The August 21st Solar Eclipse

There will be a total solar eclipse on August 21st. It will occur at 28 Leo 53, conjunct with the fixed star Regulus.

There’s a certain amount of hysteria on the Internet right now about this eclipse. My best advice. Keep a level head. In a typical year, there will be two lunar and two solar eclipses. An eclipse is not an event to be feared.

What makes this eclipse different? The path of the total eclipse crosses the United States.

Eclipses do signal a time for change, and change frightens some people. Trust in the idea that the change any eclipse brings to you is what is needed at the moment. Resistance will likely bring hardship.

Significant mundane events occur in every century that coincide with eclipses. That’s why eclipses are a particular interest of mundane astrologers.

Two reasons for all the hype about this particular eclipse is its strong aspects to the famous “Sibley” chart of the United States Declaration of Independence and to the birth chart of President Donald Trump. There is plenty of Internet speculation about possible effects on the United States and President Trump. Depending on the astrologer making the predictions, the expected changes range from positive to catastrophic.

The effect of an eclipse on you depends on a number of astrological factors, some of which including the following:

  • whether you have any planets, points, or angles that aspect the eclipse;
  • the orb of influence for those aspects;
  • the houses for the Leo-Aquarius axis in your birth chart; and
  • how you relate to areas of the chart affected by the eclipse.

More on Context

I wrote a blog entry on why context matters. (Context is Everything)

Most of the cookbook interpretations you’re likely to read online, in books, etc. assume that the client is an adult somewhere in their 20’s to 50’s. That’s a good “golden mean” to aim at for age when you need to write a  general-purpose interpretation.

The problem is, not every client is in their 20’s to 50’s. Some are younger. Many are older. These clients deserve a consultation that focuses on their special needs.

Consider a young child. Her parents want a consultation. She’s 5. The context is simply wrong to talk about sexual matters. Yes, there is the occasional child who ends up later marrying someone from their childhood who is eighteen years their senior.

Consider a senior. Someone in their 80’s. Discussions of career should assume less prominence.

Women face an ever-changing, ever more demanding world. While there is overlap between the concerns of men and women, there are also important differences. Our consultations – to be really effective – need to address those differences in a positive, constructive way.

When we adopt a one interpretation “fits all” approach, we force the individual to fit the horoscope. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work. Our role as humanistic astrologers is to fit the horoscope to the individual.

A Neat Trick

I figured out a neat trick with Solar Fire and the Microsoft Windows Paint program that makes it easy to superimpose a Local Space (LS) map onto Google Map.

I used it to make LS maps for my city and for my home.

Consulting astrologers will likely find this a popular addition to give their client during a consultation.

Once you get familiar with the steps, it only takes a couple of minutes to produce a professional LS map.

Continue reading “A Neat Trick”

Stretching the Truth

It’s understandable that we astrologers want to demonstrate that our techniques provide accurate results. Astrology is castigated by the more respectable sciences as a pseudo-science, a quasi-science, or worse.

However well-intentioned, we do astrology a disservice when we “stretch the truth” in the evidence we marshal to support a particular technique.

I’ve been studying for the Astro*Carto*Graphy Certification Exam. There are two case studies that are very common in the written literature on Astro*Carto*Graphy. The first is the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy (JFK) in Dallas, TX on 22 November 1963. The other is UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Both cases contain misstatements.

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The Aries Point

The Aries Point (AP) is an indicator of our potential for public presentation. Our claim to fame. What we’ll be remembered for.

Most of what has been written on the AP comes from my mentor, Noel Tyl, and from his student, Don McBroom.

The AP is more than a single point. There are four of them around the horoscope. 00 degrees of any cardinal sign is an AP. That’s 00 Aries, Cancer,  Libra, or Capricorn.

We typically apply a 2 degree orb.

The result is that 4 1/2 percent of the zodiac is covered by an AP. (The image to the left comes from Don McBroom’s book, “Midpoints.”)

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Sun – Moon Blends (and the Ascendant, Too)

Grant Lewi wrote a book way back in 1935 that enabled the reader to “interpret” a horoscope in just 10 or 15 minutes. “Heaven Knows What” was an early example of cook book astrology. It relied upon a simple, yet profound piece of chart synthesis – the Sun-Moon blend. Lewi walks the reader through the interpretations for all 144 combinations of Sun and Moon.

My mentor, Noel Tyl, modernized the interpretations of Lewi (and made them more compact) in his book, “Synthesis and Counseling in Astrology.” He argues that the Sun-Moon blend establishes “a basis for synthesis that is all-pervasive within analysis of a particular horoscope.”

Like hemisphere analysis, the blend of the Sun and Moon is one of those pieces of analysis that an experienced astrologer can interpret with just a glance at any horoscope.

Continue reading “Sun – Moon Blends (and the Ascendant, Too)”

What Hemisphere Are You?

There are so many factors to consider, when reviewing a horoscope. The beginning astrologer can peer at one for hours, even days, trying to make sense of all the information.

Chart synthesis is the skill that separates the professional from the amateur astrologer. The professional astrologer learns to be efficient. We can’t afford to spend hours peering at a chart before a consultation.

Professionals can learn a lot, just from a glance at a birth chart. Consider the chart above.  A professional would notice — in an instant — that all of the planets except one are in the northern hemisphere. The one planet in the southern hemisphere is very close to the northern hemisphere. This would definitely qualify as a chart with a Northern hemisphere emphasis.

Continue reading “What Hemisphere Are You?”

Why Is Time Of Birth So Important?

Most people, even if they have no interest in astrology, know their Sun sign. All you need for that is an accurate date of birth.

You can determine the astrological sign for any of the planets with just an accurate date of birth, too.

The Moon moves too fast to use date of birth alone. Why? Because in the span of a single day, it can easily cross from one sign into another. We need an accurate time of birth to determine its sign.

Two other important astrological symbols move even faster. The Ascendant (the Rising Sign) and the Midheaven. They zoom across all twelve signs of the zodiac in a single day. That means they change one degree on the zodiac for every four minutes of time. Without an accurate Ascendant and Midheaven, an astrologer cannot accurately determine the signs on the cusps for the twelve astrological houses.

The Moon is incredibly important in forecasting. So are the “angles” of the chart, especially the Ascendant and Midheaven. That means any forecast depends on an accurate birth time.

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Context Is Everything

Some clients confuse astrologers and psychics. They assume, once they give us their birth details, we’ll know everything there is to know about them as individuals.

Astrology doesn’t work that way. It’s not a crystal ball.

I can tell you, with near certainty, you have one or more “astrological twins” in the world. Somewhere there are people with birth charts so similar to yours, it makes no practical difference at all. Their lives, also with near certainty, will be very different from yours. The contexts in which your life and theirs unfold will be different.

Another way to think about this, is multiple births. Twins, triplets, etc. They’ll share the same horoscope, except for a degree or two difference on the angles. Do they lead identical lives? No. The contexts of their lives differ.

Horoscopes represent contingent possibilities. Most of the features in our horoscopes become manifest at some point in our lives, as features of our personality, events in our lives, etc. Some, however, do not.

Continue reading “Context Is Everything”

Readings vs. Consultations

An astrological reading is a performance. The astrologer does all (or very nearly all) the talking. They proceed from one measurement to the next, telling the client what it means. They’ll throw around lots of jargon, too. Uranus in the 10th house means this. Sun opposed Pluto means that.

Astrological reports you can buy here or elsewhere on the Internet are computer-generated readings.

A consultation is very different. It’s a discussion. The astrologer doesn’t dominate the conversation. We talk together about your life, based on your horoscope. There’s no jargon. (Not unless the client has some knowledge of astrology and introduces it.)

We tend to think every horoscope is unique. This isn’t so. Many people can share nearly-identical horoscopes and these individuals can lead very different lives.

It takes discussion to put your life and your horoscope in context. To give you that, we can’t just perform. We need to ask questions.

If you want to be treated as a unique individual, you want a consultation, not a reading.