Astrologer’s Desktop – What’s on the Docket this Week

January 11th, 2011

A survey of what’s on my desktop this week:

  • My Nodes course from AstroLogos finally arrived.  I ordered it in early January but since it ships from England it took fully a month to get here!  Now I’ve got to schedule some time to actually study it!  The Moon’s Nodes are still a mystery to me:  how they either are or are not like planets; what they convey about the past and the future; whether they are added value to understanding someone’s path.  There seems to be lots of conflicting or disparate descriptions so I’m looking forward to diving in.
  • This isn't actually my desk, but it's awfully nice, isn't it? (Source: Wikipedia)

  • Write a blog about an interesting tidbit I discovered looking at the astrology chart of King George VI, inspired, of course, by the movie, The King’s Speech.  One great thing about royals is their birth data is recorded down to the minute so you can always get very accurate information.  If you’re an astrologer, try to guess what his chart shows about his speech impediment.  You may be surprised; I was.
  • Continue my daily observation about which house system seems to work best.  There are several house systems in use by various astrologers and I received an excellent suggestion to watch my own chart day by day.  When a planet crosses into a house it should be noticeable, so I’m keeping my eye on two systems:  Placidus, which I usually use, and Koch, which is also very common, to see which is more accurate.  I’ll let you know!
  • Continue writing my January series on my Astro4Business blog on the travels of the outer planets for 2011 and what to expect business-wise.
  • Respond to several client inquiries.  You know who you are; it’s coming, I promise!
  • Write a post on Saturn Retrograde and Jupiter moving into Aries, both in January.  For the business blog or this one?  Definitely for the business blog but perhaps more on this site too.
  • Write a post on motivation, as I’ve been running into lots of information on it and it has piqued my interest.
  • Study the horoscopes of three female pioneers who died in 2010.  They were featured in The New York Times and I could find birth information on them.  Record interesting and relevant information in the giant excel database I keep for astrological research.
  • The Hollywood Reporter named its Power 100 Women in Entertainment and I can find birth data on the top two, Anne Sweeney, Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks and President of Disney/ABC Television Group and Amy Pascal, Co-Chairman, SONY Pictures Entertainment.  I want to analyze these charts and write about them for my business blog.  There are a couple more I’d love to analyze but I can’t find birth data:  Debra Lee, CEO, BET Networks and Bonnie Hammer, Chairman, NBC Universal Cable.  Anyone have any idea of these ladies’ birth dates?
  • I found a fine article on Robert McNamara in The Harvard Business Review.  May write about his horoscope for the business blog.
  • The Hollywood Reporter also has a feature on which actors are landing all the major roles right now and why.  I’d love to see what these actors have in common, thinking in terms of what fantasies they fulfill for all of us and whether the planetary transits show their rise.  (My partner’s mother, an actress, is in India, so I get to read her Hollywood Reporter while she’s away.  Good magazine!)
  • What I wish I could write about but I can’t:  this story about how Barnes & Noble had fantastic holiday sales and Borders Books was way down.  Why Barnes & Noble is soaring while Borders is on the brink of bankruptcy.  I did a morning’s worth of research but it is a much longer and more complex story than can be analyzed by the current climate (read:  transits) so I have to let it go.

Okay!  I’m down to the wood on my desk – I can actually see it again!  Well, the pile just transferred from the right side to the left, but now everything’s on the docket.  And I’m sure there will be more tomorrow! That’s my desktop – what’s on yours?

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Check out my other blog for all things business, including weekly and monthly forecasts.
Astro4Business Intersections

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

Pluto and the Arizona Tragedy

January 10th, 2011

Hello, everyone.

Phoenix (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

One of the pleasures of the study of astrology is the constant source of material to investigate.  The news provides an abundance of facts and situations that incite a run to my desk, flipping on the computer, revving up the astrology program, inputting the time, date, name, birthday, or whatever is available, and observing the heavens in action here on earth.  I might read a short biographical sketch, look up the birthday on Wikipedia, and presto, the chart is there to study and learn from.  I might see a movie and come home and look up the actor or the character or the director, print out the chart and peek into a level of investigation which augments and takes me beyond the public information.

This is the fun of it, the joy of a tool which sheds so much light on humans and our ever varied predicaments.

And then there’s the darker side, the side that’s harder to write about, the side that begs for philosophical meaning, whether my studies can provide it or not.  This weekend provided one of these events.

The Arizona multiple-homicide was a shocking story, tearing at all of our hearts I’m sure.  I couldn’t relate it to my partner without falling into tears and her tears followed.

Of course, my astrologer’s mind was not far behind and I focused on Gabrielle Giffords, the Representative from Arizona’s 8th District who was critically injured in the tragedy.  An astrologer is always looking for the connections between the heavens and the happenings on earth, no matter what form they take, and there is consistently a correlation between them.

Ms. Giffords’ birth date is easy to ascertain, as is the case with most public figures.  Often even the place of birth is listed in an easily-summoned biography.  The time of birth is harder to come by, but there are many major pieces of information that can be gleaned from the birth day alone.

Any astrologer reading this far has probably come to their own hypothesis about the influences affecting Ms. Giffords’ chart at the time of the shooting.  Pluto has to come to mind with its themes of death, violence, societal upheaval, obsession, criminal activity, lack of trust, and betrayal.  On the plus side, Pluto indicates regeneration, birth and rebirth, and shifts in global consciousness.  When people have Pluto prominent in their natal chart, there is a deep knowledge and concern for the whole, and a willingness to sacrifice the personal life in order to support the collective.

Representative Giffords speaking with a military officer in July 2010. (Source:Wikipedia)

Gabrielle Giffords is such a person.  Her Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Saturn are all closely associated with Pluto.  In lay terms this means her essential self, her intellect, her relationships, and her work/career are spent in service to the larger group.  In the best-case scenario, which we can assume after reading the stories that are all over the media, we find a brilliant mind and a devotion to improving the lives of others through government service.  Whether we agree with her politically or not, we must respect and honor the sacrifices she has made to better the lives of her constituents.  But the dark face of Pluto has been there too.  This is not the first time she has been subjected to violence for the stands she has taken.

A look at the transits indicates transiting Pluto opposing her natal Mars.  Now I don’t want to scare anybody:  this is not the only manifestation this transit can take.  Some people live on larger stages than others.  But as I wrote on my Astro4Business blog, everyone with natal chart points from 5 to 9 degrees of any sign, and particularly in Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn, needs to tread carefully these days and keep their eyes and ears open.  Ms. Giffords’ Mars is at 5 degrees of Cancer and her Uranus is at 5 degrees of Libra.

Mars is the planet associated with acts of aggression and when Uranus is stimulated there are often sudden and unpredictable events.  The Pluto transit brought the underbelly of the collective in direct contact with Ms. Giffords’ life.

The silver lining in this, if there is one, is that Pluto’s symbol is the phoenix, the mythical bird which arises from the ashes of what was destroyed in the past.  It is also the snake, which painfully sheds a skin so that a new skin can be revealed.  May it be so for Gabrielle Giffords.

My heartfelt condolences go out to her and to all of the families of those wounded or killed in this terrible tragedy.

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Check out my other blog for all things business, including weekly and monthly forecasts.
Astro4Business Intersections

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

My New Blog and a Quandary Already

January 5th, 2011

Hello everyone.

My first post and my first opportunity to examine a current quandary.  In fact, that’s part of what you’ll find in this astro-blog, my continuing efforts to understand the cycles of universal time (no big ambition there) and how these cycles apply to and affect our lives here on this dear planet.

This woman from Pompeii reminds me of me - and I like that she survived! (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

I’ve been studying astrology a long time, and I continue to study it day by day.  I was explaining to another astrology blogger the other day that astrology chose me; it is my calling in the sense that it called me and continues to call me every day.  Since every day is new, there are constant and abundant opportunities to observe the rhythm of this life and see how it synchronizes with the planets and starts.

This blog will be a little bit of everything astro-related:  my ah-ha moments, my questions, my doubts; the tools and techniques I’ve learned in the past and still rely upon; reporting about my current learning; and the challenges and joys of professional astrology.  I will try to keep it basic enough so that anyone with an interest in learning more about astrology will find something in its pages.  And I welcome and fervently hope that practiced astrologers will engage with my questions, point out tools I don’t know about, and recommend resources for all of us to use.

Waxing and Waning

So here’s my first quandary:  waxing and waning.  I have a very easy time understanding the waxing and waning cycle of the Moon.  It just makes sense to me.  Intuitively I have learned that I am generally in harmony with its cycle, even when I’m less aware of its position.  The Moon provides such a potent visual that it’s hard to miss or misconstrue its meaning.

Venus conjuncts my natal Sun today, so I thought I'd honor her with this beautiful painting by Bouguereau. (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

Waxing and waning applies to all of the other planets too, especially when you think in terms of their aspects to each other.  When two planets meet at the same zodiac point they are in conjunction.  As the faster one begins to move ahead of the slower one the waxing part of their cycle begins.  When the faster planet reaches the exact opposite point in the zodiac that is the opposition point.  Then the waning part of their cycle begins until the faster planet laps the slower-moving one again.

The waxing phase of any planetary cycle is the growth and development phase.  The waning phase is the distribution and dissolution phase.  Simple, right?  When planets are waxing we move forward, we create, we take risks, we bud and blossom and bloom.  When planets are waning we put forth the fruit, we nourish others, and we withdraw our energy to conserve it for the next growth cycle.

Go or No Go?

OK, here’s the problem.  I was working on the weekly forecast for my other blog, Astro4Business Intersections.  There are simply three active planets this week:  the Moon, Mercury, and Mars.  We’re in the waxing phase of the lunar cycle, so the advice, abbreviated, is “go for it!”  But we’re in the waning phase of Mercury to Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune, and the waning phase of Mars to Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune.

In other words our feelings and daily moods say, go, go, go, grow, grow, grow!  But our thoughts (Mercury) and our energy levels and motivation (Mars) say stop, conserve, wind-down, complete.  The new beginning to their annual cycle is still to come when they reach conjunction with these planets in the coming months.  So is it go, or is it no?

I’m strongly Gemini-influenced and it’s easy for me to see in terms of black and white.  But this apparent conflict calls for a much more subtle perception.  What part of us waxes and wanes with the lunar cycle and how is it distinct from the waxing and waning of the other planets?  What does it really mean when a planet, representing an aspect of ourselves, is gaining ground in one part of our life and losing ground in another?

Any thoughts on this?  Any examples?  I’d love to hear back from you and as I let this simmer on the back burner I’ll be sure to let you know if I have any insights on it.  But I will tell you this:  it’s so nice to begin this blog.  Check back often.