The North Node In Leo Manifesto

 

The sign of big hearts, big mouths and big hair emits a steady warmth from May 9th, 2017 through November 6th, 2018 as the North Node travels through the sign of Leo. Leo is a fixed sign, ruled by the Sun; the North Node shows where to travel to find our bliss. While in Virgo, the North Node taught us the importance of using discernment, discretion, critical thinking and attention to finer details in the face of doubt and uncertainty. Now, we’ve got some finely honed skills, we know how to use them and we’re not afraid to show it! [Read more…]

Real Time Astrology: New Moon In Sagittarius November 29th, 2016

Astrology new moon Sagittarius November 2016

Hope” or “nope“? Painting by Casey Weldon

 

The brash and highly charged New Moon at 7 degrees Sagittarius takes place on Tuesday, November 29th (6:18 AM CST). This is one most people will feel coming. The New Moon will be conjunct fixed star Antares and in exact conjunction to soul mate asteroid Juno, square Neptune at 9 degrees Pisces and the North/South Nodes at 8 degrees Virgo/Pisces.

 

If you’re one of those folks who’ve felt recently that their adrenals and serotonin receptors simultaneously blew a fuse, you may as well prepare for this Sagittarius New Moon to work your last damn nerve. I’m not saying there’s no good news, but I am saying this one isn’t going to have the usual bouncy, buoyant feel typically associated with Sagittarius. [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.

 

 

 

 

Real Time Astrology: Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Pisces September 16th, 2016

 

The Full Moon Lunar Eclipse at 24 degrees Pisces happens on Friday, September 16th at 2:05 PM CST. While the September 1st eclipse was a near total eclipse, this one on September 16th is a penumbral eclipse, though no less complex. The Full Moon Lunar Eclipse opposes Mercury retrograde at 17 degrees Virgo, squares Mars at 23 degrees Sagittarius, and widely opposes Jupiter newly in Libra (at 1 degree). It will be tightly conjunct Chiron, which is retrograde at 22 degrees Pisces. The North Node in Virgo/South Node in Pisces is at 12 degrees, so while this eclipse does involve the Moon’s Nodes it, of course, isn’t nearly as tight as the previous Virgo New Moon Solar Eclipse. However, many themes of that eclipse will be repeating themselves here, most notably the strong mutable T-square (which I covered in my previous Virgo eclipse article.)

 

[Read more…]

Weirdo Book Reviews: Interpreting The Eclipses By Robert Carl Jansky

L: Cover of "Interpreting The Eclipses". R: Photo by Amy Shore.

L: Cover of “Interpreting The Eclipses”. R: Photo by Amy Shore.

 

“Eclipses. I know this is a very vast topic, but maybe eclipses of certain notable events? How eclipses stir things up, examples of. Why some are ‘duds’ or seem so. Interesting how they can be re-stimulated when a planet conjuncts that eclipse point, too–time frame for that happening.” – Nancy

 

Back in February, I posted an article asking for readers to submit questions that they’d like to see answered here on Viva Combusta! I answered nearly all of them shortly thereafter except this one. It was past eclipse season by the time I started working on the writeup, so I decided to wait until the next eclipse season, which is upon us this September. Since we’ve also got Mercury in its domicile Virgo emphasizing effective use of our words, I want to kill two birds with one stone by also doing my second installment of book reviews and recommendations. This time it’s Robert Carl Jansky’s classic Interpreting The Eclipses.

[Read more…]

Jupiter In Libra September 9th, 2016-October 10th, 2017: Preaching The Gospel Of Love And Justice

Jupiter in Libra astrology

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory exclusive posters. Click image to download and print other high resolution posters! 

 

Spread the good word: the sexy breath of fresh air we all want and need comes with the ingress of jolly lucky celestial giant Jupiter into the sign of Libra on September 9th, 2016. I, along with most astrologers, am very excited about this transit. 2016 has drained a lot of color and glamour and joie de vivre out of us; Jupiter in Libra restores all this and then some.

 

Since August 11th, 2015, we’ve had Jupiter in Virgo. Jupiter is in detriment in Virgo, meaning the planet struggles to express its natural traits. Jupiter is the planet of good luck, good times, good humor; given to largesse and excess. Too much of the good things is Jupiter’s preference. In Virgo, Jupiter’s larger than life exuberance was considerably thwarted; Virgo being the sometimes fussy, persnickety sign focused on micro details and puritanical perfection. Nothing against Jupiter in Virgo; Jupiter is always astrology’s “greater benefic” and makes our lives a little easier regardless of what sign it is in. However, Jupiter in Virgo was Jupiter redux, and spent most of its transit in hard aspects to Saturn in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces which further drowned it’s natural buoyancy.

 

Jupiter gets its full mojo back when it moves into Libra. Libra is a [Read more…]

Good News For Aries, Cancer, Libra & Capricorn – Jupiter In Libra Will Be Smiling On You!

 

The cardinal signs have had it rough the past few years, owing largely to the square between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn. There’s a bit of relief on the horizon, though, as planet of luck and good fortune Jupiter moves into cardinal sign Libra on September 9th. This transit will last until October 2017, and anyone with planets or angles in Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn will feel optimism and an urge to grow related to where Jupiter in Libra is transiting in your chart.

 

Obviously, those who have Libra in their birth charts will get the biggest kiss from Jupiter. Many Libra Sun folks will experience a Sun-Jupiter conjunction in their solar returns (a predictive chart cast every birthday, lasting until the next birthday); early degree Libra Sun’s will experience this conjunction in their solar returns in 2016, later degree Libra Sun’s will have this signature in their 2017 solar returns. People with Libra risings/ascendants -whether natal or progressed- should watch out for the time period when Jupiter crosses over the ascendant and into the first house; new opportunities will be more obvious and will probably be a result of receiving or seeking out attention from others. People with natal Jupiter in Libra will, of course, experience their Jupiter Return; completing one major cycle of expansion and growth and beginning a new one afresh. People with other Libra placements should look to the house involved to determine when and where extra luck and good times will present itself.

 

However, the other cardinal signs won’t be left out, either. Jupiter will be opposing Aries and squaring Cancer and Capricorn. I know these are supposedly “difficult” aspects. However, Jupiter is beneficial wherever it is, in whatever aspect. I actually don’t mind hard Jupiter aspects, they’re productive! The easy aspects often feel so easy that one is inclined to do nothing at all with their potential. Jupiter opposing or squaring Aries, Cancer and Capricorn is a transit that can bear fruit, even if it means you get a little kick in the butt to get you going.

 

Remember, though, that one caveat of Jupiter transits impacting your natal chart in a big way is the tendency to put on weight! This is especially true if Jupiter is hitting the natal ascendant, Sun, Moon, or Venus. Good times can lead to overeating, overdrinking, oversleeping…

 

Jupiter in Libra will also sextile those with natal planets or angles in Leo and Sagittarius, and trine natal Gemini and Aquarius. The sextile and trine are easy aspects, but aren’t particularly motivating or productive. They do point to either a reduction in stress or a peaceful feeling related to the areas of life in the natal chart that are impacted. The North Node moves into Leo May 10th, 2017, starting an auspicious cycle for Leo; Jupiter in Libra sextile the North Node in Leo late summer and early autumn 2017 is a particularly robust time period for Leo’s (especially those who have Leo in the mid to late degrees).

 

Even if you aren’t going to be feeling the effects of Jupiter’s transit of Libra in a big way, Jupiter is always our little ace in the hole and especially now that Jupiter is free of the sign of its detriment. You will still want to look to the house of your natal chart that Jupiter will be moving over to see where there’s potential for success that you can take advantage of!

 

If you need help finding where this transit of Jupiter in Libra will fall in your birth chart, read here for a simple how-to. I do astrology readings across a variety of needs and prices, check them out here!