TMA This Week
By Mary Plumb | January 10, 2011
Saturday’s tragic event in Tucson occurred just days after the solar eclipse on January 4 at 13°39′ Capricorn. This eclipse is opposite the U.S. Sun at 13°19′ Cancer, which is square to natal Saturn at 14°48′ Libra. The solar eclipse chart also has the Sun square Saturn, as, of course, the U.S. is in the midst of a Saturn return.
The event chart has the at Sun at 18°04′ Capricorn square U.S. progressed Mars retrograde at 18°35′ Libra. The event Moon is 7° Pisces square the U.S. progressed Uranus and conjunct the progressed Sun at 6° Pisces. The event MC is 13°22′ Sagittarius conjunct the U.S. Ascendant.
Although lethal violence occurs everyday in this country and there are countless anonymous victims, when an event is so connected to the nation’s horoscope, it can suggest something of importance for the direction (i.e., the Sun) of the country as a whole.
I know we are all moved by the nine-year-old girl who died in the event, born on September 11, 2001. The prenatal eclipse for the child (as well as the eclipse that preceded the events of 911) was a lunar elipse at 13°34′ Capricorn on July 5, also on the U.S. Sun at 13°19′ Cancer. Nine years later, a solar eclipse occurred at this degree.
Another key feature of the January 4 solar eclipse was the appearance of the last exact conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus at 27° Pisces. The U.S. progressed 8th-house cusp is 27° Pisces. The 8th house can be seen as “public death” in a mundane chart; Uranus shows the shock and suddenness of the event and Jupiter magnifies its implications.
At the event in Tucson, transiting Mars was at 24° Capricorn, triggering the nation’s Mercury (24°12′ Cancer) Pluto (27°33′ Capricorn) opposition. The public debate is heated now about violence in our culture; easy access to weapons and inflamed and divisive political rhetoric are some of the obvious manifestations that fall under the rulership of this combination of planets ( i.e., Mercury opposite Pluto, joined by transiting Mars).
In respect for those who lost their lives, and the other victims who remain gravely injured, President Obama announced a moment of silence at 11 a.m. EST today. The Moon is at 0° Aries square the nodal axis.
In Washington, the North Node is conjunct the MC. The Moon, ruler of Monday, on the Aries Point square the nodes suggests a moment in time that will be keenly felt by the general public.
Mary Plumb is TMA’s Book and Web Editor. She is available for tutoring and personal astrology sessions. Please go to maryplumb.com for more information, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for stopping by.
Like what you see? Subscribe to The Mountain Astrologer
By Dale OBrien | January 3, 2011
Here’s a belated offering toward understanding the recent, very rare, total lunar eclipse, occurring just hours before the winter solstice and widely visible across North America. Although astrologers tend to focus on upcoming astrological events, particularly at the beginning of the calendar year, the close proximity of the lunar eclipse to the winter solstice suggests a great and long-lasting significance to this celestial event. This piece deals with an analysis of the zodiacal degree imagery for that eclipse.
A Matter of Degree
In 1925 Elsie Wheeler, in collaboration with astrologer Marc Edmund Jones, psychically derived images for each of the degrees of the zodiac. From that time until the present, astrologers have studied the images and commented upon them extensively, including the wonderful work of Australia’s Lynda Hill. The description of the degree image that follows comes from Jones’s own notation of what Elsie Wheeler clairvoyantly “saw” as quoted in Lynda Hill’s book, The Sabian Symbols As An Oracle. (1) These images provide amazing insight into personal charts, but also into any astrological chart, including the recent momentous lunar eclipse.
Ideally, to understand a lunar eclipse via degree image analysis, we would look not only at the degree of the eclipsed Moon, but the opposite degree where the Sun was illuminating this Moon. Since space does not allow that here, we will only look at the most important “Sabian” degree, that of the eclipsed Moon. The 30º Gemini image is “a parade of bathing beauties before large beach crowds.” What might this odd image tell us about 2010 and the astrological year that began just hours later at the winter solstice?
Let’s look at this particular lunar eclipse image within the social context, time, and place from which the symbols “emerged.” Elsie Wheeler received the Sabian symbol images in America, where she lived, in 1925; the cultural milieu of the United States in the early 1920s is a kind of backdrop to the symbols. The “bathing beauties” of the early to mid 1920s were the contestants in the recently created Miss America contest, based in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in September 1920. (2)
At the time, this contest was a highly controversial national issue and a major media event. Prudish, outraged women’s groups and equally outraged conservative, male religious and political leaders, opposed the event, adamant that such public exposure and media attention was a bad thing. On the other side of the issue were various newspapers, promoters, a large portion of the general public, numerous young female contestants and finalists, and a controversial female swimsuit designer. The women in favor of the contest saw it as a unique opportunity for fame and fortune in a male-dominated economy. Since the contest had both a “professional” and “amateur” division, there was significant opportunity for recognition for the typically little known “ordinary” female folk.
Over fifty major U.S. newspapers, attempting to increase circulation, promoted local contests to choose representatives for the national contest. Miss America contestants were judged, of course, on beauty, but also on intelligence, talent, personality, healthiness, and fitness. The judges included artists, such as Norman Rockwell. These judges had a fifty percent say in picking the winner; in-person public opinion delivered the other fifty percent of the decision. In 1923 alone, over 300,000 people ventured to see the contestants and presumably have their voices heard. In 1923 the results were aired on national radio, which was the preeminent media of the time. Some successful contestants moved on to fame and fortune, and various artists shared the images of contest participants in photography, film, and sculpture. Controversy over the contest continued throughout the 1920s, with adversaries even shutting down the event in 1928. However, with time, the annual contest became a widely accepted American institution, just as early contest judge Norman Rockwell became an American icon.
The main controversy regarding the contest involved the public exposure of that which had previously been hidden versus those who wanted “cover-ups,” or wanted the whole thing to simply stop happening and be forgotten. However, ultimately the ongoing “revelations” did not stop what would soon become an accepted part of modern American culture.
Applying This Degree Analysis to the Lunar Eclipse of December 2010
The fine art of astrology involves, in part, the synthesis of a particular planet’s nature in the unique context of celestial place, i.e., its zodiacal sign and degree. Therefore, for example, brightly beautiful Venus on 30º degree of Gemini has quite a different expression than the eclipsed Moon on the same degree. Astrology, as an art, tells us that that which is visually obvious is also symbolically obvious. The lunar eclipse shows bright Moonlight turning dark, even blood red, before returning again to brightness. In this case, all of this occurs just hours before the winter solstice — an extremely rare occurrence.
Each lunar month, the Moon’s light emerges from the darkness of the previous New Moon and grows in light toward the maximum of the Full Moon. At a lunar eclipse, however, that full light will darken, dim, and become “off color.” Knowing this, as astrological detectives, we look to see what captured collective attention from the time of the New Moon (December 5) to the Full Moon lunar eclipse (December 21) for correlation of an issue involving exposure of multiple dark lit facts about people, with an atmosphere of controversy and significant media attention. Since the eclipse was (weather permitting) visible over the first 48 states, we are emphasizing stories involving the United States.
Obviously, for December 2010 (and beyond!), we are looking at the WikiLeaks story, including WikiLeaks principle Julian Assange being involved in a sexual scandal the included the issue of the purportedly forced removal of a woman’s clothing — an issue of exposure. Even more importantly, approximately the first 10% of the WikiLeaks information discloses the murder of innocents, widespread, enormous corruption, and other dark revelations.
Synthesizing the astrology here, the expected sequence is as follows: At first, some of these WikiLeaks revelations are “brought to light” like the fully illuminated Moon before the lunar eclipse, then the revelations are “cast in a dark light” analogous to the Earth’s shadow creating the eclipse. The nature of a lunar eclipse, especially on this particular degree, implies that WikiLeaks and/or similar revelations are likely to emerge in a bright light.
This particular Sabian symbol does not tell us one way or the other about what will happen to the man Julian Assange. However, the lunar eclipse here strongly implies that WikiLeaks (or similar) revelations are not going to go away, and after early strife, their truth is likely to be seen in “a good light” by the general public. Various contemporary artists may very well aid their vindication. For instance, documentary maker/celebrity Michael Moore has already helped with Assange’s bail.
A Tough Act to Follow: Winter Solstice 2010 Upstaged
Every year between 1639 and 2009, no celestial event in December upstaged the significance of the winter solstice. It’s quite a different story in 2010, since the just-eclipsed Moon’s dramatic “show” grabbed our attention from the annual new beginning of the winter solstice. There has been nothing like December 2010 since December 1638, when there was a total lunar eclipse on the same degree, just before winter solstice. (The comparison of then and now is a story in itself. Look for another TMA blog about this soon.)
If there is anything to this Sabian symbol analysis, unprecedented transparent truth will ultimately prevail. Peace in our lifetime? Perhaps. If so, this Sabian’s story implies not now, and probably not right away. But if the U.S. government and other world leaders ever do become peace-oriented, this Sabian symbol implies that we’ll likely have WikiLeaks to thank, as controversial as it may be to write this so soon after this eclipse.
(1) The Sabian Symbols As An Oracle, Lynda Hill, first edition 1995, A White Horse Book, Avalon, Australia, sabiansymbols.com
Dale O’Brien has been a full-time astrologer since 1991 and a member of ISAR (C.A.P.), AFAN, and NCGR, a Jim Lewis-trained Certified Astro*Carto*Graphy Interpreter. His writings have appeared in The Mountain Astrologer, From Here to There (An Astrologer’s Guide to Astromapping), and elsewhere. Dale has taught astrology at all levels and has presented, conventionally and experientially, for UAC, ISAR, NCGR, and elsewhere, as well as on radio. He is also trained as a Dream Tender. Dale lives in Eugene, Oregon.
Like what you see? Subscribe to The Mountain Astrologer
By Gary P. Caton | December 13, 2010
We now enter the final chapters of the cardinal crisis. Four of the five outer planets have transited the solstice and equinoctial points this past summer. It is now time for the lunar nodes to cross these same points. We now begin a period where the World Axis will be forced open, ejecting its inner contents and forcing all the world to become aware of the loss. This is because an eclipse is essentially a rip in the fabric of time. At the December 21st South Node lunar eclipse, the Moon is at 29º21’ Gemini, conjunct the World Axis (0º Cancer), suggesting both a personal and collective loss.
To appreciate the power of an eclipse, it is useful to understand that time on earth is fractal. It is measured by the constant repetition of the primal alternations of darkness and light. This rhythm of dark/light is ingrained into our bodies and psyches.
When there is a disruption of this pattern, via an eclipse, the natural flow of the dark/light fractal is stopped in its tracks. There is darkness where there should be light. It is as if the laws of our universe are temporarily inverted. The world is stood on its head, specifically in terms of the archetype within which the eclipse is operating.
Astronomically, an eclipse occurs when there is a lunation near the lunar nodes — the place where the Moon crosses the path of the Sun i.e., the ecliptic. Astrologically, the lunar nodes have been called the head and tail of the dragon, for in myth it was seen as a demonic serpent swallowing the heavenly orb. The North Node represents the head of the dragon, and therefore something being taken in or ingested, as opposed to something being released or excreted at the South Node or tail of the dragon.
In a TMA blog about the South Node solar eclipse earlier this year, this astrologer wrote that South Node eclipses have often brought an end to things and have marked the final stages of major hostilities. It is the nature of a South Node eclipse to thus facilitate the end of something. Generally, the Moon is said to govern domestic matters, the people and emotions, so a lunar eclipse tends to have a more personal effect than the solar eclipse, which has a distinctive socio-political effect. Also, since the lunar eclipse is by nature an opposition, it has the tendency to work itself out via the relationships with other people in our lives. However, with the nodes now transiting the World Axis, it is possible that this eclipse could have equally powerful personal and socio-political effects.
This total lunar eclipse is intense, to say the least. It could be said to rival the cardinal cross lunar eclipse on June 26 (at 4º46’ Capricorn) in intensity. Even though Saturn is no longer involved with the autumnal equinox point, Juno is taking his place. This brings the relationship theme into sharper focus. Jupiter and Uranus are now direct, and applying to their last crossing of the vernal point (0º Aries), so this represents the potential for dramatic new beginnings to come if we are able to clear the space for them now.
Total lunar eclipse: Dec. 21, 2010; 3:13 am EST; for Washington, DC
Tropical zodiac, Whole Sign Houses
So how can we effectively clear space for the future amidst the potential for emotional chaos that this lunar eclipse represents? In this astrologer’s view, it would be by focusing on the personal planets and how they are involved in the chart. The personal planets represent the basic tools we have as individuals to cope with the emotional and psychological ramifications of this emotional purging.
The first thing we should notice is that the ruler of the eclipse is Mercury, which is retrograde. Therefore, the best tool we have is our ability to check our communications with each other for accuracy. This may seem so obvious as to be silly, but as a trained counselor I have learned that there are some basic communication skills which I remind my clients of all the time and which go a very long way to making stressful situations more manageable. The main skill we need to remember is to check our perceptions. By saying something like, “So, what I hear you saying is _____” , we are practicing a counseling skill called reflective listening. This reflecting back of what we heard the other person say is vitally important in clarifying any misperceptions before going out and acting on them.
The next personal planet that stands out is Venus, who is angular when the lunar eclipse horoscope is cast for Washington, D.C. Venus in Scorpio is making the same Arrowhead or Thor’s Hammer alignment that she made — from Leo — in the lunar eclipse earlier this year (on June 26). She is making the tri-octile or sesqui-square aspect to both ends of the square between Jupiter-Uranus and the Moon. There are basically two ways to see this energy flow. Some astrologers view this configuration like the t-square, with the energy originating in the tension of the square planets (in this case, Jupiter-Uranus and the Moon) and finding an outlet through the apex planet (in this case, Venus). This means we must use the apex planet, Venus, to find creative solutions to the square, or the tension of the square could erupt suddenly and perhaps destructively. This perspective reflects the use of this configuration as a tool like an Arrowhead.
The Moon-Uranus square holds the signature of emotional trauma resulting from having to deal with sudden changes. The Moon-South Node conjunction is about processing and getting over a loss of some kind (both personal and collective), so that we may get on with truly living. The Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, applying to the Aries point, challenges each of us to be like “Lucky Lindy” (who crossed the Atlantic solo under the last such alignment) and seek to pilot our lives across some previously uncharted terrain in order to open a new realm of experience for both ourselves and the coming generations. Venus as the apex, or focal, planet of this square says that as we do these things, we can serve as a model for others. By sharing our personal stories, struggles, and adventures, we can assist others in slicing like an arrowhead through their own emotional morass.
Others see the energy flow of this configuration as originating with the apex planet (Venus, in this case). This image is more like a Hammer. Venus, then, must find a way to wield the power and dynamic energy of the square planets. We need to find a way to use this constructively and creatively, or the energy can become destructive. A hammer can either be used to crush an object or to drive home a connecting agent, such as a nail or dowel. Perhaps Venus as the hand on this hammer can represent emotional leadership and the power of personality being harnessed by some to serve as a mentor for others. The Mentor is an archetypal figure who shows up early in the Monomyth and gives the hero/ine the tools, knowledge, and confidence required to overcome his or her fear and face the unknown, to accept the adventure. (1)
After appearing in the pre-dawn eastern sky a little more than a month ago, Venus has now reached her maximum brightness in the sky. In the corresponding Sumerian myth of Inanna, this is where she takes up her crown and goes to see the God of wisdom, Enki. Like a mentor, Enki gives her sacred powers for her journey as Queen. Later in the myth, Inanna turns “from the great above to the great below.” (2) This is the beginning of Inanna’s famous descent to the Underworld where she passed through seven gates and was stripped of her royal regalia (which symbolize her ego attachments). These seven gates symbolize the seven waning crescent Moons encountered by Venus between her maximum brightness and her eventual disappearance from visibility near her superior conjunction with the Sun. (3) In this cycle, Venus makes the first of these lunar conjunctions on December 30.
Over the next seven months, therefore, we have a tremendous opportunity to harness the enormous power of this South Node lunar eclipse for personal growth. As Venus becomes dimmer and lower in the sky at each successive lunar conjunction, we can also shed layers of our old emotional/feminine identity. By next June the North Node lunar eclipse will be bringing new energy for us to incorporate and digest. If, like Inanna, we have made the descent and been stripped of superficialities, then we will have plenty of emotional space for this new energy to dwell while we seek to find ways to integrate it. As the Tao te Ching advises, “Bend and you will be whole. Keep empty and you will be filled.”
References & Recommended Reading:
(1) J. Campbell, (1988), The Hero With A Thousand Faces, London, Fontana Press.
(2) From personal conversation with Shamanic astrologer Daniel Giamario, who shared with me the following reference:
Clyde Hostetter, (1991), Star Trek To Hawa-ii, San Luis Obispo, CA, Diamond Press.
(3) D. Wolkstein and S. Kramer, (1983), Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth; Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer, New York, Harper and Row.
S.B. Perera, (1981), Descent to the Goddess, Toronto, Inner City Books.
Gary P. Caton is an eclectic Astrologer who embraces an organic, process-oriented approach of spiritual exploration via the Living Sky. Gary has studied Spirituality for over 22 years. After exploring Shamanism and the Tarot, in 1993 his life was changed by a magnificent Dream, where he was shown planetary alignments and became an Astrologer. Gary holds a degree in Counseling and has developed a unique multidisciplinary path to Astrology over 17 years. Visit Gary at his website: DreamAstrologer
Like what you see? Subscribe to The Mountain Astrologer
By Mary Plumb | December 7, 2010
True to the spirit of the time (and the Uranus station), several days ago TMA received an (unsolicited) exact birth time for Julian Assange.
Our source has requested anonymity, which we are respecting. Both Tem and I felt that the circumstances through which we got the information, and some other details, suggest that this is an authentic time. The source personally viewed, but was not able to make a copy of, Mr. Assange’s birth certificate.
Update: our source clarified what s/he saw: “The birth record (is) from the registry which has appended to it a copy of the birth certificate but the hour was not on the certificate but on the record in the registry files.”
Because of ink that was a bit smeared, there is a question of whether the time of birth was 2:05 pm, 2:06 pm. or 2:08 pm on July 3, 1971, in Townsville, Queensland, Australia (19S09 146E48).
I’ll just make a few quick comments, and open it up for you all to chime in with your fine ideas. What a story!
Birth data for Julian Assange: July 3, 1971; 2:05 pm; Townsville, Queensland
First of all, take a look at the chart for the solar arc directions that Tem noticed right away.
Uranus is a big player in Mr. Assange’s birth chart (it squares the Sun) and has come precisely to the Ascendant.
Mr. Assange’s MC/IC axis 6º12’ Leo/Aquarius; the U.S. nodal axis is 6º36’ Leo/Aquarius.
Julian Assange has 17º08’ Scorpio rising. His co-rulers are Mars and Pluto. In the past few days, transiting Mars has been opposing natal Venus (ruler of 7th of open enemies) and squaring natal Pluto. His progressed Ascendant is 24º16’ Sag; Mars crossed that degree on November 29.
His prenatal solar eclipse is 6º09’ Pisces; the Sibly progressed Moon is now 6º08’ Pisces (which of course, we can see without a birth time).
The A*C*G map for 2:05 p.m. shows Pluto – IC through Sweden (but if done “in mundo” it shifts away from Sweden) and Sun line goes through London and Paris. Venus – IC runs through Washington, D.C.
There’s lots more to say, and we look forward to your comments.
Like what you see? Subscribe to The Mountain Astrologer
By Robert P. Blaschke | December 6, 2010
A 20-Day “Shortie” with 16º of Orbital Motion Between Stations
This Friday, December 10th, we will enter the fourth Mercury retrograde period of 2010. As your correspondent wrote in his TMA This Week article of April 26th, not all retrogressions of Mercury are created equal. (1) In the 3-part Sun-Mercury synodic cycle, wherein the duration and orbital speed of the Mercury retrograde period is variable, the least problematic of these is when Mercury has its fewest number of days (20) in retrogression, and the greatest amount of orbital travel (16º) between stations. I call these “Shorties” – the faster retrograde Mercury is what renders it harmless.
In the above tri-wheel chart, the retrograde station of Mercury is shown in the inner wheel, the inferior conjunction of the Sun and retrograde Mercury is shown in the middle wheel, and the direct station of Mercury is in the outer wheel. The astrologer sees that Mercury will be in retrogression for 20 days, and will have orbited 16º between its stations. An ephemeris excerpt shows that during the 24-hour period from December 20th to 21st, at its inferior conjunction, Mercury’s orbital speed will reach 1º23′ per day — the maximum possible swiftness for Mercury while in retrograde motion. As a result, we should have a relatively problem-free Mercury retrograde during the holidays, and shoppers need not be worried about purchasing electronic gifts for those on their Christmas lists. (2)
This Mercury retrogression period also ushers in a new 1.5-year cycle of the inferior conjunctions of the Sun and retrograde Mercury, now falling in the fire signs of Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. There is an overall 6-year cycle in which these inferior conjunctions rotate through the four elements, with a minimum of four, and a maximum of six, consecutive retrograde Mercury periods occurring in the four different Triplicities. (3) As with all things Mercurial, in contrast to the zodiac sequence of signs occurring in Fire, Earth, Air, and Water, in this 6-year retrograde Mercury cycle the order is reversed, with the series recurring backwards from Water to Air to Earth and then to Fire. The following table illustrates this cycle of inferior conjunctions through the four elements. (4)
As you can see, it has been a little over five years since the last Sun-Mercury inferior conjunction occurred in the Fire element. We are just now concluding the 1.5-year period in which this cycle has rotated through the Earth signs, bringing with it a political focus on the national debt and the financial industry (Taurus), health insurance reform (Virgo), and a partisan debate over the role of government in society (Capricorn). Now, as this cycle enters the Fire element, identity politics will predominate (i.e., gays in the armed forces, immigration reform); along with military matters and athletes (Aries), sporting events and the welfare of children (Leo), and foreign affairs (Sagittarius).
With a Sagittarius inferior conjunction starting off this 1.5-year retrograde Mercury cycle through the Fire signs, foreign policy is much in the news. The United States has recently been embarrassed by the release of secret diplomatic cables to and from the State Department in Washington by the WikiLeaks web site. It is no small coincidence that the retrograde station of Pluto last April, at the time when a classified military video was released by this organization, and the upcoming retrograde station of Mercury, are both occurring in 5º Capricorn and in exact opposition to the U.S. Jupiter.
From an Interpol arrest warrant for sex crimes in Sweden, your correspondent has obtained a date of birth for Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. (5) Casting a noon horoscope for this man, the astrologer finds that his natal Mars in 21º Aquarius is exactly conjunct the U.S. progressed Mercury, ruling planet of documents. (6) Secret matters are ruled by Neptune, and one observes that the United States has just passed through a progressed Moon-Neptune conjunction, and that the natal Pluto of Mr. Assange is in synastric conjunction with the current degree of our progressed Moon. (7) It is also significant that the U.S. Sibly progressed Ascendant is in the anaretic 30th degree of Leo; the final degree of a sign contains all of its hidden side as an era reaches completion. (8)
As your correspondent wrote in his TMA This Week article of May 17th, the U.S. is just now entering a two-year period of unpredictability, upheaval, and rebellion brought on by the progressed Sun-Uranus square forming in the Sibly horoscope. (9) Individuals with extreme anti-government and anarchist points of view, along with possessing advanced computer skills, like Mr. Assange who has a natal Sun-Uranus square, are in a prime position to become a thorn in the side of the American government and large U.S. corporations between now and the fall of 2012.
To understand the present, it is sagacious to look backwards in time. All of life is cyclical, and recurrence patterns within the synodic cycles of the Sun and the five classical planets can be used to intelligently perceive prevailing trends and when their genesis had its origins in human history.
Sun-Mercury inferior conjunctions have a recurrence pattern, falling in the same degree area of the zodiac as part of a cycle that has durations of 13, 33, or 46 years between conjunctions. After 79 years, these inferior conjunctions can recur in the exact same degree of the zodiac. The last time that the Sun and retrograde Mercury were conjoined in 28º Sagittarius was on December 21, 1931. On that very day, the new issue of TIME featured Adolph Hitler on its cover, and the magazine contained numerous articles examining the rise of Nazism in Europe. (10)
Within this recurrence cycle’s historical connection may lie the crux of the unpredictable instability facing the United States over the next two years as it passes through its progressed Sun-Uranus square — a Cyber Nazism on the march led by determined technological anarchists from abroad who penetrate inadequate on-line firewalls, and then reveal secret government and corporate documents.
© 2010 Robert P. Blaschke
Mr. Blaschke is author of the Astrology: A Language of Life series in five books: Progressions; Sabian Aspect Orbs; A Handbook for the Self-Employed Astrologer; Relationship Analysis; and Holographic Transits. His books and class, lecture, and workshop CDs can be found at Earthwalk Astrology
(1) TMA blog
(2) The most problematic of the three retrograde Mercury types are the “Longies” (a 24-day slow retrogression with only 9º between stations). The third category of retrograde Mercury are the “Middies” (a 22-day retrogression with ±13º between stations). These can go either way.
(3) Erin Sullivan, in her book, Retrograde Planets, wrote about this pattern in the Mercury cycle wherein four to six consecutive periods of retrograde Mercury fall in the same element. Her research had shown that this cycle of Mercury lasts a little over six years.
(4) This cycle is measured not by the signs in which Mercury stations retrograde, but rather by the sign in which its inferior conjunctions fall.
(6) Mr. Assange’s natal Mercury is also closely conjunct the U.S. Sibly Mercury; his Aquarius North Node is in the power degree of 15º fixed.
(7) His natal Pluto in exact synastric trine to the U.S. Pluto explains the ease with which WikiLeaks has acquired these secret documents.
(8) The U.S. progressed Ascendant ingress into Virgo in October 2011 ends its 38-year passage through the sign of Leo since February 1973.
(9) TMA blog
(10) The Continental Congress created the Department of Foreign Affairs on January 10, 1781. Remarkably, Mercury was in 28º Sagittarius!
Like what you see? Subscribe to The Mountain Astrologer
By Mary Plumb | November 29, 2010
The U.S. Sibly horoscope has natal Saturn at 14º48’ Libra in the 10th house. Transiting Saturn is now at 14º24’ Libra; the U.S. is just days away (i.e., December 3) from the first exact passage of its Saturn return (exact again in March and August 2011).
On Sunday, WikiLeaks again offered classified documents for public viewing, this time with many details embarrassing to U.S. diplomats. (Saturn, exalted by sign in the 10th, suggests highly visible, well-regarded professionals, and Libra rules diplomats.)
According to the Guardian: “The United States was catapulted into a worldwide diplomatic crisis today, with the leaking to the Guardian and other international media of more than 250,000 classified cables from its embassies, many sent as recently as February this year.” (1)
Transiting Mars is also now opposite the U.S. natal Mars (21º23’ Gemini), which squares natal Neptune (22º25’ Virgo) as the documents have been given to the news outlets.
The New York Times headline this morning, “Leaked Cables Uncloak U.S. Diplomacy” seems to include keywords for these planets.
Neptune, which rules the media and, along with idealism and naiveté, can also suggest obscuration and distortion, is in the 9th house of foreign relations and publishing. The natal Mars square Neptune has been triggered when other compromising (or scandalous) details came into public view. (In the spring of 2004 when transiting Pluto was at 22º Sagittarius – conjunct Neptune and square Mars – the infamous and damaging photos of torture by U.S. military personnel at Abu Ghraib prison began to be widely published. There are still human rights investigations going on as a result of those published photos, as well as incalculable damage to the U.S. reputation in the Arab world.)
Trouble-making Mars also showed up for President Obama who got elbowed in a basketball game and needed 12 stitches on his lip on November 26, the day before transiting Mars was exactly square his natal Mars at 22º36’ Virgo.
Of course, any aspect that impacts the Sibly Mars-Neptune square also will impact the President’s natal Mars, as they are square to one another, i.e., 21º Virgo/21º Gemini. (2)
The combination of transiting Neptune conjunct the U.S. Moon, which has been in effect all of 2010, and the Saturn return has combined to leave a sense of confusion and malaise in the air. The Sibly chart has Libra on the Midheaven, ruled by Venus at 3º06’ Cancer. The transiting South Node at 3º Cancer adds another temporary sense of woe, or diminishment of, the reputation of the U.S. Perhaps this also can be interpreted to mean that an overall feeling of happiness and well being in the country at large is connected to a careful observation of our assumptions about what really has value in our personal lives. (3)
In mid-January 2011, transiting Neptune makes its last exact pass to the President’s South Node and the U.S. Moon. Maybe then we’ll be feeling more confident in facing the demands of the time, sure to be obvious as Saturn continues to hold the U.S. to a high degree of accountability on the world stage.
(2) It is not unusual for U.S. President’s to be strongly connected to the Sibly Mars-Neptune square. Some examples:
FDR’s Ascendant is 23º16’ Virgo (with Uranus nearby at 17º55’).
Jimmy Carter’s Mercury is 21º11’ Virgo.
Ronald Reagan’s Midheaven is 22º28’ Virgo.
George Bush, Sr.’s Sun is 21º22’ Gemini, square Uranus at 21º26’ Pisces.
George W. Bush’s North Node is 20º35’ Gemini, conjunct Uranus at 19º09’.
Bill Clinton’s Uranus at 21º09’ Gemini conjunct the North Node at 18º16’.
(3) Even CNN seems to be getting the picture – on the news this morning there was a segment, “Smart is the New Rich.”
Like what you see? Subscribe to The Mountain Astrologer
By Robert P. Blaschke | November 15, 2010
They say it’s your birthday
It’s my birthday too, yeah
They say it’s your birthday
We’re gonna have a good time
I’m glad it’s your birthday
Happy birthday to you
The Beatles; The White Album; November 1968; (Lennon/McCartney)
Turning 57 today and reaching his third Metonic Solar Return, your correspondent is happy to be alive. Having been given a terminal prognosis in December 2009, with the oncologist stating that there were only ten months left to live, this retired astrologer has spent the past year spiritually preparing for death, while practicing gratitude for each day that he is still alive and able to appreciate life.
At the ages of 19, 38, 57 and 76, one finds that he has completed a Metonic Cycle (1) and that his Solar Return will have both Luminaries in the same Zodiacal degree area as at birth. This cycle is significant in that it indicates a conclusion of a 19-year chapter of life, with a new opportunity to realign the soul with the original spiritual purpose of one’s life. At 57, what one has accomplished since the age of 38 will now feel like a distant past receding into one’s memory, as the soul takes on a new mission in life.
For this astrologer, having founded Earthwalk School of Astrology in February 1992 at the age of 38, his retirement from private practice and teaching due to his health problems feels like a major life cycle has concluded. The path to peace of mind can now be found through the willingness to accept a simple fact of life – all things must pass.
Similar to the 18.6-year precessional cycle of the Nodal axis through the Zodiac, in which the third Lunar Node return occurs just prior to the 56th birthday, astrologers know that the years between the second progressed Moon return at age 54 1/2 and the second Saturn return at age 59 are highly significant. Ideally, at that time, a transition in life takes place away from one’s career goals and the soul now moves toward the development of a philosophical understanding of the meaning of one’s life.
In his Solar Return today, your correspondent is delighted to find a 9th house accidentally dignified Jupiter (also in dignity in Pisces), stationary direct, and in close trine to the Sun. This most fortunate aspect with the greater benefic should bring the necessary contemplative reflection over the next year in order to perceive the meaning of his life; as well as also serving to preserve the health (ruler of the 6th house) while bestowing hope, the enjoyment of good friends, and having a positive outlook on life.
For an independent individual with nine planets Eastern in his nativity, it will be a year of appreciation for the relationships in his life with nine Solar Return planets in the Western hemisphere. A joyous 5th house Sun is exactly the ticket for a weary soul who has endured a lot of physical pain, and the retrograde Venus (ruling the 11th) in dignity in the 4th has already begun to show her stuff through the recent visits of old friends from high school coming to our house for delicious meals, a glass of French red wine, much laughter, lots of love, and fond remembrances of our youthful escapades and follies.
Lest he forget during lighter moments the Sword of Damocles that hangs over his head, in which further tumor recurrence and additional metastasis of the cancer could occur at any time, the exact conjunction of Pluto and the North Node in the 6th house of health should keep this astrologer unwavering in his appreciation for the gift of life, and help him stay focused through daily prayer about the possible nearness of his death at a time known only by his Creator.
The Solar Return is calculated for the exact time that the transit Sun conjoins the natal Sun each year. These charts, in order to be precise, must be calculated to the nearest degree, minute and second of solar Zodiacal longitude, as the Sun moves one minute of arc in about 24 minutes of time. A forecast for the year between birthdays can be found in these horoscopes, and they reflect the transits that are in place at the time of the birthday. These transits hold their influence for a full year.
The seriousness of your correspondent’s medical condition could be seen in the exact Saturn-Pluto square forming at his last birthday, with the greater malefic in the 6th house. Perhaps it was the Mutual Reception between the Sun and Mars that helped to strengthen the will to live. The chart ruler, Venus, in detriment and in an angular square to Mars, brought on a plethora of physical misery during the last twelve months; with Mars-ruled infections, rashes, inflammation, and acute physical pain being the crosses to bear. The closest aspect to the Sun is always crucial in the Solar Return, and the exact trine to Uranus provided the necessary metaphysical understanding about one’s preparation for death and dying.
At age 56, Uranus arrives at the waning trine to its natal position. This marks the 2/3 point in the 84-year Uranus cycle. Both Dane Rudhyar and Alexander Ruperti wrote (2) about the significance of this aspect and how it symbolized a possibility for a Third Birth, one in which the soul could ideally begin to “radiate through the personality that spiritual essence which was its destiny to manifest.” This would only be possible, however, if the individual had “assimilated into his conscious ego some of the contents of the collective unconscious” (since a Second Birth at the waxing trine of Uranus to its natal place at age 28).
Also at age 56, a multiple of eight years, a seventh Sun-Venus recurring synodic cycle commences and this is reflected in the Solar Return for that birthday by the Sun and Venus having both returned to the same Zodiacal degree area as at birth. An eight-year relationship cycle draws to a close, and a new karmic chapter begins. (3) At his last birthday, this astrologer had a 7th house Venus, within four degrees of his natal Venus, along with an angular Moon conjunct the Descendant, exact to 03′ of arc.
The happiest event of this past year has been the return from South Africa to the U.S. in April of my fiancée, Carol. Without her love, companionship and daily help with my disabled condition, I would have been unable to survive and weather the onslaught of the physical pain brought on by a severe and nearly lethal infection in September. Along with my 30-year old daughter, these two splendid women (who have a synastric Moon-Venus conjunction between their two horoscopes) have been the Light and Love of my life. (4) That Venus-Mars square, of course, produced some spectacular arguments; however, the affection and good feelings would always return soon afterwards! I have to say that with the 8th house Mercury, the thought of dying was on my mind constantly ever since I received the terminal prognosis.
Alan Leo, writing in The Progressed Horoscope, (5) spoke of one’s Progressed Birthday each year, when the transit Sun would conjoin the secondary progressed Sun. This event takes place as many days after your birthday as your age. He wrote that “in the case of highly strung and sensitive people, after the age of thirty these natives would perhaps live more through the progressed rather than their radical horoscopes.” Following this, Leo also stated that “it was not until the transit Sun had conjoined their progressed Sun each year that a renewed impulse of vitality and energy would be experienced.”
The above tri-wheel chart shows this astrologer’s nativity in the inner wheel, secondary progressions calculated for 56 days after his 56th birthday (15 November to 10 January = 56) in the middle wheel, and his Progressed Solar Return for January 10, 2010, when the transit Sun precisely conjoined his secondary progressed Sun, in the outer wheel. The two tables below the chart show that the calculation of the Progressed Birthday was made to the degree, minute and second of longitude for the transiting Sun. (6)
The Progressed Solar Return is every bit as relevant each year as the standard Solar Return. In fact, for sensitive souls, after the age of thirty, this Progressed Birthday horoscope may even be more accurate than the chart calculated at the birthday. In the case of your correspondent, the rising degree was exactly conjunct his Pluto during a year with death knocking on his door; the Moon was exactly conjunct his natal Sun, and a Sun-Venus superior conjunction occurred in a year when his fiancée returns; and retirement is clearly seen in this chart with a 12th house Mars. An angular Neptune is on the Descendant, rather fitting for Carol and the sacrifices she has made to love a guy in my condition.
Looking ahead, 57 days after my birthday today brings us to January 11, 2011. On that day, the transit Sun will conjoin my secondary progressed Sun, a day later than last year because I am one year older. The ruler of the Progressed Solar Return, an exalted Mars exactly conjunct my natal North Node, looks promising and with a Sun-Mars conjunction in the PSR 3rd house, Volume VI will perhaps get written.
(1) The Astrologer’s Astronomical Handbook; Jeff Mayo; L.N. Fowler & Co. Ltd.; 1965. After a period of 19 years, New and Full Moons recur on the same days of the year. The Metonic Cycle is 235 synodic lunar months, or 6939.69 days in length; exactly 19 years.
(2) Cycles of Becoming; 2nd Edition; Alexander Ruperti; Earthwalk School of Astrology; 2005.
(3) See the author’s Astrology: A Language of Life; Volume IV – Relationship Analysis for a more detailed analysis of this 8-year cycle.
(4) With a Fallen Moon and a Venus in detriment, both in Scorpio, the fiancée and the daughter were concerned with his possible death.
(5) The Progressed Horoscope; Alan Leo; L.N. Fowler & Co. Ltd.; London; 1906.
(6) Some astrology software programs will calculate transit-to-progressed aspects; but only to the day and do not include the time. One has to manually calculate exactly when the transit Sun and the secondary progressed Sun both arrive at the same second of arc.
© 2010 Robert P. Blaschke
Mr Blaschke is author of the Astrology: A Language of Life series in five books: Progressions; Sabian Aspect Orbs; A Handbook for the Self-Employed Astrologer; Relationship Analysis; and Holographic Transits. His books and class, lecture and workshop CDs can be found at: Earthwalk Astrology.
Like what you see? Subscribe to The Mountain Astrologer
By Gary P. Caton | October 25, 2010
American politics has regularly scheduled elections, although this regularity has only been in place for the last hundred years or so. Congress introduced a universal Election Day in 1845, but 1914 was the first election year where all Senators were popularly elected. Since then, every two years (even-numbered years), we have had Federal elections on the Tuesday after the first Monday of November. Therefore, the earliest possible date is November 2 and the latest possible date is November 8. Astrologically, this puts the Sun between 9º-15º Scorpio, in the tropical zodiac.
Members of the House of Representatives serve a two-year term before facing an election. U.S. Senators serve six-year terms; however, their terms are staggered — every two years, about one-third of the Senate is elected. So, our President is elected every four years and our Congress holds elections every two years. This sets up a phenomenon known as “mid-term elections,” since they are Congressional elections near the midpoint of the four-year presidential term. Historically, these usually don’t turn out well for the party of the President; in the past 17 mid-term elections, the President’s party has lost an average of 28 seats in the House, and an average of four seats in the Senate. (1)
Astrologically, this mid-term phenomenon begins to make some sense when viewed through the lens of the synodic cycle of Venus. Because of a 13:8 resonance with Earth, Venus has one of the most regular cycles of any planet. She completes five synodic cycles in almost exactly eight calendar years, tracing a five-pointed star in the sky.
This means that every eight years Venus makes her retrograde conjunction with the Sun near the same degree of the zodiac. Furthermore, these conjunctions drift backward through the zodiac about 2.5 degrees every eight years, so after twelve conjunctions and 96 years, any particular arm of Venus’s five-pointed star will change zodiac signs. Since 1930 (and through 2026), one arm of the Venus star has resulted in retrograde conjunctions in the sign of Scorpio. This means that, for the last 80 years, one in four federal elections have been held with Venus retrograde. Since 1970, Venus’s retrograde conjunctions with the Sun have drifted into mid-Scorpio and, thus, have been very close to Election Day.
When understood as a visible phenomenon, Venus’s involvement with U.S. federal elections begins to make even more sense. While only one in four federal elections currently occur during Venus retrograde, half of them occur with Venus invisible. At the mid-point of her eight-year cycle, Venus makes a superior (e.g., direct) conjunction near the same degree as the retrograde conjunction four years earlier. When Venus is conjunct the Sun, either retrograde or direct, she is not visible in the sky — she is either passing in front of, or behind, the Sun and cannot be seen within the bright solar glare. At the mid-term elections this year Venus is invisible. (Venus retrograde is conjunct the Sun on October 28.)
Currently, the U.S. Presidential elections happen with Venus shining brightly — either as Morning Star in the sign of Libra, or as Evening Star in the sign of Sagittarius. Two years later, at the time of mid-term elections, Venus is close to one of her conjunctions with the Sun in Scorpio, unable to be seen. Thus, the brightest planet in the sky at the time when any President is elected becomes hidden when he faces mid-term elections. With the President’s party usually faring poorly in mid-terms, this visual disappearance of Venus every two years seems to correlate with the vagaries of voter opinion.
It is almost as if the American voting public suffers from a kind of “buyer’s remorse” and they decide to take back the support they gave only two short years ago. The upside of this is that it seems to activate the system of checks and balances the Founding Fathers put in place. It is not often that one party controls all three branches of government. The downside is that it provides an opportunity for a man, who once brazenly passed out money from Big Tobacco right on the floor of the House, to now possibly become the leading lawmaker in this country and third in line to the Presidency. (2) Yet, even the long dark shadow of corruption via corporate money in American politics makes sense in terms of Venus. Following the chain of dispositorships, any July 2 or 4 charts for the U.S. show Venus ruling Saturn in Libra, who then rules Pluto in Capricorn. In the Sibley chart, using whole sign houses, this is all happening in the financial houses: the 2nd, 8th, and 11th. Perhaps Venus’s retrograde intrusions on our election processes are here to teach us a lesson.
Recent polls have suggested that voters are more negative now about re-electing members of Congress than in the last five mid-terms, including the 1994 and 2006 elections, which saw dramatic shifts of power in both houses of Congress. (3) Mercury was retrograde at the 2006 election, and Mercury and Venus were conjunct the Sun in Scorpio. In 1994, the North Node of the Moon was conjunct the Sun, and Venus was retrograde in Scorpio, with Jupiter in Scorpio as well. The 1954 election saw a reversal in both the Senate and the House — a Democratic majority shift in the Senate, which would last until 1980, and in the House, which would last until 1994. In 1954, both Mercury and Venus were retrograde in Scorpio and Saturn was conjunct the Scorpio Sun. Astrologically speaking, it appears to this astrologer that if we were going to have a reversal in both houses of Congress, we would see more emphasis in Scorpio than we have this year. It is possible that the House may change to Republican control, but probably not the Senate.
Gary P. Caton is an eclectic astrologer who embraces an organic, process-oriented approach to spiritual growth, exploration, and transformation. Gary holds a degree in counseling and has developed a unique multi-discipline approach to Astrology over 17 years. Connect with Gary at DreamAstrologer
Like what you see? Subscribe to The Mountain Astrologer
By Mary Plumb | October 18, 2010
I’ve been thinking about Venus a lot lately. She has recently been at maximum brightness in the evening sky and stationed retrograde on October 8 at 13º14’ Scorpio. Venus will turn direct on November 18 at 27º39’ Libra. Her retrograde phase is coming to the midway point when she conjoins the Sun (at the inferior conjunction) on October 28 at 5º30’ Scorpio.
Deborah Houlding wrote an amazing article in the Feb./March 2010 issue of TMA, wherein she explains the cycles of Venus in great detail.
One of her many points is that modern astrologers consider her cycle to begin at the inferior conjunction (coming on October 28), but that early sky-watching astrologers would have seen her superior conjunction as beginning the cycle (which would have been January 11, 2010).
At either conjunction, when Venus is within a 17’ arc of the Sun, she is cazimi, which is Arabic for “in the heart of the Sun,” or being favored by the king. (1) I know very few people with this configuration. I spent time recently with someone who has natal Venus cazimi; my completely subjective experience was of being with a deeply open-hearted and generous person.
Oprah was born on a Friday, Venus’s day, and is a very famous example of natal Venus cazimi (more about her later.) (2)
Whether we consider the inferior or superior conjunction of Venus with the Sun as the beginning of the cycle, Venus has a very regular 8-year cycle that creates a pentagram, or 5-pointed star, in the sky. Just click below for a graphic showing the perfect geometry in her orbit around the Sun:
If we could see from above the earth (located at the center of this diagram), the pattern looks like this:
There has been a lot of fine work published on planets’ cycles with each other, i.e., synodic cycles, in recent years. Robert P. Blaschke’s work on planetary cycles (delineated in his 2006 book, Holographic Transits) opened a new world to me in understanding cycles. I’ve heard him lecture on the subject several times and have read his book, but it may take me a lifetime to hold it in mind as deeply as Robert does.
In a recent TMA blog Robert writes on long-term cycles of Venus and Mars.
Nick Dagan Best is another astrologer teaching on synodic cycles. He has a lecture posted on You Tube on Venus and Mars Retrograde Cycles.
TMA guest blogger Gary Caton also understands synodic cycles and explains them clearly in his analysis.
And lest it get lost forever in the blog archives, let me also refer you back to Adam Gainsburg’s unique and beautiful take on the Venus (and Mars) synodic cycles. Here are links to his two-part series from December 2009 and January 2010
Along with this broader view of Venus’s cycles around the Sun, there are lots of ways to notice Venus’s activities in our lives — from financial affairs to personal matters of the heart. Aside from her ongoing flirtations, trysts, and dalliances with Mars (Venus and Mars are both in Scorpio now and were conjunct on October 3 at 13º), Venus in Scorpio can be seen as relating to economic conditions that impact our shared financial outlook.
Much has been written about the ongoing U.S. financial woes. Astrological signatures abound. For a few examples of current aspects to the U.S. Sibly horoscope: transiting Pluto (3º05’ Capricorn) opposite natal Venus (3º06’ Cancer), ruler of the 10th house of the national reputation; transiting South Node, now at 5º Cancer conjunct U.S. Jupiter at 5º56’, ruler of the Sagittarius Ascendant; transiting Neptune at 26º02’ Aquarius conjunct the U.S. Moon (27º10’), ruler of the 8th; the upcoming U.S. Saturn (ruler of the 2nd house of the nation’s assets) return, partile three times from December 2010 through August 2011. There was also a total solar eclipse at 25º01’ Capricorn in January 2010, directly on the U.S. (2nd house) Pluto (27º33’) and Mr. Obama’s natal Saturn (25º20’).
Economics professor Robert H. Frank wrote an article yesterday on the ongoing, ever exacerbating unequal distribution of wealth, which clearly ties two Venus-in-Scorpio themes together, i.e., finances and relationships. “Divorce rates are another reliable indicator of financial distress, as marriage counselors report that a high proportion of couples they see are experiencing significant financial problems. The counties with the biggest increases in inequality also reported the largest increases in divorce rates.” (3)
But wait! I just noticed, not only is transiting Neptune on the U.S. Moon, but the U.S. progressed Moon is 26º07’ Virgo, conjunct progressed Neptune at 26º16’ Virgo. (4)
Maybe we really are ready for a new political media star! Here’s where Oprah comes in again: She did join Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart this week in their joint Rally to Restore Sanity/and/or Fear to America. And she looked larger than life as she beamed in from the satellite to give everybody tickets to get to Washington on October 30.
Not only was Oprah born with the rare Venus cazimi, but Neptune is also at the bending in her natal chart, i.e., square the nodal axis.
If her birth time is correct, her progressed Moon at 29º55’ Sag is conjunct the natal Ascendant (29º38’), and her progressed Ascendant (4º43’ Pisces) is conjunct the natal Part of Fortune (4º06’Pisces). (How much more famous can she get?)
Four degrees Pisces is, coincidentally, the degree of Jon Stewart’s natal Jupiter and Stephen Colbert’s natal Saturn. Now that’s a team I could get behind. (5)
(1) “As astrologer John Frawley has explained…. cazimi, being right in the heart of the sun, is like being allowed into the very throne room or private chambers of a great king. This is the fortunate position of being highly favored by the sun, like a king who brings only a select few into his private chambers and bestows wealth and privilege upon them and listens to their deepest concerns with a mindset to help them.”
(2) I was first alerted to Oprah’s Venus cazimi by Edith G. Thayer in her book, Stars Over America (2000).
Data: Oprah Winfrey; January 29, 1954; 4:30 a.m.; Kosciusko, Mississippi (32ºN53′, 89ºW35’)
For years astrologers used 2:30 a.m. (or 7:50 p.m.) for Oprah’s birth time, but according to AstroDataBank, this time of 4:30 a.m. was verified by astrologer Robert Marks when he appeared on her show in 1988.
“In October 2006, Bob Marks wrote in the NCGR e-newsletter (October 8, 2006, vol 32): ‘I was on Oprah’s show in May 1988. Oprah’s producer, Diane Hudson, gave me the birth data. Oprah was born at 4:30 a.m., not 2:30. I confirmed this birth time with Oprah herself after the show. Oprah said that nobody knows for sure, but this time is what she was always told.’ “
(4) For a darker look at the implications of the U.S. public fixation with the media, check out Chris Hedges’s column Retribution for a World Lost in Screens.
Like what you see? Subscribe to The Mountain Astrologer
By Mary Plumb | October 4, 2010
Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder, CEO, and President of Facebook, was born on May 14, 1984, in White Plains, New York. (1)
I read an article in The New Yorker about him and just saw The Social Network, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. (2) The movie is based on a book (i.e., The Accidental Billionaires) that is, at least in part, fictionalized.
Since there is no known birth time as yet, I’ll look at Mark Zuckerberg’s sunrise chart.
I’m just going to make a few observations about his business success from his solar horoscope, although the movie has a lot to say about his personal life (i.e., romantic and professional relationships). And with a strong Taurus/Scorpio dynamic in the natal, as well as six retrograde planets, there’s obviously a lot of material there to speculate upon.
A Taurus Sun, Zuckerberg was born on a Monday, the Moon’s day, and the transiting Moon was in Scorpio all that day. (3)
He has natal Uranus conjunct the South Node in Sagittarius and Chiron conjunct the North Node in Gemini. On his Facebook page, under Personal Interests, he writes: “openness, making things that help people connect and share what’s important to them, revolutions, information flow, minimalism.” (4) He has also said: “hacking isn’t about ‘breaking and entering,’ it’s about ‘being unafraid to break things in order to make them better.’ “ (5) I think these words suggest those aspects, which stand along with the complex and private themes in the chart signified by his four Scorpio planets.
Facebook started on February 4, 2004, with transiting Neptune at 13º Aquarius conjunct the Sun at 15º Aquarius (15º of the fixed signs are on the Aries Point).
This certainly is a strong signature for capturing the zeitgeist or spirit of the time in a way that would have global implications. The Sun also gains prominence in its position at the bending, square the nodal axis at 16º Taurus/Scorpio.
The Moon, sensitive to the mood of the public, was in rulership in Cancer most of the day of the FB launch. At about 8 p.m., the Moon moved into Leo, picking up a different kind of prominence and strength as it approached the Full Moon at 17º Leo on February 6.
The Facebook launch occurred during a period of eclipse activity to Zuckerberg’s natal horoscope. His natal Venus is very strongly placed in Taurus and on the Aries Point. (On his birthday, Venus traveled between 14º43’ – 15º56’ Taurus.) Talk about an ability to attract wealth! (6) And, with natal Pluto, Saturn, Moon, and Mars in Scorpio, a penchant for attracting powerful opposition as well.
As mentioned above, the lunar nodes were in Taurus/Scorpio at the launch of Facebook. Zuckerberg’s natal Venus (and Mars) was triggered by the lunar eclipse at 16º15’ Taurus on November 9, 2003. (Natal Mars is retrograde at 19º Scorpio.)
The next eclipse season was in spring 2004. On April 19, a solar eclipse at 29º49’ Aries was conjunct his natal Mercury at 29º05’ Aries. (On his birthday, Mercury traveled from 29º05’ to 29º44’.) And, on May 4, 2004, a lunar eclipse at 14º39’ Taurus again fell on his natal Venus-Mars opposition.
There are several exact sextile aspects in the natal chart, suggesting a tremendously focused intent: Saturn (12º15’ Scorpio) is exactly sextile Jupiter (12º38’ Capricorn), and Pluto (0º06’ Scorpio) is exactly sextile Neptune (0º59’ Capricorn).
Mark Zuckerberg is a key player in a fascinating cultural phenomenon. Aaron Sorkin, the screenplay writer for The Social Network, said in an interview that this is “a classical story of friendship, loyalty, betrayal, and jealousy.” (7) Sounds like a list of keywords for the Taurus/Scorpio axis, doesn’t it?
(1) Birth date and all biographical material from Wikipedia
(2) The New Yorker
(3) The Moon traveled from 10º – 24º Scorpio on May 14.
(5) As quoted on Wikipedia, from an article, “Geek Power: Steven Levy Revisits Tech Titans, Hackers, Idealists,” which appeared in Wired magazine in April 2010.
(6) His net worth in 2010 is listed as $6.9 billion.
(7) The New Yorker
Chart 1: Mark Zuckerberg, May 14, 1984, White Plains, New York, Sunrise chart
Chart 2: Facebook launch: February 4, 2004, Boston, MA, Sunrise chart
Like what you see? Subscribe to The Mountain Astrologer