Chiron & houses 1-6

Chiron is this small, tiny little planetoid that is roughly 170 miles in diameter. It is roughly spherical, indicating that there was enough gravity to make it kinda-sorta round, but highly rocky and certainly not an uninterrupted sphere.

Its orbit is highly elliptical, going from slightly inside Saturn’s orbit to slightly outside Uranus. As a result, Chiron’s orbit is about 50 years and it spends about 9 years in Aries, more than any other sign, and 24 (or fewer) months in Virgo, Libra, and Scorpio.

If you ask somebody like me who doesn’t know as much about Chiron as I do the other 10 planets, you’d get the stock answer “the wounded healer.” There are many manifestations of ‘wounded healer’ depending on the sign Chiron is in and the aspects it makes to other planets (and, of course, the house Chiron is in, which I’ll get to a little later).

I have a book in front of me entitled “Chiron: The Wisdom of a Deeply Open Heart.” Those words are worth reflecting on as one astrologer’s perspective. (Colorado, where I moved to 4 1/2 years ago, has often been known to have people with ‘open hearts’. It’s what makes the place so attractive.)

More than that, David Cochrane presents at a Keplar webinar called Chiron: Wounded Healer, Quiet Charisma, or Focused Self-Expression? It’s about an hour and a half long, so I’ll give a few basic impressions.

He’s focused on Sun conjunct Chiron aspects in this video, which is certainly important. “The child with Sun conjunct Chiron becomes a teenager. Her modesty is appreciated. Her talent is often ignored but she keeps working to improve and eventually “finds her voice” and some people recognize her talent. Her voice is healing. Her touch is healing. She is a singer, performer, athlete, thinker, massage therapist or reiki healer who is not flamboyant but strongly affects others.”

Cochrane suggests that the ‘wounded healer’ is an expression of an underlying process of the electrical energy of Uranus flowing through a clear pattern and structure. Quiet charisma is very common because the lively and spontaneous energy is focused with an interest in being correct and mature — to be ‘good at it.’

David does something called “Extreme Case Sampling” to find people — usually public figures, since that’s the database we have the most access to — with extremely strong Chiron in their chart.

Incidentally, I have a strong aspect pattern with small orbs — I have Moon and Mercury conjunct to within 48 minutes, square Chiron with the largest orb being 1 degree 5 minutes, and trine Saturn, largest orb being 1 degree 18 minutes. I have Saturn semi-sextile Chiron with a 13 minute orb. So that’s a four-planet pattern. I also have Chiron opposite the midpoint of Pluto and Uranus. So a lot of this is easy to identify with.

I wrote a paper about this for the Vibrational Astrology course that I’m finishing up and that David Cochrane teaches. For focused self-expression, I identified my radio show (I do an at least 2x/month radio show for an actual radio station, with archives) and the writing I do, which presently most manifests on this blog but has manifested in many forms over the years.

But it also manifests to a great deal in many public figures — the link to David’s webinar is toward the top of this post.

Let’s get to the interpretations for Chiron in the 12 houses, I’m only doing houses 1-6 as they’re somewhat longer entries. I will be using Parker’s Astrology (Julia & Derek Parker, DK Publishing), which is kind of an omnibus book for most every single thing about astrology you could think of — well, most things, anyway — and does good analysis of Chiron in the houses.

I would also be using Time Passages, which is a great astrological software program that I use (but which conflates houses and signs, which is a tad controversial, though I generally, but not always, like it), but their interpretations are very lengthy. I may get to these in fewer posts. Alas, these interpretations are not nearly as concise as those in the other books I use for other things.

Chiron in the 1st House:
There is a tendency to show off and take assertive action — often prematurely. The emotional level is heightened, and will be expressed instantaneously with passion, but this can be a cover-up for inner fears of inadequacy. Possible restrictions in early childhood will have had an above-average repressive effect: should emotion be blocked, when it does burst through, a torrential force is released. There is charisma and potential for leadership, and it is often expressed through the individual spending a great deal of time and nervous energy influencing other people. Controlling these enormous resources and giving them free but positive direction through a much-loved job or interest is essential.

Chiron in the 2nd house:
This positions gives self-confidence provided the individual is materially successful and secure. A tendency to be judgmental causes unease in others and should be countered. A Chiron-in-the-second individual becomes very sure of him- or herself and is stubborn, to the point of always seeming to be totally certain of being right, allowing no room for argument or for others’ opinions to be considered. Such a subject needs to work towards humility, to develop an unself-conscious attitude, and to realize that materialism is not the only way in life. Saturn must control greed, and give way to Uranian humanitarianism. There is warmth and love but it can get lost. It must be “found.”

Chiron in the 3rd house:
There is a tendency to be sckeptical and fearful over the individual’s own ideas, so that making them a reality is hampered. The subject will ask, “Why can’t I do that?” and not be able to find an answer. Development will in fact come only when these questions are answered. Maybe, when young, the parents used verbal put-downs to every little imaginative idea or suggestion, and so all confidence was lost. Learning from his or her own mistakes seems to present problems to the subject, because of not caring to admit to being in the wrong. He or she will instead justify any errors. Obsessed with inconsequential matters, such people must be encouraged not to get bogged down with detail. Verbal tricks to win friendship or attention must also be avoided.

Chiron in the 4th house:
Astrologer Barbara Hand Clow has discovered that those with this placing are intense and brooding and are often of a nervous disposition. Such an individual may be fearful of doing his or her own thing, thinking it a waste of time and energy, when, in fact, it is probably a lack of self-confidence that is really the cause. He or she gives a great deal of time to others and is extremely humanitarian. The subject seems to have firsthand knowledge of suffering, so is in a good position to help. It is difficult for the subject to cope with inner conflicts. The astrologer can easily recognize the struggle between the limitations of Saturn and the free expression of Uranus, and therefore to give a great deal of help.

Chiron in the 5th house:
The ability to be spontaneous in a somewhat childlike way is often crushed, due to parents telling the little one, “Don’t be silly, you can’t do that” when Chiron-in-5th knows perfectly well that he or she can. Such indoctrination is stifling: it will inhibit or, quite the opposite, the tendency to become pompous will occur. Nevertheless, there is a childlike sense of wonderment and a wealth of creativity, which cries out for positive expression.
When the subject develops awareness or suffering through inhibition or, on a different note, ceases showing off perfectly dreadful creative work (which causes considerable embarrassment to others), all is more than well. Sometimes he or she is pushed in a direction that is undesirable — by, for example, a well-meaning but mistaken “stage mother”.

Chiron in the 6th house:
The analytical qualities of Virgo are expressed here through the individual assessing inhibitions and what has caused them. There is a tendency to become obsessive over these problems, so that getting to the point of recognizing what has gone wrong and moving on is extremely difficult. The accent on health (to many astrologers this is Chiron’s ruling house) is pronounced, and understanding what is going on in the body, how to counter illness or negative conditions, according to the Chiron sign, is extremely important. The body and mind must work as one. Eventually achievement along these lines will come, but the individual will need considerable help from the astrologer to get the best from Saturn to Uranus through Chiron.


Repost: What, or who, do you trust?

Because I am traveling for the first four days this week, I’m going to use today’s (Monday’s) post to reprint an article that I consider vital. It was originally published on May 19, but the average person reading my blog is not going to go back that far and so unless I do this, you won’t be reading a post that you really should.

Keep in mind that the The Hammer and the Dance link that I post (under “This is what science is”) is a bit dated; but really, it begs the question, doesn’t it — that if epidemiologists at a given point in time only have a limited understanding (because it’s so early in the situation) we should be following and believing a layperson?!


A friend who knows very little about astrology, although she loves the solar return charts I’ve done for her, asked me, “Do you believe in psychics?”

Somebody on another friend’s page asks, “Do you believe in mediums?”

My answer is always the same, there are lots of people with psychic power, lots of people with mediumistic power (think, tarot readers), and so forth for every other esoteric art that I can’t think of. The point I try to make is that it is fairly common, albeit remarkable.

What I sometimes let other people say is that there are lots of quacks and frauds out there. Maybe it should be coming from my words more often. If you don’t have a bullshit sensor, you can be taken in by such people. I have seen it happen, repeatedly.

Astrology has a reputation problem. Astrology, when true, is based on actual empirical information — enough data will take it out of the realm of anecdotal evidence and into the realm of an actual evidence-based practice.

Gary Goldschneider, when he wrote his personology books in the late 1990s (if you haven’t read The Secret Language of Relationships, run, don’t walk, to your nearest online bookstore), was basing his truth on over 40 years of biographical research. David Cochrane would not have been able to come up with Vibrational Astrology without the thousands of interviews he did in the 1970s.

But our government considers astrology to be entertainment, and many people, including the publishers of Wikipedia, call it pseudoscience. This is a problem. (Yes, they don’t have a concept of qualitative data, but that doesn’t stop the major PR problem that we face.)

This problem is exacerbated both directly and indirectly by things that we as astrologers do.

An astrologer I deeply respect and who I agree with on most politics does online transit charts on Facebook for political figures who are prominent today. The transit charts correspond with events that are happening that these political figures at the exact time of the event. With all that is happening with the Trump administration she has a lot of opportunities to do so.

I don’t specifically remember the event or person she was covering — it was a couple of months ago. Let’s say the person was born in 1962 — I don’t know the exact year, but we’ll use that.

She put in — get this — 2962. Everything else was correct. Then she did the transits to that birth date. And she did these transits with absolute certainty that these were the transits — making these very specific aspects to a person’s birth chart — a person who will not be born for another 940 years, and not the person she was studying and so convinced that she knew what she was talking about.

I was — needless to say — alarmed. An astrologer can destroy their entire reputation with such a careless error.

Relatedly, we were taught in class that when we do a consultation we must check with the client that we have the birth time right. This is vital. I hope I never make this mistake.

The more indirect problem we as astrologers have, one that I find very embarrassing, is what I would term “science denial” and just a general tendency to believe conspiracy theories. The most obvious topic this is happening in right now is COVID-19.

This is what science is.

The above is a thirty-minute read. It actually took me closer to an hour. The article, The Hammer and the Dance, is more than two months old, and was the best understanding of epidemiologists at the time.

Most astrologers have not read the article, and thank god the astrologer Carolyn Simpson is my friend, or I would not have read it either. And if you were to ask an astrologer to read the article?

Many are so busy reading (and believing) in the conspiracy theory that Bill Gates (an individual with a deep commitment to public health, for all his flaws) is using this as an opportunity to microchip people for the purposes of social control.

In this case, many astrologers seem to be turning away from doing what some of us find obvious should be done — gather the opinions of a number of epidemiologists and think thoroughly and critically at what they say. Any debate that happens would be based on that. In many cases, not just COVID-19, we simply aren’t.

I could easily quote other people I know who are not in the astrological community who post online something, apparently, by Edgar Allen Poe, that says, “Believe none of what you see, and half of what you hear,” not knowing that they are participating unwittingly in a deeper conspiracy than the one they believe in — the conspiracy to denigrate reason, logic, and science. But I think if we, as the astrological community, want a better reputation (if we care enough about that) we have got to be held to a higher standard than the one we’re holding ourselves to now.

Astrology and science can and should coexist. There is value in esoteric arts like astrology, tarot, mediums, psychics, and other things in which, generally speaking, we prove our points through empiricism rather than rationalism (although thinking through astrological points through rationalism is certainly an interesting exercise).

If empiricism is the scientific method, then astrologers have a strong leg to stand on. We should be confident that our methods are good. Similarly, in the case of COVID, we should be listening to epidemiologists. On other scientific issues, we should be listening to the people with the most experience and the most sound thinking, with discrimination, and without rushing to assume there is an agenda, unless that assumption is truly warranted.


Addendum: I have also met an astrologer who has no problem reposting Q-anon conspiracy theories. Just sayin’.


Steven Forrest’s “The Book of Neptune” (and, 22 years earlier, “The Book of Pluto”)

Discourse is a funny thing. In its written form it may have originated, or at least began in earnest, with Ts’ai Lun, the inventor of paper, around 100 C.E., and accelerated in the 15th century by Johann Gutenberg, who brought forth what we would now call the printing press, through a synthesis of many elements. (Ts’ai Lun and Gutenberg were considered by one source to be the 7th and 8th most influential people in human history.)

I think of discourse because I write, of course, but also because I was in the middle of what might have been the 3rd or 4th or 5th wave of discourse production, the use of word processing. At this writing I am 50, and was privy to the beginnings of the Apple McIntosh, originally hitting us around 1985 and maybe the first “windows”- oriented system. I wrote high school papers using the library’s McIntosh, since I didn’t have one.

I entered university in 1988, when there were computer clusters and more advanced McIntoshes, and joined the alternative paper (The Student Union) in 1991, eventually being one of its “non-editors” through about 1993. We had a software program called “Pagemaker” which we used to convert articles written like paper to “print-out friendly” pages on our 11×17 tabloid. Articles could be juxtaposed in any way preferred on those pages simply by moving the physical scope of an article anywhere on a page. And then published — not, of course, until we pasted the pages onto the larger 11×17 page and sent it in to the printer. But it was still an advance over typesetting machines.

These were the beginnings of word processing. Over the past thirty years, with Windows computers of increasing processing power combined with the increasing reach of our ability to answer nearly any question or curiosity we could possibly ask through doing a Google search — which, of course, was a major improvement over the web browsers of the 1990s — I have noticed the style, even the content, of discourse has changed.

Even the simple act of being able to move any words around anywhere and not have to write, with a typewriter, from the beginning to the end, linearly, without being able to insert words or whole paragraphs or write the damn article in whatever order we choose, makes a difference in how we organize our thoughts and our words on the page. If this is not apparent to you yet, compare the writing on a New York Times article from 1985 to one in 2003 to one in 2020.

Or compare this. Stephen Forrest wrote a book called “The Book of Pluto” in 1994, and 22 years later he wrote a book called “The Book of Neptune.” I have both of these books on my lap. They are the perfect barometer of this writing style change. Of course, what I wanted to do was discuss Stephen Forrest’s Book of Neptune, until I was reminded that a compare-and-contrast would be delightful to lay out and discuss.

Let’s just say that Stephen Forrest learned a whole new style of writing. Better? Perhaps. More reflective of his age and wisdom (and consciousness) developed over the twenty-two years between books? Yes, that too.

Just excerpting from the Book of Pluto, he has a section for Pluto in each of the houses, and subsections within each of the houses entitled “In The Tradition,” “Your High Destiny,” “Your Distorting Wound,” “Your Navigational Error,” “The Healing Method,” and “The Energizing Vision.”

I always get fixated on Pluto in the 10th House since my Pluto is there in my natal chart, although, it did relocate to my 11th house, and stayed there, at the age of 18. From what I can tell, Stephen Forrest tends to think that the natal chart has some primacy over the secondary relocation chart. About a year ago, I watched a video of him talking about the relocated chart being “in its place” relative to the lessons we have to learn which are only in the natal chart. The relocated chart “has its place.”

Anyway. I always like the “Your Navigational Error” of Pluto in the 10th House. It goes like this:

“Would you stroll across a sunlit meadow for a million dollars? Not to put thoughts in your head, but I feel a high degree of confidence in my ability to predict your answer.

“What if the meadow contained nine deadly buried land mines? Now your answer enters more distinctly into the realm of individuality. My guess is that some of you would abruptly change your minds about the stroll, while others would start balancing the joyful prospect of the cash against the probabilities of more cataclysmic eventualities.

“Let’s add a third condition: there is a hungry Tyrannosaurus Rex pursuing you. Across the meadow lies your only escape. Suddenly taking your chances with those land minds has more appeal.

“Before we add a fourth condition, let’s sit with the image for a moment. There you are, nervously light-footing it across the sunny grass, torn between scrutiny of each footfall and jittery over-the-shoulder considerations of our Jurassic friend. Are you appreciating the sheer beauty of the meadow? Are you mentally designing the dream-home you might build there with the million bucks? (Do you even remember the million bucks?) Probably not. Under that kind of pressure, more aesthetic, creative interests recede into the background.

“Our fourth condition: the dinosaur is a fake, one of Spielberg’s clever illusions. There are no buried land minds; it was a lie.

“Your behavior in the meadow makes sense, but only on the basis of the information you believe. If we stopped you and said, “You know, when you get that money, I’m seeing a Frank Lloyd Wright design up there on that rise –” you’d look at us as though we were utterly mad. You would be perfectly convinced that you were behaving in the only possible way, given the threatening realities.

“The illusory realities.”

Believe it or not, that passage and that chapter in the book was one of the most inspiring things I read in the run-up to my moving across the country, something I decided to do while so many other people would have stayed put where they are. I was called brave by several people for that, but I depended on reading things like this to come to my decision.

Thank you, Steven.

I am going to add a little bit about what he says in the Pluto-in-the-signs, including Pluto in Virgo, for more than anything else to give you more of a sense of his writing style in 1994. In his Pluto-in-the-signs, there are subsections for “The Passion,” “The Style,” “Blind Spot,” “The Shadow,” and “The Saving Grace.” In his section in Virgo called Blind Spot, he remarks as follows:

“Ideals are difficult to attain. Perfection is a merciless standard by which to judge oneself.

“Here’s an attitude that simultaneously guarantees impressive accomplishments and total despair: “I’ll be happy when I get this exactly right.” It may work fine with cooking dinner or getting a computer program running, but when it comes to working on the more purely human level of life, it will certainly fail. We will never be happy. What man or woman is “perfectly sane?” Or even “shaped perfectly?” What relationship has no rough places, no immortal understandings, no epic frustrations? Life is messy business, and one of the secrets of existence lies in knowing when to say, “This is good enough!” And relaxing, enjoying, appreciating — we might add forgiving.

“Difficulty accepting reality — that’s the key blind spot for Pluto-in-Virgo. Let me emphasize that I speak of “accepting” reality. This is utterly distinct from the question of whether one sees reality. Seeing reality clearly is an enterprise at which Pluto-in-Virgo can whup Pluto-in-Leo before breakfast. But to accept reality — especially one’s own flawed reality — and not be brought to despair by it: that’s the art that Virgo may lack.

“If Pluto-in-Virgo falls into that idealistic trap, it paradoxically ceases to appear idealistic at all. Instead, it descends into cynicism, a sense of doomed impossibility, and hypercriticality.”

This was the state of discourse in 1994.

(The back of the book also offers two astrological software programs, and you can just imagine what 1994 technology for astrological software was and how that’s all we had to use. Another thing we should ask David Cochrane about, since he worked with these charting sources from the 1980s on).

Moving forward 22 years, and The Book of Neptune, I want to focus on Neptune in the 2nd house, which is where my Neptune relocated to when I moved to CO (it started in my 1st house by birth, but I want to use this relocated type as I find it more apropos in some very important ways. That doesn’t mean that I won’t eventually come around to Neptune in the 1st house, it’s just the passages I want to use right now.)

This section of the book spends about six pages each on Neptune in each of the 12 houses. He goes into a lot of other aspects of Neptune, such as aspects between Neptune and the other planets (I have a moderately strong Mars-Neptune square, a strong Neptune-Pluto sextile, a very strong Jupiter-Neptune semi-sextile, and a weak Venus-Neptune conjunction, for example). He has a nice little section on page 78 summarizing how we should meditate with each planet’s aspect to Neptune. Neptune-Venus “loving empathy,” Netpune-Mars “warrior mind.” And so forth. Then he gives entire chapters on each planetary combination.

The summary for Neptune in the 2nd house goes as follows:

Honoring your attainments on the Path — and avoiding the underestimation of your actual evolutionary state. Choosing appropriate and effective levels of inner practice. Being “willing to pay for it.” Benefits deriving from relationship with sacred objects: statues, stones, relics. Proving one’s self-spiritually.

Bet the house.

Leaking energy: Wasting time on practices that are no longer useful given your actual evolutionary condition. Dithering self-doubt. Complications stemming from financial confusion.

Wow, this screams at me! Even as I finish a men’s group program where we do spiritual morning practices every day, I question to what degree these practices are helping me, which ones I should use, and how I should look at these things in relation to my spiritual evolution. And growing up in a place (a part of metro NY) where spirituality was not valued makes a difference here. Let’s quote on:

“Classically, the second house is called the house of money. We will soon see that its actual meaning carries us far beyond the financial realm, and not just because we are talking about lofty Neptunian concerns — in fact, when we consider its lower expressions, we will see that money ranks near the top of the list of people’s favorite Neptunian addictions.

“In the second house, we often encounter issues of self-confidence, along with actual financial ones. The key is that the former can masquerade as the latter. In the second house, we wrestle with our willingness to take care of ourselves, or reward ourselves, or to be kind to ourselves. We wonder if we have what it takes. These are the psychological dimensions of the second house. In thinking about Neptune in this position, we will need to deal with them — as well as with the more purely practical financial and material definitions of the symbolism.”

Let’s stop here and focus on the writing. On the consciousness expressed by Steven Forrest, consciousness that is different in tone, content, and maturity from his book 22 years earlier. Go back to the Pluto section and compare it to this. And if that’s not enough for you, I’m going to continue to quote more of the most relevant sections of this chapter of this book.

“Say you have Neptune in the second. Here’s a question for you: How much are you willing to invest financially in your own spiritual journey? This is a totally concrete, dollars-and-cents question. If you’re not willing to invest financially in your spiritual journey, what does that say about you? What does that say about how much you value the spiritual journey — or how much you value yourself? We bounce right back to questions of self-worth, in other words.

“Sometimes, given the realities of modern life, it costs money to take care of your soul. That feels uncomfortable to say, and I suspect it sounds a little uncomfortable to hear. We can always sit in meditation — that’s free and always will be. But there are certain experiences we might need in order to support that inner journey. And a lack of money — perceived or real — can potentially place an obstacle between us and having those experiences. If you have Neptune in the second house, there’s a good chance that issue is going to get stirred up. And we need to be alert to the possibility is that the real issue is self-worth, with money only acting as a kind of paper tiger.”

This whole chapter is going to be totally relevant to our understanding of having Neptune in the 2nd house, but I want to skip ahead to one of the later theses in this chapter, as follows:

“Now let’s get right to the heart of the matter. The spiritual path, broadly and inclusively defined, embraces so many different levels and practices They range from mundane things, such as attending church on Easter, up to nine-day fasts in the desert. Earth is kindergarten through the twelfth grade. There are many primitive souls here. Let’s respect them and have compassion for the suffering they inevitably create for themselves. They give evidence of their condition through their abject materialism, by a denial of spirituality, by believing that violence will solve things. We’re not making fun of them, we’re not busy feeling superior to them — we’re just looking at them with clear Neptunian eyes.

“And then, at the other end of the spectrum, we have, for one example, the Dalai Lama. To me, he illustrates a very lofty state of Neptunian evolution.

“Now imagine that I have dinner with the Dalai Lama — a happy thought. Halfway through the meal, I put down my fork and I say, “Dalai, I hope this doesn’t seem pretentious of me, but I’ve been meditating now for several months, and I’d like to share a few tips with you.

“I hope you’re laughing! I am laughing too. What’s wrong with this picture? Obviously, I am in no position to share meditation tips with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He is in a higher grade than me”…

“The aim with this configuration is not to avoid spiritual inflation — that is generally not an issue here — but rather to attain clarity about exactly where we are on the spiritual map. If we have clarity about where we are in the journey, we will avoid inflation and egotism. But we will also avoid the equal and opposite error of deflation — which is a soul-cage very much available to you if you were born with this configuration.”

I’m excerpting a little later:

“And if we took that yogi out of the cave and sat him down in that rural church, he would be respectful of these simple souls doing their simple practice, but he would not benefit from being there. He is already too advanced to be helped by that kind of church.

“The point is that if you underestimate yourself spiritually, you will be drawn to practices that are no longer effective for you. That’s the core trap for people with Neptune in the second house. That is the heart of the matter.”

Thank you, Steven.

For your expansion of consciousness over the years — though, as a general rule for everyone, we need to be careful with this later talk, to avoid the practice of snobbery, which I think you understand well; and also, for your willingness to engage with the discursive advancements that our word processing and information gathering technology has afforded us.



I’m going to posit an argument here that goes something like, “The best astrology books don’t necessarily have the best writing. They have the best illustrations.”

Because many astrologers, including myself to a large degree, are interested in the writing — prose is so important, and such a skill to have, to be able to write, beautifully, persuasively — we don’t necessarily have a full appreciation of the design of astrology books, the books that stay with us because the illustrations are so good, an art form in and of itself that is, at least on the surface, more important than the writing itself.

I picked up a book about 4 1/2 years ago before I relocated to Colorado by Roy Gillett called “The Secret Language of Astrology.” It came out in 2011. Its interpretations are fine — it does a rudimentary procession through the planets, signs, astronomically and astrologically. When I read it the first thing that comes to mind is, “I know some of this already, maybe most of it.”

The intermediate astrologer would like to have this book to show people who know hardly any astrology because it’s so engaging through its art. Even the background for the pages, let alone illustrations of the planets and archetypes, is stunning. It checks enough of the boxes of what it explains to have around.

Moving on, I always go back to the books in the Secret Language series — Birthdays, Relationships, and Destiny. Joost Elffers co-wrote the book, but it was really Gary Goldschneider who did all of the biographical research, 40 years of it to be exact. Joost Elffers was there to illustrate, and, I’m thinking, produce the book.

Elffers illustrated and produced the books co-written by Robert Greene — including, the 48 Laws of Power, the 33 Principles of War, and the Art of Seduction. These are high-pitched books (I can’t think of a better phrase to use). They are graphically notable. They are also notable for their written content — Laws of Power almost literally blew my mind when I first read it in 1998. (To be sure — I think reading that book contributed to my psychotic breakdown, the final one, in 1999. Later on I found the book incredibly useful, and still do.)

What’s interesting is that Elffers had to do illustrations for each of the 1152 matchups between the 48 periods. (The number of possible relationships is 48 squared divided by 2, or 1152). He had one illustration for each of these half-page matchups. Being born on the cusp of Revolution (Scorpio-Sagittarius cusp) I suspect he did it purely on instinct.

I cannot forget to write about the Round Art of Astrology (A.T. Mann). It’s a book notable for its beauty and brains. Originally published in 1979, the original is out of print but is the only version where the horoscope illustrations are not black-and-white, but notably, their only color is red. The 2003 reprint is not out of print but is also exclusively black and white.

What else is notable about the Round Art that makes it one of my favorite books? Well, conceptually and technically, it’s quite advanced. I should make clear that many of the illustrations are not black and white and are creative in almost every dimension. I’m on page 62 and looking at a gaudy three-dimensional image of the celestial sphere. I’m on page 164-165 and noticing black and white demonstrations of trine, sextile, square, opposition aspects — illustrations that teach the novice.

The section on the horoscopes of 48 notables — notables that include Rasputin, Einstein, Karl Marx, Princess Anne and Hitler — has the horoscopes in color next to pictures of the notables as well as the element, mode, and house distributions. The horoscopes, like many of the illustrations in the book, look like mandalas. It seems that the whole point of this book is to consecrate astrology like a great religion.

Parker’s Astrology (Julia & Derek Parker) was a far more ambitious book than Roy Gillett, but has illustrations along the same lines, but not nearly as gaudy or ambitious in the graphic sense. It does more than enough to grab one’s attention while making its illustrations “on point,” both in function and form.

It definitely has a form sense, which seems important for any esoteric practice. It might be worthwhile to discuss which books lack a form sense. By form sense I refer mostly to the philosophy nailed down by Aristotle regarding the “forms,” that the step beyond knowledge is understanding and if you haven’t reached that, you haven’t reached the Forms.

There are many human beings that do have a form sense and many that do not. There are varying degrees of “formness” in astrology books and it may be worthwhile to evaluate who grasps it the most. I am leaving out many astrology books that have very few (or no) illustrations that seem to have a form sense. The design of a book can make it more obvious.

To write a book (or an article) that gives us a lot of “meaning” is not something that is easily pulled off. Try to reflect on which books give us more superfluous information, perhaps by overinvolvement of information or design.


Mars lines

Depending on who you ask, Mars can be a benefic planet, a malefic planet, or somewhere in between. Mars means a lot of things to a lot of different people.

Per David Cochrane’s work in Vibrational astrology (look at this video from 23:49), Mars has the meaning of “how we try to achieve things” — we wake up in the morning wanting to accomplish something. When we don’t achieve in the way Mars wants us to achieve, frustration arises. The drive to accomplish something generates energy and willpower. Cochrane (who I’ve studied under) is always looking for the energy process that causes characteristics that we consider archetypal for a given planet, in this case Mars.

Other astrologers will say that Mars has to do with our warrior ways, or our energy and willpower, or, in my view, ego. I have concluded through my own observations that if Mars is in a low degree of a certain sign, that lends itself to a more primitive ego. If Mars is in a high degree, it lends itself to a more mature ego. (I allude to this in my April 7 post).

To get to what we’re going to talk about today — or more accurately, post interpretations of different Mars lines — I’m going to relate a story to you. When I was born in New York City, my Mars IC line went right through Pennsylvania and all points directly north and south. Growing up in the New York area, I was very close to it — maybe about 100 miles away, and, just as importantly, on the east side of it, so I grew up with Mars in my 3rd house.

When I moved to Pittsburgh, PA in 1988, I moved west of my Mars IC line, so it relocated to my 4th house. I was still pretty close to the line — not as close, but roughly 250 miles away. Different astrologers have made different decisions on how close to a line the influences go. Some astrologers say you have to be less than 50 miles away. Some astrologers allow for as many as 700 miles away.

I would tend to favor a more moderate approach in between those two extremes, but notably David Cochrane says we have to be very close to the line for it to have an effect. Two years before I started his astrology program, I went to his workshop in Gainesville, FL. I didn’t learn anything from him on this issue at the time. What I did experience was the opinion of somebody in his workshop who claimed to be an astrocartographer, or at least had studied it.

It was about a month before I would leave Pittsburgh for good. I was not doing well at all there. In a particular form of symbolism, my workouts were getting more and more difficult to do over the previous year. It was like I was running out of willpower, even the willpower to live. I was also not sleeping well, and I had gained too much weight.

I wasn’t sure of the reason, but I was getting the impression that it had to do with being close to my Mars IC line. I showed my Astro Map to the astrocartographer, told him where I lived, and he said, “That’s really bad.” He confirmed that it had to do with living so close to my Mars IC line.

I said, “It feels like I’m sinking.” His response was, “And it’s going to get worse every year.”

That’s a powerful expression of being close to your Mars IC line, for sure. It wasn’t the only reason I was doing so badly, but it was among the most major reasons. When I got to Colorado, I found my workouts were super-easy. We’ll go over the Mars IC line in this tutorial. I’ll be using the interpretations from Time Passages’ Astro Maps, as well as Dan Furst’s interpretations in “Finding Your Best Places: Using Astrocartography to Navigate Your Life.” So I’ll be using the same interpretations I used for the other planets I’ve posted so far — Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus.

Let’s review what an Astro Map looks like:

An Astro Map for someone I did a reading for a while ago.

You can see both Ascending and Descending lines running diagonally from North to South and back again. This person’s chart almost has the Bowl shape — planets are distributed among 7 houses and 192 degrees, with nothing on the other side. Descending lines are slightly fainter than Ascending lines, and the vertical Midheaven and Nadir lines are solid and dashed lines, respectively.

The Mars line is bright red, but some of the other planets’ lines are red, also. Let’s zoom in to see the Mars ascending line.

The Mars Ascending line is the diagonal red line from the lower left corner to the upper right corner.

Here we can see The Mars Ascending line originating from Africa, near Libya and Egypt, cutting between Greece and Turkey into Eastern Europe, through Ukraine and into Russia, coming very close to Moscow.

Time Passages has the interpretation as follows:
With Mars on the Ascendant, experiences in this location bring out your most extroverted self. You may find that once you arrive here, you suddenly know exactly what you want and what you can do to make it happen. You could become supercharged in this place with a strong sense of personal power and a strong libido to go with it! You may find that in this place you learn the art of setting intent and taking action. You could find yourself playing the role of pioneer, ground breaker, or mover and shaker. While you might enjoy the oomph you experience in this locale, you might also find it causes you to react more aggressively than usual or to behave impulsively at times. You will want to seize the energy that becomes available to you in this part of the world and learn to use it in a way that skillfully manifest acts in service to the greatest good; acts that create power-with rather than power-over.

Dan Furst has it as follows:
There is something to be said for the Mars on the Asc line too, for this can enhance our valor in committing ourselves to our goals, and giving them our best shot. Those who’ve been timid and irresolute in asserting themselves, setting boundaries and otherwise finding the resources hidden deep within their well of courage can benefit from being temporarily under a Mars line, or from building relationships with other people under their Mars lines, who can help them in the aggressive roles of agents and sales reps.

Here’s a graphic depiction from Astro Maps of Mars on the IC line

Mars on the IC line (this is mine, as I said my Mars IC line went through Philadelphia, remember?)

Time Passages has Mars on the IC line as follows:
With Mars on the Nadir, in this place your self-assertion and will power will be tested in the arena of your most personal and private reality. This is a locale where rather than being extrovert you tend to explore issues from the depths of your psychological roots. You may find that you become assertive in these parts when it comes to dealing with home and family matters. Personal relations could become challenging while you are here, or your inner world act up in ways that you can no longer ignore. At the worst, you may find that factors in your private life catch you off guard and derail you temporarily. You might also find that you have the courage and energy you need here to face problems head on and become empowered to make real and necessary changes. With the increased energy and stamina this place tends to bring, you might find yourself in initiation, in one way or another, whether you renovate a home, plan a reunion or further your inner exploration with family therapy.

I think Dan Furst’s interpretation is more accurate, and more consistent with what I’ve heard:
The Mars line pointing down to the Nadir is one of the toughest in our maps, as it can mean an aggravating friction in practical matters of making a living, maintaining a harmonious home life and relating to the Mother. This line is not an easy one to travel under, as it can entail mechanical breakdowns and practical difficulties, so that one who travels under this line in rural India during Mercury retrograde may have a hidden masochistic streak.

Even that interpretation doesn’t quite get it.

Moving along to Mars on the Descendant line, on this particular Astro Map it mostly goes through some sparse towns in Siberia before migrating southeast to Antarctica without hitting much in between (it runs several hundred miles west of Hawaii). Nonetheless the interpretation is as follows:
With Mars on the Descendant, self-assertion with regard to relationship will likely come up for you in one way or another. In this location you may suddenly find yourself highly energized and opinionated, especially regarding close relationships, or become involved with othres in order to experience love, sex, sport, self-will, action and adventure. You could potentially become a rash, ardent or independent lover while here, or else seek out another who reflects these fiery qualities back to you. You may also discover that you quarrel more with others as a way to stand up to their strong influence, or require lots of space to yourself to integrate intense encounters or just to express independence. You could find yourself exploring a greater degree of self-reliance both within and outside of your relationships. You benefit from cultivating moderation and objectivity in the passionate dealings with others that you might encounter while here.

Dan Furst has it as follows:
Mars on the Dsc is one of our worst lines for love, marriage and all kinds of cooperation, as it can represent disputes, conflicts and out-and-out fighting with spouses, colleagues and partners of all kinds. You’d do well to find your true love under a Venus line, but don’t honeymoon with him or her under a Mars on the Dsc line unless you want what the Japanese call a Narita divorce.

Finally, let’s take a screenshot of the Mars on the Midheaven line, as it’s probably the best line of the four:

Mars Midheaven line goes through East Asia and west of Australia.

Here we see the Mars Midheaven line going through central China through southeast Asia and Indonesia before dropping west of Australia. The Time Passages interpretation has it as follows:
With Mars on the Midheaven, this place brings out an ambitious and vigorous part of your personality, especially when it comes to advancing your career and attaining success in the world. In this place you have what it takes to overcome obstacles and achieve big goals. Roadblocks and glass ceilings will not stop you here. You may also find that in this locale, you have an advantage when it comes to performing any kind of physical activity with increased endurance and agility. At its worst, you could also find you lose your temper more easily in these parts or behave impulsively without thinking about the consequences. You will also likely find that here, you access a stronger sense of will and a courageous, pioneering spirit that could allow you to move mountains. Anyway you look at this placement it benefits you to find creative ways to move the excess of energy that you will find here.

Dan Furst has it as follows:
Perhaps the best is the Mars line that points up to the MC, as this line can fortify our courage in going after challenging career and spiritual goals. This one is called the Pioneer line because it carries the bold heart of the one who builds the log cabinet in the wilderness, braves the animals, the elements and other dangers, but gains in the end the satisfaction of having dared and done an ambitious goal that demands everything we’ve got.

I would love to hear commentary from my readers who have lived near a Mars line, no matter which one, and find out how you think it’s affected you. I can only offer the IC line, and it may be that I might wish to focus on other lines (like Venus), but Mars is what it is. Furst says “Mars is impetuous, quick to anger, sexually relentless and insatiable, inclined to act once and think later, if at all.

“Who was likely to have coined the outrageous order, “Kill them all. God will recognize his own” ? Mars, of course.”

And yet this very literary interpretation of Mars is very much unlike David Cochrane’s depiction of it as a simple energy process that can affect many things, but it always starts with the energy process.


Repost of: How does relocation astrology work, anyway? (& The Basics)

I have limited time this week and not enough time today to produce an original post. I’ll be reposting an early post from March 28 of this year. If you haven’t been following my blog that closely, or for any other reason, you might not know what relocation astrology is and how it works.


I have friends who know very little about astrology. (I tend to think I don’t have friends who know nothing about astrology, or at least very few.) Friends may have had a birth chart done by me or by someone else in the past, and they may know, or vaguely recall, their rising sign as being Scorpio or some other sign.

I talked to a friend like that on the phone today. She didn’t know what it meant to have Scorpio on the ascendant. So this post is meant just as a review, or primer, for what an ascendant (rising sign) is, what the midheaven is, and why planets can change their character depending on where you move even when these planets stay in the same signs.

Your ascendant, or rising sign, is the point on the horizon where the sun would be rising that day at the time of your birth. At the equinox that’s directly east; in the fall and winter months it’s somewhat south of east, and in the spring and summer months it’s somewhat north of east. If you were born at sunrise, your ascendant would be exactly the same sign and degree as your Sun sign. I was born roughly two hours before sunrise, so my ascendant is one sign earlier than my Sun sign (Sun sign Sagittarius, Ascendant Scorpio).

Your Midheaven is the point in the sky where the Sun would be at its highest point that day. That is never directly overhead unless you were born in between the tropics. In the winter, it can be quite low in the sky. That might be between noon or 1:30pm, depending on what time of year. If you were born at the highest time of the day, your Midheaven would be exactly the same sign and degree as your Sun sign.

Your ascendant is the cusp of the 1st house and shows up on the left side of your chart wheel. It’s considered your astrological mask, or the face you show to the world. Your Midheaven is the cusp of the 10th house and has to do with your career or place in society. Depending on what sign your ascendant or midheaven are in, they are expressed by the qualities of that sign — so a Leo Midheaven is very different than a Cancer Midheaven.

So, what does it mean when you move? It is very important to remember that you do not ever “lose” the birth chart, wherever you go.  Your birth chart is an imprint that stays with you, but the influence does diminish somewhat as your new location adds new overtones. 

I was born at 4:42am in the Eastern Time Zone. I relocated to the Mountain Time Zone later on in life. That’s two time zones to the west. The relocated chart acts as though I was born at 2:42am in the Mountain Time Zone. My sun sign is the same, as are all the planets. But my relocated ascendant moved back about 24 degrees, from 17 degrees Scorpio to 23 degrees Libra. And my Midheaven moved back about 31 degrees, from 28 degrees Leo to 27 degrees Cancer. And although the planets don’t change signs, they move to different positions in the sky (or different places underneath the earth).

I was born at 4:42am in the Eastern Time Zone. I relocated to the Mountain Time Zone later on in life. That’s two time zones to the west. The relocated chart acts as though I was born at 2:42am in the Mountain Time Zone. My sun sign is the same, as are all the planets. But my relocated ascendant moved back about 24 degrees, from 17 degrees Scorpio to 23 degrees Libra. And my Midheaven moved back about 31 degrees, from 28 degrees Leo to 27 degrees Cancer. And although the planets don’t change signs, they move to different positions in the sky (or different places underneath the earth).

The birth chart
The relocated chart

The difference between the birth chart and relocated chart can be seen in the images I’m providing.  Because each of the 12 houses comprises a different “theme” – like, the 2nd house has to do with possessions, property, and values and the 7th house has to do with marriage and partnership – a planet’s moving from one house to another means that a whole new set of themes for that planet are activated.  (On top of that, any movement and change of the degree and sign of each of the houses means that planets will make a whole new set of aspects to the Ascendant or Midheaven, and aspects to Ascendant and Midheaven of the prior (or birth) location are no longer there.)

In my case, every one of my planets moved one house, except for one — Saturn from the 6th to the 7th house, Venus from the 1st house to the 2nd house, etc. (In my case, the Sun was the planet that didn’t move, staying in the 2nd house. Maybe that was fortuitous!)

We all have free will, and your new location allows you to make new choices as to how to implement new energies and character traits, that didn’t exist before. I’d also add that what I’ve written in this post is only one aspect of relocation astrology. I might consider it the most important building block (and I do) so it’s worth digesting this for a while before moving to the next stage.


This may be new information for you. I will be looking over some of my other early posts to fill out this teaching on the different facets of relocation astrology. I see the post on Local Space Maps from April 14 but I don’t see a thorough explanation of what an Astro Map is. If I write about that, I can write about how different astrologers interpret how important it is to be close to a planetary line and what the threshold difference is.

I’ll repost another take — an essay I wrote for an online magazine. This post was called “The Basics.” There is some overlap with the above writing.


If you’ve ever had a birth chart done, you probably know where your Ascendant and Midheaven are.  Your Ascendant being your astrological “mask” (according to the author Jeanne Avery) – the face you show to the world, and the cusp of your 1st house.  The Midheaven being the cusp of your 10th house – the house of career, role or “station” in life.  All the 12 Houses proceed from the 1st house in an orderly manner, although they’re not exactly the same number of degrees per house (unless you live next to the Equator).

Your Ascendant is the point on the horizon where the Sun would be rising if it were rising, at the time of your birth.  Your Midheaven is the point in the sky that the Sun would be at its highest point that day.  It wouldn’t be directly overhead – at a latitude of 40 degrees North it would be to the South, 50 degrees above the horizon at both vernal and autumnal equinoxes, and ranging from 26½ to 73½ degrees above the horizon throughout the year, from solstice to solstice.

Have you ever spent a significant period of time away from your place of birth?  Or, have you lived in different parts of the country or world?  Then you may have observed the effects of having your chart “shift.”  If you were born 2 hours before sunrise in New York City, your going to Denver, CO would shift the chart to being about 4 hours before sunrise, as you move backward 2 time zones and about 30 degrees west longitude across the Earth.  4:42 AM in New York is 2:42 AM in Denver, and New York’s 74 degrees’ west becomes Denver’s 105 degrees west.

Because it’s the same time of year, 30 degrees to the west is likely to move your Ascendant backwards one sign – say, from Scorpio to Libra – and your Midheaven will almost definitely move it backwards one sign.  (The Midheaven moves exactly with longitude).  30 degrees move means that your Ascendant might move backwards, say, 26 or 34 degrees, but your Midheaven moves backwards exactly 30 degrees.  The difference has a lot to do with the 23½ degree tilt of the Earth and the fact that certain Ascendants are more common, the further away from the equator you go.  In the Northern Hemisphere, the most common Ascendants are Leo, Virgo, Libra and Scorpio.  In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the opposite – Aquarius, Pisces, Aries and Taurus.

If your Ascendant shifts backwards somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 degrees, then each of your 12 house cusps will also shift backwards somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 degrees.  And since the planets stay exactly where they are in the zodiac, then what’s likely to happen is most of your planets will move forward one house.

The difference between the birth chart and relocated chart can be seen in these images.  (*)  Because each of the 12 houses comprises a different “theme” – like, the 2nd house has to do with possessions, property, and values and the 7th house has to do with marriage and partnership – a planet’s moving from one house to another means that a whole new set of themes for that planet are activated.  On top of that, any movement and change of the degree and sign of each of the houses means that planets will make a whole new set of aspects to the Ascendant or Midheaven, and aspects to Ascendant and Midheaven of the prior (or birth) location are no longer there.

You can see where this is leading so at this point it is very important to state here that you do not ever “lose” the birth chart, wherever you go.  Your birth chart is an imprint that stays with you, but the influence does diminish somewhat as your new location adds new overtones.  We all have free will, and your new location allows you to make new choices as to how to implement new energies and character traits, that didn’t exist before.

I’ve mostly been talking about changes in longitude making the difference.  It’s true that changes in longitude are more likely to make a difference than changes in latitude.  But not entirely!  The same tilt of the Earth that makes our noon Sun so much higher in the sky in the late spring and early summer also makes the rising and setting signs of each of the planets are not a straight up-and-down longitudinal line, but move at something of a diagonal.  The farther away from the equator, the more diagonal so that changes in latitude can make more of a difference. 

This can be seen on a local space map.  Space maps are related to relocation astrology, but are a whole different type of inquiry, in terms of whether you’d want to have a planet on its own rising line, setting line, midheaven or nadir.  It’s intriguing and helpful (entire books have been written on what local space maps show, and what it means for a planet to be near a “line”), but in a different way than what house a planet is in.  Both are ways to learn more about better or more interesting locations, where you can weigh the pros and cons of somewhere that intrigues you.


Birthday books

When I was in kindergarten or first grade, we students (in a mimeographed publication called “Eager Beaver” were to write something about something we were passionate about. I chose to write about birthdays. I don’t have a record of this, but I ended the little essay by saying, “I love birthdays!”

I had no idea what astrology was and I doubt I had even heard the word “astrology” used until years later.

One thing that astrology offers is a myriad collection of birthday books. There are a lot of permutations, and they either start on March 21st (respecting the practice of astrology) or January 1st. I have eight in my possesion, as follows:

  • The Secret Language of Birthdays (Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers, 1994)
  • Birthdays, Stars and Numbers (Saffi Crawford and Geraldine Sullivan, 1998)
  • The Hidden World of Birthdays (Judith Turner, 1999)
  • The Ultimate Birthday Book: Revealing the Secrets of Each Day of the Year (Clare Gibson, 2003)
  • 365 Birthdays Interpreted (Michele Knight, 2004)
  • Fortune-Telling Birthday Book (unknown)
  • The Hidden Power of Everyday Things (Julie Gillentine, Jonathan Sharp, and Constance Stellas, 2000)
  • The Enchanted Birthday Book: Discover the Meaning and Magic of Your Birthday (Amy Zerner and Monte Farber, 2011)

These are listed in the approximate order that I obtained them. The obvious first book is the Secret Language one, originally published in 1997 alongside The Secret Language of Relationships. Like Relationships, it includes (on the second page of each 2-page entry) a list of strengths and weaknesses, usually, but not always three of each.

It includes a Numbers and Planets section, which is really about numerology — what the digits of the birthday add up to. The number 1 corresponds to the Sun (and Leo), the number 2 corresponds to the Moon (and Cancer), the number 3 corresponds to Jupiter (and Sagittarius), etc. (If you don’t know your numerology, 4 is Uranus, 5 is Mercury, 6 is Venus, 7 is Neptune, 8 is Saturn, and 9 is Mars.

It also includes a Tarot section, what the 2nd or 16th card of the Major Arcana is. I am not a tarot expert, but there is apparently 22 cards in the Major Arcana. There is a section on Health, advice, and a meditation (looking at April 26, the meditation is, “The act of annihilation is passionate. What keeps us from killing each other may be mere apathy.”)

I like how the book is consistent in ideology with the other books in the Secret Language series, even as each birthday itself, while it is within one of the 48 periods, is not one of the 48 periods itself. Oh, and it also gives a who’s who of famous people with the same birthday, and as always, lovely illustrations by Joost Elffers.

Birthdays, Stars, and Numbers is a bit different. For each two-page spread for each date, there is a section on numerology, with the characteristics of that particular date of the month, which is mostly consistent between months. But there are often big differences between dates that reduce to the same number: March 2, March 11, March 20, and March 29, are very different though they are all ruled by the number 2 (since the digits in each reduce to two).

Like, for October 19 the positives are, ‘dynamic, centered, creative, leader, lucky, progressive, optimistic, strong convictions, competitive, independent, gregarious’ while the negatives are, ‘self-centered, depressive, worry, fear of rejection, ups and downs, materialistic, egotistical, impatient.’

The nice thing about this book is that it offers very specific lists of compatibility with other birthdays in the categories of Love and Friendship, Beneficial, Fatal Attractions, Challenging, and Soul Mates. There are sections on, ‘Your Secret Self,’ and ‘Work & Vocation’. The book progresses the birth date so that for someone born on December 10, the Sun sign progresses into Capricorn at about age 11 and into Aquarius at about age 41, etc. There is an explanation as to what this means.

Finally, it highlights the star that rules that birthdate. For August 8, that star is Dubhe, which has a great deal of strength.

I picked up the book, The Hidden World of Birthdays, in 1999. It’s a physically smaller book and spends only one page on each date. It has several sections including Possessions and Desires, Harmonious Health and Nutrition, What’s Lucky, Spiritual Guides, and finally Judith’s Insight, which is generally only three paragraphs.

Except for the last section, each section has several subsections, like for Harmonious Health and Nutrition, there’s listings for ‘Health Scent’ and ‘Favorable Foods.’ When I got this book, the notable thing in my life was that I was in the early stages of recovery from a mental illness, so it was a particularly strong memory for me.

365 Birthdays Interpreted is great. It’s a small book, but it packs a LOT of punch. Each entry only gets a page, with sections on “Character,” “Life Path,” “Love,” “Best Present,” “Birthday Share” and “On This Day.” Like, for character for May 26, it says,

“You have a potent charisma and very firm views on everyone and everything, but you may have a tendency to be too single-minded and intense about specific topics or people. You also love to talk about your views and would make an excellent, if extreme, politician.”

Maybe the best thing about this book is that for each sign, it evaluates the compatibility with each sign in 8 different categories, including Fun, Romance, Loyalty, Adventure, Passion, Chilling Out, Spontaneity, and Attentiveness. This book finds a lot of categorical truth, fairly consistently.

The Ultimate Birthday Book has one page for each entry. I don’t look at this book a lot, but it is very intelligently written. It offers a new perspective for each day. It is nice to know that my day has ‘Objective and Balanced Intellect’ that ‘are able to make informed and soundly reasoned assessments when approaching major decisions and formulate effective plans.’ That is the basic tone of this book.

Fortune-telling Birthday Book is this tiny little book! It offers just one paragraph for each day, and two entries per page. For June 3,

“The easiest path is the one you pursue. You are independent and have originality and a fair amount of ambition, but your love of ease and comfort deters you from the greater success of which you are capable. You are moody and often depressed. You love deeply and faithfully.”

(That’s nice to know about my potential partner.)

The final two books in the list I got in 2016 just before I pulled up 28-year old roots from Pittsburgh. I felt that these books would help me in my new journey. The Enchanted Birthday Book has a karmic lesson on the very left of each 1-page entry for each day, and a secret. In the main page it includes entries on Personality, Life Path and Destiny. It’s a pretty perspicacious book — i.e. very astute, even if it says negative things at times.

Finally, the Hidden Power of Everyday Things does give a two-page spread, though the print is fairly large and there’s not as much content as the Secret Language Book or Birthdays, Stars and Numbers. This book does astrological, kabbalistic and numerological interpretations. Its kabbalistic interpretation incorporates the tarot, and notably, uses a different card for any given day than the Secret Language Book.

Its numerological interpretation reduces the month and day, not just the day. So December 10, instead of reducing to 1, reduces to 4, which is the number of planning, surveying, and order. This, at least the number 4, is consistent with the numerological interpretation of 4 in The Life You Were Born To Live, a book I read before I started learning about astrology (and a book that may have some special resonance as a result). In any case, it’s the basis of a completely different interpretation than the interpretations I’ve mentioned so far.

Well, that’s it. Hopefully what I’ve written here will allow you know which books to gravitate toward. If bookstores still exist, it’s difficult to narrow down what might be an entire section of astrology books, and may be even more difficult if the only stores are online.


Finishing up, Sun aspects to Ascendant & Midheaven

I’ll be finishing up the Sun aspects to the Ascendant and Midheaven today, per Mapping Your Travels & Relocation (Maritha Pottenger & Kris Brandt Riske, MA). Before I proceed, I’m excited to let you know that I’ll be doing a compatibility chart with the woman I’m dating in my next blog post either on Friday’s or next Monday’s post. She has given me permission & will remain anonymous.

Sun conjunct Ascendant:
If you’re already self-confident and able to put yourself first, this might not be an ideal placement because this combination is less inclined to compromise in relationships and you could adopt a “divine right” attitude. Personal magnetism and charisma could increase, however, and you probably are willing to take more risks (might gamble). In this location your inner child is accented, with a high level of enthusiasm and creativity, and you might feel more vital and alive, an active participant in the world.

Sun conjunct Descendant (opposite Ascendant):
If you already tend to “give away” some of your own charisma to other people, this is a location you might want to avoid. It would be easier for you to see others as magnetic, dynamic, and larger than life, but you might often hide your own light under a bushel. Excitement and thrills are sought in relationships, and you can attract people who are generous, passionate, dynamic, and full of praise. You also could enjoy a mutual admiration society with partners.

Sun sextile or trine Ascendant:
You might find it easier to express your creative side in this location, and your leadership instincts could pour out more smoothly, along with charisma and enthusiasm. Romantic urges may increase, and the desire to love and be loved could be a stronger part of your personal expression. You also could be more involved with play, entertainment, or exciting or onstage activities. Praise, appreciation, and admiration flow more easily and naturally in relationships.

Sun square or quincunx Ascendant:
Issues of personal self-esteem could be in focus here, and you might struggle with an overly inflated ego (arrogance, a prima donna attitude), or too little self-esteem. Perhaps you overdo the desire for play and recreation, or don’t know how to celebrate life and love. You might feel that others inhibit your capacity for creativity and joy, or that you must deal with people who try to upstage you. Your challenge is to find healthy ways to be center stage and to take reasonable risks.

Sun conjunct Midheaven:
If you’re very career-directed, this placement accentuates that trait, and there is a good possibility for increased professional recognition or renown. But that might be at the expense of a less domestic focus, and family members who feel your attention is too much on the world of work. You also might look for ways to generate more excitement, fun, or creativity in your job, or work in fields that accent recreation, entertainment, drama, or leadership. A strong sense of personal pride in your accomplishments and status is possible, but if ego issues with authority figures (including bosses) are a problem, you could run into difficulties at this location. Nevertheless, the potential exists for reaching great heights in your vocation, and this placement is excellent for speculation, creative endeavors, and jobs in the entertainment industry and working with children.

Sun opposition Midheaven/conjunct IC:
You might want to avoid this placement if you feel under-appreciated or rarely receive adequate recognition in your career. Although the possibility of happy exchanges on the home front is increased, there is also the potential to feel that others get the professional attention and applause you deserve. Love and warmth are highlighted, and the desire for a home and family is usually overly emphasized. You could receive more admiration or attention for domestic skills or activities within the nest, and you might want to turn your home into a showplace.

Sun sextile or trine Midheaven:
In this location you could effectively use creative skills to further your vocational aims, and personal charisma and persuasive abilities could be professional assets. You might do more teaching or delve into other vocational pursuits that put you center stage. Authority figures and loved ones can be the source of an encouraging word or helpful hand, and your pride an urge for recognition will contribute to your achievements. Promotional skills can help you do well in your field, and you can achieve more professional notice (perhaps even fame) in this locale.

Sun square or quincunx Midheaven:
You could face challenges from authority figures regarding your ambitions or status, and loved ones, including children, could compete with your vocational goals (in terms of time and energy). The balancing act between love and work may be difficult, and pride and pragmatism may be at odds as well. Creative abilities are accented but may not always be optimally expressed. Your challenge is to find a way to be special and to shine while also being sensible, responsible, and productive.

Remember this is only one of several interpretations that you can use to determine how favorable a location happens to be. As per the usual disclaimer: Do not move somewhere unless you have visited there before, preferably for a long enough time to determine which of these interpretations resonates with you as truth so that you have a better idea of what you’re getting into.


Sun, per house placements and aspects

Before I proceed with something that’s more important than most interpretations I’ve posted already (since it is the Sun), I just wanted to mention that as I write this, it’s is the third anniversary of the Great American Eclipse — August 21, 2017. If you scroll back to my June 23 post you’ll hear the story about how I experienced the total eclipse in a state park in Wyoming that day.

This is also a reminder that the next total eclipse will be on April 8, 2024 and it will affect this area:

April 8, 2024 Total Solar Eclipse Map in 2 sizes! — Total solar ...
Get your hotel room now, before they raise the prices 500%.

Moving on, today’s post will be about Sun placements in houses and aspecting the Ascendant or Midheaven, without using the Astro Map. This is important because it takes what the Sun is doing from a completely different angle than most astrocartographers are using, but is just as valid.

The Sun is the most important celestial body, as it delineates your basic essence. It is also the most popularly used, of course.

I’ll be using the interpretations I usually use — the Round Art (A.T. Mann) and Mapping Your Travels and Relocation. There are other interpretations that you might like better, and I’d love to hear about them. Mapping Your Travels will come first.

The standard disclaimer applies: Try not to relocate somewhere unless you’ve actually been to the place at least once. Try to observe yourself in the context of the interpretations that you should bring with you to the location. (That is what I did five years ago before moving here). Once your trip is over, reflect on the changes you saw and what’s in the interpretation for a while. Look at all the interpretations you can. You will find many of them in this blog as well as the sources they came from.

Sun in the 1st house:
With the Sun in your relocated first house, you want more personal recognition and could increase your charisma to be more readily noticed by those around you. Leadership skills might be strengthened, and you could feel more vibrant, alive, excited, and energized.

energy, leadership, urge to do, consciousness of objective, audacity, passion; enterprising, ruthless, bold, hasty, pompous, combative, insensitive.
(The Sun is exalted in the 1st house.)

Sun in the 2nd house:
When the Sun is in your relocated second house, you want to make money through creative efforts with loved ones, through risk-taking pursuits, or by taking the lead in any endeavor. You also invest your ego in making money, but can spend outside your budget.

material outlook, endurance, fear of change, constancy, love of Nature and the beautiful; pleasure-loving, gentle, loyal, pragmatic, reliable, sensual, kindly, extravagant, indulgent, obstinate.

Sun in the 3rd house:
Put the Sun in the relocated third house if you want to become more amusing and entertaining. You can sharpen your wits and find more ways to shine by using your mind and communication skills. Persuasive ability could be enhanced, as could public-speaking skills.

eagerness to learn, versatility, dexterity, identity crises; articulate, educable, inquisitive, charming, unreliable, nervous, glib, pretentious, vacillating, dishonest, scintillating, dishonourable.

Sun in the 4th house:
If you want to turn your home into a showplace, put the Sun in your relocated fourth house. This location is also a plus for gaining recognition through family ties, researching your roots or ancestry, or doing something noteworthy or dramatic within your home.

receptivity, domesticity, family ties; sensitive, maternal, emotional, nostalgic, tender, conservative, contemplative, reserved, comfortable, paranoid, religious, grasping.

Sun in the 5th house:
When the Sun is in your relocated fifth house, you gain more recognition, applause, admiration, or (potentially) fame. Your sense of drama will increase, and you may feel more creative and willing to take risks. Children, romance, or love affairs could become more central to your life.

formative energy, self-expression, creativity, self-confidence, wealth of ideas, organization, leadership; domineering, proud, honourable, haughty, candid, forceful, ardent, childless.
(The Sun is in rulership in the 5th house.)

Sun in the 6th house:
When the Sun is in your relocated sixth house, you want to achieve recognition for your competence, efficiency, and ability to fix and repair things or situations. You may take more pride in healthy habits or gain the admiration of others for your common sense and practical skills.

method and analysis, diligence, correctness, orderliness, criticism; intellectual, nervous, precise, studious, fussy, verbal, scientific, remote, self-righteous, practical, technical, fastidious, dissatisfied.

Sun in the 7th house:
With the Sun in your relocated seventh house, you want drama and excitement in your relationships and may attract individuals who are larger than life (natural leaders). Thrill seeking could become significant in your interactions with others. Be cautious if you tend to give away your power to people you admire.

harmony, public spirit, partnerships, litigations, lacks self-reliance, fears solitude, popularity; charming, amenable, hyper-social, adaptable, diplomatic, mannered, vain, dependent, political.
(The Sun is in fall in the 7th house.)

Sun in the 8th house:
When the Sun is in your relocated eighth house, you could have a livelier sex life or become more involved with investments and using money to make money. You might take pride in your shrewdness or be noticed for your ability to probe beneath the surface (of life and other people). You may benefit from other people’s generosity.

will power, tenacity, excess of energy, sensuality, cynicism, enmity; self-destructive, moody, vindictive, jealous, forceful, dynamic, quick-tempered, dangerous, magnetic, impenetrable.

Sun in the 9th house:
If you want to become a leader in education, travel, enlightenment, or activities that expand people’s horizons, the Sun in your relocated ninth house can help you achieve these goals. You could find lots of thrills in seeking out new countries or fresh experiences, and your charisma quotient could encourage others to go adventuring with you.

mobility, positivity, aspiration, love of freedom, imagination, intellect, taste, success abroad, travel; philosophical, generous, idealistic, undisciplined, scattered, witty, unreliable, open.

Sun in the 10th house:
The Sun in your relocated tenth house is a good location if you want to improve your status or gain more recognition in your career. If you want to “go public,” this could be the magic placement. Professional promotional efforts are apt to go well, and you may become more influential and important.

toughness, endurance, ambition, goal-consciousness, egocentricity, sense of duty, vocational interests; hard-working, objective, selfish, serious, industrious, materialistic, loyal, inflexible, lonely, tenacious.

Sun in the 11th house:
If you want to meet lots of new people, explore different groups, stimulate progressive thinking, or take pride in being unconventional, the Sun in your relocated eleventh house increases the available opportunities. This placement is also a plus if you want to be a leader in organizations or teamwork.

idealism, humanitarianism, readiness to help others, knowledge of human nature, intuitive understanding; sociable, sympathetic, detached, democratic, universal, scattered, political, impractical, cranky.
(The Sun is in detriment in the 11th house.)

Sun in the 12th house:
With the Sun in your relocated twelfth house, you could become more involved with creative and artistic pursuits, explore the world of film, be a leader in spiritual or compassionate pursuits, or achieve recognition for your visionary spirit or inspired understanding.

the inner life, seclusion, institutions, self-sacrifice, universal love, mysticism, poetry, music, passivity; reserved, secretive, compassionate, empathetic, tender, negative.

I’m going to post the Sun aspects to the Ascendant and Midheaven, per the Round Art. The Mapping Your Travels interpretations are quite long and can be left for another day.

Sun conjunct Ascendant:
strong personality, self-confidence, a good front, seeking the limelight, cheerful disposition, recognition, public life, showing off, desire to be important; happy, extraverted, irrepressible,

Sun sextile, trine, or quintile Ascendant:
popularity, ambition, charm, fortunate contacts, gaining recognition; affable, harmonious, positive.

Sun square or opposition Ascendant:
misplaced self-confidence, disadvantages through others, separations; pushy, ambitious, disliked, boisterous, braggardly, self-seeking.

I’ll say it again: with the Round Art, many of the things in the ‘negative’ aspects can be controlled, in terms of the “these are things to watch out for” that we can counter with our own will and awareness.

Sun conjunct Midheaven:
Authority, fame, consicousness of goal, self-awareness, strong father, late developer; strongly fated, self-conscious, directed, one-pointed, ambitious, individualistic, dogmatic.

Sun sextile, trine, or quintile Midheaven:
happy in profession, easy advancement, earned success, striving for a goal, self-knowledge, positive attitude, success; well-adjusted, ambitious, aspiring, fortunate.

Sun square or opposition Midheaven:
egocentricity, misplaced self-confidence, lack of clarity, unrealistic goals, changing aims, professional difficulties; arrogant, misguided, conceited.

I sincerely hope you find all of this useful in your quest to find the best location possible.


Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

Most of my friends know that I am left-leaning. I’ve alluded to it here and there, so you, if you read this blog, may have figured it out as well. When it comes to voting in Democratic primaries, I sometimes vote for a moderate and I sometimes vote for the progressive. This is usually based on my perception of how far left one can get away with under the circumstances before the risks of losing are too high.

I live in Colorado, and in our senatorial race early this year I voted for, and promoted, the progressive, in part because I think Republican Cory Gardner is badly weakened, and in part because I particularly liked the progressive. (He didn’t win).

In the presidential primary I voted for Elizabeth Warren — our primary is on Super Tuesday and by that point she didn’t have a chance to win the primary, though she hadn’t dropped out yet. Had Pete Buttigieg still been in the race, I might have voted for him. I was deeply concerned with Bernie Sanders’ ability to win a general election and get us to take back the Senate — two VERY necessary things. Biden was the frontrunner going into Super Tuesday, and I voted my heart.

I am this way because I am deeply committed to social justice, economic justice, environmental justice, and, let’s say, kindness. (And I am not a science-denier). I supported Occupy Wall Street and I support a Universal Basic Income. I tend to be dissatisfied with the president for not being Lyndon Johnson, but I have often thought that Barack Obama is the most progressive president we’re going to get in this modern age. (Not sure if I think that now.)

Anyway, Joe Biden named his running mate and it’s Kamala Harris. And, astrologically, this is remarkable.

David Cochrane is likely to do a video of Biden and Harris’ compatibility as candidates, using methodologies that I was taught in his class and that are completely valid, but that I’m not considering here. When the video comes out, I’m going to watch it (and you should too), but I’m looking at something completely different.

Joe Biden was born on November 20, 1942. Kamala Harris was born on October 20, 1964. Their Sun signs are semi-sextile, and if they were born at the same time of the day, their suns are semi-sextile with about a 24 minute (0.4 degree) orb, which is pretty close. But let’s look at that again.

  • They were both born on the 20th.
  • They are both on cusps, according to The Secret Language of Relationships. Kamala is on the Libra-Scorpio cusp, and Joe is on the Scorpio-Sagittarius cusp. They are one cusp apart.
  • They also fall on the same side of the cusp. Kamala Harris is a Libra, and Joe Biden is a Scorpio.

Their birthdays on the 20th: adding the digits of the birthday, their birthdays add up to 2, which is ruled by the Moon. There are many books that delve into numerology, and birthdays ruled by 2 are impressionable and imaginative. They often make good co-workers and partners.

(Birthdays that add up to 1 tend to make good leaders, which makes it especially remarkable that John Edwards’ birthday adds up to 1, while John Kerry’s birthday adds up to 2. At the time (2004 campaign) I suggested that the ticket should be reversed.)

Additionally, Biden and Harris get the same Tarot card — The Judgment. I don’t know that much about tarot — I’ll put that on my bucket list of skills — but according to the Secret Language of Birthdays (Gary Goldschneider and Joost Elffers):

“… in which we are urged to leave material considerations behind and seek a higher spirituality… the card, depicting an angel blowing a trumpet, signifies that a new day, a day of accountability, is dawning. It is a card that challenges us to move beyond our ego and perhaps glimpse the infinite. The danger is that some may hear only a fanfare heralding exaltation, intoxication and indulgence in revels involving the basest instincts.”

I tend to think that we’re not going to have to worry about that last part.

Moving on, birthdays on cusps tend to have more powerful characteristics than those without, tending to have mixed influence of two completely different yet adjacent signs. It’s probably fortunate that both Biden and Harris fall on the same side of the line, and by about two days, but there is still some mixture of two signs in both of them.

Finally, Harris and Biden are adjacent signs, one sign apart. This can prove to be a very dynamic pairing. Linda Goodman many years ago described this very well. The later sign (Biden as a Scorpio) tends to have lessons for the earlier sign (Harris as a Libra) to learn. This would be true for me, as a Sagittarius, with a Capricorn (who I have been in relationships with).

The later sign is patient with the earlier sign as the earlier sign learns the lessons. Kamala Harris strikes me as independent and is highly accomplished, so it’s quite unclear how this could play out; we’ll have to wait for the biographies and the political diaries 4-10 years from now. Historians will have a lot of work to do.

Here’s Joe Biden’s and Kamala Harris’s charts.