Venus-Pluto: Lovely, Dark And Deep


I have a random request: Can you do an article about Venus-Pluto? (Question brought to by my upcoming transit Venus conjunct natal Pluto. But we also have that wild Thanksgiving T-square with Jupiter-Pluto-Uranus which has Venus conjunct Pluto exact. So it could be of general interest too right?) But it seems like it always brings so much angst…and not much else. ~ bomega


This was a question asked by a reader in the comments section just before Mercury retrograde in Virgo, which is why I didn’t respond right away. We do have a Venus-Pluto conjunction coming up in time for Thanksgiving, and it’s Scorpio season, so why not take a look at Plutonic love? [Read more…]

Do You Have “Joyful” Planets In Your Chart?


This has nothing to do with how joyful you are as a person, but brownie points to you if you automatically replied “yes!” before you even read beyond the post title!


“Planetary joy” is something of an older, traditional thing that’s not used as often anymore. It designates each of the seven traditional visible celestial bodies a house that they are/were purported to really express their inherent qualities the best in. A planet in a house it “rejoices” in gives that planet a type of dignity. A lot of people know what essential dignity is: a planet in its domicile, for instance. (Mercury in Gemini -the sign it rules- would have essential dignity.) Planets can also have dignity if they are in a house of their jollies. These things did not come about by guesswork or accidents; there was good reason underlying the matchmaking or it wouldn’t have stuck around for long.


So, what houses do the traditional planets find “joy” in?

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Synastry Vs. Composite Charts: The Destiny Of Your Relationship


“Hi Clarissa, I noticed on your astrology readings page that you prefer composite charts for relationships more than synastry charts. Can you explain why?” ~ Heidi 


This was a recent email question posed to me after someone read that on my consultation page that I think synastry charts between two people are a bit overrated, and that I prefer looking at composite charts for relationships. Sometimes these things are dependent on the astrologer and their unique experience; no two astrologers will see eye to eye on everything. I do think synastry is overrated. Reason being: we have synastry with everyone. Synastry just describes how something in your chart fits in with another person’s chart. You have synastry with your boss, your coworkers, your hair stylist, the wait staff at restaurants. If you read my blog and love me, you’ve got great synastry with me. If you hate me and feel compelled to write me a long email telling me so, you’ve got synastry there too. (Also, too much time on your hands.)


A composite chart, in my opinion and from my experience, better describes the dynamics that brought two people into a relationship. You have synastry with everyone, and a good portion of them will have similar synastry charts as the person you’re in love with. So, what drew you two together specifically? Synastry can describe chemistry, composite can take it one step further and describe destiny, or the deeper feeling of fate that brings a relationship together.


A 9th house emphasis in a composite chart can show two people brought together by shared beliefs, and show a relationship that falls apart if people do not know exactly what the other person believes in or if beliefs change. A 10th house emphasis in a composite can show a couple that can turn the relationship into a business, or help each others’ status. It can also show they think of each other as status symbols that raise their individual profile first, and think of them as a person second. An 11th house emphasis can show the couple remains friends when the romance has faded, which is a benefit in any romantic partnership. It can also show they think of each other as “just friends” and it never goes to a deeper level. A 4th house composite emphasis can show a couple brought together or destroyed by views on heritage, family, and residence. An 8th house emphasis can show that the couple is brought together for the common purpose of emotional and psychological exploration; how that ends depends on how well equipped each partner is for such an intense journey.


The ascendant of the composite chart is a good indicator of how other people view the two people in a relationship. It can explain why some people are very happy despite public fighting and arguments, or why two people who appear perfect in the eyes of loved ones have nothing but struggles behind closed doors.


Do you prefer synastry or composite charts for relationships? Which one and why? What has been your personal experience of the houses in composite charts? Let us know in the comments below!


Real Time Astrology: New Moon In Libra September 30th-October 1st, 2016


The New Moon at 8 degrees Libra takes place on Friday, September 30th, 2016 at 7:11 PM Central Standard Time. For those of you in later time zones, this of course means it will take place in the wee hours of Saturday, October 1st. Since it is the second New Moon of September, you’ll see it referred to as a “Black Moon”. The Libra Black New Moon will conjunct Jupiter at 4 degrees Libra. It will also sextile Saturn at 11 degrees Sagittarius and inconjunct/quincunx Neptune retrograde at 9 degrees Pisces, thus triggering the waning Saturn-Neptune squares. It will also square Mars and Pluto in Capricorn (2 and 14 degrees, respectively.)

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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 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.




Wanna Seduce Aries? Seduce Their Mars Sign First!

Vintage Laverda motorcycle postcard

Vintage Laverda motorcycle postcard


The question of how to appeal to Aries – the sign of high vitality and low attention span – was brought up recently in a consultation with a client. I felt it was worthy of its own explanation in a post. A lot of people read those by-the-numbers formulaic astrology instructions on how to seduce this or that Sun or rising sign, with mixed results. Probably the very last sign you’d want to try such an approach with is Aries. It’s a common mistake to think that Aquarius is the most individualistic sign of the zodiac; that title actually belongs to Aries. Arise is the first sign of the zodiac and as such identifies closely with its ego and desires much the same way as a child does: purely and instinctively and immediately. Aries likes to think of itself as being as unique as a single snowflake (regardless of how true that might actually be), so approaching them as if they can be neatly summarized, as if you already know something about them, is the very last thing any of them want.


A better attempt of understanding how the Aries ego and energy is expressed, and how to pique their curiosity enough to want to pursue/be pursued, is to look at their Mars sign. You may think that passion for everyone is shown by their Mars; that’s true, but more true for Aries. As the ruling planet of individualistic, independent Aries, Mars colors each Aries persons approach to romance and seduction. Looking at the sign and house that Mars is in as well as the aspects it makes in the Aries persons birth chart will provide you with a lot of information about what gets them excited. Not all Aries want to pursue or be pursued in aggressive, Mars-y ways; their love style may not be obvious and it’s better to find out what they really want than to assume.


A small basic sampling of Aries through their Mars sign:

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The Warrior Within: Mars in Scorpio & Sagittarius (Including Mars Retrograde) January 3 – September 27, 2016

Iranian archer Shiva Mafakheri

Iranian archer Shiva Mafakheri


What does it really mean to “fight the good fights”? A question posed to us nearly all this year.


The word martial comes from Mars, the Roman god of war and relates to all things warlike. Just as you’d think, the planet Mars in astrology is raw, visceral, animalistic, sexual. It shows our fighting side, our assertiveness, our drives, our sheer physical energy and stamina, or the lack or impediment of these things. It especially shows our anger: what makes us angry, what we do with our anger, how we can transmute anger into a powerful tool for action and change in the inner and outer worlds. Mars typically changes signs several times every year; however, in 2016 Mars will spend an extended amount of time in the signs of Scorpio and Sagittarius. This is largely due to a retrograde period that will last from April 17th to June 29th, with a very long retrograde shadow. All in all, Mars will spend most of the year driving home the themes of the Scorpion and the Archer, first entering Scorpio on January 3rd and not leaving Sagittarius until September 27th. Mars in both Scorpio and Sagittarius represents in different ways a righteous anger; seeing life’s dark underbelly and choosing to either fight with or against it. Beneath still waters, there is always a strong current moving with intensity and purpose, and Mars channels this moving current for us in 2016.


When in Scorpio, Mars is actually quite at home. Before the discovery of Pluto in 1930, Mars was considered the astrological ruling planet of Scorpio (it also ruled Aries, and still does today). The high octane energy of Mars finds natural expression in typical Scorpio themes, which are the energetic connections and bonds underpinning our exchanges: sex, power, joint finances, psychology and pathology. Mars can be a wild, all-over-the-place energy if left unchecked but its impulses are well contained in Scorpio, where it finds focus. Nothing sloppy with this placement; it is nothing if not discliplined. Excellent strategist. Scorpio has a compulsive need to suck the poison and cut the rot out of life; Mars here is not easily deterred from acting on its need to simultaneously explore and free itself from seediness.


Mars in Sagittarius is a much more externally high spirited placement. Sagittarius is a fire sign and so Mars is at home here, too. After leaving Scorpio, Mars in Sagittarius turns its sights on battles of a higher nature: culture and religion, ideas about God, belief systems in general. Mars in Sagittarius is a strong defender of people’s beliefs, and will defend other’s ideas even as they are vehemently arguing their own. It is quick to spot hypocrisy and quicker to shut it down. Sagittarius is a sporty, athletic sign and Mars here likes to work up a sweat, preferably while outdoors. The environment and the outdoors are also favorite Sadge themes and Mars in Sagittarius can be a champion for nature and animals.


All that is well and good on its own. However, the very long retrograde shadow in general, and more specifically the retrograde period, will not necessarily represent Mars at its best in either sign. A retrograde is the illusion of a planet slowing down and turning backwards in the sky, retracing its steps. Things represented by the retrograde planet tend to follow suit; slowing down, looking back instead of forward, having internal dialogue rather than external exchanges. The very nature of Mars means it isn’t very comfortable retrograde; Mars likes to move ahead as swiftly and forcefully as possible in straight lines. Mars does not like to slow down, review, wait. Mars loses its momentum when retrograde, becomes frustrated, takes one step forward and two steps back. Its frustrations can turn to angers that are either repressed through lack of appropriate channels or blow up in quite harmful ways. The Mars retrograde period in 2016 isn’t one to ignore.


Initially, once Mars enters its retrograde shadow in Scorpio on February 17th it may seem as if energy is everywhere, but we’ll soon notice that the tempo has a lot of variables, like a record skipping. Mars enters Sagittarius on March 5th, bringing excitement, enthusiasm and optimism. Things begin to change in April, though, as Mars in Sagittarius will be conjunct the fixed star Antares (located at 9 degrees Sagittarius) the entire month. Antares, or Anti-Ares, has a strange reputation in astrology. It is said to be a mixture of Mars and Jupiter energy; Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, so the retrograde stationing of Mars in Sagittarius conjunct Antares will exacerbate the fixed stars reckless and even dangerous qualities. Antares was traditionally something of a malefic; associated with daredevils, rash leaders, battle, and even fatalities.  It does also lend a disctinct mental and philosophical toughness and bluntness. Even though the conjunction doesn’t perfect (become exact), it will still feature, especially once Mars finally stations retrograde at 8 degrees Sagittarius on April 17th.


There, the narrative flips.


The optimism of Mars in Sagittarius may reverse and give way to anger over religion and ideas. Historically, the last half of April is a famously violent time; just in the United States, late April has seen such events as: the Oklahoma City bombing, the Boston marathon bombing, the siege of Waco by the FBI, the Columbine school shooting, the Virginia Tech shooting… far be it from me to predict that we’ll definitely see this level of violence again this April (that is not what I am saying here) but realistically the month is famous for it, and Mars conjunct Antares in Sagittarius turning retrograde does indicate that anger will be a source of reckoning around this time. Those of you reading here will no doubt look for the message behind the anger and try to work with it, rather than being worked over by it, but the less stable in our society will be more likely to get agitated and not handle it well. Just use caution here, pay attention to your surroundings and remember that while you’re maybe able to handle the stress, watch for the signs in others that would indicate they’re cracking.


It is hard also to say how this might play out globally, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see headlines of attacks this April, not just lone agents but also by governments and their leaders.


On a more day to day level, Mars Rx in Sagittarius is a time to challenge ideologies that no longer serve their purpose and show themselves to be useless, harmful or hypocritical. Collectively, we may see religious violence and/or extremism suddenly take a turn, but this will happen more on the smaller scale. The more we express our political and religious or philosophical beliefs, the more we will see the nasty side of people who are opposed to such beliefs. Do not be surprised to see fractured or ending friendships over heated debates.


On the physical level, Mars Rx is not great for health and energy or stamina. Not burning off energy in a physical way can lead to internalizing stress and depression. Get off the couch and move! Get outdoors as much as possible, too. With Mars Rx in Sagittarius, watch out for injuries resulting from pushing your body too far; muscle tears, strains, sprains and the like. Once Mars retrogrades back into Scorpio on May 27th, sexual health will be an issue, whether it involves the reproductive organs or happens psychologically.


Mars Rx in Scorpio is less extroverted that Mars Rx in Sagittarius, and all the darker for it. Fighting over past issues involving old lovers may be a thing. Sexual identity will need to be sorted out for some people. Others will have to contend with new realizations or feelings over previous sexual hurts, which can run the gamut from the minor to the traumatic. I’d expect at least a certain amount of dialogue about sexual violence. Imbalances in power dynamics of all kind will come to a head on both micro and macro levels. While Mars is retrograde in Scorpio in early June it will be loosely opposing Mercury in Taurus. Mercury will be retrograde in the sign of the Bull from April 28th to May 22nd and be largely concerned with news and information concerning money, income, tangible wealth and assets; Mercury will be direct by the time Mars Rx in Scorpio starts opposing it in early June but will still coincide with a mutable Grand Cross happening early that month. (The mutable Grand Cross will be examined separately in a later article.) Early June looks like a very changeable and uncertain, unstable time, and Mars Rx in Scorpio opposing Mercury in Taurus looks like a “correction” of some kind on the material plane. Not to mention correction of values according to whatever Mars dredges up from the sewers of our psyches.


How much do we have to put up with, endure, before we fight back? How much are we willing to tolerate? Where do we draw the lines and begin to say no? What course of action do we take when the lines are crossed? Mars retrograde in Scorpio and Sagittarius brings out indignation and righteous rage, and you know what? There’s nothing wrong with being angry. Anger serves a purpose. It is not unlike a fever acting as a warning sign that something terribly wrong is taking place and needs to be corrected. The Mars retrograde period this year will serve as the fever requesting our prompt attention. There is a hell of a lot wrong in this world, on every level, and there seems to be very little room to escape the sickness. We shouldn’t have to. The fight needs to start somewhere to restore holistic well being. Mars retrograde first has to work backwards, reminding us of where the anger and outrage really stems from originally.


After Mars stations direct on June 29th, and especially after Mars clears its retrograde shadow August 22nd, we will regain momentum and move forward once again in our lives with purpose and our hard won soul knowledge. Things that do not pan out during the retrograde period can see new life (maybe in a new vessel) once Mars goes direct. I’d like to say global events will simmer down after Mars turns direct as well, but we’ll have to see where we’re at once there. Hopefully the Mars retrograde will keep the worst of battle plans from really getting off the ground, but that won’t keep the powers that be from trying.


People who have planets in the early degrees of the mutable signs – Sagittarius, Pisces, Gemini and Virgo- will feel Mars retrograde in Sagittarius the strongest; folks with planets in the late degrees of fixed signs -Scorpio, Leo, Taurus, Aquarius- will feel the Mars retrograde in Scorpio the strongest. Those folks with Mars in Scorpio or Sagittarius in their natal (birth) charts will experience their Mars return this year and should expect a culmination of their previous activities and energetic expenditures and the beginning of new ones. Intense but high energy year. Everyone should look to the house(s) of their natal chart that the Mars retrograde takes place in for a more in depth look at where areas of anger or the need for drive and action may manifest. (Read here if you need help finding where transits like this occur in your chart.)



Here is the time frame for Mars’ trajectory in Scorpio and Sagittarius for 2016. Times given are Central Standard Time, so adjust accordingly :


  • Mars enters Scorpio Sunday, January 3rd at 8:32 A.M.
  • Mars at 10 degrees Scorpio squares the Leo Full Moon Saturday, January 23rd
  • Mars at 18 degrees Scorpio squares the Aquarius New Moon Monday, February 8th
  • Mars enters its retrograde shadow Wednesday,  February 17th at 23 degrees Scorpio
  • Mars at 25 degrees Scorpio widely squares the Virgo Full Moon Monday, February 22nd
  • Mars enters Sagittarius Saturday, March 5th at 8:29 P.M.
  • Mars at 5 degrees Sagittarius sextiles the Libra Full Moon Solar Eclipse Wednesday, March 23rd
  • Mars at 8 degrees Sagittarius widely trines Aries New Moon/Supermoon Thursday, April 7th
  • Mars stations retrograde at 8 degrees Sagittarius Sunday, April 17th at 7:14 A.M.
  • Mars Rx at 1 degree Sagittarius conjunct exact Sagittarius Full Moon Saturday, May 21st
  • Mars Rx at 1 Sagittarius opposes Sun at 1 Gemini Sunday, May 22nd at 6:17 P.M.
  • Mars Rx at 0 Sagittarius opposes Venus at 0 Gemini Tuesday, May 24th at 9:38 P.M
  • Mars retrograde reenters Scorpio at 29 degrees Friday, May 27th at 8:51 A.M
  • Mars stations direct at 23 degrees Scorpio Wednesday, June 29th at 6:38 P.M.
  • Mars direct at 25 degrees Scorpio sextiles Capricorn Full Moon Tuesday, July 19th
  • Mars direct leaves Scorpio and reenters Sagittarius Tuesday, August 2nd at 12:49 P.M.
  • Mars leaves its retrograde shadow August 22nd
  • Mars at 14 degrees Sagittarius squares the New Moon Solar Eclipse in Virgo Thursday, September 1st
  • Mars at 23 degrees Sagittarius squares the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Pisces Friday, September 16th
  • Mars leaves Sagittarius and enters Capricorn Tuesday September 27th at 3:07 A.M.