A Tale of Two Whistles: Forecasting techniques practice with charts of Edward Snowden and Julian Assange

On my laptop I have a text file where I put down the topics and ideas for my future articles and, to my eternal dismay, I can’t  quite ever manage to cross the items off faster than I add them. Of course, I have classes to teach and clients to do readings for but I’d also be lying if I said I don’t go on a Netflix binge every now and then.

Anyhow, Edward Snowden has been on that list for a while and recently (I think it was late August or early September 2020) he has been mentioned in the news in connection with the possibility of a pardon as President Trump said he’d “look at it very strongly”. Out of curiosity I flipped through Edward’s prognostics chart rather than focusing on his Natal and saw a very interesting astrological event happening right around the time he revealed the classified documents and got stuck in Russia while trying to get to Ecuador where he had requested asylum. The clearest and most precise picture is seen in the Solar Arc directions rather than transits (see the chart below)

The Natal opposition between Sun/Mars conjunction in his 1st house (placed in Gemini in the Natal chart) and Neptune in the 7th represents his fight for freedom and openness, for information being available, being actively shared with people (Mars, Sun, Gemini) rather than hidden, veiled (Neptune). This is his fight (opposition) against deception (Neptune). The opposition is reinforced by the Nodes, the North Node siding with Mars (taking action) and the Sun (speaking your truth).

In the 2013 Solar Arc Chart this opposition made a T-square to the Pluto/Saturn conjunction in Libra in his Natal chart. With Pluto having to do both with secrets and mass-scale surveillance while Saturn is authority, the government, and Libra adding in the accent on justice, his Solar Arc chart paints a much more vivid picture than the transits, describing the significance of this event and this year in his life, showing how 2013 became the pivotal point which split his life into “before and after”. 

Yet this doesn’t answer the question of pardon. The dynamic T-square draws our attention away from a subtle but very meaningful placement in the context of the Solar Arc method – the Sun is about to change signs. Now, in Solar Arc technique the planets shift one degree per one year of life so a change of sign is a notable event. For Edward the Sun is not just one of the key focal points due to house placement, conjunction with the Node and being involved in some important aspects. For Edward, the Sun rules the 4th house – the house of home, the place of living, his residence. In 2013 in Solar Arc it was in the last degree of Cancer, about to go into Leo and stay there for the following 30 years. 

How is this connected with his pardon? It is not. Not directly. What it is connected with is his stay in Russia. If Edward had decided to consult an astrologer back then he would have heard something very similar to what Assange’s advice for him was: “You are the safest in Russia”. An astrologer would have also added: “And you’ll stay here for quite some time.” Mind you, an astrologer doesn’t need to know much about the political situation in different countries around the globe, about the strong CIA presence in South America and Russia’s intolerance for any attempts of snatching Edward on its territory. No, astrologically it simply reads as following: your life force (the Sun) and your place of living (ruler of 4th house) have just entered a long and stable (fixed sign) period of their most strength (the sign of its own rulership). The Sun is at home in Leo and is strongest and safest there. Edward’s residence in Russia is the safest option for him as well as it is a fixed, long-term situation. In October 2020 he was granted permanent residence and a month later announced that he and his wife are applying for Russian citizenship. In other words, a process which from an astrological point of view had started in 2014 (the Sun had entered Leo in the Solar Arc chart) finally got formalized on paper in 2020.

Ok, but what about the pardon? – you’ll keep insisting, waiting for an exact prediction as if often expected of astrologers. The thing is – it doesn’t really matter and for many reasons, too. Snowden’s fight is not for his own freedom to come back to his homeland.  The fight is for people’s right to know the things that the government is hiding. He’s advocating for the change of the entire system, the entire approach and he’s not going to be bribed into dropping his agenda by a pardon. Besides, indirect evidence is in the chart still – the fixed Leo Sun in the Solar Arc chart is not about hopping continents, it’s about creating a stable, lasting home and family environment. In 2044 when the 4th house ruler moves to a mutable Virgo – maybe. But I’m not interested enough to check his charts that far. 

What I was interested in is the fate of his colleague in the whistleblowing business – Julian Assange. The decision on extradition is expected on January 4, 2021, just over a week from now so I thought I’d look into that to see what his prognostic charts look like.

Firstly, of course, I examined the Natal Chart and even before any prognostics I see things I don’t like. See the Natal Chart  below:

I didn’t give Edward Snowden’s Birth Chart separately here, only the Solar Arc one, since he isn’t really the focus of this article. You can easily find his chart on any astrological site with a database of famous people’s Birth Charts  if you want to double check what I will be saying below when I get to comparing his chart with Assange’s. 

What I didn’t like about Assange’s chart is the condition of the 8th house. The Sun being placed there is half the problem… actually not even half, as 1 in 12 people gets this placement. As usual we need to see an accumulation of factors before making any conclusions. However, the Sun is in the 8th AND afflicted by a square from Uranus is already less pleasant. The only other aspect the Sun has is a trine to the Moon and normally trines are seen as the key to solving a problem. Not this one. This one is a trine to a very weak Moon (in Scorpio) in the infamous 12th house (secrets, yes, but also imprisonment) which also co-rules the 8th! (his 8th house begins at the very end of Gemini so this is the case where the next sign’s ruler is also considered in the chart delineation).

Man, oh man! Really, the positivity of this trine is very questionable. Finally, the Sun in Julian’s chart rules the 10th house and placement of 10th in the 8th gives the connection of death (8th) and authorities, government (10th). And this is only  the 8th house. There are other points in the chart that need to be examined in judging such ominous and sinister subjects as death.

The first house, as an indicator of self, our physical body and any harm that may come to it, is an essential element of analysis here. His 1st house is empty (Neptune is on the ASC but from the 12th house side) so we look at the ruler – Jupiter in the 12th (imprisonment, isolation). Ok, for someone who’s been virtually imprisoned in the Embassy of Ecuador for 7 years it’s quite befitting (and yes, it is also about his work in Wikileaks but I’m only looking at the factors relevant to the subject). Jupiter receives two harsh aspects – the opposition from Saturn which is tightly conjunct the 7th house cusp (house of open enemies) and a wider-orbed square from Mars in the 4th. To be honest with you, I don’t even know which one I don’t like more. Saturn’s aspect is more powerful giving strong enemies but an opposition has a more constant influence which is present throughout the course of life. It is the switch that is always in the “on” position.

A square is the aspect of sudden events, the switch that flips “on” and “off” every now and then. What is worrying about this particular square is the context of the rest of the chart. We already have one malefic (Uranus) afflicting the Sun (life force) in the 8th house (danger, extreme situations, death). We are now adding another not-white-and-fluffy planet in a tense aspect to the ASC ruler. To add insult to injury, Mars is in the 4th house. The most popular meaning of this house is “home, place where we live” followed by “family, home environment, background and parents”  followed by “land, property” and so on until we get to “the end of life” meaning which is also carried by this house. If it’s the first time you hear this, I guess I will deviate a little from the main course and explain:

The IC, the bottom of the Chart, the 4th house is the base of the horoscope. Symbolically it is the point where we connect to the sourse, where we come from (hence the meaning “background and parents”) but this is also where we go to. It is one and the same gate through which we both enter and exit this world while the opposite point (the MC, the 10th house) is what we leave behind, the peak of our achievements in one lifetime. In case you’re confused now by the introduction “another house of death” – don’t be. The 8th house is about the mode of death, its circumstances. The 4th house is more about the end of life, the last years or months. Having Mars in the 4th house in an otherwise peaceful chart can be read as “physically active in old age” especially if other placements in the chart confirm it. So if you find Mars in your 4th house don’t be scared and analyze its condition and aspects first. It might not mean the same for you as it does for Assange, it might mean that you’ll be running marathons well into your seventies!

Unfortunately, for Julian it adds another worrying indicator for abrupt and violent (Mars) end of life because of the other placements we have looked at above.

So, these are the sensitive points to watch out for in prognostic charts:

  1. The Sun in the 8th and the rulers of the 8th (Mercury and the Moon)
  2. Uranus (as the afflicting factor in the Natal)
  3. ASC ruler Jupiter
  4. Mars on the IC
  5. Saturn as the element of the 7th house of open enemies and an afflicting factor in the Natal
  6. Mercury, which was already mentioned as the ruler of the 8th house, also rules the 7th house of enemies bringing double importance to its involvement in any of the charts below.

Before we go into details of Julian’s future, let’s compare his Natal to that of Edward’s, paying close attention to the conditions of the 8th (death) and the 1st (self) house. Remember, I decided to be difficult and not to provide Snowden’s Natal separately but if you don’t feel like finding it separately, all of this can be seen on his Solar Arc chart that I showed above.

Ok, so the 8th house (extreme situations, danger, life threats and death) in Snowden’s chart is doing just fine. Much better than Assange’s because it doesn’t have any planets in it so nothing is afflicted inside the house. Next we find the ruler – Saturn, strong in Libra (exalted) – and this is already enough to explain why he was the one that got away. His chart doesn’t have such a strong accent on the 8th and 12th houses and has far less afflictions. To be sure, the 12th house is present in a much milder form (ASC ruler is in the 12th but closer to the cusp and strong in its own sign) so it is more about exile, forced immigration, fleeing. In other words this is isolation in a much broader sense, due to having to live in a foreign country rather than actually being held behind bars.

His 7th house is also in conflict with the 1st with the participation of the 10th (government) but in this case the 1st house (self) is much stronger than the 7th (enemies). Finally, in case someone is worried about  that Pluto conjunct the ruler of the 8th (Saturn): this is not a problem at all. Firstly, this is a generational placement of two slow planets and is present in the charts of  thousands, if not millions, born in 1981. So this placement has more importance in connection with the houses the planets rule and for Edward this reads as a connection of the 8th house (death) to the 6th house (health) and given the condition of the 6th house (some afflictions are present) this translates into dying of a chronic or a long-lasting disease (affliction in the fixed signs) which is a very normal thing and constitutes one of the ways of dying at old age (the other ones being dying of an acute disease  e.g. catching coronavirus and dying of an injury e.g. losing balance at the top of a staircase and taking a tumble which is much more dangerous for a 70-year-old than for a 30-year-old).

All right, let’s get back to Julian, shall we? The first Chart to examine is the same as Edward’s – the Solar Arc (SA). The one I’m providing here is for October 2021 because in Solar Arc we only look at the aspects of 1 degree or less and in October next year SA Mars will still be within the orb for an opposition with Natal Uranus (check) but also will start forming a square to the Natal Sun (check). At the same time SA Uranus will still be in conjunction with the Natal Jupiter and a conjunction with Uranus in light of the other placements is viewed as an afflicting factor here.

Solar Arc is the slow method and I chose October for this chart simply because this is the first month when Mars reaches the orb of the nasty T-square it forms with the Natal Uranus with the focal point on the Sun in the 8th house. This configuration will be in play for about a year but this is enough to say that during this period Assange’s life will be in grave danger.

Still, I wanted to check this with other prognostic methods of which two – the Solar Returns and the Transits are the ones we need to look at the external factors.

I’ll do the Solar Returns next and there is one thing I need to get out of the way before someone rushes off to the comment section to tell me I’m casting them for the wrong location: I do Solar Returns (SR) for the place where a person was born. Period. Please leave the debate about relocation for some other time BUT also note that I did look at the SR charts made for England and (curiously enough) they are showing pretty much the same shit thing (e.g. SR ASC is in Virgo for one place and in Gemini for another; either way Mercury rules the ASC and Mercury is combust). 

Solar Return for 2019:

  1. Sun/Moon conjunction (aka New Moon) is always a sign that the year is some kind of a turning point. The only question is which direction this turn is taking.
  2. This vulnerable spot in the SR 1st house is opposed by a strong Saturn and ominous Pluto in Capricorn in SR 7th house – fighting in courts against overwhelmingly (Pluto) powerful enemies. 
  3. 12th house ruler Venus is the 1st one in a busy 1st house giving the flavour to the entire year (seclusion, imprisonment)
  4. ASC ruler Mercury is conjunct Mars and square Uranus. Remember, Mercury is Natal 8th house ruler. 

Now, these are the same connections, the repeating of the themes seen in the Natal and Solar Arc charts. The last point about Uranus and Mars is not “it” yet. As you shall see in the following charts, these fuckers guys are just toying with him for now, slowly creeping in, getting ready to strike.

Solar Return of 2020 (this past July) looks nice with all them blue harmonious aspect lines…

… until you layer it with the Natal chart. But even before you do that:

  1. SR ASC ruler Mercury is combust – very damaging placement both for physical and psychological well-being
  2. Uranus is now in the Solar 8th and has a connection to Mercury, albeit a harmonious one (a sextile) but a connection nonetheless. 
  3. 7th house is strong again with Mars (which is not so friendly in the Natal chart) domicile in Aries showing the enemy’s ability to bring all they got (and being domicile they got a lot)

When we combine it with the Natal we see Pluto (crisis) and Jupiter (ASC ruler for Julian) conjunct and in a tight opposition to the Natal Mercury (ruler of the 8th). Cringe. And in case we forgot – this is a Solar return. That SR Mercury (SR ruler of the ASC) conjunct SR Sun is also conjunct Natal Sun in the 8th being the ruler of the Natal 8th. Double cringe. I mean, seriously, can this guy get a break or what? There is so much 8th house here it could kill an elephant! 

Ok, sorry, I know I should probably not make jokes here but I promise this is just a defence mechanism. Otherwise I’d be crying so hard I’d flood my laptop and it would have its own 8th house moment.

Let’s go ahead and look at the 2021 SR to check for any light at the end of the tunnel:

…and no. There isn’t. It only got worse. The 3 main planets related to accidents, injuries, harm and damage of all sorts in general, not just for Assange are forming a T-square (Mars, Saturn, Uranus) in the skies and marking a period high in all sorts of accidents, catastrophes, casualties and so on which happens every time these three meet in any tense combination (with Pluto being the 4th horseman). But for those of us who don’t have these in the SR for 2021 and don’t have these planets connected with harm and damage in the Natal chart this period might pass unnoticed or with just some minor bumps and scrapes. Maybe with higher incidence of breakage. Of dishes and such. For Julian they are the 3 troublesome malefics that are up to no good, especially in the T-square formation.

There isn’t even hope that Saturn, being the ruler of the SR ASC and strong in Aquarius, will bring anything positive because natally he is still the 7th house – enemies.

I know I promised Transits as well, but I will leave this to you guys to check out for now. You know which things to be on the lookout for and this will give you a chance to practice. This is already an over 3000 words entry and long reads are getting harder and harder to push on people these days LOL no offence, I am including myself in this group too.

Besides, the above methods and charts are describing the entire 2-year period as one long walk across the minefield. Looking for a specific event with transits will only make sense once the decision on extradition is made so I guess I will revisit the topic.

For now I will leave you with some homework and the summary. I only wanted to focus on the main factors in the charts and they are the 10 main planets and the main house positions. For those who have appreciation for nuances (or would be interested in finding them) I would suggest looking at the above charts and analyzing the role of the secondary factors like Lilith, Chiron, inter-connection of the houses throughout the 3 Solar Returns, the intercepted signs in 7th houses of the 2020 and 2021 SR, the  Nodes and the cusps of houses (Solar and Natal) they conjunct and so on.

The summary:

I would be very happy to see Julian live long enough to celebrate his 51st  Solar return on July 2nd, 2022 even if it would mean I made a mistake in my astrological analysis. It would be totally fine and would mean I still have a lot to learn. One can recover from making a mistake. One can not recover from dying. If, however, his extradition goes through then his chances are next to zero. Even if it doesn’t go through, his life will still be in danger, with 2021 and the first half of 2022 being the most critical period. 

Alcoholism In The Natal Chart: Astrological Patterns and Placements Indicating the Tendency.

Natal Chart analysis is used to assess a person’s temperament, character, emotional needs and numerous other factors and traits of one’s personality. The following article is going to be the first one in a series where I will take a look at typical patterns and placements for various issues which can be seen in a person’s Birth Chart such as aggression and violence, depression and – the one which is in focus today – alcoholism.

Before we get to the list of typical placements and patterns and the examples which demonstrate them I want to stress that these patterns only indicate a tendency. Many times a person who is just starting to learn astrology is prone to jumping to conclusions based on one or two factors, ignoring the rest of the chart. While the tendency may exist in many charts you come across, it does not necessarily doom a person to becoming an alcoholic sooner or later. At the same time (as we shall see in some examples) a person who does succumb to this predisposition can fight and overcome it and this is shown by the ‘helping’ stronger planets in the chart.

Another thing is that finding just one of several astrological placements I am going to list below will indicate a drinking problem or even just occasional excessive alcohol consumption which are not alcoholism in its strict definition but still can be quite destructive to a person’s social or private life not to mention health. In other words – the more placements are found in the chart, the more evidence there is, so to say, the further up someone is likely to be on the scale from “teetotaler” to “alcoholic”.

Ok, so the factors we are looking for are:

  1. An afflicted Moon or Mars in a Water sign
  2. Mars or the Moon in a harsh aspect (opposition or square) with Neptune or Jupiter.
  3. Connection of the above placements and aspects to the 12th house, as well as the 1st or the 6th.
  4. Accent on the sign of Pisces (ruled by Neptune) in a negative way

I will start with 

Betty Ford 

not only because First Ladies go first. She is a vivid example of both being successful in overcoming addiction as well as the fact that this problem can permeate all levels of society; that being rich and having high social status doesn’t safeguard from having mental or emotional problems. Her example breaks the stereotype of an alcoholic being “that scruffy guy on the street or next to you in line at the store who reeks of cheap booze” . In her own words: “My makeup wasn’t smeared, I wasn’t disheveled, I behaved politely, and I never finished off a bottle, so how could I be alcoholic?”. But she was and in the 1970s she announced her long-running battle with alcoholism and substance abuse, being the first First Lady to do so. In 1982, after her recovery, she established the Betty Ford Center for treatment of people with substance abuse and dependence.

She was born 8 April 1918 at 15:45 in Chicago, IL, USA (source Astro-Databank). See the chart below.

Immediately we see the Mars-Moon opposition with the Moon in Pisces and the aspect is happening in the 1st-7th house. That one placement checks 3 items on our list: 1) afflicted Moon in a Water sign  2) a negative accent on Pisces (opposition)  3) connection with the first house of self, the house of personality and physical body. If we keep looking, we’ll see Jupiter also afflicting the Moon with a square. Jupiter is not strong by sign but is strong by house placement and it does add its negative influence.

By the way, if you are wondering why we are even looking at Jupiter here, since the first and most popular meaning of Jupiter is the “planet of good luck” I will take a minute to explain. The first and primary meaning of Jupiter is actually “a lot”. Simply that. “A lot” is quite neutral on its own and only gets a positive or a negative connotation when combined with other things. “A lot of pleasure” is quite different from “a lot of pain”, right? If we look for some synonyms here we can use “plenty” and “excess” which will clearly demonstrate the difference between a positive influence of Jupiter in the chart (plenty = enough, a lot in a way that is not inconvenient) and negative influence (excess = too much, over the top, so much that it can cause problems). That is why, apart from Neptune which is a natural significator of substances like drugs and alcohol, we look for harsh aspects from Jupiter which in our situation will show excessive drinking.

Let’s get back to Betty and see what her Neptune is doing. It is sitting just a couple degrees away from the 12th house cusp which is only a minor addition to the picture. The much more important thing here is the square that Neptune is giving to Mercury. “Wait, where does Mercury come from? It wasn’t on the list!” – you might say. Mercury here demonstrates the importance of knowing the birth time in Natal astrology. In itself Mercury is not connected to the topic but in Betty’s chart it is the ruler of the 1st house and it gives us yet another negative influence of Neptune on the first house running up the total to 5 strong indications. 

The Moon, being the weakest link here, doesn’t have any harmonious aspect which would serve as constructive solutions to the problem and this is why this chart is a good example on so many levels. We don’t see any harmonious aspect that will show us the solution so how did she manage to not only beat it but also take it to the next level by founding the help center? The answer is: dispositions aka planetary rulerships.

The Moon rules Pluto in Cancer 10th and Pluto is supported by a strong exalted Venus in Pisces in the 6th. This is where the Moon receives its support and with the 6th house having to do with service and Pisces being the sign motivated by compassion and empathy it was only natural that after treating her own addiction she continued by helping others (Venus, Pisces, 6th house) on a large scale, leaving a noticeable sociable impact (Pluto, 10th house).

One more placement that helped her to solve the problem is the Sun in the sign of its exaltation (Aries). The Sun is our will and even with no aspects and in the 8th house it gives a willful and strong personality helping to achieve goals she has set for herself.

While the First Lady’s struggle with substance abuse might be news to some people, the next person’s relationship with drinking as well as driving while doing it is quite notorious. Also, he is a more recent character and should be more familiar to many of the readers. 

Mel Gibson

was born on January 3rd, 1956 at 16:45 in Peekskill, NY, USA. I won’t spend time describing his story of alcohol problems. If it’s the first time you’re hearing about it, his Wikipedia article has a separate section describing it in detail. The chart is given below:

As you can imagine, there was an abundance of candidates for this article. A large number of people meet the requirement of just two things: being known to a fairly large number of people and having alcohol problems. I made my choices based on the Natal charts and their ability to demonstrate the astrological patterns in their variety. Mel is here to contrast Betty’s afflicted Moon in Water sign. Her quiet, passive and hidden (Pisces) affair with the bottle is quite different from his active and aggressive experience indicated by Mars in a Water sign of Scorpio. Even though it is in its own sign and thus quite strong, it doesn’t save it from being afflicted by a conjunction with Saturn and a square from Pluto. Both aspects are quite wide but still within the orb. His Moon is doing just fine but just like with Betty we see a 1st-7th house opposition (remember – planets in the 1st house have a strong connection both with your personality and physical body). The opposition is narrow with two degrees orb and what is more interesting is, again, dispositions and receptions. Uranus in the 1st degree of Leo is in the sign of its detriment as it rules Aquarius. Any planet opposing it from Aquarius will also be ruled by Uranus and this the opposition would be softened as the planet’s ability to damage will be limited by the fact that Uranus is also its ruler, its boss. Mercury, however, the trickster that he is, sits right outside Uranus’ domain in the last degree of Capricorn and answers only to Saturn so he can do all the damage he wants.

Still, if we’re counting the checkmarks on the list of factors given above, the evidence in the chart is quite scarce so far…. Until we find Neptune in the beginning of Scorpio turning a simple opposition into a formidable configuration of T-square which is much more potent and tense. Placed in fixed signs it makes the problem described by the T-square chronic, a lifelong struggle (by his own admission he started drinking at 13 and it remains to be seen if he has beaten it yet by now, at the age of 64). 

Further inspection shows that Mercury here is not so simple and rules the 12th house of self-undoing. So a T-square with Neptune afflicting both the 1st and the 12th houses as well as the 12th house ruler opposing a weak planet in the 1st house. This  piles the evidence high and we move on to the next exhibit, I mean, our next case:

Ben Affleck

I mentioned in one of my previous articles that I harbor a seemingly inexplicable dislike for the guy. I call it “allergy”. I’ve just always had this strange aversion to seeing him on screen in any role no matter how good the acting was (mind you, I don’t deny his acting skills). Seeing his name on the list of famous people struggling with alcohol problems kind of made me soften up a bit and check out the chart to see if he’ll qualify for the article in terms of being a good and clear example from an astrological point of view. Looking at his chart also shed some light at my inherent aversion: while that Venus right on the ASC  might contribute to him being dubbed “Sexiest Man alive” by People magazine way back in the early 00’s, for me personally it is placed in the 12th house and in a square to placements in my chart that describe what I find attractive. BTW, an opposition doesn’t work like that as the opposites often tend to attract but the square definitely does the job and it is useful to remember in synastry analysis.

Anyway, let’s get back to Ben and his Natal Chart. Born August 15th, 1972 at 02:53 in Berkeley, CA, USA (source Astro-Databank). See the chart below.

Afflicted Moon in Water sign – check. Moon is in fall in Scorpio and it has a square from Mercury which rules the 12th house. This very same aspect gives a second check for a negative connection of the 12th house with the 1st house as his Moon rules his ASC.

Another aspect is Mars square Neptune and this one is the reason his chart did eventually get picked for demonstration. You see, it’s easy to sort of blend the first and the second items on the list  of placements I have indicated at the beginning and start looking only for Mars or Moon afflicted by Neptune or Jupiter in Water signs… no, they are two separate criteria:

1) afflicted Moon or Mars in a Water sign (afflicted not just by Neptune or Jupiter)

2) Moon or Mars afflicted by Neptune or Jupiter (in any sign)

So Ben’s Mars in Virgo still qualifies. As I understand from  reading his wiki page the struggle is ongoing with some periods of staying sober and a recent relapse in 2018-2019. What caught my eye though is another section speculating about his involvement in gambling. I have recently written an article on trading which also involves the element of risk and 5th house being a factor in the analysis. If we look at Ben’s chart for possible constructive use of aspects and an outlet for the conflict leading to alcohol abuse, we notice that both the Moon and Neptune are in the 5th house and the Moon has a trine to Venus which rules the 5th house (and also the 2nd house of money). Not enough 8th house involvement shifts the focus from stock trading to pure gambling and positive aspects ensure that this is likely to be lucrative. However, due to accusations of counting cards he was banned from casinos and poker games… and the channel for positive energy output was blocked. I mean, gambling addiction is also an addiction but for him it could have had much less severe consequences because a) there is no damage to health b) he’s got enough money to waste it in a poker game if he wants to c) actually not all of it is waste as his chart clearly suggests gains from gambling.

Ok, we’ll leave Ben alone and move on to one of the saddest stories among the 5 that I have chosen for this blog entry (and I left a happy-end story for the end).

Robin Williams

Who tragically took his own life after battling depression and addiction. In mid-2014, just a few months before the suicide, Williams admitted himself into the Hazelden Foundation Addiction Treatment Center in Minnesota, for treatment for alcoholism.

He was born July 21st, 1951 at 13:34 in Chicago, IL, USA. The chart is given below:

This far into the article you can already give it a try yourself and find all the placements before I list them for you. There are plenty, I mean, this is just too much, really. While the chart has its strengths as well (quite obviously, for a star of his scale) the tragedy depicted by the planets makes my Water-heavy chart reach out in compassion to all the tension and torments going on inside this man’s soul.

Let’s start with Mars: afflicted not once, not twice but 4(!) times by squares from Neptune, Jupiter and also by a conjunction with Uranus (bringing unrest and tension). It is not just in Water but in the sign of its fall in Cancer. So it’s like the other 3 are kicking the one who’s already down. Not fair!

This T-square alone is more than enough to give someone more problems than they can handle but then there’s the touchy and gentle Piscean (Water) Moon in a tight opposition with Venus, the ruler of the 12th house. The only positive connection the Moon has is the trine to Mars. Trines indicate help but what help can be given here, considering Mars’ condition? None. Mars in its turn also only has help (harmonious aspects) from the Moon (which can’t give it) and Venus. Venus is not the strongest one here and can only help so much. It rules the 7th house in addition to the 12th, so help can come from other people (spouse, partners, etc) as well as rehab (12th house as the house of hospitals and institutions) but despite being in a strong house it is weak by placement (in fall in Virgo).

If you keep looking you’ll see the ASC (self) ruler Pluto conjunct the ruler of the 8th (death) while that poor  Mars under such pressure is placed inside the 8th and co-rules the ASC… makes me wanna cry.

Well, let’s hope Robin found peace wherever he is now and let’s do the last piece to cheer up and end on an optimistic note

Drew Barrymore

Born on 22 February 1975 at 11:51 at Culver City, CA, USA. See chart below:

Her story of both childhood fame and childhood addiction is presented by the Sun (ruler of the 3rd house of early childhood environment) place in the 10th house of fame in Pisces (here comes the first checkmark on our list) which adds to the heavy accent on Pisces (4 planets) with Black Moon  Lilith (destabilizing factor) in the mix. The Moon is in Watery Cancer, afflicted by Mars and also Saturn, but Saturn is weak in Cancer and the Moon totally  dominates here. This strong Moon is also the reason she was able to win the battle. Similarly to Betty Ford, who had the strong Sun and Venus in the chart to lean on, Drew’s Moon, while under fire, is still a strong planet and is able to handle the attack. Neptune has only harmonious aspects: it is the apex of a very productive bi-sextile from Mercury (ruler of the ASC) and Pluto, ruler of the 6th house of work. With Neptune itself being in the 6th house work was one of the things that pulled her out.

All right, so there you have it. You can practice on other charts now and see if you can spot both the tendency for the problem and the solution for it (through strong placements and harmonious aspects). However, there is another way this information can be put to use. Analyzing the chart which  already exists only helps you to see if the problem is there or not. One of the advantages of knowing astrology is in using it to prevent possible future problems. With modern medical practice increasingly using induced labor (1 in 5 in the UK and over 25% in the US) picking the date of birth and thus the baby’s Natal chart is something more common than it used to be. And picking the date when the factors described in the article are not present in the planetary picture for the day helps to avoid unpleasant issues the child will be facing in their life.

Natural Born Traders or The Not-So-Scary 8th House in Your Chart

It’s no secret that the 8th house has got a bad rep among the learners and practitioners of astrology. Associated with death and power struggles, crises, fears, deeply hidden issues – you name it. Occasionally you can come across an article trying to lighten the gloomy mood  setting of this area of the natal chart and focusing on the connection with transformation, hidden powers, inner strength and so on. Usually those articles come from the astrologers following the evolutionary approach. Now, there is nothing wrong with that as I myself incorporate this approach… when it is appropriate, i.e. when the client is interested in the spiritual potential of their chart.

However, most of the time people are interested in practical and everyday matters. Like, will they have a relationship with the person of interest or how to earn more money. And here we come to another meaning of the 8th house which is almost everywhere mentioned in passing, tossed in with the other “oh-so-scary” meanings. The meaning is “other people’s money” which comes as a consequence of the ‘turning of the chart’ technique: you are the 1st house and your money is the 2nd house. Other people are the 7th house and the 2nd from the 7th (= the 8th) is their money. Occasionally ‘other people’s money’ is explained as ‘loans and grants’ and then there is always ‘taxes’… None of them seem appealing because one has to be rather perverted to enjoy paying taxes and loans are strongly associated with debt and handing over your hard-earned money to the bank to pay the interest on these loans as well.

One possible positive outcome of the 8th house signifying someone else’s money is when it is taken to signify your spouse’s money and this way a well placed 8th house significators with positive connections to your 2nd house could be an indicator of marrying someone who is well-off. But this is where the common  misconception about another house creeps in: the 7th house is more often than not assigned to “the partner” meaning “romantic partner” or “spouse” (probably because of the high volume of marriage and relationships requests in consultations). However, astrologers who work a lot with business ventures know this house also as the house of business partners, competitors or even open enemies, e.g. in court situations. In horaries, the 7th house is the house of any person who does not fit the categories described by the other people-related houses (3rd – siblings and neighbours, 4th – parents, 5th – children, etc).  

In other words, if you go out into the central square or plaza of your city or town and look around  – provided the lockdown is over – you’ll see a bunch of people who are “other people” and thus are described by the 7th house. If you go online and start interacting with someone you have never met in real life – they are also 7th house, not the 11th house (as you might think because they are labeled as “friends” on FB). If you come to a stock exchange in New York, London or Shanghai – you will see a whole lot of 7th housers shuffling around large chunks of what is definitely described by the 8th house – “other people’s money”.

In business astrology the 8th house is not only loans or debts. It is connected with investments, financial and banking sphere, venture capitals and so on. The 8th house is often prominent in the charts of people who succeed in these areas as you shall see below. I will focus mainly on traders but before we get to the Natal charts, let me outline the factors we need to look at:

  1. The 2nd house – the house of your own money and source of income
  2. The 5th house – the house connected with risk (e.g. gambling, sport betting) because trading, no matter how good your strategy is, still remains in the category of risky ways of making money
  3. The 8th house – the house of other people’s money, the money that other people put into the market
  4. The 11th house – the least important but, nevertheless, relevant being the 5th from the 7th (other people’s risks) as well as the house of larger groups of people (as in “all the people trading on the stock exchange”)
  5. In addition to the houses, there are some planets which are natural significators for the profession: Mercury, of course, as the planet of trade and exchange and also Pluto, as the planet strongly connected with  interest (percentage) and the ability to get profits from cash flow, trade turnover, etc.
  6. Part of Fortune (POF) and its dispositor also presents some interest, although, similarly to the 11th house it’s more of an additional factor rather than the main one.

I will start with the guy whose name is familiar even to those who can’t explain the difference between a share and a bond without googling it. 

Warren Edward Buffett, an investor and business tycoon, born 30th August 1930 at 15:00 in Omaha, Nebraska (birth data from Astro-Databank). See the chart below:

In evaluating the earning potential of the individual, their financial standing in life in general we turn to the 2nd house in Aquarius and its ruler Uranus in Aries near the IC. My personal reaction is just ‘“meh” – I mean, this isn’t the superstar of the chart for sure. Not strong by the sign, retrograde, only harsh aspects… Maybe we’ll have more luck with the vice-ruler of the 2nd house – Saturn? Indeed, here it’s starting to pick up a little. Saturn is strong in its own sign and in the first house and, despite being retrograde and in a T-square with Mars and Mercury, it also has a couple of nice tight trines from the Sun and Neptune in none other than the 8th house! Much better. 

Incidentally, the Sun also rules his 8th house so that’s our first connection of houses 2-8. Now, Neptune closely conjunct Warren’s Sun could be the reason for his great intuition and vision  in making financial decisions but how come this Sun-Neptune conjunction is not about creative imagination and intuition in other spheres of life, say, writing? Or acting? With that Venus and Libra on the MC surely it is one of things that comes to mind as a career possibility.

Well, his POF in Pisces 3rd house is ruled by that very Neptune in the 8th hinting that his fortunes would be made in areas of life that are described by the 8th house. Venus, being one of the strongest planets in the chart and the significator of career and highest achievement (MC), also rules the 5th house which is another tick on our checklist. In addition, Venus has only one aspect – with Pluto (percentage), the ruler of the 11th house (other people’s risk). The 2nd house ruler is also connected with Pluto, ruler of the 11th. We have come full circle. With Mercury highlighted here as the apex of the T-square and thus being the focal point of the energy outpouring we have a great example of how the 8th house is playing out nicely and constructively in this person’s chart.

Let’s look at another trader who’s well known in the financial circles: W. D. Gunn. The opening paragraph of the Wikipedia article describes him as “a finance trader who developed the technical analysis methods like the Gann angles and the Master Charts……forecasting methods are purportedly based on geometry, astronomy and astrology, and ancient mathematics.” Yup, you read it right – astrology.

The father of astro-trading was born June 6, 1878 at 10:34 in Lufkin, Texas (source Astro-Databank). See the chart below.

Ok, so here the eye goes immediately to that Pluto smack at the top of the chart, in a partile conjunction with MC. Strong Pluto – check. It also rules POF – two birds with one stone! Nice.

With Leo ASC he has both 2nd and 11th houses ruled by Mercury which is also not far from Pluto and the MC in the 9th house shifting the focus on the studying, researching and leaving the serious legacy in the form of knowledge, methods and systems. I’ll just take a minute to appreciate Uranus on the ASC and his connection with astrology (as something unconventional). I mean, even the Wiki article has a few paragraphs about his trading techniques with the use of planetary configurations! Yay for astrology!

His 5th house ruler Jupiter is not as pumped – in Aquarius in the 6th and retrograde, but nevertheless connected by an aspect of square to Neptune which rules the 8th. His chart is quite rich on squares, by the way, which shows it must have been a bumpy road to success but any connection is better than no connection at all.

The final touch here would be a sextile (at last – a harmonious aspect!) from Mars in the 11th to Mercury, which is a connection of houses 2-11 (with the 9th house flavour).

Let’s move on to another trader-astrologer but don’t be in a hurry to accuse me of favouritism. Yes, he’s another astrologer and that’s why I can find his birth data (and thus, the house cusps) with no problems. As you might have guessed, astrologers tend to take care to note  these kinds of things knowing full well how useful it will be for the generations to come.

Anyhow, I give you Bill Meridian – financial astrologer, designer of astro-market software and author of several books, including “Planetary Stock Trading”. Born 25 April 1949 in Weehawken, NJ, USA (source Astro-Databank). See the chart below.

Jupiter conjunct Part of Fortune in the first house by itself is an indicator of some potential for wealth and financial success in any Natal chart, especially if there are no major afflictions. Then there’s  Pluto on the cusp of the 8th in Leo (largely considered the sign of its exaltation) giving power and access to deep financial currents in the world of investments and dealing with other people’s money.

Let’s quickly go around the chart to confirm the other relevant house connections: (quickly, because I have one more chart to show you guys and I’m sensing you’re getting tired here, as the article stretches on and on)

  1. Ruler of the 2nd and the Part of Fortune is Uranus, at the top of the bisextile from Saturn in the 8th and Mars, the co-ruler of the 11th. Saturn also co-rules the 2nd, so that also counts as the 2-8 connection.
  2. Pluto in the 8th is the ruler of the 11th
  3. The Sun rules the 8th and is conjunct Venus, ruler of the 5th. They both have a trine to Saturn although it is quite wide but we can still count it as an additional factor, extra points to throw on top of other strong placements. 

So, once again – not one or two, but multiple connections here, making the themes of these 4 houses important in the life of an individual as well as strongly connected with the way a person earns money (2nd house).

Finally, I want to present the chart of Martin Frankel. He caught my eye while I was looking for the cases to present in this article not only as a trader with the known birth time but also as a contrast to the men above. Martin is a financial criminal who conducted a series of investment frauds in the late 20th century, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. Interestingly enough, he was also familiar with astrology and used it to make trading decisions among other things. His evidence files contain a horary chart for the question “Will I go to prison?” cast in 1999 five months before he was captured. I wonder if it ever occurred to him to look for the answer in his own Natal chart and transits, but we will not get into this now.

He was born on 21 November 1954 at 20:46 in Toledo, Ohio, USA (birth data from Astro-Databank). See the chart below:

Well, you know the routine now  and if you want to practice – go ahead and find the connections yourself. Don’t cheat and peek into the answers below! I know, the eyes kinda drift to the answers involuntary so I’ll make it harder for you… or easier, if we’re looking at it from the perspective of resisting the temptation to just look at the answers rather than find them yourself.

Let me first point out some placements that steer him into taking the wrong approach in following the right direction. Yes, he has plenty of indicators for making money from the stock market, insurance and so on. The question of honesty and trickery, the temptation to engage in shady activities is connected with several other things in the chart. As always, I urge everyone not to make judgements based on just one placement – it is always seen as a combination of factors and even then, it is just the potential which a person can overcome, if they try hard enough. So if you find a placement similar to your own or someone you know – don’t jump to conclusions about honesty or dishonesty based only on that one factor.

Well, Mercury as the planet of mind and thinking would be one of those factors. His Mercury is tightly conjunct Black Moon Lilith which is something we don’t see in other charts. Additionally, Mercury rules the 12th house of hidden, secret (aka criminal) activity and this is adding weight to the side of the scale that contains negative factors.

Jupiter is another planet that has to do with honesty and morality, with the questions of right and wrong. Retrograde Jupiter in itself is not an indicator if it doesn’t describe our personality in the chart. However, in his case retrograde Jupiter is the planet of the first house (house of self). Exaltation in Cancer just gives an exaggeration to the mode of expression here and the trine to the Sun allows for further ease in embracing whatever Jupiter represents in his chart . Also, trines are prone to taking the path of least resistance. All of this happening alongside the generational Neptune-Uranus square but for Frankel this becomes about personal misguided actions with Natal Moon next to Neptune and the other side of the square in the 1st house so close to the ASC.

Ok, let’s tick the boxes on the thematic (financial) markers:

  1. POF conjunct Pluto in the 2nd
  2. Ruler of the 2nd and of the POF – the Sun – in the 5th
  3. Ruler of the 5th (Pluto) in the 2nd in aspects to the elements of the 8th (Mars) and the 5th (the Sun). Mars co-rules the 5th, the Sun rules the 2nd.
  4. Ruler of the 11th Venus is in the 5th, detriment and fully subdued to that  messy Lilith-flavoured conjunction of Mercury (the 12th house ruler) and Saturn (rules the 7th, co-rules the 8th) leading to being quite successful (in view of other factors in the chart) in cheating (12th) other people (7th) out of their money (8th) on a large scale (11th house as the house of large groups of people).

Alrighty then! As you can see, the connections of houses 2-5-8-11 in the Natal chart can be a strong indicator of being successful in trading, investing and otherwise making a living from managing other people’s money provided it is managing you’re doing not pocketing, cheating and defrauding as out last exhibit.

Astrology of a Name: how to use Alphabetical Zodiac.

Our name is the word that we hear most often through the course of our lives. Just think about it – how many times have you heard someone say it today? This week? This month? Add in the times you have said it yourself when introducing yourself to someone new or maybe even calling customer service and you will have an impressively large number. Every time it is pronounced the energies that the name carries are reinforced.

Now, every nation has its own language, for sure, and different cultures use  different alphabets. Actually, even European alphabets while all based on Latin each have their own variations. One thing that stays the same is that every alphabet has a beginning and an end and in between the letters always go in a fixed order. This follows the universal idea which is also reflected in the Zodiac – starting from Aries, the Alpha, it follows a fixed order all the way to the Omega of Pisces. 

This practice is as old as astrology itself. The ancient astrologers of Babylon used it in choosing sacred names for rulers to give them more power, for priests to strengthen their connection with the spiritual world, for making ritual invocations. The alphabet used by them had a better correspondence to the 12 sign 360 degree system of the Zodiac, neatly dividing the circle into 72 segments 5 degrees each (they are still familiar to the followers of Traditional Astrology as “terms” – the segments into which each sign is divided, even though the number and size have deviated from the original version).

Words-have-meaning-but-Names-have

We, however, do not need to study the ancient language to be able to use this system. Our first language, the one we grow up speaking, is the one we form the strongest connection with. We don’t even pay attention to these subconscious links but they play a formative role to our worldview as a part of our entire cultural ecosystem. In order to adjust it to a different alphabet all you need to do is divide 360 degrees by the number of letters in the alphabet and assign each section to a letter, starting with 0 degrees Aries. Sounds quite simple, except for the pain in the neck of having to count out not only degrees but also minutes – something a modern “spoiled-by-technology” person like myself finds annoying. So I pitched this idea to my friend Petr at Astro-seek.com and am now elated to see this come into life with the new Online Name Calculator. No more converting 0.846 degrees into minutes! Yay!

Now, let’s talk about the uses this tool can have:

1. What names to chose

Baby names are the first thing that come to mind. This is the number one thing I use it for in my work with clients who plan on having children. Of course, the moment of birth is something that can not be controlled in most cases except for Cesarean sections, which are being used more and more often nowadays and for them we can  choose the time as well, making the Birth Chart more balanced and minimizing problematic placements. But even with a natural birth, I am not aware of any country that requires the parents to choose the name for the newborn immediately after birth. Usually, some thinking period is allowed and with the time of birth now known it is possible to analyze the chart and choose a name that will highlight the most harmonious placements. I will give details on that in the “how” part below.

You can also use this tool to pick a different name that suits your Natal chart better. I am not talking about an official name change, but we all now have a sort of “second identity” online – user names we choose for social media and other profiles are the ones I am talking about. Also stage names and pseudonyms.

Additionally, names for businesses or websites can also be chosen by this method. Here, you can use your own Birth chart or the Birth chart of the business or website (the date and time the business or site was created or registered).

2. How to choose the letters

Of course, the first thought is about “The Big 3” – Sun, Moon and ASC. This has some sense, of course, but with some reservations. You see, sometimes the Moon or the Sun are not the strongest or most beneficially placed planets in the chart. If you chose the letter that corresponds to the Moon, and the Moon is afflicted (e.g. in detriment, in the 8th house, conjunct a malefic, has only harsh aspects, etc) you enforce the problematic energy it carries in the Chart. Same goes for the Sun.

The ASC is slightly different – it has no dignities or debilities by sign or house. It can, of course, receive harsh aspects, but the chances of it being heavily afflicted are lowered by the absence of the first two factors. ASC ruler is a different story. So, looking at the degree of the ASC is a safe bet. Just like your name begins with the initial, the Chart begins with the cusp of the 1st house (ASC) and using the letter it falls on as the first letter of the name is generally a good option, unless there is a better one.

In search for a better option you need to analyse the other planets, giving preference to personal ones (Sun through Saturn) unless an outer planet is strongly highlighted in the chart (closely conjunct an angle or a personal planet). Pay attention to the planet’s strength and dignity, whether it is a part of a problematic pattern and so on. If there is such a planet, you can use the letter it falls on as the initial instead or use it together with the letter of the ASC degree in the name.

As an example of how this can highlight certain energies in the chart I want to use Princess Diana, who’s also known as Lady D, which is also perfect for demonstrating that the first letter is used even more often, than the entire name not only for her but for everyone who has seen or written their name in the last name + the initial format (so she was born Spencer, D. on July 1st, 1961)

horoscope-synastry-chart8name-700__name_astrology_calculator_1-7-1961_19-45

It is uncanny to see what placement the letter D activates in her chart which shows that the name was actually karmic. D falls on Venus, which is strong in her chart by placement – in the peaceful and placid Taurus, the sign of its rulership. It also  rules the MC, the 10th house of social achievements and popularity. Indeed, a Princess who was beloved by the entire world. Yet, it is also the apex of a tight T-square, which makes it a sensitive and problematic spot. Placed in the 5th house it is, of course, about her tumultuous love life. With the 10th house in the mix we see the pressure of the public image she needed to uphold in conflict with her emotional needs (Venus square Moon) and letter D puts even more emphasis on this, tipping the balance toward the public expectations (Venus rules MC) rather than her emotional security (the Moon).

Letter S is on the ASC and while she has it in her last name, using it in her first name would have given her more Sagittarian energy, the courage and independence which she needed to stand up for her own identity and needs. For sure, she had some, being a Sag rising, but Jupiter is not very strong in her chart – in Aquarius, not ruling any planets and only with one major aspect, a generational one at that. “S” would have strengthened this lack of Jupiter/Sagittarius influence in the chart.

So, when using this tool for choosing a name, keep in mind that the entire chart has to be analyzed and using certain letters can help to correct the chart’s imbalances.

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Astrological Compatibility. (Part Two)

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Previously we talked about Sun sign matching and how this one characteristic alone is not enough to gauge how compatible two people are. Sun reflects our ego and who we see ourselves as, while other planets in the chart describe our emotional needs, the way our mind operates, what we desire in our partner and what kind of man or woman we need, as well as many other aspects (our talents, work, family life, etc). By comparing 2 individual charts an astrologer can help to understand what kind of energies each individual brings into the relationship and what energies they activate in each other.

 

Also, in the first part of the article we talked about the opposite signs and how mainstream astrology seems to be of an opinion that it could go 50/50 with them. We looked at one example, where the opposition of man’s Sun and woman’s Moon  was balanced by the conjunction of the man’s Moon and woman’s Sun, bringing a certain level of comfort and understanding.

 

Today we will look at 2 more examples of such oppositions, one with positive and one with negative outcome. Our first example is the signs we have already looked at  – Virgo and Pisces. The polar opposites that could be either two halves of a whole or mortal enemies. The example I’m using is that of my parents – my Virgo Sun dad and a Pisces Sun mom always seemed to me like one of those complimentary ying-yang couples. Not perfect, of course, there were conflicts, just like in every family, but they managed to find compromise every time. After I started to learn astrology on a deeper level, I looked at their charts (of course!) and was not surprised to find their Moons in the same element of Air – element of thinking, communication and “talking it out”. A person with strong Air placement in their chart will always try to solve the conflict by discussing, compromising, trying to understand where the other person is coming from.

 

My parents have other strong bonding connections, which I will not delve into, since it will require extra explanations on each planet and placement meaning. But the point I want to make here, is that those couples you know or heard about, that seem to be a perfect match and last for 30+ years, will have their charts quite harmoniously matching and complementing one another.

 

We continue to the second couple. Another polar opposite, a Sagittarius woman and a Gemini man this time. We already know that it could go either way and we should look deeper to see what their interaction would be like. Well, with one look at the Moons, astrologer already knows it won’t be an easy one. Hers is in fiery and confident Leo, while his is in moody and secretive Cancer. On their own, these placements are not bad at all. But there is little understanding between the two, as these placements in the language of astrology ar “inconjunct”, i.e. they “don’t see each other”. Leo Moon signifies a strong character and especially in a woman would cause a desire for someone to match the temper, but also match her optimistic, joyful nature. Cancer is caring and nurturing (which are great qualities), but it’s the Water element, is very much lead by emotions and prone to mood swings and even jealousy, which is not welcomed by both her confident Leo side and her freedom-loving Sagittarius side.

 

Of course this one difficulty alone is not something that would ruin the relationship on its own, but it could cause some strain. If both partners have awareness of their own energies and tendencies, it helps greatly to reduce the friction. In many cases natal chart analysis helps to understand not only your partner better, but also yourself. It helps to switch off the “blaming” mode and learn to accept partners for who they are, without trying to change them.

 

Our second couple has another “inconjunction” –  their Mercuries’ positions: his is in Gemini – quick minded, talkative, with a broad spectrum of interest but there’s a tendency for superficial thinking. Gemini hops from one thing to another, covering large area, but it doesn’t like digging deep into anything. Her Mercury is in Scorpio – completely different style of thinking and communication. Scorpios are just the sign to get to the bottom of everything, they think deep and like to understand the processes and motivations behind everyone’s actions and words. When Scorpios talk, they say things that for many people are too blunt (and thus they get their bad reputation). Scorpio’s mind is extremely annoyed at Gemini’s verbal and mental hopscotch, they want to stay on the topic they’re discussing, no matter how unpleasant (if they feel that this needs to be discussed right now). Gemini will try to wiggle out of discussing anything that’s too serious, deep and – God save! – unpleasant.

 

So when when emotional conflict arises, this couple also has trouble of finding a compromise because they fail to communicate it to one another. Further chart analysis shows that the man wants to be the ultimate authority in his house, in his family (Pluto in the 4th house), which, again, is not a bad thing on its own. Plenty of women love a strong man they can fully trust the burden of being “the head of the family” and being in charge. It’s just in our case the woman wasn’t the kind. Her natal chart analysis shows a very strong, masculine energy, someone who won’t let others tell her what to do (at least for long) and with the Sun in her 4th house she wants to be equally important in the decision making process, when it comes to her family life. She won’t be happy if she’s not equal to her partner. Once she has started voicing that, expressing her own opinion – the relationship crumbled.

 

An astrologer can not predict if this will happen. Astrology is about opportunities and free will. An astrologer can help you be aware of these issues and their underlying reasons. Then a couple can make an informative choice. In our second example he may have tried to accept the fact she needs more “weight” to her voice when it comes to family decisions, and that when she tries to discuss something that’s important to her, he shouldn’t laugh it off or change the subject, as she gets easily hurt  by such careless (in her mind) attitude. Or she may have tried to see if she’s willing to let him have the reigns and maybe put less intensity into the conversations she’s trying to have and not get so upset when he’s changed the subject again. She can try to understand it is similar to tring a 4 year old to sit through a 3-hour movie! So getting more patient and trying to break the topic up in smaller chunks could have been her key to success…

Astrology is descriptive, not prescriptive. Having a better understanding is what that description gives you. So if you’re struggling with some relationship issues, natal chart reading for you and your partner, as well as compatibility reading is going to help you to devise the best strategy!

 

Astrological Compatibility. (Part One)

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Do you have a friend who looks up the Zodiac sign for every new romantic interest? And gets upset if “the stars” say it’s a horrible match?  Or shrugs it off and declares that that’s why they don’t believe “all that stuff” (but looks up the next person, as well)? Or maybe you are that friend?

 

So if you have ever wondered why it works in many cases, like for friend and some partners, but in others  a perfectly happy couple of 10 years is declared “the worst match ever” by dozens of Zodiac compatibility sites (apps), I’ll shed some light on it for you.

 

In astrology work, we consider many elements of your chart and while Sun is an important factor and is a part of your core, it is by no means the only thing that makes up the wonderful and complicated you. Just like flour, while being a very important element of a cake, is worth little without some eggs, sugar, salt, butter…you get the point!

 

Popularisation of Sun-sign astrology was a double edged sword wielded by Alan Leo back in late 19th century. It brought Astrology to the masses, but only a part of it, resulting in misinterpretations and misjudgement on many occasions. If we use food analogy again (yes, it’s my favourite analogy because virtually everyone understands it) – so in terms of food judging about a person’s character by Sun-sign only is like guessing a dish by one ingredient! If I tell you I’m cooking something today and I’m using eggs for it, would it tell you everything about a dish? Don’t think so. Same goes for our horoscope – each person has a certain set of “ingredients” and they are used in certain “amounts”.

 

Let’s come back to that couple I mentioned earlier, so that we can look at some astrological examples, before this starts looking suspiciously like a culinary article! I want to ask you to pause you reading for a second and google “Sagittarius Virgo compatibility”. Just skimming the search result page you’ll soon find out that the only advice they would get is: “Run away, the faster – the better!”. Yet we have a long lasting couple with 2 wonderful children. Did the weirdos staring at the stars get it wrong again? Not so fast!

 

Sun represents our ego, intellect and conscious self, it’s who we see ourselves as, better yes, who we aspire to be. It is, as I mentioned before one of the core elements. ONE. What other ones do we have? Guys, I’d like you to meet the Moon. Yes, I know you’ve met her before (and maybe even in the context of your chart), but let’s just introduce her once again  – she’s the opposite of intellect and consciousness, she’s the emotions and the subconscious self. Our need for security, our place of comfort. If you haven’t been “feeling like” your Sun sign (or at least not fully) – check your Moon sign, it will bring you an interesting discovery and much food for thought.

 

We are moving on with our couple analysis. It is a Virgo Man and a Sagittarius woman. Incidentally the man’s Moon is in Sag, in a close conjunction with the woman’s Sun. This kind of overlays are very often seen in married couples and long-term friends. While the Sun-sign astrology keeps telling us they’re not a good match, the real astrology shows that the qualities that woman is expressing with her personality are the same ones the man is emotionally comfortable with, what he subconsciously seeks for.

 

The woman’s Moon is in Pisces, opposite the man’s Sun. If you have ever looked at the Zodiac wheel, you know all signs come in pairs of opposites, and usually the predictions for compatibility of these opposites are divided into 2 categories. Some say it’s a very good match, as they complete each other. Others state it could be “either – or” and that with opposites it’s either love or hate. They don’t care to explain in which case it would be “yea” and in which –  “nay”. We will take a closer look at it in the second part of the article, for now I would like you to note that they already have one positive connection, where they find understanding in the way one person’s energy is expressed (Sun) and how it’s received (Moon) by the other.

 

The woman’s Moon is in Pisces, showing a tender, loving and quite vulnerable nature hiding behind the Sagittarius’ optimism and bravado. The man’s Virgo Sun brings a rational, measured and pragmatic approach into their interactions, grounding the Pisces, not letting her get lost in the sea of emotional trepidations. This is just the case where they complete each other and this is happening because they already have a mutual reception between his Moon and her Sun.

 

While Sun and Moon are an important part of anyone’s chart, and are the start of any interpretation, other elements need to be looked at, to get more details about the manner and “flavour” of the relationships between the 2 individuals. An astrologer looks at Venus and Mars, as main love and romance planets, as well as Jupiter and Saturn, house placements and chart angles’ contacts and so on. Our couple has a wonderful positive Moon/Venus double contact, as well as the man’s Saturn in her 7th house, showing the lasting quality of this union.

 

Of course, a rare couple manages to go through life without conflicts, but understanding where they are coming from helps to better manage the arguments in the future. For example her Mars is in a tense aspect to both his Jupiter and Mars, showing possible conflicts about some of her beliefs (Jupiter) about health and lifestyle (in her 1st house) and her close relatives (his Mars is in her 3rd house – house of siblings and other close relatives, her Mars opposes it, while it is the ruler of her natal 3rd – clear indication of clashes on this ground).

 

In the second part I will talk about more examples of opposite sign compatibility. If you want to gain a better understanding of the relationship with your spouse, romantic partner or any other significant person in your life (friend, colleague, boss, sibling) you can order a compatibility reading with me (use the Contact form).

 

Astrology and Parenting.

One of my English classes (yes, I teach English, too) starts with a question “Are we born with certain character traits or are they developed in the process of life and as a result of events that happen to us?” Majority of my students answer that it’s 50/50. I support that answer as it allows for that 50% that we just seem to bring with us into the World and have very little control over which set of qualities we get. We are the way we are, and that’s that!

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Many parents have probably puzzled over some of their offspring’s traits or behaviors. And many parents of 2 or more have wondered at how the two children are completely unique, have their own personal quirks and styles…and all of that shows up right away, before the child can even speak their first word, forget express themselves clearly and coherently. And the parents kept wondering what is going on inside that little head, hoping they do their best to help that little person to grow into a big persona!

 

Well, to do that, you should be aware of the child’s potential, their talents, strong sides, weak sides, manner of expressing themselves, emotional needs and other many aspects of the personality, which are already present at the time of birth, but aren’t fully understood and analyzed by the native up until their Saturn return (around age of 30).

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Unfortunately, sometimes parents, wanting the best for their child, do what THEY think is the best (i.e. what would be best for them, if they were a child) forgetting that they are their own individual and, as an astrologer would say, what’s good for the Aries is misery for Pisces.

 

When you were growing up, did you have to learn or do something that your parents thought would be” just great” for you? Did you know someone who had? Piano lessons, anyone? Athletics club? Did you enjoy it? Ok, some of you did, I know. But some of you hated it. The moment you didn’t have to do it anymore was probably a memorable day in your childhood. And some of you might even have sworn to never make your child do THAT. And the problem is that maybe THAT particular activity is just what you child needs or wants to do.

 

Another side of this, is being annoyed at your child’s traits that you don’t understand. There are different ways to express the same energy and depending on the placement in the natal chart, it might clash with your way to express the same thing. Or it might just be hard to understand, because it’s so different.

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Mercury will be a good example here. Mercury rules our mind, our thinking and communication style. Someone with Mercury in Aries will be quick and enthusiastic. I have this placement and I distinctly remember episodes in my life (starting with an early age) when people would tell me I talk so fast they can’t understand me, asking me to slow down. I learn things quickly, too. But the downfall here is Aries’ mind gets bored fast. It’s like a match – quick to light up (with an idea) and quick to burn out. Projects, started by a fleeting interest in something, get dropped halfway to never be returned to.

 

In comparison with that, Mercury in Taurus will be much slower in processing information. Their paced and studious approach might get on some Mercury-in-Aries’ (or Mercury-in-Gemini’s) nerves, but they will diligently finish the task and the knowledge, once acquired, will be firmly fixed in their mind. They talk without haste and don’t say 8 words when they could do with 3.

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Many parents want their children to do sports, and indeed, physical activity is very important. But here, again, we can have issues by trying to select for the child. This is, of course, very often because the child doesn’t have the necessary experience to judge or know what kind of sport they would like or want to do. Mars is the planet of physical activity (though also the 5th house of horoscope needs to be examined). But in general, if we place Mars in the signs discussed above, we get a hyperactive competitive spirit of Aries that would do well in sprinting, cycling, roller-blading and anything to do with speed and racing. While in Taurus we get a great stamina but zero desire to move fast or be the first. Sure they like competition. But they compete for the pleasure of it, not to win (at all cost). So then you might consider baseball, boxing and other martial arts, where staying power is important.

 

These are just a few examples of different planetary placements in your child’s chart. If you want to better understand your child’s energies and characteristics, you could order a General Personality Reading with me. If you have a teen who’s just deciding on their college major – Career Prospects Report will help to shed light on their potentials, strong sides and talents.

 

Why horoscopes don’t work?

Yes, you read it right! Yes, it is an astrology page. So am I trying to sabotage myself? Of course not. I’m crazy, but not that crazy LOL. The horoscopes mentioned in the title are those weekly or monthly prognosis you read (or might have read or at least heard about) in the magazines, newspapers, online or even in a special app.

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Why don’t they work? Well, for starters a large number of them is written by people who have zero astrological knowledge beyond the Sun signs and probably have  never seen a natal chart. I must say I do admire their inexhaustible imagination! Coming up with 12 different predictions on a weekly basis for weeks on end is not something everyone could manage. However, these horoscopes do a disservice to the real astrology, and as much as I appreciate their role in popularizing the Zodiac, I hope the vicious circle will be broken soon.

Surprisingly enough, SOME of the daily/weekly/monthly predictions are made by people who have studied astrology and advanced past the Sun placements. I am even in bigger awe of them! Making predictions based only on the Sun sign is similar to a doctor giving a diagnosis based on the complaint of “Doctor, I have a pain in my chest”. Or a mechanic hearing from a customer: “My car makes this funny noise” – and determining: “Oh, it must be the engine valve!” – without even looking. In both cases there’s a chance they guessed it right, but it will be just that – guessing.

So what does work, then? What is a real astrologer supposed to do? The answer will be: “They do the same thing as a doctor or a mechanic – examine!” Every human body (and every car) is unique and so is a natal chart . Sure, they are some similarities. We all have 2 legs, 2 arms, one heart and 12 pairs of ribs. But we have different DNA, fingerprints and events and circumstance in our life that cause different health problems. A pain in the chest could be a heart attack, a broken rib (or many other things I shouldn’t get into for lack of medical education) – it all depends!

So when you meet someone new and google “Taurus and Leo compatibility” you might as well google “Canadian and Brazilian (or any other nationality) compatibility” – it’s just too general. But if you examine your individual charts (or let a professional do it) – you can have a better understanding of what energies and tendencies will this particular relationship be based on.

So next time you read those Sun sign columns or compatibility articles, do yourself a favor – don’t! You can learn more about your chart, or any other chart, by studying astrology yourself  or finding an astrologer to shed the light on it for you.