Friday, December 21, 2007

Astrologers Doing Business In A Manger

(It's Christmas re-run season, and here's mine. See you all in the new year!)

Scene: The Nativity. Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar gather around the Christ Child. Mary and Joseph listen intently in the background.

Balthazar: major concern with this birth chart is that it shows potential for conflict with authority figures. You might want to teach him to be a little more respectful of Caesar, just to be careful. At least publicly.

Caspar: Don't be silly. He's a revolutionary, and the world needs more of that. This Jupiter/Saturn configuration, though... could be liver trouble.

Melchior: Look at the stare on this kid. He probably has something we haven't even heard of yet, right on the Ascendant.

Caspar: (chuckling) You and your undiscovered planets, Melchior. Seriously.

Balthazar: I think what we're trying to say here , Mr. And Mrs...

(Looks back and forth at Mary and Joseph, who do not respond, but simply smile as if they know something the astrologers don't)

Balthazar:, Carpenter, is that anyone born into this world has to cope with certain inherent limitations. And a birth chart is like a road map to all of life's obstacles. And emotional issues!

Caspar: And medical problems!

Balthazar: So you see, although it does appear that your boy here is, in fact, some sort of a really special person, the indications are of a shortish life span... like maybe 35 years tops. And it's going to be a struggle. Like with authority figures.

Caspar: No real signs of wealth here either. And possible death by piercing or blood loss.

Balthazar: So we really recommend relocating the birth chart. You should consider a move to Gaul, or Germania, or something.

Caspar: His relocated chart to Hispania puts Venus on the Ascendant. He'd be a lot more popular with the girls there.

(Balthazar and Caspar turn to Melchior, who has fallen silent, staring at the baby)

Caspar: Melchior, you've hardly said a word. By this point you've usually told the parents all about the baby's future marriage and food allergies. What's the problem?

Melchior: It's just... the way this kid is looking at me. It's like... it's like He Knows Something that we don't.

(Balthazar and Caspar laugh uproariously)

Balthazar: You're such a cut-up, Melchior. We're the Wise Men. We're astrologers!

(Caspar leans in close to Melchior)

Caspar (whispering): Besides, look around dude. The kid was born with the livestock. Everyone wants to think their baby is the Greatest Thing Ever... but this one is an obvious non-starter.

Balthazar: Sorry folks, we have to move it along here. The Moon's nearly at the Midheaven, and we have a party to work at Herod's.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Feast Of Chiron

I was sitting around last night contemplating my Solar Return chart in the traditional manner -- over a bottle of cheap vodka -- when the door bell rang. A pizza delivery car was idling outside. Not having ordered a pizza, but with a professional astrologer's keen instincts for a free meal, I answered the door. Much to my surprise, the pizza was being delivered by no less than Chiron the Centaur himself.

"This must be an awkward moment for you" Chiron said.

"You're telling me," I replied. "I didn't order a pizza, and I'm broke."

"I didn't mean that. I mean, you've never written about me, ever. And I rarely hear you mention me in your consultations."

I felt myself blush a little, something that doesn't happen much any more. "Well, you know I prefer a more mechanistic approach to my astrology. You know --"

Chiron interrupted. " 'I'll tell you when you get hit by the truck, you figure out how you feel about it.' I know. It's one of your favourite lines."

I set the pizza down on the coffee table. "Look, I realize that the functions you represent are vital to the counselling process. Really, I do. I just have a hard time seeing the practical use of you in a reading. It's not like a nice solid Uranus transit squaring natal Mars screwing up your blood pressure."

"Isn't Sun square Chiron on the Midheaven one of the tighter aspects in your chart?" Chiron asked.

"Yes," I replied. "And that should make me some kind of expert if there was any sort of observable --"

"And aren't you sitting around in the dark, drinking for no obvious reason, feeling all bad about your existence, right before your Solar Return?"

I glanced around. "I just haven't changed the light bulb yet. Honest. So is this what you do now: go around handing out meals people can't afford and didn't ask for?"

Chiron trotted over to the pizza box and opened it. It had extra cheese, which almost managed to obscure the Brussels Sprouts, parsnips, and liverwurst toppings. I cringed.

"No." Chiron replied. "I go around handing out what people really need, emotionally, whether they know it or not. And it's free."

The delivery car horn honked repeatedly. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have a lot of stops to make this evening. I have a bucket of deep-fried childhood memories for a Virgo going cold."

He paused to pat my shoulder reassuringly before he left.

"Just remember: where it Hurts, there is Hope."

The car horn honked impatiently as he left. I looked out the window one last time, and in the dark I was barely able to make out the features of my great-grandfather behind the wheel -- the one I never met, but who nonetheless taught me that no matter how bad life feels at times, things could always be worse.

I sat down and started to eat. It was awful at first, but I soon realized just how hungry I was... and, miraculously, I was hungry for something like this. I contemplated the Human Condition: wounded, struggling things making out way through life causing more injury to ourselves and others, and on occasion -- if we're both wise and lucky -- mopping up more pain than we leave behind. And I thought about another year of more of the same, for me.

And I thought about a malformed and misbegotten thing, half man and half horse, who nonetheless taught The Gods Themselves lessons in healing and nobility.

So, naturally, I danced.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Saucer Lands, The Door Opens, And Matthew The Astrologer Steps Out And Says...

Hi folks. I've missed our regular talks: I've been kind of busy. It's been a good thing though... I think I've discovered a lot more about the True Meaning Of Life and stuff. I'll be back in a couple of days with fresh jokes. Thanks, everyone!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pet The Goat: Be Nice To Capricorn

I've been looking at the upcoming planetary transits for the next few months. There's the usual mix of peril and opportunity out there, but I think I've already drawn one important conclusion:

Capricorn: you guys are going to get stiffed in the empathy-from-others department. Again.

Sure, the Sun, Saturn, and Uranus are all in helpful places for Capricorn right now. And even if they weren't, no one has a talent like Capricorn does for making things take root in the worst soil. But I've noticed over the years that if there's one Sun Sign that can get stiffed by transits and doesn't yell about it half as much as they should, it's the Goats.

Mars is going retrograde in Cancer... Capricorn's seventh house, ruling relationships. So while everything else appears to be working more or less on schedule, helping Capricorn build a solid, more reliable Tomorrow for Pluto to star screwing with next year... the love life appears to be lagging behind. This makes me a little sad, because I've always thought Capricorns were cute little things, like goats at the petting zoo. People generally agree with this assessment at first, until someone mentions bringing a goat home as a pet.

Seriously, though: I love you guys. Your just a sensitive as your opposite, Cancer, but manage to function in a dignified, orderly way... or at least you maintain the appearance of it, which is almost as good. On the inside, though? You're as messy as the rest of us... maybe a little more, because being a Capricorn is a little like being born wearing a pinstriped suit. You have the same needs as everyone else, but based on appearances, everyone assumes you showed up knowing how to change your own diaper. Efficiently.

Come to think of it, a lot of you out there look like you've got it together on the outside a lot better than you do on the inside. And that of course, is why I'm here.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Mad Astrologer: Reality, Reshaped To Order

I've been following Pat's comments on the astrology of The Galactic Core (26-28 degrees Sagittarius) and what (if anything) is the significance of Pluto's prolonged stay there. I've always known it's significant, somehow, but I've always had a hard time pinning it down. Up until recently, the most I could get out of it was that it seems to appear a lot in the charts of science fiction and fantasy fans.

Current experience is teaching me the true meaning of this point in the sky, or so I think. Pluto is Transformation. The Galactic Core is, in a sense, the Center of everything in the sky, and thus astrology, and thus... life.

The planet of transformation is in a straight line with the Core. Connect those two points with a line, and that line proceeds straight to Earth. To you.

I normally take a very down-to-Earth, practical approach to astrology. After all, have you ever tried to "manifest" your way out of the ditch after a car has hit you? How well did that work? Frankly, in a situation like that, I'll take a decent paramedic over Gandalf The Grey any day.

But things are happening on a huge scale these days, for me and for a lot of us. So here is what I'm suggesting to all my dear readers and friends out there:

Today is not not a day to look at the sky and ask "why." Today is a day to look inward and ask "what do I want?" and be specific. Look around inside until you see the very specific, unambiguous details of what you really want.

Find that Truth, and shout it with all your might. Make a few demands. Stop taking prisoners.

Today: The Universe listens intently... so speak to it with Intent.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Crazy/Genius: Prince The Gemini Is Both

Although Prince (formerly known as Formerly Known As) has been on the charts since the early 1980s, he continues to produce the same thoughtful, introspective, wildly shag-worthy music he always did. Like many artists (Cyndi Lauper comes to mind), he has produced consistently excellent work, but mainstream sales haven't always reflected this.

One thing most people don't know about Prince is that he is, at times, a business genius as well. After all, only a lunatic would give away three million copies of his new CD with the Sunday paper in London, right? That's even worse than not selling albums... that's guaranteeing a loss. The same would apply just as surely to Prince, who did just that a few years ago. Except of course afterwards he played twenty one sold-out concerts in London alone as a result.

I don't know how much you paid for concert tickets last time you went... but I'm willing to bet our Gemini (June 7, 1958, 6:17 PM, Minneapolis MN) friend made a mountain off of money off the deal.

So I have to wonder what's behind Prince's recent unprecedented Internet rampage to eliminate all unauthorized images of himself and all trace of his music. Being worried about losing out because someone downloaded your song for free is one thing... but demanding a woman remove her home video of a toddler dancing to "Let's Go Crazy"? Jeez.

Prince has Pluto right smack on his Midheaven, opposite his moon. Right there we have a recipe for emotional volatility, and given the Midheaven's involvement, this is going to come out in the career. This is the sort of guy who can pull off a genius marketing ploy like the London giveaway. This is also the sort of guy who, at the peak of his fame, could suddenly change his name to a weird symbol with no proper pronouciation, thus leading to a spate of "The Artist Formerly Known As..." jokes.

Transiting Pluto is trining that natal Pluto/Midheaven now. Normally, most astrologers would say that this is a time when Prince would be making radical moves for the better in his career. Trying to get rid of every unauthorized trace of yourself on the Internet is certainly radical... but I wouldn't normally think that threating your biggest fans with legal action is so good for business. Then again, I would have thought giving your album away was nuts. Either way, the Pluto transit is adding plenty of fuel to the fire. In time, we'll see whether the Genius or the Lunatic wins the battle, this time around. Although with Saturn currently squaring his natal Mercury... which also rules his Eighth House Sun... and transiting Uranus squaring that Sun... I think the smart money may be on "lunatic."

Since it's pretty much impossible to find any Prince on the Internet these days, here's a squirrel on water skis:


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Bull By The Balls: A Taurus And Scorpio Love Story For Everyone

Above is a detail from a sculpture at the British Museum, depicting the legend of Mithras, who was the object of a Mystery Religion found throughout the ancient Roman world. In this legend, Mithras is frequently depicted killing a bull, and (in most cases)a scorpion is attacking the bull's cojones.

There are lots of places you can read up on the astronomical/seasonal significance of this central image of Mithraism. As an astrologer though, I have my own observations:

-It has been my experience that the upside of the legendary Taurus stubbornness is, literally, a refusal to die easily.

-Taurus and Scorpio are naturally drawn to each other, maybe more than most oppositions. Although one could make a case for that being because the signs are ruled by Venus and Mars, personally I think it's because both signs secretly love a challenge... frequently while they're complaining about how much they hate the challenge.

-Scorpios aren't afraid to go for the groin shot when it's going to score points.

Finally, and most importantly: those who seek True Love (or those who have It find Them) had better leave all their preconceptions at the door. You have some preconceptions about what sign he/she is, or his/her Moon sign, appearance, location, ethnicity, marital status, age, shoe size? Best give all those notions up now. When it hits, it hits.

And sometimes, if we focus on our preconceptions instead of what is True, it can be a huge pain in the balls. But it's always worth it.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pluto. Galactic Core. Me.

For the next day or so I'd like to commend you all to the good graces of Pat Paquette's blog, The Pisces Chronicles. She has some very intelligent sounding things to say about this weeks conjunction of Pluto with the Galactic Core.

I say "intelligent sounding" because this particular conjunction takes place closely opposite my natal Jupiter, and I'm not currently in a position to understand much of anything. Except, of course... it's having a real effect on me personally.

See you in a few days, when my capsule lands...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

True Tales Of Teen Heartbreak: The Libra Guide To Compatibility

You hear a lot that Libras are all about the romance because it's a Venus-ruled sign. I'm not sure that's entirely the point. I think most people are suckers for a good romance story, with all the twists and turns required for Boy to finally be with Girl. And Libras love the "love story" part of Love. That's probably why you find so many Libras who have an interest in astrology... it's like one of those "making of" documentaries on a romance movie DVD.

Here are the payoffs and pitfalls of Libras relationships with the other signs, expressed in terms those lovers of love will appreciate. Something that captures all the vibrancy and willful disregard for reality that Libras crave.... romance comics!

ARIES: Pretty exciting stuff. Adventurous, motivated, and straight to the point. The problem is that even the best road has a couple of unexpected potholes... and Aries is just exciting enough to make you forget to put your helmet on.

TAURUS: They love the lovin' just as much as you do... and who couldn't love that? The problem: you love to be loved, but not necessarily possessed, and certainly not ordered around.

GEMINI: Charming. Witty. Fun. Affectionate. There will never be any doubt in your mind that Gemini loves you, except on the days his identical twin The Jerk shows up.

CANCER: Great depth of emotion. Tremendous power when in love. But when they cling to you... or when they think you're sneaking out to flirt with other boys... ouch!

LEO: Great fun. Terribly romantic. Irresistibly kitty-cuddly-cute when they put their mind to it. But notice how their picture is the biggest one in this article? That was Leo's idea, baby. Get used to it.

VIRGO: Admittedly they can be charming, and the things that logical little mind of there's can come up with are adorable. But let's be honest: some days they just aren't that romantic at all.

LIBRA: Okay, show of hands: how many of you out there can name a romance story you loved where two people who are completely different end up together anyway? Okay, now... how many of you can name a romance story you loved about two identical romantics who got together, everything was just great, and they spent the rest of their lives that way? Yeah, thought so. Romance is as much about the differences as it is about the similarities.

SCORPIO: Such passion! Such intensity! Such bruising when they slip and completely forget that a relationship is about compromise!

SAGITTARIUS: They're a lot of fun. They know how to have a good time. You'll like the playfulness. But will you ever get past that nagging notion they're just horsing around with the relationship instead of taking it seriously?

CAPRICORN: The good news: He's solid. He's dependable. He's determined and hard working. The bad news: this is the guy your Mom wanted you to marry. How appealing is that?

AQUARIUS: He has a light touch. He's interesting, intelligent, and different. The problem here is that he's on his own world half the time... not yours.

PISCES: What started out as a refreshing dip into the deep waters of Lake Dewey-Eyes can quickly turn into being surrounded by weird, creepy things that don't even breathe the same way you do. And believe me... on a bad day, you'll want to come up for air.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sowing The Seeds Of Love: The Taurus Guide To Compatibility

A Taurus, whether a man or a woman, has a reputation for not rushing into things. Of course when the heart calls, a Taurus responds just as quickly as anyone else. But how to nurture that relationship properly, and how to tell what kind of an emotional investment you've made? Will it be delicious, beautiful... or just a weed?

Here's a handy guide to your relationships, Taurus, based on how much work you'll have to put into them. Even the hardiest perrenials need some tending, and even the most difficult patch of soil can be made to sprout something beautiful. But some of those patches of soil are a lot easier to work than others...

RICH, DARK SOIL: The other Earth signs (Virgo and Capricorn), Cancer, and Pisces. These spots in the garden aren't going to need a lot of tending. Rich in emotion, yet cautious like yourself. A good long-term investment of your time and energy. Virgo may not always show as much blossom as you like, Capricorn sometimes has trouble taking root deeply, and Pisces tends to wander all over like a vine. Cancer has good tenacity, but needs encouragement to sprout.

FERTILE, BUT REQUIRES A LOT OF TENDING: Another Taurus or Scorpio. You'll probably have fun with these, but they're going to take more work than the average. Another Taurus may sound like a natural, but they can be as stubborn as you, and do you need more of that? Scorpio brings some dynamic blooms, but you may find it leeches too many nutrients from your soil.

SHADY, REQUIRES EXTRA FERTILIZER: Libra and Sagittarius. Like you, Libra is a Venus-ruled sign. This should make the two of you perfect, but Libra needs more attention than you might be ready to give it. As for Sagittarius: it's not the sort of thing you'd ever actually plan on planting, on the face of it... but it seems to work anyway. Bright foliage makes up for all the weeding and wandering into the neighbor's plot.

REQUIRES INTENSIVE WATERING: Aries and Gemini. These astrological neighbors can be appealing, but take a lot more work than most for you to maintain. Aries is always looking for a hotter climate to sprout in, and Gemini puts down its roots where you want them to go... and everywhere else, too. Neither one takes well to being pruned.

A TOUGH ROW TO HOE: Leo and Aquarius. Leo can make a flamboyant centerpiece to any garden. It's just that their wild impulsive growth spurts make them hard to manage, and the huge blooms distract from why you wanted a garden in the first place. Aquarius, like you, grows at its own pace, but you may end up accidentally fertilizing it to death trying to make it grow your way... something Aquarius just won't do.

No matter what relationship you find yourself in, there will be work. And there will be rewards. And as these things go, Taurus, some cliches are true. In romance, you really do have a green thumb!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Shooting The Messenger: Who's Afraid Of Mercury Retrograde?

One sure sign for me that a client has had a little exposure to astrology is when they mention, with just a hint of fear in their voices, that Mercury is retrograde.

Frankly, I'm not all that concerned. Yes, Mercury is important -- I'm using mine to write this, and you're using yours to read this, right now! -- but I've found that blaming Mercury retrograde for just about anything is a case of (Mercury pun!) "shooting the messenger."

At most, I've found that Mercury going retrograde is just a matter of the straw that breaks the camel's back. Or the wrong word that sets off the brawl that had been building for months. Or the cheque being lost in the mail that should have paid the power bill three months ago. Or, in my case... waiting until today to install the new Vedic software I bought months ago that now, mysteriously, doesn't speak either English or Windows.

Other than that, though... no worries. As far as current transits going on, I'm much more worked up over the Mercury/Venus/Mars/Saturn/South Node pileup around 5-9 degrees of Cancer/Virgo/Scorpio. You know that's gonna make for some serious action for someone.

Besides, if Mercury retrograde is so lousy, why are so many smart people born with it... and why are so many dumbasses born with Mercury direct?

Boy, Mercury, shootin' through every degree...

Beauty: Confirmed Without A Time Of Birth (Or A Picture!)

Apparently Charlize Theron is the Sexiest Woman In The World, at least according to Esquire magazine.

If you want some kind of an astrological explanation for this, it's a bit problematic. We don't have an accurate time of birth for Charlize. Fortunately, there is a relative simple Vedic technique that can help in cases like this.

Every aspect of life in a Vedic chart can be ruled by two planets. One of them is the planet ruling the house in question. In other words, if you were born with Taurus rising, you have Scorpio on the 7th. Therefore, your marriage is ruled by your Mars (the traditional ruler of Scorpio).

Each facet of your life also has a natural ruler: a karaka. For example, the karaka for marriage is Jupiter... so regardless of when you were born, we also look at your Jupiter for hints of how marriage will be for you.

If you have a birth chart without a time of birth, and still want to extract useful details about this or that are of life, just:

-Convert the chart to Sidereal. Quit complaining, that's what software is for, and you can get it for free out there.

-Rotate the chart until the karaka in question is on the Ascendant.

-Treat the entire sign the planet is in as the 1st house. In other words, if your Jupiter is at 27 degrees Gemini, then everything from 0-29 degrees Gemini is your first house, all of Cancer is the second, and so on.

-Voila! Charlize Theron's Venus chart has Sun, Moon, Mercury and Saturn in the 12th House in Cancer, which in the Vedic system rules, um, "bed pleasures." Having the Moon there, in the sign it rules, amplifies everything.

So you have a blind date with Charlize and she doesn't know her time of birth. I can't make you any guarantees about her personality yet, but damn... the chart says she's a looker.

(Another Vedic tidbit; with a Sun/Moon conjunction, she's probably better than average at math too. Bring that up over the appetizers and impress the hell out of her with your astrological skill!)

This raises two very important points: first of all, Western and Vedic have a lot to offer each other. Secondly, if you need an astrologer to tell you what's beautiful and what isn't, you probably don't deserve a date with Charlize Theron.

Of course, we're talking about a generic, cultural/genetic sort of beauty. When it comes to what each of us finds truly beautiful is entirely individual, based on who we are and the placements in our birth chart as much as anything else.

For example: I know who the Most Beautiful Girl In The World really is... but she's shy about it. So, no names.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

You Can't Hide From A Void Of Course Moon

I've always thought there was a little too much concern over initiating any activity during a void of course moon: yes, it's a terrible time to successfully set out on a new course of action. Yes, it's true that (all else being equal) things won't turn out as well. But generally, as long as you think small, everything ought to be okay.

...or so I thought. I spent my last void-of-course Moon with my buddy Faith (we both have Venus in Aquarius, so "buddy" is high praise indeed) hiding at home watching a DVD.

Faith has her Sun and Moon conjunct in late Sagittarius, which that void-of-course Moon was squaring. And transiting Mercury was off in her 12th House, doing nothing in particular for her... which explains why a quiet, uneventful evening was still (by the usual standards of a quiet, uneventful evening) turned into a bucket of crap.

Please, people: I don't demand you "believe" in astrology. You don't even need to read my blog. I just beg you, please, whatever you do, whether the Moon is void or not...


Tomorrow, I'll be back from post-Turistas therapy, and will (hopefully) be able to write more about actual astrology. In the meantime... did I mention HOW DAMNED BAD TURISTAS WAS?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Thank You

Today is Canadian Thanksgiving, which means I have several hundred metric tons of potatoes to mash. One thought, though: clients ask me a lot about "love," specifically things like "Yes, but does he love me?" or "Is he my soulmate?"

This is often a much more ephemeral question than anyone realizes until someone asks it.

All I know is that sometimes life throws strange, unexpected, and beautiful things at us, and we are fools if we don't stop and listen.

I am thankful for those moments.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


Today I'd like to draw your attention to a valuable resource on the Internet for those of you tired of the "you believe in that stuff?" look whenever the subject of astrology comes up in conversation.

If you want simple, easy-to-see proof that astrology actually does have an affect, you need look no further than Astrofaces, one of the first astrological web sites that really grabbed my attention.

Astrofaces is trying to compile a collection of photographs of people's faces, sorting them by Sun/Moon/Rising sign, and letting the results speak for themselves. Of course if you've been into astrology long enough, and seen it in action in the real world, you can probably already spot that lazy/sexy Taurus-rising walk or that proud Leo rising cranium.

It's quite another thing, though, to have visible proof staring you in the face that yes, astrology works. And it's quite the kick introducing your friendly neighborhood skeptic to have a browse.

Have a look at other people with your Sun Moon and Rising signs. Even if you're used to the notion, it can be a little startling at first.

I only have one problem with all of this though:

Why haven't you sent your picture in yet?

Friday, October 5, 2007

Astrological Back-Seat Driving: The Signs Read The Signs

ARIES: "Hmph. Like we had any intention of turning back, anyway..."

TAURUS: "Ah, we must be entering The Bakery District. Pull over."

GEMINI: "Let me drive. I can handle this one."

CANCER: "(Sobbing) No one helped me cross the street when I was a kid"

LEO: "Remember when you used to do things like that for me? You know, before you started taking me for granted?"

VIRGO: "Actually, by my measurements, it's a twelve point five percent grade..."

LIBRA: "Will you still love me when I'm that age?"

SCORPIO: "Maybe now we'll get to the truth!"

SAGITTARIUS: "Yee-ha! Free massage while you drive. Speed up, the suspension can take it!"

CAPRICORN: "Chill out! We're saving a fortune on gas being stuck behind this tractor!"

AQUARIUS: "That's unfair! Big Oil must be behind this. I'm starting a letter-writing campaign..."

PISCES: "I sure know that feeling..."

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Romantic Saturn? Age Differences And Relationships

One of the more common situations I face in the course of my work as an astrologer is what I've come to think of as "age panic." By this I don't mean agonizing over wrinkles or grey hair. Here's how it usually goes:

CLIENT: I just don't get it! He's so nice, thoughtful, kind, intelligent, sexy... but I should run like hell!

ME: That's funny, you two look pretty compatible.

CLIENT: We are... but he's so young!

Over the years I've noticed more and more clients facing exactly this sort of situation, where a five year (or more) age gap is making the client nervous. The only thing that really surprises me that much is when the younger party is the female, as was once traditionally the case.

A lot of women out there are worrying their relationships to death over an age gap. Maybe they're afraid they're going to look like this weirdo.

Once you've decided that something is a problem, it becomes more of a problem, whether it's really a problem or not. If your boyfriend forgets your birthday, it's because men are often thoughtless with that sort of thing. But if your much-younger boyfriend does the same thing... he's an immature punk and you should know better.

When it comes to comparing two people in a relationship, astrologically, age shouldn't be a factor. If someone's Ascendant is conjunct your Venus, you're going to think that person is cute, whether he or she is an infant or elderly or anything in between.

Sometimes an age gap can even be beneficial in a relationship. A five year gap can lead to one person's Saturn sextiling the other's. A nine or ten (or 18-20) year age difference can make for two Saturns that trine each other. A fourteen year gap can make for a Saturn opposition... something that makes most Western astrologers nervous, but ask any Vedic astrologer (the people who have been hooking up arranged marriages for the last thousand years, by the way) what he/she thinks of it.

Saturn may not be the most romantic planet out there, but it can lend an incredible degree of support and durability to a relationship. And too often good relationships fall apart for a lack of it.

I don't know what to ascribe this trend towards "older-women" relationships to. Something in the water? Some kind of MILF virus? Beats me. All I know is that, when all is said and done, when there's difficulties in a relationship because of an age gap, the age gap itself is rarely the problem.

Or, as I explained to the parent of the last eyebrow-raisingly young girlfriend I had... "I'm not robbing the cradle, she's robbing the grave..."

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Bold Astrological Prediction: Ann Coulter Will Continue To Disappoint

Assuming that Ann Coulter hasn't lied about her date of birth (and there is plenty of reason she has, possibly for illegal purposes, I believe we are about to see the spectacular results of how nasty an eclipse can get.

Based on the assumption that the December 8/61 birth date is correct, here's what's hitting for Ann:

The September 11th eclipse point is squaring her Natal Sun and Mars, transiting mars is opposing the Sun/Mars conjunction, and Pluto is conjuncting the natal moon. If we had a confirmed time of birth, we could determine the house rulerships involved. Although I haven't done a proper rectification for her chart, offhand I'm thinking she was born around 8 or 9 in the morning. Capricorn rising suits her cheekbones, and Saturn in Capricorn in the first suits her not-so-warm and fuzzy style. What's even more interesting is that a birth around that time would put her Midheaven in Scorpio, which is traditionally ruled by Mars.

...And today her new book, If Democrats Had Any Brains They'd Be Republicans, hits the shelves. I have a strong suspicion that it isn't going to sell like hotcakes as her stuff usually does.

I know what you're thinking: I'm probably just making decisions based on silly emotional thinking. Just like a woman... particularly, a single woman, who Ann has pointed out recently can't be trusted with something as important as voting.

Sure... I get laughed at for trying to predict the future, and Ann Coulter makes money off of trying to revive the caveman days. There just ain't no justice...

Hiring An Astrologer, Tiberius Style

I've been asked a few times recently as to how one can go about choosing a good, reputable astrologer. There is the usual advice, of course: ask others who have seen him/her, don't be afraid to ask questions about the astrologer's practice before you set up the appointment, and so on.

This isn't so much a problem in places like India, where astrology is a lot more mainstream. Or in a place like Burma, where the astrologers can't make it so you get away with murder... but they can do their best. There's a long history of those in power using astrologers to their benefit. There is, of course, The Reagan's successful use of astrology. My hero, Richard Houck, worked the Washington scene to great effect (and offered a double-your-money-back guarantee!).

(For all you professional astrologers out there, Houck's "The Astrology Of Death" is the greatest, most useful astrology text you've never read.)

The ancient Romans were big fans of astrology too. The Roman emperor Tiberius (Nov 16, 42 BC), who had a Sun-Venus conjunction in Scorpio, went with a slightly different technique when choosing court astrologer Thrasyllus:

"Whenever he (Tiberius) sought counsel on such matters, he would make use of the top of the house and of the confidence of one freedman, quite illiterate and of great physical strength. The man always walked in front of the person whose science Tiberius had determined to test, through an unfrequented and precipitous path (for the house stood on rocks), and then, if any suspicion had arisen of imposture or of trickery, he hurled the astrologer, as he returned, into the sea beneath, that no one might live to betray the secret.

Thrasyllus accordingly was led up the same cliffs, and when he had deeply impressed his questioner by cleverly revealing his imperial destiny and future career, he was asked whether he had also thoroughly ascertained his own horoscope, and the character of that particular year and day. After surveying the positions and relative distances of the stars, he first paused, then trembled, and the longer he gazed, the more was he agitated by amazement and terror, till at last he exclaimed that a perilous and well-nigh fatal crisis impended over him.

Tiberius then embraced him and congratulated him on foreseeing his dangers and on being quite safe. Taking what he had said as an oracle, he retained him in the number of his intimate friends."

-Tacitus, The Annals, Book VI

This underlines two important points: first, that if astrology can forsee disasters, it follows that it can help you at least try to prevent them. And secondly, it's been my experience that astrologers have a much tougher time making sense of their own transits than they do with anyone else's chart (I know I do, anyway)... so even if Thrasyllus was a brilliant astrologer, he was also one lucky bastard that day.

If only I had the nerve to recommend the Tiberius Technique, I might have made enough of an impression that this morning's client wouldn't have cancelled on me at the last minute. Also, given that even a very good professional at anything can have a bad day, I probably wouldn't be here to offer this advice.

But of course... there are worse things than being broke...

Monday, October 1, 2007

Sagittarius Luck: Behind The Wheel With Britney Spears

The ongoing effects on Britney Spear's of the September 11th eclipse extend to her 12th House (legal/governmental matters)and her Third House (which rules among other things, driving and getting around).

In (I swear!) completely unrelated news from, Britney is following the classic "I'm feelin' lucky!" approach to her current lack of a driver's license. In this case, I criticise because I'm a Sagittarius, and I've tried this approach myself. You'd be surprised how often it works: ask any Sagittarius, like (for example) multiple-Sag George Armstrong Custer, who was such a lucky guy he could get away with ignoring his scouts whenever he was "feeling lucky."

It's a strategy that only failed him once. Overall, that's pretty good odds.

In the meantime, Technorati told me to do this: Technorati Profile so I'm doing it. No sense in pushing my luck...

UPDATE: The big news today is Britney losing custody of her kids. However, according to her lawyer, this is because of the driver's licence issue. So, as far as reasons to have the courts take your kids away, this one is pretty minor and reasonable. Or so it seems. Whew.

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: