Remember Pluto is Still in Capricorn

I was having breakfast with friends a few months ago when I said, “I don’t think the 2014 senatorial elections will be as dreadful to the Democrats as they are all predicting.” The collective response was one of “your lips to God’s ears.”  I do not pretend to be a psychic nor do I believe it is going to be a necessarily pretty election cycle for liberals. However, with Pluto in Capricorn – you just never know and I believe 2014 will bring changes no one expected.

Pluto is the (dwarf) planet of change and transformation. Pluto makes us the “offer we can’t refuse.” She says, “Change or I will bring change about for you.” That little icy comet/planet packs the proverbial astrological punch.
Capricorn is the sign of government, authority figures – those structures that keep the glue of society together. When you put the two together, we get big time changes in that arena.

Of course, when the planet hit Capricorn in 2008, it did what we expected – it caused big change in the structure of society like the banking system, which almost came apart. In addition, secrets of the rich and powerful were uncovered (i.e. Penn State, Catholic Church, and WikiLeaks.) It also caused some other troubling changes such as the corporate personhood.  

Pluto Capricorn also introduced his to the first African American President of the United States.  In fact, on election night 2008 also saw Saturn standing directly opposite Uranus. Uranus is new change, Saturn is tradition all the way… we had the battle of the older white male and younger black male and, thankfully, Uranus won. Unfortunately, this ushered in the wave of the 2010 election: the revenge of the old white voter.

Planets sort of kick up their heels and make an impact three times during their transits, first, when they enter a sign, the second time half way through the sign and then just as they are leaving. Pluto entered in 2008 and will leave in 2023 so we are entering the midway point of this transition through Capricorn. So when Eric Cantor was defeated in a primary I said there we go – Pluto is acting up. Therefore, while I won’t pretend to know what will happen exactly, I know the 2014 – 2016 election cycle will not be what the “talking heads” foresee.
P.S. Oh and did I say Elizabeth Warren was born with Pluto in the 10th house, the house that vibrates to the energy of Capricorn?

President of the Month – James Madison

Reticent, bookish, small, James Madison was born to wealth in the Virginia Tidewater region. Like man “great people,” he has a birth chart that is so easy to read. First, his South Node in Gemini in the 7th house shows that he came from lives where he was a master at gathering and disseminating information. That is what Gemini does – keep communication, information flowing. Being in the 7th house – the house of the other person- he was someone who could mediate, communicate, and keep the knowledge moving.

What I love so much about his chart is how he “got into” his North Node – Sagittarius in the first house. Those of us (I too am a Gemini South Node) who are going to Sagittarius have to make an effort to stop gathering and moving information but honing in on our truth, our beliefs. It isn’t about quantity of information but quality. It is about focusing on information.

James Madison, using the discipline of Saturn that sits on his North Node, spent an entire summer – studying the great ancient civilizations –the Romans, the Greeks, etc. and learning what worked and what didn’t work. How Sagittarius North Node is that? He used this information in service to the United States Constitution and is one of the reasons he we call him the father of that document.

The ruler of his South Node, Gemini, is in Aquarius in the third house (the house of Gemini and communication.) It is also conjuncting the ruler of Aquarius, Uranus. His mind was like an electric bolt – oh, how I wish I could see it in action!
On a more fun note, with his Moon buried in the 12th house in the reticent sign of Scorpio but his Venus in fiery Aries we can see how he was both socially shy but attracted to the vivacious Dolley Madison.
Madison used the deck dealt him magnificently. Not bad for a little creature who looked like a strong wind could knock him over. Of course, all of his power was in his head!

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President of the Month

Several clients have asked me to do more historical astrology, specifically presidential astrology so once a month I will feature a president born in that month. January gives quite a number from which to choose because Capricorn is a sign that lends itself to corporate and political leadership. Richard Nixon, Woodrow Wilson, Andrew Johnson and yes, even Millard P Fillmore were all Capricorn presidents. We know much about the first two and really, do we want to know anything about Fillmore? Andrew Johnson, however, is a more interesting of the relatively unknown Presidents. However, I would argue that Taurus was a bigger influence in his life than his Capricorn sun.

Johnson had a Taurus Moon, and more importantly a Taurus South Node. Karmically he was coming from a Taurus incarnation. Taurus is one of the most stubborn of signs. No one, not even the sturdy Capricorn Goat is as stubborn as Taurus the Bull. Johnson held fast to his beliefs even when it caused him great political disfavor and even when it brought him to being the first impeached President and just one vote away from conviction and expulsion from office. 
Of course, that Taurean energy was also a help to him. One of the reasons, if not the only reason he was picked at Lincoln’s Vice President was that he was a Southerner who refused to join the Confederacy. (It was not because he was cared about slaves but because he hated the rich Southern landowners who were in favor of war and slavery. It was for him, like for the rest of the country, a matter of economics.) 
We also see his ability to persevere in the anchors of his chart. Chart anchors are the signs on the cusps of the 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th houses and Johnson’s were all in cardinal signs, Libra, Capricorn, Aries, and Cancer. Cardinal signs are doers – movers – leaders. He needed this ability – having been born in abject poverty. In fact, there is a good deal of evidence that he was illiterate until he met and married his wife who was also his teacher. He literally came from nowhere and overcame immense obstacles to do so.

When he was inaugurated as Lincoln’s Vice President, Johnson appeared to be intoxicated and made quite a spectacle of himself (where was CNN when you needed them?) The “spin” that was put out by the administration was that he was ill and had taken some medicine but rumors always persisted about his alcoholism. We will never know for sure, however, with his 6th house (health and healing) opened by Pisces which is known to have escapism and alcoholism as a shadow aspect and Pisces’ ruler Neptune being in a tight conjunction with Saturn – he was certainly predisposed to loneliness and the need to escape his problems in some fashion.

The Affordable Care Act

I have had several friends ask me about the horoscope of the Affordable Care Act. The past few months have been a little scary for those of us who believe that one should not go broke because of illness. There was the bad roll out and then the piling on of the radical Right and a clueless media that just loves a dramatic story even if the facts get in the way of their ratings.
I cast a chart for the time President Obama signed the bill into law because that is in essence its “birth.” 
There are many things about this chart I find interesting, even ironic but two of the big items that jump out at me are the 10thand 6th houses.
First, Pallas Athena, the warrior goddess who was also the patron of hospitals and healing (a woman for all occasions I say) is retrograded in the 6th house –the house of health. Note to President Obama, do NOT sign a health care law under this planetary alignment! A retrograde means the energies of that planet are going backwards. So it was almost as if all of Pallas’ good intentions would be thwarted… or at least harder to reach fruition.
In the 10th house, the house of government and the “social consciousness” we have quite a collection of planets.  I can’t take my eyes off the conjunction of Uranus and the Sun. Uranus is rebellious energy – quick starts and stops – just off the charts energy. On the other end of the 10th, we have a Chiron and Neptune conjunction. Neptune is all about lofty spiritual ideals that have a heck of a hard time dealing with the realities of day-to-day living. Chiron is a deep wound issue and in the 10th represents our fears about society accepting us. Both of these bodies are in Aquarius, ruled by that rebel Uranus. Nothing is easy about these placements.
What gives me hope of long-term success is Jupiter, in the sign of Pisces – of compassion and caring for all, shooting up like an arrow in the middle of these conjunctions. Jupiter is the planet of expansion, hope, and understanding – of finding our philosophical truth. America is the last “first-world” country to offer universal health care – the time for us expanding into the rest of civilized society is overdue and helped by Jupiter.
Jupiter will carry the day for the ACA in the long term but the value of this act remains hidden until long into the future.

P.S. If you are into irony take a look at retrograded Saturn (the symbol of the old way – the task master – the people who say you must do things like they always have been done) opposing the Sun/Uranus conjunction. To me it looks like the Right trying to lasso the rebellious, change energy of Sun/Uranus to prevent it from working into society. However, I guess that is what they have been trying to do for five years now!

Pluto Return for USA

I have to admit I didn’t “feel it” this 4th of July…it was a pretty quiet day and I didn’t even think to put my flag out, something I do every year. Things have been in overdrive for me lately but there was something more. I just wasn’t in the mood to celebrate.
It got me thinking of our country and the general sense of ennui so many of us have. We can’t get anything done, the infrastructure is falling apart, we are at least ten years behind in cell phone technology, our immigration policy sucks, we are letting other countries beat us at renewable energy and all we hear about are fat old men talking about women’s bodies and people’s sex lives. 
Then it hit me. Pluto is in Capricorn. American was “born” the last time Pluto was in Capricorn, we are in our Pluto return which will hit its apex in 2020. Any “return” of a slow planet is big because that energy returns to where it was at birth and asks the question, what have you done with yourself since I last visited. People never experience a Pluto return unless they are Methuselah’s grandfather. It takes over 250 years for Pluto to walk around the Sun. Any return is a time of stress, of reassessment
Of course, when the planet hit Capricorn in 2008, it did what we expected – cause big change in the structure of society like the banking system. Secrets of the rich and powerful were uncovered (i.e. Penn State, Catholic Church.) It also caused some other troubling changes such as the corporate personhood.  Pluto brings change and Capricorn deals with authority, government – the fabric of society. 
So what does this mean for the country as Pluto grinds through Capricorn? Frankly I don’t think anyone knows. I have read several articles on the subject. There are the requisite number of “the sky will fall and we will all go back to a nature-based people: America will be no more” articles. I expected that. Astrology has its fair share of alarmists.
My personal take is that government secrets will continue to come out and there will be more scandals and secrets. While I don’t think America will be no more, I do think it will be a vastly different place in 2024 – aware finally that we wasted almost 2 decades appeasing the lunatic right while the world marched on and we will realize what most already know – we are no longer number one.
Pluto was retrograded when America was born – perhaps we will right that backwards movement. Maybe our government will be more responsive to the people not just the rich ones? Perhaps we will head into Pluto Aquarius with a real sense of what is important and work together to catch up what we lost when asleep. I can always hope….

Next time – what does Saturn in Scorpio mean to the US?

Why Did FDR Serve the King a Hot Dog?

There has been a lot of discussion lately mostly because of the movie, “Hyde Park on the Hudson,’ regarding a party that President Franklin Roosevelt held in honor of King George of England in which he served hot dogs. The press was aghast and tongues wagged on both sides of the Atlantic. Of course, there were other things on the menu that day but the hot dogs were the talk of Washington.

What is it in FDR’s chart that would make him do something so unusual? Well, that is easy to see. He was dominated by the sign of the usual – Aquarius! FDR had Aquarius Sun, Venus and Ceres all in his 5th house – the house of fun and creativity. (The 5th house is also the house of  sex but that is for another blog entry.) In addition, his 6th house the house health, is opened by Aquarius and he has his Aquarius Mercury there.

The question for me is why he only had one “odd” dinner party. With a chart dominated by the
unusual, the quirky and the never predictable Aquarius he loved the idea of being a rebel and thinking outside the box when it comes to fun, food and entertaining.

Next week – how did the king respond to the hot dog lunch?

What Would Lincoln Eat – Abe’s Foodie Chart

In anticipation of the publication of my cookbook, “Signs of the Tines: The Ultimate Astrological Cookbook,” I have asked the question that I am sure has been bugging Americans for a century or more. “What would Abe Lincoln eat?” Our 16th President was not known as a “foodie.” Although he did have a pretty decent appetite for country fare when a youth, as he grew older and a more preoccupied with life he often was seen munching mindlessly on an apple.

With his Capricorn Moon and Saturn on the cusp of his first house coupled with Pisces on the cusp of his 6th or health house, the President had almost a classic signature for a depressive personality. Saturn (which rules Capricorn) is something that always places restrictions, limits growth and can be a bit of a downer when near our personal planets and houses – like the first house and the Moon. Pisces is on the 6th should always send off alarm bells because it can bring the desire to escape due to a feeling overburdened and overwhelmed.

What would I recommend for Mr. Lincoln? My blueberry polenta – made with lots of creamy goodness to remind provide him with a comforting warm feeling and healthy berries and my salmon in parchment, he needed those Omega 3s for depression.

The recipes are – where else – in the book due out in May of 2013!

Hillary – Part 2

Several people commented to me about last week’s blog entry regarding Hillary Clinton and the 2016 Election. In it, I said that with a North Node in Taurus it might not be in her best interests to run because that is the Node which is searching for peace, stability and calm. Of course, you could argue that she is the type of person who can find those things in the White House. Again, I don’t like to pass judgement on this big soul issues. The question that was asked of me was basically, if she runs will she win.

We are hampered by not knowing the exact time of her birth. Some astrologers are using a time around 8 AM because there is some talk that her mother went to the hospital late at night and said Hillary was born around 8. That time gives her a Scorpio ascendant and a stellium (five or more planets) in Scorpio in the 12th and 1st houses. Hillary exhibits many Scorpio traits such as determination, secretiveness and strength.

So assuming that this is the correct time, how does election day 2016 look for her. In a word, not too bad although there seems to be some more spiritual benefits for her on that day. Saturn conjuncts her progressed Sun in Sagittarius and in the first house. That is a definite harbinger of spiritual awakening and awareness. Does that mean her presidency would take on a spiritual quest for her or that she will be sitting somewhere saying wow I am glad I didn’t run? 
She will have progressed Mars in the 10th – a very good sign for a leader and Jupiter and Neptune in the 11th – which is good for leading large groups of people. 
Who knows – she could find more benefit in forgoing the presidency and lead a different movement. One thing for sure, with all of that Scorpio, she loves all of this intrigue and secrecy!

Should Hillary Run?

Okay, I know the frenzy about who should be the new president two seconds after the current one is inaugurated is silly but it did get me thinking about Hillary Clinton’s chart. We don’t know what time she was born and for my purposes today that is not all that important. What is so interesting to me about her chart is her nodal axis. You know that as a karmic astrologer I am a freak about the north and south nodes. The north nodes is where we are going toward in this lifetime – and the south node is where we are coming from in the past.

Regardless of what time she as born, Hillary Clinton has a south node in Scorpio and a north in Taurus. Someone with this axis is coming from a past life that was full of drama and pathos. Scorpios just love to immerse themselves in the deep intrigues of life. Life and death battles are the juice they feed on. Of course, she has seen her share of drama in this life too.

However, with a north node in Taurus, she needs to move away from the drama and find stability and security in the world. Scorpio wants the fight while Taurus likes to be in the pasture, carefree and peaceful. The big lessons Taurus north node people is how to find personal safety. They need to leave the drama behind.

Can you leave drama behind as President of the United States? I doubt it. I am not one to judge whether a person gets into their north node or how they should do it. However, I do know that if she decides not to run she will be heading the call of the universe instead of the call of her supporters. Is that a better path? Only she knows for sure.

Inauguration Day!

Okay, Mr. President you have the transiting ascendant in the third house in Taurus – I am expecting one kick-butt inaugural address! You can do it – we know you can so I am looking for a bit more zing than your last one. Frankly, you should deliver the speech you gave on election night when the results came in. That was an “Obama speech.”
He will certainly have our heart in it – with Neptune in Pisces transiting his first house his emotions are close to the surface. I have heard that the Newtown massacre of babies has more deeply affected him beyond his uncharacteristic emotional expression at the news conference held shortly after the murders. His passions are close to the surface now.
I am happy to see the Mars and Uranus opposition that has had me so nervous for his safety is starting to pass but it isn’t far enough away for me to relax yet. I want Uranus out of his second house – but that won’t happen for months and months. 
More hopeful is the Uranus in Aries conjunct Pallas (the warrior goddess) in Aries opposing his progressed Sun in the house of power (8). Anyone expecting the conciliatory first term Obama better hold onto his hat! Yippee.
Good luck Mr. President and list to Truman – give them hell.