Friday, August 29, 2008

Milky Way's Core Black Hole Sent Out Massive Flares 300 years ago

Our galaxy’s central black hole let loose a powerful flare three centuries ago.
The finding helped resolve a long-standing mystery: why is the Milky Way’s black hole so quiescent? The black hole, known as Sagittarius A-star (A*), is a certified monster, containing about 4 million times the mass of our Sun. Yet the energy radiated from its surroundings is thousands of millions of times weaker than the radiation emitted from central black holes in other galaxies.
"We have wondered why the Milky Way’s black hole appears to be a slumbering giant," says team leader Tatsuya Inui of Kyoto University in Japan. "But now we realize that the black hole was far more active in the past. Perhaps it’s just resting after a major outburst."

Your Milky Way Horoscope Aug. 31-Sept. 6 2008

Milky Way Maid presents the R&R issue

Happy Holiday weekend to everyone! The long days of summer wind down to short, brisk autumn days. Let this issue be The Three-Day Weekend issue, covering what each sign likes to do on its long weekends/short vacations. I will still cover where the Moon is all week, and the major aspect or aspects of the week, but the focus will be on recreation and relaxation -- R&R.
The Sun makes a conjunction with big bad old Saturn late afternoon on Wed. in Virgo. This may not be all bad if you always wanted to organize your closet, junk drawer, and recipe file, and clear out the email inbox. It is also good for planning and organizing; get a bunch of Virgos together to analyze an issue and work out a solution. Just resist organizing someone else’s life -- no one has the right to do that to another adult. If this conjunction falls in your tenth house, this aspect can bring an award, honor, or other recognition. Congrats!
Readers can follow not only their Sun sign horoscope but also the sign of their Ascendant for further clues to how your week will develop.

ARIES - March 20-April 19 - The Moon-Venus-Mercury-Mars conjunction in Libra is in your solar seventh house of partners and the public. This conjunction may thrust you (or your spouse) in the public eye, which is not really your favorite place to be BUT if it helps get something done about an issue that concerns you, then by all means bring it on. Sun-Saturn in the solar sixth house of health forces you to accept the diagnosis and Rx of your physician. Hope it does not bring a broken bone or anything serious like that -- probably you are just forced to accept some physical limitations; you cannot fly after all, Superman.
Your ideal R&R is active not passive. Often your energies are poured into your home, but you may just take day trips to area parks and attractions that involve walking around NOT just sitting passively in a chair watching a show. Strolling arboretum paths, touring zoos and displays, playing with the kids on the beach and in the lake, all are acceptable low-level relaxation for you. More intense activities that are high on your list include: triathlon, marathon, cross-country bicycling, hiking in a national park or forest, white-water rafting, skiing, or any competition event.

TAURUS - April 20-May 20 - No planets transit your sign this week but that’s OK. The incredible Libra conjunction of Moon-Venus-Mercury-Mars falls in your solar sixth house of work and health. I predict a terrific workday and then an enjoyable night of yoga class or perhaps a wellness lecture. The Virgo Sun-Saturn conjunction falls in your solar fifth house of children and creativity. This puts an accent on classic works -- you go to revivals of plays, you rent or borrow Criterion Collection films, you appreciate anything with the stamp of approval of Time.
Your ideal R&R weekend involves cooking lots of food for your clan and holding an open house. Music is an essential to your life, weekend or not. But no gathering is really complete without at least some mood music, some choice jazz or classical probably, and hopefully some taped or live entertainment. You are very likely capable of playing or singing for pay, yourself, but you hate to feel that you have to “work” at your party. You would rather relax on the couch and swap movie and book reviews.

GEMINI - May 21-June 20 - The Moon-Venus-Mercury-Mars conjunction in Libra is in your solar fifth house of creativity, children and fun. Sounds like a terrific day Monday to indulge your creative urges; perhaps you are babysitting for younger family members so rather than plunk them in front of the TV, pull out some crayons, or issue them disposable cameras and turn them loose. Visit a craft supply store and then get creative as soon as you arrive home. Whip your journal entries into shape for an online blog.
Your ideal R&R weekend is doing something different each day, preferably in a different city each day -- with a different friend each day. Gemini is one of the more peripatetic signs so you try mightily to avoid gathering moss. Talking is a must, writing or journaling/blogging is your lifeblood. Getting your blog mentioned in a national web site would be a real high for you - and will get you emailing and texting all your friends about it.

CANCER - June 21-July 22 - The Moon-Venus-Mercury-Mars conjunction in Libra is in your solar fourth house of home and family on Monday. You may have a very full house this holiday but you do not mind manning the barbecue for a large tribe. And it is so much easier to get a team together for beach volleyball or flour-sack races. You will truly enjoy yourself that day and might be moved to invite a relative to move into your spare room or the apartment you manage. (Just set the ground rules out in the open from the start.) Alternatively you might spend your holiday weekend working on the house -- painting rooms or the garage, putting in your own home-improvement project, perhaps a brick grilling area with deck.
Your ideal R&R weekend is probably a family getaway to a destination that involves water in some way (water park, lake, pool, mountain stream). The accent is on the word FAMILY; you would be totally miserable on a solo vacation. It isn’t summer without cramming the car full of coolers, beach chairs, kids and wet swimsuits. Even a little picnic on a drive to the country is fun for you. I knew a Cancer lady who found different spots to have a picnic with her husband all over her locality -- parks and rest stops and little quiet spots in odd out-of-the-way places.

LEO - July 23-Aug. 22 - The great Libra conjunction of Moon-Venus-Mercury-Mars on Monday falls in your solar third house of communications, relatives and neighborhood. Your desk and email will overflow with messages, many from female relatives and friends. It is a great day to make an announcement live or online and to promote your self and business. Hand out your business cards or do an interview. That Sun-Saturn conjunction in Virgo falls in your second house of money, tho -- time to get your accounting practices in order before something BAD happens.
Your ideal R&R would be something like putting on your own theatrical production or carnival -- something where you are the showman, ringmaster, raconteur, barker, and publicity man. One kid raised money for a medical charity with a backyard carnival in which he was “dolphin-boy” -- an assistant kept throwing water over him because he was outside his natural element. You love kids too, and like your home to be a place where neighborhood kids can feel safe and welcome.

VIRGO - Aug. 23-Sept. 22 - The Sun makes a conjunction with big bad old Saturn late afternoon on Wed. in Virgo. This may not be all bad if you always wanted to organize your closet, junk drawer, and recipe file, and clear out the email inbox. It is also good for planning and organizing; get a bunch of Virgos together to analyze an issue and work out a solution. Just resist organizing someone else’s life -- no one has the right to do that to another adult. The great Libra conjunction of Moon-Venus-Mercury-Mars falls in your solar second house of money/resources. This can activate unused talents, or tools or supplies that have been gathering dust come out of the closet and find usefulness again. More money can of course come into your pockets from all sources.
Your ideal R&R is a nice orderly trip with a tour group with a knowledgeable guide to take you to all the must-see sites. Even better is if YOU are the knowledgeable guide in question, because you even get paid to share all you know. A close second is something that involves teaching or classes or some way of imposing order on our seemingly chaotic universe. Example: organizing and labeling your collection of butterflies, stamps or postcards.

LIBRA - Sept. 23-Oct. 22 - The Moon is in Libra from Mon. morn thru early afternoon on Wed. The Moon runs headlong into Venus, Mercury and Mars on Monday -- you are moved by something so beautiful, you have to tell people about it and get a petition together to protect it from the bulldozer. Tuesday is a bit challenging -- you might have some health issue, maybe a recurring problem. Look into visiting your local alternative practitioner for wellness tips and relief.
Your ideal R&R weekend is just being in the presence of beauty. A whole weekend in a major museum would be the next thing to heaven to you. A close second is an art class, especially with a master in whatever medium you favor. Dance is another possible theme -- any form, ballet, modern, jazz, even folk dancing all excite you. Viewing or judging a dance scholarship competition -- a ballet festival -- dance-themed films -- getting together with friends who are similarly crazy for dance are all great R&R for you.

SCORPIO - Oct. 23-Nov. 21 - The Moon is in Scorpio from early afternoon on Wed. thru the wee hours on Sat. Thursday looks productive; you have good aspects that show you have the discipline and vision to really accomplish something, possibly as part of a team with another Scorpio, a Virgo and a Capricorn. The Sun-Saturn conjunction falls in your eleventh house of hopes/dreams and friends -- so you might meet a terrific older person who becomes a great friend, or you could receive some recognition for your contributions to a club or charitable organization.
Your ideal R&R weekend is one in which you get under the surface of something. Maybe you go scuba diving, maybe you do some library or field research till you get to the bottom of all the questions in your head, or maybe you really have a heart-to-heart talk with someone you wish was closer, emotionally.

SAGITTARIUS - Nov. 22-Dec. 21 - The Moon is in your sign from early Sat. the 6th thru Mon. afternoon. Sounds like a weekend of your dreams, Sag. The Libra mega-conjunction of Moon-Venus-Mercury-Mars falls in your eleventh house of groups so your energies will certainly be engaged by clubs and organizations. Women may be key to these activities; make a point of taking your spouse along to your club or tagging along to her club.
Your ideal R&R: You might travel for real by getting on a plane/train/auto, or in the mind by reading a book set in faraway climes. Sag also loves to go to amusement parks, so you might be found indulging in a weekend pass at a local or national site. You are never too serious anyway, and even big serious political issues are worthy of a quip or two.

CAPRICORN - Dec. 22-Jan. 19 - Tuesday might be a bit vexing due to a Moon square Jupiter in your sign; you might overdo something. -- but Thursday (with Jupiter in Capricorn trine Sun-Saturn in Virgo and sextile the Moon in Scorpio) is very productive, particularly if you team up with one or two Virgos and a Scorpio. The incredible Moon-Venus-Mercury-Mars conjunction in Libra falls in your career sector on Monday -- so you will have to wait till Tuesday to enjoy the great energy and female support for your initiatives.
Your ideal R&R is probably camping out. The more you rough it the more you like it. You feel that depriving yourself of certain amenities makes you appreciate them all the more when you get back to the comforts of your own home. That is very true, Cappy. Just take the bug spray along anyway, and some natural soap to bathe in the stream with.

AQUARIUS - Jan. 20-Feb. 17 - Your Sun trines the incredible Moon-Venus-Mercury-Mars conjunction in Libra, in your solar ninth house Monday -- lots of possibilities here. You might enjoy good sales of your publishing venture, be interviewed, or form your own publishing label. Religion, law and higher education are also possible themes for that day, because all of them are ninth-house fields. Libra is also linked to law and books, too. Wow.
Your ideal R&R probably involves getting a group of people together to deal amicably to resolve differences, your own little United Nations, if you will. The other choice is something technologically or scientifically oriented; a visit to NASA space center is Florida to visit the museum or witness a launch -- a geek fest online or live to discuss and swap shortcuts and tips -- a sci-fi convention or just reading the latest sci-fi book by your fave writer. You are quite comfortable reading science journals, or like Scotty in Star Trek, appreciate the chance to catch up with your technical journals.

PISCES - Feb. 18-March 19 - The Moon is opposite Uranus in your sign Sunday; even Saturday may be vexing and upsetting. But late Tues. evening looks terrific for creative pursuits, so don’t miss your art/craft class. You may choose to pick up your own brushes or scrap-booking, or just rearrange the living room furniture. Friday morn has a trine to the Moon, so I would expect a fair amount of electronic communications from family and friends, especially Mom or daughter.
Your ideal long weekend R&R involves doing absolutely NOTHING. Lying near or in a body of water sounds very good to you. Film festivals -- with lots of buttered popcorn -- are a close second choice for you. Perhaps a couple hours of dishing out tea and sympathy also appeal to you, but not a whole weekend; still, you might be able to shoehorn that into the weekend if you can just peel yourself off the chaise longue. Then you can dish some gossip about Friend A to Friend B for double pleasure. But you don’t call it gossiping, you feel this is your way of releasing the tension of worrying about Friend A by sharing it with Friend B.

How to Calculate the Part of Fortune

Let me assume that you do not have Solar Fire or any of the pricey astrology software. Because in that case you will have to do your own calculation of fun stuff like the Part of Fortune, the most common of the Arabian Parts brought into Western astrology in the middle ages.
Here is the bare-bones, stripped-down formula:
Moon plus Ascendant, minus Sun, Equals the Part of Fortune.
Not sure if this blogger will accept math symbols but let me try it out:
(Moon + Ascendant) - Sun = Part of Fortune.
How do we do that?

You will have three columns of numbers for each of those factors in the equation. Say you have a Moon in Gemini -- Gemini will equal three because it is the third sign. Follow along with that system for any of the signs; in other words, the number assigned to a sign is the same as its place in the order of signs in the standard list, which is also the same as the House it normally rules. Here goes:
Aries = 1; Taurus = 2; Gemini = 3; Cancer = 4; Leo = 5; Virgo = 6; Libra = 7; Scorpio = 8; Sagittarius = 9; Capricorn = 10; Aquarius = 11; Pisces = 12.
Then the second column will be the degree that the Moon, Ascendant and Sun occupy, and the third column is the number of minutes.
Adding and subtracting can be tricky -- remember that there are 30 degrees in a sign and 60 minutes in a degree. In other words, no number in the first column will be higher than 12, no number in the second column will be higher than 29, and no number in the third column will be higher than 59. Once you have that squared away in your brain, it is a piece of cake to calculate your Part of Fortune.
The Part of Fortune often points out what you really enjoy, what gives you pleasure; this is not necessarily the point that is “lucky”. It can also be useful in helping to find a lost item; see the excellent book by Marion March and Joan McEvers, “The Only Way to Learn About Horary and Electional Astrology.” Good luck and have fun with that!

How To Figure Out Progressions

Astrologers use progressed charts to help predict what will happen to someone or some thing (like the New York Stock Exchange or a company or a political party) in the coming year or even to understand what happened in a past year.
The usual rules are that a day equals a year. What does that mean? It means that if you compare the placement of the planets on a birth date with their placement ten DAYS later, that you can make some determination about what life was like for that person when he or she was ten YEARS old.
Similarly, 20 hours will equal a month. Thirty minutes will equal a week later. Four minutes will equal a day. So you could say after looking at a birth chart and noticing that an applying aspect will be exact 18 days later, that an influence will come to a head at age eighteen. Depending on which planets are involved, that aspect may be a boon or a bane.
Or maybe you are looking at a horary chart where someone has asked where is my lost cat? And you notice that two planets are a degree and a half from being exact -- you can tell her that the cat will show up about three weeks later. (Thirty minutes = a week, so a degree and a half (90 minutes in other words) will equal three weeks.)
Good luck with your progressions and horary charts and have fun out there!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Solar Flares Could be Caused by Dark Energy
A new study led by Konstantin Zioutas of the University of Patras in Greece points to the possibility that solar flares are caused by dark matter particles (if they exist).
Axions were first postulated in 1977 by the Peccei-Quinn theory in an attempt to resolve the strong-CP problem, ie, why matter is dominant over antimatter. The theory puts forth that axions be produced deep within a star, and interact with magnetic fields as they move outwards. These interactions should, theoretically, produce some of the solar flares that we witness.

NASA Predicts Future Behavior of the Sun, Solar Flares
Auroras are dancing along the horizon. Dark sunspots crackle overhead—each little 'pop' more powerful than a nuclear bomb. On TV, a weather forecaster warns astronauts, "a solar flare is sure to erupt," although he can't say exactly when. Moments later, the satellite signal begins to flicker.Where is this place? -- Welcome to planet Earth.Lika Guhathakurta, program manager of NASA's Living with a Star program.
"It's true. We live inside the atmosphere of the sun," says Lika Guhathakurta, program manager of NASA's Living with a Star (LWS) program.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Now Offering Horary Answers to Your Questions

Hello, Readers --
Starting this month, readers may write in with questions such as should I go into this career or that, or should I buy this car or wait, etc, etc. I will attempt to answer these horary-type questions for you. There is a charge - a dirt-cheap $20 a pop. I will give you a snapshot of what the situation looks like to me. Sometimes I will tell you to wait till a given time when there is a much better transiting aspect, although I realize sometimes you have to make a decision now and not three months from now.
Questions go to a new dedicated email address just for this service. Turnaround should be within 48 hours at most.
Just use the new contact form at right. Do NOT include any links because any questions with links will be assumed to be spam, and will be deleted.
Payment will be thru PayPal. Just give the Milky Way Maid email address I give you, make your payment (labeled as a ‘gift‘ or ‘donation‘), then I will provide your reply either on this blog (no identifying info will be used) or, if it is a very personal matter, I will email you with a response.
Thanks -- Milky Way Maid

Record of Sunspot Activity -- Daily, from 1849-2002

The full record of Sunspot activity from 1849-2002 is online at
It's a useful resource for all astrologers who chart the relationship between sunspots and drought or mass movements here on Earth. Enjoy!

New Object Discovered at Edge of the Solar System

A "minor planet" with the awesomely poetic name 2006 SQ372 is just over two billion miles from Earth, a bit closer than the planet Neptune has been discovered in the inner Oort Cloud. This lump of ice and rock is beginning the return leg of a 22,500-year journey that will take it to a distance of 150 billion miles, nearly 1,600 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun, according to a team of researchers from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-II).

The orbital paths of the major planets are nearly circular, but the orbit of 2006 SQ372 is an ellipse that is four times longer than it is wide, said University of Washington astronomer Andrew Becker, who led the discovery team.’

Cher -- Horoscope “Snapshot”

Cher -- born May 20, 1946 at 7:25 am Pacific Std. Time in El Centro, California
Source: Quinn quotes mother

Ascendant is 8 degrees 36 minutes of Cancer, Sun at 29 degrees Taurus, the MC is at 22 degrees 46 minutes of Pisces. The rest of the planets are as follows: Saturn at 21 degrees Cancer, Pluto at 9 degrees Leo, Mars at 13 degrees Leo, Neptune at 6 degrees Libra, Jupiter at 18 degrees Libra, Moon at 18 degrees Capricorn, Mercury at 16 degrees Taurus, Uranus at 16 degrees Gemini, North Node at 22 degrees Gemini, and Venus at 25 degrees Gemini.

A Taurus Sun with Moon in Capricorn and Cancer rising would produce someone who really wants to achieve a level of material success. There was the story of when she and Sonny Bono drove past a large mansion when they were still struggling; she remarked how she loved that house and wanted to live there one day. Wonder of wonders, but eventually she and Sonny did buy and love into that same house.
Her chart is interesting because it lets us follow lunations as they contact house cusps. In 1962, for example, the June lunation contacted her 12th house cusp, and in July it contacted her ascendant in Cancer. The July 31 an eclipse at 7 degrees Leo was close to her second house cusp with Pluto; and two weeks earlier the lunar eclipse at 24 degrees Capricorn was in her seventh house.

We could interpret the twelfth house as subconscious needs -- so the lunation there would activate them and bring them closer to the surface. She took action when the lunation occurred on her ascendant. This was the time period when she moved out of her mother’s house and in with some friends. In August of that year, a New Moon at 6 degrees Virgo was in her third house -- bringing a possible change in environment. A lunation in September at almost 6 degrees Libra conjuncted Neptune in her fourth house. Finally the October New Moon at 4 degrees Scorpio conjuncted her fifth house cusp -- and according to her biographer, that is the month that she met Sonny Bono. The rest is history, as they say. Her marriage to Sonny could well have been fated; the Moon in the seventh is part of a yod. The Moon is inconjunct both Uranus and Mars.

Also you can see how lopsided her chart is -- seven planets on the eastern side would scream her need to be noticed. Funny how the only aspect the Sun makes is a trine to Neptune, but that would suggest her glamorous image and also the music and recording career.

Saturn rises, and rules the seventh house of partners. She depended on someone older to protect her and mentor her into the music business. Saturn in the first also describes her low self-esteem. She was truly an ugly duckling type: awkward, bad skin, shy, sullen. She is also dyslexic -- but once she reads a script she knows it verbatim.

It was difficult for her to reconcile her need for discipline with a great need for freedom and personal expression. This is expressed in the T-square between the Saturn in Cancer, Moon opposite in Capricorn, and Jupiter in Libra in the fourth house. T-squares, by the way, often burst through with pent up energy in the empty leg of the T. Here, that is the tenth house of career. She also has a problematic conjunction of Mars and Pluto in Leo in the second house, square Mercury in Taurus in the eleventh. All that Mars-Pluto energy is very combustible, especially in a Fire sign, so it is lucky she has the outlet of musical (Taurus) communications (Mercury).

You may not know that she had a sideline of rehabbing and redecorating houses for resale. The also taps into that energy of the T-square but focuses on the Jupiter in the fourth house leg. I am told that she did quite well in that business, altho a couple times disputes with workmen broke into the news when they alleged she did not pay overtime.

Now the brassy, trashy image is receding from the limelight as she has retired from touring, and has not made a movie in several years. She has come a long way, tho, from the ugly duckling in El Centro.

Your Milky Way Horoscope Aug. 24-30

By Milky Way Maid

Happy birthday to Virgo!
Your sign actually started Aug. 23, but this is the first full week that is all yours. You share your sign with a surprising number of famous dancers (as do Taurus, Libra, and Capricorn). Famous Virgo dancers include Gene Kelly, Agnes deMille, Marge Champion, Lola Falana, and Mitzi Gaynor. Virgo as an earth sign pushes off from the ground, and as a mutable sign, these natives usually master several different styles.
The biggest celestial action this week is that Mercury squares Pluto -- sounds like a good week for research and investigation -- even to the point of obsession -- and for printed news about any studies or scandals. Fields as varied as psychology, yoga, astrology and other occult topics are in the spotlight, or you may begin a study of one of these subjects. There is also the chance that someone may try to coerce (Pluto) you into thinking (Mercury) a certain way, or toe the party line. Tell them to back off and that you have some brain cells of your own. Oh dear, then Venus squares Pluto on Friday. This is often linked to romantic obsession of some kind -- like the fans who scale estate walls to mingle with a movie star’s party.
Readers can follow not only their Sun sign horoscope but also the sign of their Ascendant for further clues to how your week will develop

ARIES - March 20-April 19 - Mercury and Venus enter your solar seventh house of partners (personal or business). You could meet a future partner or just enjoy a pleasant autumn with the one who already shares your life. Mars is already in Libra so this period may ignite a deeper passion. NOTE: Let me send a word to the wise about friends who may not have your best interests at heart; someone you think is a really good pal could have far too much influence over you and work to your disadvantage. Could be an Aquarian. Stick to your spouse and family.

TAURUS - April 20-May 20 - The New Moon Saturday is in Virgo, your solar fifth house of children and creativity. This gives your creative juices a burst of energy; it’s in an earth sign, too, so most likely your creativity takes a practical turn -- designing a kitchen that is more efficient and spacious, maybe inventing or adapting a bit of software, etc. Mercury, Venus and Mars in your solar sixth house of health and work should put your resume near the top of the heap, if looking for work, or mean more physical activity than you normally do.

GEMINI - May 21-June 20 - The Moon is in Gemini from last Saturday till Monday evening. Sunday morning you resent having to do some chores, but whatever has to be done, has to be done. There’s still time for play and fun in the afternoon. Monday will be a bit of a challenge trying to break out of a daydreaming mode and stay in the here and now. Getting the car started in the morning, or facing traffic on the way home, has you screaming for escape. And personal relationships seem very trying that evening -- but hold off making any snap decisions today because tomorrow is totally different and everyone’s emotional state will probably be back to normal. Oh, sometimes I think you rather enjoy the ups and downs.

CANCER - June 21-July 22 - The Moon is in Cancer, its home, from Monday evening till Wed. evening. Monday night favors attendance at a neighborhood event or meeting; perhaps you will meet someone you know there. Tuesday morning’s work may have to be redone due to a change in plans. A happy surprise comes Wed. morning from one of your children. You finally reach a female relative Wed. night and enjoy a chat.

LEO - July 23-Aug. 22 - The Moon is in Leo from Wed. evening till the wee hours Sat. Friday during the day favors any medical/surgical procedures, or meetings related to insurance/wills/taxes. Thursday morn a male neighbor or relative may ask you for advice or help. Friday night you manage to persuade one of your kids to do what you would have done. (Altho I gotta say, Leo, sometimes you have to let your kids make their own mistakes so they learn Mom or Dad was right when they said such-and-so.)

VIRGO - Aug. 23-Sept. 22 - The Moon is in Virgo from the wee hours Sat. thru the weekend. Venus in Virgo inconjunct Neptune in Aquarius Sunday makes a very creative start to the week. Maybe you get inspired by a sunrise -- have a camera ready to capture whatever it is that gets your artistic juices flowing. The New Moon in your sign Saturday also gives you a boost; the Sun-Saturn conjunction widely trine Jupiter means your disciplined habits and orderly logic pay off over the next month.

LIBRA - Sept. 23-Oct. 22 - Mercury enters Libra on Thursday; whew, maybe we could hope that the level of public discourse will become more civilized? That would be a blessing. On the personal level, your mail might become more polite, with apologies, compliments, invitations and more, making interaction with everyone much more pleasant. Have a friend or two over for tea, make peace with a neighbor by offering some fresh plum jam, do a favor for someone “just because”.
Venus will also enter your sign by the weekend. That accents the nice things coming to you -- ie the compliments and invitations. And going to the beautician for a new look could rev up your style for fall, even tho you always look quite ravishing and GORGEOUS all the time anyway.

SCORPIO - Oct. 23-Nov. 21 - The New Moon occurs in your solar eleventh house of friends, hopes/wishes, groups. You start to reap the benefits of membership in organizations, especially if related to your career. Venus, Mercury and Mars all together in your very private twelfth house can bring kindness and support in your inner circle; god forbid that the twelfth house as “hospitals” is expressed here. Maybe you call on friends who are in the hospital or volunteer your time there?

SAGITTARIUS - Nov. 22-Dec. 21 - The New Moon in Virgo, your solar tenth house of career, gives a boost to your work life, especially with its trine to Jupiter in your second house of money. Lucky you. Venus, Mercury and Mars all in your solar eleventh house of friends and organizations makes your social life pretty busy this month. All in all this is a very good month shaping up in September.

CAPRICORN - Dec. 22-Jan. 19 - The New Moon in Virgo falls in your solar ninth house of college, law, publishing and religion. Saturn there also trines Jupiter in Capricorn, suggesting that your studies will pay off; perhaps your thesis is suitable for a book. Venus, Mercury and Mars all have moved into Libra, your solar house of career. Perhaps a few perks come your way, or customers refer you to friends who become new customers of yours. Good word of mouth is always a great benefit to businesses that actually produce good work.

AQUARIUS - Jan. 20-Feb. 17 - The New Moon falls in your solar eighth house of taxes, debt, wills, and generational issues. Saturn there trines Jupiter in your twelfth house; so I am going to say that this might not apply to you directly but to someone in your private circle -- like a birth in the family that happens to an adult child, or an in-law. It wouldn’t hurt to ask for partial forgiveness of a loan, either.

PISCES - Feb. 18-March 19 - The New Moon in Virgo is opposite your Sun (or Ascendant). And Saturn in Virgo trines Jupiter in your solar eleventh house of friends & groups, which in turn sextiles Uranus in your sign. This New Moon could take two weeks to take effect, tho, as the Sun moves into a tighter aspect with the other planets -- but when it does, expect some happy surprises regarding friends and your partner. Maybe they throw a surprise party for you, maybe you run for an officer position with a club, etc.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

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Friday, August 15, 2008

August Astronomy Notes From Around the Local Galaxy

Mars Could Be Between Ice Ages
After examining stunning high-resolution images taken last year by the Reconnaissance Orbiter, researchers have documented for the first time that ice packs at least 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) thick and perhaps 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles) thick existed along Mars' mid-latitude belt as recently as 100 million years ago. In addition, the team believes other images tell them that glaciers flowed in localized areas in the last 10 to 100 million years - a blink of the eye in Mars's geological timeline.

This evidence of recent activity means the Martian climate may change again and could bolster speculation about whether the Red Planet can, or did, support life.

Water on Mars, An Ocean on Europa? The Story in Pictures
Europa is a strange place, with a frozen surface that almost certainly has an ocean beneath it. NASA scientists lean toward the idea of a salt-water ocean, pointing to the red deposits thrown up on the surface from beneath the crust of ice. Because of geologic activity, the heavy tides from the pull of nearby Jupiter, and other factors, Europa is a dynamic, changing moon.
The picture on the right with the red spots and lines is evidence that Europa's icy shell churns away beneath the surface like a lava lamp, with warmer ice moving up and breaking through in places, where it re-freezes.

Have I Mentioned the Coolest Animated ‘Planetarium’ Online?
For a little astronomy and astrology fun go to Shadow & Substance website. They have the coolest animations of solar and lunar eclipses plus the Perseid meteor showers and Comet Holmes. The website is Everything is free; they even have links where you can download the software for an animated image of the night sky from wherever you are located. PLUS another link for listings of sunrise and sunset in your locality.
For example here is the listing of current sunrise and sunset times for Washington DC for a week in August -- --
You can set the parameters for your locality and for a full month.
Lots of fun and you can use this for everything from planning fishing trips to photography shoots (if you want to shoot a sunset) to -- well, you will think of other ways to use it, I‘m sure.

'Earth Explorer' to Map Planet "Inside Out" From Space
The most accurate gravity map of Earth ever will soon be recorded - from space, of course. The Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Explorer (GOCE) will be launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) on the 10th of September, there to explore Earth inside and out like never before.
GOCE is equipped with a triple-accelerometer gradiometer, accurate to within one part in one hundred trillion of standard Earth gravity. Don't pretend you understand that -
GOCE homepage

The Milky Way Influences Earth's Biodiversity Cycles? Research Says Yes
Horoscope enthusiasts will be happy to hear that a grand cosmic force does indeed seem to be responsible for controlling the direction of all life on Earth. However, this grand cosmic cycle has more to do with extinction than finding a tall, handsome stranger.
Research has revealed that the rise and fall of species on Earth seems to be driven by the undulating motions of our solar system as it travels through the Milky Way. Some scientists believe that this cosmic force may offer the answer to some of the biggest questions in our Earth’s biological history—
Our own star moves toward and away from the Milky Way's center, and also up and down through the galactic plane. One complete up-and-down cycle takes 64 million years- suspiciously close to the Earth's biodiversity cycle.

Planets in Late Degrees -- What Do They Mean?

Sometimes I refer to planets that are at the very end of a sign as having an extra oomph. It certainly seems like people who have their Sun in the last couple degrees of a sign are all packed and ready to go in this lifetime -- meaning that they have an unusual ability that could not have been developed only in this lifetime. Maybe they have spent several lifetimes, in fact, perfecting how to play a violin or mastering the laws of science.

The fact is that the royal fixed star Regulus is believed to be at 29 degrees of Leo and whose prominence in a birth chart promised a life lived among the socially prominent. This only adds another layer of energy to the late degree phenomenon.
So let me lay out some information on what you can expect from seeing a planet in the late degrees of a sign. A strict interpretation of ‘late degrees” means the last degree only. But practically speaking, the last three or four degrees are almost equally potent. If you see a Sun, Midheaven, Part of Fortune, or chart ruler in those degrees, then the career should have a measure of fame. But any planet in a late degree is going to throw more weight than you might otherwise expect from the placement or aspects.

ARIES -- People with a Sun or other planet in late degrees of Aries are often explorers and pioneers of some kind. Maybe they are inventors, or they push their entire profession in a new direction. Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon, had his North Node at 27 degrees of Aries. Shaquille O’Neal has Venus at 29 degrees of Aries; Venus is expressed in his fondness for personally handing out toys at Christmas and Aries is expressed in his graduation from a police academy and being sworn in as an officer in Los Angeles and Miami; Aries rules police.

TAURUS -- People with a Sun or other planet in late degrees of Taurus are sadly often the victims of financial ups and downs. Maybe they even go through a bankruptcy. A friend with Venus in late Taurus has not been able to save much money due to periods of unemployment in between periods of working very hard and at long hours. Galileo had Mars at 28 Taurus sextile Jupiter and Saturn in late Cancer. His enormous scientific contributions netted him a moderate income from publishing his books, yet he died poor, in ailing health, and under house arrest, too.

GEMINI -- People with a Sun or other planet in late degrees of Gemini are often famous writers or dancers. Julia Child had Pluto at 29 Gemini and her first French cookbook revolutionized American cookery. Billy Joel with Uranus at 28 degrees Gemini, is a prolific writer/performer of rock music (Uranus) tunes. Jay Leno has his Part of Fortune at 28 degrees of Gemini; Gemini excels at comedy because they have great timing.

CANCER -- People with a Sun or other planet in late degrees of Cancer have often inherited property, or they gain wealth through property development or the hotel business. Donald Trump has Venus and Saturn in late Cancer. JFK had Saturn at 27 degrees Cancer, representing his inheritance of the Kennedy name above all else, as well as a “family business”, national politics. He also had his Part of Fortune at 29 Capricorn.

LEO -- People with a Sun or other planet in late degrees of Leo are often famous because they were born into the aristocracy (or infamous for scandals), or involved in entertainment. They rise to positions of command. Winston Churchill had his natal Moon at 29 degrees of Leo; the Moon probably signified the lasting influence of his beloved nanny, Elizabeth Anne Everest. Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf had natal Sun at 28 degrees Leo. One woman tarnished by scandal was the famous Amy Fisher, the Long Island Lolita; she had her Sun at 29 degrees Leo. Saturn’s transit thru the last degrees of Leo last spring and summer triggered a rash of scandals involving sports and entertainment figures.

VIRGO -- People with a Sun or other planet in late degrees of Virgo often gain fame for work in design and especially dress design. Virgo rules textiles even tho Leo rules high fashion. Christa McAuliffe had Mercury at 29 degrees of Virgo, flanked by Saturn at 28 of Leo and Mars at 29 of Libra. Virgo is also the sign of the schoolmarm; she was a beloved teacher who planned to teach her class while in space. Roy Horn, of Siegfried and Roy fame, has Mercury at 27 degrees of Virgo. He supports the College of Magic in South Africa with a grant.

LIBRA -- People with a Sun or other planet in late degrees of Libra gain fame as dancers, judges, or other positions in the law field. Or for their marriages. Princess Grace Kelly had natal Venus at 28 degrees of Libra on her ascendant; while her early fame was for her great beauty and her film career, her main claim to fame is her marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco. Brigitte Bardot was another famed beauty, with Jupiter at 27 degrees Libra; she was possibly the most photographed woman in the world at that time. Famous Libra dancers include Ben Vereen, Fayard Nicholas, Arthur Duncan, and Juliet Prowse.

SCORPIO -- People with a Sun or other planet in late degrees of Scorpio are known for their passions or dedication to goals. Or a life identified with just one thing. Gangster “Lucky” Luciano had Uranus at 29 degrees Scorpio sextile the North Node at 28 degrees Capricorn. He had total control (Scorpio) of New York brothels (working the prostitutes 60 hours a week) and made the drug trade an international business by establishing the “French connection”. Capricorn ties in because his legacy of narcotic racketeering outlived him. Author Gustave Flaubert had Mercury at 29 degrees Scorpio, expressed in his masterpiece novel “Madame Bovary”, considered a very realistic depiction of adultery. That it was at first condemned is seen in Mercury’s trine to Pluto at 27 Pisces. Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung had his Midheaven at 29 Scorpio; plumbing the depths of the human mind was his life’s work. Scorpio also rules the occult; famous witch Sybil Leek had her Part of Fortune at 27 degrees Scorpio.

SAGITTARIUS -- People with a Sun or other planet in late degrees of Sagittarius are often religious or spiritual leaders, athletes, actors, or lucky gamblers. Pluto has been grinding away at the latter degrees of Sag and that is one reason we have had scandals affecting the Catholic Church and many actors and athletes. Al Gore’s Jupiter at 28 degrees of Sag probably accounts for the spectacular lost election of 2000; Sag and Jupiter both rule national politics.

CAPRICORN -- People with a Sun or other planet in late degrees of Capricorn often build a business, one that may outlive them or be passed on to family members. See Lucky Luciano under Scorpio, and JFK under Cancer. Princess Diana had her North Node at 28 Leo, which would account for all the scandals she brought to the House of Windsor -- but she also had Saturn at 27 degrees Capricorn. This leads me to believe that her son William might be her greatest legacy; only time will tell if he proves to be a good king.

AQUARIUS -- People with a Sun or other planet in late degrees of Aquarius are mental detectives. Marie Curie had Jupiter at 28 degrees of Aquarius and her research into the properties of radium introduced us all to the atomic age. She also had Mars at 29 degrees of Scorpio, another sign of great researchers, detectives and investigators.

PISCES -- People with a Sun or other planet in late degrees of Pisces are nicknamed the “weeping tree”. Their favorite phrase might even be “a river of tears” or the weeping willow. Their lives seem like one disaster after another although somehow they survive them all. Some say that 22 degrees Pisces is also known for this. Jack Kerouac had his Venus at 29 degrees Pisces; tho his Mercury was well aspected and brought him fame for his writing, he became disillusioned with fame and withdrew from life “On the Road”. Queen Victoria had Pluto and Saturn at 27 and 28 degrees of Pisces; the one thing she is best known for is her lifelong garb of black “widow’s weeds” after the early death of her beloved husband. That the British Empire also started to unravel is almost a footnote. On a more upbeat note, Clara Barton had Pluto at 27 degrees Pisces and worked hard to clean up the image of nurses as well as distribute medical supplies to the front lines of the Civil War.

Other notables: Tiger Woods has Venus at 28 degrees Scorpio and Mercury at 26 degrees Capricorn; his Tiger Woods Foundation gifts (Venus) money for golf clinics, grants and scholarships. I have no doubt that this foundation will be a legacy that lives on after him (Capricorn).

Your Milky Way Horoscope Aug. 17-23

By Milky Way Maid

Mercury is conjunct Venus on Thursday morning. This should be good news for the stock market because sellers and buyers agree on a price that reflects a decent value (a Venus word). Volume should be up. Venus buyers generally buy to hold, or at least till they have made a profit. The conjunction is in the sign of Virgo, who is usually a very discriminating shopper, so he or she probably has set a limit on how much he’ll pay for a stock. Actually Virgo prefers to work for their money so this conjunction may say something about labor agreements or the unemployment index. See also the Earth sign Grand Trine under Taurus horoscope.
Readers can follow not only their Sun sign horoscope but also the sign of their Ascendant for further clues to how your week will develop.

ARIES - March 20-April 19 - The Moon enters Aries Tuesday morn and stays till midday Thursday. Mars enters your opposite sign Libra Tues. morn, which may frustrate you -- check messages from your partners (business or personal) and make sure you are on the same page with everything. Relationships that you have not been working on/with can get rocky because suddenly you are not in sync. You can also benefit from working out frustrations with physical activity. Mars does not leave Libra till Oct. 5 so just make up your mind to work it out.

TAURUS - April 20-May 20 - The Moon is in Taurus from midday Thursday thru late afternoon Saturday. The Moon is inconjunct Mars Thurs. afternoon; looks like a great afternoon or evening for doing something creative. This covers anything from rearranging the furniture to arts and crafts projects, or even just cleaning out a closet so you have space to hang the clothes you actually wear. Those with their Sun at 10-13 degrees of Taurus will get a big boost from the Grand Trine Friday morning from Moon, to Jupiter in Capricorn, to Saturn in Virgo. This earth trine puts the accent on things that you PRODUCE: crafts, tangible products, finished goods, or entertainment like movies. So list your products on the market at a decent price and see what happens; you go, girl.

GEMINI - May 21-June 20 - The Moon is in Gemini from Saturday afternoon till Monday evening the 25th. The weekend looks pretty busy with the Moon trining Mars. Sports, games and competition are in the air and I do not think you will merely tune in to the Olympics on TV. Just be aware of safety in laying out improvised games; see that you are away from sharp objects/edges and so forth because I think you could twist an ankle or bruise yourself if not careful. Mars enters your solar fifth house till Oct. 5, bringing more energy in recreational pursuits. You might join a local league or other competitive groups; anything from paintball to chess to sandlot softball fits the bill here.

CANCER - June 21-July 22 - The Mercury and Venus conjunction occurs in your solar third house of communication, neighbors and relatives. You could do quite well with a neighborhood rummage sale, or finally find a buyer for an item among people you already know. I do not think that you will have to list it in craigslist or eBay after all. I do not see the Grand Trine affecting you directly, but perhaps your spouse, friend and another relative or neighbor are all somehow involved in starting a local business. Their good luck can rub off on you, you know, so offer your bookkeeping or other services.

LEO - July 23-Aug. 22 - The summer is slipping away and you notice all too well that the days are getting shorter. Leos love summer and sun and finding any excuse to soak up some rays. The Sun enters Virgo and fall officially begins on Friday, but you are not ready to say goodbye to summer yet. Not no how! You still have some charcoal left for a dozen cookouts, and the pool is oh so inviting. Let me bet that you will hold your own Olympic-size party and shoehorn it into your back yard. Offer ribbons and silly prizes for potato sack races and hula-hooping and bean-bag tossing.

VIRGO - Aug. 23-Sept. 22 - Read the introduction and notes about the Earth sign Grand Trine in the Taurus horoscope. Venus is conjunct Mercury, your ruling planet, on Thursday morning. This favors finding a buyer for your goods/labor/services or for incorporating a production company. Jupiter in your solar fifth house of recreation & creativity boosts your results in sporting or speculative areas as well as activities with children and the arts. The Moon is exalted in Taurus and favors public speaking and because it is in your solar ninth house, higher education, law and publishing. My guess: you find a teaching position or publisher for something related to the above subjects.

LIBRA - Sept. 23-Oct. 22 - Mars enters your sign till about Oct. 5 so you really need to control your temper and count ten before speaking. Mars can put you on the warpath even tho normally you are such a dovelike peacemaker. It would be much better for your partner if you held regular business meetings to iron out problems before they push you to the “ultimatum” phase. Any group associations that you belong to could also get in the news, because the Sun-Pluto trine affects your solar eleventh house.

SCORPIO - Oct. 23-Nov. 21 - Encourage your partner to initiate formation of a production or manufacturing company to take advantage of the Moon-Jupiter-Saturn trine on Friday morning. Recreation lately has tended to be a comedy or foreign film; check out borrowing classic titles for free from your library and some movies are available for free download on the internet now, too. Jupiter in your solar third house this year has probably sent you back to school, perhaps to a community college, for training in another career. If considering what you will do after graduation, consider pairing up with another student as partners. The Sun in your solar house of career is heading out of Leo soon and toward a conjunction with Saturn, so you might need to line up a job now, or you could wait till the Sun unites with Mercury and Venus a week after that.

SAGITTARIUS - Nov. 22-Dec. 21 - Pluto in your sign is trining Sun in Leo this week, and this could be the last chance to finalize some legal matter. Maybe you will be all too eager to wave goodbye to Pluto once it moves into Capricorn for good around Thanksgiving this year. I know I would be. The Mercury Venus conjunction in your solar tenth house of career suggests that you will make some sales for your services or company, or gain a new job. You will like the terms offered, and will feel that while the price may not be the highest, it is a fair one.

CAPRICORN - Dec. 22-Jan. 19 - Read the introduction and notes about the Earth sign Grand Trine in the Taurus horoscope; the Grand trine occurs Friday morning. Saturn in your solar ninth house suggests honors, scientific subjects if going back to college, old companies in the fields of law and publishing. Any of them might prove to be fruitful areas for professional or avocational projects. The Moon in Taurus in your solar fifth house suggests luck with children and the arts. Mars entering Libra could provoke restlessness and increased risk-taking; always have a Plan B.

AQUARIUS - Jan. 20-Feb. 17 - Mars enters your solar ninth house of higher education, law and publishing. Conflict can spill into legal action or very public areas like the internet. Debt may be the issue, whether debts that you are legally contracted to pay or debt related to college expenses; in any case find a prompt way to resolve this so everyone can move forward. If you belong to large and powerful associations, those groups will be in the public eye quite soon; some of their members may gain sudden notoriety for scandals. We’ve had this long and recurring trend when Saturn was at end of Leo, now it returns due to Pluto in last degrees of Sag trining Sun at end of Leo.

PISCES - Feb. 18-March 19 - The Moon enters Pisces early Sunday and stays till Tuesday morning. Sunday the Moon opposes Saturn; you can be in quite a blue mood and send away anyone who wants to cheer you up. Saturn is also trining Jupiter, tho, so you could enjoy helping others or just sort out your thoughts. Monday try to pamper yourself with a bubble bath and herb tea. The Moon conjuncts Uranus in your sign later Monday; you could get quite upset and it could be over misplacing something. Take someone with you on errands to help keep an eye on your things.

MY RSS is now available through the services of the wonderful folks at FEEDBURNER. Hope you sign up soon and enjoy getting my weekly horoscopes and other articles direct to your e-mailbox.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Your Milky Way Horoscope Aug. 10-16

By Milky Way Maid

A Lunar Eclipse occurs at 2:23 pm EDT Sat. the 16th at 24 degrees Aquarius. It is closely conjunct Neptune and the North Node. This is probably a good time for a film to open, so make a note of which films do so. Aquarius is a techie sign, so there may be some announcement or rollout of more innovations. This is especially true if the said gadget or software breaks down barriers between people in far-flung area of the world. With Neptune there, I would still take any claims made for the gadget with a large grain of salt, as the company may be sugar-coating any bad news. Another possibility is a breakthrough in understanding diabetes (Neptune), with hopes for better control and even a reversal of the condition. Readers with a natal planet within five degrees of 24 degrees Aquarius should clearly feel a boost from this eclipse.
Readers can follow not only their Sun sign horoscope but also the sign of their Ascendant for further clues to how your week will develop

ARIES - March 20-April 19 - Venus enters your sixth house of work and health; it joins Mercury and Saturn there. This could bring some good news if you have been working on bringing a health condition under control. It could also bring thanks, rewards, or even (gasp) payment for work you have done. The Lunar Eclipse in your eleventh house of groups, friends and charities could propel you into joining and participating in non-profit organizations devoted to bettering humanity’s lot.

TAURUS - April 20-May 20 - You may throw a birthday party for an elderly relative or friend. Venus and Mercury enter your solar fifth house of fun, sports, parties, children and creativity. Another possibility is enrolling or teaching a class related to any of these activities. Learning another art or craft is always fun for you, and if you have the chance to learn from a real master (Saturn) then go for it. The Lunar Eclipse this weekend is in your tenth house of career. Some boost to your career should be felt over the next few months; perhaps you are studying for a new career already since Jupiter is in your solar ninth house of higher education.

GEMINI - May 21-June 20 - The Lunar Eclipse this weekend falls in your ninth house of higher education; perhaps you receive an acceptance letter from the school of your choice, or send out applications for scholarship money. Perhaps you take your first long trip or get a passport. In other news, and this may strike you as funny because you are not normally a person who goes for old stuff -- but you might redecorate your room or home with lovely antiques. Actually, you might be astounded to learn how low the prices have dropped on 18th and 19th century furniture. You could fall in love that cozy Victorian chair for reading the latest popular novel.

CANCER - June 21-July 22 - The Lunar Eclipse accents your eighth house of estates, taxes, loans and insurance -- all that dreadfully boring stuff! There is the chance you could burn your mortgage or erase some other debt within the next several months. Check out a few online sources of independent insurance info like InsuranceConsumerAdvisor or HealthBeat blog. I have to warn you there is the outside chance that you will have to deal with estate matters for someone in your family, a parent, uncle, etc. Repeat, an outside chance. It is just as likely that you may welcome a new addition to the immediate or extended family, so I hope congrats are in order. Entrances and exits -- the opening and closing of the gates between levels of existence are the subject matter of the eighth house.

LEO - July 23-Aug. 22 - Leos were kissed by the Solar Eclipse a couple weeks ago, now the Lunar Eclipse accents their solar seventh house -- the public stage on which they strut. The Lunar Eclipse will also affect your business and personal partnerships. Perhaps you meet a soul mate or twin soul, someone who shares a great deal in common with you. Twin souls are not necessarily romantic partners; often they are more like “twins separated at birth” or a mentor type. Mercury enters your solar second house of money, too. It joins Saturn and Venus -- Mercury may bring news of a stipend or grant. A very Leo-type reason would be a grant for visiting nursing homes to bring entertainment and music -- music therapy or sing-alongs or barbershop quartets. Sounds like great fun.

VIRGO - Aug. 23-Sept. 22 - Mercury enters Virgo, one of the signs it rules, early Sunday morning. This kicks off a month of higher than normal message activity. Mercury is also conjunct both Venus and Saturn; I interpret this to mean you will receive not only good wishes and compliments, but awards and honors for your contributions to your career and society. Congrats, Virgo, there are few who deserve it more than you! The Lunar Eclipse is in your solar sixth house of work and health; you already are quite health-conscious, so perhaps you are forced to pay attention to a particular problem or break a bad habit.

LIBRA - Sept. 23-Oct. 22 - Your ruling planet Venus conjuncts Saturn in Virgo on Wednesday. You probably won’t be in a good mood at all and may be vexed by someone who has a degree of control over you. Try not to make the situation worse; chill out and think of some way that self-discipline may give YOU more control over your life. Later Venus trines Jupiter Sat. evening; indulge in visiting a garden show or conservatory where an expanse of flowers fills your spirit. Use caution if indulging in sweets instead of flowers, scented baths, or other healthy Venus “stuff”.

SCORPIO - Oct. 23-Nov. 21 - The Lunar Eclipse is in your solar fourth house of home and family. Neptune, the North Node plus the asteroid Chiron are there also. Something’s in the works affecting your home or the place you start and end your day, or your nuclear or extended family. You may renovate or redecorate, or just get rid of “stuff” that the universe decides you no longer need. Family members may fall away from your life; in some cases that is good news. You might also decide that long-time friends are your “real” family. Lots of activity in your eleventh house of friends and groups, charitable or otherwise -- invitations to join groups and associations may prove very fruitful in time.

SAGITTARIUS - Nov. 22-Dec. 21 - The Moon entered your sign Sat. the 9th, so your weekend was probably spent gallivanting all over town if not the world. The Moon stays till Tues. morn. Monday morn has a Moon trine Sun in Leo; you’ll shine in the meeting especially if giving the “chalk talk.” Be prepared for computer or other gadget trouble that afternoon. Said gadget might give up the ghost by early Tuesday so I hope you know a techie who can do repairs. Venus trines Jupiter in your solar second house of money on Sat.; try to resist buying multiples of that darling lamp or those indispensable shirts. Remember, this is how you dug yourself into a hole last time?

CAPRICORN - Dec. 22-Jan. 19 - The Moon is in Capricorn from Tues. morn till Thurs. afternoon. Tuesday the Moon trines Mercury, Venus then Saturn, click click click. You may ask a favor and get a quick OK, then you feel quite like celebrating Wed. morn. There may be a fly in the ointment, as they say, the same day so don’t go into a pout. Some adjustment may be made, that’s all.

AQUARIUS - Jan. 20-Feb. 17 - The Moon is in Aquarius from Thurs. afternoon till Sun. morn. Friday looks like a day of adjustments -- check your financial records for any bank errors, etc and get them cleaned up promptly. I suspect that you will sleep in on Sat. morn but will be quite active that afternoon. Perhaps trying out a new exercise routine or cleaning out the garage or closet. A Lunar Eclipse occurs at 2:23 pm EDT Sat. the 16th at 24 degrees Aquarius. It is closely conjunct Neptune and the North Node. This is probably a good time for a film to open, so make a note of which films do so. Aquarius is a techie sign, so there may be some announcement or rollout of more innovations. Maybe you check out a new electronic toy or software.

PISCES - Feb. 18-March 19 - Your spouse or business partner gets the spotlight with Mercury, Venus and Saturn all in Virgo now. Perhaps you stand behind your spouse as he or she receives an award, silently cheering. Your solar sixth and twelfth houses are affected by this Lunar Eclipse. Pay attention to opportunities to work or do business with hospitals or other health care providers. There is the chance that one of your children may be in the hospital, since the Moon rules your fifth house, Cancer -- more likely due to an addition to the family, really. God forbid you should wind up in the hospital as a patient yourself, but if so try to learn what changes you have to make to improve your health.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Your Milky Way Horoscope -- Aug. 3-9

By Milky Way Maid

Hope you enjoyed the fact that we had a Solar Eclipse late last week -- at 6:13 am Eastern Daylight Time Aug. 1, 2008, at 9 degrees Leo. I will do another post with something about eclipses in each sign and whether it contacts (conjuncts) a planet in your own chart. For now, it is enough to know that this eclipse is in Leo, and will probably affect both Pres. Bush (ascendant Leo) and Barack Obama (Sun-sign Leo). In addition, the United States’ North Node is at 7 degrees Leo -- so we will all feel some effect from this eclipse.

The Sabian symbol for the eclipse degree (from Dane Rudhyar) is: “Early morning dew sparkles as sunlight floods the field; the exalted feeling that rises w/in the soul of the individual who has successfully passed thru the long night which has tested his strength and his faith”. In general, many large companies have incorporation dates near the date of an eclipse. They are hit hard tho by negative transits over those “birth charts”. But in an election year, one should pay particular attention to the statements made by candidates within three to six weeks of an eclipse. The same goes for debates or speeches or other significant campaign events like endorsements.

Eclipses are neither good nor bad by themselves, but they tend to boost those who have been working long and hard toward a goal -- and tear down those who have been breaking rules and generally lining their own pockets at the expense of millions of others.

Readers can follow not only their Sun sign horoscope but also the sign of their Ascendant for further clues to how your week will develop

ARIES - March 20-April 19 - The Solar Eclipse is in your 4th House of home and family. You may start a family or buy/expand your home. Keep your ideal in mind when acting on any of these issues; choose a house not for its chi-chi zip code but for a quiet neighborhood or fishing stream or other features that mean something. Join groups that are based on humanitarian ideals and break down barriers between groups.

TAURUS - April 20-May 20 - The Solar Eclipse falls in your 10th House of Career. Possibly you have been working toward a second career. Those who are in school may be able to find a part-time job in their field while still studying. Those who started blogs or websites may finally get the whole pageview tracking thing together and start promoting their services. So this is a very significant eclipse, similar to the last Leo eclipse on July 30 in 2000. What were you doing then?

GEMINI - May 21-June 20 - The Solar Eclipse occurs in your solar third house of communications, relatives and the neighborhood. A Jupiter aspect suggests the eclipse may bring a boon to your blogging or journaling efforts, or even to publishing ventures. Also Mars in your 4th House of home is opposed by Uranus -- this sounds worrisome so please check safety matters, and maybe install a fire extinguisher. Better safe than sorry.

CANCER - June 21-July 22 - Oh joy, the Solar Eclipse is in your second house, so it sounds like you could really come into some money soon. Whether the sum is large or small, avoid frittering it away on lattes and other consumables. Put it into things that will appreciate; I know you are good at finding lovely things to collect but see a financial advisor who can point out good savings vehicles.

LEO - July 23-Aug. 22 - Things that you started in Feb. under another eclipse, may come to fruition with this eclipse. Try to be consistent in your promises to others because a wavering monarch does not send the right signals to significant others. Mars opposes Uranus in the 7th House of partners; you may get quite angry with your spouse. He or she is never around when you need him or her; or your dates keep getting broken because other stuff comes up. Leos of course want to come first, but ask yourself what is the motive behind all of this? Just goofing off, or building a better life for the whole family?

VIRGO - Aug. 23-Sept. 22 - The Moon is in Virgo from the afternoon of Aug. 2 thru Monday evening the 4th. Be careful of traffic in the Mon. morning rush because of the Moon-Mars-Uranus opposition; traffic can get quite snarled and accidents or dead engines may be the cause. Venus enters your sign midweek, so you may get compliments even if you don’t do anything special -- but take advantage of any beauty shop deals between now and the end of the month while Venus visits. Note that the Sun conjuncts Saturn in Virgo on Wed. -- this may mean you get better as you get older, so fight off any gray clouds hanging around you.

LIBRA - Sept. 23-Oct. 22 - The Moon is in Libra from Monday evening thru Thursday morn. Your ruling planet Venus trines Pluto on Monday night; things could get serious between you and a friend. Possibly nothing will come of it because Venus passes into Virgo Tues. night, but I’ll bet it will be a scorching evening and morn. Wednesday looks pretty challenging (busy busy) but the evening aspects suggest relaxing with music and a bubble bath.

SCORPIO - Oct. 23-Nov. 21 - The Moon is in Scorpio from Thursday morn thru early evening Saturday. Try to circulate within group meetings Thurs.; you might meet a fascinating older woman or couple. A Friday morn sextile to Jupiter sounds lucky; go in for a square in the office pool. Friday evening a Moon-Uranus trine suggests a night with a comedy film or show will tickle your funny bone. Your Saturday morning will be energetic; possibly gardening chores call you.

SAGITTARIUS - Nov. 22-Dec. 21 - The Solar Eclipse is in your solar ninth house of travel, law, higher education and religion. New projects could get off the ground that are related to any of the above. Perhaps you are applying to colleges, putting together a self-published book or e-book, or have some legal issue on the docket. Any or all of these may be related to matters that got off the ground in February. Also, Mars opposes Uranus in your home-vs.-career axis (4th House -10th House). Take special notice of safety issues and install a fire extinguisher, because this sounds rather worrisome to me.

CAPRICORN - Dec. 22-Jan. 19 - Your Sunday afternoon and early evening are very pleasant under a Moon-Jupiter trine; relationships with women go smoothly so thank your life partner for all she’s done with some quality time. The Sun inconjunct, and Moon sextile Jupiter in your sign on Wed. suggests an adjustment in the family and career; maybe concerns over your department’s budget will arise.

AQUARIUS - Jan. 20-Feb. 17 - Hmm, the Solar Eclipse occurs opposite your own Sun sign. This may signify that your spouse or business partner is more affected by this eclipse than you are, or that a partnership may be formalized. Do you hear any wedding bells? In other matters, Mars in your solar 8th House opposes Uranus in the 2nd House of money. Mars is debt and loans and interest rates. Take a close look at your credit card notices and read that small print. Are they raising the interest rates or penalties or fees? You have the right to refuse these changes but again, you have to read that small print.

PISCES - Feb. 18-March 19 - The Solar Eclipse falls in your solar sixth house of health, pets, and ordinary jobs (as opposed to Careers). The eclipse can trigger changes in your job, and these changes could affect your health if the company starts using different suppliers or other chemicals. Also take the time to schedule a thorough check-up with your doctor. And rescuing a dog or cat from a shelter is always a rewarding event.

Astrology Attack Kit and Your Defense Answers

In 1995 someone named Andrew Fraknoi wrote a column on the astronomy website AstroSociety. He called it the Astrology Defense Kit but it is really an astrology ATTACK kit. I may as well include it here altho I really don’t want to give this troll any further attention than he already has gotten. Then following that are some astrology defense arguments that you can use to protect yourself. Good luck, have fun.

Your Astrology Defense Kit by Andrew Fraknoi
It happens to all of us - astronomers, amateurs, and teachers. We tell someone about our interest in the heavens and quickly get drawn into a debate about astrology. For many of us it's hard to know how to respond politely to someone who takes this ancient superstition seriously.
The revelation that daily schedules in the Reagan White House were arranged and rearranged based on the predictions of a San Francisco astrologer focused new attention on astrology's widespread public acceptance. More than ever, we are likely to face questions about astrology, especially among young people. So here is a quick guide to some of the responses you can make to astrologers' claims.
The Tenets of Astrology
The basis of astrology is disarmingly simple: a person's character and destiny can be understood from the positions of the Sun, Moon, and planets at the moment of his or her birth. Interpreting the location of these bodies using a chart called the horoscope, astrologers claim to predict and explain the course of life and to help people, companies, and nations with decisions of great import.
Implausible as such claims may sound to anyone who knows what and how distant the Sun, Moon, and planets really are, a 1984 Gallup Poll revealed that 55 percent of American teenagers believe in astrology. And every day thousands of people around the world base crucial medical, professional, and personal decisions on advice received from astrologers and astrological publications.
The details of its precise origins are lost in antiquity, but astrology is at least thousands of years old and appears in different forms in many cultures. It arose at a time when humankind's view of the world was dominated by magic and superstition, when the need to grasp the patterns of nature was often of life-and-death importance.
Celestial objects seemed in those days to be either gods, important spirits, or, at the very least, symbols or representatives of divine personages who spent their time tinkering with humans' daily lives. People eagerly searched for heavenly signs of what the gods would do next.
Seen in this context, a system that connected the bright planets and "important" constellations with meaningful life questions was appealing and reassuring. (Astrologers believe that the important constellations are the ones the Sun passes through during the course of a year; they call these the constellations of the zodiac.) And even today, despite so much effort at science education, astrology's appeal for many people has not diminished. For them, thinking of Venus as a cloud-covered desert world as hot as an oven is far less attractive than seeing it as an aid in deciding whom to marry.
Ten Embarrassing Questions
A good way to begin thinking about the astrological perspective is to take a skeptical but good-humored look at the logical consequences of some of its claims. Here are my 10 favorite questions to ask supporters of astrology:
1. What is the likelihood that one-twelfth of the world's population is having the same kind of day?
Proponents of newspaper astrology columns (which appear in more than 1,200 dailies in the United States alone) claim you can learn something about your day by reading one of 12 paragraphs in the morning paper. Simple division shows that this means 400 million people around the world will all have the same kind of day, every single day. Given the need to fill so many bills at once, it is clear why astrological predictions are couched in the vaguest and most general language possible.
2. Why is the moment of birth, rather than conception, crucial for astrology?
Astrology seems scientific to some people because the horoscope is based on an exact datum: the subject's time of birth. When astrology was set up long ago, the moment of birth was considered the magic creation point of life. But today we understand birth as the culmination of nine months of steady development inside the womb. Indeed, scientists now believe that many aspects of a child's personality are set long before birth.
I suspect the reason astrologers still adhere to the moment of birth has little to do with astrological theory. Almost every client knows when he or she was born, but it is difficult (and perhaps embarrassing) to identify a person's moment of conception. To make their predictions seem as personal as possible, astrologers stick with the more easily determined date.
3. If the mother's womb can keep out astrological influences until birth, can we do the same with a cubicle of steak?
If such powerful forces emanate from the heavens, why are they inhibited before birth by a thin shield of muscle, flesh, and skin? And if they really do and a baby's potential horoscope is unsatisfactory, could we delay the action of the astrological influences by immediately surrounding the newborn with a thin cubicle of steak until the celestial signs are more auspicious?
4. If astrologers are as good as they claim, why aren't they richer?
Some astrologers answer that they cannot predict specific events, only broad trends. Others claim to have the power to foresee large events, but not small ones. But either way astrologers could amass billions by forecasting general stock-market behavior or commodity futures, and thus not have to charge their clients high fees. In October, 1987, how many astrologers actually foresaw Black Monday when the stock market took such a large tumble and warned their clients about it?
5. Are all horoscopes done before the discovery of the three outermost planets incorrect?
Some astrologers claim that the Sun sign (the location of the Sun in the zodiac at the moment of birth), which most newspaper horoscopes use exclusively, is an inadequate guide to the effects of the cosmos. These serious practitioners (generally those who have missed out on the lucrative business of syndicated columns) insist that the influence of all major bodies in the solar system must be taken into account - including the outmost planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, which were not discovered until 1781, 1846, and 1930, respectively.
If that's the case, what happens to the claim many astrologers make that their art has led to accurate predictions for many centuries? Weren't all horoscopes cast before 1930 wrong? And why didn't the inaccuracies in early horoscopes lead astrologers to deduce the presence of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto long before astronomers discovered them?
6. Shouldn't we condemn astrology as a form of bigotry?
In a civilized society we deplore all systems that judge individuals by sex, skin color, religion, national origin, or other accidents of birth. Yet astrologers boast that they can evaluate people based on another accident of birth - the positions of celestial objects. Isn't refusing to date a Leo or hire a Virgo as bad as refusing to date a Catholic or hire a black person?
7. Why do different schools of astrology disagree so strongly with each other?
Astrologers seem to disagree on the most fundamental issues of their craft: whether to account for the precession of the Earth's axis (see the box below), how many planets and other celestial objects should be included, and - most importantly - which personality traits go with which cosmic phenomena. Read ten different astrology columns, or have a reading done by ten different astrologers, and you will probably get ten different interpretations.
If astrology is a science, as its proponents claim, why are its practitioners not converging on a consensus theory after thousands of years of gathering data and refining its interpretation? Scientific ideas generally converge over time as they are tested against laboratory or other evidence. In contrast, systems based on superstition or personal belief tend to diverge as their practitioners carve out separate niches while jockeying for power, income, or prestige.
8. If the astrological influence is carried by a known force, why do the planets dominate?
If the effects of astrology can be attributed to gravity, tidal forces, or magnetism (each is invoked by a different astrological school), even a beginning physics student can make the calculations necessary to see what really affects a newborn baby. These are worked out for many different cases in Roger Culver and Philip Ianna's book Astrology: True or False (1988, Prometheus Books). For example, the obstetrician who delivers the child turns out to have about six times the gravitational pull of Mars and about two thousand billion times its tidal force. The doctor may have a lot less mass than the red planet, but he or she is a lot closer to the baby!
9. If astrological influence is carried by an unknown force, why is it independent of distance?
All the long-range forces we know in the universe get weaker as objects get farther apart. But, as you might expect in an Earth-centered system made thousands of years ago, astrological influences do not depend on distance at all. The importance of Mars in your horoscope is identical whether the planet is on the same side of the Sun as the Earth or seven times farther away on the other side. A force not dependent on distance would be a revolutionary discovery for science, changing many of our fundamental notions.
10. If astrological influences don't depend on distance, why is there no astrology of stars, galaxies, and quasars?
French astronomer Jean-Claude Pecker has pointed out that it seems very small-minded of astrologers to limit their craft to our solar system. Billions of stupendous bodies all over the universe should add their influence to that of our tiny little Sun, Moon, and planets. Has a client whose horoscope omits the effects of Rigel, the Crab pulsar, and the Andromeda Galaxy really had a complete reading?
Testing Astrology
Even if we give astrologers the benefit of the doubt on all these questions - accepting that astrological influences may exist outside our current understanding of the universe - there is a devastating final point. Put simply, Astrology doesn't work. Many careful tests have now shown that, despite their claims, astrologers really can't predict anything.
After all, we don't need to know how something works to see whether it works. During the last two decades, while astrologers have somehow always been a little too busy to conduct statistically valid tests of their work, physical and social scientists have done it for them. Let's consider a few representative studies.
Psychologist Bernard Silverman of Michigan State University looked at the birth dates of 2,978 couples who were getting married and 478 who were getting divorced in the state of Michigan. Most astrologers claim they can at least predict which astrological signs will be compatible or incompatible when it comes to personal relationships. Silverman compared such predictions to the actual records and found no correlations. For example "incompatibly signed" men and women got married as frequently as "compatibly signed" ones.
Many astrologers insist that a person's Sun sign is strongly correlated with his or her choice of profession. Indeed, job counseling is an important function of modern astrology. Physicist John McGervey at Case Western Reserve University looked at biographies and birth dates of some 6,000 politicians and 17,000 scientists to see if members of these professions would cluster among certain signs, as astrologers predict. He found the signs of both groups to be distributed completely at random.=09
To overcome the objections of astrologers who feel that the Sun sign alone is not enough for a reading, physicist Shawn Carlson of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory carried out an ingenious experiment. Groups of volunteers were asked to provide information necessary for casting a full horoscope and to fill out the California Personality Inventory, a standard psychologists' questionnaire that uses just the sorts of broad, general, descriptive terms astrologers use.
A "respected" astrological organization constructed horoscopes for the volunteers, and 28 professional astrologers who had approved the procedure in advance were each sent one horoscope and three personality profiles, one of which belonged to the subject of the horoscope. Their task was to interpret the horoscope and select which of the three profiles it matched.
Although the astrologers had predicted that they would score better than 50 percent correct, their actual score in 116 trials was only 34 percent correct - just what you would expect by guessing! Carlson published his results in the December 5, 1985, issue of Nature, much to the embarrassment of the astrological community.
Other tests show that it hardly matters what a horoscope says, as long as the subject feels the interpretations were done for him or her personally. A few years ago French statistician Michel Gauquelin sent the horoscope for one of the worst mass murderers in French history to 150 people and asked how well it fit them. Ninety-four percent of the subjects said they recognized themselves in the description.
Geoffrey Dean, an Australian researcher who has conducted extensive tests of astrology, reversed the astrological readings of 22 subjects, substituting phrases that were the opposite of what the horoscopes actually stated. Yet the subjects in this study said the readings applied to them just as often (95 percent of the time) as people to whom the correct phrases were given. Apparently, those who seek out astrologers just want guidance, any guidance.
Some time ago astronomers Culver and Ianna tracked the published predictions of well-known astrologers and astrological organizations for five years. Out of more than 3,000 specific predictions (including many about politicians, film stars, and other famous people), only about 10 percent came to pass. Veteran reporters - and probably many people who read or watch the news - could do a good deal better by educated guessing.
If the stars lead astrologers to incorrect predictions 9 times out of 10, they hardly seem like reliable guides for decisions of life and affairs of state. Yet millions of people, including the former First Lady, seem to swear by them.
Clearly, those of us who love astronomy cannot just hope that the public's infatuation with astrology will go away. We must speak out whenever it is useful or appropriate - to discuss the shortcomings of astrology and the shaky ground it is based on. Those of us working with youngsters can use these ideas to develop a healthy skepticism in the students and encourage an interest in the real cosmos - the one of remote worlds and suns that are mercifully unconcerned with the lives and desires of the creatures on planet Earth. Let's not allow another generation of young people to grow up tied to an ancient fantasy, left over from a time when we huddled by the firelight, afraid of the night.
[End of the Fraknoi column]

Now, here is a suggested defense for those questions, written by a real astrologer -- His name is Jack Fertig but he goes by the handle STARJACK.

1. What is the likelihood that one-twelfth of the world's population is having the same kind of day?

That depends on how broadly you describe "the same kind of day". You seem to be referring to Sun Sign astrology that attempts to describes daily experience solely by sun sign. This is astrology at its lowest common denominator, even when those newspaper columns are written by qualified astrologers. Few of them are. A complete horoscope is much more personalized, considering the position of the Sun, Moon, and planets calculated to the minute of a degree at the moment of birth and from the perspective of the birthplace.
2. Why is the moment of birth, rather than conception, crucial for astrology?

Because, as we've seen from thousands of years of empirical observation, it works.

The time of birth is identifiable, and marks the beginning of life as an autonomous human being - unlike the moment of conception, which is rarely identifiable. (And as for when a zygote becomes a viable life form, this is a question that has gone back and forth on the whole question of abortion. Nobody has a clear answer, and it seems to be a philosophical, rather than a scientific, question about the very nature and meaning of the beginning of life.)

3. If the mother's womb can keep out astrological influences until birth, can we do the same with a cubicle of steak?

If a cubicle of steak could be devised to provide full life support so that the individual inside had no need for independent breath, food, elimination, cleaning, etc. that might be an interesting experiment. But then a person living in such a vegetative state would not be able to make the choices or have the experiences that astrology is used to help with.

Actually the research of Michel Gauquelin shows astrological patterns within families. (I've seen this in my own work, and other astrologers see it regularly, but unlike our "anecdotal experience" Gauquelin has applied scientific standards of statistical methodology.) He sees this as suggesting that astrological influences may trigger the birth, so the child may well be susceptible to astrological influences in the womb well before birth.

4. If astrologers are as good as they claim, why aren't they richer?

Many of us began the study of astrology as a spiritual pursuit rather than a commercial one. The field is predominant with people who consider philosophical and spiritual wealth far more important than money. Still, most of us are indeed richer than we would be without astrology, both financially and philosophically. There are many branches of astrology and very few astrologers use astrology for financial investments - usually because skills and interests lie in other fields. Some astrologers can see that they have no chart for making money, but may help those who do. As J. P. Morgan said: "Millionaires don't use astrologers. Billionaires do."
5. Are all horoscopes done before the discovery of the three outermost planets incorrect?

Was astronomy incorrect before the Hubble Telescope? Every body of knowledge that is worth anything is constantly expanding, gaining new information, re-evaluating old theories in light of new evidence. Certainly horoscopes including the three outermost planets contain more information.

6. Shouldn't we condemn astrology as a form of bigotry? Isn't refusing to date a Leo or hire a Virgo as bad as refusing to date a Catholic or hire a black person?

Bigotry is pre-judging a person by skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or other factors that have nothing to do with the substance of his/her character. Astrology is a manner of assessing the substance of his/her character. A simplistic approach -- i.e. Aquarians are good people, Scorpios are evil -- is indeed a form of bigotry. A full chart analysis could actually help people into the jobs where they would be most satisfied and productive. (I might want a Virgo for an accountant, but not if s/he has a Sun-Neptune conjunction in the 6th house on the apex of a t-square between Jupiter and Mars -- although that person might make an excellent EMT.)
As for whom you choose to date, that's a highly personal matter. If you don't want to date Catholics, I'm one RC who won't snap your mackerel, but respect your right to choose your dates as you wish. Now Fraknoi is going from telling us how we should think to how we should love.

Moreover he repeats the same questions ad nauseum and ignores the answers. This is as narrow-minded a prejudice as any form of religious bigotry. Besides which, it is the opposite of science.

7. Why do different schools of astrology disagree so strongly with each other?

There are disagreements within any discipline of knowledge. Within a large group of astronomers there will also be disagreements. It is this writer's opinion, though, that those sciences which have been supported by universities, governments, and large corporations have had the great opportunities and funding to test more fully many theories, some of which have been proven wrong, some right, some still in contention. Astrologers have no such support and rely more on personal, indeed, anecdotal experience. Also as a field where there is no established consistent code of credentials and protocols there is inevitably more variation of thought. Some of us regard this diversity as a great opportunity; some consider it a gateway to sloppy research, theorizing, and interpretation.

8. If the astrological influence is carried by a known force, why do the planets dominate?

Astrological influence is not carried by a known force. If it were, the scientific community would have no choice but to accept its validity.

9. If astrological influence is carried by an unknown force, why is it independent of distance?

How can one judge the properties of an unknown force?

10. If astrological influences don't depend on distance, why is there no astrology of stars, galaxies, and quasars?

There is, although it is practiced by a small minority of astrologers. But more to the point, we don't know to what extent distance is or is not a factor in astrological influence. I subscribe to the theory that astrology deals exclusively with influences of our Sun, Moon, and the planets, an interactive matrix of influences entirely within our solar system. The stars of the zodiac are only markers -- relatively unmoving guides against which we can measure planetary, solar, and lunar motion.

Post Script - Reviewing these questions one can easily see that they have no scientific basis, that they are intended to bait rather than to investigate. They are reflective of a narrow mind trying to ridicule what it does not understand, rather than making the scientific admission of humble ignorance as a starting point in the pursuit of knowledge. That anybody would pose such questions in the name of science should embarrass real scientists.

Thank you, Starjack, and now back to our regularly scheduled programming, already in progress.

Saturn's Moon Titan Proving to be Full of Surprises

Key Indicator of Life Found on Saturn’s Moon Titan -- Electricity
“Physicists say they have “unequivocally” proved that there is natural electrical activity on Titan, the largest of Saturn's moons. The world scientist community believes that the probability of organic molecules, precursors of life, being formed is higher on planets or moons which have an atmosphere with electrical storms.”
From Daily Galaxy from materials provided by Plataforma SINC, via AlphaGalileo.
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Saturn’s Moon Titan Has Hydrocarbons, Too
A giant, glassy lake larger than North America's Lake Ontario graces the south pole of Saturn's largest moon Titan, new research from the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory confirms. Titan, which is one-and-a-half times the size of Earth's moon and bigger than either Mercury or Pluto, is one of the most intriguing bodies in the solar system when it comes to exploring environments that may give rise to life.