself, heeding a prophecy claiming that one of his own sons would overthrow him. In order to prevent this from occurring, Saturn devoured all of his children as soon as they were born. Realizing that her next child Jupiter would be susceptible to the same treatment, Ops hid him as soon as he was born and offered Saturn a large stone wrapped in swaddling clothes in his place. Saturn swallowed the stone, and was forced to disgorge Jupiter's siblings in the process of ridding it from his digestive system. Jupiter returned from hiding to overthrow Saturn, assuming leadership over the cosmos and forcing Saturn to flee to Italy.....
In Roman mythology, Terminus was the god who resided in and protected boundary markers, which were used to delineate the borders of properties and communities. This identification is so explicit that his name is, in fact, the Latin word for such a marker. As the installation of such stones was seen as a religiously significant act, the Romans would perform a sacrifice to memorialize and sanctify their placement.
Further, landowners celebrated an annual festival called the Terminalia in the god's honor each year on February 23. In addition to the importance of these markers in public space, a small shrine to Terminus was also found in the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill, as the temple was thought to have been built over a shrine to lesser god. Perhaps resulting from this, he was occasionally identified as an aspect of Jupiter under the name Jupiter Terminalis.
On occasion, Terminus' association with Jupiter extended to the assumption that Terminus was an aspect of that god ...........there is some evidence that Terminus' associations could extend from property boundaries to the general concept of limits (even temporal ones). Under the (Roman) Republican calendar, when the intercalary month Mercedonius was added to a year, it was placed after February 23 or February 24, and some ancient writers believed that the Terminalia on February 23 had once been the end of the year. Likewise, Diocletian's decision in 303 C.E. to initiate his persecution of Christians on February 23 has been seen as an attempt to enlist Terminus "to put a limit to the progress of Christianity."

(More at
New World Encyclopedia)

And....we still honour Terminus:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Music Monday ~ George Thorogood, Sammy Kershaw, Paul Jones.

Three singer/musicians with birthdays on Wednesday, 24 February, three artists who had reasonable levels of success in the past, though never reached the level of celebrity that some of their contemporaries achieved. In the words of one of them, George Thorogood (here) :
“In any field, especially the arts, there are always two things—‘genius’ and ‘very clever.’ There’s no in-between. You’re either a genius or very clever. I’m going to throw out two names at you. John Lennon--genius, right? And Mick Jagger? Very clever. See what I’m saying? I’ll give you another example. Einstein--genius. And George Thorogood--very clever.”
Yet what about the people who think Thorogood is a genius in his own way? “OK, I’m a genius at being very clever,’’ he says with a hearty laugh. Thorogood loves quips almost as much as he loves the blues, so here’s another: “Let’s put it this way. Dylan has a Rolls-Royce dealership. I have a used Chevy dealership. But I’m in the business. You got it? That’s all I wanted from this thing. A gig, man. And I got a gig."
Thorogood and his band, The Destroyers play blues-rock, described as "simple and direct".

(No times of birth are available for any of the three, so 12 noon charts are shown. Ascendants and exact position of Moon will not be accurate).

Although George's natal Sun is in Watery Pisces, he's a very Airy guy - three planets in Aquarius and two in Libra, with a possible Moon in Gemini too, if he was born after noon. No wonder he describes himself as "clever" - the three Air signs are the naturally clever ones of the zodiac, mentally oriented, whether the native happens to be highly educated or not, there's innate intelligence.

Sammy Kershaw arrived in the music spotlight on the country music bandwagon of the early 1990s. He had a lot of competition, but his lovely, traditional sounding country voice, not unlike that of the legendary George Jones, gave him an advantage. He had started singing on stage decades earlier, in roadhouses and bars, aged 11 after his father died. His early plunge into such a lifestyle led to longterm drug and alcohol abuse, which he eventually overcame in 1988 by going "cold turkey" for the sake of his family. He says at his website
“It’s not a period of my life I’m proud of but I do talk about it to encourage kids not to follow in my footsteps.” Kershaw recently noted. Helping others is a subject close to the heart that beats within what might often appear to be a tough, macho exterior. Sammy Kershaw is, in fact, a softie when the subject turns to kids. If proof were needed it stands in his hometown of Kaplan, Louisiana. There, Sammy has established the Sammy Kershaw Foundation. Its outreach has extended through donations so far of more than 2 million dollars in aid to children and child related charities. With projects that extend from granting wishes through Make A Wish Foundation to establishing camps for crippled children, the foundation exists to fulfill Sammy’s simple goal of improving the lives of children.

Sammy's Pisces/Sun Mercury Aquarius conjunction reflects the humanitarian compassion represented by the two signs, manifesting in his charity work. Jupiter and Neptune (traditional and modern rulers of Pisces) are conjoined, and in a very sensitive spot: on the Moon's north node, in intense Scorpio. Jupiter's reputation for excess and Neptune's reputed relation to addictive traits might well be significant with regard to Sammy's early problems.

Paul Jones, born on the other side of the Atlantic, was, in the early 1960s resident singer with Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated (alongside Long John Baldry and Michael 'Mick' Jagger). Jones then went on to be the vocalist and harmonica player of Manfred Mann, later going solo, but with less success. He has remained in the public eye in the UK as a radio and TV presenter, as well as appearing in movies and TV drama. A former atheist, Jones has converted to Christianity
Paul and Fiona's testimony is humorous, but compassionate. Paul came to faith from a background of intellectual arrogance; in 1968 he argued against Billy Graham with Cliff Richard on television, and he was convinced he had won the argument. Yet all his immense success in show business could not remedy the failure within himself. Fiona sought God from an early age, thinking that she was a Christian, but was surrounded by deception (including spiritualists and mediums); she too hoped that success in show business would bring her happiness. Their testimony tells how each of them found true happiness and real faith. As they bring their testimony, they sing songs from their album, and the Gospel message is clearly explained. (Link)

Paul has a Pisces/Aquarius combination from his Sun, Mercury, Venus; he also has Moon and Jupiter in Airy Gemini (whatever his time of birth), and a stellium (cluster of 3 planets) in Earthy Taurus, grounding and balancing his Airy mentality with a good dose of practicality. This is likely what has led him to diversify his career from music into other avenues. Without time of birth it's not possible to calculate the ascendant and exact Moon position, but I'd not be surprised to find a Moon/Jupiter conjunction in a strong position - close to one of the angles (ascendant, midheaven or their opposite points). Moon represents the inner self, Jupiter represents religion (among other things)- this now appears to play a prominent part in his life.

Paul Jones & Manfred Mann with The Mighty Quinn (1967)

Sammy Kershaw Better Than I Used to Be- seems autobiographical !

George Thorogood & The Destroyers with Bad To The Bone (Bad in a good way!)

Sunday, February 21, 2010


In Friday's Sun sign forecast for Aquarius, Jonathan Cainer wrote "You know some very strange people. It is almost as if you are a magnet for oddballs and eccentrics. Somehow they know that you will accept them as they are. " I chuckled to myself. Nowadays I don't mix and mingle much, I'm in a bit of a 12th house situation here - and happy enough with that. As it happens my Aquarius Sun does fall in 12th house when relocated to Oklahoma. The natives here would not be particularly friendly anyway, at least not to an atheistic socialist like me. I have, myself, become the oddball, it seems. Sometimes we're the windscreen, sometimes the bug - as they say.

Mr. Cainer's words were true enough though, during my younger years in what I think of as "my hotel period", late 1950s early 1960s. I left home and a steady job in a local government department, to work in the office of a small hotel in a picturesque part of North Yorkshire. This was, I'd worked out, a way to achieve independence and freedom, but still be provided with a room and food plus wages. What else could a gal wish for? This experience of a few short months left me with a yen to do more of the same. There was for me, in those days, a kind of addiction attached to working in hotels. I can't adequately explain it now, but it existed. I met quite a few others with the same affliction in my stints of seasonal interludes (coast in summer, city in winter) in various English hostelries. These individuals, some fellow-hotel staff, some from outside were unusual characters, not truly eccentric, but to my young, small-town sensibilities they fell into that category. There were times when I used to ask myself, in those days, "Why don't I ever meet anybody ordinary - "normal?"

Let's see....among my special friends there was E., a dark willowy beauty from Dominique who had left her island homeland because she'd fallen in love with her priest - and that's not A Good Thing in a Roman Catholic community. And K. an Irish waiter, charismatic guy who one night broke in to the place where the safe was kept, and managed to extract and abscond with a goodly chunk of the hotel's dosh. There was O., charming young man with whom I instantly fell in love but after a few months he disappeared. I later discovered he had been a fugitive, AWOL from the army, got caught, did his time. Many years later, alerted by his sister, I saw him again in a military hospital, being treated for TB.

Can't forget Mr S., not a staff colleague, but hotel customer - a rather withdrawn and lonely, single peripatetic bank manager (very Woody Allen-ish) who took a shine to me, the hotel receptionist. He'd stop at the office window regularly and chat for ages. On the day he left I received a huge, huge bouquet of gorgeous bronze chrysanthemums, sent by him via the local flower store, just because I'd happened to say that I love the autumn. And there was H. the lion keeper from Longleat (a safari park) -I kid you not - he wrote to me for some months after I'd moved on, always with a little lion in his signature. There was the shoe salesman, a boyfriend I managed somehow to get involved with - perfectionist, prone to depression, who some years later commited suicide. A brighter spark was the young guy who believed he was the illegitimate son of local aristocracy, drove around in a beat-up old Bentley limousine, swore he'd be a millionaire by the time he was 30.

Ah, there were more - many more - and they remain oddly clear in memory. Eventually the haphazard hotel lifestyle lost its charm and it was back to a staid government office, regular hours, regular people, cooking own meals, living in own space. I'd had something of an oddball learning curve, but one I'm glad I didn't miss.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Zodiac Sign Pisces

The thing to do with zodiac signs, in my opinion, is become familiar with their keywords, then carry no expectations whatsoever when someone tells you their birth date.

I haven't knowingly known any Sun Pisceans, known them well, I mean. That doesn't matter, because a person with Sun in Pisces (or Sun in any other zodiac sign) will not necessarily embody all traits associated with that sign. Someone with, for instance, Sun in Aries and a cluster of planets in Pisces could be far more typically Piscean, as could someone with Pisces rising, or Moon and a couple of planets in Pisces.

The signs and their attributes are ingredients in a recipe, that's all. No single ingredient can adequately describe the dish. With that warning in mind, the attributes of zodiac sign Pisces are as follows, keyword-style:

Compassionate, intuitive, spiritual, sensitive, gentle, easily slips into melancholy or feels misunderstood, changeable, versatile, artistic, creative, forgetful, reclusive and/or introverted.

A few of those keywords could equally be applied to other Water signs, but Pisces, the sign of mutable Water is somewhat different from Cancer's clingy homeliness or Scorpio's intense near-paranoia. Pisces can seem softer, sweeter, kinder, more dreamy and possibly more vulnerable than its Watery cousins.

Jupiter is Pisces' traditional ruler. Neptune was discovered in 1846, and, for reasons which escape me, accorded modern rulership of Pisces. This is one part of astrology with which I'm uncomfortable. The following is an explanation of planetary rulerships given at
The Sun has rulership over the sign of Leo, the hottest time of the year when the Sun is at the height of its strength. The Moon has rulership over the sign of Cancer, which begins with the Summer Solstice, marking the Sun's change of direction. Moving outwards in decreasing orbital speeds, Mercury comes next, and has rulership over both the signs of Gemini and Virgo. Then comes Venus, ruling both the signs of Taurus and Libra, then Mars which rules Aries and Scorpio, then Jupiter which rules Pisces and Sagittarius. Finally, at the coldest and darkest time of the year, Saturn as the slowest planet, has rulership over the signs of Aquarius and Capricorn. The outer planets are relatively recent newcomers and have been added to this model: Pluto as the modern ruler of Scorpio, Uranus as the modern ruler of Aquarius and Neptune as the modern ruler of Pisces.
I'd rather the orignal set-up hadn't been messed with......but that's just my personal view.

Romantic poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning is probably the nearest approach to someone who could be described "typically Piscean". She had Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars and Pluto all in Pisces. If Astrodatabank's time of birth for this lady is reliable, her Moon as well as Saturn conjunct Uranus lay in Libra, with Virgo rising. What strikes me as also significant about her chart is that she had no planets or points in Fixed signs. With such emphasis on mutable Pisces/Virgo, as well as Libra, known for its indecision, Ms Barrett Browning must have seemed particularly ephemeral and volatile. She wrote some beautiful poetry though!

So, our mutable Water sign brings us to the end of another go-around of the zodiacal cycle. The world turns, quietly gets ready to spring back into new life with the Fire of cardinal Aries in a few weeks' time

Friday, February 19, 2010

Arty Farty Op Art Friday ~ Victor Vasarely & Bridget Riley

I'm comparing the natal charts of two leading proponents of Op Art: Victor Vasarely, its originator, and Bridget Riley. It'll be interesting to note whether there's any key ingredient that would lead artists towards this particular style. Image (left) is Bora iii a painting by Vasarely. To paraphrase a famous quote "It's art Jim, but not as we know it".

Explanation of Op Art

Op Art made its appearance in the United States and Europe in the late 1950s. Op Art, also called Optical Art, was popular along side Pop Art. Branching from the geometric abstraction movement, Op Art includes paintings concerned with surface kinetics. It was a movement which exploits the fallibility of the eye through the use of optical illusions. The viewer gets the impression of movement by flashing and vibration, or alternatively of swelling or warping. Two techniques used to achieve this effect are perspective illusion and chromatic tension. Artists used colors, lines and shapes repetitive and simple ways to create perceived movement and to trick the viewer's eye. Many of first, the better known pieces were made in only black and white.

Victor Vasarely was born in Pecs, Hungary on 9 April 1908 or 1906 (Wikipedia states 1906, but other websites, including Astrotheme say 1908 - both versions shown below.)
Vasarely later became a citizen of France, I'm wondering if the variation in his birth year stems from related official documents.



Bridget Riley born on 24 April 1931 in London, UK

12 noon charts are used for both - no times of birth are available.

I'm looking for something which would connect mathematics and structure (Saturn, Capricorn) and art (Venus and/or Neptune)

Without times of birth the rising sign and exact Moon degree remain unknown - which is a pity. However, there is a relevant similarity in the charts: Venus is sextile Saturn in both - art in harmony with structure and mathematics!

Vasarely's Sun and Saturn in Aries reflect the initiator he was, in introducing this art style to the world. Venus conjunct energetic Mars in communicative Gemini is an echo of that initiation. And Riley's Sun in arty Venus-ruled Taurus trines creative Neptune in detail-oriented Virgo.

A few samples of the work of each artist: