Heavenly Truth

depth astrology



Saturn’s Ingress into Scorpio, October 2012

Saturn has been traveling through Libra since essentially late 2009 until it enters Scorpio on October 5, 2012. It will deep dive through Scorpio until December 23, 2014, with a brief dip back in June of 2015 for three months.

RulesSaturn represents all things structural and  defining, such as buildings, bones, laws and rules (cultural and literal), and limits. It also represents the natural laws in life, what we might call ‘reality’, such as the march of time, in/action and consequence, and the inevitability of change. Up until Uranus was discovered, Saturn was the last of the 7 planets used in astrology and represented the finality of death and judgment (and still does, as the remainder of three planets are about transcending death and limits in various ways).

Scorpio is all things deep, raw, frightening, passionate, death, sex, fears, psychology, the underworld, our subconscious, and breaking through taboo.

I’m sure we’re all giddy with excitement at the thought of this upcoming shift!


Saturn in Scorpio on the Collective Level

Saturn pushes us toward maturity, and one meaning for maturity is simply ripening. The time will naturally ripen for the issues that Scorpio represents: sex, death, bringing taboos to light, and facing fears.
It would not be surprising to find the Saturn in Scorpio period highlighting the need for humanity to take responsibility for their sexual abilities, problems, and consequences. The gay marriage issue will probably continue to escalate and concrete attempts at lawmaking around the issue will continue to cascade, as Scorpio rules sexual union and merging. This will be carrying forward the Saturn in Libra work of pushing the issue of equality on all fronts, including but not limited to gay marriage.

The abortion battleground (Scorpio rules our reproductive system) will likely be heightened even more than it already is, coming to a point where decisions and laws must be made (although it’s doubtful that these issues will be thoroughly solved and humming along in order in this one Saturn in Scorpio passage!).

The realities of handling the practicalities (Saturn) of death and dying will likely reach a new peak, as more baby boomers are entering the range of elder.

Pluto, the ruling sign of Scorpio, is traveling through Saturn’s sign of Capricorn, so this mutual reception (when two planets are in each other’s home sign) means that Pluto’s already been at work on this for a while, and will continue to be breaking these things down and opening them up, but it looks like Saturn will probably have to push us against the wall of reality and force us to adapt, grow, and build new structures to accommodating our changing realities.

Pointing at each otherDuring Saturn in Libra, the stalemate of polarization and lack of compromise became evident. Sides will still continue to be chosen and defended, but with an even greater amount of ferocity, if that’s possible, as Scorpio brings a life or death, black or white, all or nothing energy with it. It is usually this extreme force that is required to provoke the Scorpionic level of transformation (destruction followed by rebirth/renewal) in the first place since Scorpio is a fixed sign—it doesn’t gradually change and it’s not flexible. It holds on until it’s time to die, and then it races toward the experience and bursts from the flame—hence the symbol of the Phoenix being so representative of Scorpio. 

I am no mundane astrologer (astrology of places and events). It’s the world within an individual rather than the world at large that I am drawn to and for which I have more insight. There are countless ways that I have not yet imagined which Saturn in Scorpio will manifest, obviously, but I think these topics will be the biggies.


Saturn in Scorpio on the Individual Level

On an individual level, we’ll be learning to manage our own intensity. Saturn encourages taking responsibility for ourselves and our lives, and acting responsibly as well. We will be working with both ends of the Scorpio spectrum: power and powerlessness. On one hand we are needing to recognize that we have to control and manage our fear, rage, power hunger, obsession, jealousy, or any other number of extreme emotions because we are responsible for the actions we take or don’t take as a result, and/or needing to recognize that we must face our own power (or powerlessness) and recognize the consequences of hiding from it or trying to stifle it out of fear, only to have it blow up in our faces in displaced, rage-filled rants or internally crystallized as pain and illness. We all have some kind of power, and we all have the ability to misuse it. Some of us may find that we need to be mindful of the ways we can hurt others, sometimes with serious consequences, when we misuse it. 

Rope cutSaturn work often begins with unsticking what’s stuck, but while Saturn may be more about the gradual work and daily maintenance approach, in Scorpio we may all be looking at confronting the ‘grow or die’ energy of this configuration in the area of our chart where Scorpio rules, having to face what’s not working in our lives, and what hasn’t been working for a long time, especially where fear is the culprit for stopping growth (and isn’t it always!?). We must be willing to find the courage to push it over in order to reb uild it, which means we have to be without it, or anything like it, for a time before we create something new. It’s the fear of having nothing that often leads us to holding onto the broken something we have, but letting it go is the only way forward. We have to go into the dark before it gets light again, sometimes simply because all the subtle or easy fixes either haven’t worked or we’re just past the point of no return. “It’s not going to go away” Saturn will say, as it sits on your shoulder, following you to work, to bed, to school.

Wherever Saturn travels through your chart during this 2-1/2 year period will be where you simply can’t ignore what you know in your gut is true, even if you don’t want to know it and wish it weren’t true and have been trying to fool yourself and want to just hang on a little longer. Just like we tell our children to summon the courage to open the closet door and prove to themselves that no monster is there, we must do the same.

"A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them." – Carl Jung

Woman blackwhite confidentThe reward of Saturn in Scorpio is as bounteous as the work. Saturn doesn’t promise rewards – that is up to you. But if you do the work, and peel away the mirage, the ‘window dressing’ as a friend calls it, and look at what’s really there (the monster that you think just might eat you), you will almost certainly live through it, and when you do, you will liberate yourself in a way that was not possible otherwise.

Scorpio demands we pass through the flame, not around it. Through Saturn in Scorpio, it is hard experience that makes us wiser, no matter how much our mother lectured us about the exact same thing!
Scorpio is about power and powerlessness, not in a worldly sense, but in the sense that we are all human and all are vulnerable to annihilation. Living with the knowledge of life and death in a visceral way is fri ghtening, but it need to not be depressing; this knowledge can fill us with “liveliness, not deathliness” as my mentor, Steven Forrest, has said to me. Stripped away of all a decaying, frail structure that we have tried to trap our fears under, we are able to create new, lasting things in our lives that fulfill our deepest priorities as only a knowledge that we have one life to live can.

Scorpio fills us with a hunger, a yearning to know, to experience, and to pass through, not around, the force of live and living it, even while our ego works to avoid that which might render us powerless or vulnerable. Where do you need to stop putting the fake smile on? Where do you need to settle for nothing less than the truth? What has fear prevented you from doing that is now reaching a critical point? Saturn in Libra had us learning each other’s dance and trying not to step on each other’s feet, but while negotiation is a useful and needed skill, a side effect can be inauthenticity, which Scorpio will not tolerate. The gloves are off. True colors will be seen. Say what you need to say, not out of cruelty or an attempt to prove your power to yourself and others – that will only take you back down the road of misusing power and having consequences slap you in the face – but out of a willingness to be honest and free, even if you feel vulnerable and scared when you strip off that (false) protection.

Where Scorpio resides in your chart represents the area of life where you will be asked to peel off the bandaid (or it may just be ripped off for you), to face fears and acknowledge truths (even if you fear being undone) and accept responsibility for the consequences of doing so.

The Reign of Scorpio

We've entered the season of Virgo, between the first and second harvest, and even though it's still technically summer, that feeling of reigning the abundance of summer in and channeling it into preparation work for fall has begun.

Mars and the North Node have just entered Scorpio, adding a note of seriousness and intensity to the already efficient pace of Virgo. It's change from the lightness of the Sun in Leo and Mars in Libra and the stakes of whatever we're planning or involved in may feel suddenly higher. It needs to be done, and it needs to be done now and if it's not done now there will be Consequences! The fervency and obsession of Scorpio can whip Virgo into an anxiety-ridden frenzy over the list of Things Undone (guilty!)

“Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action.” —Walter Anderson

Neptune and tritonThis
level of intensity might be temporary, as Mars leaves Scorpio October
6th for more light-hearted Sagittarius, but Saturn will take up the post
in Scorpio where it will remain until late December 2014, and the north
node will be there almost as long (Feb 2014). Upon these planet's entry
into Scorpio, they make a supportive trine to Neptune in Pisces,
softening the hard edges. Inspiration can be found in the dark, in fact,
sometimes it can be the best reason
to go there.

It really is a time for intense focus and purpose, and Virgo and Scorpio work well together. But this isn't just a time for busy work. While Virgo might normally be satisfied to merrily check things off her to-do list, Scorpio wants to dig at why something's on the list in the first place. Virgo likes a job well done, but Scorpio wants thoroughness. This is a time for true repair, not duct tape. For courage to really change something for the better, not just make the most of what we have.

“In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is
more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.” —
Warren Buffett

Normally that's good advice, making the most of what you have, but if you're going the wrong way, waiting until circumstances are better or the change is easier may not be the prudent and sensible choice it's masquerading as. It might be good old-fashioned fear. Fear of making a mess, fear of making the wrong choice, fear of losing what you have now. Scorpio is the sign of transformation, but it doesn't happen easily. You have to make a major mess first, as the momentum of life crashes to a halt.

“All great changes are preceded by chaos.” —Deepak Chopra

Pawn shadow queenIf it feels like high stakes, it is. It's your life. Scorpio is life and death. It strips away what we try and cover ourselves up with: the illusion that life is safe, that you need another television set, that the stable, wrong job is better than no job at all, and many other sensible but potentially deadening ideas. No, Scorpio isn't practical, and it doesn't promise everything will be alright or that you won't have any regrets. It just knows that fear isn't as good of a reason to avoid doing what you know you must as it seems to be.

“Remembering you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the
trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked.
There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
–Steve Jobs

Ok, enough with the freaking you out. Scorpio is do or die, and Saturn says the hard work is simply to look deeply and sit with something, until discomfort gives way. The north node encourages the same thing, but Saturn and north node work are things that take practice, and happen sometimes over an entire lifetime. Just keep it in mind. Boldly choose your true north as often as you can bear it. Rest and comfort yourself when you need to.

Mars Retrograde: Keep it Simple

We are all motivated by different desires. No matter what they may be, Mars plays a  large role in how, when, and why we pursue those desires, whether it's fast and furious or slow and steady, whether we are pursuing happiness, security, or success.

Retrograde marsMars stationed retrograde at 23 degrees and 5 minute of Virgo on January 23rd.

A good way to begin to understand the meaning of any planet going retrograde is to run the gamut of re words. For instance, when Mercury retrogrades we're asked to reconsider. When Venus retrogrades, we are often given the opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with someone. During this Mars retrograde period, we're asked to regroup and while it's in Virgo, reorganize.

Virgo is a sign of discrimination and elimination. It shaves away that which is not needed to get to the essential and pares down that which has become bloated and overdone. As Mars retrogrades through this sign until April 14th, sift through your life with an eye on what's useful, necessary, and functional and discard what unnecessarily complicates. Keep it simple.

Angry-mars-glyphVirgo may like efficiency, but keeping it simple doesn't always work, especially if Virgo loses sight on what's essential. It is a sign that likes simplicity, but also control. Not only is Mars retrograde, which tends to channel energy inward (see redirect) but it's also in Virgo, which has a hard time letting the energy flow outward without trying to control the flow so much that it risks clenching too hard, stopping the energy flow altogether (see restrict). Over the next couple of months, watch for warning signs of impending implosion due to control issues, excessive anxiety/worry, or stuck energy building up the tension level, like water pressure behind a dam.

Because Mars represents our drive, will, and to a certain extent our power, by extension it also represents our energy, especially physical energy, so keep a watch over your health during this period as well. When we're emotionally clogged, it's easier to get physically backed up as well (Virgo rules the digestive system–guard against anxiety and tummy upset). While it also depends on the disposition of Mars and other energies in your own chart, steady exercise and mindful eating is favored over pushing yourself beyond your limits or an excess of anything during this retrograde period. Plan and direct your exercise and nutrition, but don't deprive: deprivation carries the energy of restriction and self-punishment, a shadow of Virgo. Take your vitamins and wash your hands and all that, too, of course.

Like organizing your closet, organizing your life in a literal and metaphorical way can help you use your resources wisely and be more efficient over this retrograde period. Part of a wise strategy may also be being honest with yourself about what is and isn't in your control, and letting go of the things you aren't really in charge of anyway.

Just like you can't stop communicating for three weeks during Mercury retrograde periods, likewise you can't stop moving forward on anything at all for the nearly three months that Mars is retrograde. However, slow and steady, with probably some periodic readjusting, may be the best pace for now.

A Page From an Astrologer’s Diary: Progressed Moon Enters the First House

Back to back women An astrologer is always experiencing life on a couple of dimensions (pun intended!) On one hand, they're engaged in whatever is going on in their life at the moment like everyone else, and at the same time, they're wondering what this current event has to do with Mars trining their Midheaven or Pluto squaring their Ascendant. The good and humble astrologer is always taking notes from their life and the lives around them to see astrology in real life action, outside of the key words and fixed descriptions of what a certain astrological event is supposed to produce. Sometimes it takes a pretty horrific event to grab an astrologer's attention away from the analyzing dimension, but still; somewhere in our mind, we are thinking "wow, this is horrible and I'll probably be scarred for life, but what fascinating material for my astrology blog!"

Which is exactly what I have been thinking as I've been experiencing the rare event of my secondary progressed moon entering my first house.

I've been feeling it for about a month, and it's about a week or two away now from the actual crossing over. It's not uncommon to feel these shifts even two months before they happen. In my book, Astrology of the Moon, I compare a progressed moon shift to passing through a tunnel: 

BookcoversmallestImagine going through  a tunnel. You see it approaching ahead of you, even before you enter it. The change in the light and in the air becomes apparent soon after you enter the tunnel and may take a bit of an adjustment if it’s dark. As you continue to move through the tunnel, your eyes adjust and you get used to the new rhythm, the new environment. As you reach the end of the tunnel, you see it coming. The light is changing again, ahead of you. There is a natural anticipation of the shifts that happen as we see them coming. When it comes to the progressed moon, we may see a period of our life approaching. We often feel a change in the air. 

Developments in your chart, especially when it comes to the progressed planets, do not tend to happen overnight. While there are times when events in our lives are of such a magnitude that they can alter us forever in a moment, our general evolution is a slow progression. Awareness of new truths and changing attitudes tends to build in us over time, even if the realization of what’s been brewing in our subconscious happens suddenly. There will come a point, as each of these progression periods begin, where you start to notice the shift, notice that you’re feeling differently lately. For many people, this starts even a month or two before the actual progression period begins. Because we are always gradually developing, the shift from one progression to another is a slow build of the changing needs of the heart. But it may also take a month or so of sitting with the new energy to really notice that something has changed for you.

Here is a list (ah, my Virgo heart sings at the word), in no particular order, of the things I've noticed happening for me as I personally experience this shift.

  • I seem to be taking almost everything personally, which is not characteristic for me. While I have become more empathetic and sensitive over the years, I seem to regard every traffic slight and every external schedule delay or change personally. Heaven help you if it's my turn to merge and you speed ahead of me. I'll either curse you or cry about it! I've invited you over 3 times to my house for dinner and you can't get it on your schedule? How mean!
  • I seem to be focusing on drawing out my 'unlived lives', undeveloped parts of me that, due to focus on other things and other areas, haven't had much of an opportunity to surface, such as a sudden desire to purchase cookbooks and cook every night, or begin weight training at my local gym. I am curious to see if these desires continue and how linked they may be with the classic connection between the first house and the body.
  • My progressed moon has been in the sign of Capricorn for the last 2 years, and will remain there for another 5 months, so coupling that with the first house entry seems to have increased the hunger for The Next Big Thing. I'm not interested in little projects that may want to draw my attention. I'm looking for the next project that will really matter to me, that will define my life, that will light me up and Start My Life Anew. I'm wanting to launch. The trouble is, while I long for direction, I've got these first house butterfly wings that are still drying as I've only recently emerged (emerging) from the 12th house chrysalis and don't know what these wings can do or where I want them to take me yet.
  • Here's a fun one in that it seems so clearly correlated with its astrology: Uranus is square my Ascendant and Descendant, so naturally as my progressed moon crosses the Ascendant, it's squaring Uranus as well, and opposing my Descendant (did you catch all that, newbies? Sorry if you just choked on the jargon). Lately I have been recognizing how intense my frustration when anyone (including myself) attempts to identify or label me, even with 'good' labels. I am none of the things you think I am, or that I think I am, and as soon as you want to understand me, I cannot be understood, nor truly seen, and am resentful that I must define myself so that you (or I) can understand what I am as we have our casual conversation. Who are you talking to? I don't know, either. I feel keenly attuned to the idea that I am always in progress and process, therefore a slice of me in any moment will not tell you who I am in the whole. I think anyone could say that, but my awareness of it is intense these days.

Coming home from another fabulous NORWAC last night, I had this image relentless playing out in my head as all these thoughts was rising: I have just been thrust through the front door and onto the porch, rather abruptly, though not with rude intent. The door slams against my back. Palms and back against the door, heels still on the edge of the threshhold, I stand motionless as I face the world in front me.

Mercury Retrograde, Schmetrograde

All the astrological heavenly bodies periodically go retrograde except for the sun and the moon. If you were to observe a planet in its orbit across the night sky this week, you would see Mercury seeming to slow down, stop (station), and start going in a backward direction (retrograde). Of course, Mercury is not literally going backward in its orbit, but it appears to us to be doing so. Mercury appears to go backward a few times a year for about 3 weeks at a time, give or take.

The ‘shadow’ period of a retrograde planet encompasses the retrograde period and then some. The shadow period is the length of time it takes for a planet to get back to the original place in the sky it was before it started going backward.

Observe the example illustration below. Each sign is made up of 30 degrees. In this example, on September 4th, Mercury reaches 7 and 1/2 degrees of Libra. On September 24th, it reaches about 22 and 1/2 degrees of Libra. It then begins to move backwards through Libra. On October 15th, it will find itself all the way back at 7 and 1/2 degrees of Libra. By October 31st, it will make it out of its shadow period, when it reaches 22 and 1/2 degrees of Libra.
Why You Care
It’s nothing to fear, but it is a period when a little extra care goes a long way. When a planet goes retrograde, and when it is in its shadow period before it’s even begun moving backwards, the earthly things that planet symbolizes often start to behave in unusual ways more frequently than normal. Since Mercury rules communication, it rules all objects and methods that are used in communication, including fax machines, computers, email, and objects used in transit for short trips such as cars, buses, bikes, etc. So the stereotypical but not-so-funny-at-the-time snafus begin to happen: parking tickets, undelivered/misdelivered emails, computer programs not working correctly, any electronic equipment malfunctioning or breaking – you get the picture.

We seem more vulnerable to miscommunication during this period, especially if you assume the other person understands you or don’t think or see things through to their outcome without clarifying and double checking. Appointments missed or meeting places miscommunicated, arguments/hurt feelings created by lack of explanation or assumptions.

It is important at this time to communicate thoroughly and clearly, but the reason goes deeper than wanting to avoid troublesome circumstances. Any time a planet retrogrades, it is a time when reflection and review is needed. Frequently, during a Mercury retrograde period, we often find that some error or some miscommunication was set up a long time ago, and only now comes to light during the period of retrogradation. It’s the Universe giving us a chance to clean up messes that have gone unnoticed for too long, so things come back so we can do that.

But sometimes it seems like a non-stop comedy of errors. Good luck, people.

International Astrology Day, March 20th 2011

International Astrology Day is the day that the Sun enters Aries and begins a new astrological year. This year it's on March 20th. Many great events are taking place all around the U.S. and world to celebrate, from conferences, to festivals & fairs, to online events. Here are a few I've found. Get out and meet your local astrological community!

Seattle Washington.TOTALLY FREE EVENT. March 20, noon to 3 pm, Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park. Full details here.

Portland Oregon. $5 admission. March 19, 11:30-4:30. Full details here.

Eugene Oregon. $5-$10 donation suggested. March 19 2-4 pm. Maude Kerns Art Center , 1910 East 15th

San Francisco California. $80. March 19, 10-8. One day conference on outer planets. Full details here.

Los Angeles California. NCGR chapter. $5. March 20, 1pm. Private home of Angel Thompson 1809 Washington Way, Venice, CA 310-779-6878 near Abbot Kinney and Venice Blvd. Ful details here.

Roswell Georgia. FREE. Saturday March 19 from 11am to 7pm; Sunday March 20 from 1pm to 5pm. Details here.

York Pennsylvania. FREE Sunday, March 20, 10 AM to 5 PM at New Visions Books & Gifts 525 Hillcrest Road, York PA. RSVP by March 16 to Lisa Benjamin: Details here.

Omaha Nebraska. Psychic Full Moon Festival, Saturday, March 19, 2011 at 5:00pm – 9:00pm, PS Collective 6056 Maple St, Omaha, NE 68104. "Each reader will list their own prices at their table. Small cover charge at the door." Details here.

London England. Astrological Association of Great Britain. "will be gathering in their usual pub – the Union' at 88-90 George Street, London W1U 8PA from 7:30 PM to 11:00 PM on Saturday 21 March for a few drinks together." Details here.

AFAN, the Association For Astrological Networking, is keeping an updated list which contains these events and new ones as they become known here.

12 Signs of Procrastination

Aries procrastinates because it's too busy racing to comment !FIRST! to every Facebook and Blog post.

Taurus procrastinates because it is too comfy right now. Laziness is the new efficiency!

Gemini procrastinates because it's multi-tasking: write in 12 Across, text John Doe, place that order online … WHOOPS WHAT'S THAT SHINY THING OVER THERE BERIGHTBACK!?

Cancer procrastinates because it has to make a mix tape to express how it feels about it before it can do it.

Leo procrastinates because it can. The peasants will just have to wait.

Virgo procrastinates because it requires something to be done perfectly and since it will never be perfect, it must never come to be!

Libra procrastinates because it simply can't decide what to do!

Scorpio procrastinates because it's got to get to the bottom of what's really going on before it can do anything about it.

Sagittarius procrastinates because it simply would rather be doing something more fun, and has gone off to do just that.

Capricorn procrastinates because it hasn't delegated, and therefore must do everything.

Aquarius procrastinates because it has to do it in a way no one else has done it yet.

Pisces procrastinates because it hasn't made it back down to earth yet.

Yes, I'm writing this instead of working on what I'm 'supposed' to be working on. That's the beauty of it!

Which Astrological Sign Am I Really? Beyond the 13th Sign Ophiuchus Debate

Today I got a question from a client of mine who has been experimenting with Vedic astrology. He was wondering about his sun sign because in the Vedic system of astrology, he's a Leo, but in Western astrology, he's a Virgo. He said he was really identifying with the creativity of Leo and feeling stifled by Virgo. He was unsure of which sign he really is and asked me which one was "real".

I really welcome this kind of question. It really opens the door to think about what astrology really is and what it can do beyond simplistic categorization of personality traits. It's an elegant system, but it is by no means as tidy as we'd like to think. Many people who are against or ambivalent about astrology balk at it because they can't believe that life can be reduced to 12 boxes–and they're right.

But even in more complex astrology, there is still the great mystery of life and its meaning. Astrology, like many other tools used to try and divine meaning and truth (psychology and other sciences are among them, not just tools of the so-called 'new age'), is not about definites, but about the act itself: sitting in the question and using a tool to focus one's attention on the question often yields results, even if that tools is simply two hands folded in prayer, to any god you like.


So here's what I told my client. What would you have said?
Opening-quotes First of all, it makes sense that you'd identify with Leo to some extent. Leo is firey and you have two very strong elements in fire: Sagittarius rising and Sagittarius south node in the first house (possibly the most firey of all influences in your chart). Also, you have Venus in Leo. So there are plenty of factors in your western chart to 'explain' the identification with Leo.

Second, you might be going through something personal right now that wants to embody what you think Leo represents. Just for speculation, I could imagine that if someone was feeling thwarted or stifled for reasons they are unsure of or aren't sure what to do about, then identifying with a symbol that seems to mean more freedom and creativity would certainly give them hope, "true" or not.

This would be less of an astrological right or wrong thing as much as what symbols, metaphors, and archetypes speak to you, inside and outside of astrology. Astrology doesn't 'make you', it's just labels, and it can be useful because understanding the labels sometimes helps you understand more about what's inside. So if you don't want to be a Virgo because you don't like the sign, in a way you can't just change the label and make it true, yet in another way, the label doesn't actually matter anyway in a sense that it's what's inside that matters – the label is only to aid in deciphering the inside. "Mislabeling" something wouldn't change what it is, only the perception of what it is.

And third, perhaps the Vedic system as metaphor and philosophy just makes more sense to you. There are plenty of people form whom that's true (try almost ALL of India at least!) That's a big question that astrologers can't really agree on an answer to amongst themselves anyway. Some astrologers have tried to reconcile it by saying Vedic seems more true for fateful, event-based questions and Western for personality/psychology. Some choose sides. For me, I honestly (and not just to be politically correct, but sincerely) think whatever tool you use, western astrology, vedic astrology, tarot cards, palm reading, dice, tea leaves, phrenology, throwing the bones, runes, or any other silly thing is merely just a tool through which to 'scry', to divine meaning. So they are all 'real' to me, so long as as they are used skillfully and with clear intent. So, this, in a way, is a discomforting answer if you're looking for definition or certainty. But it's an answer that permits a lot of personal experimentation and freedom.

Closing-quotes One more thing: astrology is truly only as good as its interpreter. Each sign and planet have a spectrum of traits and that spectrum is wide. Many people, for example, will think that their sign doesn't fit them at all, when really it's not the sign that's flawed, it's the narrow and sometimes poor interpretations of fallible  humans trying to dumb down a vast archetype into 20 'key'words or less. Hence everyone thinking that Scorpios are all about sex, and  Virgos are always  critical and all Cancers think about is having babies. Pop astrology and the true art of astrology are frighteningly far apart.

Whatever the reason for questioning one's astrological 'label', you are the final word on you.

Incidentally, a very interesting book was written a few years back called Under One Sky, in which several different astrologers employing different astrological interpretation techniques analyzed the same chart. Quite interesting!

Eddie Izzard

I just enjoyed watching Believe: the Eddie Izzard Story, and of course, less than half-way through I got curious about his chart. He's got a massive stellium in Aquarius with a Virgo Rising and Pluto right on the Ascendant.

Eddie-Izzard-chart The thing about Eddie that became apparent early on in the docu was not only how relentlessly he worked at his craft (6th house) but also how long it took him to receive any real praise for his work. He knew he wanted to be an actor and performer from age 16 and pressed on, constantly working and refining (Virgo Rising). Clearly it paid off but it was a long time in coming. That Mars/Saturn conjunction in the 5th house (performance) no doubt correlates with that stamina and commitment as well–believing in one's art and oneself.

Eddie Izzard is a transvestite and as that tends to not be the norm in social behavior, one might attribute that as the strongest trait of the 'rebel' Aquarius planets. But so much of Aquarius is being willing to believe in yourself even when no one else does. It's not just about confidence, but about knowing who you are, and Aquarius pursues that by stubbornly (a word many people, including Eddie, use to describe him) sticking to what they know to be true about themselves. They've got to, because so often they encounter situations when they are the only one that does believe in what they know about their true selves.

"It's what I call the madness. If you think you can perform and the whole world is saying that you can't perform then you're obviously mad. If you hold onto that madness and hold onto it and hold onto it and hold onto it for years and then later it comes good and you can actually perform, then it proves that you weren't mad. And you just have to surround that little bit of belief and hold onto it as long as you can."

His south node in Aquarius is conjunct the Sun, which rules his north node and, contrariwise, Uranus, which rules his south node, is in the same sign and house as his north node. With this unofficial 'mutual reception', there seems to be a theme of believing in yourself carried over from the past to the present and future, but moving from the Aquarian way of doing so, which can sometimes fall into the habit of expecting people to think you're a freak and you don't belong and using that as a reason to be on the fringe or not participate in society or show your stuff (except as a way to shock or rebel), to a Leonine way of doing so, which is very celebratory and inclusive, even if it doesn't put one on center stage (or even if it does as in this case!)

His biopic is called "Believe" because of something a friend said to him. During one of his street performances at Covent Garden, someone in the audience had tied him up quite tightly so he could do his escape artist bit, and he couldn't get out; he had to dismiss the audience and have someone else untie him. His friend said: "if you think you can't get out, you will not be able to get out. You have to believe you'll get out; it's psychological."

'You've got to believe you can be a stand up before you can be a stand up, you've got to believe you can be an actor before you can be an actor, you've got to believe you can be an astronaut before you can be an astronaut. You've got to believe; you've got to imagine yourself in that situation,' Eddie says.

Seems like a quintessential statement for a combination of things in his chart: the imagination and faith of a Pisces Moon, and the stubborn dedication of the 6th house planets and Mars/Saturn in Aquarius, surely.

What about his Virgo Ascendant? It certainly echoed the non-stop dedication to work, and it was clear that he was always working to perfecting his act, and he's also not lacking in humility when self-assessing. At one point in the film he's talking about developing his technique for shifting from street/acting performance to stand-up:

"So in the end I decided to just work on one show until it was good and then people would come, as opposed to write shoddy, quick stuff and then shove it in people's faces and say 'look, it's brilliant'. Cuz it wasn't."

With Pluto on the Ascendant in Virgo the dedication can turn into obsession, especially if there's a feeling of not being good enough (and let's face it, there always is when Virgo is present–that's the fuel it burns!). One might chalk his dedication and relentlessness up to the 6th house and Mars conjunct Saturn once again,but other people in his life realize and remark how he always seems to be running from or toward something or both with his relentless schedule (9 in the morning until 3 or 4 am every night, they say!). All of these factors might exhibit these behaviors, but where we find Pluto, we tend to find defense mechanisms and escapist techniques to outrun our fear and our deepest pain. Eddie's mother died when he was young and toward the end of the film when thinking of her, he realizes in an emotional moment: "everything I do in life is trying to get her back … I think if I do enough things that maybe she'll come back … yeah, I think that's what I'm doing."

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