People

David Bowie, magical changeling, rest in peace

12512527_1261792600501410_721398437553426693_nart found on Facebook .  It’s hard to believe he is gone because he seemed immortal, other worldly. He wasn’t really of this earth and seemed to slide in and out of a kaleidoscope of personalities. He awakened our imaginations and expanded our consciousness in peculiar ways that no one else had done before, nor has since.  While I wasn’t particularly a fan of David Bowie’s music, I found him irresistibly fascinating and certainly a harbinger of the Aquarian Age to come.

David Bowie was born David Robert Jones on January 8, 1947 in London England.  According to the source notes at Astro.com his parents provided a birth time of 9 am GMT.  This is fascinating because it places the asteroid Pallas right on the Aquarius ascendant, the point of the chart which describes the persona of the individual.  Pallas is a symbol of androgyny and as I have written before, I find it to be quite prominent in the charts of gender-fluid individuals.

Aquarius itself is ruled by Uranus (modern ruler; the traditional ruler is Saturn).  Uranus instigates radical behavior that revolutionizes the way we view our world.  The instinct for innovation and eccentricity was particularly strong in him as was the desire to continually reinvent himself.

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By | 2016-10-09T08:59:48+00:00 January 13th, 2016|People|6 Comments

Sinead O’Connor and the Chiron/Pluto Cry for Help

9781720752_17ac4105b6_zSinead O’Connor, the Irish singer with a long history of controversy and dramatic life events, was recently in the news after a post on her Facebook page claimed that she had taken an overdose and was in an unnamed hotel.  She was eventually found and was not harmed, but her apparent mental illness has become a topic of discussion in the entertainment news circles.

Between 1962 and 1968 or so, Uranus (radical behavior) and Pluto (destruction and rebirth) were aligned in a conjunction in the sky, the last time these two planets were locked in a dance that deconstructed and transformed the status quo.  Everyone born during this period has this urge for radical reconstruction locked into their astrological chart, and for much of that time Chiron, the planet of wounding and healing, formed a stressful opposition to Uranus and Pluto.

People born with a strong Chiron aspect in their chart like this tend to come into this incarnation already wounded – they are more emotionally sensitive and often in some degree of psycho-emotional distress.  The evolutionary purpose of this woundedness is to clear and release these painful emotions so that awareness and wisdom can take their place but not everyone is able to understand their distress from this higher perspective.  I call the Chiron/Pluto combination the aspect of “soul surgery” – the core wound generally requires some focused effort in order to be fully released so that the soul may be liberated and free.

To make matters more complicated, between 1967 and 1968 the planet Saturn aligned with Chiron – the “Celestial Mentor” (Saturn) adding another layer of challenge to the already painful dynamic. This intense Chiron/Saturn opposition to Uranus/Pluto formation figures prominently in the chart of Sinead O’Connor (born 12/8/1966).

It’s somewhat of a mystery why some people have such difficult astrological chart (and lives) and others sail through life rather unscathed by turmoil.  It is said, and I do believe this to be true, that before we incarnate into life we choose a course of study in the Earth school which will help us to complete unfinished business or learn important lessons.  I myself have one of these difficult charts, and I believe that this has helped me to grow and evolve in a way that would never have occurred had my life been easier and less painful.  However, it has taken many years of study, meditation, and therapies of various kinds!

Ms. O’Connor has made no secret of her difficult childhood and the physical and sexual abuse she experienced at the hand of her mother and the Irish Church.  She has had a colorful relationship history and most recently has been embroiled in a child custody battle.

Ms. O’Connor has the Sun in Sagittarius, and while Sagittarians are delightful people who tend generally to be positive and optimistic, that does not always work in their favor when they are faced with challenging life experiences.  The Sagittarian archetype tends to want to fly above trouble rather than face it head on.  According to Astrotheme her birthtime of 7:37 am would give her a Sagittarius ascendant, doubling the influence that inspires one to flight rather than spend time in the much of the psychic underground.

What makes life especially difficult for her now (and others born in 1967-1968) is that transiting Chiron is making a return to Chiron in the birthchart, setting off this difficult dynamic and triggering unresolved emotional pain to be released.  This is a time that requires lots of healing work: psychotherapy, energy work, yoga and meditation, vision questing but most importantly, understanding the evolutionary purpose of the psychic distress so that it can be best utilized for the growth of the personality and of the soul.

By | 2015-12-05T08:24:55+00:00 December 5th, 2015|People|5 Comments

The Astrology of Donald Trump

Donald Trump astrology birthchart

There’s no doubt that Donald Trump is one of the more colorful characters in American life today.  A real estate mogul who turned an inherited fortune into a mega fortune of his own, he has embraced the spotlight and has taken advantage of every opportunity to put himself in the public eye.  He has been undaunted by criticism or failure, and his brash and aggressive style has both charmed and appalled Americans for many years.  Now that he is running a serious candidacy for President, he is in the limelight like never before.

Psychologists and pundits the world over have attempted to analyze Trump with little success.  Let’s see what the astrology tells us.

Donald Trump () was born with the Sun in chatty Gemini, and under an exact Lunar Eclipse (with the Gemini Sun opposite the Sagittarius Moon).   In a lunar eclipse, the instincts and emotion of the Moon are eclipsed by the Solar conscious energy of the Sun.  When emotions and instinctive drives are forced to hide away from the solar light, they can intensify and become more powerful and we often see this with people who are born under a lunar eclipse.  (Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, is another example of a lunar eclipse baby.)

People born under a total eclipse carry the intense emotional energy with them, though these lunar instincts may remain hidden for much of their lifetime until they are forced to emerge through some kind of confrontation.

Uranus  is connected to the eclipse as well – conjunct the Sun where it encourages innovation and radical behavior, and opposite the Moon where it makes personal relationships difficult and suggests a distant relationship with the mother.  Uranian people tend to dislike following the lead of others and prefer to create their own way.

Trump’s chart shows Leo rising, reflecting his need to shine in the spotlight and be admired.  At its best, Leo is driven to do admirable works that will gain public recognition; at its worst there can be a Machiavellian manipulation for attention.  Statements like “I’m very rich” and “no one builds better than me” are examples of Leo gone bad – the desperate need for attention taken to its extreme.

This tendency for self-aggrandizement is exacerbated by the presence of Mars (planet of aggression) which is also in Leo, intensifying that need for attention, right on the ascendant where it becomes the projection of the personality.  It’s Mars which we see when Trump bullies those around him, or pushes his way through business dealings and presidential debates.

We would expect someone with Trump’s supreme confidence to have a strong Jupiter component, and we see that Jupiter (planet of good luck and self-righteousness) in the 2nd house of money in a harmonious trine to the Sun.  This trine of Jupiter to the Sun tends to bestow a sense of having been chosen by the gods – there is a tendency towards luck and the kind of success that comes from an abundance of positive thinking.  His Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius Moon helps to cement that super-confidence into a belief system that is virtually unshakeable.  One writer said

However, there are no planets in earth elements in Trump’s birthchart which would help to ground him and give him a practical sense of moving through the world.  He is all fire and air – energy, enthusiasm and ideas.  In his presidential candidacy he can’t be bothered coming up with a practical blueprint for solving the nation’s problems – he is more interested in motivating and exciting.

His achilles heel is in his relationships.  With three planets in the emotional and family-oriented sign of Cancer he doesn’t lack sensitivity for those he loves.  His Mercury (mind) in Cancer reflects his emotionality when speaking and reacting to the words of others.  His Venus in Cancer reveals his desire to nurture and care for those he loves, which we can see in his relationship with his children, most of whom work with him in one way or another, though not so much in his marital situations.  Marriage has been tricky for Trump which isn’t surprising with Saturn (tests and challenges) conjunct Venus (relationships) and Chiron (wounding and healing) in Venus-ruled Libra.

Some writers have suggested that perhaps Trump’s grandiosity is a narcissistic wound that comes from damage to the Self that he tries to fix by doing more and being more – a bottomless pit that will never be satisfied.  However, I am not seeing this kind of wound in the chart.  I do believe that he is addicted to the glamor and the attention that comes with being The Donald, and he is driven by the desire to expand and become bigger and bigger rather than by some insecurity to be accepted by others.  The danger with a drive to continually amplify and inflate your life is that there is a limit.  Either the bubble will pop, or someone else will become bigger than you and take your place.

Trump’s progressed Midheaven, revealing the evolution of his career path, just moved from sensitive Cancer into Leo in March of this year.  This would have encouraged him to seek a greater role in the public eye, and right on schedule he announced his candidacy for President in June.

This is a particularly emotional time for Trump with Chiron hitting the sensitive Sun and Moon and eclipse points, and Pluto challenging his Chiron.  I’ll be looking at the transits and doing more forecasting for him in another post, but for someone like Trump it’s sometimes the challenging aspects that empower us to overcome obstacles and achieve our greatest success.  This is NOT an evaluation of his chances at the presidency – that I will tackle in a future article.

Note on Trump’s time of birth:  Astrodatabank uses a birth time of 10:54 am on June 14, 1946, citing a birth certificate posted online.  But since Trump has refused to release his birth certificate I have requested clarification from Astrodabank.  Another time of 9:51 am has been bandied about.  The two charts are not that different – the later time has Leo/Virgo cusp rising and the Sun in the 10th house of career and the public eye and with Mars on the Ascendant; the earlier time has Leo rising with Mars in the first house but with the Sun in the 11th house of friendship and groups which makes less sense.

By | 2016-06-13T21:14:34+00:00 September 4th, 2015|Featured posts, People|6 Comments

The Astrology of Rachel Dolezal

Rachel Dolezal astrologyRachel Dolezal, a woman who was just outed by her own parents for posing as a black person for years but is actually white, is the type of case that send me right to the astrological chart to try to find an explanation of such bizarre behavior.

Unfortunately without a birth time we can’t identify the ascendant, the sign on the horizon at the time she was born, which would provide more details about her relationship to her personal identity which is what this case is all about.  The rest of the chart is interesting  – three planets in Scorpio and three planets in Sagittarius show a basic duality in the personality between two signs that have nothing in common with each other and don’t understand each other.  Scorpio is intense and dramatic and concerned with matters of power – Sagittarius rebels from all that and wants to get unstuck and find freedom to explore new ideas.

Dolezal’s Scorpio Sun conjoins Uranus, the planet of radical behavior so it wouldn’t be unusual for her to be rebellious and want to find her own way.  Her Mars – showing her desires and drive – is in the sign of Leo which needs a sense of importance and validation and often seeks fame and attention when the inner validation is not found.  Uranus forms a challenging square to Mars, aggravating the rebellious streak and instilling a desire to be different and unique.

With her Venus in Scorpio she is passionate about everything she becomes involved in, but Chiron, the planet of wounding and healing, opposes her Venus and suggests insecurities and a fundamental lack of self-worth.   In addition, Saturn, the planet of self-doubt and restriction forms a square to her Sun, further stressing her confidence yet pushing her to achieve.

On the Sagittarius side of the equation we see the Moon conjunct Neptune – an aspect which instills imagination and creativity but potentially also a disconnect from reality if one travels too far into the Neptunian realm of transcendence.  The Sagittarius influence encourages her to think big – to yearn to expand beyond the boundaries of a limited life.

Her identity confusion is apparent in several different areas.  Dolezal is apparently an accomplished artist, and some of her paintings took the perspective of a black man.  She self-identified as black.  Yet as a student at Howard University, a predominantly African American college, she tried to sue the university for discrimination against her because she was white.  If we had a birth time we would likely see either Neptune or Pisces on the ascendant, clouding the identity question, or perhaps Gemini or Mercury which creates a fluidity of self-identification.

Neptune can play a different role – a darker role, in which the individual is either scapegoated or takes on the role of victim.  In any case, this is an individual with a tremendous imagination (Moon/Neptune) who used that imagination to escape (Sun/Uranus) a life of boundaries and limits (Sun/Saturn) and got carried away with the drama.

There is a karmic element at work as well, which we can see with Pluto sitting right on the North Node, the point of destiny.  This typically denotes an individual with a very focused path in this lifetime, and Pluto’s destructive and regenerative power suggests that there will need to be significant surrender and letting go in order to continue the growth required. Transiting Pluto is in an exact square to her natal Pluto, the first of the midlife crisis transits for this generation, setting off this karmic quest.  And, as several commenters have pointed out, transiting Saturn just moved across her own Saturn for the second phase of a challenging cycle that will force her to face some hard cold realities as Saturn so often does. View the chart here.

By | 2015-06-18T08:13:50+00:00 June 18th, 2015|People|6 Comments

RIP Robin Williams, the astrology of Mars and depression

Robin Williams astrologyRobin Williams lost a long battle against depression and substance abuse when he took his own life this week at the age of 63.  Like many comedic geniuses, Williams had a dark side that was evident in some of his darker film roles which allowed the multidimensionality of his personality to emerge through the veneer of hilarity.

Depression and addiction take many forms in the astrological chart.  A prominent Saturn can cause depression through a sense of one’s own failure.  A strong Chiron can bring one’s inner wounds to the surface where emotional sensitivity is the central experience.  Neptune can bring about a desire for escapism and a tendency to avoid the harsh realities of life.  But underlying many forms of depression we find a weak Mars and a buildup of anger and rage that becomes turned against itself in helplessness.

Anger is associated with depression, and . In the astrological chart, anger and aggression correlate with the planet Mars.  The placement of Mars in the birthchart reveals how comfortable the individual is with expressing their own needs and how they respond when those needs aren’t met.  Infants demonstrate the purest expression of Mars: an infant is hungry, they cry to be fed.  There are no filters when those needs are expressed but if the needs are not met, frustration is the result.  Habitual frustration leads to anger, chronic anger leads to rage.  This kind of anger and frustration can erupt into violence on an external level, or internally.

Williams’s astrological chart shows that as the ruler of his Scorpio ascendant, Mars was an important planet and a driver of his personality.  Scorpio has a traditional ruler (Mars) and a modern ruler (Pluto), and individuals with Scorpio rising are powerful and charismatic.  They are driven and dislike superficiality, preferring to process the stuff of their lives secretly and behind the walls of privacy.

His Mars was actually quite strong – it conjoined Uranus and squared Jupiter, a combination which contributed to his zany zest for life and innovative style of comedy.  Uranus represents revolutionary behavior, and Jupiter is expansive and optimistic.  In a strong aspect to each other like the square (90 degrees) these two planets create tension and conflict that requires resolution.  But his Mars was in the sign of Cancer where it is not easily expressed – in Cancer Mars becomes driven to solve everyone else’s problems.  So here was all of this energy, stimulated by Uranus and Jupiter, with no easy outlet.  To complicate matters even more, his Mars was also squared by Neptune, the planet of transcendence and addiction, offering a solution.

Williams also had a painful square from Saturn (tests and challenges) to Chiron (soul wounds) that usually denotes an individual who struggles with a deep inner wound in order to find healing and eventual release.  This quality was evident in many of Williams’s film roles in which he stretched beyond his comedic talents into exploration of darkness and human complexity.

Robin Williams talked a great deal about fear.  In 2003 he said “It’s just literally being afraid. And you think, oh, this will ease the fear. And it doesn’t.”  Asked what he was afraid of, he replied: “Everything. It’s just a general all-round arggghhh. It’s fearfulness and anxiety.”  In one of my very favorite Robin Williams movies, The Fisher King, he plays a character whose inner demon emerges as a Red Knight, representing this inner demons that pursued him.  In my experience battling my own demons I’ve learned we must come face to face with them before they can be conquered although that can be a terrifying experience as we can see in this trailer for the movie (watch for the emergence of the Red Knight at about 1:40).

Over the past year Uranus and Pluto have both been transiting the challenging Mars complex in Williams’s chart, and in the spring Mars in Libra formed a Grand Cross with Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn.  Jupiter, in Cancer, was also involved in that alignment and all of these planets were dancing across Mars in Williams’s chart.  The Pluto transit to Mars especially would have worked to dredge up old hurts and resentments and other demons, making it difficult for Williams to avoid relapse.   His death is a tragedy and a loss of one of the geniuses of our time.

Update:  For those of you who are interested, here is a more complete list of planetary factors at the time of Robin Williams’ death. 

  • His progressed Sun had aligned with natal Saturn last year and squared his natal Chiron, potentially revealing issues of security, abandonment and isolation.
  • Transiting Uranus had been in a square to his natal Mars/Uranus conjunction since last year, potentially triggering a desire for some kind of radical change in his life.
  • Transiting Saturn had been in a square to the natal Mercury/Pluto conjunction at the Midheaven since December of last year.
  • A series of Jupiter transits in the spring and summer of this year could have given him the confidence he needed to make this happen.  We think of Jupiter as always being “good,” but it’s not uncommon to find Jupiter transits at the time of a suicide or major crime spree.
  • Transiting Mars over his ascendant at the time of the event.

But to me it was the Pluto transit to his Mars described in the article that really motivated the degree of inner violence required to take his life in this way.

 

By | 2016-12-31T11:12:05+00:00 August 12th, 2014|People|8 Comments
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