Tension Building?

Almost everyone I talk to these past days – friends, family, colleagues, clients – is getting familiar with some version of anxiety.

Even here, in relatively quiet southern Oregon, the tension symbolized by the ever-closer (exact on November 4) opposition of Saturn and Uranus is keeping many awake at night.

Saturn, the lord of time and constraint is being confronted directly by his mythological enemy, Uranus, lord of chaos and excitement. They represent starkly contrasting archetypes – the old and the new; stability and upheaval; status quo and an urgent or shocking call for change.

It’s enough to make me long for the good old days (i.e., 2005 and 2006) when Saturn was opposite Neptune in the sky. Then, the keeper of time and tester of limits was facing a nebulous opponent; things were harder to define and impossible to see clearly. At best, Neptune invites working with art, music, meditation and essentially relaxing into a boundary-less state of surrender. That may have been easier to do then; now Uranus’s impulse to dare and awaken is engaging with Saturn and the feeling in the air is quite different.

The god of the heavens and night sky, Uranus is seen as the function that opens the mind to a vaster, bigger picture of what is possible. Saturn’s inclination is to resist change and, at worst, to cling to what has always worked in the past.

It’s not too hard to see Saturn and Uranus in a big conflict out there in our world now. Considering the acute drama and increasing bitterness in the US election; the incomprehensible “shock and awe” moves on the financial stage; the anxiousness around loss of freedom (and money!); the tendency to experience society as divided between rapid reformers and amoral libertines; the “endless” wars and so on, it’s no wonder we’re having some sleepless nights.

If we consider things psychologically, however, the planets provide guidance to our personal lives. An opposition offers – or, more rightly in this case, demands – the chance to become aware within ourselves of inherent tensions. Tension between our own past and future; between what we most deeply fear and where our greatest and boldest ideas lie; between what know about ourselves and what we can only imagine. The opposition invites acceptance of factors and forces that seem diametrically opposed – the chance to come to terms with internal paradoxes that are easier to see outside of ourselves – all those other guys out there are the ones acting badly, aren’t they?

We can consider this in our own habits. Saturn’s favorite stance is one of defense. It may be easier to hold a tight rein on ourselves, or on a behavior or attitude that we are accustomed to, rather than inviting that invigorating moment when a highly uncertain future seems more creative and exciting than terrifying.

Depending on the natal horoscope, of course, some of us are more impacted than others by this particular planetary theme. As a first thought, those in their Saturn returns now, those of us close to our 29 or 58 birthdays, have the acute awareness that we are on the verge of a future quite different than where we thought we might be at this point in life.

I plan to add further ideas on this point within the next few days. I’m especially keen on looking at the natal chart to see Saturn’s sign and house position as a big clue to where we can individually access the stability, the inner ground and security that is authentic for us and is an inner template to keep returning to when the ride feels rocky.

 

 

 

Paul Newman

The much-loved actor and philanthropist Paul Newman died at home on Friday, September 26.

Paul Newman met Joanne Woodward in 1952 when both were cast in a Broadway play. (1) “But,” as the obituary in the New York Times reports, “he was a married man, and Ms. Woodward has insisted that they spent the next several years running away from each other.” (2)

One of many remarkable features in their synastry is the position of the Vertex in each birth chart: Newman’s is at 20°45′ Leo and Woodward’s is 20°52′ Leo, a partile conjunction. Originally described by L. Edward Johndro in the 1930s, the Vertex is seen as the most fated part of the horoscope, where we have least control over events and actions.

And so, after “running away from each other,” life had other plans in store for them, and they married on January 29, 1958. When Newman married Joanne Woodward, his progressed Sun was at 9°24 Pisces, just past her natal Sun at 8°03′ Pisces. Her progressed Moon was at 2°23′ Pisces, just past his natal Moon at 1°39′ Pisces.

Famous for their long and happy marriage, their natal synastry is indeed also powerful. To mention a few connections between the natal charts:

their ascendants are conjunct, i.e., hers 12°, his, 13° Capricorn

Saturn, the ascendant rulers, are sextile one another – his Saturn 14° Scorpio; her Saturn 10° Capricorn

both have Venus sextile Saturn natally: (his Venus 14° Capricorn/ Saturn 14° Scorpio; her Venus 13° Pisces/Saturn 10° Capricorn). As a simple delineation: Each has a mature understanding of love, values loyalty, and know that love gets better with age.

their natal Venus’s are sextile each other: his Venus 14° Capricorn, her Venus 13° Pisces. Their natal Mars’s are also sextile each other: his Mars 23° Aries, her Mars 16° Aquarius.

And, perhaps most importantly, they have Sun-Moon conjunctions both ways: Newman’s Sun is 6°02′ Aquarius and Moon is 1°39′ Pisces. Woodward’s Sun is 8°03′ Pisces and her Moon at 24°52′ Aquarius.

On August 16, less than six weeks before he died, there was a lunar eclipse at 24°17′ Aquarius, the degree of Woodward’s natal Moon (ruler of the 7th). This is also within a few degrees of their mutual Vertex points, both very close to the 8th house cusps. This lunar eclipse was also square Newman’s progressed ascendant at his death – 24°06′ Taurus.

There is an upcoming solar eclipse on January 26, 2009 at 6°29′ Aquarius, conjunct Newman’s natal Sun (ruler of the 8th) at 6°02′. The following lunar eclipse – February 9, 2009 – is at 20°52′ Leo, the exact degree of Woodward’s natal Vertex is on the 8th cusp: 20°52′ Leo.

On one more note to the end of a long marriage: Juno, goddess of marriage, is at 28°20′ Sagittarius in the couple’s natal composite chart. Transiting Pluto was at 28°34′ Sagittarius at Mr. Newman’s death.

(1) Chart data:
Paul Newman: Jan. 26, 1925; 6:30 am EST; Cleveland, OH (41°N30 81°W42′). Rodden rating: AA

Joanne Woodward: Feb. 27, 1930; 4:00 am EST; Thomasville, GA (30°N50′ 83°W59′). Rodden rating: AA

(2) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/28/movies/28newman.html

 

McCain’s Venus Moment

On his birthday, August 29, John McCain (1) chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. Natal Venus, ruler of his Libra Ascendant, is at 22°48′ Virgo.

Transiting Uranus is at 21°14′ Pisces, opposite natal Venus. Since it is also his birthday, that aspect will be in his solar return chart and be effective for the entire year. Venus, of course, rules women and is key for him as it rules the natal Ascendant. We might say he ventured out to the bold and crazy Uranian fringes with his choice of running mate. Sarah Palin has shaken up the race, an excellent job for Uranus.

Although we don’t have an exact time for Governor Palin, there are some things to notice about her birthday: Born on February 11, 1964 in Sandpoint, Idaho, (2) she has Sun, Mars, Saturn, and Mercury in Aquarius. If she was born early in the morning, the Moon was in Capricorn. The Moon moved into Aquarius at 9:40 a.m. – either way, Palin’s Moon is disposed by Saturn, in rulership and therefore powerfully placed in Aquarius. Palin was born on a Tuesday, Mars’s day, so the Sun, Mars, Saturn conjunction suggest a particularly steadfast and unyielding quality to her basic character. The ambition and confidence many have noticed in her brief public appearances – not to mention frequent photos of her with a rifle in hand – are well indicated by her horoscope.

The Sun, Mars, Saturn conjunction between 21° – 26° Aquarius is currently being transited by that glamorous caster of spells, Neptune. It seems likely that the scandals surrounding the “bridge to nowhere” (how’s that for Neptune imagery?) and various other sagas (e.g., “TrooperGate”) will linger around the Governor at least until Neptune’s last exact conjunction to natal Saturn in early 2010.

And, on a last (for now) and chilling (to me, anyway) note: Palin’s Sun, Mars, Saturn conjunction are sitting nearly exactly on the U.S. Sibly Moon at 27°10′. She naturally taps into the needs of the public, especially women, and issues of security (the Moon). Palin has – at least temporarily – had a big impact on the U.S. psyche. With the first exact Saturn – Uranus opposition on Election Day coming very quickly, the polarity between the past and the future, rules and freedom, constraint and expression are all magnifying. I’d suggest that a personal task in these daunting times may be to find a way to keep standing firmly within ourselves to anchor and direct (Saturn in Virgo) the Greater Will so that beneficial reform and a future of inclusion and forgiveness (Uranus in Pisces) arrives sooner, rather than later!

(1) Data: John McCain, August 29,1936, 9:00 AM EST +5:00, Coco Solo Air Base, Panama Canal; Rodden Rating:  Source: A: From memory

(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Palin

Welcome to TMA This Week

Hi, and welcome to the first post of our new exclusive online-only feature, TMA This Week. Each week we will be posting an easy-to-read article on topics including the Best of Astrology Blogs, a streamlined version of our popular column Planet Tracks, and A Glance at the Heavens for the latest on what’s going on in the sky. Our intrepid and versatile TMA staffers will make guest appearances in the From the Magazine section. I will be the editor/organizer of this new feature – three cheers to Saturn’s transit in Virgo – and I’ll be writing as well.

TMA This Week includes a commenting feature, where you, our readers, can respond to what our authors have contributed with your own comments and feedback.

We hope you enjoy this new feature and welcome your suggestions.

Mary Plumb