TMA This Week

On the Threshold of New Beginnings

By Mary Plumb | November 25, 2019

The New Moon is tomorrow (November 26) at 4° Sagittarius.

At the monthly dark-of-the-Moon period, we might be aware of all that has ended and passed away. The acute feelings in the days before the New Moon are intensified more than usual now, since there are also three planetary cycles in their Balsamic phases — the current monthly dark Moon periods can sometimes feel like the weight of the ages is encroaching upon our fragile internal ecosystems. Saturn–Pluto, Saturn–Jupiter, and Jupiter–Pluto are all in the Balsamic phase of their respective synodic cycles, and their themes and correlations are depleted or exhausted. (1)

Considering the monthly synodic period of the Sun and Moon, the dark of the Moon is of course when we look up and see darkness; we are suspended by faith that a new life, a new vision will indeed come. A quality of these times is the notion of borderlands of consciousness, or shorelines, where the stable land meets the fluid unknown. In biological reference, these liminal spaces — or ill-defined states — are replete with enormous biodiversity and adaptability. (2)

I imagine, in the longer scope of time, that lead, tin, and all invisible matter (associated with Saturn, Jupiter, and Pluto, respectively) are being recombined with new formulas, capacities, and proportions.

We may temporarily be hitting a few little (or massive) walls of obstruction or delay in our current view of reality, but we are also on the brink of generating (conjunctions) necessary (Saturn), unbounded and joyful (Jupiter), invisible and penetrating (Pluto) skills and insights for a new time.

We may all be goats at moments, lonely and cold on the mountaintop, but the great celebrations of the returning of the Sun are within reach (the solstice occurs on December 21).

Even closer at hand is the Moon–Jupiter conjunction (also an occultation) at 29° Sagittarius on November 28 — Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Wherever we are located, this is an unmistakable call, from the effervescence of life itself, to be of good cheer and celebrate. Jupiter is inclusive, so we are grateful for all of it — for life and death, for breath, for friends and family, for illness and health. A toast to our readers that we will all enjoy some of the genuinely warm, jolly, and exuberant qualities that are part of our moment in time.


(1) Jupiter and Saturn have a 19.8–year synodic cycle. Their last conjunction was on May 28, 2000 at 22°43’ Taurus. As a further note to the current pervasive theme of endings, Jupiter and Saturn meet for 200 years in the same element. They have been conjoining in earth signs since 1802 — the beginning of the Industrial Revolution — and 2000 was the last conjunction in earth signs. The next conjunction, December 20, 2020 at 0°29’ Aquarius begins a 200-year period of conjunctions in air signs.

Jupiter and Pluto have a 12.46–year synodic cycle. Their last conjunction was at 28°23’ Sagittarius in December 2007; the next is April 4, 2020 at 24°53’ Capricorn.

And lastly, Saturn and Pluto have a 35.6–year synodic cycle. Their last conjunction was at 27°35’ Libra on November, 8 1982. The Balsamic phase of these heavy hitters began on September 9, 2008 when Saturn was at 12°35’ Virgo, which is 45° from 27°35’ Libra. They reunite on January 12, 2020 at 22°46’ Capricorn.

(2) “In anthropology, liminality (from the Latin word limen, meaning ‘a threshold’) is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of a rite of passage, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the rite is complete. During a rite’s liminal stage, participants ‘stand at the threshold’ between their previous way of structuring their identity, time, or community, and a new way, which completing the rite establishes …

“During liminal periods of all kinds, social hierarchies may be reversed or temporarily dissolved, continuity of tradition may become uncertain, and future outcomes once taken for granted may be thrown into doubt. The dissolution of order during liminality creates a fluid, malleable situation that enables new institutions and customs to become established.”
Wikipedia (viewed page last edited on 15 November 2019)

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Ronan Farrow: Exceptional chart, exceptional talent

By Barbara Eaton | November 11, 2019

Ronan Farrow has been in the news again, inspiring us with his talent, courage, and amazing productivity. (1) One look at his natal chart explains much. (2)

Ronan Farrow
Dec. 19, 1987
10:49 a.m. EST
Manhattan, N.Y.
Placidus houses, True node

The ruler of his Aquarius Ascendant is Uranus, which falls in a large stellium in the mid to late degrees of Sagittarius. This stellium trines Jupiter at 19°47’ Aries, inflating and exaggerating all of those Sagittarian influences. The Jupiter–Uranus trine is perhaps the luckiest aspect; I have written about this aspect in relation to Donald Trump’s chart. (3)

In Farrow’s case, the stellium is in Jupiter’s sign, further strengthening the best and perhaps the worst qualities of a Sadge, which could include dilettantism, restlessness, inability to follow through on projects and promises, and a tendency to jump to conclusions — but also a voluminous appetite for experience and, in this case, because of his high intelligence, a need for broad-based intellectual stimulation. This large, well-aspected stellium clearly suggests some significant intellectual talents, and in the 10th house, there is a destiny for notoriety or work in the public sphere. So, why has Farrow not succumbed to the worst of these Sagittarian traits?

First, the stellium includes Saturn, a very sobering influence that curbs some of the worst tendencies of Sagittarius by endowing caution and pragmatism. Uranus in the stellium adds some brilliance, a scientific bent, originality, and perhaps a maverick quality that underscores Farrow’s ability to think outside the box. A prominent Uranus also can correlate with one who rebels against the norms of his culture and authority in general, and this Uranus is in the 10th house, suggesting a strong motivation to question authority. His Mercury gets a boost of both Uranian and Saturnian energies, which he displays with his very articulate and precise speech that is well seasoned with logic and intelligence.

Farrow’s Mars–Pluto conjunction in Scorpio also helps to curb some of the restlessness and scattering of energies that is so common with a strong Sadge nativity. Scorpio is a sign of keen focus and strong courage, and this Mars position gives great determination. Pluto in the mix strengthens this resolve and can make for obsessiveness in pursuit of an objective.

This large of a stellium (five planets and the Midheaven) is quite rare, yet even more extraordinary, we find that the four closely clustered planets are also parallel in declination. (4) And if that weren’t enough to mark this nativity as quite exceptional, three planets are out of bounds, those being Mercury, Uranus, and the Moon. (5)

Recently, posted an article by Mandy Lockley showing charts of many whistleblowers, all of whom have some prominent chart feature on the Galactic Center (26° Sagittarius.)

The chart contains only one square: that of Venus and Jupiter. In most cases, a chart heavy with trines and having only one square or opposition produces a situation where the person tends to be an underachiever. This happens because they have so many blessings and unearned opportunities early in life that they may not develop a spiritual muscle. Often, they find they can get by on their charm and a smile, or they have unrealistic expectations; then, they suffer later in life as a result of their lack of discipline, focus, and realism. It appears that this is not the case with Farrow, and the only theory I can offer as to why he seems to have escaped this fate and made the very best of his natal gifts is the position of his Moon’s nodes.

His nodal axis closely squares his Sagittarius stellium. Some astrologers in the school of Evolutionary Astrology teach that when a planet squares the nodal axis, it is a sign that in the past lifetime there was a “skipped step,” which needs to be mastered in this lifetime. This results in a great need or a karmic destiny to focus on the energies and affairs of that planet’s placement by house and sign. Perhaps this is the force that has motivated Farrow to be so effective in expressing his Sagittarian gifts by exposing powerful authority figures and the dysfunctions of our institutions through his exemplary journalism.

And last but not least, there is an interesting grand trine in fire, if we include Eris–Jupiter in Aries trine the Black Moon–Orcus and his Moon in Sagittarius. (6) Those of you who work with these points may be able to add insight into this configuration; your comments are welcomed.


(1) Farrow is currently on a media tour for his new book, Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators.
See Wikipedia: Ronan Farrow for biographical details.

(2) Ronan Farrow, December 19, 1987; 10:49 a.m. EST; Manhattan, NY, USA (40°N35’, 73°W59’); AA data, AstroDatabank.

(3) See the author’s article on Donald Trump.

(4) The Sun is at 23°S24’ declination, Uranus at 23°S34’, Saturn at 22°S10’, and Mercury at 24°S34’. (Although not part of this stellium, Venus and Neptune are also parallel to one another at 22°S31’ and 22°S16’, respectively.)

(5) Any planet beyond 23°27’ south or north of the equator is considered to be out of bounds. The Moon is at 27°S00’, Mercury at 24°S34’, and Uranus at 23°S34’.

(6) See chart .

Bio: B. A. (Bee) Eaton is a retired educator and holds a Master’s Degree in education and degrees in art and design. She coordinated a large educational research project at Kent State University in Ohio, and worked as a public school teacher. She began her love affair with astrology at the age of 15, and now devotes her time to learning, practicing, and teaching astrology in between short excursions to her garden. You can visit her astrology blog at The Living Sky





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2020 Astrological Calendars

By Mary Plumb | October 31, 2019

As we move towards the turning of the year and all of the unfolding planetary storylines, it seems like a good moment to round up some astrological calendars.

This blog idea was also precipitated by the news that a popular calendar — Jim Maynard’s Celestial Calendars — will not be available for 2020, but hopefully return for 2021. (From the website: “We are hoping to have another publisher lined up to take over the Celestial Calendars for the 2021s.”)

In the mean time, you can download the first four months of 2020 (either Eastern or Pacific time) for free here.


Another long-loved calendar, We’Moon: Gaia Rhythms for Womyn is in its 39th year of production. “The datebook presents a comprehensive introduction to astrology; to Sun, Moon and Earth cycles; and the seasonal Holy Days.”

A collaborative effort, there are over 250 articles by different astrologers, with art and poetry accompanying the astrological information. The datebooks are available in spiral binding in English or Spanish, paperback binding, and loose-leafed. ($21.95) There is also a wall calendar ($16.95). The datebook is in Pacific Time with all the time zone conversions across the world for easy reference.

We’Moon’s 2020 theme: “Wake Up Call sets out to wake us, sometimes gently, sometimes with alarm, to our peril and our opportunities. This call summons and inspires us for the deepest, most loving rescue work we can imagine. We urgently seek new possibilities for healing Earth and mending humanity. Goddess-sight is here. 2020—Clear Vision.”


Creative Cronies Astrological Moon Calendar & Moon Diary are Southern hemisphere based — produced in New Zealand and in existence for 42 years. The 2020 Moon Calendars feature astrological guidance for the year, Sun sign predictions, monthly forecasts, Moon phases, sign changes, eclipse details, gardening and fishing guides and Mayan Calendar Ninth Wave Spiritual Days and Nights. (NZ $27)

The spiral-bound Moon Diary has similar content along with New Moon maps and interpretations, daily oracles (based on Moon signs and planetary aspects). (NZ $35) Both versions have colorful original artwork. “Our 2020 theme, Weaving New Cosmic Contracts, explores how each Zodiac Sign expresses Self through our physical bodies and links this to where and how our natural inclinations might be most useful in our rapidly changing physical world.”


Long time astrologers Ralph and Lahini De Amicis have a Planetary Calendar Day Planner (for Pacific Time) with much astrological detail. There are New and Full Moon charts, daily forecasts, Sun sign guidance times to the lunations, month (and week) at a glance, planetary and lunar aspects, lunation meditations, ephemeris, information about essential oils, spaces for notes and appointments and more. There is a wall calendar (in three sizes, $18 and $20); the 218-page day planner ($27), and a digital version ($12). See the website for lots of graphics from the products.


Michele Finey of Celestial Insights has an Astrology Calendar that is packed with information. Timed for Australia, it is available as a wall calendar ($25) or as a PDF for download ($12). It includes planetary positions, lunar perigees and Supermoons, monthly analysis of key events (with advice and guidance), global cycles and trends for 2020, equinox and solstice charts (with Chiron, asteroids and Eris), as well as a beginner section and original images of Australia. Designed for beginners as well as professionals, it is both easy to read and detailed. A feature that is different from other calendars: There are no glyphs in the monthly pages, the data is written out — e.g., for July 12: “Chiron SR 09AR26 Mercury SD 05CN29.”


Llewellyn: New World’s of Body, Mind & Spirit Since 1901 has calendars in many related subjects — e.g., magic, tarot, alchemy — but the astrology section has three primary offerings. The 2020 Astrological Calendar (Eastern Time) has monthly artwork and horoscopes, days for planting and fishing, rewarding and difficult days, travel advice, an astrology beginner’s primer and major daily aspects. ($15.99)
The 2020 Daily Planetary Guide ($12.99) is a datebook format with weekly forecasts, daily aspects, ephemerides, retrograde planets, eclipses, and “Opportunity Periods— times when the positive flow of energy is at its peak.” The 2020 Astrological Pocket Planner (4”X 6”) has a daily ephemeris and aspectarian. ($9.99) (According to the website, this product is not yet in stock.)
See the website for details on the 2020 Moon Sign Book and 2020 Sun Sign Book.


Astrid Fallon has created her products for a number of years; she is a very skillful interpretor of the astronomical basis of astrology which informs her products. (She gave a webinar on Declination Matters, OOB and 3D Astrology this past weekend for ISAR.) Astrid produces the Astro Agenda (a diary) and the annual Rainbow Ephemeris. The diary is easy to carry it is 68 pages, bound with staples. It is available in French or English; the cover is in French as that is the only part produced by a professional printer. She does the printing and stabling pages herself! Astrid mails her products internationally; there are no digital editions. Here is a sample page from the ephemeris where you can see her very colorful work which is replete with astrological/astronomical data: daily ephemeris, the Black Moon, declinations, Moon Apogee and Perigee, and much more.

And, here is the 2020 Astro Diary (in English).


A web search uncovered calendars that I have not seen, here are a few that I found.

Phaedra Mitchell of Mystick Physick has a day planner designed for ease of use: “Our Ultimate Astrological Day Planner is the ONLY full size monthly planner that you don’t need to be a professional astrologer to use.” It is available in sidereal (Fagan-Bradley) or tropical zodiacs and is color-coded for “the best days for love, business & good luck through January 2021.” The user can choose a cover design and there is also a downloadable PDF version. ($24.99 – $59.99)
Although the planner on the website is created for Eastern Time, Phaedra will customize in your choice of time zone (for an additional $9.99). In an email she wrote: “… for folks who are interested in that feature I recommend reaching out to me directly and we can make it happen.”
There are other products at Mystick Physick, including a Planetary Observation Journal for noting transits and creating a personal astrological journal.


Magic of I has a 2020 Astrological Planner ($45); a pocket-sized planner ($30) and other products, i.e., stickers, Moon phase poster and journal.The planner looks beautifully produced in black or white “lush silk touch” vegan leather, with an aim of 100% recycled materials for the 256 pages. “We avoid mass printing in China and focus on small, high quality print runs. We print in Europe using highly skilled artisans and an amazing production team who are continually evolving with us.”

The planners are available for the Northern Hemisphere PST (GMT-8) or Southern Hemisphere AEST (GMT+10), and includes lots of astrological features. “The 2020 Astrological Planner is a powerful tool for creating magic and living in alignment with the cosmos. You do not need to know astrology to own this planner, but it is suitable for beginner to advanced astrologers.”

This is a start, I know there are others out there. Please let us know of any 2020 calendars that you’ve used and I have overlooked. Thank you. Have a good Scorpio New Moon week everyone.

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What fuels Greta?

By Mary Plumb | September 30, 2019

Climate activist Greta Thunberg was born January 3, 2003, right after the Capricorn New Moon. We don’t have a time for her, but the lunation was exact at 9:23 p.m. CET on January 2, so she is definitely a New Moon (not Balsamic) birth. (1) With no known time, this chart is set for sunrise (the Moon traveled from 13° to 27° Capricorn on January 3).

Greta Thunberg
Janary 3, 2003
Sunrise 8:51 am CET
Stockholm, Sweden (59N10 18E03)

Mercury stationed retrograde on January 2 at 28° Capricorn; Mercury is still and steady in the sky and carries the thoughtfulness of its evening star position (i.e., rising after the Sun). In the progressed chart, Mercury will turn direct at 12° Capricorn when Greta is about 20 years old. Mercury returning to the degree of the natal Sun adds more significance to that degree (in the middle decan of Capricorn) — something to explore in a future blog.

Although Greta became aware of climate change when she was eight years old, she started her public activism on August 20, 2018. That year, Sweden had suffered heat waves and wildfires in its hottest summer in at least 262 years; she began her strike alone outside the Swedish parliament, in a call for stronger action on global warming. There was a solar eclipse on August 11, 2018 at 18°34’ Leo — close to her natal Jupiter at 16°40’ Leo, which is trine her natal Pluto at 18°21’ Sagittarius. The next eclipse, also solar, was on January 5, 2019 at 15°31’ Capricorn, the sign of her Sun and Moon.

Greta has Mars square Uranus in fixed signs in the natal chart: Mars at 21° Scorpio and Uranus at 26° Aquarius. In 2018, the year that she began her public life as an activist, transiting Mars in early Aquarius squared Uranus, which had just moved into fixed sign Taurus, three times: May 16, August 1, and September 18.

In October 2018, she spoke at an event organized by Extinction Rebellion and said: “We’re facing an immediate unprecedented crisis that has never been treated as a crisis, and our leaders are all acting like children. We need to wake up and change everything.”

In January 2019, she spoke at the World Economic Forum at Davos: “I want you to act as if the house is on fire — because it is.” And in June 2019, a poll in the U.K. found that Thunberg has “‘pierced the bubble of denial’” of public concern about the environment.

On September 23, 2019, with the Sun at 0° Libra, she addressed the Climate Action Summit at the U.N. headquarters in New York City. (2) A video of her four-minute speech has been viewed many millions of times, and although stunningly inspirational to many, it has sadly opened her to some biting and cruel criticism as well.

Mars is always strong in tropical Scorpio. Mars is also conjunct the stars in the Scales of the constellation of Libra. Zuben Eschamali (18°46’ Scorpio) is the northern Scale; Zuben Elgenubi (15°17’ Scorpio) is the southern Scale. (3) Although these stars are faint, they have a rich history. The Scales of Libra are mythically connected to the goddess Astraea, the last of the gods to stay on Earth. As mankind became more corrupt, she ascended to the heavens and became the constellation Virgo; the scales of justice that she carried became the constellation Libra. Both stars of the scales are connected to social justice and reform, adding layers of meaning to the already powerful Mars in Scorpio. Vivian E. Robson wrote about Zuben Eschamali: “With Mars: High ambitions, success through energy, influential position, forceful writer and speaker.” (4)

The constellation of the royal prince, Perseus, is also notable in Greta’s horoscope. Anne Wright quotes George Noonan in Fixed Stars and Judicial Astrology (1990) on her website: “The constellation is indicative of events affecting large numbers of people, especially those events caused by major meteorological phenomena.” (5)

Capulus (24°12’ Taurus) is a nebula in the sword of Perseus; it is opposite Greta’s natal Mars and Venus positions. Bernadette Brady describes Capulus as “focused, direct, penetrating action.” (6) Algol, the star on the severed head of Medusa that Perseus holds, is the companion star to Capulus. Algol (26°10’ Taurus) has long been seen as a star that carries a fearsome power. Brady encapsulates early sources on Algol by declaring that the star is connected to any “foul, demonic deed that could befall the human race.” (7) Venus and Mars are rising ahead of the Sun in Thunberg’s horoscope, and both are across the zodiac (180°) from Algol. This “demonic deed” is what she passionately recognizes in our world, inspiring such memorable phrases as “I want you to act as if the house is on fire — because it is.” And her concluding remarks from the recent U.N. panel: “We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.”

Note one star conjunct her Sun at 13° Capricorn: Wega (Vega) at 15°19’ Capricorn, a first magnitude star in the constellation of Lyra, the Harp. This star is connected to the musician Orpheus who grieved for his lost wife, Eurydice. (I’m reminded of Greta’s often-expressed anguish and sorrow: “People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction.”) Wega’s association with Orpheus also links it to magical spells and great charisma, and Aleksandar Imsiragic notes that it gives an “outstanding inclination for science.” (8)

One other thing: The Moon was out of bounds in Capricorn on the day Thunberg was born; this suggests emotional self-sufficiency and determinism, a unique awareness of hierarchies and responsibilities, and her unabashed bravery in confronting adults and leaders who “are all acting like children.”


(1) Birth date, biographical material and all quotes from Wikipedia

(2) This is a transcript of her speech and a video of the event (the video cues right to her speech).

(3) Longitude positions for 2000 as noted by Aleksandar Imsiragic, The Pillars of Destiny, astro.lab, 2016.

(4) Constellation of Words: Zubenelshamali

(5) Constellation of Words: Algol

(6) Bernadette Brady, Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars, Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1998, p. 193.

(7) Ibid., p. 188.

(8) Imsiragic, The Pillars of Destiny, p. 191.

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By Jeremy Neal | September 16, 2019

Brexit, Brexit, Brexit: This is all we hear about in the U.K. these days. While the social and societal institutions that once made this country a good place to live fall to ruin through neglect and underfunding all around us, nobody wants to talk about anything other than Brexit.

It seems odd to say, but while predicting the future is difficult, predicting the past is not always easy either. As astrologers, we are concerned with understanding patterns, and allowing not so much the fabric but the weave of the fabric we are contemplating to tell its story; this can be tricky to understand, even when events are long past. And when we consider broad entities, such as nations, this is exacerbated by the necessity to look at so-called mundane astrology, which has somewhat different significations than the personal stars we are familiar with.

Nonetheless, the astrology of Brexit has followed a pattern so concise and self-evident that even non-astrologers might grasp it completely.

Although rumblings about the nature of Britain’s relationship with the wider Continent have been audible since the final days of the Second World War, there was no serious desire to examine these bonds outside the very right wing fringes of the British Conservative Party Conservative Party — that is, until, pandering to pressure from that very faction, Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron announced his intention to hold an in-or-out referendum. This address, which came to be known as the Bloomberg Speech, took place in central London on January 23, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.

(all charts Placidus houses, Mean node
Bloomberg Speech
Jan. 23, 2013
9:00 a.m. GMT
London, England (51N30, 0W10′)

This places Neptune within a one-minute conjunction with the Ascendant. In the mundane chart, Neptune’s influence is over the mass of people. C. C. Zain describes it thus: “The most pronounced influence of Neptune is to exaggerate the hopes and expectations.” (1) Here, Neptune is powerful in his sign (Pisces) and precisely rising. Zain goes on to say, “He is thus the most active factor in promotion schemes, in vast undertakings … and in utopian enterprises … On his adverse side, he is the particular patron of frauds, swindles, confidence men, and all the more subtle methods by which, without violence, people are taken advantage of.” As the progress of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union continues, the myriad benefits pledged by the advocates of the Leave campaign seem to have slowly evaporated in high Neptunian fashion! The early promise of a cash bonanza for public services has, chimera-like, changed into a worrying deficit, shortages of foodstuffs and medicines, the necessity of selling off public services to American corporations, and the gradual devaluation of Britain’s currency.

The institutions of law and legislature have become embroiled in the argument and counterargument such that the foundations of Britain’s centuries-old parliamentary authority are, perhaps fatally, undermined.

These effects may be presaged by Neptune’s square to Jupiter, significator of law and legislature, weakened by its detriment in Gemini and placed in the 3rd house. Also ominous of future woes and calamity is the exact conjunction of Neptune with asteroid Melpomene, muse of tragedy. Without any doubt, the combination of these deceiving, quixotic visions of a better future outside of Europe have unleashed a legacy of woe upon the very fabric of Britain, no matter the eventual outcome.

At a more esoteric level, the muses are the daughters of memory. This is quite literally true as they are the offspring of Mnemosyne (goddess of remembrance) and her consort, Zeus. Wherever any of the muses is configured in the astrology there is a strong connection to memories, which are an individual retrospection. The recollections of a personal past determine the expectations of how the future might unfold, and approaches to that future are selected or rejected accordingly. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder precisely because the formative experiences of an individual that constitute their expectations are the remembered preferences and aversions of a subjective past.

The muses model idealism based on accepted past norms. We understand what is beautiful in art because we have seen good art and bad, and while there will always be outliers, a consensus is formed, which is itself part of one’s expectations of all that is right and good. The muses represent then, an attempt to personify the process of understanding what perfection looks like. As a result, one can perhaps appreciate the potential of their power in a mundane chart. For a great many people, especially those who are older, whose past travels further back and has thereby been more radically supplanted by change, the difference between what the perfect society is and the society they find themselves in is fundamentally more jarring.

These are the people who have been most hopelessly seduced by Melpomene’s hinted vision of Brexit. It is a vision of Britain once described by former Prime Minister John Major as: “the country of long shadows on county grounds, warm beer, invincible green suburbs, dog lovers and pools fillers.” (2) The older generation voted overwhelmingly to reclaim this halcyon past, seemingly unconcerned with whether or not it was possible to recapture it.

George Orwell was another who attempted to frame this English utopia which seems to have become a part of the fabric of the Brexit dream. He once described an English civilisation and concluded that it was “somehow bound up with solid breakfasts and gloomy Sundays, smoky towns and winding roads, green fields and red pillar-boxes.” (3)

The Brexit chart is fascinating, then, because of its appealing allusion to a better and more comforting past. But let us now examine the broad strokes of the Brexit Bill, the actual piece of legislation that made the referendum possible in the first place. As stated, its name was spoken aloud on January 23rd for the first time. A private members bill was given its first reading on June 19th, the second reading on July 5th, and on November 30th, Parliament approved the bill, promising to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU by 2017. (4)

Let us now compare the passage of the EU Referendum Bill with transits of Pluto to Britain’s Sun.

United Kingdom
January 1, 1801
12:00 a.m. LMT
London, England (51N30, 0W10′)

2013: Transiting Pluto and the British Sun (10°10’ Capricorn)
(1/3 refers to the first of three exact transits, etc.)

The symmetry, despite its disenchanting consequence, is beautiful. There is a 72-hour variance between Brexit’s proposal and acceptance into law with Pluto’s transit to the U.K. Sun, which, let us not forget, is an event that has not happened within the scope of the U.K.’s most current astrology. (5) In the previous chart for Great Britain, that of the Norman Conquest (Christmas Day 1066), the last transit of Pluto conjunct the British Sun occurred through 1767, as the British colonies in America were agitating for independence. (6) At that time the most significant events relating to British sovereignty centred upon the Townshend Acts, which attempted to impose taxes on various trade goods moving in and out of Boston in the American colonies. (7) Of those goods, perhaps the most prominent was, rather prophetically, tea. American patriots responded to the legislation by arguing that they should not be taxed while they held no sway in the Parliament to which they were subject (“no taxation without representation”). It was this series of legislations which really hardened attitudes against British rule and gave rise to the American War of Independence. After this disastrous American experiment, Britain never again dared to impose direct taxation of any of her colonies, and it really marked the beginning of the end for the British Empire.

Two-and-a-half centuries before, during the Pluto-to-Sun transit of 1520–21, the same question was asked of Henry VIII. Who holds the power: King or Pope? The first pretensions to absolute authority must have stirred early on in young King Henry’s breast, married as he was to his brother’s widow but with a famously roving eye. Within a decade, the battle was joined, and after the Protestant Reformation, the Church of Rome never again held so much authority. Under Pluto, the test of sovereignty is absolute and chooses right every time.

If we take a long view of the prevailing dynamics of British rule at each of these transits, it is therefore possible to glean some of the key foundations of the mundane Pluto-to-Sun transit. The principal question of this transit is, “Who really holds the power?” Since the Sun is representative of leaders — traditionally of Kings and Queens, but latterly of elected Heads of State and sovereign bodies — this transit will always conduct a fierce examination of the underlying principles of power. Pluto has this effect, wherever he narrows his focus, of testing for existential validity. To fail the test leads to annihilation, and the old, indestructible crucible of Hades is once again readied for the formulation of new and stronger alloys.

(1) C. C. Zain, Mundane Astrology: Interpreting Astrological Phenomena for Cities, Nations and Groups, Church of Light, 1935.

(2) Wikiquote

(3) George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius, Searchlight Books, Secker & Warburg, 1941.

(4) European Union (Referendum) Bill 2013–14 (see European Union Referendum)

(5) There are four major charts for the U.K., beginning with the coronation of Edgar the Peaceful in 973 C.E. The most referenced chart is for the foundation of the United Kingdom – the legal union of great Britain and Ireland: January 1, 1801; 00:00 LMT; London, England. Please see Baigent, Campion & Harvey, Mundane Astrology, Hammersmith, London: Aquarian Press, 1984, p. 433.

(6) The Norman Conquest horoscope has the Sun at 9°55’ Capricorn; data: December 25, 1066; 12:00 LMT; London, England (51°N30’, 00°W10’). See Nicholas Campion, The Book of World Horoscopes, The Wessex Astrologer, Ltd., 1998, p. 337.

On January 9, July 31, and November 10, 1767, transiting Pluto was conjunct the Sun, as shown below.

(7) It is commonly held that there were five Townshend Acts passed by British Parliament: two on June 5, 1726, two on June 29, 1767, and the last on July 26, 1768. Resistance to the Townshend Acts eventually led to the Boston Massacre of 1770.


Bio: Jeremy Neal is an astrologer living in Durham, England. He is the author of Orcus (reviewed in TMA 10/13), available via Amazon in paperback or Kindle. See his blog: Jeremy Neal’s Chirotic Journal

Please enjoy Jeremy’s previous guest blog for TMA: Orcus opposite Neptune: then and now

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Immigration: The Defining Issue of the 2020 U.S. Election

By Edith Hathaway | August 12, 2019

Part 1: Immigration — Left and Right
(Editor’s note: this is part 1 of a 2-part article; there is a link below to Part 2.)

“It’s a Republic, if you can keep it.” — Benjamin Franklin, 1789

Jupiter is the planet of expansion, abundance, law, justice, and religion, while Saturn is the planet of constriction, discipline, limits, borders, and rules — especially for marriage, families, and societies. Saturn is more concerned with tradition, material security, and safety. In the planetary hierarchy, the teaching is that rules are needed in the midst of expansion and prosperity.

In many ways, Jupiter represents the liberal philosophy of John Locke (1632 – 1704), the British philosopher and physician who believed in the innate goodness and cooperative spirit in the human being and the human race. His anti-authoritarian views are expressed in his Two Treatises [on civil government], published in 1689.

Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1679), on the other hand, believed that all people are not inherently good. His more conservative and materialistic philosophy represents Saturn. Hobbes was a British philosopher and ardent monarchist, whose major work Leviathan (published in 1651) concerned the structure of society and legitimate government. He was less trusting in the human being to look out for others, and more willing to let a government have absolute authority over its subjects and its institutions. Hobbes focused more on the innate evil or brutishness in human beings, and how it would be impossible in a political community for people to agree on what should be the common good without a strong executive power — in that era called “a commonwealth” or “a sovereign” — as this would provide and preserve peace and stability within the society.

Scholars and historians likewise associate Liberals with John Locke, and Conservatives with Thomas Hobbes. While both men agreed that social contracts exist to preserve the common good and to protect private rights, they disagreed on how the social contract should be achieved, with Locke trusting more in the ability of people in a political community to reach consent among themselves.

The planetary equivalents of Left (Liberal) and Right (Conservative) views on political matters can help us to better understand the critical issues of our times. Applied to the current red-hot issue of immigration in the U.S. and elsewhere, we see how those on the Left want to decriminalize border crossing and give free health care and other social services to all illegal immigrants, while those on the Right want to tighten border security, build a wall, and enforce the Rule of Law. The Right points out that the “free” health care being offered is taxpayer funded.

 Immigration Crisis in the United States

The U.S. currently has more than 40 million foreign-born citizens, the largest foreign-born population of any nation. Beyond that, illegal immigrants also residing in the U.S now total between 17 and 29 million — up to 9% of the U.S. population — and growing exponentially since President Trump took office in January 2017. Their average length of stay is 15 years (2017 data). Since 2014, there is a 300% increase in immigrants entering the U.S. illegally.

The surge of migrants flooding across the U.S. southern border has taken advantage of weak immigration laws (which Democrats have refused to revise), unguarded border areas, and insufficient staff and detention facilities. In 2012, Democrat U.S. President Obama created his DACA policy (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), an administrative stopgap measure that added to the problem of enforcement by postponing indefinitely a whole category of deportations. DACA has also led directly to a massive increase in children being smuggled across the border, and of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) crossing the border. The UACs are left vulnerable to drug and trafficking smugglers — all this made worse since Democrats passed a provision that ICE (Immigration Control Enforcement Agency) cannot detain or take any action against adults with UACs. Even then, more than 80% of DACA people do not appear in court.

U.S. Immigration courts have a current backlog of over 900,000 cases. Even with more judges being hired, court cases spin out for years, and migrants disappear into the communities, often hooking up with family members who also entered the U.S. illegally, lack documents, and avoid or ignore deportation orders. Up to one million of these migrants have criminal records, including some 10,000 MS-13 gang members from El Salvador, known for drug smuggling and acts of extreme violence. But the Left wants to protect all migrants at whatever cost.

There are eight “Sanctuary States” in the U.S. These include two Border States: California and New Mexico. They have all refused to comply with Federal Immigration Law. Illegal aliens are welcomed and receive many benefits. California gives them free health care and driver’s licenses, which are also a conduit to voter rights. California state “Motor voter” laws automatically register every license holder.

The Right wants stronger immigration laws and enforcement. They want immigrants to proceed through the proper channels, including legal ports of entry. They view Sanctuary States and Cities as rogue operations, since they threaten the viability of federal laws and their enforcement, notably with immigration. By intentionally overwhelming the system, often with ample funding and coaching from the Left, illegal immigrants are pushing a now explosive rhetorical and real political battle between the U.S. Left and Right.

On Saturday, July 13, 2019, a 69-year-old Leftist was shot and killed by police while firebombing the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington. He was a member of the domestic terrorist group Antifa, which was quick to praise him for his actions as a “martyr” and a “fallen comrade.” No Democrat politician or presidential candidate has condemned Antifa or the attack. This includes freshman Democrat Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley, who have repeatedly used such rhetoric as “concentration camps” to refer to ICE facilities — the same term used in the Antifa terrorist’s three-page “Manifesto.” Nor has Leftist mainstream media covered the event for the domestic terrorist act that it is. Instead, they quickly pivoted to spread outrage at Trump’s tweets about the radical extremist Democrats above, a.k.a. “the Squad.” Trump called their statements anti-American and anti-Semitic.

Along with trade wars, information technology, and cyber security, immigration has risen to a key issue at this time, due to the current planetary focus on the sidereal Gemini–Sagittarius axis. Since this is also the Ascendant of the United States chart (8°59’ Sagittarius), with four planets in the USA chart in Gemini (Mars, Venus, Jupiter, and the Sun — in that order), the U.S. is hugely involved in dealing with immigration issues, and perhaps setting some important precedents. (1)

Important transits to Gemini and Sagittarius
(All placements and transits are in the sidereal zodiac)

• Transiting Saturn is in Sagittarius: January 26 to June 20, 2017; October 26, 2017 to January 25, 2020.

• The eclipse axis (Rahu-Ketu) enters Gemini-Sagittarius from March 7, 2019 to September 23, 2020. Eclipses (Mean Node)  are then predominantly on the Gemini-Sagittarius axis: July 12, 2018; January 5, July 2, July 16, and December 25, 2019; January 10, June 21, and July 4, 2020.

• Transiting Jupiter is in Sagittarius March 29 to April 23, 2019; November 4, 2019 to March 29, 2020; July 1 to November 21, 2020.

• Transiting Jupiter and Saturn are together in Sagittarius: March 29 to April 23, 2019; November 4, 2019 through January 25, 2020.

• Outer planet Pluto spends 15 years in sidereal Sagittarius, on and off from February 8, 2005 through December 30, 2020.

• The Saturn–Pluto conjunction at 28°38’ Sagittarius (January 12, 2020) occurs 13 days before transiting Saturn exits Sagittarius on January 25, 2020.

• Transiting Pluto’s last station in Sagittarius is at 28°20’ Sagittarius on October 4, 2020.

• A Jupiter–Saturn conjunction occurs at 6°20’ Capricorn on December 21, 2020, with three more conjunctions in sidereal EARTH: 2040, 2060, and 2080.

The United Nations and Its 2018 Global Policy on Immigration

The United States was one of the very few nations not to sign the United Nations’ agreement on immigration: The U.N. Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. It was signed on December 10, 2018 in Morocco by 164 nations, having been in the works since 2015, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as a driving force behind the document. The agreement makes no distinction between legal and illegal immigration, and declares mass immigration to be “inevitable, desirable and necessary.” A key component of the agreement is this: “Criticism of migration will become a criminal offence. Media outlets that give room to criticism of migration can be shut down.” Thus, according to the United Nations, any criticism of mass migration is now “hate speech.”

After President Trump chose not to sign this U.N. agreement, he was immediately chastised by France’s President Macron and Germany’s Chancellor Merkel for being “unpatriotic” and “nationalistic.” U.S. Democrats also criticized him for wanting to build a wall along the U.S. southern border and for not welcoming all those who want to immigrate to the U.S., even if they enter the country illegally. Not to do so now they consider “racist,” “xenophobic,” and “anti-immigrant.” But Trump’s position is that of the classical Conservative (Saturnian) view that to have a nation, it is necessary to have and enforce national boundaries. Otherwise, the Rule of Law easily disappears. In addition, there are material concerns (also Saturn). Illegal aliens cost the U.S. over $200 billion per year, $18 billion of that on their health care alone. At least 70% of illegal immigrants are on welfare programs — programs primarily intended to help poor American citizens.

The Liberal Leftist point of view is relativist and is known to shift gears and terminology on established laws and trends as they see fit. U.S. Democrats’ views on borders have shifted 180 degrees since 2006. Even in 2015, under Obama, Democrats did not object to deportations. And despite the 300% increase in illegal immigrants entering the U.S. since 2014, the Left refused to believe it until recently, and now views those who support deportation as “racist.” This term is often used now to demonize the opposition.

New words have also come into play, along with outright contradictions, some of them evoking George Orwell’s “Newspeak” in his novel 1984. (Since political and intellectual freedom no longer existed, even as concepts, Newspeak was a language created to meet the ideological needs of The Party.) To have nationalist priorities is now “unpatriotic.” Illegal immigrants are simply aspiring citizens and thus “dreamers” and “undocumented.”

Colorado State University — in the Sanctuary State of Colorado — now advises students not to use the words “America” or “American,” as these are non-inclusive. Otherwise, not everyone on campus will feel “welcomed, respected, and valued.” The Left supports a similar shift in sexual identity; thus, we are no longer just male or female. We can change all that, including the vocabulary, along with much of our national identity and history. Any historic murals and monuments should now be destroyed if they offend someone’s current views. Orwell speaks again: When you get rid of history, The Party dominates. And to disagree with The Party is a “thoughtcrime.”

In France, large numbers of African migrants are now demanding citizenship papers and housing — instantly. Their voices are loud and clear: “We do not have papers, so give them to us.” It should be no surprise that, with the urging of the Left, migrants are now pushing the parameters, especially given the U.N. Immigration Agreement of December 2018 — and now only a matter of switching filing categories.

The fact is that the Liberal Left (Jupiter) now openly embraces a Globalist philosophy that does not recognize national sovereignty and the rights of citizens. It is more focused on a global society and a grand vision of the world, where the rights of migrants are prioritized over the rights of nation-states and their citizens, ironically — as Jupiter also classically rules over the nation-state. To bridge the gap, Saturn has taken over Jupiter’s role of defending the nation-state. And now the Liberal Left (Jupiter) accuses the Conservative (Saturn and the elder) of “nostalgia” and hanging on to some vision of a white America.

Planets do not normally switch roles, but we see it here, with Saturn taking over concerns that Jupiter has abandoned. We shall soon see why, with Jupiter’s weakness in this current era. Coincidentally, it echoes both the U.N.’s support of Globalism and its lack of legally binding authority, though Globalists want it to be “politically binding.” This is confirmed astrologically in the United Nations chart: October 24, 1945, 16:45 EST, Washington, D.C., USA; Ascendant 26°58’ Pisces.

(See Footnote below for links on how to read a North and South Indian chart, and for a circular chart.)

The United Nations: The astrology of why the U.N. has no real legal authority:

• Mars, ruler of the 9th house of legal matters loses the Graha Yuddha (Planetary War) with Saturn, weakening Mars’ ability to enforce U.N. resolutions, including those seeking to prevent war between nations and prevent nations from invading each other.

• The U.N. was born/founded during the Mars-Saturn Dasha, giving even more emphasis to the Mars-Saturn Graha Yuddha. (2)

• Transiting Saturn is now in the 10th house of the U.N. chart; thus, the organization reaches the height of its powers, but could also experience a major fall from grace while transiting Saturn is in Sagittarius, up to January 23, 2020.

• The U.N. enters a new Dasha: Ketu (in the 10th house) on July 26, 2019. Ketu is at 9°59’ Sagittarius, within a 1° orb of the U.S. Ascendant at 8°59’ Sagittarius. The U.N.’s Globalist policies and actions seeking to undermine U.S. sovereignty have now become very clear.

• The Lunar eclipse July 16, 2019 at 29°56’ Sagittarius is close to the U.N. 10th house cusp at 26°58’ Sagittarius.

• Transiting Pluto turns stationary direct (SD) October 3, 2019 at 26°30’ Sagittarius, and again, on October 4, 2020, transiting Pluto turns SD at 28°20’ Sagittarius, its last station in Sagittarius before leaving the sign on December 30, 2020. Both Pluto stations, notably the one in October 2019, are close to the U.N.’s 10th-house cusp; thus, there could be some fundamental re-structuring of the U.N. at this time or soon afterwards.

Globalists vs. Nationalists: The Major Theme of 2019–20

Since 2016 (and earlier), President Trump has established his “America First” or more “Nationalist” priorities. In this situation, we have to assign Nationalism to Saturn, which preserves time-honored and established traditions, along with national borders and legal, merit-based immigration. Democratic leaders and presidential candidates, meanwhile, are making their Globalist position ever clearer, and we have seen how, in the immigration battle, Jupiter more accurately represents the Liberal Leftists. Thus, we have to assign Globalism to Jupiter.

In a press conference on July 11, 2019, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) defended her decision to take no action in Congress to debate, change, or modify current U.S. immigration laws, as President Trump had requested for 2½ years (and with more urgency since early 2019). Speaker Pelosi said that every nation is part of a global community and that no sovereign right should prevent other members of “the human society” from entering our country. Also, on July 11, 2019, Democratic Presidential contender and former Vice President Joe Biden laid out his proposal for a “Globalist view” on immigration, counter to President Trump’s “Nationalist view.”

Despite the overwhelming influx of illegal immigrants to the U.S. and the number of loopholes in the current laws, House Speaker Pelosi also publicly advised potential deportees how they could avoid deportation. California Governor Gavin Newsom and other Democratic leaders have made similar public announcements. What they avoid acknowledging, however, is that all of the currently scheduled deportees have already had their day in court. They have been given previous deportation orders and ignored them, in some cases for many years. Their pleas for asylum have often proven to be baseless. These people are in violation of U.S. laws that President Trump wants to enforce. But Leftists claim that he is “terrorizing immigrant families” with the aim of “cruelty,” and “committing crimes against humanity.” Trump supporters are also accused of “cruelty” and, of course, “racism.” Thus, a potentially incendiary situation is spinning out of control, though some independent journalists are visiting border facilities to report the facts. That reality was sadly missing for many months, while Leftist news media kept saying there was no border crisis, and it was all President Trump’s “manufactured crisis.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a leading Democratic Presidential candidate, initially proposed decriminalizing illegal border crossings. But by mid July 2019, she went further and said that we need to stop securing the border altogether, stop deportations, stop penalties for hiring illegal immigrants, and offer a pathway to citizenship. So far, she and the other Democrat leaders have avoided using the phrase “Open Borders,” but that is the obvious result. It is also in synch with the public chants of the domestic terrorist group, Antifa: “No Borders! No Walls! No USA at all! No Borders! No Walls! No USA at all!”

Biden, Pelosi, Warren, and other leading Democrats are telling us that breaking U.S. law is perfectly acceptable here. Leftists have also funded numerous busloads of immigrants and coached them on how to game the U.S. system. (These individuals allegedly include George Soros and various U.N. subgroups, among others.) But only alternative media follows this. Perhaps emboldened by the December 2018 U.N. Immigration Agreement (which, as mentioned above, the U.S. did not sign), Leftists want to circumvent U.S. law. They oppose border walls, ICE, and the U.S. Border Patrol — all impediments to their immigration goals.

This is a Jupiterian point of view, as Jupiter is inherently expansive and dislikes limitations on its freedom of movement. Jupiter also represents tolerance and, broadly speaking, benevolent human behavior. But in this case, the philosophy of expansionism has exceeded the basic tenets of nationhood. Nor is tolerance coming from Leftists who insist that laws can be broken, as long as they are laws that they no longer like or that their political opponents favor. Further, freedom of speech can be ignored and political enemies censored when Leftists do not share their views. Technocratic tyranny worsens the problem.

Saturn can be repressive and fearful, but at best it provides structure and order. It is the planet of rules and commitment for a working society, especially for marriage and families — thus its exaltation in Libra. To the Saturnian point of view, a policy of Open Borders is asking for chaos. Saturn says that you do not know who is coming through your national borders to stay indefinitely in the U.S. unless you screen them carefully and require them to come through proper entry points. Among them could be criminals, terrorists, human traffickers, and drug traffickers, along with people carrying dreadful diseases, ones for which U.S. citizens have little to no immunity. As of 2017, deportations of U.S. foreign-born individuals were at 295,000, of which 41% percent had prior criminal convictions. Even higher levels of deportations occurred from 2007 to 2014, highest during the Obama administration. (Source: U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security)

Jupiter also rules over knowledge, journalism, and education. The fact that Jupiter’s role has been so much co-opted for a political ideology can be attributed astrologically to its basic weakness in the EARTH period. This runs from 1921 to 2199, when the transiting Jupiter–Saturn conjunctions predominate in sidereal EARTH signs. This becomes even more noticeable in the core period outside of the Mutation periods. This core period runs from February 18, 1961 to March 14, 2080. The JU­-SA conjunction in December 2020 is the halfway point in this core 120-year cycle, and thus a pivotal fulcrum point when it becomes clear whether previous trends (including on immigration) will continue or be reversed.

Author’s Note: Click here for a brief review of how to read a North and South Indian chart.

TMA readers are invited to read Part 2 of Edith Hathaway’s article:Who Wins the Immigration Battle?


(1) The U.S. Ascendant degree referred to here, 8°59’ Sagittarius, is based on the U.S. chart rectified by James Kelleher: July 4, 1776, 18:30 LMT, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Editor’s Note: Here is a chart of the U.S. Sibly for readers unfamiliar with the Indian style (both charts:Sidereal zodiac, Mean node, Placidus houses)

U.S. Sibly
July 4, 1776
6:30 p.m. LMT
Philadelphia, PA (39°N57′ 75°W10′)

Also, here is the United Nations founding chart:
October 24, 1945
4:45 pm EST
Washington, D.C. (38°N42′  77°W02′)

(2) See Part 2 of the author’s article for a definition of Graha Yuddha.

Bio: Edith Hathaway is an international consultant in practice since 1980, author, teacher, and lecturer of Vedic astrology. Among her many awards and certifications are NCGR’s Level IV (Consulting Astrologer, 1989), Jim Lewis’s Master AstroCartoGrapher, 1988, plus numerous awards from Vedic astrology organizations, U.S. and India. From 1992 she served as faculty and board member of the American Council and American College of Vedic Astrology. Her audio course The Vedic Chart: An Expert Guide Through the Twelve Ascendants(2002) was re-released in 2015 on mp3s with PDFs, and her latest book was published in 2012: In Search of Destiny: History, Biography & Culture As Told Through Vedic Astrology. For her articles, audio course and lectures on mp3s, please see: Edith Hathaway. Email:

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Charts in the News — Updates

By Elisabeth Grace | July 1, 2019

In this blog, I thought it would be fun to follow up on some of the horoscopes from recent “Charts in the News” columns in TMA. It’s amazing that astrology enables us to anticipate events, based on upcoming transits. When something does happen as anticipated, we strengthen our skills and confidence by examining the corresponding aspects in the horoscope.

The well-loved television personality Alex Trebek was born on July 22, 1940.
(All charts are calculated with Solar Fire, using Placidus houses and the Mean Node.)

Alex Trebek
July 22, 1940
11:15 a.m. EWT
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada (46°N30’07”, 81°W00′)
Source: AstroDatabank A rating

He is a Cancer with the Moon in Pisces, a combination Grant Lewi calls “a sailboat personality,” that is, utterly agreeable, adapting to the needs and feelings of others. (1) The Ascendant at 28° Virgo suggests that he presents himself in an exacting way; this degree is also made prominent by its conjunction with the Aries Point. How apt for the beloved host of Jeopardy!, the game show where answers must be given in precisely worded questions.

On March 6, Trebek announced that he’d been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Transiting Mercury had crossed his 28° Pisces Descendant on March 1, activating all four angles. Then Mercury turned retrograde on March 5, backing over his Descendant on March 9. These patterns describe an attention-grabbing communication about a potential end. But true to the nature of his stubborn and enduring square between Jupiter–Saturn in Taurus and Mars in Leo, Trebek said he planned to “beat the disease,” quipping that he had to, as he is under contract to host Jeopardy! until 2022. (2)

As noted in my column in TMA (June/July 2019), looking to the end of 2019 and early 2020, Solar Arc (SA) Uranus = Mars, SA Jupiter = Sun, and SA Uranus = Jupiter (these are all conjunctions). If his concerns were solely professional, this looked promising for an intense and innovative effort. In hindsight, there was an earlier aspect worth considering: SA Jupiter = Mercury, ruler of his Midheaven and Ascendant, exact at the end of March 2019. It may have aptly reflected the “sudden” expanded focus of a Jupiter-ruled disease (Jupiter rules the pancreas). But it also could suggest a reward.

In May, Jeopardy!‘s ratings soared to new highs, thanks to contestant James Holzhauer’s near record-breaking winning streak. On June 3, with transiting Mercury at 28° Gemini once again activating all of the angles of Alex Trebek’s horoscope, he announced that the cancer was responding well to treatment and was in “near remission.” Let’s hope these upcoming solar arcs to Jupiter (e.g., SA Jupiter = Sun and SA Uranus = Jupiter) will continue to reflect good fortune.

Randy Rainbow was born on July 6, 1981. Although we know the location, this chart is set for noon as there is no known birth time.

Randy Rainbow
July 6, 1981
12:00 p.m. EDT
Huntington, New York (40°N52’05”, 073°W25’34”)

Back in January, with transiting Venus at 22° Sagittarius, song-parodying political satirist Randy Rainbow caught my eye with his seductive take on the Mueller investigation, set to “Cell Block Tango” from the musical Chicago. (3) What could be happening in a horoscope to reflect this (and all of his other) meticulous and surreal productions?

Rainbow’s Sun in Cancer suggests that he’s here to provide emotional security, driven by a perfectionist Virgo Moon. It was no surprise to find Mars at 22° Gemini opposing Neptune at 22° Sagittarius, suggesting showbiz glamour galore and clearly activated by transiting Venus at 22° Sag. With transiting Jupiter traveling through Sagittarius through most of 2019, prospects for expansion and publicity looked grand.

In fact, he’s been on a sold-out national tour. Expansive! In March, when Jupiter first activated his Mars–Neptune opposition, he was being interviewed by a reporter for the Washington Post. On May 28, just days after Jupiter’s second activation, the interview made the cover of WaPo’s Sunday magazine. We should keep an eye on the last week of October, when Jupiter will make the third and final hit to Rainbow’s natal Mars–Neptune opposition.

Melania Trump was born on April 26, 1970. Again, with no known birth time, the chart is set for noon.

Melania Trump
April 26, 1970
12:00 p.m. CET
Novo Mesto, Slovenia (45°N48′, 15°E10′)

With the Sun at 5° or 6° Taurus (depending on her exact birth time), Melania was born to establish material comfort and security, driven by the ambition of her (likely) Capricorn Moon. Neptune opposing Mercury and Venus (in late Taurus), as well as Mars in early Gemini, adds glamour and fog to her need to express an aesthetic ideal — or illusion.

With transiting Uranus at 5°–6° Taurus from June to October, we anticipated back in January that transiting Uranus conjoining Melania’s Sun would be reflected in breakups, breakouts, or both. On June 14, she was featured in a special CNN report, aptly titled “Woman of Mystery: Melania Trump.” On June 25, Stephanie Grisham was named White House press secretary and communications director, replacing press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. It is fascinating that Grisham has been serving as Melania’s communications director and will continue as such in her new position. The spokeswoman for the East Wing will speak for the West Wing as well. To be continued…

(1) Noel Tyl, Synthesis and Counseling in Astrology, Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1994, p. 85.

(2) NY Times

(3) Watch Randy Rainbow’s parody of “Cell Block Tango” here.

Bio: Elisabeth Grace, ISAR-CAP, earned her B.A. in Philosophy from Wellesley College. She is a consulting (modern psychological) astrologer and an STA-certified horary practitioner. Freelancing at WNBC and CNBC inspired her must-read forecast on the astonishing synchronicity of the headlines and planetary patterns. She is delighted to write “Charts in the News” for the print edition of TMA. Find her at

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Donald Trump and the Saturn-Pluto Conjunction

By Ray Grasse | June 17, 2019

The impending conjunction of Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn will be a global phenomenon, affecting every country on Earth to one extent or another. But some countries will feel the pressure of that powerhouse duo more than others — and the United States could well find itself at the top of the list. This is largely because of the heavily Cancerian nature of the U.S. July 4th horoscope, which will directly receive the oppositional force of the transiting Saturn–Pluto conjunction.

But to fully understand that impact for the United States, we also have to look at how it’s affecting the horoscope of Donald J. Trump. That’s not just because he is President of the U.S., but also because the conjunction will be quite closely activating a very important configuration in Trump’s own birth chart.

Donald Trump
June 14, 1946
10:54 a.m. EDT
Jamaica, NY (40N41 73W48)
Placidus houses, True node

Trump’s Saturn–Venus in Cancer

Trump was born with a fairly close conjunction of Saturn and Venus in Cancer (with Saturn at 23º and Venus at 25º). This means that the transiting Saturn–Pluto conjunction — which becomes exact at 22º Capricorn in January 2020 — will be creating a powerful opposition to Trump’s natal Saturn–Venus conjunction. While this isn’t the only astrological configuration affecting him over the coming year, I think it could well prove to be the most critical.

To really grasp how this transit might affect him, I think it’s useful to first understand some of what that natal aspect means in terms of his basic personality and psychology. I’ve come to believe that this pattern is a key emotional driving force of his personality.

On a purely material level, we could talk about his relationship with money. If you ask most beginning astrologers what indicates the potential for “wealth” in a chart, most of them will say to look for Jupiter–Venus contacts, or Jupiter in the 2nd house. But I find it fascinating how so many ultra-rich types have Saturn–Venus connections in their charts. Take computer giant Bill Gates, born with a Saturn–Venus conjunction; or Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, also born with a Saturn–Venus conjunction (as was his estranged wife MacKenzie); or Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, born with Saturn opposite Venus; John D. Rockefeller Jr., born with a Saturn–Venus conjunction; or media powerhouse Oprah Winfrey, born with a Saturn–Venus square — the list goes on.

Donald Trump has that planetary pattern, too — in his case, the conjunction is in Cancer, as mentioned above. This can mean many things, of course, and undoubtedly fuels his drive for wealth, real estate, multiple homes, and so on. But in light of his very public behavior through the decades, I believe that it also points to an extremely deep insecurity and vulnerability, a sense of emotional wounding (perhaps rooted in childhood?) that’s caused him to erect walls around not only himself and his family, but even the country itself, apparently. Close associates have spoken over the years of his hypersensitivity to criticism, as well as a perhaps subconscious  fear of being unloved, which he seems to compensate for by surrounding himself with beautiful women and hordes of adoring supporters.

Paradoxically enough, one of the things I’ve encountered with many natal Saturn–Venus types is that they often harbor a deep-seated feeling of poverty, an inner sense of scarcity that has them believing there’s never quite enough to fill that hole in their soul — like my multimillionaire client with a hard Saturn–Venus aspect who seemed convinced that he was dirt poor. That sort of psychological mindset might also help to explain Trump’s need to compensate by amassing so many material possessions — the gold-plated furniture, the expensive cars and clothes, and so on.

My point here is that the transiting Saturn–Pluto conjunction in Capricorn is starting to pummel his natal pattern very, very hard, and will continue doing so over the next year or two. I see a few different real-world possibilities resulting from that.

One of those is that his personal finances could take a major hit during this period, in terms of losses due to bad investments, lawsuits, or failed real estate projects. It could also point to negative feedback he’ll be fielding over the financial policies he instigates for the country concerning tariff measures, tax reform bills, or military expenditures.

Pluto in particular has a lot to do with buried matters being uncovered, so these transits will likely involve secrets increasingly coming to light about Trump’s true wealth and holdings, his bank accounts, and his taxes. There could even be more revelations about his dealings with foreign governments, and investigators (like those from the Southern District of New York) continuing to probe into his real estate dealings and problems relating to his hotels.

But also — and this could prove much more problematic for him, since it hits so close to home, emotionally — the Saturn–Pluto transit may also involve his family members being put under the spotlight, since the sign Cancer is involved. This could trigger even more strongly the “circle the wagons” mentality suggested by his natal pattern. Remember, too, that the transiting Saturn–Pluto conjunction is falling in Trump’s 5th house of children (according to some house systems), which could prompt him to go into hyper-defensive “mother bear” mode and become even more extreme and dramatic in his behaviors.

Likewise, I think the Saturn–Pluto transit could well trigger a primal sense of emotional wounding that Trump has likely harbored all his life, a deep feeling that he is unpopular or unloved. Pluto being what it is, this could also involve a sense of betrayal, a realization that others he thought had been loyal are now turning on him. That’s already been happening over the last year or two, in fact, but it will likely continue to happen for quite some time.

In very general terms, transiting Saturn opposing or squaring anyone’s natal Venus — even without Pluto’s involvement — can make for a very unhappy time, with feelings  of great loneliness and isolation. With Pluto added to the mix, though, I suspect that this period ahead could become an exceptionally depressing and vulnerable one for Trump. If indeed impeachment hearings wind up being conducted, that would certainly throw a few Olympic-size swimming pools full of gasoline onto that horoscopic fire as well.

There’s one other possibility that I think is worth mentioning. To one extent or another, the horoscope of a national leader becomes that of the entire country he or she represents. Does this mean that Trump’s financial difficulties under those transits point to something ominous about the economic fortunes of the United States during this time? Much as I’d like to believe otherwise, I think it’s a reasonable possibility, and I will be watching the U.S. economy closely around the time of these transits.

Trigger Dates

Even though the general influence of these energies will be in effect for quite some time, I’d like to go over a few specific trigger dates that I believe will be especially worth noting — that is, when the transiting Saturn–Pluto conjunction will be activating Trump’s natal pattern in dramatic ways. To be clear, these aren’t the only transiting planets affecting his chart; however, for simplicity’s sake, I’ll limit my observations to just the influence of Saturn and Pluto.

  • Even though the effects of the Saturn–Pluto conjunction won’t technically climax for Trump until 2020, there are several “sneak preview” triggers taking place before then, one of which has already happened. I’m referring to the Saturn and Pluto retrograde stations that occurred in late April and early May of this year. Among other things, this manifested as the furor over Attorney General William Barr’s testimony about the Mueller Report (and his subsequent refusal to return for a follow-up hearing), but was also reflected in surprising news about Trump’s taxes and financial losses that came out in early May.
  • Transiting Mars will soon be acting as a trigger when it opposes transiting Saturn and Pluto, so I’d suggest watching Trump’s affairs closely during the period from June 15 through the 20th. (Editor’s Note: This article was written and submitted to TMA in early June.)
  • Transiting Saturn will be exactly squaring Trump’s natal Jupiter on July 6, so I would expect some major judicial-related frustrations for him from roughly the 3rd to the 9th.
  • Both Saturn and Pluto will be stationing again (direct) from mid September through early October of this year, 2019, and will create a strong hit to Trump’s natal Saturn–Venus conjunction, giving us another sneak preview of what’s ahead for him in 2020. It may be worth paying attention to the dates around the planetary stations: for Saturn, September 18, and for Pluto, October 2.
  • The Saturn–Pluto conjunction actually becomes exact for the first time on a global scale on January 12, 2020, but that entire month could be especially turbulent for Trump, since just a little over one week later, on January 21, transiting Saturn will be precisely opposing his natal Saturn. The fact that the global pattern of the Saturn–Pluto conjunction is occurring so closely to the time when transiting Saturn will be triggering his natal Saturn shows just how close that collective pattern appears to be linked to his personal destiny.
  • Then, on February 6, 2020, transiting Saturn opposes his natal Venus for the first of three times. Again, there may be a growing sense of social isolation and feelings of rejection, but it could also involve the spotlight being cast on his finances and real estate holdings, as well as those of his family members.
  • On February 13, Pluto opposes Trump’s natal Saturn precisely, activating his chart in a major way.
  • This same energy comes to a boil during the next station of Pluto, which goes retrograde on April 25 at 24º59’ Capricorn, very closely opposing Trump’s natal Venus and Saturn.
  • On July 12, Pluto again opposes Trump’s natal Saturn exactly.
  • On September 6, Saturn opposes Trump’s Venus for the second time.
  • Then, on September 29, Saturn stations direct at 25º20’ Capricorn, activating his natal Saturn–Venus by opposition.
  • Several days later, on October 4, Pluto stations direct at 22º29’ Capricorn, opposing his natal Saturn–Venus and prying open more previously buried secrets about his finances or personal life.
  • A few weeks later, on October 21, Saturn exactly opposes Trump’s natal Venus for the third and final time.
  • While these turbulent energies continue for him well into 2021, I want to point out an important trigger that will be occurring around December 20, 2020, when Pluto exactly opposes his natal Saturn. This is especially significant because it coincides closely with another transit that is affecting everyone: Not only is it close to the winter solstice, but transiting Mars will at 22º Aries, squaring the degree of the Saturn–Pluto conjunction (22º Capricorn) of January 2020. Mars aspects often serve as triggering mechanisms for other celestial patterns, such as eclipses, stelliums, or major outer-planet aspects. It’s safe to say the holiday season of late 2020 could be a particularly dramatic one for Donald Trump. Note, too, this will be shortly after the next presidential election, so it’s likely that whatever turbulence this energy stirs up for him will be in response to the outcome of the election.

In short, while it’s impossible to know specifically what will be happening for Donald Trump over the next couple of years, there’s no question that it will be a roller-coaster ride for him, both professionally and emotionally, and that these highlighted dates will warrant special attention.

Bio: Ray Grasse is associate editor of The Mountain Astrologer magazine, and author of several books, including The Waking Dream, Under a Sacred Sky, and Urban Mystic. His website is






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Natal chart: Ava DuVernay

By Mary Plumb | June 3, 2019

Ava DuVernay is a screenwriter, producer, and director. Her newly released (and critically acclaimed) film, When They See Us, which she created, co-wrote, and directed, is a Netflix series about the 1989 Central Park jogger case. (1)

Natal chart: Ava DuVernay (2)
August 24, 1972
5:22 p.m.
Long Beach, CA (33N35, 118W11)
Porphyry houses, True node


Her many previous accomplishments include being the first Black female director to win the directing award at Sundance Film Festival (2012), and the first to  have her film, Selma, nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture (2017).

DuVernay was born on a Thursday, Jupiter’s day; that planet stationed direct in its sign of rulership, Sagittarius, several hours after her birth — a mark of overall fortuitous conditions. (3) The significance of Jupiter is further supported because DuVernay was born in the daytime; in the doctrine of sect, Jupiter has extra ability to fulfill itself in a horoscope for a day birth. (4) Reflecting her current success, the progressed Midheaven came to natal Jupiter earlier this year.

Bi-wheel: Inner wheel: DuVernay, natal; outer wheel: progressed to Feb. 7, 2019

She was born at the Full Moon in Pisces, with Mars (6º20’) conjunct the Sun in Virgo (1º54’) and opposite the Moon (5º07 Pisces). Mars rules the Scorpio Midheaven, aspecting both the Sun and Moon; this suggests the ability both to produce complex projects and to direct people, which requires not only confidence, but also emotional skill and subtlety.

Mercury is in Leo, the sign of entertainment, and in mutual reception with the Virgo Sun — they are in each other’s signs. Mercury helps the Sun by finding the words to express what the Sun cares about. (DuVernay has said about her work: “I’m not a historian. I’m a storyteller.”)

Mercury in creatively expressive Leo is also square to the Scorpio Midheaven; she has naturally faced controversy at moments in her career, yet this aspect also suggests an inner urgency for her words to be heard in the public sphere.

Steady and serious Capricorn is rising, and the nodal axis straddles the Ascendant–Descendant. (5) In a nod to Capricorn rising, with Saturn as the Ascendant ruler: DuVernay’s father was raised near Selma, Alabama — he witnessed the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches. In an interview, she said that summer vacations to her father’s childhood home influenced the making of her film.

Natal Neptune in Sagittarius is square to the Sun and Moon; looking at midpoint patterns, this shows that Neptune sits opposite the Sun/Moon midpoint at 3º03’ Gemini. (6) In midpoint notation (90º dial), this would read as SU/MO = NE. There will be many ways for that combination to be expressed — a highly creative, artistically sensitive disposition; dreams and imagination being a focal point of the life; and/or involvement in the film industry are some obvious ideas of how Neptune is working in her biography. (7)

The Moon/North Node midpoint is at 15º23’ Aquarius; in midpoint analysis, 15º of the fixed signs (and any hard aspects to those degrees) are known as the Aries Point (AP), which is a point that acts as a portal to the external world, or draws us to the wider public life. DuVernay’s natal Pluto at 0º46’ Libra is also at this point; the formula reads MO/NN = PL = AP. One translation: A pronounced emotional need to connect with others through empowering and transforming themes, or exposing taboo subjects, and having associations with influential people are what brings DuVernay into public prominence. (8)

I think she has a long career ahead of her: Recently (December 21, 2015) she had a progressed New Moon (14º09’ Libra), so she’s in the opening chapters of this cycle of her life.


(1) Biographical material and quotes from Wikipedia

‘When They See Us’ Review: Ava DuVernay’s Magnum Opus of a Broken America
by Matt Goldberg

(2) Ava DuVernay, August 24, 2972; 5:22 p.m. PDT; Long Beach, CA, USA (33°N35’, 118°W11’); AA rated

(3) More specifically, we would expect the natal houses ruled by Jupiter to be especially benefitted. In the chart shown here (Porphyry houses), these are the 11th house (hopes, wishes, and friends) and the 2nd house (income and talents). (Looking at Whole Sign houses, the 3rd house of communications/writing and siblings — she has four — and the 12th house of imagination would be emphasized.)

(4) Not to neglect those born at night: Venus is considered the benefic for a night birth.

(5) Here’s my blog on Kamala Harris, another prominent person with the North Node conjunct the Ascendant (in Gemini).

(6) Cosmobiology is the branch of astrology that popularized the use of midpoints in the modern era.

(7) Actor Tom Hanks and producer George Lucas also have this natal midpoint picture.

(8) Her 2016 documentary, 13th (i.e., the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution), is about race and the criminal justice system.

Bio: Mary Plumb has had a consulting practice for decades and has been with TMA since 1993 as writer and Book and Web Editor. She is President of the Southern Oregon Chapter of NCGR in Ashland, OR and is available for consultations and tutoring. Follow her on Instagram @plumbmary or email:

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New Moon Week

By Mary Plumb | May 6, 2019

The May 4 New Moon began the lunation cycle in Taurus, the Moon’s sign of exaltation. The luminaries were also nearly at the center of the sign (14º10’), the most stable degree of the sign that already carries the endurance and solidity of fixed earth. With the Moon in Taurus, we are in the only once-a-year lunation cycle where our biological rhythms (Sun and Moon) are informed by the deepest sustenance of the earth element. The physical earth is an obvious starting reference, but whenever and wherever we find sustenance, we are partaking in Taurus’s domain.

Looking at the broader context, Saturn’s long and consequential sojourn in Capricorn is ever present. (1) We’re aware of the ongoing Saturn–South Node–Pluto conjunction whose themes are on display wherever we look — from international affairs, political and business conversations, and cultural memes to mental health statistics, renewed understanding of the importance of grief, and the rising interest in and availability of ancestral healing. (2)

January 1, 2019 brought the Sun conjunct Saturn at 11º31’ Capricorn — a sense of reality pressing upon us and a certain leaden atmosphere are undercurrents  to this calendar year.

Along with the essential kindness and patience of Taurus within our reach, we now have the Sun moving into a trine to Saturn and Pluto, joined by the transiting Moon in Virgo. The Sun trines Saturn on May 11; the Moon in Virgo trines Saturn on the 13th and perfects the earth trine with Pluto a few hours later (May 14 PDT).

The Sun trines Saturn and Pluto — this is a natural pause to see what we have accomplished, most specifically since January 1 at the new Sun–Saturn synod. True to Saturn’s mandate, we can be realistic about our situation, maybe with an appreciation of how far we have come. We know that we need provisions for the long trek ahead, and now is a perfect moment to stop and acknowledge what we have integrated thus far.

Saturn trine the Moon and Sun: In some important personal storyline, we may have developed more resiliency than we know. Pluto’s company with Saturn and the South Node also assures that we are working at a very deep level, a particular sphere of which might be shown by the Capricorn house in your natal chart.

Saturn in Capricorn has an echo for me of stories of Tibetan Buddhist lineages whose followers intentionally sought the highest and most severe mountain conditions for retreats, and to spend time with the teacher.

I heard a teaching about one such event (from the 16th century) where conditions were exceptionally arduous and yet concurrent with supremely life-giving teachings. I know that some of us have had difficult conditions in retreat situations — not usually survival on a mountaintop, but various struggles with sleep and loss of familiar comforts and schedules. There can be a connection between difficult circumstances and meaningful inner experience.

I sometimes think that, as a species (or maybe my particular sub-group), we are getting hardier and more able to thrive under challenging circumstances.

One thing seems certain: Once things are shaken and stirred up, we can’t go back. Uranus, now at 3º, is just starting his trek through the Taurus house for each of us; those of us with planets (or angles) in the early degrees of the fixed signs may already have an experience of expectations being disrupted and a hint of what ground is being disrupted. For some of us, a defined view of ourselves may have reached the breaking point — and the best option may be to trust the disruption, knowing that we are not stuck but open to whatever life brings next.

So, I offer a toast at this lunation cycle: May we realize the benefit and eternal sustenance that is now, and always, within reach.


(1) Saturn is in Capricorn from December 2017 through December 2020 (with a bit of time in Aquarius in the spring of 2020).

(2) Saturn, the South Node, and Pluto are in Capricorn, within 7º of each other, from now through the end of the year.


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