Venus square Saturn January 30, 2015

January 28, 2015 by  


Venus square Saturn Apparition of the Visage of Aphrodite by Salvador Dali

Apparition of the Visage of Aphrodite of Cnidos in a Landscape by Salvador Dali

Venus squares Saturn in Sagittarius on January 30, with both planets at 3 degrees of their respective signs. Venus in Pisces is not received by Saturn, making their connection difficult. If she had been received by Saturn, it would have mitigated his malefic nature and spared Venus some of the less pleasant interactions with the Great Malefic.

Wherever Venus in Pisces graces your horoscope, she encounters Saturn’s limitations three signs away. Pisces is a sign of the boundless sea. Its deity is Okeanos, the eternal, ever-fertile ocean which encircles the earth. Saturn, too, rules the sea: undrinkable, destructive, life-denying. Venus desires pleasure in the transcendence of limitations, while Saturn is the “pass-not” Pillars of Hercules. William Lilly writes that Venus and Saturn are natural enemies, because Saturn is the natural enemy of pleasure. That troubled relationship becomes evident at the time of Venus square Saturn, as the square is an aspect of tension.

Difficulties, disappointments, and sordid elements of pleasure arise at this time. That which we expected to bring love and enjoyment will instead bring restriction and sorrow. Beautiful dreams are hatched only to be shattered. Dream bubbles have a fated encounter with hard reality.

Below are a few ways in which Venus square Saturn can manifest. If either planet makes a close aspect to a planet or angle in your horoscope, the likelihood of Venus and Saturn acting in your life increases.

Venus Square Saturn in Your Horoscope

Venus in the first, Saturn in the tenth: Venus now lends seductive glamours; Saturn says: “Leave it and go to work!”
Venus in the second, Saturn in the eleventh: Money comes easily now but remember your friends.
Venus in the third, Saturn in the twelfth: Speak gorgeous words of temptation if you must but do not believe them yourself.
Venus in the fourth, Saturn in the first: Your home is an undersea grotto full of beauty and magic. Don’t forget your oxygen tank.
Venus in the fifth, Saturn in the second: You dream of romance, pleasure, and even children, but can you pay when the bill arrives?
Venus in the sixth, Saturn in the third: Work on improving health but avoid dark thoughts that drag you down.
Venus in the seventh, Saturn in the fourth: Good for romance; start thinking about living arrangements.
Venus in the eighth, Saturn in the fifth: Loans come through, debts are paid, but kids and real estate require funds.
Venus in the ninth, Saturn in the sixth: Travel and learn for pleasure, but watch your health.
Venus in the tenth, Saturn in the seventh: Work and pleasure blend more than usual; does your significant other know?
Venus in the eleventh, Saturn in the eighth: Fun with friends but debts or short funds put a damper on enjoyment right now.
Venus in the twelfth, Saturn in the ninth: Release from a long imprisonment possible now, but don’t necessarily expect enlightenment or justice.

Venus in Pisces January 27, 2015: The Sweet Sea

January 24, 2015 by  

Venus in Pisces: Aphrodite Anadyomene Fresco from Pompeii

Aphrodite Anadyomene Fresco from Pompeii, 1st century CE

Venus in Pisces, Her Exaltation

Venus dances into Pisces on January 27* and will remain there until February 20*. Her presence will affect primarily those with planets in Pisces, but she will bring beauty, romance, seduction, and love into all horoscopes, depending on the natal house containing Pisces.

Venus has a natural affinity for the sea. As Ovid wrote of the goddess of love:

“I [Aphrodite] should find some favour with the sea, for in its holy depths in days gone by from sea-foam I was formed, and still from foam I take my name in Greece**.”

(Ovid, Metamorphoses 4. 521, trans. Melville)

This year’s transit of Venus through Pisces is especially auspicious. She is occidental of the Sun, and during this part of her cycle she moves closer to the earth, with the closest contact at her inferior conjunction. Venus’s proximity strengthens all matters of love and pleasure. She is much more amorous when occidental than when oriental. Also, she will be far from the Sun during her transit through Pisces, unafflicted by his beams. This is uncommon, as Venus is always within about 45 degrees of the Sun. We have a rare opportunity this year to experience Venus at once beautified in Pisces and unobscured by the Sun.

Venus and Mars

As Venus passes through Pisces, she will draw ever nearer Mars, to whom she is highly attracted. As a pair, they represent romantic love contrasted with the traditional marriage of convenience. Recall that historically, marriage was no place for romance, so Aphrodite and Ares’ passion was by definition illicit. Venus and Mars will conjoin in early Aries. Until they consummate their attraction, their flirtation in playful, dreamy Pisces will intensify.

Venus makes a stressful square aspect to Saturn on January 30*, which will be covered in greater detail in a separate article. After January 30*, it is smooth sailing for Venus on the Pisces seas.

Exaltation Degree of Venus in Pisces

Each planet has a special degree somewhere in the sign of its exaltation where it is “super-exalted” and highly potent. Venus’s magic reaches its apex in the degree of her exaltation, 26-26.59 degrees of Pisces, which Venus transits on February 17*. Here her influence is most elevated and perfect.  This is an auspicious day on which to borrow her glamour for makers of talismans or those seeking favorable elections for love.

Love symbolized by Venus in Pisces waxes and wanes like the sea tides. It is at once inconstant and enchanting, a spell that captivates because of its transience. Poet Algernon Charles Swinburne called her

The sweet sea, mother of loves and hours,
Shudders and shines as the grey winds gleam,
Turning her smile to a fugitive pain.
Mother of loves that are swift to fade,
Mother of mutable winds and hours.
A barren mother, a mother-maid,
Cold and clean as her faint salt flowers.

(from “The Triumph of Time,” Poems and Ballads)

Natal Venus in Pisces

Natal Venus in Pisces gives an appreciation for art and beauty, even sentimentality. Unless she is afflicted, her exalted position lends one a certain purity of feeling.

Aleister Crowley, in Your Place among the Stars, wrote of natal Venus in Pisces:

The native dissolves himself into the beloved, making a true union, and the greatest sorrow that can be experienced by a person with this position is when the beloved fails to appreciate his devotion to the full. Venus in this sign is not particularly fastidious; she is too ready for the pleasure the yielding gives to others. In some respects this is the highest possible development of Venus. (p 310)

Venus in Pisces is not in the least intellectual; she is intuitive, and this intuition is the outcome of her extraordinary nobility. Her willingness to pay the price, however great, gives her the privilege of a knowledge almost divine in its immediateness. (p 311)

*All times and dates are for Pacific Time. To see these dates in Universal Time, visit the Swiss Ephemeris for 2015.

**Aphros means “foam” in Greek.

U.S. Presidential Elections Study: 1880 Election Horoscope

April 27, 2014 by  

Ghazi-ud-din Haider: King of Oudh by David Hume, early 19th century

Ghazi-ud-din Haider: King of Oudh by David Hume, early 19th century

As you may know, in early 2012 I studied Aries Ingress horoscopes for the United States for presidential election years to determine whether there was a common thread indicating the winner. To my surprise, I did find a method that seemed to work, and used it to present a prediction of Barack Obama winning the 2012 election, at the New Orleans United Astrology Conference (UAC) in May of that year. You can read the details of the 2012 prediction of the US election result here.  That article compares the 1880 and 2012 Presidential elections, as they had some astrological similarities.

Since then, I have received a number of queries to see the rest of the data, and to share the method. We are about 2.5 years away from another Presidential election now, so the speculation as to the winning side is slowly gathering steam. To respond to the requests for more information, I have decided to write a series of articles, one for each election chart starting in 1880, through 2016. This will allow interested readers to follow my reasoning and examine the method used. What is unique about this study in astrological circles is that I came to the charts with few preconceived notion about how the charts would show the winning party; I relied on them to show the method, since we already knew the presidential election result.

Sometimes I get asked why I chose 1880; I simply worked backwards from the then-known results (2008) until I felt I had a good handle on how the horoscopes indicated the winner each time.  By the time I got to 1880, I had run across some very obvious horoscopes, and a few challenging ones, so felt I had a good sample.  There is nothing magical about having stopped at 1880.

1880 Presidential Election Horoscope

As always, we cast the Aries Ingress horoscope set for Washington, D.C. in a Presidential Election year.  The Aries Ingress is a horoscope set for the moment the Sun enters Aries, the start of the astrological New Year.  It is a long-standing tradition that the moment of the horoscope holds the seeds for major events for that location in the upcoming 12 months.

1880 Aries Ingress Horoscope

1880 Aries Ingress, 3/20/1880, 0:05:27 am LMT, Washington, D,C.

Our Assumptions for Each Ingress Horoscope

Incumbent and his party are the 10th house of the “king.”   This assignment goes back at least as far as the Hellenistic astrologers of 2000 years ago, though I am looking to the more recent medieval Arabic astrological texts.  The challenger and his party is the 4th house and its ruler. This is because the 4th house is the 7th from the 10th; the king’s opponent. In our Aries Ingress horoscope, we examine what is happening to each candidate’s house and ruler to determine who wins.

We use traditional planetary rulers of signs only (no Uranus, Neptune, Pluto), though all planets are displayed in the chart.

Horoscope Analysis

1. The 10th house is ruled by Virgo, and its ruler is Mercury stationary in Aries, in the 4th house. There are no planets in the 10th house, so we look exclusively to the ruling planet. The very next aspect is the Moon in Cancer (dignified as it is in the sign of its domicile) about to form a square aspect to Mercury.  Square aspects are not considered “easy,” but we will see in chart after chart that the nature of the aspect does not matter, so long as a candidate’s planet connects with another strong planet somehow.

2. The 4th house is ruled by Jupiter in Pisces conjunct the 4th house cusp. The fourth house has a dignified Jupiter on the cusp, and the Sun, exalted in Aries, just inside the cusp. Mercury and Saturn in Aries are there, as well. Jupiter does not have any planets applying to it very soon; certainly no sooner than the immediate Moon-Mercury square.

Conclusion: The incumbent party stays in power.

The Election Horoscope Yields Two Key Rules for Predicting the Winner of the Election…

1. Is either planetary ruler applying to another planet in its own sign or exaltation, or in a sign where candidate’s planet is strong (house, exaltation, triplicity)? If so, that is the winner.

2. Is there a planet or Node closely conjunct the 10th or 4th house cusp that is not the 10th or 4th ruler and in the same sign as the cusp? Its benefic/malefic nature helps or harms the incumbent or opponent, respectively. If only Jupiter in Pisces was not also the ruler of the 4th house here; its presence would have handed the challenger the White House.  A candidate’s planet on that person’s house cusp might indicate that candidate staying home, as it were.  The other planet on the 4th house cusp is the exalted Sun in Aries, which would be helpful if only it wasn’t in a different sign than the house cusp.  Tough luck.

…and a Couple of More Minor Observations:

3.  It does not seem to matter that a late degree is on the 4th/10th house cusps.

4.  One candidate’s planet (in this case, Mercury, ruling the incumbent Republicans) placed in the other candidate’s house does not seem to harm the candidate ruled by the emplaced planet.

What Actually Happened in the 1880 Presidential Election

The Republican Party had the White House, but the incumbent president, Rutherford Hayes, did not seek re-election. The party nominated James A. Garfield as their candidate. The Democratic challenger was Winfield S. Hancock, a Civil War general. The race was rather close; Garfield won 214 electoral college votes to Hancock’s 155, with each side garnering about 48% of the popular vote. Wikipedia notes that “this was the closest election ever in terms of popular vote (with a margin of fewer than 10,000) and states carried…”  (Note that some sources have the margin as 2000 popular votes.)

The incumbent party retained the White House, though the actual holder of the Presidential office had changed.

Astrology of the 2014 Crimean Crisis (or Is It the Russian Crisis)?

March 15, 2014 by  

Mars Sleeping

Mars Sleeping by Hendrik ter Brugghen, 1625

Much has been made of the claim that Russia invaded Crimea, starting the Crimean crisis, under Mars retrograde, as it is said (by an unattributed source) that wars begun under Mars retrograde end poorly for the initiator. I am not sure that the invasion will end terribly for Russia, and definitely not because of Mars’ retrogradation. An examination of the timeline indicates the Russian invasion began up to two days before Mars went retrograde on March 1, 2014. Specifically, as early as 4:20 am on February 27th, armed professionals planted a Russian flag on the Crimean parliament. On February 28th, soldiers without insignia, but widely believed to be Russian, took over major Crimean airports. Thus, I question the premise that the invasion actually began when Mars was retrograde, since on February 27th, Mars was still moving forward, though only at about a minute per day.

If anyone knows the source of the aphorism that wars and conflicts begun under Mars retrograde are bad for the instigator, I’d be interested in knowing about it. Interestingly, my research uncovered zero major 20th century conflicts that began under Mars retrograde, making it difficult to support or deny the accuracy of the aphorism. However, their very absence might suggest that conflicts begun under Mars retrograde tend not to become major wars.

So, how does this invasion turn out? We can look to the horoscope for Ukraine’s legal independence, which has the IC, Moon, and Venus all in Libra. Given the combination of Mars retrograding back to 9 Libra, the situation could be resolved as early as May 20, 2014, when Mars stations direct. It may take that long for Russia to feel that it has sufficiently asserted its control over Ukraine, after which point the forces may come home.

However, note that eclipses in the Aries-Libra polarity will continue until March 23, 2016, which will be the last eclipse (lunar) at 3 Libra. There may be new protests in Ukraine against Russian domination for the next few years. Given the upcoming April 15 eclipse in Libra conjunct Mars, I expect the situation to culminate in the next few weeks ahead of the eclipse, but the underlying tensions and violence to not really go away until after the Aries-Libra eclipses have passed in 2016.

Progressing the independence horoscope, we see that progressed Mars sextiled the Moon in December 2013, an influence that will likely be felt for at least all of 2014. Even today the progressed Midheaven squares progressed Saturn, a restrictive, sad, and bad influence for another two years, through 2015. I suspect that Ukraine is in for a challenging two years, though the Moon-Mars sextile suggests the population finding its identity and voice in 2014.

What about Russia? I initially expected it to run into problems due to indications in its Aries Ingress horoscope, but then realized that the Ingresses set for Moscow and Kyiv are very similar, almost identical. So which country gets the bad prognosis? Common sense says that it is Ukraine, as the smaller neighbor. So comparing Ingress horoscopes is out. Note that historically, comparing Ingresses probably rarely worked, since it’s often neighboring countries that go to war. Thus, the Ingresses set for their respective capitals will often be similar. Still, we can analyze the Ingresses and see if we can tease out any specifics for either Ukraine or Russia.

The medieval Arab author, Abu Ma’shar, writes that if, in an Aries Ingress, malefics make hard aspects to Aries, Scorpio, the Part of War, the sign of the country in question, or the significator of the king, then “enemies will achieve victory over [the country]” and will cause the country “grief and sorrow.” Several of these conditions are true for Russia, though we must take them with a grain of salt, since some are true worldwide for that Aries Ingress. The Aries Ingress horoscope set for Moscow (which sets the tone for the following 12 months), is below. The same Ingress holds for the Ukraine, with a few degrees of the house cusps earlier than that of Moscow’s Ingress.

First, war is indicated during the 2013 Aries Ingress period (March 2013-March 2014) according to Abu Ma’shar, since Mars is in a sign angular from the Ascendant (Aries is the 10th sign from the Ascendant). The Part of War is calculated by taking the distance from Saturn to the Moon during the day, and projecting the distance from the Ascendant. The Part of War is in Aries for both Russia and Ukraine.

2014 Aries Ingress for Russia (nearly identical for Ukraine)

2014 Aries Ingress for Russia (nearly identical for Ukraine)

Let’s take Abu Ma’shar’s conditions for defeat one by one:

  • The malefics (Mars and Saturn) are both present in signs of Mars. This is bad, but true worldwide, indicating that any country starting a war during this year would do badly.
  • Mars is with the Part of War. This means defeat, but for whom?
  • Russia is traditionally a Taurus country, and Saturn in Scorpio opposes Taurus.
  • The significator of the Russian president is Mars, which is accurate right now, but not negative as Mars cannot aspect itself nor is it aspected by Saturn.

Abu Ma’shar also says that if the king’s significator (here, Mars) is combust, defeat and “grief and sorrow” will be “feared concerning him.” Here, Mars is very much combust. Again, we are talking about both the Russian and the Ukrainian government, but we cannot have the same thing happening to both parties, so we can assume Ukraine will be harmed more.  As the Athenians said to the Melians, just before they annihilated the small island city-state: “The strong do as they can, the weak suffer what they must.”

The 2014 Aries Ingress paints a similar picture.

  • Saturn is still in Mars’ domicile, and Mars in Libra opposes its own domicile. Again, this is true worldwide, but bad for countries starting conflict at this time.
  • Mars is with the Part of War, which is in Libra, another strongly negative indicator…for one or both parties.
  • Saturn is still in Scorpio, opposing Taurus, the sign of Russia.
  • The Moon rules the king, and it is conjunct Saturn in the second house, suggesting that economic restrictions create problems. The problems will be worse for Ukraine as the smaller country. This could be foreign sanctions, or simply problems with the domestic purse. Again, Ukraine has a much smaller budget than does Russia, so one would expect it to suffer much more than Russia.
2014 Aries Ingress for Russia (nearly identical for Ukraine)

2014 Aries Ingress for Russia (nearly identical for Ukraine)

Russia does seem to be in danger of overextending itself with this operation. Vladimir Putin’s natal horoscope has progressed Mars square Jupiter sometime this year (the exact date is unclear because his birth time is not known). This combination indicates too much risk-taking and conflict-seeking behavior, resulting in losses, especially financial or reputational. Of course, this also shows conflict (Mars) with foreigners (Jupiter).

China’s Big Transfer of Power: November 8, 2012

November 7, 2012 by  

Chinese Man Tending Cattle
Thomas Hill

It appears that at least one major player on the global scene has not learned the lesson of Facebook’s bungled IPO:


It appears that in planning the once-a-decade transfer of power to a new group of politicians, China has done exactly that. Originally, the plan was to transfer in October, presumably around the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic (Oct. 1, 1949). It seems that the upper-echelon negotiations have dragged on longer than expected. There is a solar total eclipse on November 13, 2012, and for reasons explained below, we will see this particular eclipse is not very favorable for China.

As we saw with Facebook’s IPO on the day of an eclipse, big changes or launches made around an eclipse tend to require revision later, and often have the project end as a massive flop. I first read about this phenomenon in Bill Meridian’s book, the Predictive Power of Eclipse Paths, and have been watching for manifestations ever since. Meridian discusses his own experience with taking a new job shortly before an eclipse. The new job promptly fizzled out, and he had to find new work soon after.

The November 13, 2012 solar eclipse is a rather unpleasant piece of work, especially when we overlay the horoscope for the eclipse on the horoscope of China.

First, let’s look at just the eclipse horoscope, set for Beijing, China.  The eclipse occurs at 21 Scorpio, an inauspicious part of the sky. This is where the star Zubeneschemali, in the North Scale of the Balance constellation resides. However, historically, the Scales used to be known as the Claws of the Scorpion. The Scorpion is portrayed in a Babylonian boundary stone as reaching for a cup; perhaps the Cup of Life, or of victory. The Scorpion, of course, is the animal that slew the mighty Orion, so the sense is that the Scorpion is a killjoy. Those hoping to win the prize may be disappointed as the Scorpion taketh away.

The eclipse also has Saturn on the Ascendant, suggesting trouble and distress. Saturn falls on the right shoulder and staff of Boötes, the celestial herdsman or ox-driver. This suggests trouble for the “shepherds” of the country; if we had a benefic planet (Venus or Jupiter) on this star, the picture would be rather brighter, and would promise improvement to the country. The presence of Saturn is somewhat more problematic. Also, transiting Saturn squares China’s Moon at 0 Aquarius – this change will not be great for the population as a whole.

Solar Total Eclipse, Beijing, China
November 14, 2012, 6:07:59 am, AWST (-8)

The November 13, 2012 Solar Eclipse in China

This eclipse is particularly significant for China for two reasons. One, it falls in the important first house in Beijing, so will have an effect on the Chinese people. The first house rules the people and the nation as a whole, so eclipses placed in this house will have an evident impact. Two, it contacts the horoscope of China in some major ways.

We use the horoscope for the start of the People’s Republic of China as October 1, 1949, 10:00 am, Beijing, China. The time is from the memoir The Private Life of Chairman Mao, written by his doctor, Li Zhisui, who said that Mao and his comrades first took the podium in Beijing at 10:00 am to announce their glorious victory over Nationalist forces. (The book was brought to my attention by a recent article in The Mountain Astrologer magazine.)

The 1949 horoscope has 22 Scorpio rising, so the eclipse at 21 Scorpio falls exactly on the Ascendant. This alone would be enough to suggest a disruptive influence interfering with the transfer of power. Eclipses on the Ascendant/Descendant axis of a country or organization suggest transformation at a profound and immediately evident level – certainly, the handing over of the reins would qualify.

However, we can expect conflict at the uppermost echelons of China. Note that the eclipse Midheaven falls on China’s Mars (and, if you use the modern planets, Pluto – yes, China has a natal Mars-Pluto conjunction). So, that shows power struggles (Mars/Pluto) among the leadership (Midheaven). However, note the interesting aspects to Mercury, ruler of the Midheaven. The eclipse Venus is conjunct Mercury, and the eclipse Jupiter trines Mercury. So, there will be some very nice monetary benefits for those coming into power. You may have seen the New York Times’ expose of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s personal wealth of $2.7B, most of which was accumulated since his rise to high position in the 1990s. It’s good to be the king!

People's Republic of China Horoscope, Beijing, China

People’s Republic of China Horoscope, Beijing, China
October 1, 1949, 10:00 a.m. AWST (-8)

Some Predictions for China

Based on the above, I would suggest the following:

1.  The power may be handed over, but perhaps not completely, or the arrangement will not prove permanent.

2. There will be conflict (more than the usual machinations) among the upper tiers, and it may even become public.

3. Those coming into power will obtain tremendous financial benefits. Quelle surprise!

Transit of Venus across the Sun, June 5/6, 2012

June 6, 2012 by  

Yesterday, Venus moved across the face of the Sun, a conjunction not only in longitude, but also in declination. Venus was visible as a black dot on the Solar disc, moving diagonally across the Sun. The conjunction occurred with Venus in retrograde, and was exact at 15 Gemini.

Venus transiting the sun in pictures

Venus transiting the Sun – image courtesy of NASA

Last night, I had the opportunity to visit the Adler Planetarium here in Chicago, which held an observation event. The transit began at 5:04 pm CDT, and was visible until about 7:45 pm, when the Sun sank behind the skyline. There was also a live NASA feed from Mauna Kea, with commentary by astronomers and physicists. I got a chance to look through the high-tech observatory telescope, which was so clear that it showed the solar flares along with Venus herself, just as she made the mysterious black drop effect. This is the effect occurring when Venus separates from the corona of the Sun, and she looks more like a little drop than a clearly-defined sphere. The black drop effect has not yet been explained.

The viewing was a spectacular and special event, not to be repeated for another century. Even if you missed it, the good news is that Mercury transits the Sun about once a decade. Mercury is considerably smaller, however, so the visual is a little less dramatic, but still rare and beautiful.

I think of this transit as Venus being super-cazimi. Traditional sources say that planets are exceptionally strong when within 16′ of longitude of the Sun, as they are “in the heart of the Sun.” This condition is called “cazimi,” from the Arabic kasmimi. They are in the heart of the King, as it were, and so suitably powerful. Yet – and this will be a separate article on traditional astrological methods – a planet such as Venus is visually only in the heart of the Sun when she makes this super-rare transit. Could it be that cazimi only refers to these planetary transits across the Sun’s face? My few horary charts with cazimi planets indicate this may be the case.  Stay tuned.

United Astrology Conference and Presidential Panel

May 31, 2012 by  

NOTE: Gryphon Astrology will be down for maintenance for a few hours sometime in the next few days – if it is down, just come back a few hours later.

I just returned from UAC in New Orleans yesterday. It was a great conference, with many eminent speakers and fascinating presentations. The conference culminated with the Presidential Panel, where five astrologers, each using different techniques, made their prediction for the winner of the 2012 elections. The participants, in alphabetical order, were Chris Brennan (Hellenistic), Gary Christian (Uranian), Edith Hathaway (Vedic), me (Traditional), and Claude Weiss (using a mix of mundane techniques). As far as I know, none of us discussed the outcome with each other prior to the panel. Yet everyone concurred that Barack Obama would be re-elected in 2012. I wrote about the 2012 elections here earlier this year; my talk was a condensed version of the article.

The panel was covered by major media outlets, who posted a story on Reuters and Associated Press covering the panel’s conclusions and citing Chris and me. You can read the story as printed in the Chicago Tribune here. The story quickly propagated through the world media, and was featured on Huffington Post, USA Today,, NY Daily News, and dozens of other news sites and publications. When I returned to Chicago, I had an interview request from CNN/HLN and a local radio station; both interviews aired the same day.

As life returns to normal, we have lots of plans afoot, and I am sure you will be hearing more from me on my favorite topic, mundane and financial astrology.

Astrology and the Solar Eclipse of May 20, 2012

May 13, 2012 by  

Eclipse of May 20, 2012 - the beguiling of Merlin

The annular solar eclipse of May 20, 2012 at 0 Gemini is one of two solar eclipses of 2012 (the other occurs in November, as eclipses run in pairs six months apart). An annular solar eclipse is named after the Latin word “annulus” or “ring”, and this type of eclipse occurs when the Moon is on the far side of its orbit and appears too small to cover the entire solar disk. As a result, at totality, a narrow ring of solar light is visible around the Moon. Approximately one-third of all eclipses are annular. From first to last penumbral contact, the eclipse will last 3 hours and 33 minutes. The totality of the eclipse will last 5 minutes and 46 seconds.

The eclipse will be visible in Southeast Asia, southern Japan, the Pacific Ocean, and western North America (view a Google Map of the eclipse path here). The traditional perspective on eclipses is that they influence primarily the places where they are visible; from an astrological perspective, eclipses are especially active where they are angular in the horoscope. The duration of the eclipse’s effects in years is equal to the duration of the eclipse, or 3 1/2 years. Thus, we will see the effects of the eclipse through the end of 2015.

The eclipse occurs closely conjunct to the 1st magnitude fixed star Mirfak (alpha Perseus, meaning “the Elbow” in Arabic), which is traditionally seen as the side of Perseus, the famed killer of the Medusa and the sea monster Cetus. The star can be said to give bravery and strength, though it is placed in a warlike constellation ruled by Jupiter and Saturn, according to Ptolemy. Jupiter is for justice, but Saturn is for death. In general, this eclipse may bring earthquakes or big storms – the eclipse occurs in Gemini, an air sign, and its ruler, Mercury, is in an earth sign with Jupiter. Certainly Mercury and Jupiter in Taurus can indicate disturbances and movement in the earth.
Let us look at possible effects of this eclipse on the various localities where it will be visible.

China (Southeastern), Macau, and Hong Kong: China has been involved in an altercation with the Philippine Navy in the South China sea over the last few weeks. Chinese vessels stopped the Philippine government from arresting Chinese fishermen accused of illegally fishing in the resource-rich Scarborough Shoal area. The Chinese online media has been talking up preparations for war, which China’s Defense Ministry has denied. The thought is that China is asserting itself to look in control during its political transition this year. The presence of the eclipse indicates further warlike behavior, as the ruler of the eclipse is Mercury with Jupiter, but as Mars is not prominent in the eclipse chart, we do not believe a war with the Philippines will actually start. This is supported by a lack of contacts between the eclipse and China’s 1949 foundation horoscopes.

The Philippines, however, have the eclipse right on the Midheaven (3 Gemini), and the Eclipse Mars (10 Virgo) falls on the natal Philippine Mars-Moon conjunction in the 1st house. The conflict will continue in the Philippines’ backyard, and while it will not make a ripple in the Chinese horoscope, the tensions – and potential conflict – in the Philippines will likely be high.

Japan: We expect changes in Japan following this eclipse. The country has shut off all of its nuclear reactors in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and has recently announced the nationalization of Tepco, the private company that operated the Fukushima Daiichi site. The entire management and board will be replaced as Japan attempts to clean up and contain radiation. The warlike posture of Perseus will show itself as people will demand accountability for this unnecessary disaster.

United States: The eclipse will pass through Northern California, within a spitting distance of Sacramento, the state’s capital. The California governor, Jerry Brown, had announced that the California budget shortfall had grown to $16B, in contrast to the estimated $9B, and that in addition to more program cuts, an increase in taxes will be needed. This is a state that already has the highest sales tax in the nation, and the highest top income tax rate. The economic difficulties that currently envelop California will continue with an added hit of drama. There may be increased earthquake activity following the eclipse. The eclipse will be visible from Las Vegas, Nevada and will pass through New Mexico – Albuquerque, as well as Los Alamos.

The eclipse horoscope set for Sacramento, California, is below:

Horary Astrology: Do Invalid Questions Exist?

May 1, 2012 by  

Note: A reader asked me recently whether a horary question about someone I do not personally know (i.e. Madeleine McCann) is valid.  I am not sure where the concept of some questions being invalid came from, as it does not appear in traditional literature; I assume it arose at some point in the 20th century.  Below are some thoughts on this issue. 

Let’s unpack what you mean by “valid.”  Does an invalid question mean that the answer will sometimes or always be incorrect if people ask a certain type of question?  I’ll assume that is what you meant.
Now, let’s take the logic a little further; let’s assume that hundreds of horary astrologers not connected to the McCann situation have asked “Is Madeleine still alive?”  For the sake of argument, let’s posit she is still alive.  Do we really think that all those charts came up with “no” as an answer?   That seems unlikely, so we can assume that questions asked by querents unconnected with the matter will at least sometimes lead to correct answers.  But when?  Does that mean astrology worked at some of those times but not at other times?  That does not seem right.
Does astrology stop working when we ask certain types of questions?  If “as above so below” is true – and Hermes Trismegistus assures us that “true without falsehood, certain, most certain” – then the stars should always reflect reality here on earth without exception.   I have gotten accurate results to questions about situations in the news that interest me, so these questions are clearly valid at least some of the time.
This raises a second question: Even if there really are valid/invalid questions, how far removed from a situation do we have to be for a question to be valid, and who decides where the line is drawn?   Immediate family to the McCanns?  Neighbors who sometimes saw Madeleine?  Friends?  How about acquaintances of the family?  Family of friends of the McCanns?  Any line that we draw between valid and invalid questions must be arbitrary, and not supported by traditional literature to my knowledge.
Why is it insufficient that this is a topic that affects me emotionally?  Presumably, Madeleine’s parents, would be mainly motivated to ask out of their emotional involvement with their daughter.  Is their question invalid?  Or are we letting post-Enlightenment materialism creep in by assuming that there must be a physical connection between us to have a valid question?  It’s well proven scientifically that emotions affect our bodies, so whether little Madeleine lives or dies does, in fact, impact me more immediately than we think.  The only requirement is that we care at least a tiny bit about what happened to this little girl.
I have recently become very conscious of the fact – and this is not about you at all – is that in all areas of life, there are people who set themselves up as authorities who are eager to tell us what is and is not possible and we are very eager to take their word for it.  The Buddha said: “One is one’s own refuge, who else could be the refuge?”  Also, “be a light unto yourselves.”  We cannot take statements of possibility for granted, but rather, let us do the actual hard work to test assumptions.  What is our reward?  The truth, the only thing worth striving for.

Astrology of Missing People: Is Madeleine McCann Still Alive?

April 25, 2012 by  

Children Playing on the Beach

Faithful readers of the Gryphon Astrology blog have read my 2007 post about little Madeleine McCann who vanished without a trace from her parents’ vacation apartment in Portugal, on May 3, 2007.  Recently, Scotland Yard stated they have evidence that Madeleine is still alive and they are investigating this line of inquiry.  Perhaps they read this blog!  In 2007, I wrote that the little girl is most likely alive.

As this is an emotional topic for me (and many readers), I impulsively cast a horary chart when I learned of Scotland Yard’s announcement, asking “Is Madeleine McCann alive?”  The chart is below:

Madeleine McCann Astrology Chart

Short answer: Yes, Madeleine is still alive.  There is a good possibility she will be found.

Long answer:  This is clearly a question about children; we have a Mercury-ruled sign rising, Gemini.  Mercury rules young children, especially those between 4-10.  We also have the Moon and Venus on the Ascendant, so further evidence that this is about a little girl.  Madeleine is represented by the 1st house (William Lilly assigned missing persons we don’t personally know to the 1st house), its ruler, and planets in it.  Any past connection to planets associated with the eighth house would indicate death.

Mercury, ruler of the 1st house, is in the auspicious 11th house, which, according to Lilly, means the person is still alive, however many reports there are of their death.

Saturn rules the 8th house of death in this chart; there is no past connection between Saturn and Madeleine’s planets (Mercury, Venus, or the Moon).  Lilly also says to watch out for oppositions between these planets, which we fortunately do not see here.

Now, the Moon does apply to a trine of Saturn, translating the light of Venus to Saturn.  However, we are optimistic that Madeleine is not in danger.  Saturn is in the 5th house, which is not malefic, and having Venus on the Ascendant is highly protective for the little girl.  Interestingly, Venus will not trine Saturn anytime soon; she will go retrograde a hair before the aspect perfects.

We do see that the Moon has separated from Venus, ruler of the 12th house, which means a past imprisonment or fear of imprisonment.  But interestingly, we do see Mercury and Venus applying to a sextile, and are cautiously optimistic that this brings some news of Madeleine.  This aspect perfects on May 4th, William Lilly says to look at when the ruler of the 11th (Mars) and the ruler of the Ascendant (Mercury) come into aspect to determine when we hear about the missing person.  Mercury trines Mars on the 13th of May.   Let us hope we hear about Madeleine on one of these dates.

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