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 TMZ.com, 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.