Jupiter in Scorpio

Jupiter enters Scorpio on October 11, 2017 where it stays until November 8, 2018.  With Jupiter’s expansiveness and Scorpio’s focus, these two aren’t the greatest match.  Might they balance each other’s extremes?  As a fixed sign, Scorpio could dampen the potential flightiness of Jupiter, giving it more tenacity.  And Jupiter can bring the hidden, complex side of Scorpio into the open.

Jupiter shows fame, the best ways to succeed, our philosophy and beliefs. People with this placement can make bold choices or become known for their magnetism, passion or wealth. Sometimes they go too far.  Others with Jupiter in Scorpio can turn inward to explore consciousness.  There may often be an interest in the occult, metaphysical or obscure, or an attraction to the mysteries of life and death.  And while some transcend the physical plane through their philosophy or a sense of mastery, others are deeply attached to it.

The celebrity examples below demonstrate the many expressions of Jupiter in Scorpio.  Notice how many of these people fit into more than one category.

Purposeful, determined, focused (may not be obvious!): Misty Copeland, Meghan Trainor, Mitt Romney, Steven Spielberg, Tim Kaine, Sally Field

Celebrity through marriage or inheritance:  Prince William, Kate Middleton, Camilla Parker-Bowles, Melania Trump, Jackie Onassis, Laura Bush

Investigate or transform nature:  Carl Sagan, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Padma Lakshmi, Eddie Huang, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers (12 years apart)

Metaphysical philosophy:  Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra, Bob Zoller, Stephen Arroyo, Leo Tolstoy, Sivananda Saraswati

Share the dark side:  Rachel Weisz, Steven King, Ice-T, Alfred/Alma Hitchcock, Vincent Price, Charlotte Bronte, Kurt Vonnegut

Notorious:  Vladimir Nabokov, Al Capone, Aleister Crowley, Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, Joel Rifkin

Addicted to humor:  Melissa McCarthy, Seth Rogan, Shawn Wayans, Garry Marshall, Lucille Ball

Larger than life, notable death:  Elvis Presley, Ernest Hemingway, David Bowie, Dorothy Dandridge, Farrah Fawcett, Hart Crane

Dynamic personalities:  Ellen Degeneres, Queen Latifah, Ronald Reagan, Joan Jett, Hugh Laurie

Charismatic appeal: Elton John, Kelly Clarkson, Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Uma Thurman; Susan Sarandon

Communicate deep emotions:  Sade, Sharon Stone, Jessica Biel, Mariah Carey, Andrea Bocelli,

My Most Important Birth Twin

One of the first guys I dated as a teen had the same birthday as my sister.  What are the odds?  Their personalities were similar but their lives couldn’t have been more different.  And he ended up, in an odd way, leading me to astrology. 

They both had the Sun in Aries square Jupiter, along with Mercury, Venus and the Moon in Pisces trine Neptune.  The guy seemed to be much more impulsive than my sister, who has an angular Saturn.  He had an untamed spirit, and despite coming from a nice family, he dropped out of school at 16.  My sister went on to finish college.

Years later, when the two were experiencing their Saturn returns, my sister was working full-time while completing a Master’s degree.  My former flame was married and his wife was eight months pregnant.  One night he sat in a bar with friends (remember all the Pisces and Neptune) and said, “I’m so depressed I feel like putting a bullet in my head.”  And he did.

The story is so disturbing and dramatic that it’s a shame I’ve never had his birth time.  I’ve wondered if he had Pluto rising, which would put his Aries Sun in the 8th house squaring Jupiter in the 5th.  The Sun’s ruler, Mars, would be widely opposite Uranus in his 12th house, relating to unconscious impulses.  (True to the Martian archetype, my sister went on to a career requiring a firearm, but she always used it with care. )

Though my sister has remained consistent in my life, at 15, my relationship, predictably, hadn’t lasted long.  I had transiting Uranus squaring my Sun, showing excitement and spontaneity, but also the short-term nature of our connection.  Transiting Saturn opposed my Saturn then, too.  And I was upset.  My mom had already been studying astrology for a number of years, and brought out one of her cookbooks, turning to the page for Uranus squaring the Sun.  The description so exactly described my situation that despite being a skeptic before, I was now completely fascinated.  Uranus awakened astrology for me through a person who didn’t remain in my life.  And Saturn put me on a path that would remain constant long after many relationships had run their natural course.

My Astro-Twins

I was already interested in astrology when I was a teen, and my astro-twins (those born on the same day) were classmates.  We share prominent Capricorn and Taurus planets with notable things in common but also striking differences.

I just found one of my astro-twins online.  He was recently named the CEO of a major snack-food company.  I can’t even eat that stuff.  And while I feel I’m a good manager, I’d be barfing all the way to the bank with a corporate position.  But he’s been working his way toward the top since high school.

According to Salary.com, this astro-twin earned nearly $3.5 million in 2015 alone, with salary, bonus and stock options.  I won’t earn a fraction of that in my entire work history!  To me, a large sum of money is a responsibility in itself:  investing it, talking to accountants, lawyers, etc.  A complication of life.  And then you just end up buying things.  And I suppose hiring other people to help you out and maintain your lifestyle.

I don’t have this guy’s time of birth.  One of my best friends was a secret admirer of his.  Is that a coincidence or perhaps her intuitive understanding of potential compatibility?  (After all, she got along with me and I have a very similar horoscope.)

I also knew the other astro-twin when I was young.  She had Scorpio rising (I have late Aries, so she was kind of the opposite).  She was a dancer who earned money exercising horses.  I always loved horses and had taken riding lessons through the Girl Scouts when I was a kid.  I had also been taking dance classes for years.  We met through studying with the same singing teacher and once sang in a gospel chorus together.  So we shared a lot of interests.  And like me, she was on a more creative track than our corporate counterpart.  But there were some obvious differences: the singing teacher shared that the twin had stiffed her for payments, which came as a shock.

The dancer had a more common name, and I don’t know what became of her.  Can’t find her online.

I liked both of these people personally – does that make me narcissistic?

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.