Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This is what Mars in Libra looks like

... I swear I had no sooner put my post up than a friend sent this to my in-box

Armed 85-year-old woman forces intruder to call cops

POINT MARION, Pa. (AP) — An 85-year-old woman boldly went for her gun and busted a would-be burglar inside her home, then forced him to call police while she kept him in her sights, police said.

the rest of the story here

Gotta laugh when it makes the headlines. The extremely observant will notice that Mars was still in the last degree of Virgo when this incident happened, but the headline on the day of the Mars' Libra ingress is priceless.



Mars in Libra – What’s a Body to Do?

When Mars is in a diurnal sign, like Libra, He’s is in “get-er-done” mode. To hell with motivation and planning, Mars wants action and lots of it in diurnal signs. His diurnal home is Aries, home of exclusive binary logic and action without deep consideration of consequence. Mars is single-minded by day, taking his point of view as white, and the opposing point of view as black.

In Libra, he is in the diurnal home of Venus, the place of justice and of hearing the “other” point of view. This is large bunches of “no-fun” for Mars, and for this reason, Libra is considered one of the homes of Mars’ detriment. (The other is Taurus). Mars can see clear across the Zodiac to his Aries home, and wishes he were there instead of here.

Mars is forced to hear reason in Libra, which is not altogether a bad thing, but it does mean that he can’t get as much accomplished as he might otherwise. For Mars, this is frustrating, for the rest of us, it makes for calmer conditions!

In the real world, this means that those trying to get things accomplished or activated are going to come up against barriers posed by opposing points of view. Military operations will wind down a little, and negotiations between warring parties are likely to be more fruitful. Aggressive political campaigns are likely to be stymied in favor of a better-reasoned approach. Surgeons may suffer from indecision, though corrective surgery from previous errors/failures is likely fare better.

If you are the owner of a Libra Mars, there is probably a bit of hesitation involved in anything you try to accomplish. You might find this transit to be helpful, because the rest of the world is experiencing, for a short while, the hesitation that is part of your nature. You might find you can broker a truce between warring parties, or at very least talk somebody out of doing something really brash.

The hard part for a Libra Mars person is working out when to act, and realizing that this is an issue goes a long way to resolving it. Troublesome placements mean we have to work harder than most to make good use of what might otherwise be considered a character flaw. Some of the more decisive people with Mars in Libra include Bill Clinton, Winston Churchill, and Margaret Thatcher (source astrodatabank). One might accuse these folks of many things, but indecision is not amongst them. One has to wonder how hard they worked to overcome indecision in their earlier years. All of them appear to be better acquainted than most with the opposing point of view, and there lies the useful element of Mars in Libra

Mars is a nocturnal planet, taking great delight in firing up the nocturnal signs and putting scattered emotions and tireless activity into a passionately focused goal.

It has done that job in Virgo, and while Mars will always be seen as malefic, the nocturnal signs are nevertheless a little better for the shake-up, even if they didn’t enjoy it. Mars is moving very quickly in Libra, so the limited aggression and active frustration of this sojourn will be short-lived, beginning August 19th and ending October 4th.

People with diurnal charts (born during the daylight hours) will experience less aggression under this transit, those with nocturnal charts (born at night) will experience more frustration.

All up, Mars in Libra will be marked by what didn’t happen rather than by what did, though some truly fruitful negotiations may come out of it.

Take Care


Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Momentary Lapse of Reason

Lunar Eclipse August 16, 2008
… with apologies to Pink Floyd…

The coming Lunar eclipse occurs in the “out there” sign of Aquarius, with Neptune sitting right there …on the dark side of the moon… (somebody’s gonna shoot me…).

While it might sound like I’ve been inhaling or ingesting psychotropic substances, the psychedelic 60’s will seem strangely familiar by the end of this eclipse season.

We are closing a very serious period where the public have become excruciatingly aware of realities and responsibilities, but have been largely powerless to do much about it. This was the Virgo (details and organization) eclipse back in February, when Saturn (structures, rules, cold, hard reality) conjoined the Moon (the mood of the people) , and brought its reality check along for the ride.

Personally we have felt that we had the inalienable right to tell everybody else how to live their lives. Only the very circumspect have managed to avoid sounding judgmental, but that doesn’t mean we weren’t thinking it!!

This eclipse marks a pendulum swing towards oblivion

So, here’s where it ends. (or, dare I say, -All things must pass- sorry George) We move from picky and judgmental thought police to a community of flower-child-space-cadets in a fell swoop that will boggle the mind.

The burden moves away from service and towards awareness, away from attention to minutia and towards social connectedness, away from restriction and towards freedom.

This eclipse falls in Aquarius, and which means the Aquarian chunk of your life (yes we all have one somewhere!!) will get a heftier-than-usual dose of moonshine!!

Regardless of what the Election advertising gurus think, there is likely to be a move away from negative rhetoric in the minds of the public. The smart money will feature lots of flower-child music. The street thuggery and finger pointing that is currently so effective in some quarters, will very quickly become “old hat”. The new influence on the mood of the people will be Aquarius (group-mind, community-thinking) with big dose of Neptune (reality, what reality, which perspective on reality are we talking about?).

We will be more persuaded by illusion than by reality. This could be a really good thing, or a really bad thing, depending on which party is savvy to it, and spins the most appealing line.

The will of the people will be most easily seduced by sweet-sounding, though well organized, flim-flam. While there’s nothing new about that, it should be a key feature of polls in the months leading up to the election.
Personally, I could use a few months of love-peace-and hippie-talk. It beat the hell out of -The Dogs of War- (yeah I had to get another one in)

Take care


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mercury in Virgo. What’s all the noise about?

Mercury is about to emerge from the Sun’s rays (where we can physically see him), and a that point, we get to hear what he thinks about the warrior Mars, the auditor Saturn, and the petulant princess Venus having a heavy duty gripe-session in his pristine Virgo home.

Mercury is at home in Virgo. It is his nocturnal home and he is in his nocturnal phase with the Sun. It is not necessarily a tidy place, but everything has its place, everything has a theme, and systems rule!!. Virgo hosted the most recent Lunar eclipse, and so there is still a lot of emotional charge in his usually emotionally neutral home. As he entered Virgo, he was still obscured by the light of the Sun, which for us means he is still doing the bidding of the Sun and not able to voice his own concerns.

That’s about to change, and for a few days between the time that Mercury finds his voice and Mars makes a hasty exit to Libra (August 19) Virgo is likely to become uncharacteristically vocal.

We can expect a lot of noise from the service industry in particular. Technical support and all manner of logistics personnel are likely to become vocal for a few days.

Many with strong Virgo placements are likely to find a voice for their often-repressed energy, and perhaps the rest of us will listen for a change!!

Those with Nocturnal charts (sun below the Ascendant/Descendant axis) will find their analytical and organizational skills strengthened by this transit, and, as already stated, the Virgo chunk of your chart will find it voice and demand to be heard.

Those with Diurnal charts (sun above the Ascendant/Descendant axis) will find their Virgo placements with no less energy, however they will be less vocal, and more resolute over the same period.

As the Lunar eclipse on August 16th removes the emotional trigger from Vigo and imparts it to Aquarius, so the volatility of Mars and the discontent of Venus will settle a little. This means we only have a couple of days of high intensity Virgo-in-a-pissy-mood, which will be a relief, because Virgo is a great sign with a lot to offer.

As Mars moves off into Libra, August 19th, Venus will become more agitated in Virgo, but Mars will be less volatile. That suggests that Virgo goes back to being rather picky with a strong voice, but it now lacks the impulse to act on it and force itself on others.

Saturn, of course, remains in Virgo, he has been there a while and will stay a good while yet, long after all of this fuss has settled. Saturn plays a repressive role in Virgo, but even the mighty Saturn is seriously out-numbered in the short-term. The lid is likely to come off Virgo’s powder-keg, but Saturn will make certain that it returns some long-term gain.

So, when the godawful din has just about driven you to distraction, you can remind yourself that this is only a couple of days, and it will gradually get easier.

Take Care


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Construct a chart by hand

Construct a chart by hand:

This is a promo for a class I am running locally. If there is interest, I might consider an on-line tutorial, but I would need to work out how best to achieve that.

A 6 week workshop designed to evaluate the best method for you to use in creating a chart by hand, and then lots of hands-on practice, with oversight, until you develop some proficiency.

Cost: $90.00

Dates : Tuesday / Saturday afternoons in September-October (to be finalized based on interest)

Place: East Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA

Additional requirements: You will need to be prepared to practice in your own time to gain proficiency. If you wish to continue the practice, you will need an ephemeris and tables, and an atlas for the truly self-sufficient.

10 places available. I will do both Tuesday and Saturday if there is sufficient interest in both.

Constructing a chart by hand is valuable in many ways

Every hand-erected chart includes a great deal of investment in the subject by the astrologer. This bond exists inherently in the hand-erected chart, the bond needs to be developed when using a computer-generated chart.

A mind already centered on accuracy will read a chart with greater clarity.

Understanding how our position on the globe effects the houses of the chart forms important groundwork for relocation astrology, and underlines the importance of accurate data.

This course is designed to help you fulfill a major technical component of the NCGR Level 1 exam. (there is no guarantee that you will pass, but I will do my best to help you get there). In that exam you must be able to calculate planet and house cusp positions on a blank sheet of paper using an atlas, an ephemeris, and sets of tables.

Other skills required for the NCGR exam include plotting planets on a pre-drawn blank chart using quadrant houses and assessing planetary aspects based on those positions.

Students who achieve early proficiency in chart calculation will receive instruction in some of the other technical requirements for the exam.

PLEASE NOTE: The NCGR handbook outlines the many areas of astrology that the student needs to have a grasp of to pass the exam. While this technical component is large, it is not the only requirement.

I hope to see some of you there, please state your preference for Tuesday/Saturday

Monday, August 11, 2008

Astrology's Oldest Question

3 minute Astrology

Open Question

What was on your mind when you had your first astrology reading?

Feel free to leave a comment.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Venus in Virgo. The ultimate nit-picker.

Have you ever met one of those people who was really easy on the eyes, but really harsh on the soul? Venus in Virgo. The ultimate nit-picker.

Venus entered Virgo on August 6, 2008.

Having emerged fully from behind the light of the Sun, Venus is now visible in the evening sky. She has entered her “evening star” phase, which is the phase of her most beautiful appearance, however she has also entered Virgo, the place in the zodiac that she least enjoys.

In Virgo, Venus is surrounded by the details that hold the world and everything in it together. Wistful about the fruitfulness of her Taurean home, Venus is swamped by minutia in Virgo, the necessary tedium and relentless service that makes abundance possible. However the work itself completely lacks the fertile spark.

Across the Zodiac, in Pisces, Venus is exalted in the sign of abundant oblivion, where details are left to others and, feelings rule. However, in Virgo, Venus’ brilliance is not recognized, her radiant smile and glamorous visage are a distraction from the work at hand. The abundance that she must impart wherever she goes, inflates the minutia so that the beauty of an entire work of art is forever tainted by a single inconsistent detail. For this reason, Virgo is known as the sign of Venus’ fall.

When Venus is in Virgo, there is a tendency to obsess over aesthetic detail, and a tendency to be critical of those things that are most beloved.

Virgo is currently host to Saturn and Mars, the two bad boys of the chart. While Venus will lighten things up a little, expectations of sweetness and light from her Virgo sojourn are a little off beam. We can expect criticism to rise under this transit, and angry criticism at that, until Mars moves on to Libra on August 19. The ever-impressionable Mercury will enter Virgo (its own sign) August 10, but that just means the bickering will be more articulate. There is, however, some hope in sight.

The coming Lunar eclipse (August 16) will take the emotional subtext from Virgo and transfer it to Aquarius. One of the compounding factors making the Virgo transits so heated is that they capture the attention of the emotions due to the lunar eclipse. Once this trigger is removed, the Virgo energy loses some of its emotional sting, which is a really good thing!!.

Lots and lots of nit-picking.

A great season for copy-editors, proof readers, and art layout people, where a critical eye is a great asset. For the rest of us, there will be greater obsession about details of appearance than is healthy. The weight-loss and cosmetic industries are probably in for an increase in trade as people become more self-critical.

If you have Venus in Virgo in your chart, chances are you are critical of anything and anyone you love. You may have guessed by now that this is not conducive to a cozy relationship. There are a few things you can do to soften the critical edge. It takes work but it can be done. Drawing on the Capricorn in your chart, take control of your first impulses. Drawing on the Taurus in your chart, take delight in the sensual side of your relationship. By drawing on the Pisces energy across your chart, observe with the eyes of love, see your partner as your partner wishes to be seen. It won't stop the critical edge, but it will give your partner something else to see as well!!

The Venus in Virgo person needs to make peace with the natural tendency to criticize if he or she is going to have a close and healthy relationship. The owner of such a Venus might be able to mitigate this with some real effort, but the critical impulse will always be there. The most useful place to put such a Venus to work is in copy-editing or other detailed work where critical thinking is an asset.

If you are attached to a Venus in Virgo person, you need to understand that criticism is often coincident with love for your partner. There are lots of people who can live with that. If it bothers you, however, you need to seriously consider your options. It can be mitigated, it can be put to more positive use, but it isn’t going anywhere.

Take Care


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Detroit Mayor Eclipsed?

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was remanded in custody today after breaking his bond conditions.

I gave a brief discussion of the eclipse in relation to the election the other day. Many of the same principles apply in Detroit, the charts are very similar.

Kilpatrick has avoided dismissal from office, and jail, many times in the last few months. His affair with a colleague and allegations of corruption surfaced after the release of IM records on his PDA.

The February solar eclipse in Aquarius had Neptune closely conjunct a retrograde Mercury. Neptune clouds perspective and retrograde Mercury tends to disperse information, so that an Aquarian eclipse that would normally hold the leaders strongly accountable to group mind was unable to make the details stick. Libra rising with Venus at the IC in Capricorn made the people determined to find justice, but the confounding factors so close to the eclipse degree meant that the case against the leaders couldn’t stick.

It was a “get out of Jail free” card from a public scrutiny perspective.

This same issue has been playing out federally, where leaders have been avoiding accountability.

However, the August eclipse has no such confounding influence, and comes with a burden for leaders to act in the interests and welfare of the people. It also means that there is no escaping the desire and interests of the people, and most of Detroit wanted to see Kilpatrick in jail from the day that this scandal emerged.

It has happened surprisingly quickly for Kilpatrick

This bodes well for those who would like to see justice done on the federal level.

Which Eclipse Chart?

I’ve made some references to eclipses at various times, and while the non-astrologer might accept that I know what I am doing (or that I am a crackpot), it occurs to me that those wishing to learn the art might benefit from working out what I am doing.

When deciding which eclipse chart to use for a reading, the astrologer first has to answer the question “What do I want to know?”. (This is actually a good question to ask before casting any chart or using any technique, but I am amazed at how many astrologers forget to ask it, and attempt to answer a question using a technique or chart that was never intended to answer their question… much like a doctor ordering a blood test when the most useful information would come from a urine analysis.)

If the interest is changing trends in the personal or popular climate, we read an eclipse chart like a “super new moon”, or “super full moon”. For this purpose, we use the exact conjunction or opposition. In other words, we align the Sun and the Moon so that they occupy exactly the same degree, minute, and second of the zodiac signs they are in, The reason for this is that personal and popular trends are identified on the zodiac, the symbolic circle representing the path of the Sun through the heavens (relatively speaking), on which all of the planets are brought together for analysis.

A Solar eclipse represents a change in those things that persuade reputation and prominence. In other words, in any eclipse period, there is a particular energy that holds more sway than usual as “the subtext that has influence”. In popular political terms, this will be the focus by which the people can influence government. In personal terms, it represents the influence that will affect our reputation. This has a spiritual correlation with the things we find persuasive in any period.

A Lunar eclipse represents a change in the subtext itself. If a particular approach has influence in government, then what factors influence that approach? It is the Lunar eclipse that media and government need to pay attention to if they want to understand the things that influence the masses. In personal terms, the Lunar eclipse represents the influence that will affect our emotions or security. This has a spiritual correlation with the way we experience intuition.

If the interest is natural disasters and toppling of governments and other specific events, then this narrows the astrological analysis to the part of the world from which the eclipse is physically visible. The reason behind this is that we are looking at material phenomena, and therefore we need information relating to the material eclipse. When we are dealing with a visible eclipse, we want the moment at which the eclipse is at its most intense, “the instant of greatest eclipse”. This varies from location to location, and NASA conveniently supplies these data for various cities from which the eclipse is theoretically visible. In the case of yesterdays K2 eclipse post, I used the time at Islamabad because it was closest to the K2 site.

Learning how to read these charts is another matter, but the above gives the broad brush-strokes about which chart I use for what purpose.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

If they had an astrologer ...

I read with some dismay that 11 people lost their lives in an ice avalanche near the summit of K2 in Pakistan.

When I read that the avalanche happened on Friday afternoon, I couldn’t help myself.

The ancients always used the time of greatest eclipse for their charts, whereas we tend to use the time of exact conjunction/opposition for an eclipse in modern astrology.

If anything prompts me to look more carefully at the ancient way of doing it, it is this chart.

Not only is modern bad-boy Pluto exactly on the degree of the ascendant for this eclipse on K2, the first degree of Capricorn is a hairs-breadth away from the ascendant.

As a modern astrologer, the Pluto on the ascendant of the eclipse chart for an expedition in the least hospitable climate in the world would be a dead-give-away to say “guys, lets look at another date.”

Were I an ancient astrologer without the advantage of Pluto, I’d still look at 0 Capricorn rising, Saturn’s position in Mercury’s home, and Mercury getting some uncharacteristic light and say “guys, lets look at another date.”

Were I a modern astrologer who is keen on the topo centric conjunction, the chart is virtually identical to this chart (a couple minutes earlier)… yep, you guessed it, .. “guys, lets look at another date”

There is not much one can say in hindsight on a tragedy like this except that astrology can be really, really useful sometimes.

Take Care


Monday, August 04, 2008

Readable Popular Astrology - Really!!

I found a most digestible form of popular astrology the other day (which is remarkable in itself, because mostly, popular astrology gives me a rash).

Elsa puts her spin on some difficult issues using some well-refined astrological intuition. She does not see the need to pry into the lives of others, nor does she pretend to be teaching astrology, and I think that’s why I can read it and enjoy it.

It has a lot more of “this is what’s going on and this is how it feels” than anything else, and a quite a few “this is what’s going on and this is what it looks like in the news”.

Its easy to read, its cute, its great for folks trying to get a handle on astro-symbolism.

Its a true astro journal. Some posts are better than others, but its always worth a browse when you have a lazy minute or two.

Well done Elsa

Sunday, August 03, 2008

2008-08-01 - Eclipse Astrology-US Election

August 1 Solar Eclipse and the US elections

The extreme northerly track of this eclipse suggests that the only places it will be detrimental in are the extreme north of Canada, the arctic Circle, Remote parts of Russia, Mongolia, and Northern China. The eclipse is visible from Beijing and therefore the Chinese need to be more concerned than any other group of people. I will not attempt a prediction for China, but the eclipse occurring in the 8th house reduces the potential impact considerably.

The USA, however, has the degree (exact zodiac position) of the eclipse rising at the moment of the exact conjunction (not the moment of greatest eclipse... it’s a long story, but they are different things), which is pretty remarkable.

Solar eclipses largely effect governments and rulers, Lunar eclipses have a greater effect on the people. This is a Solar eclipse, and it is in the home of the Sun, Leo, and thus the eclipse is about incumbent leaders in their own milieu.

This means that, while there is little potential for physical mayhem and destruction in the eclipse from an American point of view (because there is no visible eclipse from the DC standpoint) the eclipse still has impact in the USA, and its impact is in the part of the chart that speaks to the welfare of the people.

A very brief summary of how this eclipse period works in the USA can be found in the components of the eclipse as they unfold.

The Sun is in Leo, its own sign. The degree of the eclipse is rising in DC, so the focus of the people is on the Government for this period. The eclipse itself has the Moon (mood of the people) passing in front of the Sun, in the sign of the incumbent government, which is also the ascending sign in the eclipse, and so it is the focus of the people in terms of their welfare.

The need of the people is great and the pressure is on the government to deliver. Had the government made any investment at all in the welfare of the people, this would be a time upon which it was called to share those resources, and help the people through some really tough times. I do not personally see how the current administration can do this.

Anybody who reads a news bulletin of any kind knows that the people are hurting in the USA. It is my personal belief that this government is unable to address the issues that the people are raising, and that the people will hold this against the government in the coming election.

The Government’s primary interest is in the war, and the cost of the war. It will be focusing on terrorism for the remainder of the Bush presidency. This is a bad tactic which will backfire, severely, at the polls in November. This obsession with terror and fear is well removed from the interests of the people, many of whom are far more fearful of the prospect of homelessness and joblessness.

The message that might come though from the government “believe that we can see better times together” needed to have sufficient investment of the administration in the welfare of the people over the last 7 years to have any cache now. In my opinion, that investment has been severely lacking for too many ordinary people.

In my “Trashy Novel Eclipse” post, I made it clear that there will be announcements coming from strange places at strange times during this eclipse period. I’ll be interested to see how that plays out, but I would not be at all surprised if the “dirty deeds” of the Bush administration are aired in the news media over the next few months. Now, how dirty those deeds actually are is a matter for the courts to decide, but the press will have a field day.

The premature and tainted appearance of Venus also suggests a loss of faith with in the leadership, but also a temptation to deception and exaggeration by the media. It cuts both ways, but it all comes back in the lap of the Bush administration, and I don’t think they have the political will or political muscle to fight it, nor have they made the investment in welfare to capture the imagination of the people in any positive way.

It all ads up to the people turning so strongly against the incumbent government that the democrats should win by a landslide.

Mr Obama would do well to study the rage and fury that will be leashed upon the administration over the next six months before his probable inauguration. It is this anger and frustration that will return to haunt the next president (regardless of who wins) if he fails to deliver.