TMA This Week

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Bill gave a workshop at UAC in May with his latest research, which includes his reading of heretofore unpublished early work of Johndro and Jayne.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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The Higher Vibration of the Uranus-Pluto Square

By Audra Stenger | May 28, 2012

It probably slipped by some people’s notice last month — considering all the news of war, civil protest (and governmental suppression) from nearly every corner of the globe. Yet, on the 26th of April something wondrous happened. Something that future generations may look back upon with wonder and scarcely believe that it ever happened; even astrologers of the future may very well wonder that it happened during the time of the seven passes of the current Uranus and Pluto squares. And yet, it did happen.

On that day, 40,000 Norwegians gathered en masse in Oslo and together sang a children’s song while waving roses in the air. Afterwards, they walked singing to the courthouse where Anders Behring Breivik was on trial for the mass murders of 77 people, including 69 children, and tied their roses to the security tape and barricades that surrounded the courthouse. The singing could be heard inside the courthouse. There were no rubber bullets, no tear gas, no violence — everyone was there to heal and transform their society.

The people of Norway, the Norwegian folk singer Lillebjørn Nilsen, and the song, My Rainbow Race, by Pete Seeger (known in Norway for nearly 40 years as Children of the Rainbow) had been criticized by Breivik in his court proceedings. He had blamed the song for promoting multiculturalism, leftist ideologies, and, in part, even his murderous rampage. However, the people of Norway disagreed with Breivik’s ideology and wanted to show it.

This video epitomizes what the highest potential of the Uranus-Pluto square can bring out in humanity. If you have not seen this video, I highly recommend taking a few minutes out of your day to watch it. Here is a link to it:


The people shown in it, including the police, chose to react with neither violence, hate, nor fear. For Norway, the evolution of Pluto and the revolution of Uranus came together, and they chose the higher vibration of the planetary combination, in this case, best expressed by joining together and singing a children’s song of peace and love. Though the words have been described as utopian – and can be read here – leaders of the march wanted to sing the song because they believed this is how the world could be.

But why has Pete Seeger’s song meant so much to the nation of Norway for nearly 40 years? Below is a bi-wheel of the charts of Norway and Seeger.

(insert chart: bi-wheel: Nation of Norway; Pete Seeger , natal)

bi-wheel Norway & Pete Seeger

Norway’s Independence date and time come from Nick Campion’s, Book of World Horoscopes, and are set for June 7, 1905 at 11 AM CET Oslo, Norway. Pete Seeger’s birth time is unknown, but according to Wikipedia he was born in Manhattan, New York, on May 3, 1919. (This is a sunrise chart.)

There are many alignments in the synastry chart between Norway and Pete Seeger’s sunrise chart (perhaps there would be even more if we were to know Seeger’s time of birth).

Without going into detail about all of the aspects in this synastry chart, I was immediately struck by the fact that Pete Seeger’s Neptune is exactly on Norway’s Moon. Seeger’s song, My Rainbow Race, has been described by Norwegians as utopian (Neptune). It is precisely Seeger’s idealism (Neptune) about how the world could be, and how the people (Moon) of Norway wish (Neptune) the world was (in harmony – Moon), that join them together through music (co-ruled by Neptune and the Moon).

The song, My Rainbow Race, according to the Christian Science Monitor, was written in 1967, to protest the Vietnam War, though not recorded until the early 70’s. It was written at the Uranus-Pluto conjunction. Seeger, born with a Uranus-Pluto trine, is no stranger to the power of transformation and has been an activist most of his life. It seems most apropos that one of the 60’s greatest musical peace activists, Pete Seeger, should have a song that was written during the Uranus-Pluto conjunction resurface during this first quarter square.

As astrologers, and those interested in astrology, surely our responsibility is to help point out to our fellow human beings that there exists another way, a better way , a way of life that embraces peaceful resolution based on our sameness, rather than the use of willfulness and violence in an attempt to subjugate those who are different than us. There is a higher vibration to the Uranus-Pluto square and this has been one example of it. Let us hope we see more examples of democracy and tolerance as this pattern unfolds.

Bio: Audra Stenger started in astrology over 15 years ago while working as a paramedic. She holds a B.Sc. in Physician’s Assistant. She currently has a full time astrology practice near Santa Fe, New Mexico. She loves astrology because it explains the unexplainable, and finds that it provides a wisdom that nothing else can. Her website is Yellow Lotus Arts, and her e-mail is

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Astrology as if the Sky Matters: Venus Retrograde

By Gary P. Caton | May 14, 2012

We are about to experience an extremely rare celestial event, wrapped within another relatively rare one. Venus is retrograde least often of all the planets; she does her backward dance only every 19 months, for a little more than 40 days each time. This time, Venus is making an extended stay in the sign of Gemini, traversing back and forth through the sign of the Twins for four months, from April 3 to August 7. On average, she spends only four weeks in any sign, so this is a significant burst of Gemini energy.

In the midst of this retrograde, beginning on May 15, we have the fabled “Transit of Venus,” where Venus will be seen crossing the solar disk, for the second (and last) time in a period of more than 200 years. The previous Venus transit to the current pair (i.e., 2004 and 2012) was December 1882, and the next transit of Venus will be in December 2117.  The rarity of this transit makes it obvious to me that the themes of Gemini are being powerfully activated in our times. These themes have to do with discovery (or re-discovery), learning, and communication of basic facts.

Over the last 20 years, we have seen a movement toward recovery and translation of our ancient astrological source texts, mostly by academics within the astrological community.  This is important work, but just as vital is the recovery and reintroduction to modern astrology of the observational and astronomical skills, an even more ancient heritage. This process was begun shortly after the translations became a well known factor in the astrological community, but, in my opinion, has yet to receive the same kind of generalized press and support. (1) We need to continue to remember to look up from our desks and our charts and re-learn how to understand what we see in the actual sky! I have found that a basic awareness of the nature of Venus (and other planets) as visible phenomena has the capacity to deeply enrich and enliven our field and each of us, both as professionals and as people.

The understanding of Venus as a visible phenomenon is the focus of my essay in the forthcoming book, Astrology: The New Generation (ATNG), in which I outline the Venus cycle in terms of a three-fold process. (2)  Visually speaking, Venus has three incarnations: Morning Star, Invisible (or Underworld), and Evening Star. We can see the flow of these three “phases” in the following diagram.

Diagram rendered by Vanessa J Keys © 2011 Gary P Caton

Venus’ visible cycle begins with her eastern appearance as Morning Star, which lasts about 258 days. This is separated from her western appearance as Evening Star by 60 days of darkness (invisibility), as she slowly passes through the crucible of the solar fire during her superior or exterior (direct) conjunction with the Sun. Venus then spends another eight months or so shining in the west as Evening Star. So, about 95% of Venus’ visual cycle involves a slow transmutation of over 18 months, and includes her morning star, underworld, and evening star incarnations. (It is18 months from first morning appearance to last evening appearance.)

Venus’ retrograde period, which lasts only 40 – 43 days, is about 5% of 584 days, the total synodic cycle. It also contains all three of Venus’ visible phases. But, in stark contrast, what previously took 18 months to unfold, we will now experience in a mere 14 or so days! If you begin watching the sky every evening, you will soon see Venus, one of the brightest stars in the sky, rapidly dim, disappear, and then reappear in the opposite part of the sky, that is, the eastern morning sky. This is a very dramatic transformation! Visually, what stands out the most is not so much Venus’ backward motion, but her rapid disappearance and change of horizons. What was previously established and slowly transformed, over the last 18 months, is now rapidly swept away. (3)

This rapid transformation has a parallel in the mythology associated with Venus. As I note in my essay for ATNG, many scholars have noted that the Mesopotamian myths surrounding Inanna seem to be clearly referencing the movements of the planet Venus. Most notable is that in mid-life, Inanna makes a prolonged journey to the Underworld, just as the planet Venus has an extended period of invisibility in the middle of her cycle. (4) However, it is what happens to Inanna in her early life that seems to parallel the retrograde part of Venus’ cycle.

Older than the Bible, the myth of Inanna and the Huluppu Tree is one of the earliest known recordings of a Genesis story. Central to this story is a theme that has become universal to many other creation myths, that of the World Tree or Tree of Life. The Tree is just one representation of what has become a larger mythical motif, the Axis Mundi, which exists at the center of the Universe and is the place of connection between Heaven and Earth.

Early in the story of Inanna and the Huluppu Tree, we are told that the Gods and Goddesses have participated in the formation of three Worlds: Sky, Earth, and Underworld. At that time a single Tree was planted by the banks of the Euphrates River, but then a great storm arose and carried the Tree downriver. The young Inanna finds the Tree and decides to plant it in her sacred garden in Uruk. (5)

Based on interpretations of later parts of the myth of Inanna, this could be interpreted as an allegory for the “socio-political tides” moving to Uruk as their center, or Axis Mundi, at least in the Earth World. (6) In the Sky World, this could very well be an allegory for the movement of the fabled Star of Venus. When any important turning point in the cycle of Venus is plotted for five or more consecutive cycles, a remarkable pattern emerges — a five-pointed star!  This phenomena is covered expertly and extensively in Arielle Guttman’s book Venus Star Rising. (7) Similar to the Tree swept downstream in the myth, successive interior conjunctions of Venus (i.e., the retrograde conjunction of Venus with the Sun as Venus passes between the Sun and Earth) occur about 216° – 220° degrees “downstream” in the Zodiac. For instance, the previous interior conjunction occurred October 28, 2010 at 6° Scorpio. The next one occurs 584 days later on June 5, 2012 at 16° Gemini. The next one after that is January 11, 2014 at 22° Capricorn.

Besides visually passing from her Evening Star, through the underworld, and into her Morning Star phase, Venus’ retrograde establishes a new “seed moment,” where the foundation or wellspring of Venusian energies for the next 19 months is established. The following diagram, also designed for my essay in ATNG, displays this from a heliocentric point of view.

Diagram rendered by Vanessa J Keys © 2011 Gary P Caton

As you can see, the beginning of Venus’ retrograde phase (her retrograde station, #13 in diagram above) is at the end of one journey around the Sun, and the direct station (#3 in diagram above) is at the beginning of another. So, there are two kinds of Venus retrograde. In the situation now, the period from May 15-June 4 is the ending of her previous Scorpio-based journey round the Sun, whereas the period from June 6-27 is the beginning of her new Gemini journey.

In between, Venus aligns with the Sun and Earth, passing between them at interior conjunction (#1 in diagram above), which is on June 5. This is the “seed moment” for a new cycle, as the Heroine Venus/Inanna prepares to set off again for another 1.6 year (19 month or 584 day) adventure. As I said above, this new Gemini cycle, which begins in the heart of this retrograde period — at a rare Transit of Venus — will be about discovery (or re-discovery), learning, and communication of basic facts. But as Arielle Guttman pointed out in her recent newsletter, these are not intellectual facts, but rather the “facts of the heart.” (8)

Venus always wants us to go deeper into our hearts and heart-centered ways of being. She is currently out-of-bounds north and stationary. This has stirred up some major controversy over “values” recently, from the ban on same-sex marriage by voters in North Carolina, to the breastfeeding mother on the cover of TIME. (9) In this whipped up frenzy, we may find ourselves, like Inanna, in need of rescuing and re-planting our uprooted center. Just like Inanna and her Huluppu tree, we can plant our intentions for our growth into a heart-centered life. But first we must prepare the soil in the sacred gardens of our psyches and our lives to receive this new seed. Like good gardeners, we must clear away the detritus of the old Scorpio cycle and put it into the compost heap, and then plow the fields clean for the new Gemini cycle.

In summary, I feel this Venus cycle of the next 19 months, and indeed the next 105 years (until the next Transit of Venus), is about creating a World in which heart-centered communication thrives. At its most basic, this means valuing, developing, and refining emotional intelligence and communication skills in relationship, as well as the concept of “right relationship” — because all Life is in relationship. We have a long ways to go, but the journey starts with a single step. The realization necessary for this step, and each step after that, is summarized in the Lakota prayer: Aho Mitakuye Oyasin – We are all related. (10)

References & Recommended Reading:
(1) Daniel Giamario published groundbreaking articles on this topic in The Mountain Astrologer in Feb/Mar 1997 and Aug/Sept 2002. This material can also be found in the booklet, A Shamanic Investigation of Venus and Mars, JCA Unlimited (Tucson, Arizona), 1997. Shamanic Astrology

(2) Gary P Caton, “The Visual Journey of Venus as Heroine and Goddess of Re-birth” in Astrology: The Next Generation, Flare Publications, London, 2012. Flare UK

(3) “Swept away” is a reference to the flood that swept Inanna’s tree downstream; visually, she is retrograde, the Sun is moving toward her, and she rapidly disappears.

(4) Wolkstein and S. Kramer, Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns, from Sumer, Harper & Row, 1983, p.137. Diane Wolkstein

(5) Readers can find the myth of Inanna and the Huluppu Tree online here,
and some interpretations of the myth at these links:

(6) Uruk is Inanna’s city. Later in the mythological story she goes to Enki’s city, Eridu, and takes the civilizing powers of the gods from Eridu back to Uruk. On Earth, this myth would seem to be a metaphor for events of an early period when political authority passed from Enki’s city of Eridu to Inanna’s city of Uruk. Since the tree comes downriver to her and she plants it at Uruk, this is a foreshadowing of that later event.

(7) A. Guttman, Venus Star Rising: A New Cosmology for the 21st Century, Sophia Venus Productions (Santa Fe, NM), 2010. Venus Star Rising

(8) A. Guttman, Venus Star Point, Issue # 12 — May 2012

(9) One mother describes what she calls her “natural parenting values” in this Huffington Post article.

(10) Wikipedia
Bio: 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 23 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 earned a degree in Counseling with honors and has developed a unique multi-discipline path to practicing Astrology over 19 years. Visit Gary at his website: Dream Astrologer.

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The Moon/Pluto Occultations

By Alex Miller | May 7, 2012

There is currently a rare astronomical event that may have dramatic astrological significance, and which has not been receiving as much attention as it should — the series of occultations of Pluto by the Moon. Beginning in April 2012, the Moon will pass directly in front of Pluto, blocking its energy for no less than 19 consecutive months! Given the fact that this occultation hasn’t happened since 1935, it would appear to be a major event, with some cosmic intent or purpose for the world at large.

Occultations are essentially eclipses, with one celestial body passing in front of another, from our perspective on Earth. As such, they act to emphasize the issues and concerns represented by the occulted body, in much the same way a Solar or Lunar Eclipse does. Most commonly, they involve one of the planets of our system passing in front of a star and blotting out its light. More rarely, the Moon will occult another planet, and the occultation of Pluto is among the least common of these phenomena.

Pluto’s orbital plane is inclined more than 17° from the ecliptic, the apparent path along which most of the solar system’s bodies revolve around the Sun. Since the Moon’s orbit is both extremely erratic, extending far north and south of this plane, and also swift, spending barely two hours at each degree of the zodiac, the chances of these two bodies coming together in such a way as to occupy the same space at the same time, are, quite literally, astronomical. But that this should happen over 19 consecutive months? That’s something you’d definitely need a supercomputer to calculate!

Pluto is a deeply evolutionary power source, governing such things as cellular/molecular processes; decay, death, regeneration and rebirth; sexuality; compulsion and obsession; secrets and scandals. The Moon represents emotions, domestic concerns, motherhood and nurturance, the physical body, security or foundational issues, and, in mundane affairs, the people or populace of a country. An occultation, or hiding, of Pluto by the Moon will act to both eclipse, in the sense of disrupting or cutting off, and to magnify, in the sense of bringing focus, stress or emphasis to Plutonian affairs, particularly in ways that highlight the Moon’s special areas of influence.

Each of these moments of occultation provides a sort of jolt or surge, a powerful opportunity to reset the current reality in ways that support Pluto’s drive to empower, reveal, and control. Having 19 of them in succession is like emptying a semi-automatic revolver’s clip into the collective unconscious and the body politic. It may be experienced as a repeated, rapid-fire assault on the status quo, resulting in change and transformation, the specifics of which we can only conjecture, with ramifications spreading out like ripples on a pond.

On a personal level, much of how this manifests will depend upon where in the natal chart these occultations fall, and how they interact with the chart as a whole. But anyone already experiencing heavy Plutonic transits can expect a major ramping up of these effects. (The occultations occur between 6° -11° Capricorn; check the list at the end of this article for specific dates and degrees.) If Pluto is not particularly active for you right now, you’ll likely experience these occultations much in the way you would an unaspected eclipse, that is, as a general point of emphasis in the area of your life where they fall.

On a mundane level, however, we can look for clues on how the series will resolve itself by closely marking the events that cluster about the earliest occultations. One immediate red flag was raised on April 12th, the day of the first occultation; an incident at this time indicates that sexual scandal (Pluto) revealed to the public (Moon) is one of the levels of manifestation evoked by the occultations.  

That occultation reached maximum effect at 4:38 a.m. local time, in Cartagena, Colombia. Within two hours, a U.S. Secret Service agent, working in advance of President Obama’s upcoming visit, decided to stiff the prostitute he had hired the night before. (1) He paid her $30 of the $800 fee, claiming he had been too drunk to understand when negotiating her price. She quite understandably balked at this turn of events, and since prostitution is legal in Colombia, the local police backed her up; the ensuing brouhaha brought a scandal of international proportions.

Eleven other agents were involved in similar activity (but without the parsimony) in Cartagena, leading to the resignation or dismissal of nine of them. The subsequent congressional probe has unearthed allegations of similar impropriety in at least five other incidents in four countries (including El Salvador, Argentina, and Russia) over the past decade or more. These incidents, and statements made by former Secret Service members, suggest a well-established pattern of such activity, particularly among agents conducting advance prep work before VIP visits.

The fine hand of the Moon/Pluto occultation is easy to see in Pluto’s rulership of scandals, sexual matters, prostitution, the “Secret” Service, and the service’s role in security — a lunar issue — as well as the hotel where the transgression occurred, hotels also being Moon-ruled. The catalyst for this revelation was one Arthur Huntington, age 41. His pivotal role is well represented celestially by asteroid Arthur (#2597) at 11° Aries, closely squared the Moon/Pluto occultation at 9° Capricorn. The escort he refused to pay was Dania Suarez, age 24, represented by asteroid Suarez (#6438) at 15° Capricorn, conjoined the occultation.  

Asteroid Arthur is at least as well connected as his terrestrial namesake. He is now being conjoined by Uranus (shocks, revelations, erratic behaviors) at 5° Aries and appearing at the apex of a large mirror configuration (2) encompassing sextile aspects to asteroid Bacchus (drinking, partying, sexual licentiousness) at 9° Aquarius, and Venus (women, intimacy, romance, cash payments) at 7° Gemini conjunct the South Node (old habits that are unproductive or limiting), also at 7° Gemini, and asteroid Karma (the results of our prior actions and choices) at 11° Gemini. Asteroid Arthur squares Pluto/Suarez, as well as asteroid Askalaphus (named for the tale-bearing denizen of Hades who revealed Persephone’s secrets) at 5° Cancer, and inconjuncts asteroids Aphrodite (affairs of the heart, flirtations) at 8° Scorpio retrograde, and Arachne (creation of intrigue and entanglement, entrapment) at 5° Virgo retrograde.  (Arachne is conjoined Mars (sexuality) at 3° Virgo, powerfully stationary just before turning direct a day later, but a bit broad by aspect to include into this pattern directly.) Furthermore, asteroid Arthur is in opposition to asteroid America (the U.S.A.), at 5° Libra retrograde, and TransNeptunianObject Typhon (storms, tribulations) at 4° Libra retrograde.


(1)   HostedNews

(2) Editors note: In an email from the author: “Mirror configuration” is a pattern I first heard about at an NYC NCGR conference in the early ’90s.” 

Note from Alex Miller: Thanks to Eric Francis for making me aware of the occultations, and for the calculations and asteroid data.  

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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