Author Archives: admin

Trump’s Phantom Astro-Twin

I’ve always been intrigued by astro-twins.  The similarities as well as the differences in their lives are often striking.  So I searched Astrodatabank for Donald Trump’s birthdate – June 14, 1946 – and found a close match. 

J. Paul Getty’s youngest son, Timothy Getty, was born on June 14, 1946 at 9:00 AM in Los Angeles, California, with a Leo Ascendant like Trump. (As a matter of fact, his chart is quite close to the 9:51 alternate chart for Trump that’s been floated recently.) Timmy’s Sun and Moon are actually a little later than Donald’s due to the three-hour time zone difference in their births.

The founder of Getty oil, J. Paul Getty was known as the richest American in 1957 and was worth an estimated $2 billion at his death in 1976 (see Wikipedia for more).   Timothy was J. Paul’s only child by his fifth wife, Louise.

At the age of nine, Timothy developed a brain tumor that damaged his sight and had successful surgery.  But the tumor returned a few years later, his head was misshapen, and he had three operations in August of 1958 (at around age twelve) to “reset his skull” according to Astrodatabank.  Timothy died under anesthesia on August 17, 1958.

On the other side of the country, is astro-twin Donald Trump also had an unusually wealthy father and an indulged lifestyle.  He also came from a family with five children (though they had the same mother, quite different from Getty’s five wives).  Donald was athletic and at times belligerent, with some behavior problems at school, describing himself as a “wise guy.”

His father sent him to a military academy when he was thirteen.  So it appears that Trump also had a decisive year at twelve, sometime between his Jupiter return and Saturn’s opposition to its natal place.  Trump continues to be extremely vital and successful nearly 70 years after his astro-twin passed.    

Timmy had Saturn conjunct Venus in his 12th house, with Saturn ruling the 6th and Venus ruling the 10th.  These placements seem to be what cut his life short as they may suggest health issues.  Yet despite the vitality of his 1st house Mars, it co-rules the end-of-life 4th house and comes right to him (the 1st).  And the lunar eclipse with Uranus at birth can bring sudden reversals in life.  Of course, this is easily interpreted after the fact.  We may have noticed the potential for health problems, but we certainly wouldn’t have imagined an early death.  Still, the two Ascendants were probably about 15° different, moving Venus and Saturn from the 12th to the 11th, where they sextile the MC in Trump’s chart.

Astro-twins show us astrology’s strengths but also its limitations.  Despite a few eerie similarities between Timothy Getty and Donald Trump, the two had different souls, life paths and destinies.  And there are many others who were born on this date.  One of them is Thomas F. “Mark” McClarty, a businessman and long-time friend of Bill Clinton who served as Clinton’s Chief of Staff in 1993-94!  (No birth time available.)

This data is rated AA, from birth records, on Astrodatabank.

Eclipse Weddings

We’re all looking forward to August’s eclipses, so I posted an article I wrote on Eclipse Weddings.

Prince Charles and Paul McCartney both had two marriages near eclipses! I also consider J.K. Rowling, Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt, Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger and some regular folks’ weddings near eclipses.

This piece was originally published in the Spring 2016 NY NCGR’s Ingress newsletter. Thanks to Tracy Allen and the NY NCGR for including it.

A Portable Cosmos

Rescued from a Greek shipwreck in 1901, the Antikythera Mechanism is not an astrolabe or armillary sphere. Was it a teaching tool? A demo for a World’s Fair? Is it the planetarium of Archimedes that Cicero wrote about? Alexander Jones’ fascinating book helps us learn more.

This extraordinary astronomical clock has baffled scholars as it’s unlike anything ever seen before. Some even thought it had fallen off a different boat many years later to combine with the earlier wreckage. Jones does an excellent job of researching the history of the Mechanism and evaluates the conclusions reached by various scholars. It wasn’t until 1971 that the piece had an X-ray analysis, and a CT scan in the 80s provided more information.

The author concludes that the Mechanism may have been made in Rhodes in the first half of the 1st century BCE. Made of bronze and pewter-like alloys, it was about the size of a shoebox with various dials and instructions on the front and back. It included Egyptian and zodiac calendar rings, rising and setting stars, Olympic years, an eclipse predictor, a revolving Moon phase ball and pointers for the Sun and visible planets’ positions. Composed of about 30 gears, it operated with a single turn of the handle.

The Mechanism was probably not accurate enough for an astrological reading, but Jones states that is was a good representation of the Greeks’ understanding at the time and would be relatively accurate for several centuries (it corrected for planetary epicycles). It probably required two people to complete – a designer knowledgeable of astronomy and math along with a craftsman with the mechanical skill to create the interlocking gear actions.

Alexander Jones does a thorough and painstaking job of presenting numerous related topics and filling in the background. He’s a professor at New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, and the book is academic-style, exactingly annotated, with a bibliography. I was completely captivated by Jones’ discussion of the gear functions which includes many illustrations. I’ve studied the history of astronomy and astrology, calendrics and the mechanics of eclipses, but many sections were simply too detailed for my taste. It was also difficult to imagine the Mechanism parts at times. Perhaps the book is meant to be a classroom textbook and leaves the reader without the professor at hand.

Some of my basic questions were unanswered. How much would the piece weigh? How difficult was it to turn? Could you lose your place?

The study and analysis of the Antikythera Mechanism has filled in gaps in scholars’ understanding of the Greeks and their technology. And the incredible complexity of the device should remind us that we’re no smarter than those over two millennia ago – we just have different tools. As astrologers we’re extraordinarily lucky to have salvaged our practices; the Mechanism reminds us how easily the past can be forgotten.

Buy at Amazon.com: A Portable Cosmos: Revealing the Antikythera Mechanism, Scientific Wonder of the Ancient World

Donald Trump, Jr.

Capricorn Donald Trump, Jr. is busy with his father’s business, but has admitted he met with a Russian lawyer during the campaign to scope out dirt on Hillary Clinton. The New York Times says he’s already changed his story. With Mercury conjoining Neptune in his birth chart, are we getting the truth?

Trump, Jr.’s Mercury-Neptune mirrors his father’s Mercury square Neptune. Donald Jr.’s Mercury is further emphasized by being at its station – moving from retrograde to direct, and also falls right on his father’s Sun-Node-Moon opposition (Sr.’s natal eclipse).

Transiting Saturn will station right on Donald Jr.’s Mercury in August as it also conjoins his father’s Moon at the same time. They share any transits to this point and some of the experiences that Saturn is bringing up. There may be substance to this story and we should hear more over the next few months.

Transiting Jupiter in Libra conjoins Jr.’s Pluto this month, suggesting that the truth will come out. But Jupiter will also sextile Mercury by the end of August, and go on to trine his Jupiter and sextile his Saturn and Venus in the fall. These are favorable aspects that should facilitate things for him.

We have no birth time for Donald, Jr. Transiting Neptune may be opposing his Moon, further confusing the situation. Transiting Pluto might also be trining his Moon, which could help him, through powerful family members, avoid any culpability. Pluto, when it trines his Moon, should dredge up his family’s past in many ways. Without a birth time, though, it’s difficult to tell which influence will predominate this year.

In the Shadow of the Moon

At the time of the Uranus-Neptune conjunction in the early 90s, I was thrilled to read some of Professor Anthony Aveni’s books. Conversing with the Planets looked at people’s relationships with the cosmos through history and across cultures, and Empires of Time covered how people consider time, which derives from the cycles of the Sun and Moon. These books both touched on astrology, as the author is both an astronomer and anthropologist. Aveni became one of the first prominent voices on what would now be called cultural astronomy or, at the time, archaeo-astronomy.

Anthony Aveni’s work is refreshing since he accepts people’s beliefs (including astrology) as part of what makes them interesting. His latest book, In the Shadow of the Moon, covers solar eclipse viewing and arrives in time for total solar eclipse to cross the U.S. on 8/21/17.

In the Shadow of the Moon looks at not only eclipses but also the people who study them. The author eloquently shares his own eclipse viewing experiences and presents others who’ve captured the spectacle in words. We learn about predicting eclipses through the centuries, from Stonehenge to Babylon, the ancient Greeks, Chinese and Maya, with detailed accounts of eclipse expeditions in the U.S. and abroad in more recent times.

Full of insight and wit, Anthony Aveni’s eclipse book is part science history, part human interest, and captures the challenges of navigating capricious weather as well as the joys of encountering this rare natural phenomenon.

While this book doesn’t address the astrology of eclipses, it provides an excellent background to studying them and communicates why they’re so compelling, regardless of time and space.

Buy from Amazon.com:  In the Shadow of the Moon: The Science, Magic, and Mystery of Solar Eclipses
Empires of Time: Calendars, Clocks, and Cultures
Conversing with the Planets: How Science and Myth Invented the Cosmos (Kodansha Globe) by Aveni, Anthony published by Kodansha Globe Paperback

Alexandria Shooter

When I found the birth data for the Alexandria, Virginia shooter on Ancestry.com (December 12, 1950), I couldn’t be certain if it was correct.  The James T. Hodgkinson I found was the same age as the man in the news, with the same name and middle initial, the only one listed in the town of Belleville, Illinois.  But one look at the chart convinced me this was the person who had opened fire on Congressman Steve Scalise and other Republicans at an early morning baseball practice. 

Was this someone who could conceive a grandiose scheme?  He had the Sun and Venus in Sagittarius along with Jupiter in Pisces, all of which suggest seeing the big picture.

Is this the kind of person who’d think outside the norm and take an extreme stance?  He had Mercury Out of Bounds in declination and opposite Uranus, along with the Moon in Aquarius, all of which may incline toward a radical agenda.

Could this person think ahead to plan a crime?  Hodgkinson had Mercury in Capricorn and Saturn exalted in Libra, both signifiers of the ability to take things one step at a time and follow through on plans.

Could he carry out a violent act?  Mars in Capricorn and the Sun trine Pluto are both indicators of someone who can exercise control, take a calculated risk, and is not afraid of pursuing violence.

The timing of the shooting was also clear.  Sudden events and extreme acts come under the rulership of Uranus, and violence is associated with Mars.  On the day of the shooting, transiting Uranus squared Hodgkinson’s Mars and trined his Venus (within a half a degree of exact for both).

Transiting Saturn was near the midpoint of Hodgkinson’s Sun and Venus.  He may have been feeling down and depressed, unhappy with the status quo, leading him to take his fatal actions.

Of course, we don’t have a time of birth for Hodgkinson, and not everyone born on this day will express the chart with such negativity.  For example, the popular Indian actor Rajinikanth was born on the same day.  He has gone on hunger strikes to draw attention to issues that were important to him, and has supported anti-corruption and campaigned for eye donations.  In June of 2017, the month of the Alexandria shooting, Rajinikanth met with leaders and appears to be considering entering politics.  He leans conservative.

The FBI’s wanted list confirms Hodgkinson’s birth data.

About Wholism

Whole by T. Colin Campbell, PhD explains the difference between a holistic paradigm and the view favored by science and medicine. The linear reductionist view is generally accepted as the “truth” by government agencies and in the media. Campbell addresses nutrition and health and the extreme and debilitating effects resulting from the American population’s acceptance of government guidelines and medical professionals’ second-hand opinions. Those of us who are astrologers face similar challenges with our holistic perspective, which is often at odds with the norm.

Dr. Campbell was an insider for over 50 years, teaching standard courses on nutrition at Cornell University, and receiving numerous research grants throughout his career.  He explains that funding is only available to those willing to tailor their research to a strictly linear, cause-and-effect model. While I was already aware of the many ways our society diminishes a holistic view of life, this book was still an eye-opener. It’s disturbing to see how medicine and the media are deeply enmeshed with corporate America.

Growing up on a farm, Campbell began with and advocated for a standard American diet. Yet over his years of research and study, he came to support whole foods and plant-based nutrition. Studies for such a diet are difficult to find as they are not linear and are not supported by industry. Apparently there are nevertheless many such studies, which show the positive effects of the diet, though they often cannot gain the attention of publications or the media (both of which are also often funded by industry, especially pharmaceuticals and other special interests).

This is an important book, however as with many of its kind, its value and limitations are both due to the author’s strong point of view. He comes just short of saying that vegetarianism can cure cancer, for example. It’s hard for us to know if he’s right or wrong. But given the predominant influence of the pharmaceutical and food industries on medicine and lifestyle in this country, more alternative voices need to be heard.

Prince’s Estate

Horoscopes continue after the people who lived them have passed on, especially where their personal and professional affairs are concerned.  We can clearly see this in the legal proceedings for music superstar Prince’s estate.

By any measure, Prince Rogers Nelson had a remarkable horoscope, reflected in the uniquely multitalented man.  He worked out of his home studio, and created,  produced, arranged and performed almost all the music in his recordings.  With a Scorpio Ascendant, he had tremendous drive, and both rulers are in a tight inconjunct aspect – Mars in Aries conjoining the 5th house of creativity and Pluto in Leo closely conjunct the MC. 

But Pluto is also part of a T-square with focal point Mercury in Gemini in the 7th and the Moon in Pisces conjunct the 4th house cusp.  Prince reached a wide audience, but also had relationship issues, going so far as to change his identity for a period of time due to contractual disagreements.  Prince’s Neptune in the 12th was also the focal point of a yod with Mercury and Mars, showing his wonderful imagination and how he was able to direct it into creative projects.

He died on April 21, 2016 from an accidental drug overdose.  He was 58 at the time and had not left a Will.  Traditionally, the 4th house shows the “end of the matter.”  In an individual’s chart, it also indicates one’s home, property or land – what we might call his estate.  This is where we look to see what happens to the stuff we leave on earth.

The Pisces Moon on the 4th house cusp shows Prince’s vast, multitudinous properties, born of his creative imagination – estimated at $200 million.  The star had two marriages which both ended earlier in his life, and he had no children.  So his estate is divided among his closest relatives – six siblings.  Siblings are ruled by both Mercury and Gemini, and these family members have now become has partners, all trying to look out for their own interests and determine how best to proceed.

The patterns that made Prince such a dynamic artist also challenge the resolution of his estate.  As one might imagine with the Moon opposite Pluto and so much property at stake, 45 parties came forward with claims.  The judge has rejected most of them, but some have appealed his decision. The estate could easily take many years to resolve.

Prince is experiencing his Saturn return throughout 2017, which should help move things forward and confirm the judge’s order.  But transiting Neptune squaring his 8th house Sun from the 4th seems to be the significator for the complicated estate proceedings, which have been both numerous and costly.  The Neptune transit won’t be complete until early 2020, when the court should get beyond much of the confusion.

Uranus will trine Prince’s Midheaven during 2018 to early 2019, which could bring some surprising developments.  The estate is already planning on releasing new albums and concert films.

Prince was born on June 7, 1958 at 6:17 PM according to his birth record on Astrodatabank.

 

Arcturus/Psyche

I recently wrote about Edgar Cayce’s psychic readings on the Fixed Star Arcturus, and heard that astrologer Michael Munkasey had done independent research on this star. His work appears in Exploring Consciousness in the Horoscope (Llewellyn, 1993).

Munkasey tested Arcturus (now at approximately 24½ Libra) in stock market forecasting and studied its major aspects with planets in newspaper headlines and natal charts. His 2+ years of study included inspiration, dogged research, group feedback and surprising coincidences. Munkasey found meaningful correlations with the myths of the Greek goddess Psyche, so much so that he rechristened Arcturus as “the planet Psyche” (not to be confused with the asteroid). Psyche

Edgar Cayce’s readings related Arcturus to enlightenment, transcendence and spiritual development. Michael similarly found Psyche/Arcturus to align with the evolution of consciousness and self-realization. Its path may include issues of cooperation and fairness, addressing differing viewpoints, the need to ask for help, innocence, beauty, loss in love and female conflicts. On some level it appears to epitomize Libra and Venus themes. But Psyche also suggests discipline in relationships (perhaps somehow related to Saturn’s exaltation in Libra).

Munkasey describes cycles of Uranus with Psyche in world events and includes numerous capsule descriptions of Psyche in natal charts. His research is top-notch and he’s boiled the subject down to its essence, making it easily accessible. The 25-page chapter provides a fascinating and comprehensive overview and includes an ephemeris for Psyche.

Michael Munkasey’s excellent article is highly recommended, especially for those interested in the Fixed Stars, relationships, Evolutionary astrology, feminine archetypes, consciousness and divine inspiration. Exploring Consciousness in the Horoscope is out-of-print, but available second-hand online. Edited by Noel Tyl, the book also includes chapters by Ed Steinbrecher, Steven Forrest, Tad Mann and others.  Buy at Amazon.com:  Exploring Consciousness In the Horoscope

Anthony Weiner Faces Saturn

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner pled guilty to Federal obscenity charges on Friday, May 18, 2017 for sexting an underage girl in 2016. Weiner guilty

Weiner was born on September 4, 1964 in Brooklyn according to Wikipedia
(no time available). His Virgo Sun is conjunct Pluto and Uranus, showing his obsession (Pluto) with technology (Uranus). This is also a signature that may indicate ups and downs in the career as well as a need for periodic re-invention. Weiner pleads guilty

Weiner’s retrograde Mercury in Virgo is the final dispositor of his chart, giving him intelligence and pragmatism, but it also opposes Saturn (as does his Sun). Wendell C. Perry on GoodGollyAstrology looked at Weiner’s horoscope and the role transiting Saturn played in his personal and professional problems. Perry accurately forecast a significant turning point for Weiner in October of 2016, when he would “feel the full weight of his past actions” as Saturn squared his Sun and Pluto. At that time, it was revealed that the FBI was investigating Weiner, and had seized computer (leading to the re-opening of their look at Hillary Clinton’s e-mails).

When Anthony Weiner pled guilty, transiting Saturn was exactly quincunx his natal Venus, forming a yod with his Venus-Mars-Jupiter sextile. Ed Dearborn, in his excellent article on yods in The Mountain Astrologer, felt that the yod created by transits to the natal chart “…provides a challenge to an individual and an opportunity to exert energies ‘against the current.’ This allows the chart to show where one can make progress and lend assistance to those who wish to see injustices righted or new paths forged in our daily lives.”

Saturn and the authorities have forced Weiner to admit to his crimes and accept the penalties. It may now be easier for him to be able to get some help for his mental and emotional problems.