Astrology 101: Help, My Planet Is Afflicted!

March 8, 2007 by  


I get enough questions on some of the terms and expressions I use casually in my blog posts, that I thought it would be helpful to start an occasional column explaining some of the terms. Last week, I got a very good question asking about the meaning of affliction, like when I say a planet is afflicted.

There is no particularly scientific definition of this, but a planet can really be afflicted in three major ways. It can be weak by sign placement, it can be afflicted by aspect (to another afflicted planet, pretty much regardless of the type of aspect involved), and it can be afflicted by placement in a negative house or by retrogradation.

If you look at your own horoscope, you’ll find that your planets are usually afflicted by one or maybe two of the above factors. The more of the above factors are present, the tougher it will be for that particular planet to behave well in your chart. For example, if you have a very afflicted planet ruling your 11th house of friends, you either have few friends, or there will be something wrong with your friends.

Typically though, you will see that while a planet may be afflicted, another positive factor helps it out. As an example, we can look at the chart below, which is the horoscope for Justin Timberlake, the pop star:

Justin Timberlake Horoscope

He has a somewhat afflicted Sun, because it is in the sign of its detriment Aquarius, and it is in the malefic sixth house of illness, and it is not helped by the negative reception from Jupiter and Saturn (which are in the sign of the Sun’s fall, Libra). Even though it is exalted, Saturn is still Saturn, and Jupiter is not strong enough to lend a particularly helpful hand here. This might point to Timberlake experiencing long-term health issues later in life, especially since the Sun rules his first house of the body and the overall vitality.

Tomorrow, I will talk about the types of difficulties associated with each planet, and use Justin Timberlake’s chart to discuss some of the difficulties associated with his planetary afflictions.

—Readers who are interested in a natal analysis of their horoscopes (afflicted planets and all), may contact Nina Gryphon via her reading requests page.

Celebrity Astrology: Halloween and Justin Timberlake’s Horoscope

October 19, 2006 by  

Halloween and Justin Timberlake’s Horoscope

It is that time of year — Halloween — and the eternal question, “what should my Halloween costume be?” rises to the minds of those of us who have procrastinated all year. Of course, because this is an astrology blog, we will try to pick our Halloween costumes via astrology. There are two approaches to Halloween that we can take. I am a big proponent of working your strongest and best planet whenever you can, so we can look at the symbolic meanings of your best planet, colored by its sign in house, and choose your costume based on that. We can argue this both ways, however, because Halloween is the holiday where the dark side comes out to play. So perhaps this would be a good chance to let your worst planet come out, at least for an evening.

A good example that we can practice on is the horoscope for Justin Timberlake, the cute ex-boy singer formerly of N’Sync.

Justin Timberlake’s horoscope is below:

Halloween and Justin Timberlake’s Horoscope

The planet with the most essential dignity is Saturn in Libra, which is conjunct Jupiter in the second house and trine the Sun in Aquarius. The planet with the least dignity is Mercury in Pisces, where it is both in its detriment and in its fall.

If Justin Timberlake wanted to go as his best planet for Halloween, we would have to recommend a traditional Grim Reaper costume, as Saturn rules death and the color black. Conjunct Jupiter, and exalted, we would think that Justin would make a particularly good big Grim Reaper. Both exaltation and the presence of Jupiter can serve to make things bigger. So this would be an opportunity for Justin to go really scary, and put on a pair of really tall elevator shoes, or a pair of stilts, or even better, carry a friend on his shoulders.

If we wanted to go for a less scary costume, we could have Justin go as Father Time, another good Saturnian symbol. I rather like this idea, because of Saturn’s trine to the Sun, which is the natural ruler of fathers. Father Time is thought to be a mythological predecessor to Santa Claus, who of course is purely Jupiterian, as his sole function is to go around the world and dispense presents. So that would tie in the Jupiter symbolism as well. Alternatively, Justin could go as a fat Father Time.

That’s all well and good. But what if Justin wanted to go as his worst planet? Mercury is his weakest planet, but it is also the most prominently positioned, because it is the only one of two angular planets in his horoscope. Mercury rules a lot of things in the modern world, which perhaps says a lot about how our world has become more and more mercurial. Mercury is weak in Pisces, because in the water sign, the fast and direct approach of Mercury is muddied and confused. The duality of Pisces means that Mercury in that sign speaks with forked tongue. In short, in Pisces, Mercury deceives.

A really good costume for Justin would be to go as a member of his own entourage, and disguise himself. This is because Mercury rules servants. To really drive the point home, he could go as his lawyer, because lawyers are ruled by Mercury as well. And of course, Mercury in Pisces is deception, so this isn’t just a simple issue of dress up, but rather of actively deceiving other people.

A few years ago, I went as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, and in retrospect I think that was because the Moon is my strongest planet, and the Moon rules travelers/pilgrims, as well as women.

What are you going to be for this Halloween? And how does that tie into your own horoscope?