Musings on the Great American Eclipse

for an article about the astrology of the eclipse, follow this link.

This week like so many others Rich and I took a trip (with our NASA authorized glasses) to a location in South Carolina where the path of the eclipse would exhibit maximum totality.  The most incredible part of the eclipse experience was witnessing the explosion of light after the shadow of the Moon covered the Sun.  As an astrologer I tend to focus more on the inner landscape of planetary events and less on the astronomical, but it was still a miracle to witness such an amazing display of nature’s majesty.

One thing I don’t like about my job is that other’s people fears create business opportunities.  The hype around the effect of this eclipse was so immense that I had clients calling me afraid to travel during the eclipse.  One was afraid to start a new job.  One thought her marriage would end.  One thought she would probably die because the eclipse was on her ascendant, but our reading actually occurred when the lunar eclipse was on her Pluto!  And of course she was just fine.

To be fair, most of the doomsayers were religious fanatics rather than astrologers, and in the midst of my first total eclipse I understood why ancient humans were so afraid of eclipses.  The world suddenly goes dark as the Moon eats the Sun, birds and insects go quiet, and the light fades in a particularly eerie fashion as darkness drains the color from the world and replaces it with blackness.

Eclipses are important astrologically because they occur when the lunar nodes are conjunct (aligned with) the Sun and Moon.  Because the lunar nodes symbolize our destiny, from the past at the south node to the future at the north node, eclipses do tend to illuminate a doorway or portal into our future.  They can be magnificent times when the heart opens and the false ego falls away.  They can be times of awakening, when a great realization can occur that changes our lives forever.

What they don’t tend to do is cause the world to end.

This particular eclipse fell right on the ascendant (the persona) in the chart of Donald J. Trump, and very near his Mars (the warrior).  It’s that Mars/ascendant combination that gives him the forceful personality for which he is known.  During the week leading up to the eclipse there were indeed a number of events that strongly affected his presidency and likely changes his fate:  the disaster in Charlottesville, the resignation/firing of Steve Bannon.  But Trump has had a lot of bad weeks before – a Google search for “Donald Trump’s bad week” turned up quite a few such weeks.  But this past was the worst yet.  In fact, and details why this past week before the eclipse was the worst one yet.

The effect of a solar eclipse tends to begin about a week before the event and begins to wane for a week after the event.

I’d love to hear your experiences of the eclipse!  Please share them in the comments.

By | 2017-08-23T07:04:26+00:00 August 23rd, 2017|Events|10 Comments

The Harmonic Concordance alignment

I am migrating some  articles from the old site so that they can be indexed here.  The Grand Sextile of 2013 will give a repeat performance on August 31st, this time with the Moon in Cancer.  This Grand Sextile is a rare occurrence, and the last time it occurred was during the Harmonic Concordance of 2003.  This is the

You may have heard of a unique alignment involving eight “planets” that occured the evening of the lunar eclipse on November 8 2003 at 8:13 pm. The components of this alignment are these (in astrological symbolism the Sun and Moon are considered as planets, and I am including Chiron as well which I have seen to be a strong component of any birthchart):


A full moon with a total lunar eclipse.

Two interlocking grand trines (120 degree angles) in water and earth signs.

Two oppositions (180 degree angle).

A hexagon of sextiles (60 degree angles) forming a Grand Sextile.

Two “T-square” formations (an opposition where both planets are square (90 degrees) to another).


In addition, Uranus, technically not part of the alignment formation, is on this day reversing its retrograde direction and traveling direct for the first time since June.

This formation was discovered on August 28 1998 by John Mirehiel using a software program called Astrolog and looks very much like this diagram. He named this alignment the “Harmonic Concordance.” You can see the two intersecting triangles in blue, the three interior oppositions in red, and the hegaxon in green, all bordered by the circular ecliptic of the zodiac. This is an exceptionally unusual formation that is filled with symbolism of the mystery schools. The interlocking grand trines that form the six-pointed star represents the descension into matter (pointing down), and the ascension into spirit (pointing up); or more specifically, individuation and universalization as referred to by the Theosophosists.

The Uranus/Neptune conjunction that took place between 1993-1999 opened a gateway to shifts in consciousness all over the earth. Uranus (representing individuality, technology and radical change) linked with Neptune (the bringer of transcendent consciousness) and created major shifts in the way the global culture looks at life. Suddenly meditation and yoga are mainstream occupations; pop artists such as Madonna are studying Kabbalah. This gateway heralded the transition into the Age of Aquarius, the oft-touted “new age” of harmony and universal brotherhood.

The planetary alignment of November 8 in my view aligned the doorways of consciousness that were opened during the eight-year period of the Uranus/Neptune conjunction. Uranus and Neptune are dissolvers: Uranus breaks apart patterns and Neptune dissolves them. Uranus and Neptune both reach for a higher way of being, more divine (Neptune), more ideal (Uranus). During their conjunction gateways to consciousness were opened, but without any cohesive direction. The planetary alignment November 8 opened a multidimensional gateway to enable a greater focus and greater understanding for those of who seek to increase their awareness.


FULL MOON/LUNAR ECLIPSE: During a lunar eclipse, the moon is obscured by the earth’s shadow during an opposition with the Sun. A full moon occurs when the moon is exactly opposite (180 degrees) from the Sun, creating a tension between the Solar force (conscious identity) and the Lunar force (emotional and instinctive reactivity). Full Moon periods are noted for an increase in unusual behaviors as a result of this tension, but if the solar and lunar energies are consciously utilized and focus, there is an opportunity for an increase in personal power during these times which is why magical rites are often performed during a full moon. During a lunar eclipse, the energy of the opposition is present but because the lunar energy is obscured, we often feel during these times like we are “in the dark.” The effect of a full moon and eclipse lasts approximately three days on either side of the event.

GRAND TRINES IN WATER AND EARTH, FORMING A GRAND SEXTILE: Trines are “harmonious” aspects, meaning the energies of the planets interact in a harmonious manner. However, because there is no tension, the planetary energies that form the grand trine often get locked in an endless loop without the energy to break free and move forward. Often people with grand trines in their chart lack the drive to create change in their lives. The two grand trines in this alignment form a Grand Sextile which provides more energy to the dynamic. The sextile aspect (60 degrees) creates excitement and awareness. In this grand alignment, the planets included in the Grand Sextile (incorporating the two Grand Trines) are Saturn in Cancer, Moon in Taurus, Mars in Pisces, Chiron in Capricorn, Sun in Scorpio, and Jupiter in Virgo. Here we have the principle of discipline and achievement (Saturn), instinct and emotion (Moon), aggression and self-protection (Mars), healing and teaching (Chiron), Spirit and identity (Sun), and abundance and opportunity (Jupiter) all linked to facilitate the birth into consciousness of the next phase of the plan for earth.

FULL MOON (SUN/MOON OPPOSITION) IN SQUARE TO NEPTUNE: Neptune is the dissolver, as noted before, and the planet that yearns to merge with the divine essence. The square aspect is a challenging one, creating conflict as well as tremendous potential. Neptune calls upon us to seek beyond our ordinary reality to discover the divine within every moment. A full moon in square to Neptune could create major difficulties in our material existence, but the harmonious energies of the Grand Sextile work to soften this effect and encourage the opening of our own inner doorways into guidance for our future.

JUPITER OPPOSITE MARS, BOTH WIDELY SQUARE TO VENUS: Jupiter is the planet of abundance, of faith and optimism. Opposing Mars, the god of War, Jupiter expands the fire of Mars and produces additional power for the assertion of personal will as represented by Mars. Personal relationships (Venus) can be affected by this unleashing of the fire gods, but again, the Grand Sextile weaves a web of support within which the power of these planetary configurations can be safely unleashed.

URANUS TURNS DIRECT APPROACHING A SQUARE TO MERCURY: Uranus has been traveling in its own sign of Aquarius in retrograde motion since June and will turn direct on November 8. Uranus rules individuality, autonomy, electricity, technology, revolutionary thought and idealism. Mercury rules communication, thought, the processing of information. Uranus is considered the “higher octave” of Mercury, as Mercury operates on the personal plane; Uranus on the transpersonal. The tension created between these two planets as they approach the closing square of their cycle on November 11 can work to form a bridge between the personal and the transpersonal, the individual of the universal, which is the theme of the alignment.

SOLAR FLARES: A series of solar flares began erupting October 22, with a powerful X17 flare occurring on October 28. The most powerful flare ever recorded erupted on November 4, possibly as much as an X40. The most powerful flare previously recorded was an X20 flare in 1991. Scientists say that there is more solar activity now than ever before in living memory. Satellite communication and air traffic communication has been affected by the magnetic force produced by these flares and solar storms. What is the effect on the human consciousness of this kind of dramatic activity? I wonder if the timing of these solar flares so close to this planetary alignment is coincidental. Certainly there are major changes being made to the magnetic fields around us, and those of us who are particularly sensitive to electromagnetic energy (particularly those in whose charts Uranus is prominent) will need to do a little more yoga, a few more walks, more grounding exercises.

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By | 2013-08-22T07:02:02+00:00 August 22nd, 2013|Events|6 Comments

The agony of Bill Zeller

Bill Zeller suicideA reader requested that I look at the chart of Bill Zeller, a brilliant programmer who was best known for creating innovative software such as the MyTunes application.  Mr. Zeller committed suicide on January 5th after struggling for a lifetime with memories of repeated sexual abuse as a child.

It’s unfortunate that we don’t have a time of birth for Mr. Zeller, but the solar chart (born 10/26/1983 in Connecticut) reveals a stellium (tight conjunction) of four planets.  His Sun and Saturn are tightly conjoined in Scorpio, suggesting a pattern of rejection and coldness (Saturn) from the father, and also a tendency towards depression, especially as a young person.  (The beauty of Saturn is that if we can survive his trials as young people we can have a very productive old age.)  A Scorpio Sun reveals an assignment to experience life as deeply as possible, including the dark emotions that lurk under every rock and within every crevice.  There is a powerful emotional intensity with Scorpio that cannot be denied.

Also embedded in this stellium are Mercury and Scorpio in a nearly exact conjunction.  Mercury is either at the last degree of Libra or fully into Scorpio, depending on when Zeller was born, and Pluto is at the last degree of  Libra where it is fully “on the cusp” of Scorpio.  Mercury represents the way we think about things, and with Mercury on the cusp of Scorpio and conjoined by Pluto we have a “double whammy” connecting Mercury–the mind– with Pluto/Scorpio’s intensity.

Mercury is also conjunct the Sun which bestows a high degree of intelligence on the individual, but traditional astrologers, calling this a “combust” aspect, suggest that Mr. Zeller’s capacity for reason would be diminished by the powerful rays of the Sun.  I have not seen this to always be the case in my clients, but there is no doubt that the power of the mind with this aspect can be one’s undoing as well as one’s ally.

So right away we have a pattern which from birth sets up this individual to experience events in life with more intensity than others, who is rejected and isolated (Saturn/Sun) and can be obsessive (Pluto/Scorpio) in his thinking (Mercury).  It is not uncommon for individuals with tight Pluto alignments (including this writer) to experience abuse, especially of the sexual variety, in their lives.  From the perspective of the soul, these dark experiences of powerlessness can take us deep within ourselves into a place where we can discover our own power and find ultimate healing.  After an experience of this kind of darkness one can never be the same – life is forever changed and we are forced to either find healing or be consumed in darkness as Mr. Zeller was.

Without a birth time we don’t know the exact placement of his Moon.  It was either late in Gemini if he was born in the early morning, or in the early degrees of Cancer if he was born later in the day.   I don’t like to rectify a chart based on “what works,” so I will avoid imagining various scenarios offered by this quandary although I will say that a Gemini Moon makes more sense to me than Cancer.

In any case, there is a strong Sagittarian component to this chart as well, with a conjunction of Jupiter, which rules Sagittarius and is particularly strong there, to Uranus.  The expansive nature of Jupiter is exceptionally pronounced in Sagittarius and creates an irresistible desire to find happiness and a life free from darkness.  Uranus rules technology and electricity, and represents the urge to break apart stale life forms that are no longer serving us.  The combination of Jupiter to Uranus is associated with brilliant scientists and innovators in all fields, but also, especially with both planets in Sagittarius, describes a personality with a fierce need to rebel against authority and to forge one’s own path in life. Steve Jobs has a conjunction of Jupiter to Uranus, and Amy Winehouse, born the same year as Mr. Zeller,  has both planets conjoined in Sagittarius.

The combination of this relentless drive for the positive of the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction in Sagittarius with the powerful darkness of Scorpio is a difficult pill to swallow.  In the case of Mr. Zeller, the darkness within him literally split off from his personality, as he wrote :

The darkness is with me nearly every time I wake up. I feel like a grime is covering me. I feel like I’m trapped in a contaminated body that no amount of washing will clean….

Mr. Zeller anthropormorphizes the darkness, calling it “he” and saying “he” won’t leave, providing evidence of this split between the Scorpionic darkness and the Sagittarian desire to flee.  An airy Gemini Moon would provide facility in switching between these ideations, whereas a Cancer Moon would perhaps inspire more integration on an emotional level.

Wherever his Moon was, it had been hit either by Uranus if in the late degrees of Gemini or by Pluto if in early Cancer over the past couple of years, enhancing his emotional distress.  In addition, Chiron (wounding and healing) and Neptune (spiritual yearning) had been in a challenging aspect to his progressed Sun in late Scorpio.   This Chiron/Neptune conjunction has had the effect of forcing the emergence of our deepest and darkest wounds so that they can be healed, but in order to heal them we must bring them out into the open.   Mr. Zeller did not want to take that path, saying “I have no interest in talking about being raped as a child, both because I know it wouldn’t help and because I have no confidence it would remain secret.”  On the one hand he wanted to heal the darkness, but on the other hand he needed it kept safely locked away.  This created an untenable situation for him from which there was no way out.

We often find transits of Jupiter in death charts, and this one is no exception.  This surprises many people who think of Jupiter as being a planet that brings good fortune, but it is also known as the Great Liberator.  On the day that Mr. Zeller killed himself, transiting Jupiter made the last of three exact squares to Neptune in his chart, giving him the confidence (Jupiter) to follow his dream (Neptune), no matter where it took him.

At the same time his progressed Sun (showing his evolving self) was at the very last degree and the last minute of Scorpio and getting ready to move into Sagittarius.  I remember when my own Sun progressed from Scorpio into Sagittarius – it was as if a bright light was turned on and all of a sudden my soul lifted and my heart began to sing from the relief.  Perhaps it was this light visible through the tunnel that gave him the courage to move towards it through the only escape he knew how to make.

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By | 2011-01-12T08:46:01+00:00 January 12th, 2011|Events|6 Comments

Musings on the Chilean miners

Chile mine rescue astrologyYesterday the world watched enraptured as 33 miners in Chile were released from their bondage in the Underworld and emerged relatively unscathed, with amazing stories of bravery and transformation.  One of the more amazing reports that I heard was that the miners were arguing over who should be rescued first, each one wanting their brethren to be released before they themselves were freed.  This has been a truly inspiring story, but the true miracle was the spirit that these men demonstrated during their captivity, despite the agonizing pressures of being trapped in the underworld darkness.

The astrological significance of the rescue of the miners this week is impressively precise.  First, we have Pluto (transformation in the Underworld) in the sign of Capricorn, ruling the Earth and all things that come from underground, conjoining Ceres, the goddess of the earth who provides nourishment and sustenance of all living things.  The Pluto/Ceres conjunction corresponded in its negative form with the oil spill in the Gulf earlier this year, and with the release of red sludge in Hungary, but here we have the reminder that transformation in the underworld can occur despite adversity.

We also have Venus in retrograde motion right now, and in her retrograde phase Venus disappears from the evening sky.  During this period of darkness she is thought to be in the Underworld, and the ancient Sumerians created the myth of Inanna’s descent into the Underworld to correspond with the disappearance of Venus from the sky.  Inanna was the predecessor of the goddess that we know call Venus, and in her journey to the Underworld she was required to release all of her clothing and arrive in the heart of darkness completely naked and free of artifice.  The Venus retrograde cycle suggests a mating between Venus and the Earth as she goes underground, and then a mating of Venus with the Sun when she emerges and conjoins the Sun (which will occur on October 28th this year).

Venus is not only in the Underworld of the sky, but also traveling through Pluto-ruled Scorpio where all of the secret and hidden emotions are buried.  During this time we’re being asked to surrender the items of artifice that keep us separated from our true selves.  As we watch the rescue of the  miners in Chile, we wonder what it would feel like to be trapped beneath the Earth, and retrograde Venus reminds us that the Underground is an important aspect of our transition and transformation.

It’s an interesting synchronicity that the pod used to rescue the miners was called “Fenix,” or Phoenix.  The Phoenix is the bird that symbolizes the sign of Scorpio – the bird that dies in fire and is reborn in its own ashes.

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By | 2010-10-14T14:50:53+00:00 October 14th, 2010|Events|Comments Off on Musings on the Chilean miners

Mass suicide feared in religious sect

Thirteen people missing in California are feared to be under the spell of a fringe religious sect and involved in a mass suicide after notes were found referring to “going to heaven” and “the end of the world.”  

The timing of this event is interesting because of the conjunction of Jupiter (confidence and expansion) in Uranus (radical and unusual beliefs).  The Heavens Gate incident in 1997 in which 39 members of a cult committed mass suicide also occurred under a conjunction of Jupiter to Uranus.

Update: the members are all safe and accounted for, but the leader is being

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By | 2010-09-19T17:51:23+00:00 September 19th, 2010|Events|2 Comments
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