Monthly Archives: October 2013

Neptune and the War of the Worlds

Orson Welles’ broadcast his War of the Worlds Halloween radio show on October 30, 1938 at 8:00 PM from the CBS studios in New York City (see the data here).  The radio play was carried by affiliate stations across the country. Some people assumed the story of Martians invading the Earth was real. While historians today tend to feel there was less panic than we’ve been led to believe, the incident demonstrated the power of technology to influence the public, and Orson Welles became famous.

The illusion of truth comes under the purview of the planet Neptune. Some people initially felt uncomfortable with the new radio technology because people could be “there” and yet “not there” at the same time, something like disincarnate spirits. Interestingly, transiting Neptune at the time of Welles’ broadcast was nearly exactly conjunct the U.S. Neptune (a Neptune return, which occurs approximately every 162-164 years, give or take). It was also nearly exactly parallel its own place in declination.

I use Evangeline Adams’ Gemini rising U.S. chart, which has Neptune square the Ascendant. Saturn is also closely contra-parallel Neptune in many U.S. charts. To me this reflects Americans’ preoccupation with image, the proliferation of celebrities, glamour, advertising and marketing, and the conflict between illusion and reality. And so the transiting Neptune in 1938 reiterates and accentuates these themes.

Orson Welles was born on May 6, 1915 at 7:00 AM in Kenosha, WI according to his birth certificate (see the Astrodatabank entry). With Gemini rising himself, he had an immediate resonance with America. His Jupiter in Pisces in the 10th made him a teller of tall tales, especially as it squared his and the U.S. Ascendants.

Welles’ powerful Jupiter in the 10th was also closely parallel a perhaps even stronger Mars in Aries in his 11th house, both in their ruling signs. And transiting Neptune activated these, nearly exactly contra-parallel Welles’ Jupiter and parallel his Jupiter at the time, bringing up the Neptunian ideas of deception, misunderstanding and image vs. reality. Welles gained great notoriety as a result of the broadcast, and become seduced by Hollywood. His first film Citizen Kane came out in 1941.

Some of the exaggerated response from the public to The War of the Worlds in 1938 was probably due to the disturbing events in Europe that would soon lead to WWII. Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin were already in control and Jews were actively persecuted in Germany. But that is a much larger Neptunian story.

The Letter from the Virgin

In his debut novel, Anthony P. Geraci brings us an epic story of great scope, effortlessly placing us in 45 AD, the year 963 and the near future. The virgin of the title is of course the Virgin Mary, with her Letter part of the mystery we follow for two millennia. Geraci maintains both suspense and intriguing plot twists from beginning to end. After midnight, I didn’t especially want to continue reading about the pedophile bishop or evil Pope, but I could not put the book down!

Geraci is a masterful researcher, with each of his time periods vividly recreated, as are Rome, Avignon, New York City and other locales. We learn something of the history of the world’s oldest living institution, the Catholic Church, but its leaders are manipulating their message to obtain the greatest power for themselves. Church officials have forgotten their humanity and are as corrupt as any leaders in business, industry or politics.

Through dramatic situations and compelling characters, the author presents the spiritual world and divine inspiration as more real and legitimate than manmade laws. The dynamic women of the first two eras in the story move the plot forward as they try to be true to what they know is right, while opposing power-hungry men. Our final protagonist, a gay seminary student, is able to bridge both worlds, and is uniquely qualified to set things right and solve the mystery.

Geraci’s work is resonant of Taylor Caldwell, Dan Brown or even Indiana Jones. But this inventive and highly imaginative book is completely original. There’s both a satisfying ending as well as a surprising twist, and plenty of room for a sequel. Bring on the movie!

Mercury Retrograde — Oops!

Mercury turned retrograde on October 21, 2013 and will continue through November 10, making for a time when mistakes are revealed and there’s a need to review, revise and re-do.  Little errors in thinking and communication challenge us in a bigger way.  I’d already attempted to clean up my computer registry and ended up having to re-load MS Office.  Why?  What possessed me?  You know the answer. 

Yesterday, due to subway signal problems at Church Avenue and traffic with the bus, a trip downtown that usually takes less than 40 minutes took me over twice as long.  And the poor folks at Obamacare realized, too late, that their system could take another six weeks to cure.  (Their problems started with going live on October 1, when Mercury had already slowed and was moving only about a degree a day.  I guess it’s obvious that no one in the administration cares about astrology.)

People who have Mercury retrograde in their own birth charts seem to do better during these periods, which usually occur about three times a year.  I knew a cable engineer with Mercury retrograde who knew exactly what to do when more subscribers had issues at this time.  He was in his element.  Jeffrey Zients, the management consultant called in to fix the problems, was born on November 12 or 15, 1966 according to public records.  Thank goodness he has Mercury retrograde!  He has the mental perspective to be able to turn things around.

I once had a holistic dentist who specialized in removing old Mercury fillings.  He had Mercury retrograde in his birth chart and put it to good use – with an almost literal expression of this placement!

Evangeline Adams’ Birth Date

After researching Evangeline Adams’ life for many years, I was convinced of her birth data: February 8, 1868 at 8:30 AM in Jersey City, NJ.  No alternate information had ever been presented during her lifetime or in the decades after.  In addition, a family genealogy book published in 1898 confirmed her birth date.  In 1900 Census records, Evangeline tells us she was born in February of 1868.  These were some of the earliest records I found in the late 1990s and they were consistent.  (I was never able to find Evangeline’s birth record.)

Later records, unfortunately, present different information.  Adams and her husband fudged their ages on their marriage records, as their 20+ age difference was unusual.  The 1910 and 1920 Census records gave differing ages, but may have been completed by assistants and not Adams herself.  Lois Rodden published all of this information in her Astrodatabank newsletter.  However she tended to simply present the facts and drew no conclusions.

 Data collector Ed Steinbrecher discovered a 1933 issue of Alan Leo’s Modern Astrology magazine in which Catherine Thompson, one of Adams’ teachers, suggested she was ten years older.  However Thompson and Adams seemed to have something of a combative relationship, and this always struck me as a snarky “dig.”  Hymenaeus Beta, who published some of Adams’ works as The General Principles of Astrology under Aleister Crowley’s name, was also an advocate for an alternate birth year.  Although he did fantastic research for that book, I still could not agree with him. 

Researching U.S. Census records in the 1990s was a time-consuming process.  I found the 20th century records for Adams at the National Archives on Varick Street in Manhattan, but did not locate earlier ones at that time.  Now that so much genealogy information available on the Internet, it becomes easier.  The 1870 Census shows Evangeline at age 2 in Andover, Massachusetts, just where she said she would be.

Evangeline Adams, 1870

Evangeline Adams, 1870

In 1880 Census records, Evangeline is 12.  In both decades, her three brothers also appear along with their correct ages.  So I feel that these lend greater authenticity to Evangeline’s birth year of 1868. 

Evangeline Adams in 1880

Evangeline Adams in 1880


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! 

Pluto and the U.S.

Planetary stations are one of astrology’s most important predictive tools.  From our view on earth, when a planet stations, it appears to remain at a particular degree, then reverses its path in the sky (due to differing planetary orbits).  Since the transiting planet’s energies are more sustained and focused at this time, the station increases its impact.  As Pluto stationed from September to early October of 2013 at about 9 Capricorn, it approached an opposition to the U.S. Sun and had a number of dramatic and obvious influences on the country.

On October 1, 2013 the U.S. government went into a partial shutdown.  The Congress and Senate couldn’t agree on a funding bill, with some conservatives trying relentlessly to reverse Obamacare.  Meanwhile, the health care law was implemented and state health exchanges became active.  In addition, both houses of Congress must raise the national debt ceiling by October 17 or risk downgrading U.S. credit and other negative financial ramifications.

Pluto often relates to financial affairs, big business, power and control; the opposition aspect indicates polarization.   The Federal government power struggles have been all over the news as hundreds of thousands of government workers were laid off.  Yet Pluto relates to transformation and won’t oppose the U.S. Sun exactly until 2014.  Things will continue to change, and probably some consensus should be reached by the end of October 2013, when Saturn stabilizes the U.S. Sun.

Uranus, as it continues to square off against Pluto, should bring some dramatic changes to the U.S. in 2014.  This story is definitely not over yet.