Casenotes of a Medical Astrologer

Published in 1980 by Samuel Weiser, Casenotes was written by Margaret Millard, M.D., an obstetrician and general practitioner who somehow also found the time to raise six children. Uranus rising made her an independent thinker, and she was also an accomplished medical astrologer who later practiced acupuncture and holistic health.

As a medical professional, Millard also had access to hospital records, where she often obtained the birth times of many of the patients she treated. Readers are the beneficiaries of the corresponding birth charts, along with her insights and expertise. As a local doctor in Maine, Millard often personally knew the people she writes about and sometimes their families as well. There are many difficult and sad cases that she could not resolve and she shares the heartbreak of doing your best while dealing with the inevitable.

I’ve had an interest in medical astrology for years, but it’s a complex topic. This is not a cookbook or textbook, but if you already know the language of astrology, you’ll follow the discussion. I was also initially drawn toward Millard’s consistent use of declination in her interpretations, and with declinations we see chart themes both echoed and highlighted. The book is aptly titled “Casenotes” since each case considered is no more than 7-8 pages long. But Margaret Millard packs a tremendous amount of information into the horoscopes she analyzes and it’s the chart interpretations that take this book to the top tier of astrological works.

The case studies follow a brief introduction to the topic, and no matter what your experience, you’ll learn something new. Dr. Millard refers to harmonics, parans, Primary Directions, the Prenatal Epoch and the work of Ebertin. She favors the Topocentric house system. Yet the book is never theoretical but always focuses on specific charts and their meaning. The chapter on rectifying charts with family members using Oblique Ascension is rigorous, especially considering that the writer did all of her calculations by hand.

Casenotes of a Medical Astrologer is a throwback to earlier times: to the days when all medical practitioners were astrologers, but also to an earlier generation of astrologers who wrote sophisticated works and had strong opinions about their judgments. I don’t agree with everything Margaret Millard says, but her conclusions are always thoughtful. Andt’s unusual to find such a focused and thoughtful work, representing a lifetime of study.

181 Pages; copies are available second-hand.
Buy at Amazon.com: Casenotes of a Medical Astrologer

Creative Use of Emotion

Creative Use of Emotion describes the philosophy of yoga as very different from western ideals. The two authors – one originally from India and the other from the U.S. – combine their expertise in yoga and psychology to advise on ways to consider and handle challenging emotions.

The west places a greater emphasis on external freedoms, while the east embraces inner freedom. In the west, we tend to identify with our thoughts, while the eastern perspective suggests that consciousness exists apart from our thoughts and external attachments. If we take the drama of life less seriously and disengage from our expectations, we will be less anxious and better able to fulfill our paths in life. Yoga also emphasizes living in harmony with the natural order, which leads to peace, happiness and comfort with our responsibilities in life.

This book was published by the Himalayan Institute, who brings us Yoga International magazine. It was written over forty years ago but its ideas are timeless. I’ve studied and practiced yoga for many years and found the concepts illuminating, clearly presented and uplifting. The mental discipline of yoga isn’t natural to western culture, and it would take years of dedicated practice to develop the mind as described. But I feel that beginning to try to do so would be helpful. Reading Creative Use of Emotion is a first step in the process. Priced at under $10 including shipping, it’s a great investment!

Buy at Amazon.com: Creative Use of Emotion

Jupiter in Scorpio with lots of Capricorn

Looking back for multiple planets in Capricorn, I found January 10, 1994, which featured 7 planets in Capricorn as well as Jupiter and Pluto in Scorpio. That date was the beginning of the trial of Lorena Bobbitt for cutting off her husband’s penis (the irony of the name must be given to Jupiter in Scorpio!).

She was found not-guilty as she had suffered physical and mental abuse from the husband for years. Maybe Pluto in Scorpio added to the violence of the act. Today, with Pluto in Capricorn, the efforts seem more directed toward reform in business and other institutionalized hierarchies.

The horoscope for John Wayne Bobbitt is on Astrodatabank – he had Mars in Scorpio opposite Venus, which is a tough and potentially brutal combination. His Sun in Aries closely conjunct Saturn, both quincunx Mars, may have made him both aggressive and frustrated. He subsequently served time for assaulting another woman as well as he second wife.


Lorena was born on October 31, 1970 in Bucay, Ecuador. She had Mars conjunct Uranus, explaining her impetuous actions. Most of her planets were in Scorpio, though, so she was able to withstand her abusive husband for nearly five years. She was also near her Jupiter return at the time of the trial, which helped others understand her story and put some luck on her side.

This is a sad story all around, but important in terms of women’s rights. Many these days are associating Jupiter in Scorpio with the “MeToo” movement. In 1994, two Jupiter cycles before, we these issues were already in the news.

Lorena’s birthday is found on Biography.com.

Z is for Zeus — er, Jupiter!

I was sorry to hear of the passing of mystery writer Sue Grafton, having been a big fan of her books. I always thought of her protagonist, Kinsey, as a Sagittarius, and that Grafton would have that sign in her chart, too. As it turns out, she has both the Moon in Sagittarius as well as Jupiter rising, along with many other placements that are classic indicators of a career as an author.

Grafton also had Sagittarius on the 9th house cusp, helping her reach a wide audience, especially as the ruler, Jupiter, comes to her 1st house, making it one of her most prominent planets. In addition, Mercury in Aries conjoins her Ascendant and also trines her Moon, giving her a fluency with communications. The 1st house planets emphasize self-expression and personal development, and Grafton did this through her writing (Mercury and Jupiter). Both Mercury and Jupiter in the sign of Aries are energetic planets and Grafton, at the age of 77, was looking forward to concluding her mystery series.

Her 1st house is further accentuated by Jupiter’s conjunction with the Sun in Taurus and the Sun’s close conjunction with Saturn. Both the Sun and Saturn trine her Capricorn Midheaven. So the ruler of her 10th, Saturn, also comes right to her (1st house), along with the ruler of her 5th (the Sun). Creative impulses and career come together. While the Aries planets provide much vitality and drive, Taurus and Capricorn offer steadiness and persistence.

Though Jupiter gives luck, a slower timeline in achievement is often indicated by a strong Saturn. According to Wikipedia, Grafton’s father (Sun and Saturn), a detective novelist, was a strong influence, but Sue did not have much success with novels and turned to screenwriting for a number of years before making her mark with her alphabet series of mysteries in her forties.

Venus in Gemini in the 3rd house, conjoining Mars in Gemini, are additional strong indications of a facility with the written word. Venus also trines the North Node in the 7th house and sextiles Jupiter in the 1st. These aspects are both helpful in reaching a wider audience.

Investigative Pluto trining Grafton’s Moon shows her focus on detective stories. Pluto in Leo on the cusp of her 5th house also seems to have given her inexhaustible creative ideas. Pluto’s hard aspects may bring traumas to a life, and with Pluto squaring her Sun and Saturn, she experienced a difficult divorce and custody battle. Her mother had also been a suicide following cancer surgery.

Venus was way Out of Bounds in declination, signifying someone with an artistic sensibility. Mars was also OOB and closely parallel an OOB Pluto. This unusual combination further accentuates the emphasis on crime and investigation in Grafton’s work, as well as her drive and ability to address tough emotional issues.

Sue Grafton was an extremely successful mystery writer, so we’d expect an emphasis on the 3rd-9th house axis, Mercury and Jupiter, as well as Pluto and the 8th house. But it’s refreshing to see a horoscope that so obviously indicates what the person was all about.

Grafton was born on April 24, 1940 at 4:10 am in Louisville, Kentucky, rated AA by Astrodatabank

Stellar Review

Donna Van Toen gave my astrological mystery, The Precious Pachyderm, a nice review in the December ISAR International Atrologer.

“This is an astrological mystery. The pachyderm is not a cute little baby elephant, but rather a carved jewel of great value. And it goes missing. The sleuth who finds out what happened to it is none other than Evangeline Adams. Now Adams was, in her way, a detective, but not in the way envisioned here. This is, of course, fiction, but it’s a very good fit.

The setting is in keeping with Adams’ era in Manhattan, circa 1926. And the story opens with a wealthy businessman, whose wife is Evangeline’s client, being found dead. And meanwhile, there’s the issue of the missing elephant, which Adams herself is accused of stealing. Lots of twists, turns and tangles, and lots of characters, many of whom are, well, characters. Among these are the rather unpleasant Mrs. Fiske, whose husband is murdered, Evangeline’s assistants Mary and Clara, a group of Hindu monks, a prince (the owner of the elephant) and more. All of this, plus plenty of astrology is woven together in a fast-paced and often funny mystery, written by one of the foremost chroniclers of Evangeline Adams’ life.

Christino is probably the foremost living expert on Evangeline Adams. While this work is definitely fiction, it’s credible fiction. For the most part you could see this happening. No need to suspend belief. The cast of characters, clients, staff and hangers-on, are fun. I’m sure you will smile with recognition at some of the client antics, though I never had a client show up with a dog, and of course nowadays we don’t need transcriptionists. And yes, you will relate to the astrology, too, I’m sure.

If you like mysteries and want a good read, I recommend this. I enjoyed it thoroughly!”

More on the book here.

The December issue of the ISAR International Astrologer has excellent articles by Victoria Naumann Smoot on Martin Luther, Nick Kollestrum on the Gauquelin Data, Smijana Gavrancic on North Korea and the U.S., a wonderful essay by Sandra Leigh Serio on the August eclipse and many more. Only available to members!

Also see Donna Van Toen’s website.

Royal Wedding 2018

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are set to marry on May 19, 2018 at Windsor Castle. Meghan has some unusual astrological similarities with other Americans who’ve married royals.

In my book, Regal Brides, I analyzed the horoscopes of Americans who became royals through their marriages (Consuelo Vanderbilt, Wallis Simpson, Grace Kelly, Hope Cooke and Lisa Halaby), along with their partners’ charts. Meghan’s horoscope fits in perfectly with these ten brides and grooms. All of them had important placements in Libra, and Meghan has the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto in the sign of partnerships. With the Moon also conjunct Jupiter and Saturn, she’s now best known as Prince Harry’s partner.

Meghan shares the Moon in Libra with Consuelo Vanderbilt and Wallis Simpson, two famous Americans married to English royalty in the last century.

The partners I analyzed in Regal Brides represent a very small astrological sample. Nevertheless, four of the ten partners had Saturn favorably aspected in Libra, and Meghan also shares this placement and the flowing aspects: in her case, sextiles from Saturn to her Leo Sun and Mercury. Saturn is exalted in the sign of Libra, and these people take relationships seriously. Perhaps this position also strengthens a person’s position in life.

Whatever Meaghan Markle’s compatibility with Prince Harry, or the astrology of their wedding date, she seems an astrologically appropriate candidate for her new life with the royal family.

(See Jessica Adams’ blog for her analysis of Meghan’s Leo Sun and other royals who shared it.)

The Astronomer and the Witch

Ulinka Rublack looks back at the life of Johannes Kepler and the year he spent defending his mother against charges of witchcraft in their hometown of Leonberg, Germany in the early 17th century in her engrossing book, The Astronomer and the Witch.

Kepler’s work fits neatly into a time when there was great excitement in studying the natural world, which was seen as part of God’s great plan. There was enthusiasm for mechanical developments such as clocks, as well as natural remedies. While women were generally not educated, they nevertheless had access to medicinal plants and herbs, and Katherina Kepler used these for herself, family and friends.

Kepler was around 50 in 1720, when his mother was arrested and imprisoned. He had previously been associated with Tycho Brahe and Emperor Rudolph II and had already published many of his most important works, but experienced career ups and downs in a time of great instability between Catholics and Lutherans. We learn something about his personal life and relationships with colleagues, family and friends.

Leonberg and its neighboring towns regularly prosecuted witches, who were often older women, hanging or burning those convicted. Katharina’s initial accuser gained support, and rumors turned to testimony against her. Her tough, confrontational manner hurt her case, with a biased and corrupt local official complicating things. Over 70 at the time of the arrest, she’d been a widow who’d raised a family on her own and successfully supported herself for over 30 years. She was jailed for over a year while chained to the floor.

At the same time Kepler published his Epitome of Copernican Astronomy, court records show how he was able to use his experience in the political world and as a critical thinker to craft his mother’s defense. He used rigorous logic and research to dissect the testimony against Katharina, and rhetorical persuasion to argue her case.

The author does an excellent job of portraying Kepler as a multi-faceted individual and admits that he had a large collection of horoscopes and did chart interpretations and forecasts for his various patrons. But she unfortunately does not appear to have researched astrology, which could only have strengthened her work. Rublack provides an excellent historical context for Kepler’s “negative sketches,” but to an astrologer, these are obviously cook-book-like delineations of planetary combinations. She similarly states that “What we call ‘gender’ played no role at all in the explanatory framework of astrology,” which is simply incorrect. Interestingly, she shares some of Kepler’s unanswered questions about his own birth chart, which might be answered by using the outer planets today.

Rublack stresses Kepler’s skepticism, stating, “his view that astrology was of little value.” She is probably more correct in her later discussion, where she concludes that Kepler’s mature belief was non-deterministic, allowing for the influence of the human soul, culture, education, choice and habits to modify the horoscope: “good astrology was very much like medicine in its character, an inductive art, which required observation, experience and analysis.” Kepler’s beliefs were based upon his experience as well as his optimistic Christian world view; he also stressed the need for accurate birth data. Astrologically, he was an innovator, as he was in astronomy.

Despite my quibbles, this is an excellent book for anyone interested in the history of ideas, and particularly for astrologers who wish to learn more about one of their most successful forebears.

Buy on Amazon.com: The Astronomer and the Witch: Johannes Kepler’s Fight for his Mother

Kepler’s Astrology, Ken Negus’ translation of some of Kepler’s astrological writings is available in print.

Culture & Cosmos’ edition on Kepler is unfortunately no longer available. See the Table of Contents here.

Evangeline Adams Update

Half a Saturn cycle after my 2002 biography of Evangeline Adams, I’m updating it. And with many collections now online, I’m finding a lot of new information.

I’d never been able to find proprietor Warren F. Leland’s report of Evangeline’s accurate 1899 forecast of disaster for the Windsor Hotel. But now I’ve discovered an article in which he advises a reporter what Adams told him in advance.

I wasn’t sure about Evangeline’s maternal grandfather. But with several of her distant relations posting Family Trees online, I’ve now definitely identified him. He was a machinist with nine children and a suicide! This says something significant about Adams’ mother and grandmother, as they were obviously survivors. Evangeline was, too.

In her autobiography, Evangeline Adams talks about her engagement to her employer, a Mr. Lord. The relationship was facilitated by her aunt. I’d searched for Mr. Lord years ago but with no first name it was difficult to go further. I’ve now found him in newspaper databases through the company name that Adams provided. And it turns out that Luther S. Lord was thirty years older than Evangeline Adams. It was more common in the 19th century for women to marry much older men. But thank goodness she didn’t! She was only eighteen or nineteen at the time.

I’m excited to search for more about other people and events in Evangeline’s life in the coming months and expect to share these in the update of Foreseeing the Future: Evangeline Adams and Astrology in America.

The Waking Dream

Ray Grasse’s book, The Waking Dream: Unlocking the Symbolic Language of our Lives, explains symbolist thinking:  holistic and right-brained correspondences, metaphor, analogy and qualitative views, rather than facts or figures.  The book is refreshing and wonderful on so many levels, simply because, as the author so eloquently explains, this worldview supports the spiritual rather the material – the opposite of today’s emphasis on science.  It is ancient and cross-cultural, though it unfortunately began to wane with 17th century rationalism. 

Grasse is an astrologer who is extremely well-versed in many other symbolist studies, and draws on a large array of books and esoteric subjects, sharing gems from prominent thinkers through the centuries and around the world, from the classics to popular culture.  His wide-ranging analysis looks at the meanings of external events, nature, dreams, ritual, astrology, psychology, cycles, fractal geometry and much more.  (No previous experience in any of these topics is needed.

This thoroughly researched work is deep, clear and uplifting, reminding us that, despite all of the linear, reductionist thinking in the contemporary world, there are no accidents, and that the Universe is still brimming with meaning.  And for the first time, I really understood how astrology works.  Well done!

Buy on Amazon.com: The Waking Dream: Unlocking the Symbolic Language of Our Lives

A Presidential Signature?

When George W. Bush spoke out against nationalism, hate speech and isolationism in October, I wondered how his horoscope compared with Donald Trump’s.  I looked at Bush’s chart and realized that the two men were born only three weeks apart! 

In Alan Mayeda’s excellent article in the August ISAR Journal, he discussed solar eclipses and U.S. Presidents, and pointed out that Trump, Bush and Bill Clinton were all born in 1946 with Uranus conjunct the North Node high in the sky and trining Jupiter in Libra.  Mayeda’s analysis of presidents in history and these shared placements seem to be what led him to forecast Trump winning the presidency.

The three men were born in three consecutive months, an extraordinary coincidence when one considers that together they’ll likely serve over a period of at least 36 years.  What is it about this astrological combination that’s so compelling to the U.S.?  The Jupiter-Uranus trine in itself is a very dynamic aspect.  Evangeline Adams described it as “one of the most powerful and favorable aspects known,” and added that, “If you have political leanings, this vibration is an excellent one for activity.” 

But the combination of these two planets in Gemini and Libra also falls right on the U.S. horoscope, with its trine of Mars in Gemini and Saturn in Libra in middle degrees.  With the Gemini rising U.S. chart that I like, natal Mars falls conjunct the Ascendant as part of a grand trine with Saturn in the 5th house and the Moon in Aquarius in the 9th.  So the three presidents’ Uranus and North Node closely conjoin this U.S. Gemini Ascendant and Mars.  And the U.S. Moon at about 19 Aquarius also creates a close grand trine with Jupiter, Uranus and the North Node in all the three presidents’ charts as well.

Startling repeated connections!  Theodore Roosevelt is the only other president with Uranus in Gemini, but his was in an early degree.  Interestingly enough, his Jupiter was at 21 Gemini, conjoining the U.S. Ascendant and Mars and trining its Moon.  Attorney General and former 20-year Senator from Alabama Jeff Sessions was born on December 24, 1946, but his North Node is shy of conjoining the U.S. Mars or Ascendant.

Will it surprise us if the Democrats nominate someone with these astrological credentials for the 2020 election?  Richard Blumenthal, Senator from Connecticut, was born on February 13, 1946, though like Sessions, his North Node is too wide to be conjunct.  But Ed Markey, longtime Congressman and Senator from Massachusetts, was born within the “presidential window” on July 11, 1946.

Alan Mayeda’s article, “Great American Eclipses and Presidents of the United States:  an Astrological Perspective” has more, and appeared in the ISAR International Astrologer of August, 2017, p. 40-44 (unfortunately not available online).