Tag Archives: aspects

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.

Retrograde and Void of Course

Mercury retrograde is a time for review, revisions and rethinking. Al H. Morrison felt that the Void of Course Moon was best used for routine activities and feeding your soul. The combination of the two may at times result in petty annoyances and some delay or frustration in day-to-day life. It’s generally not a good time to initiate new projects.

I once received a call from a magazine I’d never worked for to write a feature. The editor discussed what they wanted, I agreed, and she said they were definitely going ahead. She’d get back to me regarding the length of the article and deadline. I was skeptical since I knew that not only was Mercury retrograde but the Moon was also Void of Course that day. Mercury retrograde can create miscommunications and people easily change their minds. And the Void of Course Moon is not promising for beginning new ventures. Not only did the editor not call me back as promised, but I was never even able to reach her!

But life goes on and we must continue through these wacky times. (For his part, Al H. Morrison would often sleep during the VOC Moon – at any time of the day or night.)

Recently, I arrived at my destination early during Mercury retrograde with the VOC Moon. My Metrocard needed refilling, and I thought that I’d accomplish this routine task. The first vending machine was providing no receipts, so I moved on to the next. The second machine informed me that my Metrocard was expiring – Did I want to replace it? I said Yes. I got the card and it gave me a receipt but I was confused. Did they charge me $1 for replacement? It was not clear. I continued to refill my card and the machine requested my zip code. However the keypad would not work and the transaction was aborted.

I moved on to the third machine, which unfortunately was only providing single trip transactions, something I’d never encountered before. I turned to the fourth and final machine, which by this time had several people waiting in line. I’d now be late if I waited, so I left.

I’d gotten a new card, but had been unable to complete my intended task. As Morrison had said, the VOC Moon can take us in unintended directions, with false starts and error. Mercury retrograde revealed machines needing repair and a confusing situation. I’d have to complete things at a later date. Sometimes even routine tasks don’t fare so well under these influences!

JFK Redux

The media has been having an orgy, feasting on the 50th anniversary of the death of President John F. Kennedy.  Does astrology show our obsession with him?  Of course. 

Kennedy’s South Node in his 9th house closely conjoins the U.S. Sun.  Judith Hill says in her book, The Lunar Nodes, that the Sun entity (the U.S. in this case) “…may cause you grief or trouble at some point.  Or sometimes they drain you.”  This seems appropriate, if understated, for Kennedy.  Obviously he would not have been killed had he not been president of the U.S.!  Hill also suggests that “It can be a karmic bond.”  For us, the country as a whole, Kennedy as a South Node person seems to be someone that strikes us to the core; we don’t seem to be able to let go of him.  Since the Nodes are diametrically opposed, those who want to know more about his position (North Node) or his at times creepy lifestyle (South Node) are both fascinated. 

The natal connection existed for a long time.  But why is it gaining momentum now?  Not all anniversaries are celebrated.  Transiting Pluto is within a degree of conjoining JFK’s natal North Node in Capricorn, dredging up his past.  To once again quote Judith Hill on this combination, “Pluto brings very deep, intense energy… Some individuals may experience an enhancement of personal powers… Your dharma may be pointed out…”  And Pluto can be obsessive. 

Of course, these are just a few of the many connections between Kennedy’s horoscope, the U.S. chart and current transits.  One symbol that I like is his Mars in Taurus conjunct his 8th house, representing the eternal (Taurus) flame (Mars) at his gravesite (after death – 8th house), being activated now by the transit of Saturn in Scorpio. 

But enough already!  Let’s put this guy to rest. 

There have been a lot of books lately on the Nodes.  I haven’t read them all, but I highly recommend Judith Hill’s excellent book, The Lunar Nodes (Stellium Press, 2009).  It describes eastern, western and contemporary approaches, natal placements and transits.  She really speaks from her own and client’s experiences.  It has a great Table of Contents and Bibliography though unfortunately no Index.  Buy it at Amazon.com:  The Lunar Nodes: Your Key to Excellent Chart Interpretation

Void of Course Moon Shopping

October 10, 2013: I’d agreed to help a friend buy a trench coat for work at a department store.  I noted a Void of Course Moon until 11:17, and suggested that we arrive after that time.  When I’ve gone shopping with the VOC Moon in the past, I often can’t find what I want – there’s little resonance with the selection.  Al H. Morrison also stated that he found we don’t fully use items bought under the VOC Moon.  Why waste your time?  I’d pick another day. 

Although my friend is a skeptic, she wanted my help and agreed to meet at 11:15.  We both arrived early – around 11:00.  I felt we should just walk around and not try to accomplish anything for the next 15-20 minutes.  She disagreed:  “What could happen within the next 15 minutes?  The same items will be on the shelf, won’t they?”  Sounds logical to a non-astrologer.  She wouldn’t understand that it was not that simple. 

We got to the floor at 11:10 and a saleswoman showed us a limited selection of coats, most with price tags of $400 and up, much more than she’d intended to spend.  The coats available also seemed to be somewhat sack-like, not a flattering cut, and the materials were not the greatest.  She asked the saleswoman for similar things elsewhere and we were directed to a more sporty area.  These prices were lower and there was a much greater selection, but they were more casual.  She found one she liked, and I thought it looked good, too.  But now the Moon was no longer VOC! 

The coat, though, was still not quite what she wanted, so we returned to the other section for a closer look.  We first noticed an electronic price reader, and it turned out that the prices were actually quite a bit lower than the tags indicated.  There was also a little more of a selection than we’d initially thought.  She quickly found a few she liked, tried them on and we agreed on one that looked rather good – exactly what she wanted and within her price range. 

So what had happened?  The same coats were on the rack.  But once the Moon was no longer Void, our ability to connect with them had changed.  We discovered new information – lower prices not immediately available – and took more time to review the limited selection.  We both overlooked the material, as it was water-repellent, which she wanted.  Mission accomplished!

You know the moral of the story – just avoid the VOC Moon when shopping!