TMA This Week

Election Day’s Mercury Station

By Alex Miller | October 1, 2012

Perhaps the most important indicator of the outcome of the 2012 U.S. presidential election is the planet Mercury. This little powerhouse rules virtually every aspect of the electoral process, from the data processing and decision-making of the populace; to the voting places, machines, and ballots; the advance and exit polls; and the tabulation, recording, and reporting of the vote. And on Election Day 2012, Mercury forms its retrograde station, at 5:58 p.m. EST, just as after-work voting heats up on the east coast. 

The importance of this event is highlighted by Mercury’s placement, from the perspective of the nation’s capitol. (1) Mercury is exactly on the Descendant at 4° Sagittarius, an angular position that emphasizes Mercury’s pivotal role in determining our choice. Angular planets are strongly emphasized, “louder” than they normally would be, and carry an out-of-proportion weight in the chart. The Descendant symbolizes how we relate with others, the alliances we form, and the ways we use these to structure our interactions with each other.

A retrograde station signifies a reversal, a pause in the forward momentum of the affairs governed by that planet. Although no planet ever actually travels backward, it can appear to, from our vantage point here on earth, and these times inaugurate periods of stepping back to reconsider where we’ve been and where we’re headed. Mercury retrograde in particular is (in)famous for creating problems and glitches with data, information and communication, and for evoking some very unlikely circumstances while generally pretty effectively gumming up the works.

Four degrees of Sagittarius is also the degree of a Black Hole, a deep space anomaly that promotes instability, pervasive change, reversal, and the substitution of an alternate reality for the one previously in place. Black Holes are stellar remnants of collapsed stars whose gravitational force is so great, not even light can escape them (hence the name). They both attract and drain energy, and represent the expenditure or waste of vast amounts of energy and resources. When Black Holes are active, things are not as they seem — the surface appearance belies the underlying reality.

Mercury coming to station exactly on a Black Hole is a rare event. It has only happened once before on Election Day in the U.S., and that was the calamitous election of 2000. Yes, the contest that brought us the Florida voting debacle, with its Palm Beach Butterfly Ballot, the mysterious 16,000 “anti-votes” cast for Al Gore in Volusia County, and the interminable recounts, with their fascinating new lingo of hanging, dangling, dimpled, and pregnant chads. A succession of legal challenges eventually led to a 5/4 split decision along Party lines in the U.S. Supreme Court, which handed the presidency to George W. Bush, loser of the popular vote, some five weeks later.

But that was a direct station, with Mercury poised to resume normal forward motion. In 2012 we’re dealing with a retrograde station, and the effect could conceivably be much worse. The period surrounding the station is known as the “Mercury storm,” and that’s a very apt descriptor, as the period can be chaotic, random, and turbulently hectic.

Vote tampering is a very real possibility, with the Black Hole’s propensity for altering realities, and we’ve already seen a strong push toward making many of these potential votes disappear even before they’re cast, in true Black Hole style. Voter suppression is back big time in the U.S., with almost half the states passing new voting laws since 2010. In GOP-run legislatures across the country, tougher voter ID laws aimed at disenfranchising poor and minority voters, likely Democratic constituencies, threaten to rob as many as five million Americans of their Mercury-ruled power of choice and having their voices heard.  Changes in early voting procedures and times have added to the likelihood that not everyone who wants to will be able to cast a vote. (For example, in Florida, the electoral armpit of America, Republican legislators eliminated early voting on the Sunday before the election, the traditional day when black churches organized and bussed their congregants to the polls.)

Mercury also rules the weather, and station periods are notorious for erratic or extreme conditions. If the weather turns foul on Election Day, voter turnout will be even further suppressed. (Weather has already been a factor in the campaigns: the first day of the Republican National Convention was cancelled due to concerns over Hurricane Isaac, and Obama’s DNC nomination acceptance speech was moved indoors, to a much smaller venue, over threat of severe thunderstorms.)

With Mercury on a Black Hole on Election Day, both advance and exit polls are virtually meaningless; whatever the pundits and experts say, this election has a mind of its own, and its outcome is very much in doubt. This also raises the specter of deliberate manipulation of the polls, in an attempt to either deflate enthusiasm or encourage over-confidence in one camp or the other, both of which can result in fewer voters bothering to show up.

Adding fuel to the fire is Mercury’s contact with other celestials at its station, principally a square to Neptune and Chiron at 0° and 5° Pisces and a trine to Uranus at 5° Aries. All these points are also retrograde, implying a less than helpful stance in how they manifest and a willingness to go against the grain or promote reversals.

Neptune here suggests that confusion and illusion will be the order of the day, along with a healthy dose of deception or misdirection. Beware electoral sleight-of-hand in the tabulation process, with electronic voting systems that are notoriously easy to hack and amend. Chiron evokes maverick behaviors and suggests a wounding of some sort, while Uranus rules shocks, upsets, regime change, and sudden, unexpected disruption, and also ties directly, via its rulership of electronics, to potential e-vote fraud.

Expect system breakdowns, long lines, disputed results, and general confusion or chaos. Many races may not be decided on election night, and Jupiter in an exact inconjunct to the day’s Sun (14° Gemini to 14° Scorpio) may indicate that the final decision ends up in the courts again.

Stationing Mercury also makes some dramatic contacts to both candidates’ charts, and this emphasizes the zodiacal areas they share. Mercury is squared Obama’s natal Chiron at 5° Pisces and Romney’s natal Mars at 6° Pisces. That could spell a wounding for Obama and a victory for Romney, but regardless, it’s a sure marker of a real slugfest between the contenders, opening wounds and making for a very nasty campaign. 

Mercury is also trine to an exact synastric conjunction of Romney’s Saturn with Obama’s Mercury, both at 2° Leo. This could suppress (Saturn) Obama’s vote (Mercury), and has already soured his message (Mercury), emphasizing fear (Saturn) over the “hope and change” banner of 2008.

Finally, Mercury conjoins Romney’s natal Descendant at 1° Sagittarius and opposes Obama’s natal Moon at 3° Gemini. This could signal a fundamental alteration in how the public (Moon) reacts to both men, with Romney forming a closer bond (Descendant). There is also a suggestion, with the Black Hole involved, of an unexpected domestic (Moon) alteration for Obama, which could signal a return to Chicago.

Whatever the outcome, the 2012 election is likely to be another for the record books, as Mercury stationing retrograde on a Black Hole says, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”

Editor’s note:

(1) The chart set for 5:58 p.m. on November 6 in Washington, D.C. has 4° Gemini on the Ascendant and Mercury at 4° Sag on the Descendant.

Bio: Alex Miller is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book and The Urban Wicca, former editor of “The Galactic Calendar,” and past president of The Philadelphia Astrological Society. His pioneering work with Black Holes in astrological interpretation began in 1991, when his progressed Sun unwittingly fell into one. His work with deep space points and asteroids appears monthly at DayKeeper Journal. Alex can be reached for comment or services at

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In Deference to Saturn

By Mary Plumb | September 24, 2012

As Saturn creeps through its final days in Libra, it seems there are moments when we can’t wait for it to move along.
The sense of being at the very end of some theme or chapter or area of difficulty can accompany a planet as it gathers itself before moving into a whole other land, in this case, the land of Scorpio on October 5.
In each of our personal charts, Saturn has brought its diligence and grinding stone to the affairs and situations of the house with Libra on the cusp for the last two and a half years. We are in the last days of encapsulating what we can learn about this area of work, both inner and outer. Saturn in Libra may accentuate our awareness of beauty, and, for me, this is one of astrology’s most beautiful treasures — the gift of perspective. 
I wrote about (what I think is) a modern concept about the end of the sign in a previous blog: “The first reference I’ve seen to the 29th degree (of any sign) as “the degree of expiation” is in Isabel Hickey’s Astrology: A Cosmic Science (1970). The degree of expiation suggests that all conditions and situations related to the sign have this one last degree, this one last moment to resolve themselves. It has the suggestion of atonement, propitiating a god, or the means through which atonement is made.” (1)
Heaven knows what’s next for any of us, but I’m finding myself wanting to acknowledge Saturn in Libra. (I thought of calling this blog An Ode to Saturn, but then Wikipedia informed me that the definition of ode means a lyrical verse, which I can’t quite conjure up just yet. (2))
So, I am thinking about Saturn’s diligence, faithfulness, and its being the honored guest in Libra, its sign of exaltation. (3)
We can think of one-to-one relationships as the most obvious sphere of Libra; the sign that stands across from Aries pure individualism. In Libra we can listen, cooperate, be diplomatic, and see what the others see. 
I actually have had three distinct conversations in the past few days involving a clear intent to sort out areas of confusion and face what was incomplete. I was anxious about one situation in particular, which I had been avoiding for quite a while — nearly a year (!), in fact.
The appointed hour for our meeting came. (4) We both were anxious. A few deep breaths set a slow, steady tone and we were able to be open and vulnerable and forgiving and forgiven. It was a deeply rewarding conversation and I defer to Saturn for helping me stay on track and offering a gentle and dignified passageway into a new time.
These days I’m also collecting my thoughts and examining my priorities. Where is my inner commitment? What am I holding fast to for equipoise, balance, and stability, as we move ahead into the great and wildly unknown future?
I can strive for diligence and honesty — inside myself and with others — in just the right measure, without being rigid or dry or fearful.
Isabel Hickey offers a lovely thought in A Cosmic Science  (1970): “Saturn is exalted in Libra for it is through the sign of relationships that we grow in grace.”
The insights offered by Saturn, about to leave his place of being the honored guest, may be strong for many of us now.
Saturn, thank you for your time in Libra; it will not be until 2039 that you pass this way again.
(1)TMA blog: Total Solar Eclipse
(Although I remember references to early writers who thought a planet lost strength when it was at the very end, i.e., the 29th or 30th degree of any sign, I didn’t have time to research that for this article.)
(2) I did, however, get what we might consider an ode to Saturn in Libra in my email today:
O Lord, it is time
The summer was so vast
Put your shadows on the sundials
And in the fields let the wind loose.
Order the last fruits to become ripe
Give them two more sunny days
Push them to fulfillment
And force the last sweetness into the heavy wine.
He who has no house now will not build one
He who is alone will be so for a long time to come
Will stay awake, read, write long letters
And restlessly walk in the park among the blown leaves.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~
(Translated by Charlotte Schmid)
(3) For more on planetary dignities, see Skyscript.
(4) Although I didn’t elect the time, the stars, as ever, were eloquent. My friend, who is usually extremely punctual, arrived three minutes early, which placed Antares at 9° Sagittarius directly on the Ascendant. In The Horary Textbook John Frawley writes: “Being directly opposite Aldebaran, star of the spring equinox, Antares is associated with the autumn equinox. So as Aldebaran is about inception and new cycles starting, Antares is about closing down and cycles ending. This is by no means always negative.”

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Obama gets a bounce

By Mary Plumb | September 10, 2012

I followed many of the key speakers at the DNC and was mesmerized by tracking the astrology as it unfolded, but I do not have the objectivity to make a prediction about the upcoming election. I’m happily optimistic about those predictions that have called it for Obama, and very happy that he has gotten a bounce in the polls. (1) (Those of us watching the astrology, especially at the end of his speech, could feel that coming.) 

Chris Brennan diligently and impeccably covered all three days of the convention. Check out his fine contribution here: Day IDay 2 and Day 3

I have some highlights and impressions below.

Bill Clinton’s amazing, warm-hearted speech was the big event on Wednesday, September 5th; many have commented on the content and specificities in his talk. He was in very good form: Clinton was having a return of his exalted Moon in Taurus that night and he started his (long) speech as the local Moon (the chart set for Charlotte) was on the Ascendant. 

Clinton’s speech ended and Obama walked out onto the stage at 11:23 p.m. for a hug with Bill and a brief wave to the crowd (which was going wild). The Ascendant at that moment was 3° Gemini, the degree of the president’s natal Moon. The Moon, of course, connects us to the public; in these moments you could sense the delegates’ affection for these two men. (One TV commentator who had attended both conventions said that the biggest difference was the genuine warmth and family feeling at the DNC. I didn’t watch the RNC — Chris Brennan and his crew did — but according to this fellow, there was not much of a feeling tone present.)

The president spoke on Thursday, September 6th, and there were many moments that were positive omens for his success in November. As mentioned above, one in particular was at 10:26 p.m. as Obama accepted the nomination: transiting Venus (ruling the Taurus Ascendant) was at 1° Leo, exactly conjunct the IC. This placed 1° Aquarius at the Midheaven, the degree of Obama’s natal Jupiter. 

Another striking observation: A big shout out to Kate Petty for so vividly noting that Obama has a natal antiscia between the Midheaven (29° Scorpio) and Jupiter (1° Aquarius) that was lit up by the transiting Moon-Venus antiscia, and precise as Obama accepted the nomination! (2)

The north node was at 29° Scorpio; Obama’s natal Midheaven is 28° 53 Scorpio. The Moon was exactly conjunct the south node at 29° Taurus. 

There were many more remarkable moments; do read Chris Brennan’s three-part series for the moment-by-moment account. (And, his report on the RNC.)

In looking back to the 2008 election, Obama’s solar arc Mars, ruler of his natal Midheaven, was 8°16’ Scorpio, exactly on natal Neptune (8°36’). In hindsight, this suggests the idealistic hope (I was right there) and subsequent mood of disappointment for some. He has no exact solar arcs at the time of this election. At least, that particular moment in time is behind him. 

A brief look at some other difficult aspects that have also passed:
Transiting Neptune was square the natal Midheaven from March  through December 2011. (His reputation suffers and/or his goals are confused?)

The transiting south node (3° Gemini) was conjunct Obama’s natal Moon during the summer of 2012. That has passed, and the transiting nodes have changed signs, with the north node conjunct his Midheaven at the time he accepted the nomination.

His progressed Sun moved into Libra in November 2010, just in time for that powerful ingress onto the world axis to be opposed by transiting Uranus throughout 2011. 

There is another stressful series of progressed and progressed-to-natal patterns that have passed exactitude. It’s a bit complicated to write, so let’s look at the current (secondary) progressed chart first:
Obama progressed to Sept 2012

In summary:

Progressed Mercury conjunct progressed Mars in July 27, 2008

Progressed Mercury square progressed Saturn on November 11, 2008 (the election was on November 4)

Progressed Mars, ruler of the Aries Ascendant, precisely square progressed Saturn, ruler of the Midheaven, in March 2009

Progressed Saturn square progressed Ascendant on November 16, 2010 

Progressed Mercury square progressed Jupiter on May 7, 2012

Progressed Mars opposite Ascendant on August 25, 2012 (a few days before the convention)

To add another layer, here’s the president’s natal chart:
Obama, natal

Saturn and Mars rule the angles in the natal chart (as well as the progressed angles). Saturn rules the natal Aquarius Ascendant and Mars rules the natal Scorpio Midheaven.

Transiting Saturn has been squaring natal Saturn since November 2011 and was precise for the last time at 25°19’ Libra on August 21, right before the convention.

During this same time, transiting Saturn was opposite the progressed Ascendant, conjunct progressed Mercury, and square the progressed Midheaven ruler (see chart above), i.e., Saturn at 23° Capricorn and conjunct Ascendant ruler Mars at 25° Libra; both rulers are also on the progressed angles. One further detail: slow-moving progressed Mars has also passed the exact square to natal Saturn in April 2012. Yikes! I’d say this is a life well-tempered by Saturn. 

The president’s natal Jupiter is retrograde at 0°51’ Aquarius (in the 1st house in whole signs). In January 2011 Jupiter went direct by progression. This is a hopeful note as well, perhaps a (slow) improvement over the conditions he has inherited. (3)

Very recently, the U.S. Sibly progressed Moon was conjunct progressed Mars (exact on September 1, 2012, right before the DNC).
US Sibly progressed 9.1.12

With that riled up Moon just behind us, maybe the U.S. populace will start to get along a bit better. (I must be channeling Bill Clinton: this conjunction is at 18° Libra; he has Libra Ascending with Mars, Neptune, Venus, and Jupiter in the 1st house. His natal Venus/Jupiter midpoint is 17° Libra and Chiron is at 18° — an echo of Chiron’s role as the wounded healer. He spoke memorably at the convention about bringing people together and the fact that he “never learned to hate” his opponents.

This leads me back to my overall impression of Obama’s speech. Saturn at 25°19’ Capricorn is his chart ruler (Aquarius rising) and transiting Saturn has been squaring natal Saturn since November 2011. As noted, the last exact square was on August 21, 2012. He gave a sober, serious speech, a realistic assessment of what’s ahead. He was critiqued in some places for not being inspiring or lofty enough; I thought it was a perfect display of a natal dignified Saturn. I hope he wins. 


(1) Huffington Post

(2) My friend Robert Blaschke was always trying to get me to pay attention to antisica. I never saw it so clearly as that night, an unforgettable moment. Thanks, Kate. 

(3) Thanks to Gary Caton for this comment to a blog I wrote in 2009: “Jupiter in fall explains the extraordinary circumstances which he has inherited through no fault of his own.”

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Thoughts on the Election

By Mary Plumb | September 3, 2012

There are many diverse and wonderfully informative blogs on the election. I’ll post a sample after a few thoughts of my own.

I am intrigued by eclipse charts (and their path of visibility), including the prenatal solar eclipse. Working with the prenatal solar eclipse (PNSE) was initially introduced by Edward Johndro and Charles Jayne in the 30s and expanded by Bill Meridian. (I reviewed his recent book, The Predictive Power of Eclipse Paths, for the Aug./Sep. TMA.)

Bill gave a workshop at UAC in May with his latest research, which includes his reading of heretofore unpublished early work of Johndro and Jayne. In the workshop (and the book) he describes finding the “birth eclipse,” which can be before or after the actual birth date. (To find the birth eclipse, you first consider all the eclipses for about a year around the birth (i.e., prenatal and postnatal, solar and lunar) to see which is the best fit, with connections to the natal chart being one important factor.

I’m starting to research this expanded view of the birth eclipse, but I have used the PNSE for a while. (1)

Barack Obama’s prenatal solar eclipse is 27° Aquarius, conjunct the U.S. Sibly Moon, which I feel shows his connection to the American populace (at least enough of us to get elected to the presidency once.)

Obama PNSE & Sibly
There was a solar eclipse on August 11, 1961, a week after Obama’s birth. This postnatal eclipse chart is also interesting: the lunation is 18° Leo, the degree of his natal Descendant. The Ascendant of the eclipse (set for the birthplace) is 1°12’ Gemini, quite closely conjunct to his natal Moon (3°21’ Gemini).

Obama natal & postnatal eclipse

I haven’t looked more deeply into this eclipse and his life story, but Bill Meridian has found that a person can have more than one eclipse that is significant in the life. (This presumably might be especially true for someone of Barack Obama’s fame and prominence.)

Although these eclipses around Obama’s birth show striking angular connections, this is not always the case, nor is it the only way to determine which eclipse around a birth date is especially significant. Bill gives examples, for instance, of a planet’s prominence in the eclipse chart signifying a defining theme in the individual’s life. Also, the eclipse path can show important connections in the life. (He gives an example of his own birth eclipse, which goes through Vienna, where his wife was born and he resides.)

Mitt Romney was born on March 12, 1947. Here are a few initial observations about the four eclipses surrounding his birth. (The eclipses are set for Detroit, his birthplace.)

The prenatal solar eclipse (PNSE) was on November 23, 1946 at 0°49’ Sagittarius, conjunct Romney’s natal Descendant.
Romney natal & PNSE

The Ascendant is 11°01’ Aquarius; Romney’s natal Venus is at 8°32’ Aquarius opposite Pluto 11 21’ Leo. (Who can argue that vast — and hidden? — wealth is a part of Romney’s story?) At first glance this chart does seem to be relevant: there was a solar eclipse on May 2012 at 0°20’ Gemini and on Election Day in November, transiting Neptune will be at 0°22’ Pisces, squaring this degree.

There was a prenatal lunar eclipse on December 8, 1946 at 16°03’ Gemini. The Ascendant (in Detroit) is 15°25 Pisces, conjunct Romney’s natal Mercury (13°55’), the ruler of his Gemini rising and the Sun (21°11’), both in the natal 10th house (whole signs).

On May 20, 1947, a few months after his birth, there was a solar eclipse at 28°42’ Taurus, opposite his natal Moon-Jupiter conjunction. (Johndro found that eclipses conjunct or opposite a natal planet make that planet powerful for the entire life.) This chart has 20° Cancer Ascending and 0° Aries on the Midheaven.

This eclipse will be exact by secondary progression in February 2016, suggesting that that will be vital in his biography. (This axiom, originally described by Johndro, is something I have found to be very consistently true.) (2)

Eclipses come in pairs: the lunar eclipse on June 3, 1947 was at 12°22’ Gemini, conjunct the Sibly Ascendant/Descendant. The Ascendant is 7°54 Libra, with Neptune sitting right there at 8°06’ Libra. (This eclipse will not perfect by secondary progression until spring of 2030, when Romney would be 84 years old.)

Now, on to some of our fine astrologer friends on the election.

Patrick Watson (with Chris Brennan) wrote a prediction in April. He uses Zodiacal Releasing. “Zodiacal Releasing from the Lot of Spirit is particularly useful for studying different periods in a person’s professional life, as it is capable of showing high points and low points during the course of a person’s career.”

Here is Chris Brennan’s day-by-day analysis of the Republican National Convention:

And his article on Mercury stationing retrograde on Election Day.

Susan Miller is short and to the point in Business Week.

Lynn Hayes has a nice summary of the famous UAC panel (and her own assessment).

Wolfstar, who uses the Scorpio rising chart for the U.S., explains details of his method for predicting at Neptune Cafe. He includes the inaugural day chart, the condition of the Midheaven and its ruler in the candidates’ charts, and their respective connections to the U.S. horoscope.

Larry Schwimmer writes on The Romney-Ryan Ticket at Huffington Post. (Next week he’ll discuss the Obama-Biden ticket.)


(1) If you’re interested in this technique, here’s a blog on Michelle Obama’s PNSE.

And another PNSE story currently in the news: I wrote about activist Rachel Corrie a few years ago.

With no known birth time, I looked at her PNSE chart (set for the birthplace). Her PNSE degree is 8° Pisces. On August 28, several days before the Full Moon at 8° Pisces, an Israeli civil court ruled that the military was not responsible for Rachel Corrie’s death.
New York times blog

(2) Following this reasoning, Barack Obama’s postnatal solar eclipse mentioned above (August 11, 1961) would mark his 6th year as pivotal in his biography.

Have a happy Labor Day and a good week, everyone.

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Lightning Bolt

By Mary Plumb | August 13, 2012

I don’t follow track and I watched very little of the Olympics, but the first time I tuned in, I saw Usain Bolt dancing on the track after he had won the 100 meter gold.

I’d never heard of him before, but he is a very famous (and wealthy) athlete. (1) His full name is Usain St. Leo Bolt, and he is nicknamed “Lightning Bolt.”

Here’s a sunrise chart for him, born on August 21, 1986 in Trelawny, Jamaica; the Sun is in Leo and the Moon was in Pisces all day. (2)

Usain Bolt, natal, sunrise

There is an abundance of planets in their signs of rulership: Sun in Leo, Jupiter in Pisces, Venus in Libra, and the generational marker Pluto in Scorpio. Mars is exalted in Capricorn.

On the 45° dial, Mars is very closely on the Uranus/Pluto midpoint — fitting for the “fastest man in the world.” (Another way of saying this is that the Uranus/Pluto midpoint is semi-square (45°) to Mars.)

Mars is also way out-of-bounds, at 28°S10’. (The nodes are in Aries/Libra and planets go to the most extreme out-of-bounds when the nodal axis is in those signs.)

Mars is also in a sesquiquadrate (135°) aspect to the Sun and ruler of the north node in Aries.

He is very tall (6 ft 5 in), which adds to his large, dominating presence.

The TV commentator during the race I saw said that Bolt “responds to pressure and the spotlight better than anyone in history.”

Some have noted his arrogance: “I’m now a legend, I’m also the greatest athlete to live.“ (3) But what can one do with a Leo Sun, Mars exalted, and a very strong Jupiter?

I remember a modern astrologer pointing to a potential problem with planets in exaltation: they think they’re better than everybody else, i.e., they are above the rest. And as for Capricorn, well, I have a beloved person in my life with Sun, Mercury, and Jupiter in that sign. She once confided to me: “You know, Capricorn really does secretly believe they are better than everyone else.” (I hope my humor is coming through here. Why is it hard to sound playful about Capricorn?)

“The 25-year-old is arguably as spectacular a showman as he is a sprinting legend…..Bolt is known for hamming it up in front of the cameras in the warm-up area prior to a race. While others try to get into the zone, Bolt is offering hand gestures, dances, and plenty of smiles.” (4)

On a personal level, Bolt is known as a lover of music. “Bolt expresses a love for dancing and his character is frequently described as laid-back and relaxed…… In 2010, he also revealed his fondness of music, when he played a reggae DJ set to a crowd in Paris.” (All of this sounds to me like natal Moon in Pisces with Jupiter.) (5)

With no time of birth, we can look at the prenatal solar eclipse set for the place of birth to see some underlying themes in the life, i.e., the collective story the individual was born into. For Bolt, that is the solar eclipse on April 9, 1986, set for Trelawny.

Bolt, PNSE

The Sun and Moon are at 19°06’ Aries, the degree of the Sun’s exaltation. (6) Mars, dispositor of the lunation, is conjunct Neptune in the 1st house, and Scorpio, also ruled by the exalted Mars, is on the Midheaven.

Here’s to Mars and his part in showing us the world’s fastest man.


(1) Bolt earned $20 million in 2011.

(2) Wikipedia

(3) The Independent

(4) CTV Olympics

(5) Wikipedia

(6) The Origin of Planetary Exaltations

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Uranus-Pluto: One More Time

By Mary Plumb | August 6, 2012

I’ve been thinking about people who have planets or angles at 8°- 9° degrees (or earlier) of the cardinal signs. I wanted to see what kinds of experiences some have had as we’ve made it through the first exact portal of the Uranus-Pluto square. (This was precise on June 24 with Uranus at 8°23’ Aries, and Pluto retrograde at 8°23’ Capricorn.)

World events are awesome for astrologers to witness. (1) The unfolding display of these majestic aspects will continue for years and there are many layers to their meaning. (2)

As I wrote in an earlier blog, Richard Tarnas made the association between the planet Uranus and the Titan, Prometheus, in his book, Prometheus the Awakener (1995). I wrote: “A personal revolution is at hand for each one of us as Prometheus steals fire from the gods now through the sign Aries, the sign of individuation and singularity. It will feel scary; we are at the limit of convention and security in some significant way inside ourselves.”

If Uranus holds a deep memory of our ability to steal fire from the gods and Pluto’s helmet of invisibility alludes to the mystery of his power, we know that unusual inner experiences are a theme of the time. Being startlingly present to the irrevocable, unrelenting pressure of transformation, we are entering a landscape that may feel intimidating, yet carry the experience of awe as well.

I sometimes experience Uranus as what is over the edge and just out of view. Pluto takes us into murky places: both dark and damp swamps of clogged waterways, and the hidden tunnels of wealth ready to be mined in our own interior lives. (I’ve heard about two brothers who recently became obsessed with gold panning in the Colorado mountains; this might be a very good activity for some.)

Pluto always takes us further in or further back, no matter how much ‘work’ we have done, how many awakenings or insights we have had. This combination of energies is upon us all — both beginning travelers, (those newly being drawn to the unseen worlds), and those who’ve been focused for years on discovering life’s deeper layers (perhaps accompanied by years of trauma or healing, or therapy or spiritual practice) — and is a deeper call to authenticity.

The conditions and placements of the planets in our individual charts are needed for specific advice, of course, but here are a few general suggestions for dealing with what the planets might bring. For some people, it might be useful to enhance natal Saturn — both for stability, and to encourage an appropriately contemplative state of mind if inner/outer conditions are rocky and feeling out of control. Depending on the individual constitution and situation, engaging natal Mars — with its ability to recognize when action needs to be taken — can be a good strategy. With my natal Moon in Cancer, my timeless method is creating a safe space for rest and retreat when the demands of the outer planets, that which we are sharing with the greater collective, become overwhelming or overbearing.

Here are a few personal stories.

I know someone with 9° of the cardinal signs on all of the angles; Libra is on the Ascendant. Transiting Uranus at the Descendant has brought a new theme into his longtime domestic partnership; both people are openly exploring the idea of including someone else in their intimate lives. (So far, all appears to be going well in this somewhat unconventional arrangement.) He is also in a hugely successful period in his work life with his business growing very quickly into international markets. As transiting Pluto is on the nadir, his youngest child is about to depart for college and he is surprised at how anxious he feels about this upcoming, inevitable event.

Someone I know, who is well into what has been a dramatic series of events in the midlife transits years (i.e., already past Pluto square Pluto and Neptune square Neptune), has natal Uranus at 8° Libra. With the first Uranus-Pluto square, he spoke of a newly discovered ability to “witness” himself, i.e., to observe. This is a great potential of Uranus – the detachment required to view our lives and conditions. With this first opposition to natal Uranus, he has spoken of having a wider view and a new understanding of “human nature.”

My friend has 2° Libra rising with 2° Cancer/Capricorn on the IC/MC axis, i.e., 2° of the cardinal signs on each angle. In the last few years everything in her life has changed: she moved to a different state, and has a different job that brought a completely different life style and social milieu. She has natal vertex at 8° Aries in the 7th house. With Uranus having precisely crossed the point of “fateful encounters,” her former partner has come back into her life. My friend, who has had Uranus and Pluto transiting her angles since 2009, has moved through their life-altering energies successfully. She is stable in her inner life; her former partner is struggling mightily with the current transits. It is an emotionally challenging situation, but so far, she has been able to bear witness or hold space for his acutely turbulent state of mind.

Another friend has natal Mars at 8° Libra (ruler of the Aries Midheaven) in the 4th house. She has Cancer rising and she told me that her “tendency to nest” has been uprooted. She said she’s rediscovered the “gypsy” part of her nature. She left an apartment she’s been in for years and is literally moving around a lot in paid caretaking situations. She’s been in all kinds of different environments — palatial and simple — and she said it’s been “creative and unconventional” (some of her friends think she’s gone off the deep end) and a “very liberating experience.” This friend is a long time Buddhist practitioner so the experience of liberation is especially meaningful to her.

For easy reference, here are the dates of the Uranus-Pluto squares:

June 24, 2012: Uranus at 8°23’ Aries and Pluto rx at 8°23’ Capricorn

September 19, 2012: Uranus rx at 6°57’ Aries and Pluto at 6°57’ Capricorn

May 20, 2013: Uranus at 11°14’ Aries and Pluto rx at 11°14’ Capricorn

November 1, 2013: Uranus rx at 9°25’ Aries and Pluto at 9°25’ Capricorn

April 21, 2014: Uranus at 13°34 Aries and Pluto rx at 13°34’ Capricorn

December 14, 2014: Uranus rx at 12°35’ Aries and Pluto at 12°35’ Capricorn

March 17, 2015: Uranus at 15°18’ Aries and Pluto at 15°18’ Capricorn – both planets are now direct for the first, and only, of their partile squares

I’m eager to hear what’s going on in your worlds!


(1) I’ve been using that word (awesome) a lot lately. Although I know it is an 80s (90s?) verbal idiom, I was heartened by this short video about The Biological Advantage of Being Awestruck.

(2) Here are some other recent TMA blogs on Uranus-Pluto:
Early Uranus Pluto Citings
Uranus-Pluto-Time Blogs
The Higher Vibration of the Uranus Pluto Square

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The Aurora Shooting: What’s in a Name?

By Alex Miller | July 23, 2012

By now the general outlines of last Friday’s tragedy in Aurora, Colorado are familiar to us all. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes, a graduate student working for his Ph.D in neuroscience, donned a black SWAT-team-like outfit and shot up the premiere midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises with a shotgun and an assault rifle, killing 12 and wounding 58 others.

The broad brush strokes of this horrific event are plain to see in the heavens — the long-awaited Uranus-Pluto square reached the first of its exact aspects in late June, setting the stage for violent, volatile acts of death, destruction, and mayhem. This square is the first major aspect between the pair since their conjunctions made the turbulent ‘60s what they were, and represents an overriding atmosphere that permeates our time. But in the days leading up to the shooting, Mars, planet of confrontation, conflict, attacks, guns, and violent death, entered the fray and, as a personal planet, it brought the more rarefied energies of Uranus and Pluto down to an all too human level.

But this is just the start of the story, not its ending. The specifics of the “Who, What, and Where” are indelibly carved into the celestial patterns of the moment as well, focused in very potent ways on the “When” of that grisly attack. A remarkable number of personal-named asteroids dovetail with the particulars of the story, and their sky positions uncannily record the specifics with all the accuracy of an AP reporter.

To begin with the “Where”: when James Holmes opened fire in that sold-out crowd, the asteroid Aurora (#94), namesake of the city, was just cresting the Midheaven, the most visible, elevated point of the chart, clearly defining the venue and marking it for notoriety and public attention. When the first 911 calls came in at 12:39 a.m. MDT, Aurora was at 17° Capricorn, just four degrees past the Midheaven at 21° Capricorn, indicating that within the past 15 minutes or so, as the rampage began, it had been exactly on the Midheaven.

So we have the town portion of the “Where.” The shooting itself occurred in the Century 16 movie theater, and while there is no asteroid “Century,” there is a Centenaria (#1240), meaning “one hundred years,” the same span as a century, and this point falls at 8° Pisces, conjoined both Neptune and Chiron, at 2° and 9° Pisces. Neptune rules movies, theaters, the mentally unhinged, and toxic gases, like the canisters of tear gas Holmes released before he started firing. Chiron rules loners, maverick actions, and woundings, and together these form a very accurate picture of the venue.

So we have the building as well. The timing itself was very important to Holmes, who picked the very first screening of the much-anticipated latest installment of the Batman series, The Dark Knight Rises, as his holocaust of choice. Holmes had dyed his hair flame red and calmly announced to police when apprehended, “I am the Joker,” arch villain of the previous Batman film. Asteroid Knight (#29391) appears at 13° Leo, in conjunction with the Moon and Mercury, at 10° and 11° Leo. The Moon rules the public and public spaces and Mercury rules news events. So now we have the town, the building, and the very movie itself, all in significant placement at the time in question.

What about the “Who?” Asteroid James (#2335) falls at 3° Virgo, from where it forms a tense grand cross, with squares to the nodal axis at 2° Sagittarius and Gemini and an opposition to Neptune at 2° Pisces. We have already seen the pervasive influence of Neptune on this story, with a protagonist (James) clearly enveloped in some fantasy world, unmoored from reality, and making his dramatic, theatrical entrance, all part and parcel of Neptune’s illusory realm. The contact to the North and South nodes suggests some sort of karmic situation, something that was fated to play out, for good or ill.

In perhaps the most potent placement, we see asteroid Holmes (#5477), which incredibly, at 9° Libra, is an exact match for Mars! As this planet of violent death and guns marched into the arms of the Uranus-Pluto square that week, it did so in company with an asteroid exactly matching the surname of the shooter! (As an aside, it should also be noted that in James Holmes’ birth chart — December 13, 1987 — asteroid Aurora appears right here also, at 8° Libra.) This type of cosmic synchronicity cannot be denied and is staggering in its implications for the issues of fate and free will.

So there we see the shooter, placed in full cosmic view. What about the other half of the “Who” — the victims? All of the 12 people killed have at least one asteroid connected to their names, and all fall in significant aspect in the chart for the tragedy. In the interests of brevity, I’ll single out just one name — Alex. Three of the dead shared this name, Alex Sullivan, Alex Teves, and Alexander “AJ” Boik, fully one fourth of the casualties that night.

What are the chances that in a random mass shooting of this nature, a quarter of the dead would have the same name? Actually, the chances are pretty good, considering that asteroid Alex (#3367) appears at 6° Capricorn, just one degree shy of Pluto, modern ruler of death, now at 7° Capricorn. There were also two Sullivans who died (unrelated to each other), equating to the asteroid of that name, and a Jessica and a Jesse, both represented by asteroid Jessie, as well as a John and a Jonathan, each denoted both by asteroids Johnny and Johannes. All of these, and the rest, fit snugly into the celestial patterns of the day like a hand in a glove.

There is no understanding a crime of this magnitude. There is no way to predict it in advance, even with the vast accumulation of cosmic evidence. Although the celestial placements record the reporter’s litany of “Who, What, Where, and When,” we will never truly know the answer to the most haunting of questions, the “Why.” All we can do is remember, mourn, and bow to the inscrutable workings of the cosmos as it manifests so clearly in the world around us.

Bio: Alex Miller is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book and The Urban Wicca, former editor of “The Galactic Calendar,” and past president of The Philadelphia Astrological Society. His pioneering work with Black Holes in astrological interpretation began in 1991, when his progressed Sun unwittingly fell into one. His work with deep space points and asteroids appears monthly at DayKeeper Journal. Alex can be reached for comment or services at

Mary Plumb’s note:
Thank you Alex for sending TMA this eerie and amazing blog.
For another view of the tragic event, here is Ed Tamplin’s blog. He includes the chart for the state of Colorado, a look back at Columbine, and how President Obama fits into the picture.

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Early Uranus-Pluto Citings

By Mary Plumb | July 9, 2012

I have been fascinated with a few words (new to me) that have entered the mainstream lexicon in this past week, as the Full Moon (on July 3) dispersed the massive energy of the first Uranus-Pluto square (June 24). The LIBOR scandal and the Higgs boson are the events that came into public view (i.e., not just physicists and financiers) with the Full Moon at 12° Capricorn/Cancer.

The Moon at 12° Capricorn had just crossed Pluto at 8° Capricorn and transiting Mars was at 0° Libra — the Aries Point of high public visibility. Mars will keep moving to oppose Uranus and square Pluto on July 17 and 18.

The LIBOR index sets the interest rates that banks charge each other, kind of like a credit score for the bank. (1) On July 3, the CEO of Barclays, Robert Diamond, resigned in disgrace after the exposure of a massive LIBOR rate rigging scandal. No surprise to anyone, but the dark side of Pluto in Capricorn obviously has a ways to go, as this is apparently the biggest, baddest, most corrupt banking scandal yet. Commentators are saying that all the big international banks are undoubtedly involved in the manipulation. (2)

Matt Taibbi wrote a blog on July 3, the day of Diamond’s resignation, asking Why is Nobody Freaking Out about the Libor Banking Scandal? (3) He writes:
“This story is so outrageous that it shocks even the most cynical Wall Street observers. I have a friend who works on Wall Street who for years has been trolling through the stream of financial corruption stories with bemusement, darkly enjoying the spectacle as though the whole post-crisis news arc has been like one long, beautifully-acted, intensely believable sequel to Goodfellas. But even he is just stunned to the point of near speechlessness by the LIBOR thing. ‘It’s like finding out that the whole world is on quicksand,’ he says.”

But, who knows: with Uranus pressing into Pluto’s tyrannical tendencies, maybe the evil-doing bankers will fall gracefully into (or get stuck in?) the Higgs boson (“the most sought after particle in modern physics”) and never be heard from again. (4) (My understanding of the science is rudimentary, but Higgs boson has something to do with dark matter and, like all astrologers, I do have an imagination.)

As a tribute to the Uranian force of the square, a particle “consistent with the Higgs boson” was announced on July 4 by physicists at the CERN lab in Geneva. This appears to be evidence for the subatomic particle popularly called “the God particle.” In a splendid interview on BBC, Professor Brian Cox said: “This day will go down as one of the great days in the history of science.” (5)

Higgs boson is at least as complicated as the LIBOR scandal, but far more fun to ponder. There are lots of great descriptions and graphics, including this demonstration with ping-pong balls

And this,The Higgs Boson Explained on Vimeo.

John Ellis, a theoretical physicist answers the question, What is the Higgs boson?

The Best Analogies Scientists and Journalists Use to Explain the Higgs Boson

British physicist Peter Higgs (with colleagues from Belgium and the U.S.) first proposed the theory, that likely now has been proven, in the 1960s. Higgs was born on May 29, 1929, with Uranus at 10° Aries. (6) Happy Uranus Return, Professor Higgs.

(1) LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) is “widely used as a reference rate for many financial instruments,” including futures contracts, variable rate mortgages, currencies (especially the U.S. dollar), and thus “provides the basis for some of the world’s most liquid and active interest rate markets.” Wikipedia

(2) Here’s a discussion with Matt Taibbi and Eliot Spitzer.

(3) Rolling Stone

(4) Wikipedia

(5) BBC

(6) Wikipedia

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Happy Birthday Aung San Suu Kyi

By Mary Plumb | June 18, 2012

Aung San Suu Kyi was born on June 19, 1945, in Rangoon, Burma (now called Myanmar). There is no known birth time, so I will be looking at her sunrise chart and the eclipses surrounding her birth to trace some of the highlights in her life.(1)

natal sunrise Suu Kyi

I have included astrological keynotes, but will not be interpreting the symbols in any detail. Said another way, this blog assumes a familiarity with astrological symbolism. I look forward to your comments.

As per Carl Jansky, I like to look at the prenatal solar eclipse set for the birthplace, especially useful when there is no known birth time. This can show themes and degree sensitivities that are carried throughout the life. The prenatal solar eclipse was on January 16, 1945.

lunar eclipse, set for Rangoon

This was a South Node eclipse with the Sun and Moon at 24° Capricorn in the 10th house, suggesting a politically prominent family, and a life replete with a sense of responsibility and duty. There is a tight square between Venus in Pisces and Uranus in Gemini, and an angular cardinal t-square between Mars in Capricorn, opposite Saturn in Cancer, both square to Neptune in Libra. (One visible Venus-Uranus theme in her life is separation from loved ones. Exalted Mars is opposite Saturn, which is disposed by the Moon; both are squared by Neptune — a pronounced commitment to fulfill obligations to family and country, fueled by personal sacrifice or a spiritual point of view.)

(The prenatal solar eclipse is also the waxing square of Mars to Neptune; the prenatal Mars-Neptune synodic conjunction was on September 2, 1944, at 3°05’ Libra, further strengthening the themes of altruistic action, spiritual warriorship, etc., of those degrees.)

The eclipse closest to birth is a lunar eclipse on June 26 at 3°39’ Capricorn/Cancer.

This lunar eclipse is marked by an exact square from Neptune, which suggests loss, sacrifice, and spirituality as strong themes in her life. The lunation on the Cancer/Capricorn axis points to her connection to both family lineage and her country.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s father, Aung San, was the architect of Burma’s independence from the British Empire in 1947. He was assassinated on July 19, 1947 when his only daughter was two years old. On that day, transiting Mars was at 13-14° Gemini, conjunct the child’s Uranus. She had two brothers. Aung San Lin, the brother closest to her in age, died soon after her father; he drowned when he was eight. I could not find a date for that event, but we can see the symbolism of loss in the family (through drowning) in the lunar eclipse chart.

On January 1, 1972 Suu Kyi married Michael Aris, a scholar of Tibetan and Himalayan studies, in England. They had a Buddhist wedding ceremony, “but it was always on the understanding that they would have to be apart if the Burmese people needed her.” (2) In one of many letters she wrote to Aris before they married, she said: “Sometimes I am beset by fears that circumstances and national considerations might tear us apart just when we are so happy in each other that separation would be a torment.” (3)

Suu Kyi and Aris photo

On the wedding day the transiting Sun (the husband in a woman’s chart) was at 10° Capricorn, conjunct her natal South Node (9° Capricorn). Transiting Mars at 4° Aries was opposite her natal Neptune at 4° Libra, and square the lunar eclipse (3°39’ Cancer/ Capricorn) after her birth.

Suu Kyi natal & wedding

There was a solar eclipse at 25°24’ Capricorn on January 16, several weeks after the marriage, repeating the prenatal eclipse. She was 27. The couple had two sons, born in 1973 and 1977. (In 1986, both sons took part in the traditional Buddhist ceremony of initiation into monkhood.)

The year 1988 was a pivotal one: Saturn and Uranus were conjunct in the sky all year in late Sagittarius and early Capricorn. Burma was in turmoil. The long-time military dictator resigned in July and popular demonstrations for freedom from military rule filled the streets.

Suu Kyi’s fateful nodal axis was again triggered: Mars and Neptune began a synodic cycle on March 8, 1988 with a conjunction at 9°52’ Capricorn, the degree of her natal South Node.

The total solar eclipse on March 18 (27°41’ Pisces) squared her natal Sun. On March 31, Suu Kyi’s mother, who was a prominent political figure in the Burmese government, had a severe stroke; the Sun had moved to 11° Aries, which is square Suu Kyi’s natal Saturn and her nodal axis. (See Suu Kyi’s natal chart above.) Years later, her husband said about that day, “I had a premonition that our lives would change for ever.” (4)

On August 3 Mars in Aries made a waxing square to Neptune in Capricorn. Several days later, there were mass uprisings throughout the country, followed by a violent suppression by the military that killed thousands of people.

On August 15, with transiting Mars at 11° Aries (again, square natal Saturn and the nodal axis), Suu Kyi took her first political action. She sent an open letter to the government “asking for formation of an independent consultative committee to prepare multi-party elections.” (5)

On August 26, the day before a lunar eclipse at 4°28 Pisces, Mars stationed retrograde at 11° Aries. On this day Aung San Suu Kyi gave her first public speech. She addressed several hundred thousand people and called for a democratic government. Her husband and sons were in attendance.

Following the lunar eclipse, there was a solar eclipse at 18°39’ Virgo on September 11.

On September 24 the National League for Democracy (NLD), with a policy of non-violence and civil disobedience, was formed. Suu Kyi was general-secretary and was now fully committed to carry on her family’s work on behalf of democracy in Burma.

bi-wheel natal & Sept 24, 1988

Transiting Mars retrograde was at 6° Arie, square transiting Neptune at 7° Capricorn. The Sun at 2° Libra was conjunct Suu Kyi’s natal Neptune at 3° Libra, also Neptune’s place at the bending of the lunar eclipse after birth — June 26, 1945 — and the degree of the prenatal Mars-Neptune synodic conjunction. (See lunar eclipse chart above.)

(Suu Kyi’s mother, who had suffered a stroke with the transiting Sun at 11° Aries, the degree of Mars’ station, died on December 27, 1988. The transiting Sun was with Saturn at 6° Capricorn, within a few degrees of Suu Kyi’s natal South Node.)

The following year, 1989, transiting Jupiter was conjunct her natal Sun on July 17. On July 20, 1989, she was placed under house arrest for the first time; transiting Saturn was at 9° Capricorn, directly conjunct her natal South Node. She was offered freedom if she left the country, but she refused. She remained in Burma, essentially under house arrest and separated from her husband and children, until November 2010.

Suu Kyi has received countless international awards and honors for her efforts to promote democracy peacefully, including the Nobel Peace Prize, which she received on October 14, 1991.

She was 46 years old; this was a half nodal return, precise several months later on December 21, 1991, the lunar eclipse at 29° Gemini conjunct the natal Sun.

bi-wheel natal & eclipse chart 1991

Suu Kyi saw her husband Michael Aris for the last time on Christmas 1995 when transiting Jupiter was opposite her natal Sun. The transiting Sun was at 3°- 4° Capricorn, again the fateful degree of the Moon at her birth lunar eclipse. Aris was diagnosed with cancer in 1997. “Despite appeals from prominent figures and organizations, including the United States, UN Secretary General Kofi Anan, and Pope John Paul II, the Burmese government would not grant Aris a visa, saying that they did not have the facilities to care for him, and instead urged Aung San Suu Kyi to leave the country to visit him. She was at that time temporarily free from house arrest, but was unwilling to depart, fearing that she would be refused re-entry if she left, as she did not trust the military junta’s assurance that she could return.” (6)

Michael Aris died of prostate cancer in London on his 53rd birthday, March 27, 1999, “without realising his wish to see his wife one last time.” (7)

On the day of her husband’s death, transiting Juno was conjunct transiting Pluto. Born five days after a Juno-Pluto conjunction at 8°33’ Leo, Suu Kyi has this aspect in the natal chart. The two traveled together again the year her husband died, conjunct (for the first of three times) on March 7, 1999 at 10°29’ Sagittarius.

Suu Kyi had a Venus return on her husband’s death day as well. Transiting Mars at 11° Scorpio was opposite Venus at 11° Taurus (her birth Venus), and both were square to natal Juno. Suu Kyi has a Venus-Mars conjunction at birth.

bi-wheel Suu Kyi natal & husband’s death

On November 13, 2010 Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest. The transiting nodes were at 3°39’ Cancer/Capricorn — the exact degrees, again, of the lunar eclipse after her birth. (The Sun was at 3°39’ Capricorn, and the Moon at 3°39’ Cancer.) This was a month before a lunar eclipse conjunct her natal Sun — December 21, 2010, at 29°22’ Gemini. This is a metonic (19-year) cycle, mirroring the eclipse in December 1991 that heralded her Nobel Peace Prize.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s natal Sun is at the degree of Betelgeuse, the brightest star in the constellation of Orion. It is known as a star of great success and honor.

Throughout 2011 transiting Pluto was on her natal south node. On April 1, 2012 Suu Kyi won the vote for a seat in Parliament; she took office as a member of the National League for Democracy on May 2, 2012.

The past lunar eclipse (June 4 at 14°08’ Sagittarius) was conjunct her natal Uranus at 14° Gemini (the degree of transiting Mars when her father was killed). Suu Kyi is often shown with flowers in her hair. She has said that this is in honor of her father, General Aung San, a hero of Burma, “whom she remembers threading flowers through her hair.” (8)

On June 16, a few days before her 67th birthday, Aung San Suu Kyi gave her acceptance speech in Oslo for the Nobel Peace Prize she had been awarded in 1991. As mentioned above, in 1991 she had a lunar eclipse conjunct the natal Sun. At this weekend’s ceremony Aung San Suu Kyi said: “The Nobel Peace Prize opened up a door in my heart.” (9)

Her birthday is June 19. Many Happy Solar Returns, Aung San Suu Kyi.


(1) All biographical material from http:Wikipedia
and Nobel

(2) BBC

(3) New York Times

(4) New York Times

(5) Nobel

(6) Wikipedia

(7) BBC

(8) New York Times

(9) New York Times

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Regulus Awards

By Mary Plumb | June 11, 2012

UAC was more fun and more inspiring than I had even imagined – my only discord was a minor one that I am half-heartedly attributing to retrograde Venus: I did not have enough time to talk to everybody! There are so many of you whom I merely glanced at in the elevator journey or hallways of the hotel. It seems obvious that we must do this again soon.

I wanted to be there especially with Carol Cilliers Blaschke. Robert P. Blaschke was posthumously nominated for The Marion D. March Regulus Award for Discovery, Innovation and Research. He was in very fine company, so Carol and I were stunned when Robert was announced as the winner at the awards dinner on May 28.

(I recovered myself enough to note the time at about 9:30 pm. If anyone has a video of the moment with a precise time, I’d love to know.)

There were some sweet omens in the horoscope for that moment. Transiting Venus retrograde was at 20°25’ Gemini conjunct his natal Midheaven at 20°45’. The Sun that night was at 8° Gemini, just past his natal part of fortune at 7°36’ in the 9th house of publishing and teaching.

bi-wheel: natal & transits

In his last year he talked often about his natal Mars, ruler of the 8th house of death, in Libra (detriment) in the 1st house. (I am using Porphyry, his preferred house system.)

Blaschke natal

He was very aware of his progressed Mars coming to the progressed Ascendant. He told me once, in a rueful (and hopeful) voice that if he survived long enough to see another Scorpio rebirth, it would prove the strength of the progressed Mars dignified in Scorpio as outweighing the detriment natal Mars in Libra. (Robert was a proponent of Alan Leo’s idea that “sensitive souls” might feel the progressed chart more deeply than the natal.)

Robert’s secondary progressed horoscope has Mars at 13°59’ Scorpio exactly conjunct the progressed Ascendant on May 28. As many of you know, Robert was keen on precise aspects – I know this is especially significant for him.

Blaschke progressed

Alas, he passed away peacefully on January 18, 2011.

The eclipses close to the event are also connected to Robert’s natal horoscope. Midpoint watchers may note that he has three natal midpoints directly on the degree of the June 4 Full Moon eclipse at 14°13’ Gemini/Sagittarius: Moon/Ascendant, Saturn/NN and Venus/NN, all at 14° – 15° Sag. The eclipse triggered his personal connection with the public, and being appreciated and recognized for his work.

The next eclipse is a total solar eclipse on November 13 at 21°56’ Scorpio; Robert’s natal Sun is 22°44’ Scorpio.

One more note as a marker of the occasion: Robert’s wife Carol has Libra rising and Aries at the Descendant of the natal horoscope. Her natal Mars is in Sagittarius, disposed by Jupiter at 0° Virgo. Regulus, the King maker, bestows honors and fame. It is one of the four Royal stars of the Persians and has recently ingressed into Virgo after approximately 2,200 years in Leo.

The Descendant rules the marriage partner. When her late husband received the Regulus award, this great star was on 0° Virgo, the tropical degree of the dispositor of her 7th house ruler. (1)

On the birthday before he died (November 15, 2010) Robert wrote about his 2009 and 2010 solar return charts for TMA.

Here is his solar return for 2011, the year he received the Regulus Award:

Blaschke, solar return 2011

Robert used degree symbols in his work – the Sabian symbol for 4° Taurus, the degree of the solar return Jupiter is: “The rainbow’s pot of gold.” His progressed Moon had just past this degree as well.

This is a nocturnal chart with the Moon in Cancer conjunct the Midheaven – a beautiful tribute to the public honor of receiving the award.

Travel well, friend. We remember you always. (And, Carol and I danced with as many of your many friends as we could that night!)


(1) Agent 12 Julija of Cosmic Intelligence Agency has an article about the ingress into Virgo here.

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