Category Archives: astrology history

Astrology on Broadway

Does Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812 have anything to do with astrology?  The musical, which has been produced to wide acclaim for over four years, recently opened on Broadway.  It’s adapted from a segment of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace.1986_halley_comet

When Pierre sees the comet at the end of the show he feels joyful and uplifted, and that he’s entering a new life.  It speaks to his soul.  And through the millennia, astrologers have looked to the skies in the same way.  The represent a higher plane, especially when things are going in our favor!

The Great Comet had been associated with the War of 1812 (as well as the powerful New Madrid earthquakes in the U.S.), but it actually appeared in 1811, and had faded out by the time that Napoleon entered Russia in the spring of 1812.  Wine bottled in 1811 was renowned for its quality, as are other “comet vintages.”

And Tolstoy had given a twist to the traditional interpretation of a comet, which often portended disaster.  Comets were typically unexpected, not regular and predictable as the stars and planets, and therefore not to be trusted.  The dispute among the producers before the show’s Broadway opening is more in keeping with a cometary influence.

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.

My New Evangeline Adams Novel!

I’m thrilled to announce the publication of The Precious Pachyderm, my new mystery novel featuring Evangeline Adams. Scroll down for more. You can also read my article about how I got the idea for this book.

The Precious Pachyderm

Manhattan, 1926. A wealthy businessman found dead. A priceless elephant figurine from an extravagant Indian prince gone missing. And famous astrologer Evangeline Adams is a primary suspect. To save their jobs, Adams’ assistants Mary Adler and Clara Cosentino investigate the astrologer’s classy clients, oddball employees and offbeat associates to help discover who really committed the crime. And Evangeline solves her first case with the help of astrology in this funny, fast-paced whodunit.
Buy Kindle versionThe Precious Pachyderm (An Evangeline Adams Mystery Book 1)
Buy print version

Wikipedia’s Bias

The Astrology News Service critiqued Wikipedia a few years ago, wondering, Is Wikipedia Concept Fatally Flawed? Based on my personal experience, it is. Wikipedia alleges neutrality. But the ANS article describes how organized skeptics are waging a campaign to edit and delete opposing points of view.

My two biographies of Evangeline Adams used to be listed as sources on her Wikipedia entry. These have now been removed. I find this especially irksome since one of the main things I tried to do with the books is to substantiate Adams’ forecasts with specific, documented and published sources. I believe I was able to do that, and readers can make up their own minds based on the facts. But the skeptical “Thought Police” are so defensive that they can’t even tolerate references to any research that might support astrology.

Instead, the Wikipedia article now only has citations against Adams’ expertise. One simply quotes “skeptics.” The other, from an investment analyst, calls Adams an “obvious quack.”

Those of us who believe in astrology may want to scream, but these people are preaching to the converted. Information on astrology on the Internet only keeps expanding, because so many people want it. Why are skeptics so upset? What’s the big deal? Who really cares what someone else believes? I’m disturbed by the biased Wikipedia edits because organized groups are intent on influencing the public. That’s how we got Prohibition in the U.S. – through organized effort, not popular choice. And we all know how that worked out.

You May be a Martian

Psychic medical diagnostician Edgar Cayce often talked about astrology while in a trance state, mentioning reincarnation and past “sojourns” in various planetary realms, highlighted in the horoscope. I’ve read a number of books on Cayce’s astrology in the past, but I could never quite make sense of it all. Now, having completed Ry Redd’s Toward a New Astrology (1985), it’s finally come together in my mind.

Redd studied the Cayce astrology readings extensively and also researched Kabbalah, Rudolf Steiner’s works and Hindu astrology, studying with Dr. B.V. Raman. He correlates Cayce’s emphasis on “Persian” astrology with Hindu Brahmin techniques for lokas (or planetary dimensions) described by the horoscopes, which he found to often closely parallel Cayce’s statements. He also addresses planetary strength, such as planets near the Midheaven, as indicating planetary emphasis in a past life. So, for instance, with an angular Mars, a recent planetary sojourn may have been in the Mars realm. You may be a Martian! I know I am.

This is one of the most intriguing astrology books I’ve read in a long time. Redd has done a tremendous amount of research and his conclusions make sense. He includes numerous horoscopes and compares them with Cayce’s interpretations, discussing famous reincarnations, Mercury, and challenging and flowing aspects in the charts.

Ry Redd’s book is still available from second-hand book dealers online and I’d highly recommend it to those interested in Edgar Cayce, astrology and reincarnation:  Toward a New Astrology: The Approach of Edgar Cayce

Ry Redd was born on March 30, 1945 at 6:45 AM in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, with several chart factors showing an emphasis on reincarnation. An angular grand cross (with the Ascendant and Sun rising, Saturn conjunct the IC, Neptune on the descendant and the Midheaven) accentuates the physical vs. the spiritual. Pluto, the planet of reincarnation, closely trines his Sun, sextiles Neptune and is placed Out of Bounds in declination. And Saturn on his IC (representing the past) is nearly exactly parallel the North Node.



Uranus in Gemini and the U.S.

Evangeline Adams was one of the few astrologers to forecast WWII astrologically. As early as the 1920s, she said that “the signs point to a war from three different angles: for religious, racial and political reasons, in 1942, 1943 and 1944.” For her forecast, Adams used a cycle of Uranus in the sign of Gemini that Luke D. Broughton had outlined for the U.S. decades earlier.

In his book, URANU.S.A, astrologer Nick Dagan Best takes an in-depth look at this same Uranus cycle, building a fractal-like case with a wealth of examples of Uranus stations, ingresses and transits to birth charts and solar returns of key individuals in U.S. history. The book has a fabulous design and clear diagrams on every page to help illuminate the Revolutionary War, Civil War and World War II eras. As good a historian as he is an astrologer, Best has also added irreverent picture captions just for fun. The book is most suitable for intermediate astrologers, but beginners interested in planetary cycles should learn much since all is clear and straightforward. For those interested in forecasting, it is absolutely fascinating. Purchase directly from the author.

Moon Void? Of Course!

Now that Saturn has entered Sagittarius to stay, we have an unusual phenomenon. The heavier planets are all below 20 degrees and even Jupiter and Mars are both in early degrees. What that means is that there’ll be a lot more Void of Course Moons.

The Moon is Void when it leaves its last major aspect before changing signs. With the Sun toward the middle degrees of Libra, it, too, cannot save the Moon from being Void of Course that much for the next week or two. So, for example, we’re left with the Moon being Void for most of Thursday, October 8, 2015, Saturday October 10, Tuesday October 13, Thursday October 15, etc. That’s a lot of void to fill!

Al H. Morrison, who studied the Void Moon quite a bit, felt that decisions and actions could prove fruitless at these times, bearing unexpected consequences. If you force things through, you may regret it, as unintended results are more common. We’re not in charge of the outcome.

On the other hand, Al thought the VOC Moon was good for routine things like chores and entertainment, as well as therapy. He believed the VOC Moon heightened intuition and awareness and could provide inner revelations. Since the Moon rules our moods, emotions and needs, I suppose being Void places the emphasis more on our authentic inner selves than on connecting with the outer world.

I feel we’ll all have a little more “down time” in the coming weeks. It’s almost like enforced astrological relaxation. As Al so succinctly said, “Feed your soul until the time shown for entering the next sign. Then, go back into business!”

There’s more on Al H. Morrison and his thoughts on the Void of Course Moon in my book, The Best of Al H. Morrison.

Evangeline Adams Podcast

I’m on Nick Dagan Best’s astrology podcast, I Love Astrology, talking about American astrologer Evangeline Adams and censorship, her problems with NYC’s fortune-telling law and the cancellation of her radio show in 1931. Nick has some intriguing discussions with co-host Leisa Schaim and also interviews Kim Farnell on Alan Leo and Gary Christen on Alfred Witte and Elsbeth Ebertin. I love the history, and some of these early 20th century events now go back over a hundred years.

To Pluto, Astrologically

NASA scientists on the news talk as if it’s Star Trek: the first mission to a new planet in an exploratory spacecraft and the greatest distance ever flown – nearly 3 billion miles from earth. Their voyage to Pluto culminates on July 14, 2015 as the New Horizons craft reports on its closest encounter with Pluto.

The mission began in 2001 when it was approved, and surged on January 19, 2006 as New Horizons lifted off from Cape Canaveral on its long journey. Of course, within months, scientists had officially demoted Pluto to the status of a dwarf planet, but I guess astrologers already knew why Pluto has an ironic sense of humor.

What’s happening with the horoscope of Pluto as scientists learn more about it? Pluto was discovered on February 18, 1930 at approximately 4:00 PM in Flagstaff, Arizona (documented time, rated A on Astrodatabank).

As the news stories multiply, transiting Jupiter in Leo trines the discovery chart’s Midheaven and transiting Uranus stations a few degrees from it. Everybody’s suddenly excited about Pluto, and its reputation is getting a boost.

The discovery chart has the Sun in Aquarius conjunct Venus in Pisces, both part of a T-square with oppositions to Neptune and squares to Jupiter. It looks like this oddball little planet is just often misunderstood.

Transiting Saturn in Scorpio stations in close square to the discovery chart’s Sun at the time of New Horizons’ closest approach, and quickly activates all the planets in the T-square. NASA is looking deeper at Pluto, but in a reductive manner, and may devalue it further. As they take time to analyze the spacecraft’s data, transiting Pluto will oppose the discovery chart’s natal Pluto in 2016, so our understanding of Pluto could still be transformed. The combined influence of hard-core Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn should make the take-way some pragmatic facts.

I first saw the Pluto discovery horoscope in Noel Tyl’s How to Personalize the Outer Planets. The late Jeff Jawer wrote a fascinating article about the discoveries of the outer planets in this book, noting that all of them have the Moon in Scorpio along with hard Saturn aspects! It’s well worth a read (though Jawer used a different time for Pluto’s discovery and gave no information as to its source).

Pop Astro

Astrology got a lot of press in the 60s, but in 1967 the familiar song, “The Age of Aquarius,” had it wrong. “When the Moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars, then peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars” is nothing but New Age gobbledygook! Any astrologer knows that Jupiter only heightens Mars’ war-like nature.

But we now have Echosmith’s song, “Bright,” which makes much more astrological sense. The singer is in love and says, “Did you and Jupiter conspire to get me?” Very appropriate since Jupiter may bring us luck and help expand our lives with a new relationship.

She goes on to say that, “I think you and the Moon and Neptune got it right, ‘cause now I’m shining bright.” This line captures the warm, happy feeling of being in love that the emotional, dreamy planets, the Moon and Neptune, can convey. The singer says, “I get lost in your eyes,” and “You make what doesn’t matter fade to gray,” both of which we may associate with Neptune’s ability to heighten our senses and transcend physical reality.

I guess we’ve progressed a little in the last 45 years! “Bright” is about observing the night sky (astronomy) but also the underlying suggestion that the planets are influencing our lives (astrology!). And the symbolism the lyricists chose is perfectly appropriate.