That Something Extra in Astrology

August 16, 2006 by  

Medieval Justice

After a brief but relaxing hiatus, the blog is back with all sorts of deep-thinking ideas to stimulate your astrological nerve endings. —Gryphon AKA Nina

Can a merely competent astrologer ever become a great astrologer? Or, to put another spin on the issue, what distinguishes a cook who can whip up a reasonably tolerable and theoretically correct soufflé from one whose soufflé takes you to transcendent gastronomic heights and leaves you begging for more? This has been an issue that has puzzled me for quite some time, as I know many very competent modern and traditional astrologers, those practicing horary astrology, electional astrology and natal astrology, ones who are very familiar with astrological terminology, give clients astrological answers which are often right, at least in a general sense, and in all other respects have done their homework.

As a completely unscientific theory backed only by empirical evidence, I propose that in any given field, including but not limited to astrology (traditional astrology or modern astrology) the twenty percent rule applies. Thus, roughly twenty percent of astrologers can be said to have a good, solid technical command of their respective astrological fields, and they have put in the years of study and practice to make them the best they could humanly become. The question I wish to address in this article is: What distinguishes the very competent twenty percent from the ultra-amazing one percent?

Lest we get lost in a maze of fuzzy definitions (which, I confess, I use in abundance), let us look at this ultra-amazing one percent. I have this stubborn tendency, perhaps born of studying too much pragmatic traditional astrology, to define the quality of an astrologer based on the results he gets, rather than on the number of talks he gives, or the number of brightly-colored books he churns out. In my necessarily limited sample, I have found that the one-percenters are often not just right, they tend to be spectacularly right in their astrological predictions. They can often be recognized posthumously (which is too late for most of us), not based on the number of glowing eulogistic articles written about them, but by talking to their former clients and associates, who acknowledge that in losing that person, the world has lost a great astrologer.

Like any other group at the top of their field, the astrological one-percenters are both born and made. However, from a traditional natal astrological perspective, we can often locate several indicators of “specialness,” showing us that the person will really get somewhere. The more and starker indicators one has, the better, since we are dealing with degrees of goodness, rather than discrete steps from one level to another.

My rough guidelines are as follows:

  1. Pre-natal eclipse indicators (the more and the stronger, the better)
  2. The fixed stars on important points (royal fixed stars are great, but any fixed stars appropriate to the person’s field are extremely helpful as well)
  3. The Moon and/or Mercury strong and engaged (we are talking about a skill here, so the innate intelligence is important)
  4. Something good going on with Fortuna, and
  5. Astrological evidence of the willingness to make an effort. This is important, as the world is littered with people with astrological (or any other) talent, but with no willingness to put in the hard work needed to rise to the top. Having a melancholic temperament, for example, can be helpful. Lots of fixed signs are not bad, either. A little Saturn, a dash of Mars can be good as well, provided they are in helpful condition.

Example Astrological Natal Chart – Robert Shapiro

Now, I will not use the chart of an astrologer, either as an example of being spectacularly great or really terrible, for the obvious reasons that opinions may differ and egos are notoriously fragile creatures. Rather, I will use the natal astrological chart of a well-known American lawyer, Robert Shapiro, perhaps the best known for his representation of O.J. Simpson in his murder trial. Shapiro is considered a very skilled and talented lawyer, detail-oriented, and 100% committed to his clients. For a trial lawyer, he has managed to remain relatively uncontroversial and well-liked. When his young son was found dead of a drug overdose in October 2005, the death drew many heartfelt condolences from the general public.

Robert Shapiro Horoscope

Let us step through the above astrological criteria one by one:

  1. Prenatal eclipse contacts? Yes. The preceding lunar total eclipse has Shapiro’s natal Moon on the eclipse Ascendant. In the natal astrological chart, the Moon is in the 9th house of the law and higher learning, and rules the 11th house of money from the career. Too, Shapiro’s natal Ascendant is right on the eclipse Mercury in Virgo. In his natal astrological chart, Mercury is in the 1st house, which it rules, along with the 10th house of career. We can immediately discern that this person is going to have a successful career, of the Lunar or Mercurial sort. Being a popular trial lawyer certainly satisfies both counts.
  2. Fixed stars? Yes. Shapiro has Denebola on his prominently positioned Mars in his natal chart. Denebola is of the nature of Saturn and Venus, and according to Robson “gives swift judgment, despair, regrets, public disgrace, misfortune from the elements of nature, and happiness turned to anger, and makes its natives noble, daring, self-controlled, generous and busy with other people’s affairs.” The last seems especially apropos for a lawyer, doesn’t it? Though with Mars, the star can give fall from power and grace.

Alnitak, of the nature of Jupiter and Saturn, is on the MC, giving a powerful astrological testimony of both skill and luck. Robson says: Strength, energy, industry, organizing abilities, notoriety, good fortune, lasting happiness, a sharp mind and a good memory.

Moon and Mercury strong and engaged? Both are engaged from the previous eclipse, and Mercury is especially strong. Not terribly powerful essentially, but strongly placed and dispositing 5 planets in the chart. The Moon is not as helpful, but we know it will be very important due to the pre-natal placement regardless.

  1. Moon and Mercury strong and engaged? Both are engaged from the previous eclipse, and Mercury is especially strong. Not terribly powerful essentially, but strongly placed and dispositing 5 planets in the chart. The Moon is not as helpful, but we know it will be very important due to the pre-natal placement regardless.
  2. Something good going on with Fortuna? Yes. Dispositor is Mercury in the first house, not aspecting Fortuna, however. Angular Mars aspects Fortuna, and also receives great support from a very strong Jupiter in the 10th house. We can see that the business associates and clients will be very beneficial to the native’s fortune, which will come primarily from his career. Easy!
  3. Evidence of hard work? Yes. The temperament is predominantly melancholic; certainly very dry, and tending toward cold. This person can definitely work hard. We have already established that we have a strong Mars, showing a good drive, though Saturn is not bad, it is not as great as we would like. So we get an ambitious, hard-working type, which bodes well for success.