Friday, September 28, 2007

The Joy Of The Graphic Ephemeris


(It may look confusing and weird now, but if you click on it it'll be bigger and confusing and weird, at least)

This is what the month of October looks like to me.

A lot of people take an interest in astrology and quickly become intimidated by the challenge of looking at a bland listing of positions in an ephemeris. Bland, that is, once you've actually figured it out. I prefer to use a graphic ephemeris, ad pictured above.

The red horizontal lines represent placements in my birth chart. The wavy lines represent the current planetary positions.

For example, my Jupiter is at 27 degrees Gemini. Note the very close opposition from Pluto at 26-27 Sagittarius throughout the month, growing slowly closer towards the 31st. Notice that the Pluto line is nearly flat because it moves so slowly, whereas the Moon line whips up and down the page.

On the 4th of October, transiting Venus sextiles my Jupiter exactly (the Venus line crosses the Jupiter line), and around the same time that day the transiting Moon in Cancer exactly semi-sextiles my Jupiter.
Once you get the hang of using a graphic ephemeris, you'd be amazed at how much easier it is to see the transits and how and when they hit, compared to the traditional columns of text.

Okay, now my question: how many of you out there understood that, and/or would like to understand it, and/or would find it useful if I posted a year or so worth of graphic ephemerides here that you can print off and use yourself?

***


Sometimes Astrology Doesn't Work The Way You Want It To, Thank God

The government of Myanmar (formerly Burma) continues its ongoing efforts to crush the pro-democratic uprising.

If you have a look at Google News using the search terms "Myanmar" and "astrology" you'll find a few articles about the ruling party's use of astrology. The tone of these reports is pretty much what you'd expect: "The junta’s belief in astrology in part reflects the capricious weirdness of a peculiarly nasty regime, insulated from the rest of the world and divorced from reality."

Senior General Than Shwe's astrologer warned him of trouble if the capital wasn't officially moved -- which it was on November 6, 2005, at 6:37 AM. And, admittedly, up til now the government there has functioned unusually well, given the widespread opposition to it.

I've shown the chart here, along with the September 11 eclipse chart in the outer wheel. Personally, I can see why the astrologer in question went with this chart: it looks especially good in Vedic terms.

Of course, the place is going to hell in a handbasket at the moment. Having Neptune square your Ascendant within a degree on the eclipse will do that sort of thing to you.

The government is in serious trouble. There are those who might use this as evidence that astrology doesn't work. Of course, the current astrological weather looks awful for the Myanmar government, which is an argument in favor of astrology.

Personally, it reminds me of some clients who have tried to make the impossible happen by choosing the right time to start. It's also a reminder that there is a larger Universe out there that always has veto power when it comes to your plans and mine.

And no matter what the transiting planets are doing, and no matter how strong this or that in your birth chart is... it's never a good time to be evil. Ever.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

How Libras Get Their Way

(Scene: The Matthew The Astrologer laboratories. MATT types at the keyboard while in the background, LIBRA re-arranges the magazines on the coffee table.)

MATT: God, this is frustrating!

LIBRA: What's that, honey?

MATT: I was all pumped and ready to write something about the influence of this last New Moon in Libra, and all I can do is sit around and read poetry online and crap like that. It was trining my natal Venus, so you'd think I'd have something to say about it. But I'm stuck for words.

LIBRA: I notice you changed the layout on the blog. I like it. It's my favourite.

MATT: Me too. (Pauses) Wait, isn't this the same color scheme you said you liked last week?

LIBRA: Yes sweetie. I see you like it too.

MATT: Funny thing is, a few days ago I wasn't sure it was professional-looking enough.

LIBRA: I remember you saying that. (Pinches MATT'S cheek) You're so silly!

MATT: Come to think of it, I was dead-set against it.

LIBRA: Actually, what you said was "Okay. I'll think about it."

MATT: And the more I thought about it the more I didn't like it. Matter of fact, I couldn't stand it. But after you gave me that neck rub I calmed down. But I still didn't like it that much.

LIBRA: You liked it when I said that colour scheme brought out your eyes. (LIBRA runs her fingers through MATT'S hair) You have beautiful eyes.

MATT: Thanks. But I didn't actually say I'd change everything just because you liked it... I said "Okay. I'll think about it."

LIBRA: But someone as smart... and handsome... as you knows the value of reconsidering things you may not have questioned otherwise. Otherwise, you might just be wrong. And you wouldn't want to be wrong about something this important to me, would you? it's called "partnership," and even monkeys know the value of partnership. (Squealing with delight) Look at the monkey! He's so cute! You liked my monkey idea too!

MATT: Well... (sighing) I suppose, since you like it so much, it can stay.

LIBRA: That's what I adore about you. You understand how partnership works. (Pauses thoughtfully) Would you be willing to co-sign a loan for me?

MATT: I'm not sure that's such a good idea. I've seen your spending habits.

LIBRA: I love a man who knows how to be responsible. It's so... manly.

MATT: (Pauses) Okay. I'll think about it...




Meet Astro-Monkey, My New Subcontractor!

I have a hard time keeping up with both my generalized ramblings about astrology and my recurring urge to provide specific, useful information on current astrological happenings. So I've decided to invest part of my gigantic fortune -- all astrologers have one, honest! -- in a subcontractor. Over to the right you'll see Astro-Monkey, who will be flinging regular handfuls of current astrological wisdom at you.

Regular readers will already be familiar with my profound respect for the predictive powers of monkeys.

Watch your fingers if you try to feed him, though.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Perils Of A Misinterpreted Composite Chart


One of my former astrology students kept coming back to me, years later, trying to make sense of her often-confused love life. What puzzled me about this is that, despite my rantings in class, she'd always start with the composite chart, not the two individual charts. And the more I pointed this out over the intervening years, the more she'd do it.

(For those of you not familiar with the composite chart, it's when you add up the placements in two charts and work out the average... a chart for the relationship itself, if you will. If your Sun is at 10 degrees Aquarius, and your mate's Sun is at 10 degrees Aries, your composite chart will have the Sun at 10 degrees Pisces, and so on through the other planets in the two birth charts.)

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that finding a soul mate is not a guarantee of bliss, in this astrologer's humble opinion. It's not even a free pass to a stable relationship. Often, it's the contrary.

I've come up with a composite chart that can give misleading results... if consciously or otherwise, you're looking to be misled. Don't laugh: a lot of durable relationships have strong Neptune action going on, and who doesn't love a good romantic delusion now and then?

Meet Matthew The Astrologer and his soul mate du jour... Richard Milhouse Nixon. I've printed my/our composite chart above.

I have certain strongly held political beliefs. I don't want to get into too much detail here... that's what the other blog is for. And in a lot of ways, Richard Nixon is a symbol of a lot of things that can go very wrong with the democratic process. Just thinking about the man can make me antsy.

But if you look at the composite chart for me and Dick, it's actually not that bad. Under different circumstances... like if it was an actual relationship... an astrologer could be forgiven for making observations like:

-"North Node in the composite 7th House gives this relationship a real feeling of destiny."

-"Mercury-Mars-Jupiter conjunct in the 4th makes for interesting, purposeful
activity on the domestic front."

-"Sun and Uranus in the composite Fifth House? You two are going to have a lot of fun together!"

All of which would be more or less true. And none of which would change the fact that if the two of us were locked in the same room for an hour, one or both of us might get killed. A lot of life's craziness comes from us trying to shoehorn people and our relationships with them into forms that don't fit.

On the other hand, a composite can certainly give you some interesting clues about what a relationship wants to be, as opposed to what it is or what you think it should be. And, come to think of it, this composite does indicate that Tricky Dick and I might in fact develop a functional relationship, if I was (for example) a member of his personal staff.

Admit it: if you heard there was a sitcom about Richard Nixon and his time-travelling liberal hippie valet, you'd watch. Besides, I've always had a sneaking fondness for the man, no matter how much he annoys the hell out of me.

Now: does that sound like any relationship you've ever been in...?




***


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Astro-Karaoke: Leo Girl

(To the tune of "Smelly Cat" from "Friends")

Leo girl, Leo girl, what on Earth is keeping you?
Leo girl, Leo girl, the wrong hairspray you've bought.

[Background singers:
Leo Leo Leo Girl
it's not your fault!]

Leo girl, Leo girl, did the bathroom eat you?
Leo girl, Leo girl, it's not your fault.
You got the wrong hairspray today
You've got a hot date but can't go away
Leo girl, Leo girl, it's not your fault.
Oh no!
Yeah you know you already look hot.
But go with imperfect hair? I think not!
I promise you, before your date's through
This poor sap's gonna fall for you.

[Background singers:
Leo Leo Leo
really insecure sexy Leo Girl]

Leo girl, Leo girl, what the hell is keeping you?
Leo girl, Leo girl, I could get you in bed on a dare
Leo girl, Leo girl, once you're done with your hair.



(With apologies to every Leo woman I've ever dated. I only tease out of love. Also, it's true.)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Preparing For An Astrological Consultation

Further to my previous entry on how an astrological counselling session works, here are some additional tips as to how you can get the most out of your time with an astrologer:

-Gather up whatever information you can on anyone else in your life that you may have questions about, specifically, their dates, times, and places of birth. The more in advance you get this information to your astrologer, the more time he/she has to look over their data too.

-Know why you're going for a consultation. It may seem obvious to you right now that you need answers about your love life, but since an astrologer can get into just about any subject, it's easy to get distracted from the main issues on your mind. Write down your most important questions.

-It can be tremendously helpful to an astrologer if you can give him/her even an approximate time line as to when your current issues seem to have begun.

-Pick an appointment time you can keep!

-Finally: no matter what, remember that you have free will. If God didn't want you to have that, he would have skipped making people and gone straight to creating a world populated with wind-up toys. A session with an astrologer is like consulting a native guide when you go on safari... except this jungle is your life. I can tell you when and how to duck, but you have to do the ducking.

***

Friday, September 21, 2007

Astro-Karaoke: The Sagittarius Child

(To the tune of "Don't Fence Me In")

Give me a hand, another hand, with this playpen chicken wire
Let's fence him in!
This kid keeps running off, and he just won't ever tire
Let's fence him in!
He got out last night just to go exploring
It's kinda frustrating but it's never boring
Just wearing socks and outside was pouring
Let's fence him in!
Let's fence him in!

Just lock him up, let the thinker try to tinker
With the handcuffs til he's done
You know he'll bust loose like a moose
Running from the hunter's gun!

The kid loves us both but he needs his freedom
Can't follow rules though he knows he needs 'em
Last week he got himself onto a flight to Sweden
Let's fence him in!

Oh give him guidance, lotsa guidance but be beware
Let's fence him in!
This kid can't sit still, not even on a dare
Let's fence him in!
His charm with strangers is his best feature
The kid won't care if it's a thug or a preacher
He makes a lousy student but a gifted teacher
Let's fence him in!

***

Now, please rise for the Sagittarius anthem:


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Astro-Karaoke: The Aries Woman

Why learn basic astrological traits out of a boring old book, when you can sing?

***

(To the tune of "When A Man Loves A Woman")

When a man loves an Aries
He can't be with no one else
She'll rip his head off
To keep her man around
When she's sad no one sees it
Won't cry when you're there
She'd rather look like a tough guy
And slap you down

When a man loves an Aries
Gotta watch what he says
It can make a man feel confused
She can get quickly cranky
Then sex breaks out
And then he can end up feeling used

When a man loves an Aries
It's an all or nothing thing
You could build a life around this girl
Or could end up in a sling

When a man loves an Aries
It's all or nothing, man
She makes him her whole world
Love him like she's crazy
Everything is wonderful
Til he looks at another girl

When a man loves an Aries
Remember this here song
She's so sexy and so sublime
So go ahead and make that date
But you'd better leave home early
'Cause she'll hit the road if you aren't on time.



Matthew The Astrologer: Reinforcing astrological stereotypes, so you don't have to.

The Hot, Semi-Nude Astrology Of Attraction



(You'll find all my new material, useful tips and a special deal on consultations at my new site, Matthewtheastrologer.com!)


One of the primary rules for attraction is that if there is an aspect between person A's Venus and or Mars, there will be social and/or sexual attraction.

An example: semi-famous and partly-clothed tattoo artist Kat Von D (born March 8, 1982 Nuevo Leon, Mexico) has her Venus at 4 degrees Aquarius... closely conjunct mine. Her Mars at 17 Libra squares my Mars. On the face of it, you might look in one of those supermarket checkout astrology guides and say to yourself: "Hmmm. He's a Sagittarius and she's a Pisces. He won't give her the time of day." Of course, anyone who knows me knows better.

When it comes to more general arousal, regardless of who (if anyone) else is "causing it" in you, you have to look at your own birth chart. Not just your Venus and Mars, but (at least as importantly) the rulers of your Fifth and Eighth Houses.

An example: My Fifth and Eight House rulers are conjunct. They were, in turn, closely conjuncted by the September 11 2007 eclipse I've obsessing over of late.

So, to summarize: Sex. It's great!

Okay, I'm done writing for the day. Time for some Youtube. I have important research to do on Venus conjunctions...




PS: Kat, if you're out there... I'll toss you a consultation for half price! Call now!
***


The Amazing Surprise Economic Turnaround Astrology Experiment continues! Click here to read more, and to join in!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Radical Astrological Liberation Front (RALF) Guide To Uranus Through The Houses

Today is the day that the Radical Astrological Liberation Front (RALF) has declared to be International All Hell Breaks Loose Day. Your orders are to resist assimilation by society and your social circle by using the power of Uranus, the Rebel Planet, to assert your individuality. As a matter of fact, you were probably already doing this without realizing it. Just make a particular point of it today. You assignment is based on which house of your birth chart Uranus is in. Here are your orders:


Uranus in the First House: Don't do the same thing twice. Talk under your breath about what the voices are telling you in the elevator. Wear that novelty necktie that looks like a salmon to your big interview at the funeral home.

Uranus in the Second House: Spend your savings on a complete vintage My Little Pony collection, then re-list it on eBay under "Sporting Equipment." Complain when you don't turn a profit. Take investment advice from the neighbor's dog.

Uranus in the Third House: Write or say something on the Internet/in public involving a startling turn of phrase, like "yowling for dick in the men's room like an unfixed gay tomcat." Replace words in the latest hit single with names of dog breeds. "I'm bringin' Shih-Tzu back..."

Uranus in the Fourth House: Go home and start putting solar panels on the roof. Spray-paint the cat. Nail the furniture to the ceiling. Tomorrow: move into someone else's house and repeat until evicted.

Uranus in the Fifth House: Start dating someone from another planet. Enter a clog-dancing contest, and complain loudly when you're disqualified for wearing Crocs. Tattoo your kids with their birth certificate numbers "for identification purposes."

Uranus in the Sixth House: Announce at work that the reason the computers are always down is that no one has taught them Swedish. Then learn Swedish and try talking to your computer. Decorate the balance sheet with macaroni and silver sprinkles.

Uranus in the Seventh House: Start talking to someone new on an Internet dating site, preferably from another country. Immediately propose divorce, followed by babies, then (finally) marriage. Repeat until you have a badly-confused harem.

Uranus in the Eighth House: Take nude pictures of your loved one asleep, wearing a latex glove on his/her head. Run an adult personals ad on the Internet under the heading "I like it when you watch." Invite a few people over to watch. Take more pictures.

Uranus in the Ninth House: Attend church. Loudly announce during prayer that the is only One True God, and his name is Zeppo Marx. Send around a competing collection tray with your name on it made from a Frisbee wrapped in tinfoil.

Uranus in the Tenth House: Quit your job. Threaten your boss. Beg for your job back at reduced pay. Phone in a bomb threat when you want to go home. Go to the local college and demand you be hired as their Professor Of Sitcomology.

Uranus in the Eleventh House: Make friends with someone who has Uranus in the First House. Repeat all of his/her mutterings in a high-pitched squeaky voice until your new friend gets annoyed. Get drunk and pass out together in a Wal-Mart parking lot.

Uranus in the Twelfth House: You get today off. You already probably spend a lot of energy hiding your Uranian qualities, which is probably a good thing, given what a nut job most people think you are. Blame all your problems on The Reptoids.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Kill Your Boss Slowly And Painfully, Using Astrology!

Okay, maybe not kill... but it would be nice if you had a better job, wouldn't it?

A lot of clients come to me with concerns about their work and income. One thing I've discovered over the years is that despite what you may think, pay rarely equals job satisfaction in and of itself (ask any astrologer!). And of course, it's rare to hear from clients when everything is going great.\

I've received a few panicky e-mails of late from people concerned about their careers, specifically because of that The September 11 2007 eclipse. Admittedly, Britney Spears is not helping.

But consider the case of Leslie Feist (February 13, 1976, time unknown, Calgary Canada). A few years ago she was a stranger in a strange land -- selling albums in France and producing excellent work, but not receiving the recognition she deserved. A few years before that she was sleeping on the couch of a friend of mine (seriously!).

Now comes the eclipse. Transiting Jupiter is conjunct her natal Neptune, transiting Mars is conjunct her natal Mars and trine her natal Sun, and hey presto -- the video for her song "1 2 3 4" is used in the new iPod Nano ads. In terms of PR for an artist, this is nothing short of a coup. No one had heard of "The Vines" before an iPod landed on them.

Remember this today, Monday, when the work load is getting you down. You may have been handed all the tools you need to mercilessly kill your... I mean, realize your career dreams.

I've liked Feist for a long time now, and this seems as good a time as any to introduce you to her song "Mushaboom." Happy Monday!

But in the meantime we've got it hard
Second floor living without a yard
It may be years until the day
My dreams will match up with my pay...


Friday, September 14, 2007

Corporations Are People Too: Wal-Mart Flip Flop Astrology

There are few things in life more fun for me than to read the "birth chart" of a corporation. They follow more or less all the same rules as your chart and mine do, but experience has taught me corporations have a lot less free will than the average client. It can make prediction a lot easier.

The effects of the September 11/07 eclipse on the Wal-Mart birth chart is pretty dramatic. And, since an eclipse tends to drag its influence out over time, it continues to have an effect. Wal-Mart never has to go begging for money, but of late there have been concerns over the sustainability of the company's growth. That, and a lot of concern over dangerous imports from China.

...And there's yet more trouble brewing, specifically in the form of an outbreak of skin lesions because of bad Chinese-made flip flops.

The Sun/Moon eclipse point (18 degrees, 25 minutes Virgo)squares Wal-Mart's natal Saturn within one-tenth of a degree (ouch!), and Mars is three degrees off the conjunction with the natal Saturn. Saturn (limiting outside forces, material difficulties, and such) is in the company's natal sixth house... in corporate terms, daily operations. Saturn also rules Wal-Mart's Ascendant (maybe that's why they always have that stark fluorescent lighting in there), which in business terms means PR matters, among other things. For bonus points, Saturn is also the traditional ruler of Aquarius, thus the ruler of Wal-Mart's Second House... money. Income. Again, ouch. The capper? Transiting Saturn is in Wal-Mart's Eight House... other people's money, trade agreements, and (often) a lot of stuff you'd rather not see your company on the news for.

There are some less-pronounced, mildly supportive transits happening here too. But if this was your chart and you showed this mess to your astrologer, and his/her first response was "Wow! Transiting Neptune is trining your Saturn! Things are great!" then you've got yourself the wrong astrologer. That sort of transit doesn't usually make for a huge observable result in the face of this kind of astrological smackdown.

Again, as with the Britney Spears astrological situation, nothing too nasty is hitting Wal-Marts natal Moon... just yet... so I'm not sending out funeral notices... just yet.

Whether it's the flip flops or something else, it looks to me like Wal-Mart is in for some difficult corporate times. Here's what it looked like the last time the City Of Tokyo had transits like this, again because of a dangerous import:




For details on your birth chart, CLICK HERE to send me your date, city, and (if known) time of birth. You'll also receive your FREE personalized one-month customized forecast! And yes, it's really free! And it won't cause a rash!

Planetary Friends And Enemies: An Introduction

One of the most useful concepts I've encountered in Vedic astrology that transplants surprisingly well into Western terms is the notion of planetary friends and enemies.

It figures that since each planet rules different things, that each planet could, in essence, have a "personality." Personalities get along with other personalities with varying degrees of effectiveness, as anyone who has worked in a large office can tell you. You can read even more into a birth chart based on the aspects between planets: in other words, if you have Moon square Mercury in your chart, all else being equal, they don't "get along with each other" as well as if it was Moon trine Mercury, for example.

In Vedic astrology, the planets friends and enemies. Think of it this way: If person X likes person Y, then person X will get along better with Y in a stressful situation, whereas X might resent the hell out of Z for having even been invited to the party in the first place.

Here's a listing of friends and enemies for each planet. Make sure you use this to plan the seating arrangement at your next cosmic dinner party.


SUN:
Friends: Moon, Mars, Jupiter Neutrals: Mercury Enemies: Venus, Saturn
MOON:
Friends: Sun, Mercury Neutrals: Mars, Jupiter Enemies: None
MARS:
Friends: Sun Moon Jupiter Neutrals: Venus, Saturn Enemies: Mercury
MERCURY:
Friends: Sun, Venus Neutrals: Mars, Jupiter, Saturn Enemies: Mercury, Mars
JUPITER:
Friends: Sun Moon Mars Neutrals: Saturn Enemies: Mercury Venus
VENUS:
Friends: Mercury Saturn Neutrals: Mars Jupiter Enemies: Sun Moon
SATURN:
Friends: Mercury, Venus Neutrals: Jupiter Enemies: Sun Moon Mars


You may notice some quirks here, as there always are at a good dinner party... like, for example, The Moon is an enemy to Saturn, but Saturn isn't an enemy to the Moon. In fact, the Moon is so welcome he has no enemies. Obviously, the Moon must have brought the wine to this soiree...

I know this looks unnecessarily complex and scary. Don't worry, you don't have to memorize it. But next time you're mulling over your birth chart or someone else's, have a look at this table. I've found it can be of great value in interpreting the aspects in a Western chart. If a trine is so "good" then why is Fred's Mercury-Mars trine giving him high blood pressure? Why does Mindy have such a great love life, despite her Venus-Saturn square? And why do so many people with any Venus-Jupiter aspect (even the good ones) turn out to be diabetic?

I would never let the planetary friend/enemy concept completely overrule an obviously good or bad aspect in a chart. But I find that it adds some valuable flavor to an interpretation. In my case, I have a Moon-Mars opposition that's never been quite as problematic as I've been told to expect. On the other hand, that Sun-Saturn square of mine... yeesh.

Try it yourself next time you're pondering your favorite natal chart. It works!


Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Practical Lesson In Moon Sign Dynamics

I may be a Sagittarius, but I still worry about things a lot. I know we're supposed to be optimistic, bouncy, Tigger-like creatures... and we often are.

I also have Moon in Cancer, right smack on my Ascendant. This tends to make me an overemotional, sad, withdrawn Sagittarius at times. Like at 3:30 AM last night, when I woke up feeling disturbed about life. With the recent eclipse, plus transiting Mars opposite my Sun (and conjunct my progressed Jupiter) and Saturn squaring my natal Mercury, this is hardly a surprise.

It's at times like this you really need to understand your Moon Sign, and what it means to you. Your Sun represents a lot of things to do with your ego. The Moon is your emotional, gut-level, unprocessed feelings. And no matter how well the ego or the intellect may function, more often than not I find it's the Moon crying out for attention in times of emotional distress.

I was tossing and turning, worried about my income and my career direction and how global economic forces can be turned to my personal advantage, and a half dozen other things too personal to relate. In other words, I was in exactly the same state of mind that many clients come to me with.

I like to think that a session with an astrologer who really knows what he/she is doing can not only point out the problems and when they'll end, but (maybe even more importantly) can help a client find a practical way to deal with both the outer and inner issues of the day. And no matter how orderly life may look to the Sun, it's the Moon (more often than not) driving the insecurity. If you don't honor the Moon, you risk being unable to hear the lessons the other planets may have for you.

There are lots of web sites out there that have advice as to what kind of mantra, gemstones, or meditations you can use to honor your Moon and integrate it into your life.

Me? My Moon in Cancer prefers a more immediate, practical approach.

So I got up and ate a whole pie.




Wednesday, September 12, 2007

America's Other 9/11 Crisis: The Day After Britney Spears

It figures that, around the same time I was downplaying the effects of the September 11th eclipse on Sagittariuses that everyone's favourite Bad Example, Britney Spears, was looking forward to her live performance/career meltdown at The MTV Music Awards.

I'm a little divided though by the public's response. Yes, her dancing was flat-footed and her lip-syncing was less inspiring than usual. Of course if I had my Mars (the general ruler of physical activity) conjuncted by a lunar eclipse (with transiting Mars in Gemini squaring it's own natal position, with an assist from transiting Pluto in Sagittarius) I'd have a hard time earning my bump 'n grind Merit Badge too.

If Britney were my client, here's what I'd be telling her (and if you're out there Brit, I'm available next Tuesday):

-It's natural that when your Mars is under attack, physical activities will be affected. However, since you have a Mars-Neptune aspect in your chart, you can always count on being charismatic... yes, even if it's a Mars/Neptune square. However, I'd keep an eye out for circulatory and blood pressure issues. Also, I'd watch the booze, honey. Venus was opposing your natal Moon the night before the concert, and the 3 AM margaritas seem to have cut into your rehearsal time.


-A lot of people are picking on you about your weight. First of all, God/evolution (pick one or both) didn't intend that adult women look like a bag of antlers. If you have to choose between having either current fashion or biology on your side, go with biology. Judging purely by looks, I'd much rather have someone like you than some teen star/supermodel you could store in a drainpipe.


Now having said that, Britney, Saturn is currently sextiling your natal Jupiter (your birth chart's snack bar) so if you want to do anything about it, now's the time. If you need any further opinions from me on the matter, please scroll down to the blog entry before this one. My answer is listed under "Sagittarius."


-If you're really looking for something to worry about, I'd mention that the voice is generally ruled by Mercury and/or the 3rd House, and that your natal Mercury is in your 3rd House. That Saturn thing I mentioned is going to be squaring your Mercury, just as it's sextiling your Jupiter.


Your Jupiter rules your 3rd House. So, my combined prediction/diagnosis for the next few months: you're likely to encounter some difficulties with your singing voice. However, the Jupiter thing gives you an opportunity to do something constructive about it. I'm no vocal coach, but I know that a singer can harm their voice if they are singing "improperly" a lot. Given everything else hitting the fan in your life right now, it would be easy to over-react to this when it happens. But, with a level head and some guidance, you could come out sounding better than ever. The key, as with so many other things in life, is finding and keeping the level head.


-I'm convinced that, no matter what, this eclipse is/was going to be a lot worse on Ann Coulter, even though Ann herself can't quite decide what year she was born in, you'll just have to wait and see. Based on her personality though, I'm guessing 1961.

And Ann, if you're out there... I'm busy. Don't call.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

International "Excuses For Bad Behavior" Day Around The Zodiac


One thing I've learned over the years: despite the birth chart, and regardless of Sun Sign, we're all human... and as a result are all prone to bad behavior. Fortunately, I have decided to use The Power Cosmic invested in me as an astrologer (we all get some at the graduation ceremony, along with a scroll and a solemn promise not to overcharge) to declare this day -- September 11, 2007 -- to be International Excuses For Bad Behavior Day. Just like Sadie Hawkins Day, it's a day where the regular rules are suspended, and you can get away will all sorts of nonsense.

Here are your excuses, conveniently listed by Sun Sign. Memorize yours and use it as much as you can today!

ARIES: "Nothing was happening, so I made it happen. Don't blame me because the barbecue wasn't starting fast enough. Besides, your eyebrows will grow back eventually... "

TAURUS: "Yes, sweetie, I know that was the money for our power bill, but I needed that fur-covered vibrating seat cover! And it was on sale! Half price!"

GEMINI: "I know I said I wasn't going to do that, but that was yesterday. Okay, okay, it was today. But I had to. Now I don't. Sorry about that. Mind if I do it again?"

CANCER: "You were mean to me, so you were asking for it. You're an insensitive jerk. I'm only an insensitive jerk because I have to be. You started it!"

LEO: "Look, I know I have certain responsibilities. I'm an adult. So if I decide I want to spend the rent money on a pony, I deserve it. Now, feed Mr. Nibbles for me, won't you?"

VIRGO: "Don't complain about the job I did. It's not as if you were washing the car properly anyway, so I re-did it for you. At least it's clean now. Besides, you always wanted a convertible, right...?"

LIBRA: "But I thought that's how you wanted it! I only did it for you! Now sit down and stop complaining. Prove your love for me, and eat that raw pork sashimi I made for you before I cry."

SCORPIO: "Hey, you were the one complaining about the neighbor's dog barking all the damned time, so I took care of it. You should be thanking me. Now go get me a shovel before this thing starts to stink."

SAGITTARIUS: "It's the truth! And you did ask for my opinion. That dress does make your ass look fat... but I love your fat ass, babe!"

CAPRICORN: (long, icy silence) "Hmph. Like you could have done better."

AQUARIUS: "Yes. Our wedding day should have been the most special occasion of our lives. And it was. Me inviting my friends from the outpatient clinic made it even more special. Besides, it would have been bad luck to get married without my tinfoil hat, and I left mine at home. If Zoolak hadn't loaned me his, the marriage would have been doomed."

PISCES: "I don't see what the problem is. It's not like anyone was hurt. That's the important thing. The cat needed a haircut. And isn't Mrs. Mittens just adorable with her little Mohawk?"


Friday, September 7, 2007

Dear Virgo...

You know, Virgo, probably one of your greatest gifts is that people... often the right people... seem to be drawn to you when you're worried about stuff. It's that sweet little vaguely-worried look (kind of like a dachshund trying to fish a toy out from under the couch) that draws out the nurturing in others. And you certainly do worry a lot, my dear. I know you may not like that analogy, but face it: everyone loves wiener dogs. That perpetually worried look is half the reason. The other half is that they just don't seem to realize how adorable they are.

You may have heard about the September 11th eclipse coming up. September 11th could even be your birthday, and we all know how that particular date has been screwed up. Now you know how all those Capricorn kids felt getting screwed out of birthday presents at Christmas.

Everyone gets all panicky over eclipses. You've heard the stories about the ancients running outside and yelling at that dragon to stop eating the sun or the moon. Sensible thing that you are, I hope you keep this in mind. Sure, it's a lunar eclipse in your sign, Virgo... and yes, Saturn just rolled into your neighborhood. And Uranus opposes you, and Mars and Jupiter and Pluto are all squaring you. But I have nothing but the greatest confidence in you. You've survived worse, and did so in good form.

Astrologically, I've found that an eclipse has a diffuse effect spread out over the time between eclipses: in other words, the jack-in-the-box is unlikely to spring that day, but sensitizes that spot in the Zodiac, possibly contributing to other transits afterwards, or even beforehand.

Besides, another great gift you have is the gift of breaking it all down into manageable chunks and dealing with the crap life hands you. Relax. Enjoy. Breathe. It's gonna be all right, babe.

As for that Sagittarius who keeps flirting with you at work, and that Gemini who always talks to you in the elevator? Now those guys are gonna find this transit tricky. And you're good at the caring-and-consolation thing. Maybe that's why they keep flirting with you, despite being told by too many astrologers that you two would just never work out together.

So get ready to be (heavy sigh) of service again this September 11th. And if the Sagittarius gets there first, wear that little nurse's uniform you had on last Halloween. We Saggies love that stuff.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Sexy, Large-Breasted Astrology: A Serious Philosophical Discussion

Right about now I was supposed to have a clear, easy to ready delineation using Ashtakavarga techniques to demonstrate that everything is going to be just fine, thank you, with Britney Spears. I still think she will be, in the final analysis. The problem is my ability to break Ashtakavarga down into relatively simple, bite-sized chunks.

Well, you've just going to have to take my word for it. I've decided to write a book instead. Rush out and order your copy today... it'll be ready in about two years.

This brings to mind a larger philosophical conversation I've been having with myself of late about the nature of astrology, and communicating it in a useful manner. Consider the following scenario:

DOCTOR: (gravely) Mrs. Jones, I'm afraid you have acute post-prandial upper abdominal distention, with complicating edema.

MRS. JONES: (terrified) Am... am I going... to live?

DOCTOR: It's cramps and bloating. Have a Midol, you'll be fine.

Conveying the admittedly complex concepts of astrology is probably the biggest challenge an astrologer faces, after grasping those concepts. It can be a huge challenge getting it all across in a useful, non-technical form.

ASTROLOGER: Your Sun sextiles Uranus in the Second House --

CLIENT: You fraud! I don't own a second house, and if I did, my son would not have anal sex with a reptile in it!

It's enough to make any client tell an astrologer to go quincunx himself.

So from now on most of the Vedic writing I'll be doing will be dedicated to the cause of making it all make sense on a relatively simple level. Which, I figure, is a good thing. I think there would be a lot more acceptance of astrology in the mainstream if we, as astrologers, did more and better jobs of getting the word out. Of course that's also one of the problems with my calling: it's not like a plumber has to spend half his day explaining that U-bends and cutoff valves aren't just silly superstition.

The problem is an order of magnitude more difficult when it comes to Vedic. It's a system with a lot more mathematical and conceptual complexities, written in an unfamiliar language. And yet it's as universal and applicable as the weather.

And, just like the weather, sometimes you have to dress it up a little to make high pressure cells and chaos theory and hydrodynamics palatable. But it can be done... just ask Univision meteorologist Jackie Guerrido. She's a Libra, so she'll probably take the time to explain it nicely.

Clearly, though... I'm gonna need a new wardrobe for this job.


Tuesday, September 4, 2007