Monthly Archives: July 2016

Is Personality Stable?

It depends.  As astrologers, we know that some people, with a mutable emphasis in their birth charts, have more changeable personalities, while others (say, with a significant Uranus or Pluto in their horoscopes) have charts that suggest dramatic change over the course of their lives.  Still, psychologists have been arguing about the question for decades.

In the 1960s, the world of psychology accepted the fact that personality was stable – that we can be categorized as certain types of people and will consistently behave in particular ways.  Yet when Walter Mischel, PhD began his professional career, he reviewed the literature and saw that none of the studies he consulted supported that conclusion.  Instead, in his 1968 book, Personality and Assessment, he revealed that personality is not stable over time.  Consistency was an illusion.  Despite the research behind the book, it was controversial.  People just didn’t want to accept that personality was unstable.  On a gut level, we want to believe that we know who people are and can predict their behavior.

What Mischel also found, and others have supported, is that the different situations that we find ourselves in can very much change behavior.  One may have one type of personality at work and another at home.  And certainly, people change over time.  An alcoholic can recover, a criminal may rehabilitate himself, a 30-year marriage can dissolve when the parties develop differing goals.

With astrology, we see why all of these variables are possible.  The birth chart is stable – we live with that pattern throughout our lives.  But we also experience different cycles and phases as we move through the years and decades.  Progressions will change our personal emphasis in life, and transits will alter what the world is showing us.  So in some sense, we are both consistent and changeable.  And astrologers also have the extraordinary ability to forecast these trends.

Drawing Up Horoscopes by Hand

Like most astrologers my age, I originally learned to draw up horoscopes by hand.  Computers quickly changed all that and made it much quicker and easier to calculate charts.  But I could never let go of hand writing the aspects.

I didn’t like how they looked on the print-outs, no matter how many different wheel styles I tried.  And more importantly, they never made much sense to me that way.

So I’ve always used a computer to print out charts, but still keep my colored pencils to draw in the aspects myself.  I figure them out the old-fashioned way, Sun-Moon, Sun-Mercury, Sun-Venus, etc.  As I work through them, I familiarize myself with the chart and discover many connections and patterns that I might have otherwise missed.  When I’m finished, I feel like I have a good impression of the person’s horoscope, its highlights and issues.

Technology facilitates many things for us these days, but may also take away some levels of our experience.  My gut feeling on this was recently confirmed by a NY Times article reviewing studies of handwriting vs. keyboarding.  It appears that more brain circuits are activated with manual writing, increasing mental activity and ideas.  And, as I somehow suspected, handwriting may also help us process new information better.

Justin Timberlake and Neptune

Justin Timberlake’s new song, “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” hit the top of the charts over Memorial Day weekend, and is being touted as the song of the summer. This infectious pop tune reflects Timberlake’s exact Moon conjunct Neptune in Sagittarius.

“Can’t Stop the Feeling” captures a sense of love, joy and happiness, and the video shows people in everyday life expressing it. Since Justin not only performs the song, but was also a writer and co-producer, it strongly reflects his personality. His Moon and Neptune closely trine his Leo Ascendant from the cusp of the 5th house, giving him the ability to creatively dramatize a special moment in time. The singer-songwriter seems able to effortlessly capture an evanescent feeling.

Sagittarius showcases optimism and expansiveness, but it’s also the combination with Neptune that transcends the material plane and blends it into a sense of higher consciousness. Neptune is certainly at home with music and dance. And look how many joyful Sagittarius-Neptune phrases we can find in the song’s lyrics:

“I fly so high, no ceiling, when I’m in my zone”
“Got that good soul in my feet”
“moving so phenomenally”
“Just imagine”
“Nothing I can see but you when you dance, dance, dance”
“It’s something magical”

Director Mark Romanek (born September 18, 1959) perfectly captures the essence of the song in the music video. His Uranus at 19 Leo conjoins Justin’s Ascendant while trining his Moon-Neptune conjunction in Sagittarius. Transiting Uranus will station in the third fire sign, Aries, in Timberlake’s 9th house this summer, creating a once-in-a-lifetime grand trine. So the hype about “Can’t Stop the Feeling” being the summer’s song is probably correct! Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake was born on January 31, 1981 at 6:30 PM in Memphis, Tennessee, according to his birth certificate on Astrodatabank.