Sun in Leo: July 22 – August 22, 2008. A Long-Term Weather Forecast for California

July 16, 2008 by  

Sun in Leo: July 22 – August 22, 2008. A Long-Term Weather Forecast for California

Godric, the weather gnome (yes, that is his real name), let me know that with the Sun passing through Leo, we can expect more dry heat for California. Mars in Virgo is on the 4th house cusp this month, continuing the theme from the Cancer Ingress. The theme, of course, is heat and fires in California, all summer long, so Godric doesn’t think we’ll get a real respite from the forest fires this season.

However, the Leo Ingress has a slightly different variation on the theme of the Cancer Ingress. This month, Mars is in cold and dry Virgo, applying to trine Jupiter in cold and dry Capricorn. The overarching theme here is dryness with two warm/hot planets, which can lead to more fires, especially with Mars so close to an angle. Mars and Jupiter in combination bring thunderstorms, so we may see dry storms sparking fires. Mars in Virgo brings winds.

Sun in Leo: July 22-August 22, 2008. Long-term weather forecast for California.

The nearest likely day for extreme dryness or thunderstorms is when Mars and Jupiter perfect the aspect on July 26, and the Moon trines both planets that day as well. The Moon squares Mars on July 28, but by then Mars will have separated from its aspect with Jupiter, lessening the danger. As the two planets get activated throughout the Sun’s passage through Leo, we will see echoes of this theme around the middle of August as well.

Coming sometime next week, Godric promised us a week-by-week weather forecast for August.

Free Astrology Readings: Horary Astrology – “Will My Boyfriend Marry Me?”

February 13, 2008 by  

Girl with White Cat illustrating Free Astrology Readings: Horary Astrology  – “Will My Boyfriend Marry Me?”

Horary Astrology Question:

We are both divorced with 2 children each, 3 of which live with us. We are hoping to move house and set up a cattery at the new home so I can be at home more. B is great (most of the time!) very un-emotional and does not show or talk about his feelings, his father died tragically when he was 11.  I would love dearly for some commitment from him but fear it will never happen.  We have been together for 8 years now.  I think he thinks that setting up the cattery is enough commitment, he owns the house, etc., and I feel I have put all my eggs in one basket (again) and will end up on my own.


Nina Gryphon:

Dear L.,

Your situation is difficult; a certain pattern has been set up that will be difficult to change without an effort on your part. But, let us see what the astrology says.

The horary horoscope for your question is below: 

Horary Astrology Horoscope illustrating Free Astrology Readings: Horary Astrology  – “Will My Boyfriend Marry Me?”

We have an early degree on the ascendant, indicating the situation is as yet underripe. This is somewhat puzzling, because the relationship has been going on for eight years, hardly an immature situation. It may be a reference to the fact that there will never really be a “right” time to take this relationship to the next level, and it may remain in this embryonic state always.

We see that you are very much interested in marriage, and even though before, you were content just to have a stable companion, you are now ready to get married. We see that the Moon in Taurus, which represents your emotions in the situation, is in the sign and triplicity of Venus; Venus rules the Arabian Part of Marriage at 11 Libra.

The most dramatic element in this chart is the extent to which all of the main significators; your planets and his, are in strong dignities of Saturn. Whatever Saturn represents has a huge influence over the situation, and will eventually decide whether you will marry your boyfriend or not. Moreover, we see that Saturn is right inside the seventh house cusp of partners, where it is strongly tied to your boyfriend.

So what does Saturn represent? It can be his children, as it rules the fifth house from the seventh, or it can be something hidden or secret, perhaps the emotional trauma you speak of. Whatever it is, it is harmful to you and your hopes of marriage. Saturn is in the detriment of Jupiter, your main significator, and also in the fall of Venus, the planet the rules marriage and his horoscope. Unfortunately, your boyfriend is very much under the influence of whatever Saturn represents — both of his planets, Mercury and the Sun, are in Aquarius, in Saturn’s sign and triplicity. I wonder if Saturn doesn’t represent the cattery; it rules his sixth house, but because of Saturn’s negative reception to you and to Venus, I would strongly recommend not setting up the cattery, for fear of perpetuating an already difficult situation.

The bigger concern I have is that neither of his planets seem particularly interested in either marriage or your planets, showing something of an indifference to you. If there is true mutual interest between two people, even a roadblock such as Saturn in this chart can be overcome. I am concerned, however, that there are some fundamental weaknesses in this relationship, and it will be difficult if not impossible to marry this man without addressing these issues first.

We see that the Moon is opposite the antiscion of the Sun, and the aspect will become exact about the same time that the Moon trine’s Saturn. It looks as though you will have to make a momentous decision in the near future, one that will make you rethink this relationship, and hopefully will bring out some of the problematic undercurrents more into the open where you can address them.

As always, I like to ask that in return for your free reading, you update me (either by email, or in the comments on this page) on what happened. I don’t mind being wrong, but I like to learn from what I did well or badly.

—Readers who wish to get a horary reading from Nina Gryphon may purchase one at top left, or learn more at the Gryphon Astrology Readings page.

Ancient Greek Mythology, Astrology, and Plato (Part 2)

February 10, 2008 by  

Hercules and Death illustrating Ancient Greek Mythology, Astrology, and Plato (Part 2)

Damascius’s allusions to Greek mythology track the upward order of the planets very closely.

“The soul descends into generation, after the manner of Kore;” The Moon is associated very closely with the principle of generation, because of its watery nature, its speed of movement, and its constant change. Just like all things in this sublunar world, the Moon is constantly growing and dying, never staying the same. Kore (literally “the virgin”) was another name for Persephone, who was kidnapped and taken to the underworld by Hades. The implication here is that at the beginning of its journey, the human soul is forced to inhabit the inhospitable and arid realm of material forms, just like Persephone’s enforced stay in Hades.

“She is scattered by generation, after the manner of Dionysus;” Dionysus himself was scattered by the Titans, who prepared to eat him, having cooked the parts of his torn body. Zeus interrupted the feast, and Apollo buried the body parts. Dionysus was then reborn from his heart, which was preserved by Athena. The relevant Planet in the proper order would be Mercury, the planet of duality, having no gender of its own, and always influenced by planets disposing of or aspecting it. Similarly, the soul on earth becomes scattered, loses the direct identification with the divine principle, and must find its own way back to God. It is important to note that the god Mercury was the patron and guide of travelers.

“Like Prometheus and the Titans, she is bound to body.” Titans were the children of pre-Olympian gods who inhabited the earth; they were defeated by the gods, and humans were said to have been created from the Titans’ smoking ashes. The Titans are of the gross matter of the earth, symbolizing the natural downward tendency of Creation. For the purposes of our planetary ladder, the Titans are associated with Venus, which gratifies the senses and bestows physical pleasure. The more we live for sensation, the more we identify with the body and with matter.

“She frees herself by exercising the strength of Hercules;” In Greek mythology, Hercules is one of the few mortals to become divine, and his story points to a similar function of the soul. With this part of the story, we come to the turning point in the souls journey. This is appropriate, as we start heading toward the outer or slower planets, which are considered superior to the faster inner planets. The labors of Heracles are all concerned with the triumph of spirit or virtue over gross matter, paralleling the efforts of the soul to free itself from its material prison. Hercules’s chief virtue is, of course, strength. As a result, he is associated with the planet Mars, even though the next planet in the proper order should be the Sun. Despite this martial association, Heracles does have some solar characteristics, most notably, his connection with the Royal goddess Hera (Heracles means “the glory of Hera”).

“Gathers herself together through the help of Apollo and the savior Athene, by truly purifying philosophy;” here, we come to a combination of the Sun and Jupiter. Apollo is the god of prophecy, and the ruler of the objective world, as Tim Addey* writes. His name means “not many,” or in other words, “the one.” This is an excellent commentary on the nature of the Sun, which is always associated with things that are singular or unique. Even though all the other six planets are arguably unique, only the Sun is the living representation of the Creator.

Athena is the goddess of wisdom, and therefore the hidden face of Jupiter (Zeus), as she was born out of Jupiter’s head. She was considered to be the protector and helper of man, and this is why the Greek city is named after her. She protects and helps all heroes, who receive magical gifts from her to complete their quest; Perseus, Jason, Theseus, and of course Odysseus, her greatest favorite. Her gift is at once wisdom and divine protection, both qualities associated with Jupiter.

“And she elevates herself to the causes of her being with Demeter.” Demeter, in Greek mythology, was the goddess of fertility (her name means literally “the mother Goddess”), and the mother of Persephone; she rules the harvest and fertility. She is strongly associated with Saturn (who in Greek myth was her father, Kronos). Saturn is not only the god of restrictions and endings, but also the god of farming and the earth. Therefore, in the last phase of the soul’s journey, the soul returns to its true home, which is not the material earth, but rather its primal matter; the endlessly fertile Spirit.

*For further reading on the topic of ancient Greek mythology and its connection to Platonic teachings on the soul, I recommend Tim Addey’s The Seven Myths of the Soul, published by The Prometheus Trust.

Read Ancient Greek Mythology, Astrology, and Plato (Part 1) here.

Ancient Greek Mythology, Astrology, and Plato (Part 1)

February 9, 2008 by  

Persephone illustrating Ancient Greek Mythology, Astrology, and Plato

It has become fashionable to correlate Greek mythology to astrology and the planets, though unfortunately most such analyses merely scratch the surface of myth, as the authors focus exclusively on human psychology. However, Greek mythology functions on many levels, and the Platonists used myth to describe the very nature of the human soul, rather than just the temporal travails of the ego on its passage through life.

The Platonic tradition, springing from Greece, relied heavily upon ancient Greek myths to describe the complex and often paradoxical interaction of man and the divine. Since astrology is a symbolic language describing the divine plan, we will see a very strong correlation between astrological and mythological symbolism, enabling us to access a deeper level of meaning than is common today.

Damascius, the last director of Plato’s Academy (an 800 year-old establishment which closed in 529 A.D), wrote the following lines about the journey of the soul:

The soul descends into generation, after the manner of Kore;

She is scattered by generation, after the manner of Dionysus;

Like Prometheus and the Titans, she is bound to body.

She frees herself by exercising the strength of Heracles;

Gathers herself together through the help of Apollo

And the savior Athene, by truly purifying philosophy;

And she elevates herself to the causes of her being with Demeter.

It is interesting that none of the Greek gods mentioned here are associated with the planets. From my research, I strongly suspect that many if not most of the Greek gods had two faces, one exoteric and mundane, and the other esoteric and celestial. As an example, the overt god of the Sun was Helios, who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky. However, the god embodying the highest intangible attributes of the Sun, such as prophecy and nobility, was Apollo. And so it goes with many of the gods.

The ancient order of the seven planets goes from the heaviest/slowest to the fastest and most changeable. Don’t forget that the traditional perspective gave precedence to those astronomical bodies which were perceived as the most constant and least subject to change, as change is a sign of imperfection and deterioration. Thus, the most elevated planet is Saturn, followed by Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, and finally the Moon.

One may think of this list of planets as a ladder, with the Moon at the bottommost rung underneath which is this imperfect earth. Therefore, it follows that in order for the soul to reconnect with its maker, it has to start out at the bottom rung and make its way all the way up to the top, to Saturn.

Read Ancient Greek Mythology, Astrology, and Plato (Part 2) here.

Planets in Your Horoscope: Venus Trine Jupiter on June 19, 2007

May 24, 2007 by  

Beauty Crossing Brook - illustrating Planets in Your Horoscope: Venus trine Jupiter on June 19, 2007

That exciting planetary time of year is upon us: the two benefic planets trine each other, creating a powerhouse combination of good luck and blessings. June 19th is a very good day, or really a two-day period, during which just about any endeavor will prosper. This is one way of using electional astrology to choose the most favorable time for important things in our lives.

If you are doing anything love- (Venus) or wealth- (Jupiter) related, you will find that this combination will help you a great deal. However, there is an important caveat here, and I’m not talking about Mercury being retrograde. The Moon, after aspecting Venus, will go on to aspect this nasty Saturn in detriment. Therefore, it is best to act on June 18, the day before the aspect becomes exact, and before 3:07 p.m. Universal Time, when the Moon aspects Venus. If this is too technical, don’t worry about it. Just know that there will be more factors in your favor if you act earlier than after the date and time above.

So, what can we do with this gift from above? Depending on what natal houses are ruled by Venus and Jupiter in your chart, this is a good healing combination, so if you’re undergoing some kind of medical treatment (other than surgery, which has its own set of electional astrological rules), this might be a good time to start. In general, any endeavor will benefit from this combination. If you are a Mercury retrograde-phobe, this will provide you with a momentary ray of light during which you can safely do mercurial things, such as sending important letters or e-mails.

You can learn more about electional astrology (and how it was used to found the city of Baghdad) on my website.

Planets in Your Horoscope: Jupiter Retrograde on April 6, 2007

March 13, 2007 by  


Jupiter goes retrograde for a few months at a time, as it is such a slow-moving planet. Any planet is somewhat afflicted by backward motion, since the idea is that it is against its nature. If you’re planning anything Jupiter-related, you will want to wait until August 8, when Jupiter goes direct again.

As an example, if Jupiter rules your fifth house of creativity, and you are waiting for the right time to start your novel, doing it while Jupiter is retrograde is probably not the best time. To a lesser extent, Jupiter-type activities are not going to be at their best either. Court or legal activities in general, or the pursuit of higher knowledge or education, is probably not the thing to begin at this time.

Throughout most of Jupiter’s retrogradation, Saturn will continue its trine to Jupiter. This is another negative influence on Jupiter, since Jupiter is the planet of expansion and good, while Saturn is the planet of restriction and limits. As a result, here’s yet one more reason to postpone (or accelerate) activities having to do with Jupiter. If you absolutely must act during this time, take heart in the fact that Jupiter is still passing through its own sign, Sagittarius, and as a result, will enable you to get positive results regardless. It’s just that it won’t be quite as glowingly wonderful with the two parking brakes represented by Saturn and the retrograde motion.

–If you are interested in the effects of Jupiter retrograde on your natal chart, you may wish to get a private natal reading with Nina Gryphon.  Details are at Nina’s astrology readings webpage.

The Seven Planets and the Seven Deadly Sins

March 10, 2007 by  

Portrait of Young Man

The weakest planet in a natal chart will typically show us to which of the classical “Deadly Sins” one is the most prone. For many of us, we will have more than one such planet, or at least a very bad planet connected to peregrine planets which can be easily influenced by their bad friends. Let us look at Justin Timberlake’s chart again:

Justin Timberlake Horoscope

Earlier, we looked at his natal Sun, and determined that it was very afflicted due to its position in Aquarius, the sign of its detriment. Also, it was afflicted because it was in the sixth house of illness, a traditionally malefic house. The trine to the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Libra was probably not helpful, not the least because Jupiter and Saturn are in the fall of the Sun. However, I do not think that the Sun is the biggest problem for Timberlake. I would bet that his biggest challenge is his Mercury in Pisces in the seventh house of partners and other people. Because the Sun is stashed away in a cadent house, it cannot act very strongly. So it may be a baddie in this chart, but it cannot exercise its influence.

However, Mercury is in its detriment and fall in Pisces, and it is angular, so it is well able to cast its negative influence over Timberlake’s life. No other planet seems particularly able to help it, or keep it in check, certainly not by aspect, though it may experience some help from Jupiter, due to their mutual reception (triplicity and sign). The challenge here is that Mercury is the only angular planet in Timberlake’s chart, so it will pop up again and again in all areas of his life. Most likely, it will describe Timberlake’s partners, and we can assume that his relationships will not be particularly easy as a result.

Taking a big picture view of the chart, Mercury’s deadly sin is envy. Seeing it in the seventh house gives us the sense that there is a strong tendency here to constantly compare oneself against other people, and focusing on what others have that the native does not. The reception with Jupiter, ruler of the fifth house, shows that this tendency is what drives Timberlake’s creative side to some extent. In that sense, it is a positive and productive expression. However, Mercury being as weak as it is here will not give us a great artist, though it certainly may produce a successful one. The royal star Regulus on the Ascendant does not hurt in this respect.

We can do this with any horoscope, so here’s the list of the deadly sins associated with each planet. When the planet is weak, the associated sin will most likely be an important obstacle that the person will have to surmount.

Saturn — greed

Jupiter — gluttony

Mars — anger

Sun — pride

Venus — lust

Mercury — envy

Moon — sloth

—Readers who are interested in a natal reading from Nina Gryphon may contact her via her reading requests form.

Planets in Your Horoscope: Jupiter Trine Saturn… and What to Do about It (March 16, 2007)

March 1, 2007 by  

Helping G

For this particular aspect, given that Jupiter is so strong in Sagittarius and Saturn is so weak in Leo, depends on whether the activity you would like to start is ruled by Jupiter or Saturn in your horoscope. It’s all a matter of perspective, you see. Let’s say that your house of career is ruled by Saturn, and you’re looking for a new job (if you haven’t followed my advice and actually ventured out of your nuclear fallout shelter for the last couple of years while Saturn was passing through its detriment in Leo, I can’t help you. I’m joking, of course).

Jupiter trine Saturn is like a brief respite from the ugliness of Saturn in its detriment and retrograde at the same time. So now would be a very good time to do things that Saturn rules in your horoscope, as Jupiter will temporarily lend a hand and make these endeavors luckier than they normally would be. The good news is that because Jupiter and Saturn, due to their simultaneous retrograde motion, will be locked in the trine aspect through May, you have quite a while to make your Saturnian move.

If, on the other hand, you want to do something that Jupiter rules in your chart, and let us say that Jupiter rules your ninth house of long journeys, Saturn in detriment contacting this wonderful Jupiter is probably not the best time to start something. Again, Saturn is going to be contacting Jupiter for quite awhile, so if you’re reading this before March 16, do your Jupiterian thing now, before you have to wait a couple of months for Saturn to move along.

Astrology of Politics: Jupiter Trine Saturn on March 16, 2007

February 26, 2007 by  

Old Man and Grandson

It seems as though it was only yesterday that we talked about the effects of Jupiter square Saturn on the Republican Party here in the United States. Jupiter and Saturn now trine one another, so we see yet another step in the evolution of the seed potentials sown in 2000, when Jupiter and Saturn conjoined. The horoscope for Jupiter trine Saturn, set for Washington, DC (in GMT) is below:

Jupiter Trine Saturn - March 16, 2007

Notice how Jupiter, which is quite strong because it is in its own sign of Sagittarius, a strongly placed right at the bottom of the chart in the angular fourth house. Saturn, by contrast, could not be weaker. It is in Leo, retrograde, and in the 12th house. However, Saturn in the 12th house is in the house of his joy, and Saturn can be quite strong in the 12th because it is as though he has his back against a wall and will not budge. This reminds me very strongly of the current political situation in Washington, DC, with the president and the Cabinet being extremely defensive about their foreign policies.

However, in the United States grand conjunction chart, Jupiter rules the 10th house of the ruler. Therefore, any aspects to Jupiter that Saturn in its detriment makes can be seen as afflictions to the country’s ruler. It is fascinating to see that the ruler of the country, Jupiter, is in the fourth house, which is the very bottom of the chart, and it is afflicted out of the 12th house of self undoing, secrets, and hidden enemies.

The unusual thing with this particular trine is that Jupiter and Saturn will continue to move together and be sort of locked in this trine for the next three months, when the exact aspect will occur again in May 2007. This is fairly unusual, that the two planets are going to be in aspect for so long, giving us the sense that any pressures in place around March 16, will remain in place through May.

Planets in Your Horoscope: Venus Trine Jupiter on March 8, 2007

February 21, 2007 by  

Woman Drinking

There are few things more lovely in this world than Venus trine Jupiter, at least when both planets are in reasonable essential dignities. Unfortunately, this is not the case, as Venus is in its detriment in Aries. Remember what they say about Venus in Mars signs – it’s an indication of filthy lust. Luckily, Jupiter seems to salvage the whole thing at least somewhat, as it is in its own sign in Sagittarius. It makes the whole thing rather more respectable.

I’m inclined to look at this particular Venus trine Jupiter as the sugar daddy combination. We have Jupiter, which is very wealthy, bestowing his blessings on a morally questionable but highly attractive female. Now that I think about it, this is the Anna Nicole Smith combination reflected in the heavens. If you’re inclined toward such a lifestyle, this would be an excellent time to ask for that expensive sports car. You will likely get it. Heck, ask for the villa in France.

More seriously, however, this may actually not be a bad day to get married, because while we would want Venus strong in all love-related endeavors, Jupiter does strengthen this week Venus quite a bit. And we can’t all wait until Venus enters Taurus, where it is in its own sign, infinitely stronger and more positive than in Aries.

Namely, a Venus-Jupiter trine is wonderful to have, especially if both planets are in strong essential dignity. You are one lucky person, and will get away with murder. In fact, I remember when I had the dubious pleasure of examining a natal chart of a highly morally dubious person, who had a stunning Venus-Jupiter trine. Needless to say, this is someone who got away with everything.

Simply having this trine is not going to be enough to make you good or trustworthy, and may actually lead someone into a terrible life, simply because there appear to be no immediate consequences. On some level, having this natal combination can be a more difficult task for the soul than having a chart rife with obstacles and problems. But hey, it sure feels good.

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