Real Time Astrology: January 2017


Water, water everywhere. January 2017 is dominated by a Pisces stellium, waterlogging the psychosphere. Everything is being absorbed at the expense of mental and emotional health, clarity and direction. A recent blog comment sums up the current underlying mood circulating unspoken: [Read more…]

Real Time Astrology: December 2016


Good news: 2016 is nearly over! I think most will agree that this year has been exceptionally tough, owing to exceptional astrological space weather. Bad news: there’s still a full month left for 2016 to push our buttons. December 2016 has enough sweet surprises in stock to make us think it was saving the best for last. But, in keeping with the general theme this year, the good times won’t last. [Read more…]

Real Time Astrology: New Moon Solar Eclipse in Virgo September 1st, 2016

The New Moon Solar Eclipse at 9 degrees Virgo takes place on Thursday, September 1st, 4:03 AM Central Standard Time. It is an annular solar eclipse, meaning it will create the visible coronal ring (“ring of fire”) most people associate with eclipses. The closer an eclipse is to the Moon’s Nodes, the stronger; with the North Node at 12 degrees Virgo this does set us up for a powerful and intense eclipse! The Sun, New Moon and North Node all in Virgo will be joined by Mercury retrograde in exact conjunction to Jupiter at 28 degrees Virgo. That’s quite the five star stellium! The Virgo New Moon/Solar Eclipse/stellium will also form a formidable mutable T-square by squaring Mars at 14 degrees Sagittarius and Saturn at 10 Sagittarius, and opposing Neptune retrograde at 10 degrees Pisces.


The orbs are tight for this one; no room for anything but a major event. The depth, power and complexity of everything that’s going into this eclipse gives me a sense of a “perfect storm”, in that it will probably be easier to assess the aftermath than it will be trying to understand it as it unfolds.

[Read more…]

The 3rd House And Depression (And Other Quirks)


Mental health issues -whether something we were born with a propensity for or aquired through our lives- come in a wide variety of flavors, each with different root causes and paths to healing. Mental health in astrology is equally varied, and can be attributed to many different combinations of planetary aspects, transits, and so on. Astrology is a fairly reliable tool in getting to the source of the problem and pointing out the deeper philosophical and spiritual reasons for why one is going through such an experience. It’s been interesting to me throughout my years of astrological observation that the relationship between the 3rd house and mental health, specifically depression, doesn’t seem to be as common knowledge as some of the other astrological influences. So, I thought I’d make a brief overview of the 3rd house, depression, and some of the different ways this plays out in real life.

[Read more…]

Real Time Astrology: June 2016


This June, the quicker you accept that you as a person and we as a collective are losing grips on reality, the better. The astrology in June is constant high weirdness, strange sensations, unexpected twists. [Read more…]

2016: The Year Of Change & Transition

Painting by Stefan Nandancee

Real or illusion? Painting by Stefan Nandancee


Many people I’ve talked to, both through my blog and in real life, noticed the bottoming out of energy after the beginning of the new year. It didn’t seem so bad the first few days, but Mercury and then Jupiter turned retrograde and momentum was lost. I had planned on writing a piece about the change of pace for 2016 but even that didn’t pan out. Even now, with the Mercury retrograde over, the pace remains sluggish. I have said before that I wasn’t someone who was excited to see the square between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn begin to wind down; for all the headaches and tears it caused, it was a tremendous wellspring of opportunity for change and transformation.


The Uranus-Pluto square is still more or less in effect the first couple months of 2016 but losing much of its steam. After that, while Uranus and Pluto do not change signs for a while, the square between widens until it is barely there (although the retrogrades of both will briefly tighten the square this year.) What is replacing this energy? A whole lot of retrogrades and emphasis on the mutable signs. There are four Mercury retrogrades this year, as opposed to three last year. (The next Mercury Rx runs from April 29th to May 22nd in Taurus; then again from August 30th to September 22nd in Virgo; and lastly from December 19th through January 8th, 2017, in Capricorn, the same sign Mercury went retrograde in at the beginning of the year.) There’s that not particularly easy retrograde of Mars from mid April until the end of June. That’s a lot of time spent looking back rather than moving forward. One of the Mercury retrogrades and half of the Mars retrograde also occur in mutable signs.


There’s an unusual amount of focus on the mutable this year, with Neptune, Chiron and the South Node in Pisces, Jupiter and the North Node in Virgo, Saturn and an extended period of Mars in Sagittarius. Gemini gets in on the action in June to form a mutable Grand Cross. The mutable signs at the neutral level represent changeability, adaptability, flexibility. When at their best they see all sides of the issues presented to them and find the middle ground or a workable solution for all involved. While the cardinal signs initiate and the fixed signs stabilize, the mutable signs flow.


In the wake of the past few years, where buttons were pushed non stop and everyone was in crisis/survival mode, the changeover to the the less intense feeling of the mutable signs can feel alternately calming and frustratingly unproductive. When at their worst, the mutable signs see so many different sides to the issues that they never take the leap and act. Uranus in Aries squaring Pluto in Capricorn was the cardinal trigger forcing movement and that is quickly becoming nothing. The fixed signs are the ones who’ll stay the course and see things to their fruition, but their time in the spotlight is brief this year. Coming on the heels of a period of major change, there is a need to adapt ourselves and our expectations to the new paradigm, that is understandable. It becomes problematic when the urge to act on new wisdom and information does not gain necessary traction, resulting in a feeling of gridlock. The changeable nature of the mutable signs obviously doesn’t impede change in everyday life and in fact supports it, but it can continue to shift and morph in unexpected ways. Lacking clear direction or purpose is a common issue with heavy mutable emphasis. It can seem like nothing is happening one minute, only to see a flurry of activities the next, only to dissipate again.


The square between Saturn in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces in particular will contribute heavily to losing sight of targets and projected outcomes, no guarantee of any outcome at all. Vagueness will be a dominating theme for much of the year. Discerning the real from the unreal will be a full time job. Besides squaring Neptune, Saturn in Sagittarius is closing in on its mutable square to Jupiter in Virgo, exact on Wednesday, March 23rd at 16 degrees. Jupiter in Virgo sees success in practical applications, Saturn in Sagittarius brings a heavy dose of reality about higher education. With the square between the two building, bigger issues will arise surrounding the growing difficulty in finding a job that fits your experience and education level. Many are in ridiculously deep debt from student loans, earning degrees that they find do not take them as far as they thought. On the flip side, many decided to opt out of perpetual debt and skip college, and are finding that no matter how qualified, experienced and/or competent they are, they don’t look good enough on paper to impress potential employers. This may not make the headlines but in your life and the lives of those around you, you’ll experience the rapidly growing frustration and and disillusionment with the promises of education and the reality of the job force (and the actual unemployment numbers) this year more than ever.


Saturn square Neptune is also a big culprit in the illusion of time itself running at a speed that seems out of synch with life. Saturn is associated with three dimensional time itself, something Neptune doesn’t even acknowledge in its view of otherworldly time-space dimensions. Add to it the mutable emphasis in general and the funky retrogrades, much of 2016 will feel like a lot of talk with no action and purposeless movement.


It is important to realize that the feeling of slowing down is only illusion, not unlike a speeding train creating the appearance of other fast moving trains moving backward. Retrogrades are themselves illusions of planetary bodies moving backward, which they are not. In reality, periods of emphasis on mutable signs act as periods of massive transition; no major changes as you get with the cardinal signs but constant movement nonetheless. Remember this as you’re feeling nothing is happening this year that very soon the illusion will dissipate and we’ll be whiplashed by the realization that we were accelerating all along.


The first bubble to burst and change tempo will come courtesy of Jupiter ingressing into Libra September 9th  (until October 10th, 2017). Libra is a cardinal sign associated with initiating change in the balance and fairness of most things; while Libra is most often associated with relationships, the need to correct and restore balance extends across the spectrum into most areas of life. Jupiter in Libra brings a high minded philosophy to how the balancing of scales plays out. This change in tempo will feel quite good for a while, then the friction ramps up again.


By about late October into early November, just around the time of the U.S. Presidential election, Jupiter in Libra begins squaring Pluto in Capricorn. Jupiter = big, Libra = restoring balance; Pluto = other people’s money, Capricorn = government, big business, infrastructure. Jupiter aspecting Pluto is one of the biggest tip offs that something big happens around money. The square implies it won’t be easy money. Now, Jupiter-Pluto is no financial doomsday transit; matter of fact I have no doubt that a lot will see windfalls, actually. But, the square means the Jupiter in Libra need for fairness and equal balance will be thrown off by the more ruthless Pluto in Capricorn, which can and has enabled spectacular levels of global corruption in the way business is now done. This looks like some type of “market correction” to me, with not everyone being impacted equally. Think of an uptick in home forclosures or repo’d cars or similar scenarios; lots of people benefit during a “buyers market” but obviously it comes at the great misfortune of others. I don’t know for sure that the Jupiter-Pluto square will cause a housing crisis, but the last time Jupiter was in Libra was 2005 (corrected from original post where I wrote 2006), when housing prices peaked and started to decline. Jupiter in Libra in 2016/2017 will be a “full circle” culmination of events since 2005 and this time Jupiter in Libra will square Pluto. The effects, both good and bad, are deep and incisive. And no doubt tangled up in the American Presidential election.


Whatever the Jupiter-Pluto square throws at us, it too will only be a lead-up to bigger events on the horizon. We are not far away from Uranus -rebellious shocker, agent of both chaos and ingenuity- moving into Taurus, bullish earthy sign of the banker, of money and tangibles. Taurus likes to build, accumulate; it does not like change and spontaneity so Uranus in Taurus looks incredibly difficult and uncomfortable to me. The last time Uranus was in Taurus was from 1935-1942 and one only needs to look at that period of history to understand how Uranus in Taurus upsets finances and turns money on its head. We can’t repeat that time frame; the square between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn we’re leaving propelled us into uncharted, unprecedented territory. Once Uranus moves into Taurus (at first briefly between May and November 2018, and then it settles in from March 2019 until 2025) we will have to learn to survive at a material level according to the new and accelerating climate.


The end of 2019 and most of 2020 has me the most nervous. There, Pluto in late Capricorn will be joined by Jupiter and Saturn, and while this conjunction never “perfects” (never meets at the exact same degree) this is a major force of reckoning in matters of government and global business. Capricorn focuses a lot on consequences: good, bad and everything in between. By the Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto conjunctions in 2019/2020, we’ll likely see the consequences of the Uranus-Pluto squares we’re leaving behind. We will see just how effectively we used the major catalyst of change; whatever we ignored in the past few years will be unignorable in the coming few years. Think of the Uranus in Aries-Pluto in Capricorn squares as Martin Luther nailing his ninety-five theses to the church door, and the Jupiter-Pluto square and then more strongly the Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto in Capricorn conjunction as the delayed fallout and reaction.  Uranus will be very much in Taurus at this time, and we’ll also have Chiron -creator of both pain and healing- in the martial sign of Aries. (I’ve got a timetable listing the movement of these bodies over the coming decades for those keeping track.) These astrological shifts are not that far off that we can ignore them now.


Which means, here at the beginning of 2016, we can see that the slowness and sluggishness and hard to pin down quality is a much needed time of adjusting and preparing. Nothing in life can fully move forward with success without reviewing where it’s been and what could and should have been done better, different. On a day to day level, the planetary retrogrades are a pain in the assignment but that is their higher purpose; replay, rewind, review, go back in time.


The mutable signs keeping things vague, flaky and ever shifting as a way of examining various possibilities and examining potential outcomes. We are not as free to do as we’d like and will have fewer choices in the future if the trajectory continues. So, this year is a period of evaluation. Self evaluation and questioning of the external world. Is want we want correct morally, spiritually? How big are the risks for pursuing particular paths? What are the risks for not pursuing them? How are we affected individually versus the affects on our family, community, country? Is what we’re doing hurtful or harmful to us in the long run financially, physically, emotionally? Are we moving in the right direction but with bad timing, bad advice or bad people? Are we going it alone when we ought to be enlisting others, and vice versa?


Remember as you’re beating your head against the wall or feeling tired and drained, listless this year that this apparent state of flux is actually a state of transition, and that in all of nature species must adapt to survive.




A Look At Donald Trump And His Chances For Success In 2016

From time to time people email me with things they’d like to see covered on my site. Some of those suggestions have been to take a look at the charts of politicians. On the whole, I’m just not interested enough in any one politician in general to spend time looking them over in depth. I did get a request to look at the chart of Donald Trump, which I initially ignored but over the holidays decided to briefly check out. There were enough things about his astrological profile that caught my eye and, since I thought he’d be out of the race for the next United States President by now, took a look at some of the big transits hitting him in 2016. To my surprise, not only do I think he’ll be in the race for a much longer time than I personally expected, I actually think he will gain steam (at least attention; not so much favorability) in 2016, so I thought it would actually be interesting to do a writeup on him.


Disclaimer: As I said, I’m not at all interested in any one politician or even in most current politicians on the whole, and I’m worried and nervous about all the Presidential candidates. I’m even less interested in playing party politics. I’m not interested either in swaying people’s opinions. I have opinions about Trump’s chart as an astrologer and about him personally as an American but I’m not writing from a politically biased viewpoint.


With that out of the way, here’s Donald Trump’s astrological birth chart:


Donald Trump birth chart

Donald Trump birth chart











The thing that first jumped out at me is Trump was born at nearly the exact moment of a Full Moon total lunar eclipse, with his Sun at 22 degrees Gemini in his strongly emphasized 10th house and his Moon at 21 degrees Sagittarius in the 4th house. Full Moon eclipse babies carry that heightened eclipse intensity with them their entire lives, and with Leo on the ascendant, his chart ruler is his Sun involved in the eclipse. Even if he’d been born in different circumstances, he would have been a natural extreme extrovert, channeling the velocity of his Full Moon in highly visible ways. The Moon in Sagittarius is the placement of people prone to big talks, big dreams, over the top ideas and yet in his 4th house for him his philosophies are somehow connected to the natural rhythms and cycles of life. He has a much stronger intuition than anyone would guess. His 4th house Moon clues him in to what’s going on in the collective, the shifts in popular opinion as well as the cycles and fluctuations in money and business.


Like a lot of people with a strong 4th house, much of his success and happiness in life comes from real estate and indeed that’s where he originally made a name for himself. Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, lucky gluttonous planet often associated with things like gambling, fortune, striking it big in some way and his Jupiter flavored Moon again fits in with his obvious luck from taking real estate gambles. The house of risk taking, gambling and speculation is the 5th and Sagittarius (Jupiter) rules his 5th. This, along with many other factors, state the obvious facts of his incredible wealth. The 2nd house is the house of one’s personal income and resources (as opposed to the 8th house of joint/shared income and resources) and here again we see Jupiter’s influence. The 11th house is also a strong money house, as its the second house from the 10th house of career and public image. Money earned from the 11th comes from professional success (the 2nd house is more like your regular salary and wages) and in his 11th house we find Mercury, communication planet and ruler of his Gemini Sun with Gemini on the 11th house cusp. Mercury is in Cancer, the sign that is ruled by the Moon so again we see the connection to his Moon picking up moments in the zeitgeist and his quicksilver communication skills spinning his intuition into actual, tangible, bankable gold.


Neptune in the 2nd was a surprise to me; I’ve done quite a number of charts with this placement and these people often care for money less and less with age. It’s not that they do not need or like money, they have to live like everyone else, but Neptune here shows the extent to which money can corrupt the spirit and dirty the sacred things in life. Most everyone can see this for themselves but people with Neptune in 2nd often feel the weight of it in their souls. This doesn’t appear to be the case here, which makes me wonder if the spiritual connection to money isn’t something along the lines of money being almost godlike to him. Neptune is nebulous, vague spirituality and Jupiter more traditional religion and philosophical schools of thought; I’d wager a good guess he looks at money from an almost religious zealots perspective.


He also has a very close conjunction of Venus and Saturn in Cancer in the 11th. There’s an important lesson anyone can take away from this as to how astrology plays out in real life… Saturn gets a bad reputation as the hardass celestial taskmaster, serious, cold, doling out punishment when its high standards are not met and imposing limitations. This is all very true but it often sounds worse on paper than it really is. When Saturn in a chart is embraced, it gives discipline, a strong work ethic, realistic structures to move along. If you know how to work within a budget (most of us) then you understand what Saturn “limitations”are; it is what it is and nothing more or less. You can’t force your Saturn to be something other than what it is for you so you best learn to work with it rather than against it. Most people who know a bit about astrology would look at a Venus-Saturn conjunction and assume it means only financial hardship, Venus being the planet that rules money. More often, though, Venus-Saturn brings a willingness to work hard for money and, in Trump’s case, a determination to keep hard earned money. Saturn usually produces a certain level of anxiety but some people will use this productively, spurring them into taking action. No matter that Trump has been a billionaire forever now, I doubt he ever stops worrying about his money and the stability of his assets.


Of course, it’s easier to make lemons out of lemonade when you’re already born into a very wealthy family, as Trump was. The 12th house is often home to very strange family issues and 12th house people are often charged with either carrying on or breaking away from family legacies that can go back many generations. It can take many 12th house people the course of their lifetimes to come to terms with the fact that they’re the recipient of unsettling family skeletons in the closet. Trump has both Mars and Pluto in Leo in his 12th. Mars is very close to his Leo ascendant, so besides being known for that hot mess of a hairstyle (Leo) Mars on the ascendant gives him the traits common to this placement: ruddy complexion, reddish tint and fineness/thinness to hair, assertive and aggressive (sometimes belligerent) personality style. I’d expect at some point he’ll have to contend with major issues of his heart or circulatory system. Pluto in the 12th does not point to a happy, loving childhood. He may not have wanted for money or even love but he was probably involved in family power struggles from a young age which impacted his decisions as an adult.


Pluto in the 12th people often encounter experiences in their childhood that can force moments of dissociation or depersonalization, forcing them into deeper recesses of the mind. With his 12th house placements in Leo, he responded to these experiences by crafting a Leonine persona- brash, loud, attention seeking, willful and proud- not unlike being an actor in his own life. Hard to say if he recognizes this in his quiet times with himself. The juggernaut career he created for himself likely doesn’t allow for much introspection. He may be one who much rather prefers running away from his internal life, who knows. We only know him through the persona he created and astrology teaches us that there’s more to a person than their superficial persona. Another thing about Pluto in the 12th, it is common for people with this placement to have bizarrely strong visualization powers, that is, if they see it in their minds eye they often can “speak it into existence”. Which, as a Gemini, he’s aware enough to consciously try.


His Sun is closely conjunct Uranus and the North Node all in Gemini in the 10th. The North Node is everyone’s manifesto and having it close to his Sun makes it easier for him to realize his charts potential. On that note, he’s lived out his chart as well as one could. He’s a cacophophonus agent provocateur, gathering money, soaking up the limelight. CEO of his little world, cheerily screaming at people that they’re fired to stoke his ego and let people know who’s boss. Had he been born to a poor family with no connections, he’d likely have been one of those prominent and obnoxious luxury car salesmen or late night television class action lawyers.


So, it’s strange to me that he would be interested in being President. He doesn’t seem to have anyone’s agenda at heart except his own, and he achieved that quite well already. Maybe it is a case of nowhere left to go and he views the Presidency as a conquest. If his ultimate goal is nothing more than running for President for his own kicks and giggles, I’d believe it. You can see the Gemini-Sagittarius axis at work constantly with him, as you’d expect from a Full Moon eclipse baby. Always shooting off at the mouth about things he only cares about in the moment, which are only true in the moment. He’s a staunch Republican who’ll run Independent if he so chooses. He makes derogatory remarks about minorities, foreigners and women, ignoring his personal life in which he’s only married foreign women and sponsored the Miss Universe pageant. He publicly trashes the Clintons despite actually being good friends with them…


His strong Mercury -ruler of Gemini- is square to Neptune and Jupiter, both aspects that can be less than truthful for any number of reasons. You wouldn’t exactly expect a billionaire Presidential candidate to be a truth telling wholesome person of integrity, but his outrageous and never quite true statements are core to his character. When he says he wants to be President, he may very well mean it with the same amount of conviction and honesty as I might say I want Mexican for dinner but settle on Italian later. He may mean what he says at the time and completely switch sides when he’s moved on to something else that better fits him that moment. And, if he doesn’t mean what he says at all, well hey! it was a great headline.


I’m not completely convinced he’s running solely for altruistic reasons. Anyone who associates with gatekeeper Alex Jones is suspect in my eyes, though. I don’t even think he himself thinks he’d be a great President. Contrary to how he is often portrayed (Neptune at work) he is not an entirely self made man, and his bankruptcies show he is capable of making major missteps. His Mercury square Neptune and Jupiter actually isn’t great for clear, detailed, analytical thinking. His gut feelings are quite strong and I believe he’s able to sense people who are brilliant and he surrounds himself with them and their more solid ideas, blending them with his. (Maybe even passing him off as his). So, again, the question remains why he’s running. Could be the private joke of an elite billionaire and we haven’t picked up on the punchline yet. The way he shoots off at the mouth the way he does almost points to 12th house self sabotage, as if wants to lose the vote and also he seems to be asking why people continue to support him despite consistently showing himself up. It’s probably at least a cosmic joke on us at some level. I’ve seen theories tossed around that he’s some type of mole serving to ruin the Republican party. I’m not completely buying that but I wouldn’t completely rule it out. That’s not something that can be discerned from his chart BUT if you wanted a political mole, he’d be the guy.


His motives may never be discerned, as obviously his secrets are as guarded as the next elite candidates. But, he does have opportunities to slip up in 2016. I’d watch him especially around June 4th, when there is a 14 degree Gemini New Moon tangled up in a mutable Grand Cross. The Gemini New Moon will not be far off his natal 17 degree Uranus in Gemini and there’s room here for unexpected information surrounding him. If his team is aware of this the information leak may be deliberate but with Uranus involved there’s still room for surprises. Him being an eclipse baby makes him much more sensitive to lunar cycles. Mercury in Taurus will conjunct his Taurus Midheaven from about April 26th through the first week of June, in time for the Gemini New Moon and mutable Grand Cross. Mercury will be retrograde for a good portion of its conjunction to his MC, allowing for further slip ups and factual errors. The mutable Grand Cross will also feature in his solar return on his birthday.


Otherwise, his transits are keeping him rolling on. Jupiter moves into Libra in September and he’ll experience his Jupiter Return about midway through the transit. It is a rather benign and beneficial transit and will begin mid November, just after the elections have wrapped up. Saturn does oppose his Sun by the end of the year and from there on his story will be more harshly tested. He has a lot of incredible Uranus and Jupiter transits sustaining him until then: transiting Uranus sextile his natal Uranus, trine his natal Moon and opposing natal Jupiter through March; Jupiter in Virgo squaring his Uranus in Gemini through July; Pluto in Capricorn squaring his natal Jupiter from mid February until December 2017, Uranus in Aries squaring his natal Saturn in Cancer starting at the end of May until January 2018. Those last two transits contrast sharply with the other ones, as Pluto square Jupiter and Uranus square Saturn have potential to unravel a person’s life to a considerable extent. The other transits may act like buffers, though, and keep the wheels from coming off completely.


It will be interesting to observe what does the unraveling and when it occurs from an astrological perspective. I didn’t think he’d make it this far, though, so he may still end up with the last laugh.