Real Time Astrology: New Moon In Taurus April 26th, 2017

Astrology Taurus new moon April Viva Combusta

Still life by Willem Claez Heda

 

The New Moon at 6 degrees Taurus takes place at 7:16 AM CST on April 26th. It’s remarkable in how utterly lazy serene and peaceful it is! There are no other aspects to this New Moon (besides the Sun conjunction), save for a very wide trine to Saturn at 27 degrees Sagittarius, too wide to use by most standards. This New Moon falls in the first decan of Taurus; the Moon is exalted in Taurus but more so in this first decan. Venus rules Taurus and the first decan of Taurus, Venus being the planet of the good things in life like love, beauty, art. In the earthy sign of Taurus, there’s a strong desire to be a glutton experience the sensual in tangible ways. A spiritual mission to return to Eden.

 

This slow burn sensuality is all there is to this New Moon, and that’s enough! For those who set intentions at New Moons, consider this one your personal sabbath, your day of rest, and set intentions to make rest days a permanent fixture in your life. Sleep in, dream, restore body and spirit.

 

When you do get moving, this New Moon is ripe in the literal fruitful sense. Plant seeds you want to see grow in the long term, such as starting a new savings plan or similar. While not involved with this lunation, Mercury will be retrograde in Aries conjunct Uranus which means this is a great time to review existing or old money issues and come up with creative solutions.

 

Taurus’ ruler Venus will be at 29 degrees Pisces, no longer retrograde and in the sign of its exaltation. At the anaretic degree, it suggests there’s unresolved issues regarding relationships or self esteem that still need to be worked through. While not involved in this lunation, Saturn in Sagittarius will be applying to an exact square to Chiron in Pisces on April 30th, which brings a heavy dose of “ouch” with it. The Taurus New Moon should be a time to steady yourself against that coming tide.

 

It also makes for a spectacularly bad time to go shopping or get a haircut. I know this would normally be the perfect time for an aesthetic shapeup, but with Taurus’ ruler Venus and Saturn both square Chiron, you could easily go in asking for this –

 

and come out with this instead –

 

So, ignore that advice at your own risk. (True story.)

 

Since the only aspect here is the obvious conjunction to the Sun, the focus here is on material simplicity and now would be a great time to de-clutter and simplify your life. Too often we overcomplicate simple things, now is a great time to remedy that. Chill out! Life is chaotic enough without intentionally making it more chaotic. Whatever else you’ve got going on in your life, find your one green pasture and revel in it.

 

 

As always, look to the house of your natal chart that this Taurus New Moon falls in for further information about where you can plant and nurture seeds of stability and growth. If you need help finding this in your chart, read here for easy instructions.

 

 

Real Time Astrology: Full Moon Supermoon In Taurus November 14, 2016

 

The one of a kind Full Moon at 22 degrees Taurus takes place Monday, November 14th (7:52 AM CST). You’re going to be seeing a lot written about this Moon, not just because it is also a Supermoon -occuring at perigee- but also because it’s the largest Full Moon Supermoon since 1948; we won’t see one this visibly huge again until 2034! This Full Moon will be nearly 15% larger and 30% brighter than any regular Full Moon. It will be at its biggest and brightest during the night before, so stay up late on Sunday November 13th or get up early Monday November 14th to take in the full Full Moon effect! [Read more…]

Weirdo Book Reviews: Two Great Books On Fixed Star Algol

 

The fixed star Caput Algol, often simply referred to as Algol, has quite a fearsome reputation in astrology. Of course, one must always see the nuances of the potential behind the astrological interpretations before rushing to judgement, and also use personal experience with how potentials actually manifest in real life. Two books I’ve found very useful in de-mystifying Algol’s infamy are Beyond The Planets: Algol’s Use In Fixed Star Astrology by D.M. Hoover, and Brady’s Book Of Fixed Stars by Bernadette Brady.

 

It’s probably necessary to give a little explanation of what Algol is first. Algol is a fixed star located at 26-27 degrees of Taurus. It’s exact degree changes from time to time due to precession of motion, so you may occasionally see Algol located at 24 or 25 degrees Taurus for older chart interpretations. Algol is actually a binary star system -the first to be discovered- meaning the “star” is actually three stars that orbit and therefore eclipse each other like so:

 

Algol astrology stars eclipse

 

This eclipse orbit gives Algol the appearance from Earth of occasionally “disappearing” and then re-emerging with a distinct blink. Thus, in ancient times it became known as the “blinking demon” star. In Hebrew it was called “Satan’s Head”; its current name comes from an Arabic word meaning “head of the ghoul”, Al-Ghoul or now Algol. Ptolemy drew mythological connections to the story of Medusa, who was of course beheaded.

 

This association with cruelty, pain and even decapitation unfortunately seemed to be reflected in events associated with Algol. People nowadays do not like hearing these connotations, but they arose from somewhere and astrologers wouldn’t have continued such a brutal association unless it had merit. Algol is located in the sign of Taurus; while Taurus is generally thought of as a sensual, slow Venus-ruled earth sign, it has a shadow side just like every other astrology sign. The shadow side of the sign of The Bull is indeed a raging bull; slow to anger but when angered even slower to cool off. The earthiness of the sign means its dark side can manifest in physical ways; and as Taurus rules the neck, it became known that the bright blinking fixed star located in Taurus seemed to epitomize this brutal dark side.

 

There’s still the same associations of brute physical force, considerable violence, and severe neck/body injury attached to Algol today. As I have my Mars conjunct Algol (you use a tight orb -degree of separation- for fixed stars; 3 degrees or less for aspects) I, of course, have made a point of looking into how such a horribly malefic influence actually plays out in real life and in the charts of people who, like myself, are not in any way as violent or brutal as the reputation would suggest.

 

So, with that out of the way, the two books that I think explain Algol on a regular human level are the ones I’m hoping people will defer to when first studying Algol. The first book is Bernadette Brady’s Brady’s Book Of Fixed Stars. This is probably the more well known of the two, since it details pretty much all the fixed stars, not just Algol, so has been considered a staple in fixed star astrology interpretations.

 

Brady’s take on Algol is brief, then, but still illuminating. Brady explains that despite such associations with typical masculine areas of violence such as battles, assassinations and the like, Algol was generally considered a feminine star: the wife of the Devil to the Arabs, and in Talmudic Law Algol was actually Lilith, the first wife of Adam who was not made from Adam’s rib but was her own person and was cast out of the Garden of Eden for not being submissive. To quote Brady:

 

“Algol, in other words, is the wild, raw, frightening face of the outraged feminine which has been labeled as demonic or simply evil. This star seems to contain immense female passion and power. It is the power of the feminine or the potential power of Mother Nature, not to be called evil for being strong.”

 

Brady then goes on to use examples of Albert Einstein (Pluto conjunct Algol) unlocking the power of the bomb, and JFK’s and O.J. Simpson’s similar displays of maschismo and uncomfortable relationship to the feminine as examples of Algol at work.

 

We obviously learn from these types of sample cases, which leads me to the second book that I highly recommend. D.M. Hoover’s Beyond The Planets: Algol’s Use In Fixed Star Astrology is devoted exclusively to Algol and uses a wide selection of sample charts and history. The book offers little in the way of cookbook style interpretations, instead letting the examples speak for themselves.

 

At first glance, the examples in the book seem to reinforce the terrible reputation of Algol. The blinking demon star was prominent in events such as the 2012 Benghazi attack and the first World Trade Center bombing. Algol was also strong in the event chart of the invasion of Iraq, as well as in the birth charts of Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein. It featured in the event charts of the Columbine school shooting and the Boston Marathon bombings, and again in the birth charts of the people who carried out those events. Timothy McVeigh, Jim Jones (the Jonestown Massacre in Guyana guy), and notable earthquakes and hurricanes also have Algol signatures in their respective charts.

 

So far, so not good… but, there’s just as many other examples in Hoover’s book that helps one see how Algol might affect otherwise ordinary, decent people. Sylvia Plath is an interesting example that seems to harken back to Brady’s impression that Algol can represent the repressed feminine that becomes feral or rabid if not released from the cages society has placed it in. Plath had Chiron (that odd mixture of pain and charisma) conjunct Algol, and Hoover has an interesting insight of this aspect as it played out in Plath’s chart:

 

“In Sylvia’s natal chart, it was Chiron symbolizing the inner wound that never healed for her… It’s uncanny to think that Sylvia wrote in her nove The Bell Jar about “the windowless corridor of pain”, or what was to become her own bell jar. She penned the words, “From the bottom of a pool, fixed stars govern a life”.” 

 

(As an aside, the poet Ted Hughes whom Plath fell in love with was an avid astrologer himself, and supposedly she used to tease him about drawing up charts for everything he did.)

 

Stephen King and Martin Luther King Jr. are two more examples in the book of good people with a malefic influence in their charts, both with their North Node (their manifesto) conjunct Algol. Dr. King was not the perpetrator of violence; he was someone who definitely had firsthand experience of it and he used his passionate response to violence to preach the gospel of non-violence, and to inspire others into tangible actions leading to change and reform. Unfortunately, he was another Algol person who was assassinated. At this point I have to say that having a strong Algol in a chart does not show assassination or unfortunate endings just by itself; other factors must be taken into consideration, of course. Stephen King hasn’t been assassinated, though he did nearly lose both legs in an severe accident. Algol conjunct his North Node seems to have operated in his life by aligning his life purpose with the psychological understanding and expression of the deeply unsettling and pathological. Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung also have strong Algol aspects, and in other examples in Hoover’s book we see that it isn’t a stretch to imagine that Algol’s ferocity need not be physically violent but can be psychologically aware of the brutality of life that others would prefer to run from.

 

A few other examples from Hoover’s book: we do not have reliable birth information for Joan of Arc (there’s that wild woman influence again) but at the time of her being burned at the stake (ahem, for being her own person) transit Jupiter was conjunct Algol at the mundane level. Edgar Cayce would go on to do a reading for a woman from Lyons that he believed to be the reincarnation of Joan of Arc; his client was born with Jupiter conjunct Algol.

 

One interesting case study for me -because I’m a music geek- was the plane crash that killed The Big Bopper, Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens (aka “The Day The Music Died”). In his book, Hoover explains that the last two of those singers had prominent Algol aspects in their charts, particularly Ritchie Valens who had a Venus-Jupiter-Algol conjunction in his 3rd house. What isn’t mentioned in Hoover’s book but that I knew from memory when I seen this event included (again, music geek) was that Waylon Jennings was supposed to be aboard that flight but, in a twist of fate, didn’t go:

 

“After a show in Clear Lake, Iowa, on February 2nd, Holly decided to charter a plane for himself, guitarist Tommy Allsup and Jennings so they could fly to Fargo, North Dakota, instead of taking the long, frozen bus trip. Richardson, who was suffering from the flu, asked Jennings for his seat on the plane, and Valens asked the same of Allsup. When Jennings told Holly that he was going to take the bus, Holly jokingly told him he hoped the bus broke down, to which Jennings replied, “I hope your ol’ plane crashes!” 

 

“God almighty, for years I thought I caused it,” the country legend said decades later.”

 

So, of course I looked up Waylon Jennings chart; Algol conjunct the Midheaven opposed by Mars in Scorpio conjunct the IC; in some weird way he still experienced Algol without actually experiencing Algol…

 

So, Algol didn’t earn her fearsome reputation for nothing, but hopefully these two books will put a more humane and insightful face on her and the people who live life in that gear. To close this article out on a more successful ending, one of the case studies not found in ether book but that I personally like is actor Danny Trejo, Taurus Sun conjunct Algol:

 

Danny Trejo ASTROLOGY

 

who started out life as a juvenile delinquent, becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol, served time in prison and at one point was maybe eligible for the death penalty. Of course, after controlling the demon star within he’s known now for his softer side, working still as a drug counselor and of course as an often comedic actor.

 

 

 

 

Stop What You’re Doing Immediately And Find Where Freddie Mercury Is In Your Chart!

Freddie Mercury astrology asteroid

Good old fashioned lover boy.

 

Just when Mercury retrograde was starting to get me down, the real star powered Mercury made everything right again!

 

There’s been a dizzying amount of astronomical discoveries so far in 2016 (the non-discovery of Planet 9 or Planet X or whatever notwithstanding) that I’ve been meaning to write about but haven’t got around to yet (with Mercury retrograde, I’ve been doing battle with people plagiarizing my writing, for real). But today, September 5th, 2016, the most important moment in astrology and astronomy history (maybe ever) was announced. Today, to commemorate what would’ve been Freddie Mercury’s 70th birthday, asteroid #17473 was renamed Freddiemercury. Asteroid #17473 was discovered in 1991, the same year Mercury left this world, providing proof he really was from another dimension. As I’ve written about before, any celestial body worth its salt will have a synchronistic connection and backstory to its name; the synch of Freddiemercury is all the proof I need that this virtuoso cosmic body should be used in every astrology reading henceforth!

 

No, seriously, find Freddiemercury in your chart. Now. Go to https://astro.com and put in your birth data to make a free chart. Once you’ve saved it, at the top of the screen click “Free Horoscopes” and click on “Extended Chart Selection”. Once there, scroll to the bottom of the screen. You’ll see an empty bar that allows you to enter asteroid numbers. Put in 17473 and click “Click Here To Show The Chart”. Boom! You now know where Freddie Mercury lives on in each of us!

 

Since it’s Mercury’s birthday today, let’s have a look at his chart:

 

Freddie Mercury asteroid astrology

 

(You’ll notice he had his own namesake asteroid Freddiemercury in very tight conjunction to his planet Mercury. Tee hee.)

 

No surprise he was a Leo rising, is it? Sun in the 1st house, beautifully artistic Sagittarius Moon in the 5th, Venus raunchy in the via combusta. Jupiter in Libra. And, like many celebrities, he was a 12th house person as well; for him it was Pluto and Saturn behind the scenes. Underneath the flashy exterior, a world of pain and dreams and beauty and lonesome yearning for something this world never offers. Saturn in hard aspect to Jupiter lead to his overbite caused from having four extra teeth, which he wouldn’t remove because he believed it created the beautiful sound of his voice, and who’d ever want to lose this:

 

 

The piano playing, though? That’s all Mercury (no pun intended). Venus and Leo and the 5th house and Jupiter in Libra, etc.: these are things in astrology that show creative artistic appreciation and potential but the manual dexterity performers run on is, more often than not, their Mercury and/or Mars. (Which is why I’m currently writing about a musician and not playing music myself…) Freddie Mercury was a Virgo and Virgo runs on proper skills. Those people who go on and on about what a flamboyant “showman” he was are doing his memory a disservice; he was a proper songwriter, producer, and multi-instrument musician as much as, or more, than anything else. He did it so well he made it look easy.

 

So, happy birthday Freddie Mercury and thank you for even glamming up something like astrology.

 

 

 

Re-Educate Yourself With Mercury Retrograde In Virgo August 30th-September 22nd, 2016

 

The most casual of astrology readers know that Mercury retrogrades are a hot mess, a logistical nightmare. However, some Mercury retrogrades are more productive, bear more fruit than others. At the end of August and through most of September (August 30th through September 22nd, specifically), Mercury will retrograde through its domicile  (the sign it rules) Virgo. A Mercury retrograde in the sign of its rulership is not any less squirrel-ly or weird for it; perhaps more weird and squirrel-ly for it. It won’t be boring or dull, at least. Working with the retrograde rather than fighting it can be a re-training and re-shaping of our minds.

[Read more…]

Real Time Astrology: New Moon in Gemini June 4th-5th, 2016

 

The frenetic and fun New Moon at 14 degrees Gemini takes place Saturday, June 4th at 10:00 PM CST  (depending on your time zone, it will be in the wee hours of Sunday, June 5th.) The Sun-Moon conjunction will also be in exact conjunction to Venus, also at 14 degrees Gemini, and forming a very tight mutable Grand Cross. The mutable Grand Cross includes the Gemini New Moon-Venus conjunction squaring Jupiter at 14 degrees Virgo and the North Node at 17 Virgo; squaring Neptune at 12 degrees Pisces, and opposing Saturn retrograde at 12 degrees Sagittarius.

 

As previously mentioned, Gemini (along with the other mutable signs) are bicorporeal or “double-bodied” signs, meaning they relate to concepts of duality and inhabiting different worlds simultaneously. While the cardinal signs initiate change, the mutable signs (which precede the cardinal signs) facilitate changes; the cardinal signs start new seasons (each one occurs at equinox) and the mutable signs prepare us for the changing season. As confusing as a mutable Grand Cross is, it is demanding we adapt to survive and move into the future.  [Read more…]

Real Time Astrology: New Moon in Taurus May 6, 2016

 

What a garden of earthly delights this New Moon at 16 degrees Taurus brings us on Friday, May 6th at 2:30 PM Central Standard Time. The Taurus New Moon, along with the Sun, Mercury Rx at 21 degrees, and Venus at 8 degrees forms a temporary stellium in Taurus. Since Venus is the natural ruler of Taurus (and this stellium) [Read more…]