Astrology 101: Leonardo da Vinci & the Quality of Mind

July 31, 2008 by  

Can we find creativity in the horoscope? We will look at Leonardo da Vinci’s horoscope to determine whether his tremendous inventiveness and flow of ideas were shown in his chart. To do this, we will use a method called determining the “quality of the mind.” This is a much more nuanced examination than an astrological IQ test, because unlike such tests, this method shows the person’s facility in various thinking modes. The horoscope shows one’s level of interpersonal intelligence, creative intelligence, physical intelligence, and so on.

1. Leonardo da Vinci’s Mind.

We look at the conditions of Mercury and the Moon, the left brain and right brain, respectively.

Mercury is angular in the 4th house and thus is better positioned than the Moon. This means the native is more likely to rely on the left brain, analytical functions of the mind. However, Mercury is not very strong by sign – it is in Aries, where it moves very fast – perhaps too fast to do the kind of comparison, pro-and-con thinking Mercury loves and excels at. But Mercury was actually moving very slowly at the time of da Vinci’s birth, likely leading to a tense frustration between Mercury’s motion and its fast sign.

Opposition to an exalted Saturn can give good spatial reasoning, but there is the sense that cold, hard reality bumped up against da Vinci’s lightning-fast mind. Saturn rules the 3rd house of communication, and he may have had difficulty conveying his ideas to others in the same purity of vision he had in his mind. Mars in Aquarius on the third house cusp made his communication fast and perhaps a touch abrasive.

The Moon is in its joy, the third house. Being cadent, the Moon is much more “tucked away” than Mercury, but for all that, it is a veritable fountain of inspiration. First, the Moon is in the phlegmatic, or watery 4th quarter, and it is in Pisces, the most fertile of the signs. This in itself shows a pouring forth of creative ideas from the native’s right brain. As if that weren’t enough, the Moon is conjunct Jupiter in Pisces – the two most fertile planets in the most fertile sign. The third house rules communication and indeed, Leonardo’s writings and jottings are legion.

The Moon-Jupiter conjunction is sextile Leonardo’s Taurus Sun placed in the fifth house of creativity. The Taurus Sun, combined with the Saturn influence on Mercury, tell us that da Vinci’s creativity will be channeled toward the practical, tangible world. Still, Pisces is what it is, and the inventions may often seem outlandish and otherworldly. The Sun rules the 9th house of faith, so there is a sense of divine inspiration in da Vinci’s horoscope.

2.  Leonardo da Vinci’s Significator of the Mind.

The significator of mind (aka Significator of Manner in some texts) describes the native’s personality, and the way he or she thinks and interacts with the world.

The SoM should be a planet with influence over both Mercury and the Moon. For Mercury, this is most likely Mars, as Mercury is sextile Mars and in Mars’s sign. However, we must also include the opposition to a strongly placed Saturn. The Moon is most strongly influenced by Jupiter, due to the conjunction and the fact that the Moon is in Jupiter’s sign. Ptolemy writes that Saturn and Jupiter together give a “virtuous, respectful, well-intentioned mind…prudent, patient, and philosophical.” Mars adds a bit of recklessness, a big mouth, and fierceness. Leonardo probably shunned the limelight, but had a fierce streak when challenged.

Bonus question: Who can see Leonardo’s famous “mirror writing” in his horoscope?

Mercury in Virgo August 10 – August 30, Best Location All Year

July 30, 2008 by  

Mercury in Virgo August 10 - August 30

Mercury will enter its own sign and exaltation, Virgo, on August 10th. This is great news for Mercury, which has been in a relatively weak position since it left Gemini in early July. But Mercury could not be any happier than it is in Virgo, a mutable/double earth sign, where the Trickster gets to apply all he’s learned to the real world. Mercury is right at home in mundane affairs, indeed. The only problem is that he rarely looks at the big picture, so busy is he running to and fro.

Mercury in Virgo

Virgo is an earth sign associated with the harvest, which is odd, because it is also a barren sign. Its qualities, cold and dryness, are not exactly associated with massive fertility. The harvest association likely came from the days when the extremely benefic fixed star Spica (the Stalk of Wheat) was in Virgo, despite the fact that Spica is now at 24 Libra, and was last in Virgo over 1,700 years ago. Indeed, many depictions of Virgo today still show a young woman with a stalk of wheat.

Ibn Ezra, a medieval astrologer, writes that Virgo rules writers, comedians, women and eunuchs, and mathematicians. This is convenient, because Mercury rules these as well, with the exception of women (the eunuchs could be Mercurial, because they are neither fully male nor female). [from The Beginning of Wisdom by Avraham Ibn-Ezra, trans. Meira Epstein]

If you have Mercury in Virgo, this is very positive, and unless your Moon is much more prominent than Mercury, you can rely on your left brain skills pretty well. The exact way you use your Mercury in Virgo depends on its position, rulerships, and aspects. As an example, a Mercury-Saturn aspect might show a tendency to serious, scholarly thinking, and negative influences might tend to depression and gloom.

Larry Ellison has Mercury conjunct Mars in Virgo, if memory serves, which probably makes him very sharp and quite critical.  Princess Kiko of Japan, originally a commoner, has Mercury in Virgo as her significator of wealth, and Mercury’s position probably makes it quite helpful to her in surviving the rule-laden Japanese royal household.

Now, let’s see what Mercury will do in August, and what it means for us.

Mercury Aspects in August

August 15 – Mercury conjunct Saturn in Virgo. Probably not the best day for your Mercurial tasks, such as important communications, journeys, or merchandising of any kind. Saturn is restrictive and produces denials and delays. However, the day is favorable for solitary, deep thinking, and scholarly pursuits.

August 18 – Mercury trine Jupiter in Capricorn. A day when Mercurial things seem to turn out better than they really did. Jupiter in Capricorn is weak, and because it is a benefic, it appears rather better than it is in reality. Lots of things are going on, and you may want to do make your big Mercurial move, but your expectations are bigger than is warranted.

August 19 – Mercury in Exaltation Degree (15th degree). Mercury is very strong today, so if you don’t mind the applying aspect to a weak Venus, now’s a good day to do your Mercurial errands and tasks.

August 21 – Mercury conjunct Venus in Virgo. Venus in Virgo can have trouble letting her hair down, and Mercury is happy to communicate that. This might be a good day for fun without consequences, or fun…but not too much of it. Not the most favorable combination, as Venus is another debilitated benefic, like Jupiter.

[Missed Mercury in Leo?  Here it is.]

Astrological Book Review: The Houses – Temples of the Sky (Deborah Houlding)

July 29, 2008 by  

My copy of The Houses – Temples of the Sky arrived last week from Wessex Astrologer, and because it is a relatively slim book, I expected to have read it in preparation for this review in a matter of a few days. However, it is a testament to the sheer amount of information contained therein when I confess that it took the whole week to really do this book justice.

The book was written by Deborah Houlding, who was interviewed on this blog a few weeks ago. In the interview, Houlding spoke of practicing traditional astrology, and in The Houses, we get a glimpse into Houlding’s sources.


The Houses – Temples of the Sky is highly recommended, especially for intermediate and advanced students of astrology. However, beginners could also benefit greatly from this book, provided they are prepared to do a little more intensive studying than other books on houses require. It is also useful as a quick reference comparing what ancient astrologer XYZ said in contrast with astrologer ABC, without having to find the relevant material in each book. Both modern and traditional astrologers will find much substantial information here. This is the nec plus ultra of books on houses.

Book Contents and Structure

Three introductory chapters begin the book. The first is a foreword by Robert Hand, followed by two chapters on the theory and practice of house division. Here, the author objects to the simplification of house = sign = planet, which is a recent melding together of largely unrelated concepts. We are then whisked through some of the basic terminology of house division, though I suspect that most readers of an intermediate-level book such will be familiar with these concepts.

The text itself then starts with a historical summary of the way houses were used in ancient astrology, followed by a very interesting and rarely seen analysis of the ancient astrologers’ use of the four angles of the horoscope. Houlding links the fourth house to the ancient Egyptian concept of the underworld as the source whence we emerge and to which we eventually return. As a result, traditional astrology sees the fourth house of all things contained within the earth, including graves; and our biological source, our ancestors. Each angle is analyzed and various historical sources are given for the meaning.

The subsequent four chapters address the non-angular house polarities; second/eighth, fifth/11th, third/ninth, and sixth/12th. The opposing houses in the horoscope carry related but different meanings, and Houlding wisely analyzes the houses in pairs, to better compare and contrast the often subtle differences among them. As with the chapter on the angles, multiple sources are given for the meaning of each house, with a summary of each source’s material.

Then, from a practicing astrologer’s point of view, we get to the really juicy part. Each house is treated separately in a section called “House Rulerships and Practice.” The house meanings are categorized according to the main rulerships, horary associations, mundane associations, lawsuits/conflicts, events, medical matters, commerce, colors, qualities (angular, diurnal, masculine, etc.), compass direction, associated planets and signs, and other names of the house.

Following the house attributions, we go on to more chapters dealing head-on with the multiple house systems available to astrologers. Houlding describes the problematic nature of dividing space based on the ecliptic, which becomes particularly troublesome in high latitudes. She then describes some alternatives to this method, and the pluses and minuses of the major house division systems. An interesting chapter is devoted to Ptolemy and his lack of use of the houses, as well as his interchangeable use of the words “place” and “sign”. There is some discussion of the concept of angularity, and whether planets near an angle but not within it can be considered truly angular, based on various sources.

Finally, we get a very detailed glossary of terms, followed by an explanation of the planetary hours, as well as Al-Biruni’s instructions on finding the hour of birth. There is a convenient house rulerships index, in addition to a general index for the entire book.


The Houses is very useful, particularly as a solid reference book. To my knowledge, there are no other books on houses that deal in such depth with traditional house rulerships, as does this one. In particular, the individual house rulerships section will be invaluable to anyone reading a horoscope, whether it is a horary, natal, or mundane chart. Pulling together major sources in one book is no small feat, and clearly a lot of research went into this deceptively slim volume.

As a traditional astrologer, I could have done without the modern house attributions intermixed with the traditional sources in the book. The Houses is a book appealing both to traditional and modern astrologers, while blending the two approaches. At times, this was interesting and enlightening, as with the inclusion of Charles Carter’s mundane house meanings, but other times, the approach wasn’t that helpful, resulting in my glossing over modern house attributions to get to the “good stuff.” Some of the modern house attributions are questionable in their validity, and it is no fun sifting through them to get to more accurate material, even if the book is very even-handed as a result! Still, because the approach to the traditional authorities is so thorough, this was a minor price to pay.

I particularly appreciated the detailed discussion of the pros and cons of various house division systems. Since most of us are familiar with the house systems primarily from the menu in our astrology software, it is very useful to learn more about the history, origins, and rationale behind each method. The useful section on equal houses should invigorate and inform the ongoing debate between proponents of various house division systems.

The value of this book will most certainly last through the years, as good astrological reference books are hard to come by. Ultimately, it is best to go to the original source, but when I want to know what Al-Biruni thought of the 8th house, and how his approach contrasted with William Lilly’s or that of modern astrology, this is the go-to book.

The Houses – Temples of the Sky, 2nd ed. (expanded & revised)

By: Deborah Houlding

The Wessex Astrologer, 2006

Available at, the Wessex Astrologer, and at Amazon.

168 pages, paperback.

14.50 GBP/25.00 USD

(If you have written or published an astrology book you would like reviewed on Gryphon Astrology, please contact me at nina [at] or write to me here (don’t forget to include your contact info).

Iran: The Astrological Path to the Revolution and War, Part II

July 28, 2008 by  

As we discussed last week, this series aims to look for astrological triggers that reliably foretell serious conflict in Iran. Given the current uncertainty about a possible war with Iran, looking at past indications of war in that country should be useful to help us predict any future wars there. Last week, we looked at the two key charts for the 1961—1981 period in Iran: the coronation chart of Reza Khan (1926) and the Great Conjunction of 1961. Both of these charts held clues to the timing and nature of the 1978-1979 revolution in Iran.

Upheaval in Iran: The Great Eclipse Search

Both solar and lunar eclipses are a malefic influence on world affairs, and typically act as triggers of Bad Things happening in the world. They act most powerfully on the angles of state horoscopes, and any planets closely aspecting those angles. This is because the angles represent the four cardinal elements of a state: the people (1st house), the land and the king’s enemies (4th house), the enemies of the state (7th house), and the government (10th house). When eclipses afflict these points, the balance between these four elements is lost, and chaos reigns.

1926 Coronation of Reza Khan

1926 Coronation of Reza Khan

If we do a search on eclipses hitting the angles of the Reza Khan coronation chart, we find several possible candidates:

1. Lunar Eclipse – December 1963 on 4th/10th axis

2. Lunar Eclipse – June 1964 on 4th/10th axis

3. Solar Eclipse – March 1968 on 1st/7th axis (also aspecting the Moon, the Shah’s significator)

4. Lunar Eclipse – March 1978 on 1st/7th axis (aspecting the Moon)

5. Solar Eclipse – October 1978 on 1st/7th axis (aspecting the Moon)

Eclipses in the 1961 Great Conjunction

An astrologer would carefully watch other astrological testimony around the 1978 eclipses, because we have two direct hits to the angles, mere months apart. However, the same is true for the first two eclipses on the list. The next step would be to look for confirming evidence in the 1961 Great Conjunction horoscope.

1961 Great Conjunction - Tehran, Iran

1961 Great Conjunction - Tehran, Iran

Only four eclipses contact the angles in the 1961 chart, and of those, two are anywhere near in time with respect to the Coronation chart eclipses:

1. Solar Eclipse – December 1977 on 4th/10th axis (aspecting the Moon)

2. Solar Eclipse – April 1978 on 4th/10th axis (aspecting the Moon)

We have a repeating theme here, from 1977 through 1978. It wasn’t that difficult to narrow down the most difficult time for Iran from 20 years to two years.  So, we have the “when,” for a Bad Thing to occur in Iran, but we still lack a “what,” other than expecting the “what” to be malefic as per the nature of eclipses.

In Part III of this series, we will look at the horoscopes for 1977 and 1978 to determine the nature of the problems the eclipses promised.


Read Part I of the Iran Series – The seeds of the revolution in the Shah’s Coronation and 1961 Great Conjunction charts.

Part II of the Iran Series – The revolution draws near: Eclipse hits to the coronation and 1961 Great Conjunction.

Part III of the Iran Series – The revolution is here and the Shah is deposed.  Aries Ingress charts for 1977 and 1978.

Part IV of the Iran Series – War comes again: the charts for the Islamic Republic and the 1980 Great Conjunction.

Part V of the Iran Series – Early indications of war and Khomeini’s death.

Part VI of the Iran Series – When would the war begin?

Part VII of the Iran Series – The 2000 Great Conjunction and the Khomeini horoscope.

Free Astrology Reading: When Will My Tenant Finally Leave?

July 27, 2008 by  

My tenant is not vacating my flat even after nine months of notice. She is always coming up with excuses to stay put and is problematic to me and the neighbors. She is spreading false rumors about me to others. We came to know she and her husband are criminals. I am fed up with all the problems she is creating and told her to vacate as she was not paying the increased rent. Now her husband has passed away and she is asking for another 10 months to vacate. Will she vacate at least after that?


Dear M.,

I cast a horary horoscope for the time I understood your question. The chart is below:

Your tenant is represented by the 7th house* (see endnote) of “other people.” Mercury just entered a fixed sign, Leo, indicating that your tenant does not plan to go anywhere for as long as possible. The main difficulty is that you are not being firm and consistent in your demands upon her. Neither of your planets, Jupiter and the Moon, are in fixed signs – she is being much more stubborn and focused than you, which is why she is winning this little game.

I also note that the Moon is in Gemini, a double sign, indicating your vacillation on this issue. Double signs go back and forth; in a loud-voiced double sign, there is lots of talk here, but it is all one step forward and one step back. The fact that the Moon is ruled by Mercury tells us she has the upper hand here, because of your hesitation to put your foot down. What is less clear is why you are having difficulty doing so. Would your fear of the malicious rumors she is spreading have anything to do with it? The Moon is in her 12th house of secrets and hidden enemies.

The Moon has recently sextiled Mercury, likely your giving her permission to stay for another 10 months. The Moon’s next aspect is a sextile to the Sun, which afflicts Mercury by combustion. The Sun could be another person, perhaps a neighbor of hers, who is helpful to you in this matter, and it looks like you might be asking them for assistance. The Sun can also represent the government, and might show you starting the formal eviction process.

If you want to get her out sooner than 10 months, your best bet is in about four months from now, as Mercury will conjoin the Sun in about 4 degrees. That is, you should start the process now, but November-December seems like a good time for her to leave. However, that is only if you start taking decisive action to get her out. I do not see her leaving of her own accord otherwise, and the chart does not clearly show timing for that. Why should she? She has you where she wants you.

*Endnote: In traditional texts, tenants are assigned to the sixth house. However, remember that the sixth house rules slaves and those improving our household, so the old-fashioned kind of tenant is meant, where he works your land and generally does your bidding. In today’s context, that definition is not appropriate, and we would give most tenants the 7th house of business associates. If you do use the 6th house for tenants, feel free to share your experiences in the comments section.

[Readers interested in private astrology readings like this one can pay via the PayPal button at top left, or find out more at the Astrology Readings page.]

Mercury in Leo: July 26 2008

July 25, 2008 by  

Mercury will enter the fiery sign of Leo on Saturday, July 26, thereby entering combustion. This is a harmful state where a planet is a little too close to the Sun (about 8.5 degrees on either side), and is afflicted by the Sun’s extreme heat. Mercury will stay combust until about August 6th. Read on for the best ways to use Mercury in Leo.

Half-Voiced Mercury in Leo

Leo is one of the half-voiced signs; halfway between being fully vocal and totally mute. It is therefore not the best sign for Mercury, who loves to vocalize and communicate. Also, Mercury tends to not do as well in the bestial signs, of which Leo is one. Mercury brings the gifts unique to humanity: speech, commerce, reading and writing, etc. Being in an animal sign is not exactly his best location, nor being in a fixed sign like Leo. Mercury likes movement and action, and the fixed signs are a little too staid for his fluid nature.

That said, Mercury in Leo is a pretty good placement: half a voice is better than none for Mercury, whose normally smooth speech may change to growls or purrs in Leo. While it is not Mercury’s finest moment, it is still a sign where Mercury can express itself reasonably well. Also, the “bound” or part of the sign, 11 Leo to 17 Leo, is ruled by Mercury, so there is some affinity between this cold and dry planet and Leo, the hot and dry sign! At least they share one quality, that of dryness.

This brings us to an important observation of Mercury in Leo. This is not the most emotional placement. It does not mean that a Mercury in Leo native has no empathy; it just will not come from this planet-sign combination. The dry quality gives a lack of sentiment – an overabundance of moisture increases it. Mercury is not a touchy-feely planet. It is the rational, organizational part of ourselves that is not naturally at ease with feelings. The heat of Leo might give passion or enthusiasm, sometimes mistaken for emotion, but the inward, receptive soul of the native will not be touched when he expresses passion.

Mercury in Leo Secrets

Combustion essentially hides a planet from view in the rays of the Sun. Mercury in Leo, combust, is thus doubly heated – once from the Sun and once from its sign. The combination gives us secret and heated communications, which are none too eloquent, but drive their point home. One growl from the lion is unmistakable in its import. If you wish to talk to someone secretly, or to do something hidden, now through August 6th may be the best time to do so. This is especially true if Mercury rules your horoscope.

[Want to learn more? Visit the Gryphon Astrology Blog Archives, with our best articles organized and easily accessible!]

Iran: The Path to the Revolution (Part I of the Iran Series)

July 24, 2008 by  

With all the talk about a potential war on Iran, it is useful to look at historical patterns in Iran that foretold upheaval or war in that country.Then, we can apply what we learned from these astrological omens for Iran to the astrological conditions today.This is the most honest and most painful way to do mundane astrology, and it involves lots of charts.Lots and lots of charts!The sheer number of horoscopes involved is the reason this series will run in installments.

Iran Dynasty – Reza Khan Coronation in 1926

Coronation horoscopes tend to work pretty well to symbolize the beginning of a royal dynasty, sometimes even the beginning of the country as a whole.One example is the frequently-used coronation of William the Conqueror in England, which is often taken for the beginning of the British Empire.The Book of World Horoscopes states that Reza Khan, the commander who deposed the existing Shah in a coup d’état, was crowned on April 25, 1926, at 4:10 p.m. local time.

Reza Khan Coronation Horoscope

Reza Khan Coronation Horoscope

Apart from the angles of the coronation horoscope, there are two other sensitive points: the Moon in Libra, which rules the 10th house of the King, and Venus itself, ruling the first house of the people and the country as a whole.The warlike theme of this dynasty is indicated by the ruler of the preceding lunation at 21 Aries, Mars.Mars in the coronation horoscope is partile square Saturn, in perfect mutual reception by sign.Mars rules the seventh house and is placed in the fifth, indicating harm to the dynasty by the open enemies, who will also be the nation’s children, or young people.

Underscoring this theme is the fact that we have Mercury, the natural ruler of young people (as students, as ruler of the ninth house), placed right in the seventh house of the dynasty’s opponents. However, when we have the two malefics afflicting each other as we see here, not only will young people be the enemy of the dynasty, but they too will come to harm.

1961 Great Conjunction: First Hints of the Revolution

An astrologer examining the once-every-20-years Great Conjunction chart set for Tehran in 1961 would feel a little worried.The conjunction Mars is in Cancer, the sign of its fall, and conjunct the midheaven — the house of the King — in the coronation horoscope.The King falling by violence is the most obvious interpretation of this combination.This is the same Mars that foretold conflict and bloodshed in the pre-coronation lunation horoscope.Mars afflicts the Moon by a square aspect.The Grand Conjunction Moon is conjunct Venus in Aries.Venus is the planet of Islam, here in detriment, in the Martial sign of Aries, at the very lowest point of the horoscope.The King is definitely in trouble, and will be brought down through the Islamic religion.

Grand Conjunction 1961, Tehran, Iran. 00:02 GMT.

Grand Conjunction 1961, Tehran, Iran. 00:02 GMT.

The young people who would become enemies of the status quo do not fare well in the Grand Conjunction chart, either.Mercury is in the sign of its detriment and fall, Pisces, and is partile conjunct the malefic South node, right on the weak sixth house cusp of the coronation horoscope.

The Midheaven of the Grand Conjunction is conjunct the benefic fixed star Spica, perhaps indicating that the King will escape the worst.However, with the extreme afflictions from Mars, this is rather cold comfort.


Read Part I of the Iran Series – The seeds of the revolution in the Shah’s Coronation and 1961 Great Conjunction charts.

Part II of the Iran Series – The revolution draws near: Eclipse hits to the coronation and 1961 Great Conjunction.

Part III of the Iran Series – The revolution is here and the Shah is deposed.  Aries Ingress charts for 1977 and 1978.

Part IV of the Iran Series – War comes again: the charts for the Islamic Republic and the 1980 Great Conjunction.

Part V of the Iran Series – Early indications of war and Khomeini’s death.

Part VI of the Iran Series – When would the war begin?

Part VII of the Iran Series – The 2000 Great Conjunction and the Khomeini horoscope.

Iran at War in 2014.  The final prediction about Iran’s future.

Astrology Book Review: The Book of World Horoscopes

July 22, 2008 by  

This week, we’re reading The Book of World Horoscopes by Nicholas Campion, the second fourth edition (two of which were self-published) of an instant classic. Campion undertook the monumental task of assembling foundation horoscopes of most of the world’s countries, and published his collection in 1988. However, with empires falling and many new countries emerging out of the rubble, the necessity of a new edition soon became apparent.

The Book of World Horoscopes starts out with a substantive Introduction, which lays out the philosophical underpinnings of mundane astrology. In it, among other topics, Campion discusses the U.S. horoscope and its attendant controversies. The author writes: “This modern Gordian knot is crying out for a conceptual sword,” and suggests an interesting approach that might take us away from the barren search for the moment of the U.S. into more fruitful and practical areas of research. Specifically, Campion recommends the approach prevalent in Great Britain, which is to use any of a number of event charts, including the coronations in 973 and 1066, and a few others. Finding the common points between a series of historical charts could be useful in the U.S. horoscope as well.

National Horoscopes Aplenty

Campion then goes through the national horoscopes, often several charts per single country, if doubt exists, or if many event charts are used as in the Great Britain example above. The book is organized in alphabetical order by country name. Each horoscope gets a descriptive paragraph or two identifying the source for the time, date, and place. The horoscope for Afghanistan, for instance, is set for midnight of July 17, 1973, when the King’s brother-in-law struck a coup d’etat. The author acknowledges that there are several possible horoscopes for Afghanistan, which has had a succession of governments over the last 35 years.

Indeed, it is this honesty and dogged focus on not favoring one horoscope over another that helps the book get to the nearly 700-page monster that it is. The readers are given pros and cons of all feasible horoscopes that Campion identified for each country, and quite a smorgasbord it is. For some of the better-documented countries like the United Kingdom, Russia, and the U.S., we get a dozen charts or more. Data fiends, rejoice! However, even many of the less-followed countries merit more than a single chart under Campion’s watchful eye; Zimbabwe has three horoscopes, with a very substantial essay including some of that country’s additional potentially chart-worthy events.

The 12 Appendixes

By the time he reaches Zimbabwe, Campion is truly on a roll, giving the impression he didn’t want to stop just yet. Some of the best materials in this book are the extras in the Appendixes. Campion gives an Appendix of inauguration horoscopes, another on the beginnings of the political parties, Appendix 3 contains city and town horoscopes, Appendix 4 has the inception charts for several key financial events, such as the start of the New York stock exchange, the EU, NAFTA, and OPEC. There are 12 (yes) appendixes total, with several focusing on war and military horoscopes, another on the traditional sign assignments for different regions of the world, and for the continents. A personal favorite is the appendix of World Horoscopes, as proposed by various astrologers through the ages. The chapter also includes other speculative horoscopes, such as that for the birth of Christ.

Finally, we are treated to a 150-page listing of degrees for all the mundane horoscopes listed in the book. For instance, we know the upcoming Solar Eclipse will occur at 9 Leo, so we look up the degree and note that Israel’s chart for de jure independence, May 15, 1948, has the Moon at 9 Leo, and we can then investigate the eclipse’s impact on Israel’s chart further.

The Book of World Horoscopes is very substantial, and would be a fine addition to any astrologer’s library, providing hours (or is it years?) of browsing and experimentation. There are those who will say that it is imperfect, but consider the chaos it replaces. We can certainly critique many of the author’s decisions for inclusion or exclusion of charts, but we now have a starting point from which to do so.

The Book of World Horoscopes

By: Nicholas Campion

Published by the Wessex Astrologer

38.00 GBP (about double that in USD)

671 pages, paperback.

If you have written or published an astrology book you would like reviewed on Gryphon Astrology, please contact me at nina [at] or write to me here (don’t forget to include your contact info).

Astrology 101: The Sixth House of Slaves, Disease, and Pets

July 21, 2008 by  

Astrology 101: The Sixth House of Slaves, Disease, and Pets

The sixth house is traditionally considered malefic and harmful to life. This is because it is one of the houses (including the 8th and the 12th) that does not get the light which enters the chart from the Ascendant. In the natal horoscope, the sixth house is primarily associated with those lower on the social scale who work for the native (or slaves), disease, and small animals.

The Sixth House and Slavery Today

The ancient astrologers quite literally saw the sixth as the house of slavery and slaves. Many pages are dedicated to determining whether a native’s parents were slaves or whether he himself would end up a slave. At first glance, we can think that slavery is no longer applicable to our lives today. However, we do well to remember that even though slavery is illegal throughout the world, it is quite rampant even in the United States, though it is now called human trafficking. Therefore, for the average practicing astrologer to see a chart with indications of slavery for the native or others in his life is not at all unlikely.

Even outside of the explicit slavery context, many people all over the world hold jobs that are very low in prestige and income, and are quite menial. Again, as an example, if we saw an indication of the native’s parents being slaves, and we could rule out the fact of slavery, we might say that the parents were always employed in menial or miserable conditions.

In the traditional society, the sixth house also represented one’s clients, people who depended on the native for favors and patronage. The word client has different connotations today, but in a traditional society, people with reasonable assets were expected to take care of and aid those below them. Similarly, today, the sixth house represents one’s employees and staff.

Disease in the Sixth House

Some modern authors say that the sixth house rules health and disease, but this is sloppy thinking. Because the sixth house is associated with largely unpleasant things, or lowly people and animals, the positive concept of health does not belong in the sixth. Rather, the sixth house in the natal horoscope can show one’s propensity toward disease, and the types of diseases to which the person is prone. Mostly, the type of disease to which the person is predisposed will be shown by an overall analysis of the whole chart, but the sixth house, if implicated, can give clues to the kinds and sources of illness the person may expect.

If the sixth house afflicts some of the life-giving planets and houses seriously enough, we will know that the native does not make it to adulthood, or even to childhood. Such is the power of the sixth house and its ruler to afflict one’s well-being.

The Sixth House and Small Animals

Ibn Ezra says that the sixth house rules animals which are not “mount for man,” and this definition includes most animals that people have as pets today. But how can pets be so bad so as to deserve the malefic sixth house? I believe that the sixth house ultimately rules people and animals assisting us in household tasks. Thus, dogs and cats and even birds meant to guard and enrich our homes are ruled by the sixth house. Believe it or not, some people still have a use for their cats other than hairball production: cats keep their houses mouse-and rat-free!

But enough from me. How has the sixth house manifested in your own horoscope?

Free Astrology Chart Reading: “Will We Be in a Relationship?”

July 19, 2008 by  

Horary Question:

John and I dated 3 years ago. He was newly divorced. We had two dates and we are just friends. There was a very big physical attraction, but only kissing and hugging on the 2nd date. He then didn’t ask me out anymore, but I ride his bus since he is a bus driver. He has a son who lives with him in his early 20s. He is a problem because of drug and alcohol addiction. What is he going to do about his son? I’m worried about John’s health because he is a heart attack survivor. Will John and I ever get together?


Dear C.,

Your question is interesting, and makes me wonder why you are asking about the potential relationship now, three years after the date. I cast a horoscope for the time that I understood your question, and the chart for your question is below:

Free Astrology Chart Reading: "Will We Be Together?"

Free Astrology Chart Reading: "Will We Be Together?"

The chart shows that John’s son very much dominates the situation; his son is symbolized by Mercury, ruler of John’s fifth house of children, and we see that the planet symbolizing John, Saturn, is very much in Mercury’s power. The son controls the situation, and it does not bode terribly well for you. Mercury has just left its own sign and entered the sign of Cancer, where it has little essential dignity. This tells me that the son’ s behavior has become a greater problem, and this is now seriously impacting John’s life. Mercury is in the detriment of Saturn, so we have the son harming the father.

I am concerned about John as well, as we have Mars separating from Saturn. This can indicate a fling in John’s life, but it could also be illness, especially if his health has not been very good recently. In this context, it could be a very recent acute health situation that is only now starting to go away. We have Mercury applying to Saturn, and then Mars, making me think that the son is really having a negative health impact on John. Stress with his child could cause John to have some kind of relapse.

Regarding your relationship with John, I don’t really see the level of mutual interest needed to overcome these opposing external factors. None of your three planets, Venus, the Sun, or the Moon, are particularly interested in Saturn, which is the planet symbolizing John. Similarly, John only has moderate interest in you, and ultimately, I don’t think he’s that attracted to you. His planet, Saturn, is in the fall of Venus, which does not make for a long-term, happy relationship.

The Moon has just separated from a sextile with Saturn, and is applying to Mars. I’m not exactly sure what Mars is, so I cannot interpret this unequivocally. However, if we have your planet and his separating, itprobably does not bode well for the future of your relationship. My sense is that John has much bigger problems than wanting to be in a relationship, and as of late, his son and his health have been only conspiring against him having a meaningful or long-term relationship.

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