Monthly Archives: March 2014

Flight 370 Disappearance and Neptune

News reports about the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 are full of keywords for Neptune. The missing plane presents a mystery, having simply vanished from the radar. Due to fragmentary and conflicting clues, there have been false leads and confusion, with initial speculation that the plane fell into the sea. Millions of volunteers around the world have been conducting a virtual search by scanning satellite images online.

When we have such a strong thematic emphasis, it’s a good bet that Neptune is strong in the horoscope for the flight’s take-off. It left Kuala Lumpur at 12:41 AM and it’s no surprise that Neptune is exactly conjunct the angular 4th house and creates a grand cross with the Moon in Gemini on the Descendant, along with the Ascendant and the Midheaven.

The other angular planet in the chart, the Moon in Gemini, also highlights themes relating to communications issues. Pinging signals were picked up from the plane for several hours after it disappeared. In addition, The Data Link System and Transponders used to communicate location with air traffic controllers were shut down, quite an unusual situation. The plane now appears to have flown for a number of hours after being redirected from its original route.

Time will reveal what the Neptunian deception in this matter is, and whether the passengers and crew have been taken prisoner or may have fallen into the sea.

Daylight Savings Time

We turn the clocks ahead an hour on March 9th, and will experience Daylight Savings Time until early November. Certainly the days have already gotten longer, the only sign of spring since we’ve continued to have such cold temperatures this year. I’m always thrown off by these time changes, which affect our circadian rhythms, but bureaucracies around the world continue to adhere to them.

We’ve had DST from March to November since 2007. Going back to the 50s, it was April to October. From the 20s, it was April to September, so we’re in a trend of more DST. There are conflicting opinions as to whether this saves energy, as originally intended by thrifty Capricorn Ben Franklin. I vividly recall the years 1974 and 1975 during the energy crisis, when Daylight Time started in January and February. We would get up to get ready for school and it was still completely dark! A friend awoke one morning, took her shower, turned on the radio, and only then realized it was just 3:00 AM – it was hard to tell the difference in those days.

Astrologers try to keep track of all of these changes, since the hours’ difference can make for important changes in a horoscope. States like Illinois and Pennsylvania have had confusing time standards for record-keeping, and states like Indiana and Tennessee, which border two time zones, also make for challenges in calculating birth charts.

Arizona, Hawaii, Guam the Virgin Islands and other U.S. territories do not observe DST. These places are closer to the equator, and their periods of daylight do not vary as much over the years.

Dr. Sacks and Mercury

Neurologist and best-selling author Oliver Sacks was born on July 9, 1933 according to His article, “The Joy of Old Age (No Kidding.)” appeared in the New York Times on July 6, 2013. In it, Dr. Sacks discussed turning 80 and how he associated it with the element mercury, which has an atomic number of 80. Although Sacks is obviously not an astrologer, his essay is chock full of allusions to Mercury.

Sacks says that, “My mother was the 16th of 18 children; I was the youngest of her four sons. I was always the youngest boy in my class at high school. I have retained this feeling of being the youngest, even though now I am almost the oldest person I know.” Here he refers to siblings, well-known as Mercury-ruled. And Mercurial people are often youthful, no matter what their age.

One reason Dr. Sacks is grateful for a long life is because he’s been able “to write a dozen books and to receive innumerable letters from friends, colleagues and readers,” although he also realizes that at his age, “dementia or stroke looms.” Writing and correspondence are Mercury-ruled pursuits and dementia and stroke both impair Mercury’s ability to express itself. He reports that his father, who lived to age 94, said that in his 80s he felt “an enlargement of mental life and perspective” – once again, referring to the intellectual capacities ruled by Mercury.

Dr. Sacks’ article was reprinted in AARP The Magazine’s February-March 2014 issue, which appeared under Mercury retrograde. A re-print is quite a Mercury retrograde phenomenon. Coincidence?

Obviously Mercury is an important planet for Sacks! When we look at his horoscope we find that his Mercury is involved with oppositions involving the Moon, Venus and Saturn. This is the dominant pattern in the doctor’s chart and part of his essential experience. He’s been challenged to express himself through creative writing (Mercury conjunct Venus in Leo). His expertise as a doctor (Saturn in Aquarius) and ability to objectively analyze human behaviors (Moon in Aquarius) all play their parts in Sacks’ work as he explores the unusual ways our brains and minds can interact.

As an astute observer of the human situation, Dr. Sacks tunes in to astrological truth without having studied it. He has clearly become an expert in understanding others, and, in fact, life itself, also represented by his Moon-Mercury-Venus-Saturn oppositions.