Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Blue Moons and Black Moons

by Milky Way Maid

Blue Moon: The second Full Moon in a given month.
Black Moon: The second New Moon in a given month. ALSO: a month without either a New Moon or a Full Moon (this can happen only in February.)

Blue Moons are linked to unexpected good fortune according to folklore. The hill people of the Appalachian mountains credit Blue Moons with all kinds of good luck in love, happiness, business, and serendipitous events.

By contrast, European traditions are the complete opposite. Blue Moons were blamed for harsh weather and attacks of the blues.
There is an alternate definition of Blue Moon and that is the name sometimes given to a thirteenth full moon in a calendar year.

Historically, the 1883 volcanic eruption of Krakatoa caused a blue tinge on the moon, the result of so much volcanic ash tossed into the atmosphere. And occasionally ice crystals in the atmosphere cause a blue tinge, and that may also be called a Blue Moon.

We will have a Blue Moon on New Year's Eve this year, Dec. 31, 2009. (NOTE: People who live near the International Dateline in the Far East will have a Blue Moon in January 2010.) It is at 10 degrees 15 minutes of Cancer. This doesn't look like a relaxed night in front of the fireplace or DVD player; the Moon makes a T-square with the other cardinal planets. Saturn has recently entered Libra, while Pluto in Capricorn is joined by the Sun, Mercury and Venus. Cardinal signs take action, so your New Year's plans may include several stops before dawn!

Other Blue Moons will occur on Aug. 31, 2012 in Pisces, and July 31, 2015 in Aquarius.

Black Moons (new moons) will occur on July 30, 2011 in Leo; on Jan. 30, 2014 in Aquarius; and March 30, 2014 in Aries.

The Black Moon seems to have a lot less publicity than the Blue Moon. At least, I don't recall hearing any songs about a black moon. It is said to open a portal to other dimensions. Magicians and Wiccans are said to revere the Black Moon as a special time when the veil between planes of existence can be pierced. One might try to contact those who have passed on, as well as ascended masters and other beings on a higher vibration.

Some astrologers and New Age types recommend people write down their wishes during New Moons. Your wishes will relate to the sign that the moon is in. For example, a new moon in Libra might be a good time to light a candle and ask that your relationships be more harmonious. The Black Moon may be an even more powerful window of quantum opportunity!

Monday, November 30, 2009

A few notes on Sports Astrology, Nov. 2009

by Milky Way Maid

I have mentioned I have been working more intensively on my sports astrology skills. It is not the first time I have made charts for individual games, but it is the first time I tried making charts for ALL the football games on a given weekend. It has been a challenge and a real learning experience (in a good way).

One of the interesting things that I noticed is that when Mars entered Leo about mid-October, it affected the play of the teams with Leo birth dates. In general, they started playing much more competitively. In some cases, a team settled on its starting quarterback and began winning more games than they lost. Some of the Leo teams started to perk up earlier than others, and that generally correlates with how early or late their Sun is actually placed in the sign Leo.

Don't assume that these teams will win everything from here on out. For one thing, the chart of the game will have many other clues about the outcome of the game. For another thing, Mars will go retrograde in mid-december and could take back any gains in the league standings.

The teams with Leo suns, as taken from the dates of the franchise being awarded or announced, are: New York Jets and New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, Tennessee Titans, and Denver Broncos.

The teams with Leo ascendants are Houston Texans, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, and appropriately enough, the Detroit Lions.

Wintry skies produce “rainbow smiles” or upside-down rainbows

by Milky Way Maid

SPACEWEATHER.COM has a beautiful picture of an upside-down rainbow. To quote: “The technical name for this phenomenon is circumzenithal arc or "CZA" for short--and it's no rainbow. CZAs are formed by sunlight shining through plate-shaped ice crystals in high clouds.”

These ice rainbows are more common in fall/early winter when the sun is low -- so keep an eye peeled for them. The photo was taken recently in Alabama. Consider it a smile in the sky just to brighten your day.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Watching the Planetary Hour-Wheels Go By

by Milky Way Maid
Recently I started noticing the planetary hours as they go by each day, well, most days.
MERCURY: I notice that generally, I can write a little quicker during a Mercury hour. It is best to START your writing project during this hour. I have not however, tried to track whether emails sent during a Mercury hour are more likely to get answered sooner.
MOON: During a moon hour, I am more likely to get hungry for a lunch or dinner, or to need a break from the computer. Sometimes I even feel like a nap. Step away from your work and just watch the clouds or aquarium or take a walk. Or go get a hug.
SATURN: This is very odd but I notice that I suddenly have the urge to straighten up papers or clean something. Weird, hey? You can stick with a project till it is done. You are willing to put some elbow grease into a job (generally a physical task). Time to get physical and accomplish something, then give yourself some points for doing so.
MARS: Feel like moving around, taking a walk, stretching those arms and legs. Seems to be best for doing your exercise routine, or for sports activities.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Essenes were astrologers, too, as Dead Sea Scrolls show; Was Jesus an astrologer?

by Milky Way Maid

We astrologers seem to have taken for granted that the Bible is anti-astrology. A quote from the Bible has been widely interpreted as a condemnation of astrologers and astrology (although there are other interpretations). But it may surprise you to learn that the earliest Jewish writings – namely, the Dead Sea scrolls discovered at Qumran -- included astrology lessons.

The Essene scrolls, the Torah (Old Testament) and Talmud, all have references to astrological or astronomical material. They include not only interpretations of the stars and planets, but the fact that they observed other phenomena such as new and full moons, eclipses and comets.

Sid Jefferies, on his web site FactsBehindFaith.com, states that “the magi who attend the Birth of Jesus and prophesy so accurately his future are not really three ‘kings.’ These Persian magi are now properly translated as astrologers in many Bibles.”
The Qumran texts even include a bit of national forecasting. We find the line: “when the new moon is in Taurus’ foot -- happiness will come to Israel(2).”

No less a figure than Edgar Cayce also confirmed that the Essenes studied astrology and related arts: “in Carmel - the original place where the School of the Prophets was established during Elijah's time and that of Samuel - these were called the Essenes; and those that were students of what ye would call astrology, numerology, phrenology, and those phases of study of the return of individuals - or reincarnation.(4).” Cayce also states that Anna was a key figure in the Qumran community by virtue of her skills in astrology and numerology.

Collins' book on the Dead Sea scrolls states that the Essenes had a “special interest in the regular, “lawful” movements of the stars in astrology, in an exact sun calendar with fixed dates for the Sabbath and the festivals and individual horoscopes; and in physiognomy and predictions based upon the stars and physical human attributes -- a typical phenomenon of the rationalism of the Hellenistic age. Physiognomy together with the astrological nativity played an important role for the ranking of members within the community. Since the third century BCE, astrology and related sciences conquered the whole eastern Mediterranean area, with Alexandria as its center, and became the most modern “progressive” and highly esteemed science(5).”

Where did the Jewish peoples get their first instruction in astrology? Tradition says that it was revealed to Enoch on heavenly tablets(5).

We may also quote Revelation (22.16) where Christ is actually called ‘the bright and morning star,’ a clear planetary reference although such a description may be comparing him to Venus or Saturn, as it may apply to both. There are even some who believe that Jesus was a practicing astrologer! In the “Gospel of the Holy Twelve” the training of Jesus is described; “And Jesus, after he had finished his study of the law, went down again into Egypt that he might learn the wisdom of the Egyptians, even as Moses did. And for seven years he conversed with God face to face, ... and he learned the motions of the Sun and the Moon and the Stars, and the powers of letters, and the mysteries of the Square and the Circle and the Transmutation of things, and of forms, and of numbers, and of signs.”

Apparently God is an astrologer, too. Not once but twice in the Bible do we find phrases describing him counting the stars or measuring them. God is depicted as counting the stars and giving them names in Psalms 147:4 and in Isaiah 40:26. Psalms 147:4 - “He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.”(7) Isaiah 40:26 - “Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.”(7) Job 38:33 asks “Do you know the laws of the heavens?”(7)

Also in Revelation is an equally intriguing description of Mary. How many of us have stopped to notice the astrological or astronomical language in the following? -- ‘There appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the Sun and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. And she was pregnant …. and brought forth a man child who was to rule the nations with a rod of iron.’ (Rev. 12.1) A crown of twelve stars certainly indicates the twelve sun signs; the crown or halo is often a Neptunian image. (especially the crown of thorns, the piteous image of the suffering of Jesus).

In the Bible itself, we still find nuggets of astrology or what might be termed pre-astrology. Yoel 2:10 says that along with a belief in earthquakes and thunder as omens, they also observed solar and lunar eclipses. All these phenomenon were believed to be expressions of God's will. Which leads me to wonder, when we cast an electional or horary chart, are we asking what God's will is in the question under consideration? Do we still have some residual faith that what will be, will be, and is part of a grand design?

And let's not forget that in Genesis, after the Creator made all the stars and planets, it adds the phrase, “and let them be for signs.”(7) For signs? You mean, like in astrology? You mean, really, you're giving us permission to interpret the placement of the planets and stars??? Oh, THANK YOU!!!

Even the planetary rulers of the signs were pretty much the same as they are now although again, Jefferies gives his own views on why Mars ought to be the ruler of Scorpio, and not Pluto. Please see his article -- http://www.factsbehindfaith.com/default.aspx?intContentID=56 -- for a full discussion of the matter.

The Jewish traditions even mention a prominent astronomer and astrologer as well (and maybe even a physician) by the name of Shemuel. He lived in 3rd century CE Babylonia. While this is centuries after the Essenes or the birth of Christianity, the fact that his writings and sayings survive attest to the state of the art of the times. Shemuel said that Kima is a cold star compounded of some 100 stars (b. Berakhot 58b). Later Kima was identified with the Pleiades. Shemuel said that Kesil is a hot star without which the world would not survive (2).

An astronomer from the fifth or sixth century gave scholarly sources for a wealth of data. According to Astronomy in Ancient Judaism, “Baraita deMazalot is a unique astronomical and astrological tractate. It gives astronomical data in unprecedently scientific ways. The author describes two different systems, an Egyptian and a Babylonian one, regarding the position of the stars in the zodiacal signs at the moment of creation. The author gives the exact distances from the Earth to the Moon, from the Moon to Mercury and so forth in a manner resembling the Mesopotamian beru ina same, x heavenly units equal to y earthly units. The author quotes not only Rabbinic sources but states the opinions of “the sages of the Gentiles”, “the sages of Egypt, Chaldeans and the Babylonians”. There is no doubt that the writer drew some of his data from Ptolemy (2).” So it is clear that they knew and preserved a body of knowledge dating back to the Babylonians and Egyptians.

There is also a great deal of attention given to determining things like the moment of the New Moons, calculating the correct length of a solar and lunar year, inserting intercalary days to even out the year and keep it in sync with the solar year, and noting eclipses, equinoxes and solstices. They also give names to each of the decans of the 12 signs. In Chapter 18 of the apochryphal Testament of Solomon, the demons of the 36 decans appear with names that sometimes seem to be conscious distortions of the traditional names for the decans; each one is assigned 'rulership' over various ailments and pains. The testament lists magical cures; example: the thirty-third demon is Rhyx Phtheneoth who causes sore throat and tonsilitis and can be driven off by writing the word Leikourgos on ivy leaves and heaping them into a pile.

An ancient Jewish astrologer named Tanna gives the following rules for interpretations, which it is believed were borrowed from the Babylonians. He said: “When the sun is afflicted (solar-eclipse) – it is a bad omen for the Pagans, when the moon is afflicted - it is a bad omen for Israel, since Israel calculates according to the moon and the Pagans according to the sun. If the affliction is in the east – it is a bad omen for those who dwell in the east; in the west - it is a bad omen for those who dwell in the west; in the middle of the sky - it is a bad omen for the whole world. If the face (of the moon) looks like blood – war is coming to the world; if it looks like a sack – arrows of famine are coming to the world; if it looks like both – war and arrows of famine are coming to the world. If it was afflicted while rising – tribulation sojourns; while setting – (tribulation) comes fast. Some say the other way around” (t. Sukkah 2:6)(2).”

I might add by way of explanation that solar eclipses were believed to be punishments for any one of four ethical lapses. The eclipses were punishments rather than material for an interpretation or elective advice.

In Jubilees 12:16-17 Abraham is depicted as an astrologer who observed the stars on 1/7 (later known as Rosh Hashana), to know how rainy the coming year would be. This connection between stars and rain is part of the Mesopotamian omen heritage. (Jubilees is a Jewish apocrypha.) The verses 16-17 say: “And in the sixth week, in the fifth year thereof, Abram sat up throughout the night on the new moon of the seventh month to observe the stars from the evening to the morning, in order to see what would be the character of the year with regard to the rains, and he was alone as he sat and observed. And a word came into his heart and he said: All the signs of the stars, and the signs of the moon and of the sun are all in the hand of the Lord. Why do I search (them) out?”

Omens were read, or fortunes told, for individuals depending on what day of the week they were born or what hour was rising. “One who is born on a Monday will be a tartar, on a Tuesday – will be a wealthy man…under Venus – will be a wealthy man and adulterer, under Mercury – clever and smart” (2). Not for nothing did Jewish people wish each other 'Mazel tov' which translates literally as “good zodiacal sign” on family occasions; it is assumed to be invented in the 11th century at the latest (2).

Sid Jefferies quite rightly points out that the Kabbalah tradition incorporates a great deal of astrological knowledge. Kabbalah constantly refers to the eleven Sephiroth or Shining Ones which precisely describe the qualities of the ten planets (plus Earth, which does not shine). As Jefferies writes on his web site: “The Tree of Life is the central figure of the Kabbalah, the esoteric Tradition behind the Bible. It is entirely astrological, based on the ten planets and twelve Signs of the horoscope. It is mentioned in both Genesis and Revelation where it is clearly associated with the Sun’s annual cycle through the twelve zodiac Signs ‘the tree of life yields twelve crops of fruit, one for each month of the year. The leaves of the tree shall serve for the healing of the nations.’ Rev. 22. 2 This evidence shows the planets were all known in ancient times and even more shockingly, that astrology lies at the very heart of the biblical Tradition, from the Beginning to the End.”

Along the way, Jefferies provides an explanation for a puzzling aphorism made by Jesus. He said that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. What does it mean, besides the obvious tendency for the wealthy to lose their moral compass? From Torah: The Hebrew letter for the Moon’s long path is Gimel, a camel, the ship of the desert, full of water, while Pluto’s is a tooth or a needle. The strange image that ‘it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven’ is pure Kabbalah. The path of the camel does go up to the heavenly heights of the Crown through Pluto, through the eye of a needle.

So let's look at the Tree of Life a bit closer. See the illustration. It has all the planets we use now: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and even tiny Pluto which was not rediscovered in the modern era until 1930. How is this possible? I don't know, I only know that they are there. Traditions also assign various personages from the Bible as archetypes of certain planet, or as the Kabbalah calls them, Sephiroth or Shining Ones.

Planets and O.T. Figures attributed to them:
Neptune = Abel
Saturn = Eve and Cain
Mars = Isaac
Mercury = Aaron
EARTH = Esau and David
Moon = Joseph, and Bathsheba
Sun = ISRAEL, Solomon, Jacob, God
Pluto = Serpent
Venus = Moses
Jupiter = Abraham, Jehovah, Our Father
Uranus = Adam, Holy Spirit, Sophia

So Mazel tov, Mazel tov to you all!

[The early Jews seem to have captured an observation of Halley's Comet with this line from their books: “The Rabbis said that there is a star that rises once in 70 years and deceives sailors (b. Horayot 10a). It is assumed they meant the comet later named after Halley, a comet that appeared around 140 CE (and 70 is taken as a round number for a cycle of around 78 years) The book of Shemuel quotes him (Shemuel) saying: “the paths of the sky are known to me like the paths of Nehardea, except for a comet whose nature I do not know” (b. Berakhot 58b).]

1 Albani, M., “Horoscopes in the Qumran Scrolls,” in The Dead Sea Scrolls after Fifty Years: A Comprehensive Assessment, edited by PW Flint and JC VanderKam, Vol. 2, 279-330, Leiden:Brill, 1999.

2 ‘Astrology in Ancient Judaism’, ‘Astronomy in Ancient Judaism’, J. Neusner, A. Avery-Peck and W. S. Green (eds.), The Encyclopaedia of Judaism, V, Supplement Two, Leiden - Boston: Brill, 2004, pp. 2031-2044.

3 Jefferies, Sid (aka Classical Astrologer), Facts Behind Faith, The Dead Sea Scrolls, undated. www.factsbehindfaith.com/default.aspx?intContentID=13

Jubilees – May be read at http://www.ccel.org/c/charles/otpseudepig/jubilee/12.htm

4 The Nazarenes of Mount Carmel, Cayce Readings on the Essenes, 1999-2006, www.essene.com/Bible/CayceReadingsOnMtCarmel.html

5 Religion in the Dead Sea Scrolls, J.J. Collins and R A. Kugler (eds), William B. Eerdmans, 2000.
6 The Star and the Magi, Essenes.com, undated.

7 And the Old Testament.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Who Will You Dress Up As This Halloween 2009? (sign by sign)

by Milky Way Maid
Halloween 2009 is dominated by a Saturn square to Pluto in Capricorn, making dark things like night, death, the underworld, and related ideas prominent. Even more worrisome, though is the Mars in Leo square Sun-Mercury in Scorpio. Mars-Mercury aspects can easily lead to arguments, vociferously and loudly expressed arguments. Sun-Mars squares tend to make people dig in their heels and refuse to give up their position. If you are with friends, or even with strangers, try to act reasonable. Offer to buy them a beer if it turns out you are wrong.
The evening also features a Moon sextile to Jupiter exact about 10 pm, so most of us will be in very good, very expansive moods. Just take care not to over-indulge in the liquid libations (i.e., know your limits). Venus is applying to a trine to Neptune, exact on Nov. 2. Woo hoo, get the phone number of whoever strikes your fancy because you could easily fall in love, big time, within days.

Aries: The Moon is in Aries. Bet you dress up as an athlete, adventurer, explorer, or even as a spy. Aries loves spy stuff and prearranged secret meetings and trench coats. Your ruler Mars is in Leo, your solar fifth house. This also accents sports but also action stars, gamblers, and other showy people. Fifth house also favors going to an amusement park or casino.
Taurus: For fun and laughs, hang around with friends or at a friend's house (Uranus in your solar eleventh house). Or you might follow your ruler Venus, which is in its other home, Libra, in your solar sixth house. That may mean dressing up as a nurse or candy-striper, or in the very Libran position as hostess.
Gemini: Twins probably will not feel like going to parties this year, not with mean old Saturn in their solar fifth house. But the energetic Moon in Aries in your eleventh will see you quite happy to hang out with friends or possibly with one special female friend.
Cancer: The Sun, Mercury and Ceres are all in your solar fifth house of parties and fun-fun-fun, so go ahead and accept that invitation. You will probably pick the one that has the best food (Ceres). You might dress up as a waitress or as Mother Nature.
Leo: Leos would probably rather watch a sporting event or play racquetball, since Mars is in your sign this Halloween. If you do go to a costume party, you are likely to dress in an athletic uniform. Maybe you better leave the hockey stick at home, though? Vesta is in your sign, too, and we know she would rather just putter around the house. That's OK, too.
Virgo: Ah, you feel so relieved to have that millstone, Saturn, off your shoulders. Your ruler, Mercury is in your solar third house, Scorpio. Here the mental powers may express as a detective or journalist. Dust off your trench coat in either case.
Libra: Saturn has just entered Libra, so my costume suggestion is to go with your spouse bound by the ol' ball-and-chain. That sums up Saturn in Libra, if you can forgive my saying so. Yes, I know, love is a many splendored thing and all that, but Halloween is good for poking good-natured fun at the stereotypes. Venus is also in Libra, so the alternative is to go as a bride (your favorite) or as a famous couple.
Scorpio: Ceres in your sign suggests dressing up as the Grim Reaper; when you arrive, get everyone to relax by saying you just came for the cake (or the beer, as the case may be). Mercury and the Sun are here, too, so you might dress up as messengers -- the Western Union guy, the Pony Express rider, or Mercury himself. Mercury is also the reporter, so you could just grab a note pad and stick a Press pass in your pocket.
Sagittarius: Sag might find their fun at a shopping center or mall; I say that because the North Node is in your solar second house. Second house suggests a costume as a banker, but they are far too stodgy for Sag to maintain as a character all evening!
Capricorn: Pluto in your sign signifies a natural fit with characters that are dead, undead, or immortal. Examples are mummies, zombies, and Dracula. The Moon is in your solar fourth house, suggesting you will feel like staying home and letting your friends come visit you. Cappy makes a wonderful host and can throw a party on short notice, if need be. But remember, if you are playing Dracula for the night, he never drinks -- wine.
Aquarius: Jupiter and Neptune are still close enough to be considered conjunct this Halloween. Combining the meanings of these two planets makes me think “legendary characters”. These characters may be real or mythical. People like Paul Bunyan, John Henry, Annie Oakley, Superman and other super-heroes, etc. You may wish to costume yourself as any of these or as legendary movie (Neptune) stars like Clark Gable, Mae West, Marlene Dietrich, and so many more.
Pisces: Uranus is in Pisces; Uranus denotes the foreigner, as well as odd folks who resist categorizing. You may costume yourself in a national costume, or talk in a pretend accent, imitate a Swedish lilt or Cockney bluster. Alternatively, you might like a costume as a machine: robot, iPod, computer, car, etc.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mercury Retrograde through the Houses

by Milky Way Maid

I have had lots of experience with Mercury retrograde. Perhaps because I was born with Mercury retrograde in my chart, I have taken more notice of its effects.

Please do not dread these weeks while Mercury is retrograde. I have tried to note ways that it may be positive in each house, as given below. Mercury retrograde can bring problems to light, so that they can finally be properly fixed. You may find out the truth about a company, person or issue by chance or by checking things out on the internet. You may have made a search before, or asked the same person before, but at last you ask in a way that elicits the desired information.

And lastly, Mercury retrograde can be a fine time to travel memory lane. Pick up the photo album. Talk about the great times you had as a kid. Play that CD or DVD again, or re-read that classic novel and discover new layers of meaning.

Mercury Retrograde in First House: May cause you to misspeak more often, forgetfulness, or make your written communications garbled. Proofread emails and documents before sending, and think how someone will interpret what you say before blurting things out. It can however be a good time to get feedback from others on your thoughts. Some chance of getting lost, taking a wrong turn, falls, stumbles, etc.

Mercury Retrograde in Second House: Affects money and financial accounts, income and sources of income, material possessions. Double-check those bank statements and other financial papers. You may misplace a possession and have to backtrack to find it. You may buy something you never use, or it may not work right.

Mercury Retrograde in Third House: Minor injuries to legs or arms. Hitting hand on doors or furniture. Lost or misplaced mail or email; check the spam folder. Transit difficulties such as getting lost, taking a wrong turn, traffic jams, being given wrong directions. Printers can get overtime or rush orders needed to issue corrected documents and mailings.

Mercury Retrograde in Fourth House: Can mess up communicating with family members, so make sure everyone is clear on who is picking up whom and when, and where. Having errors in home repairs or having to redo home improvements. The repairman doesn't show up or is late.

Mercury Retrograde in Fifth House: Romantic dates go wrong or are canceled. You go out on a double date and wind up switching partners. Changes in schedule or cast for plays and other performances. Actors may forget lines or have to ad-lib when things go wrong. Also sports events may have surprising winners. You gotta roll with the punches with this placement. Also dust off that old game from the attic and re-discover how much fun it is.

Mercury Retrograde in Sixth House: Lab tests or x-rays miss the diagnosis. Surgery may be canceled or delayed due to equipment malfunction. The healthcare provider may be ill. Having to undergo a second surgery to fix what was missed.

Mercury Retrograde in Seventh House: Keep to prepared statements if speaking in public. Try not to laugh too hard at a spouse's errors. Performers may be brought back for an encore appearance.

Mercury Retrograde in Eighth House: Can cause confusion and misunderstandings regarding insurance or what you expect to inherit. Re-read those insurance policies and wills. A corrected claim may submitted successfully this time.

Mercury Retrograde in Ninth House: Can cause snafus in printing your latest book, or lost/misplaced records or homework at college. Keep backup copies of your final papers or book draft. A court case may be rescheduled or dismissed. The lawyer may steal your money. Canceled airline flights or missed connections. Other travel snafus.

Mercury Retrograde in Tenth House: Can cause cutbacks at work, rescheduled meetings or temporary down time due to any cause (but often for computer downtime). And of course the dreaded pink slip or firing. Temporary layoffs. But also work orders and overtime on a rush basis, often to issue corrected versions of company statements or mailings. The boss overhears you say something embarrassing.

Mercury Retrograde in Eleventh House: Can cause canceled or rescheduled get-togethers with friends, or rearranged club meetings where the guest speaker misses a flight. Be prepared with a Plan B; that may mean getting your notes and Powerpoint together if you have to substitute for the original speaker.

Mercury Retrograde in Twelfth House: Possibly the worst place for it, due to shooting yourself in the foot! You blurt things out in interviews when you admit that you did not do much of some key operation. You may also suffer from others' errors, so ask for a review of any decision or fee that goes against you. Gad, maybe you should just shut up and stay home reading a book!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What the July 2009 Solar Eclipse (or any eclipse) Will Mean to You, by Houses

by Milky Way Maid

The July 21 Solar Eclipse occurred at 10:35 pm Eastern Time at 29 degrees 27 minutes of Cancer. It was quite a spectacle in Asia, the only region where it was visible. People turned out in droves to view it in China, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, India and Korea. It was also one of the longest lasting eclipses ever, at over six minutes in ideal viewing areas.

What will the eclipse mean for you? If you have natal planets in late degrees of Cancer, you will be most affected. The notes are applicable to any solar eclipse, but do not use this for lunar eclipses because the meanings are slightly different. Also bear in mind the nature of the sign that the eclipse occurs in. Cardinal signs will be the fastest acting, fixed signs will be the slowest, and mutable signs in-between.

Below I give interpretations by sign, but this is most accurate if using one's ascendant, not one's sun sign. If you still have not had a chart done, you can find a couple web sites that will give you a limited number of free charts. Very nice charts are offered by Astrodienst at astro.com. (You can even find out where your asteroids are.)

If the Solar Eclipse occurs in your:
First House: A solar eclipse here puts the emphasis on one-to-one interactions. You encourage others to set goals and learn to act independently. You teach assertiveness (not aggressiveness) and self-esteem. You force others to deal with the effect of their acts; this means accountability for the result of their impulsive actions. Aries makes great camp leaders and counselors as they help young people to find their real identity.

Second House: A solar eclipse here puts the emphasis on values. You help others get in touch with their deepest values, either through a positive or negative encounter with you. You help others find the weak points in their inner foundation, and shore up those areas. Try to help build up others' feelings of self-worth (as well as your own) so that we all can attract what we feel we deserve. You might be working with others in assessing their material assets (insurance, accounting), too.

Third House: A solar eclipse here puts the emphasis on information, especially verbal information. You keep the conversation moving, you introduce people with common interests, you keep everyone in the loop. The third house keeps everything circulating so that all can benefit. You illustrate the modern notion that “information wants to be free”. By sharing what we know, and what our concerns are, we increase the total information available to all.

Fourth House: A solar eclipse here puts the emphasis on home, of course, but also related issues like security and comfort. By making home a comfortable place, you also help make people comfortable with themselves. (read that sentence twice) By nurturing others, you help develop not only their sense of physical comfort but also their sense that the world is a welcoming place. You nurture others' self-esteem, too, so be careful the words that you dish out along with supper.

Fifth House: A solar eclipse here puts the emphasis on Play and Having Fun. You have already given yourself permission to have fun, and now you are called upon to teach others that skill. You are creative, and help others unlock their own creative potential. You break down defensive walls around others so that they can accept love and kindness. You especially enjoy being with children, and may organize or chaperon an outing.

Sixth House: A solar eclipse here puts the emphasis on Teaching and on helping others to organize their lives. Virgos are quite good at instructing others on how to put ones personal 'business plan' together, complete with goals, mission statement, and spreadsheets. You are able to help others get a better overview of their own weaknesses and shore up those deficiencies. You also help people to balance the needs of mind and body with a moderate health regimen.

Seventh House: A solar eclipse here puts the emphasis on helping others learn how to Relate. You may become a marriage counselor or mediate a legal dispute. Aside from the legal issues, you impress on others the importance of the social contract which may not be written down. This obligates us to honor our commitments. Establishing true harmony can only be done with mutual respect and a sense of equality. “Do unto others” may sound corny, but it is after all the foundation of civilization.

Eighth House: A solar eclipse here puts the emphasis on the Metaphysical. You become a teacher of the universal laws that govern our relations with each other and the Universe. You may act as a healer or as a metaphysician. Morality, finances, and the spiritual are all intertwined, with money as a tool to express one's higher values.

Ninth House: A solar eclipse here puts the emphasis on Exploration. You give others permission to explore beyond the boundaries of their birthplace, and seek adventure in life. You're a world traveler even if only in your own mind, and you give others the gift of multicultural riches. Or on another level, you explain how they can think globally and act locally.

Tenth House: A solar eclipse here puts the emphasis on Ethics and Responsibility. You may be engaged in training others for a career, but our real obligation is to the profession and to the community. Those who rise to a position of prominence with a company have an obligation to reach out to the community which made it possible to exist, to share its good fortune with the greater metro area. Maybe you are involved in the humble PTA or school board, or with a charity drive.

Eleventh House: A solar eclipse here puts the emphasis on Group Consciousness. You teach others to be more aware of the needs of the have-nots. You lead humanitarian efforts. And you espouse high ideals as you inspire others to reach for a better tomorrow. You encourage others in their dreams and aspirations for a better future.

Twelfth House: A solar eclipse here puts the emphasis on Faith. I do not mean mere dogma of a particular religion, but rather the trust that the Universe will unfold according to a greater plan, for the greater good. You help people deal with the ups and downs of life, to deal with disappointments, and to find the strength to keep going in the face of adversity. You help others learn how to meditate or pray or attain serenity with other techniques. You counsel and encourage.

The Dog Days of Summer Are Upon Us

by Milky Way Maid

What are the 'dog days' of summer? We use the phrase so often and most of us have no idea where it comes from. Many of us think they got that name because dogs get so hot in the heat of summer and just lie around panting.

The name comes from Sirius, the dog star, which in Roman times was conjunct the Sun from about July 3 to August 11 (dates per Old Farmers' Almanac). They believed that the heat of the bright star Sirius was added to that of the Sun, leading to the extreme temperatures. They dubbed those days “caniculares dies” or “days of the dog star”. Dog star in Latin is caniculares.

Dogs also figure in the lore of 'dog days' because the Romans often sacrificed a brown dog at the beginning of the phase to appease Sirius. (I think you can stop worrying that your beloved Fido will be snatched by errant Romans, but you can keep your dog indoors just to play it safe. Also, I am pretty sure you can substitute hot dogs on the grill instead, and Sirius will be just as happy.) BTW August 16 is the feast day of St. Roch, who is the patron saint of dogs.

Nowadays, due to precession, Sirius does not even conjoin the sun on the Roman dog days. Now the conjunction is generally from August 4 till Sept. 12, a period of 40 days. This varies with the latitude and the climate, of course. If you need to know more specifics, then consult either an ephemeris or dig up an ancient Egyptian astrologer.

One poem that has survived the ages, which claims to foretell the future from the weather during 'dog days' goes like this:
“Dog days bright and clear, indicate a happy year. But when accompanied by rain, for better times our hopes are vain.” I have no idea if this is an economic forecast or a farming forecast, so don't play the stock market based on fair or wet weather during dog days.

And lastly, the heliacal rising of Sirius at the beginning of ancient dog days was the signal to the Egyptians that the annual flooding of the Nile River was about to begin. A whole civilization was built on the fertile soil brought by this phenomenon. That's pretty amazing.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Stonehenge Evolved Over Centuries of Earth Changes

by Milky Way Maid

In an article titled “On Decoding Hawkins' 'Stonehenge Decoded'” Immanuel Velikovsky tackled the twin problems of whether the alignments of the stones on the Salisbury Plain in England are accurate today or were accurate in ancient times. He responds to two Gerald Hawkins articles which appeared in the December 1965 issue of American Scientist and a 1964 issue of Nature.

Hawkins believed that the ancient peoples of Britain were fearful that the Sun might go out of control and that they were also capable of building an astronomical computer. Hawkins believed that the 56 'Aubrey holes' were intended to chart and predict lunar eclipses. He assumes that the secret of Stonehenge is that they knew of a 56-year long eclipse cycle. Stonehenge was not built to predict solar eclipses.
Besides the 56 holes for this supposed eclipse marker, there are or were 30 holes for a Y ring, 29 holes for a Z ring, and 59 holes for bluestones that are no longer there. Hawkins says he tested these alignments of holes on a computer to identify possible connections to observing celestial bodies.

Well, actually, with so many holes and [possible configurations of these holes, there are just about an infinite number of possible target stars or heliacal rising markers open to us. The article comes up with 27, 060 possible alignments in this structure. Hawkins says that astonishingly, there were no detectable correlations to the Stonehenge markers.

Not to Arcturus, Sirius, Canopus, Betelguese, Spica, Vega or any other number of major stars.

A guidebook still current in 1967, written by R.J.C. Atkinson and published by the British government, says: “It is commonly believed that on 21st June, when today large crowds gather to see the dawn, an observer at the center of Stonehenge will see the sun rise immediately over the Heel Stone, and that it will cast a shadow of the top of the Heel Stone on the Altar Stone. Neither of these widely held beliefs is correct. Today the midsummer sun rises appreciably to the left of the Heel Stone, and when Stonehenge was built it rose even further to the left; it will not rise over the Heel Stone for more than thousand years.”

Atkinson was rather incensed that Hawkins allowed an unpardonable two degrees of arc in accepting alignments. Two degrees is roughly equal to four diameters of the sun or moon. Atkinson says that anyone with a pair of sticks can can fix the rising or setting sun within 5 MINUTES of arc. Atkinson says that this means the Heel Stone could be moved as much as 12 feet and not affect any of Hawkins' claim.

Atkinson also blasted away Hawkins supposedly rediscovered alignments by showing that out of the 8 alignments Hawkins supposedly found for Stonehenge III, four were outside acceptable limits, two were for fallen stones, and one would presumably have been blocked by they Slaughter Stone when upright.

And by the way if you astrologers out there never heard of a 56-year cycle for solar eclipses, that's because there isn't one. There is a 65-year cycle, in periods of 19, 19 and 27 years.

So Velikovsky comes in and declares that Stonehenge, rather than being a complete failure as an observatory, is instead an obsolete one. And therein lies its value as a clue to the skies as experienced by the ancients.

So instead of abandoning their enormous investment of time and labor, the ancients 'recycled' the stones into a series of other arrangements on the hill in a continuing attempt to get it right. Atkinson then posited a series of stages of development. If you live in Britain, perhaps you are already familiar with this sequence, and perhaps too you have an opportunity to test the present stones against possible alignments.

(You may wish to print out a layout of Stonehenge as it stands today, courtesy of Harvard, at www.fas.harvard.edu/~scdiroff/lds/AstronomyAstrophysics/Stonehenge/Stonehenge.html. Also this site has not only the current layout but all the older, now unused holes, too: www.math.nus.edu.sg/aslaksen/gem-projects/hm/0102-1-stonehenge/layout.htm)

Period One. The first construction was the bank and the ditch, the Heel Stone and the Aubrey holes. That's all. Seems pretty minimal, but simplicity is a virtue. All you really need is a marker stone, and some other indicator of where to stand.
Period Two. About 150 years later, Atkinson claims, the site was remodeled, and this involved moving the massive bluestones from 130 miles away in the Prescelly Mountains in Pembrokeshire. At least 80 stones were arranged in a double circle in the middle of the site, arranged like radiating spokes. This was a radical redesign because it had a new axis. The entrance was on the northeast, and opposite it is a large pit for what must have been a huge stone. Atkinson believed, however, that this new design was not completed.

Period Three-A. The double circle is dismantled. Those stones were put on one side, and the huge sarsen stones were put in their place after being dragged from their source in Marlborough Downs. These sarsen stones are the ones so widely photographed and imitated with sites like Carhenge, etc. The center of this circle is not the same as the circle in Period One.

Period Three-B. About 20 of the dismantled bluestones were re-shaped and arranged in an oval. The remodelers apparently wished to use the other 60 bluestones to mark the Y and Z designs. The bluestones in the oval were demolished again and the whole design given up.

Period Three-C. We come at last to the final construction of Stonehenge as know it today. The upright bluestones in the oval were converted into a horseshoe shape. The undressed bluestones filled out the circle, between the sarsen horseshoe and the sarsen circle. The Altar Stone, the tallest one, was presumably set as a tall pillar in front of the central sarsen trilithon but has since then fallen down.
Atkinson believes that the latest stage of Stonehenge construction was completed by 1400 BC.

Velikovsky believes that the ancients kept trying to remodel the site “to conform to the changed orders of the world.” He also states that “the last change in the celestial order took place in the beginning of the seventh century, actually on March 23, -687” (BC). He is not impressed with the dating of antlers found under one of the stones and in a fill site. Antler material is unreliable and it has been shown to be easily contaminated, according to the Radiocarbon Laboratory of the University of Pennsylvania.

Today the equinoxes still draw a large crowd to Salisbury or to Avebury, though it sure seems like they just come to party and not to make any astronomical observations.

Let us hope that this article will dispel some of the erroneous assumptions of Stonehenge's function and age. There is still plenty of room for discussion on what the orientation of the site may have been at any era of its history, and we should focus on that. More recent articles in the press dismiss Stonehenge as merely a funerary site for honored members of the clan. While significant sites often are endowed with the bones of powerful members of their society, I think it would be silly to think that any society would go to so much trouble just for a cemetery.

A Nod to Velikovsky: His Revolutionary Predictions of Venus, and Her Wild Past

by Milky Way Maid

In 1950, Immanuel Velikovsky first started publishing his revolutionary hypotheses concerning the history of our solar system and in particular of that wayward girl, Venus. Several of his predictions about the nature of Venus were dismissed as so far off the wall as to not merit serious consideration in scientific journals. And yet several of those predictions were later borne out by scientific observation and measurement.

Among those predictions were that Venus was hot, that Venus and Jupiter would emit radio waves, that Venus has a massive atmosphere (i.e. she has high atmospheric pressure), that she rotates retrograde (has a backward spin), that in rotating she turns the same face to the Earth at every inferior conjunction (a girl likes to show her best side during a hot date, after all), that her orbit is nearly circular, that her atmosphere spins much faster than the planet itself, that she may have ground tides, and that she is cooling. All of these have been found to be true by subsequent observations, even though at the time of his predictions, Velikovsky was dismissed as a quack or even a madman.

In 1950, Venus was widely assumed to be very much like a sister planet to Earth, with a similar temperature. Scientists were quite surprised to later find that her temperature is quite high, at least 600 degrees Fahrenheit. Venus (as well as Jupiter) also astonished scientists by emitting radio waves, about three times more than was expected.

The reasoning behind Velikovsky's predictions has not yet been verified, and is possibly unverifiable. He believed that Venus was a captured cometary body that once had a highly elliptical orbit that swung from near an inner-planet Mars to just beyond Jupiter. He believed that records made by ancient Babylonians, Chinese, and others lent backing to a history of Venus that once menaced Earth and Mars with close encounters.

Take for example the problem of the so-called Venus Tablets of Ammizaduga (they are so-called because they were most likely not written during that king's reign). (Ammizaduga was the great-great-grandson of Hammurabi.) It is very difficult to reconcile their observations with any current cycles of Venus, and most astronomers and historians just throw up their hands and toss out the record as impossible. For instance, consider one 1880 translation of the K.160 tablet, held by the British Museum after being excavated from the library of Ashurbanipal by Layard about 1860.

The tablet seems to give a record of Venus' invisibilities at the inferior and superior conjunctions. It says: “In the month Sivan on the twenty-fifth day, Ninsianna (aka Venus) disappeared in the east. She remained absent from the sky for two months six days; in the month Ulul on the twenty-fourth day, Ninsianna appeared in the west, the heart of the land is happy. In the month Nisan, on the twenty-seventh day, Ninsianna disappeared in the west; she remained absent from the sky for seven days; in the month Ayar on the third day, Ninsianna appeared in the east. Hostilities occur in the land, the harvest of the land is successful.” (from Velikovsky Revisited, p. 112)

Since none of us casual readers are familiar with the calendar of the Babylonians, what this means is that Venus was invisible for two months on a superior conjunction, and was invisible for seven days on what appears to be an inferior conjunction. Another group has very regular invisibilities on superior conjunction of three months. At one point it seems that Venus missed a conjunction, or could it be that she could not be seen (Due to anything from heavy clouds to volcanic ash? We may never know.).

Even worse for those who believe that the solar system has always been the way it is now, is a suggestion that Venus may have pushed Mars out of an inner-planet orbit to one between Earth and Jupiter. Historical records do suddenly become quite concerned about Mars' activities.

What can we make of this theory and the controversy around it? One, revolutionary theories are at first attacked as irresponsible or worse. Two, its proponent is attacked as a charlatan or worse. Three, it is likely that the solar system had as tumultuous a past as that of the earth itself.

What if the myth of the birth of Pallas Athena from the head of Zeus is really a story about the birth of the planet Venus from her 'father', Jupiter? And Athena's armor is just a a way of describing Venus' brightness, like the sun shining on metal. (Perhaps the Pallas name denotes the planet's phase as a cometary body?) What if the myth of the affair between Venus and Mars is a story about the close encounter between those two planets in the historical past?

Why is it that the meticulous Babylonians did not mention Venus at all in their earliest records? Why is it that the meticulous Hindus record only four planets prior to the second millennium B.C. -- but Venus is not among them? Perhaps sometime during that period, Venus had been born but was on an elliptical orbit -- then suddenly acted like a comet and became blazing bright

Velikovsky believed that ancient records of a Venus that rivaled the Sun for brightness (according to the Chinese) and blazed “from one end of the cosmos to the other” (according to a rabbinical source) denotes a close encounter about 1450 B.C. when earth passed thru Venus' cometary tail. The Egyptians suffered lack of potable water as a fine red dust turned the waters red as blood. Fish died and rotted in the rivers. The Egyptian Ipuwer wrote: “Plague is throughout the land. Blood is everywhere.” The Babylonians wrote that Tiamat, the monster in the sky, poured out her blood all over the world. The dust phase turned to a meteorite phase, when hail and fire poured down -- perhaps the source of the phrase “fire and brimstone”.

In Mexico, the Annals of Cuaahtitlan says that the sky “rained not water, but fire, and red-hot stones.” Then a rain of burning naphtha, and a paroxysm of earth changes as the gravitational and possibly plasmic forces altered the earth's axis and brought about floods and quakes. China had floods, while Arabia became a desert.

From the Americas to Europe to the Middle East to China, records tell us of darkness that lasted for three days. Again, myth turns this cosmological event into a story. The Babylonians say that Marduk struck the dragon Tiamat (Venus) with bolts of fire. The Egyptians saw Isis (Venus) and Set in deadly battle. The Hindus say that Vishnu battled the “crooked serpent”. Zeus, says Apollodorus, fought the coiled viper Typhon. The dragon or snake-like descriptions are describing the comet-like tail of Venus at that time.

I might add that it is not impossible for comets to change their orbits or cycles. Brooks's Comet Changed its orbital period from 29 years to 7 years after a swing around Jupiter. Comet Wolf changed its perihelion after a close encounter with Jupiter, in 1875 then later reverted to its prior habits after another swing by Jupiter in 1922. The comet Oterma III had its orbit between Jupiter and Saturn prior to 1938, but then had its orbit between Mars and Jupiter; it reverted after 1965 to its prior 'hunting grounds'.

The link between the female goddesses and the snake or dragon was forever immortalized in the story of Adam and Eve, when Eve entertained the snake and caused the end of an idyllic and serene Eden. The group guilt that humanity has borne for supposedly causing the end of an edenic period, is therefore totally mistaken and unnecessary. Oh that we could erase the misogyny that resulted from Venus-Eve's wayward motions.

I conclude that Velikovsky was indeed on to something, although the details are still to be worked out. We need to go back to the historical record, improve the translations and take seriously the observations of the ancient peoples. THEY SAW SOMETHING, and they wanted us to have this record of an extraordinary time!

Also, it occurs to me that it is possible that the Mayan calendar is thrown out of whack by the changes in the length of earth days and years. After the battle of Beth-horon, the year had 360 days and twelve months.; the length of the day would have been equal to 27.5 modern hours, according to Velikovsky; either the earth spun slower or its orbit was a little closer to the sun. Evidence from cuneiform tablets found in the Nineveh royal library record calendric and astronomical data very different from the cycles of today. Perhaps the transition from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar was not merely the result of accrued inaccuracies; maybe it was because the disturbances in earth's orbit distorted our year. Hence the rush by peoples all over the world to adjust their temples, calendars and astronomical markers.

Therefore maybe we should issue a caveat regarding putting too much faith in the Mayan calendar, which was developed prior to these changes. December 2012 may not be a significant day -- or it may be that the end of the cycle actually occurs on another date.

SOURCES: I am reading a book titled “Velikovsky Reconsidered” by the editors of Pensee magazine, which contains essays from the pages of Pensee from 1966-1976 plus papers by Velikovsky. I have also read a couple of Velikovsky's books in the past, Worlds in Collision and Earth in Upheaval.

PS -- You may also wish to read Barbara Hand Clow's book, Catastrophobia, for a psychic or channeled approach to these historical earth changes. She has some interesting things to say about the significance of the change in earth's axial tilt.

PPS -- Please see also my article on the changes in the construction and design of Stonehenge over the centuries.

What if Mythology is Really Cosmology???

by Milky Way Maid

Having read several interrelated books these last several months covering mythology and assorted theories of cosmology, I have decided that it is quite possible that myths are not just amusing stories about gods and goddesses, but are stories about the cosmological history of our solar system.

Whether you are a fan of Velikovsky or of Barbara Hand Clow or of the Mayans, it seems that the planet Venus was an object of abject terror among the ancient peoples. The Mayans in particular charted her movements to an exacting degree, fearful lest she stray from her current circular orbit and shed fire and brimstone upon a hapless Earth.

What if Venus were indeed a captured celestial body not native to our solar system? And what if the Mayan legends of her 'misbehavior', as related by Velikovsky, are true accounts of her capture and and the cataclysmic and far-reaching effects on our own planet? Venus as the Wild Child of our solar system is a lot more acceptable than blaming women for the loss of Eden.

Barbara Hand Clow postulates that the earth was tilted as a result of Venus' flyby. Whereas earth had formerly been a seasonable place, a veritable Eden, with a year-long summer, the magnetic pull of Venus' close encounter pulled our planet off kilter, resulting in the current 23 degree tilt which is responsible for our seasons. Clow points to clues in Egyptian and other artwork that keeps pointing out a tilted vertical line, always at just about a 23 degree tilt off vertical.

Let us take another look at the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. We have been befuddled by our wrongful focus on the issue of their sexuality and guilt. What we should have focused on was the question: What is the purpose of this story? The answer that I come up with is: The purpose of the Eden story is to explain the loss of Eden.

What if Eve in this story is not really a human female after all, but rather Venus – and not a mythological Venus but a literal planet Venus. It is Venus who is responsible for the fact that we no longer had a year-round summer, where we could live in a virtual paradise, plucking fruit from trees as needed. She tilted the Earth, causing the seasons, and forced us to take up agriculture in order to grow our bread.

What does it say in Genesis? “Cursed be the ground because of you, By toil shall you eat of it All the days of your life. . . By the sweat of your brow Shall you get bread to eat, Until you return to the ground.”

Mankind was forced to at last take up agriculture and other labors to grow their sustenance during the short summers, lest they starve to death during this new phenomenon: winter. Granted, it made possible a whole host of other technical and technological advances: metallurgy to make better plows, weaving and leather-working to make warm clothes, fire to keep their houses warm, and so forth.

Stop blaming Eve and just get on with it.

(Please also see articles “A Nod to Velikovsky” and “Stonehenge Evolved Over Centuries of Earth Changes”.)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pictures of July Eclipse Are Online NOW

Please treat yourself to some spectacular pictures of the July solar eclipse online at Space Weather! The link is spaceweather.com/eclipses/gallery_22jul09.htm to get to page one of three pages of photos.

Although the eclipse was visible mostly from Asia only, you can find a couple photos from Iran and Hawaii. Shanghai, Beijing and most of China were cloudy or even rainy -- but skies were clear in Taiwan, Japan, and Philippines.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What Do the Stars Say About the 2009 Kentucky Derby??

by Milky Way Maid

Recently I posted an article predicting the first-round results for the March Madness college basketball tournament. I did pretty well considering I don't even follow basketball! It looks like I hit about 60 percent, which is about what all the other sports handicappers can accomplish.
But now the first Saturday in May beckons, with the most exciting two minutes of sports. The most exciting two minutes of ANY sport!! Millions who never watch any other horse race watch the Kentucky Derby.

Aspects referred to in the notes are between the horse's natal chart and the transits for the race, or vice versa. Interpretations are based on a finish-line race time of about 6:10 pm Eastern Time in Louisville, Kentucky. I have read that Churchill Downs is adding a race earlier in the day, so I do not know if that will affect the time that the Derby is actually run. If so, that can definitely affect my interpretations and choices.

So without too much further ado, here are my readings of the prospects for the 20 entrants of the Run for the Roses. They are more or less in alphabetical order. Actually, I have 21, because as of this writing, we do not know if Quality Road's second quarter crack (an injury to the hoof) will cause his owners to scratch him from the race.

Advice: A February foal, he has some very bad aspects. Both the transiting Moon squares his Mars, and transiting Mars squares his Moon. This usually produces a horse who tries to go to the front and won't relax. This is not the best style for trying to win the Derby. I would not even put him in my exotic bets. He also has Mars squaring the Neptune-Jupiter conjunction, which ordinarily would not be a bad thing.

Papa Clem: This is the other entry with the same bad aspect. Mars squares the Moon, which usually produces a rush to the front and nothing left in the stretch run. However, Papa Clem also has his Sun conjunct transiting Jupiter, which is extraordinarily lucky and could give him enough gas to get to the finish line. His aspects are mixed, shall we say. It will all depend on whether his jockey can control the pace of the race in the early going.

Chocolate Candy: He has a couple good aspects, but nothing major. Mars is squares Jupiter, which usually produces a good effort. And Saturn is trine Mars, for a disciplined and controlled effort, or perhaps a good jockey ride.

Desert Party: His Sun is squaring the nodes, and I am not sure what to make of that because I have never seen that before. Jupiter is also exactly sextile Saturn, which is sometimes a positive indicator. I read that he and his stablemate are blossoming in Kentucky and training well.

Dunkirk: His Sun is near the North Node, inconjunct Pluto. Plus Saturn is trine Mars, probably indicating a good job by the jockey. These aspects are fairly minor and do not have a strong aspect to his Mars or Sun or back them up. I do not see him making an impact on Saturday.

Flying Private: He has only a sextile between his natal and transiting Mars. This is a fairly minor aspect.

Friesan Fire: Mars is three degrees from an exact trine to Jupiter, which is a minor plus. It is also a couple days after his birthday, which usually produces a feeling of well-being in both people and animals.

General Quarters: He has only one strong aspect and that is an opposition between Sun and Saturn. I have not seen this in past Derbys, so I have little to go on. It is either very good or very bad; good, when Saturn awards honors (meaning he wins the roses), and bad when Saturn denies a thing.

Hold Me Back: His Sun is conjunct the descendant, which may indicate a third or fourth place finish. Mars squares the Venus-Mars conjunction, which produces a stubborn effort to hang on. It is also opposite Pluto, which generally means he goes all out. He also has his North Node closest to the exact sextile to the Derby's North Node, which has been an inconsistent indicator of a winner.

I Want Revenge: His Sun is conjunct the Mars-Venus conjunction, which will give him boundless energy. Whether it will be enough to get the distance, and overcome his hoof problems, is still open to debate. Plus a Saturn-South Node conjunction which is favorable.

Join in the Dance: Sun near Venus, just like I Want Revenge, with whom he shares a birthday. Also Saturn conjoins the South Node, a sign of good fortune.

Mr. Hot Stuff: Mars trines the North Node, which says to me that just being in the Derby may be the high point of his career. Trines do not generally produce victories; oppositions and squares produce victories.

Mine that Bird: He has the same birthday as Musket Man, so see those notes. He is however, the less capable entry, so even great transits will not help him win this thing.

Musket Man: Mixed transits. A square between Mars and Saturn indicates he will find traffic problems and be blocked. Jupiter opposes his Sun, which is quite energizing and lucky. And lastly, Saturn is conjunct the South Node, indicating a reward for hard work. He will be lucky to hit the board, but I do not see a win for him.

Pioneer of the Nile: A Sun-Saturn trine plus a Mars-Sun sextile are pretty minor aspects for a major race. I like this horse but a win does not seem to be in the cards. Or stars.

Quality Road: His Sun is near Venus, but Venus is not a factor in sports events; it is only because Venus and Mars are nearly conjunct that it is a factor this year. QR's birthday is only a few days apart form I Want Revenge's, but he has a closer contact. His Mars is also more closely square Saturn, which may indicate traffic problems. (Revenge's Mars-Saturn aspect is much looser, so it should not be a factor Saturday.)

Regal Ransom: This is Desert Party's stablemate. His Mars squares the Ascendant for the race. Mars trines Uranus, which might produce an upset or surprise if he does better than expected. He also has a Jupiter-Sun opposition, which gives a huge boost to one's fortunes and energies.

Square Eddie: He has a Sun-Saturn trine, indicating a disciplined effort and or a good ride by the jockey. Mars trines Jupiter, for abundant physical energy. Mars squares Uranus exactly, which gives concern for injury. I personally don't think he has been prepped adequately for this race, and hope that he does not suffer a career-ending injury because of it.

Summer Bird: Mars is trine the Jupiter-Neptune transiting conjunction. Gives good energy and luck. He could also make some dumb mistake (Neptune) that costs him all chance.

West Side Bernie: His Sun is past the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction, so either he will improve or the second in the last prep race was the high point of the spring career. Mars is conjunct Mercury, which probably will produce a fast pace and a good time but is usually a minor aspect. His Sun is trine the ascendant for the race, producing a favorable effort. There is a Sun-Moon opposition, which tells me that the public will not be fond of him at all, and will probably let the odds rise on him. Saturn is widely trine Mars, but only exact aspects tend to figure in winning efforts.

Win Willy: Sun is widely conjunct Mars, but if it were closer like I Want Revenge's, it would produce a much stronger effect. Mars and Jupiter widely trine, which is also helpful. He just does not have strong personal energy aspects that will support a win.

To sum up, the horses with strong negative factors are: Advice, Papa Clem, Square Eddie, Musket Man and Mine that Bird.

Horse with minor positive factors are: West Side Bernie, Pioneer of the Nile, Flying Private, Mr. Hot Stuff, and Summer Bird.

Horses with strong indicators for a good athletic effort are: Chocolate Candy, Musket Man (altho he probably will not be able to win), Regal Ransom, Desert Party, Quality Road, I Want Revenge and Join in the Dance, Papa Clem, Friesan Fire, Hold Me Back (a possible third or fourth), and possibly General Quarters. Dunkirk is still a question mark, with his Sun near the North Node and also inconjunct Pluto; these are unusual aspects and hard to interpret. They can be highly favorable, but his lack of proper foundation for this race will be difficult to overcome. He will do well to make the superfecta.

Of the last group those with what I feel or suspect may be strongest indicators of a win are Hold Me Back, I Want Revenge, Quality Road, Musket Man, Desert Party, and possibly General Quarters. Even Papa Clem has positive factors that might overcome the negative indicators.

This has been a very hard Derby to interpret, with few of the major aspects that have indicated past winners. I have seen among past winners a transiting Jupiter conjunct Sun, a Sun square or opposite Mars or Jupiter, a Saturn opposite Jupiter, and the exact sextile between natal and transiting North Nodes, and similar aspects involving athletic planets Mars and Jupiter.

Those aspects have not presented themselves this year, except for Hold Me Back, whose birthday is the closest to the date of the North Node exactly sextile the transiting North Node for Derby Day. I am undecided about declaring him the winner, because his Sun is weakly placed at the descendant. But definitely include him in your exacta and trifecta tickets, because he has the kind of running style that people like to see in the Derby.

And if you have been following the pundits who noticed that a gray has won every four years for the last several series, the only grays entered in this year's edition are Dunkirk, General Quarters, and Win Willy.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Have You Ever Wasted Your Professional Advice on a Friend?

by Milky Way Maid
Several years someone that I thought was a close friend asked when she should buy a car. (This falls under electional astrology.) It was early spring and I did not think the transits were so great, and so at first I told her to wait till July. There were going to be much better aspects to Uranus in July.
Oh no, I've got to buy it in May, she says. That's when I get my bonus check (or whatever it was). I just want to know which day I should sign the papers. And she gave me two or three days of a certain week to choose from.
Well there was not much to choose from, was there? It was like being under the gun. So I looked at which aspects were exact on each day. Let me see, I cannot recall now which aspects were on which day from so long ago. But it was something like a Mercury square Saturn on a Wednesday and a Mars square Uranus on Friday, so I split the difference and told her Thursday.
So fine, she buys the car and is very happy with it. ONE YEAR later, making the progressed chart activate the aspect on the following day, she had an accident. Her car was rammed by someone wanted on a warrant, and the crash pushed the engine further to the rear. Fortunately she was OK, but the car sustained over $4K damage at that time.
Yet what did she say to me years later? She blamed me for what happened to the car. You told me to buy it on this day, she whined. And I fired right back at her, I told you to wait till July, but nooo! You had the money in your hot little hands and couldn't wait.
She had no rejoinder to that, but this is what I mean about totally wasting your time trying to help people that you think are friends. No matter how happy they are with the purchase or whatever, they will blame YOU for everything that ever goes wrong with it. Life comes with ups and downs, and no house, car or marriage is absolutely perfect every day of its existence.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Astrology of Love by the Sun Signs; Part 4 - Sag, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces

by Milky Way Maid

How to Attract and Keep a Sag --
SAGITTARIUS: Are you sure you really want to settle down with a Sag? Sag is a rather footloose type, but he's always a great one for sharing great times and great adventures. Want someone to go sky-diving with? Get a Sag. Want someone to hit the casino, tour Europe, go skiing, or ballooning with? Sag is the one. Want someone to cheer you up? Get a Sag. Have a passport, and be ready to pack at a moment's notice for the next adventure. Get yourself on the alert list for last-minute travel deals so you can take off together. Sag will also go for outdoor sports like hiking, skiing, horseback riding. Never say that you just want to hang around the house. Never complain that you might break a leg doing whatever. And NEVER be pessimistic. Ask which they'd rather do: take a trip around the world or climb Mount Everest. They might say both.

How to Attract and Keep a Capricorn --
CAPRICORN: Cappy is one of the most requested signs in the astro-dating field. People want them because they are likely to be very successful in their own company or in a large corporation. But I tell ya, I knew a Cap who liked to spend a few weeks a year roughing it in a tiny cabin. He said it made him appreciate all the amenities of modern life more. So if you can tolerate camping, tenting, hiking on your vacations, or even mountain-climbing, go for it. Cappy also can be a bit insecure about taste in clothes so if you can gently advise him on what tie looks best with what shirt, that will go a long way with him. Help him to look terrific, help edit his presentations and reports so he looks brilliant, be his secret executive secretary, and especially be the kind of corporate wife who hosts perfect dinners with the boss and is a master of protocol. Know how to make the perfect martini, set the perfect table, and send the perfect invitations. Cap women are equally ambitious and will pare the budget to pay tuition for the best colleges, etc. NOTE: Moon in Capricorn is just as ambitious and corporate-minded.

How to Attract and Keep an Aquarian --
AQUARIUS: Aquarians do not live in the past although they can be great story-tellers about their growing-up years. You must have an active interest not only in technology but in humanity as well (technology as the servant of man, not its master). In other words, a computer is nice BUT Aquarians do not glue themselves to it. They get a lot of enjoyment out of belonging to groups, whether at work or otherwise, so do not begrudge his time away from you to be with them. Heck, you may as well join too if it is an open membership. Many astrologers make the mistake of thinking Aquarians are into offbeat stuff, but not in my experience! They are very conventional and committed in relationships, but they do hope for a better future for mankind thru progress and technological achievements. Of all signs, they are the most future-oriented. Try asking them what kind of future he or she sees for humanity.

How to Attract and Keep a Pisces --
PISCES: Pisces probably goes with their feelings more than just about any other sign, so ask what they feel like doing tonight; be prepared to scrap previous plans (don't buy tickets ahead). Find restaurants and malls that offer live music if possible. Take her to free summer concerts in the park. Hanging out at the beach is good, too, especially for younger Pisceans. This is one sign you can probably confess your escapades playing hooky from school to. Dates revolve around gaining experiences rather than shopping or eating; examples are travel to another city, amusement parks, camping or picnicking, or trying a new game. Attract them by asking how that photo or painting or song makes them feel; ask why they like it. You might get some very fascinating answers to that. Play with her cat, and feed her fish.

Astrology of Love by the Sun Signs; Part 3, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio

by Milky Way Maid

How to Attract and Keep a Leo --
LEO: Has a large ego! If you're good at sucking up while being artful about it, you got it made. Likes to make a show of spending money so never, but never, protest that something is too expensive. Do not use coupons or be cheap when on dates; let your scrimping be a deep dark secret. Wear brand-name clothing, etc. on your dates or you are history UNLESS you can say you designed it yourself. Dates may be spent at theatre, cinema, gallery, or casino, or doing creative things like writing/composing/making puppets or staging a little show. Or painting -- with a bright, bold palette of colors. No point in asking “which he'd rather do: A or B” because he is probably doing everything he ever wanted.

How to Attract and Keep a Virgo --
VIRGO: Virgoes are not all dreadfully neat and picky. They can be lots of fun and very down to earth. Usually some part of their life is extremely neat and systematic, and they are working on applying that to more areas of their life. Show them some cool website where they can fill in their data and make a spreadsheet showing where they need to diversify their investments, etc. Dates may be spent golfing, viewing documentaries, visiting museums, attending lectures. It will almost be like school, but at least you can duck out of exams. You must show that you respect work and you must never confess to playing hooky. Never admit to periods of unemployment unless you used the time to write a book or nurse Aunt Agatha thru her last illness. Favorite word may be “perfect”. Be neat, clean and sanitary. Hope you like health foods and broccoli.

How to Attract and Keep a Libran --
LIBRA: Libra has a fixation on perfection, too. If you have a mole or the like, get rid of it. Attracting one is a bit easier if you wear a very artistically-colored tie or shirt, or are hanging around an art gallery. Libra women like to feel that they are treated as equals; so take turns picking the movie, restaurant, etc. Offer to go halves on an admission price or on a chance on a door prize. Likes to do things together, and that does not mean that you fix the leak while she makes lunch. It means she hands you the tools or reads the instructions to you on how to assemble the gazebo. Respect her intelligence, answer her questions, and she is a great partner in any project or business you have going. Needless to say, manners are important, so apologize if you forget to refill her wine glass. Ask which she'd rather do: write a best-selling novel or paint for the rest of her life.

How to Attract and Keep a Scorpio --
SCORPIO: A Scorpio is about total commitment. Do not think you are teasing him by pretending interest in another man/woman. That only tells him that you are not ready to commit to a life together. This commitment may also entail belonging to the same religion or church, so this is not something that you can easily fake for a few months till you get the wedding ring. A Scorpio is also more likely than some signs to believe in psychic or spiritual phenomena, so joining the same church or spiritual group organization is a good idea. Dates usually have plenty of time to talk and get acquainted, such as over dinner, a bottle of wine, even cribbage. Ask what they did in a past life. Ask which they'd rather do, take a long cruise or scuba dive the Caribbean.

Astrology of Love by the Sun Signs: Part 2, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer

How to Attract and Keep an Aries --
ARIES: You gotta be fit to keep up with an Aries, so if you are not currently in an exercise regimen, you better start now. This applies to both male and female Arians. Aries likes to see a fit partner; I knew of a first-degree Aries woman who greatly admired her husband's tight butt. Dates may revolve around activities like dancing, bowling, etc. or around watching sporting events. Keep up with the local teams, know the terminology of a sport, and try to look like a cheerleader. Show off the trophy or medal you won as a kid in peewee league. Restaurant choices tend to favor Mexican or other spicy foods; find a place with jalapeno poppers. Aries sometimes likes to pick fights just for the fun of it, and boy is it fun making up. Also, keep in mind that Aries takes the lead, so while you can make suggestions and objections to details, you will probably not be able to veto the whole idea.

How to Attract and Keep a Taurus --
TAURUS: A Taurus likes to be comfortable! You might even find a depression in the carpet in front of his favorite easy chair, which also has an old but soft and comfy blanket tossed over across it to cuddle under on chilly nights. Of course it goes without saying that Taurus likes a good meal, so if you can cook, by all means offer to make supper for him every Sunday. (or if you know a nice reasonably-priced family restaurant nearby, suggest going there). Try to look like you know your way around the kitchen, and it is OK to try out recipes on him. Likes nature and gardens, and needs to be forced to exercise so try to get him or her in the habit of taking walks in the local nature center or arboretum. Ask what he or she would rather do if s/he had a whole month off from work and no concerns about cost.

How to Attract and Keep a Gemini --
GEMINI: While mastery of the full panoply of communication devices is pretty widespread among all signs nowadays, a Gemini is never far from a cellphone, a bluetooth, maybe a pager, and the iPhone -- communicating by email, voice, IM, and Twitter. Besides multi-tasking to the max, he or she may also be a compulsive writer, scribbling for a blog or website or other platform for sharing one's output. You may have to start writing each other on a social news website in order to get a word in edgewise with his dozens of other friends. Offer to swap comments on each other's articles. Gemini is also a huge flirt, and loves jokes and plays on words. Might spend the whole date talking and nothing else. Tickle the palm of the hands and watch the reaction.

How to Attract and Keep a Cancerian --
CANCER: Never insult their mother. Mom is probably very important to him or her, and that will not change. Spouses are more likely to be trophies in this sign than in any other; you are arm candy, so keep yourself youthful as possible and keep the phone number of a dandy plastic surgeon for when that day comes. Cancerians are often big babies which means you (or a waitress) will wait on them hand and foot. Chest is erogenous zone so find an excuse to run your fingers thru their chest hair. Dates may center on being near a body of water: pool, lake, ocean, even a fountain. (Hope you can swim.) Restaurant choices tend to seafood joints or family-owned establishments. Cancer women will be the boss at home so get used to letting her choose the movie, etc. And they are great executives, just like Capricorn, so they run the house like a well-oiled machine.

Astrology of Love by the Sun Signs, The Basics

by Milky Way Maid

One of the perennial questions that astrologers get is how to make someone of a given sign fall in love with them, or how to keep them. How do I attract a Capricorn man? How do I keep an Aries?

There are certain principles that apply to all signs, of course. Be honest, be his best friend, support each other emotionally as well as financially. Astrologically, your moon signs should be compatible also; moons that square each other or oppose each other warn you that you may have too much friction to live under the same roof! Masculine and feminine planets should be conjunct or in harmonious aspect; for example Mars should be sextile, trine or conjunct Venus; the Sun or Ascendant should be conjunct, sextile or trine the Moon.

Some astrologers use the Arabic Part of Marriage to find out more about the nature of the marriage and if it will be auspicious or not. Calculate the Part of Marriage by adding the Ascendant and Seventh House cusp, then subtract the placement of Venus. (You can read a nice, clear description of two ways to do that, at www-personal.umich.edu/~pfa/dreamhouse/attic/lots/calc.html.)

And if you have read any of the books by the Magi Society, then you are probably also aware that there are often contacts between the Chiron of one, with planets in the other's chart. Chiron does not always guarantee happiness; the Diana and Prince Charles marriage featured Chiron contacts, and we all know how that turned out.

OK, let's go to the specifics of sign by sign. The following applies not only to the Sun in these signs but Moon, Mars, Venus or Ascendant. Mars will apply more to the sports and other activities while Venus applies more to their values and love nature. Sometimes the Ascendant really expresses itself in the physical appearance, and sometimes more strongly in the personality.

Go check out the second part of this article for notes on Aries, Taurus, Gemini and Cancer. Another segment covers Leo, Virgo, Libra and Scorpio. Then the last segment covers Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Watch out for transits to your natal Chiron

by Milky Way Maid
If you recall, last December I mentioned that a transit to my natal Chiron may have been responsible for a rough fall on some ice. It really got me down and kept me from getting out more this winter. But it made me look back at other transits to Chiron. Wow, what an eye-opener that has been! I would have been a lot more cautious about making a decision when affected by those transits, because they generally did not work out at all.

First, my natal Chiron is in Aquarius. That explains why the fall raised a bump on my lower leg and sprained an ankle. Chiron also roughly squares both my Mercury and my Sun.

What set off this personal inquiry was failing miserably at a guessing game last weekend. Usually I am fairly good, so it was really frustrating to feel like I was jinxed! Looking back thru my ephemeris, I located times when major and minor planets were conjunct. As you know, Neptune has been in a long transit thru Aquarius, and the exchange between Neptune and Uranus (each in the other's ruling sign) has been good for Aquarians and Pisces.

Not until Neptune got about three degrees past my natal Chiron did my mood and mental abilities really start to feel more like normal. (although while it was retrograding back from the exact aspect, I again did pretty well)

Let's not go all the way back to the Uranus transit which was almost a decade ago; that too was a very painful period.

Let's just deal with the more recent observations and with the inner planets. It is useful for me to use my game-playing as one measure of how I am operating mentally. Transiting Venus does not seem as negative as the other planets. Still my game-playing went wacko December 23, when Venus made an exact conjunction to natal Chiron. Fortunately I was only playing for points that time because I knew I was a little off that day.

January, as I have now realized, is always a bit iffy for me when it comes to making decisions. All too often I have been unable to decide anything, and if forced to, I guess wrong. This has been quite damaging if making decisions about financial matters, altho if I merely handed things over to a planner or the like, that was OK.

This year (2009), both Jupiter and Mercury entered Aquarius early in January. They did not contact my Chiron, however, till the end of February for Mercury, and late March for Jupiter. Alas Jupiter retrogrades and again contacts Chiron in Sept.-Oct., and yet again when direct for the rest of October. Sheesh, it's enough to make you feel persecuted.

I am not out of the woods during other months, because I have now discovered that the Moon in Aquarius is just as bad or worse. It seems like nothing I do on those days is right, and I wind up feeling the jinx is on me.

So there you have it, another astrological contact to watch out for. Be very careful of making any decisions on days when any planet is contacting your natal Chiron, whether it is personal planets like Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars – or outer planets like normally benefic Jupiter or troublesome Uranus and Neptune. You may really need to bounce things off a trusted friend before doing (or not doing) anything.

And for gosh sakes, don't go to Vegas when Sun or Moon is on your Chiron.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

How Many Leos Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb?

by Milky Way Maid
He'll jump up to change it right away, but if you don't have the right size/type bulb, he'll forget all about it. If you wait a half hour for anything, he'll forget about it and go on to the next chore.
Taurus: Wait, I'm not ready to change the bulb. I have to move the stack of ironing out of the way and them I'll go down to the basement and dig out a bulb. Serves me right for buying whatever's on sale; they never last. OK, now I've got it, now where is that Aries?
Gemini: Too busy answering emails and phone messages to actually do it. Is surveying everyone he knows about which brands are best.
Cancer: Loves every task involved in keeping up her beloved home, sweet home. Is only too glad to give her precious home a new light bulb.
Leo: Why don't we rip out the old fixture and put in makeup lights around the bathroom mirror? How can I possibly look my best if I have to use this 50s-era bathroom to prepare for my entrance??
Virgo: Yes, Virgo has an assortment of new bulbs in organized trays by size and wattage in the basement. Takes 30 seconds to pull out a new one and efficiently replace the old one.
Libra: Honey, can we put in pink lights? They're so much more flattering. And can I hold the ladder for you, honey? You know I love it when we work on a projects together. What do you think, dear?
Scorpio: Can find his way around in the dark very well. Forget the light bulb. Just take my hand, honey, and trust me.
Sagittarius: Ooh, it'll be like roughing it. Let's camp out in the back yard, I can put up a tent in no time. How about it?
Capricorn: Don't get excited, it's very simple and routine. Call Virgo to efficiently replace the bulb and bill me.
Aquarius: Better check the continuity on that lamp, it could be the wiring. Better yet, maybe we should rewire the whole house; this is a safety issue!
Pisces: Why does this house hate me? Last month it was the plumbing leak. Next month it'll probably be the roof flying off. Take me now, Lord.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Predicting 2009 March Madness Results with Astrology

by Milky Way Maid
Herewith are my predictions for the first round of matchups in the college basketball championships known as March Madness. Sports Astrology is a very specialized skill and craft, and wading into these waters is a real temptation for the astrology gods to laugh in your face. But anyway, here goes.

I will be using the scheduled tipoff time as the time for the chart. The favored team is the sign on the ascendant, and the opponent is the sign opposite, in the seventh house. Turn the chart if you need to do so, to visualize the chart of the opponent. There is a real difficulty with games that take a couple hours to play, like basketball and football, because the chart can change dramatically when the signs change over. Like I said, here goes.

Texas vs Minnesota. The pundits say an upset could happen here, and the stars concur. Texas has Libra rising with its ruler in the first house of its opponent, Minnesota-Aries. Also Aries' ruler Mars is sextile Pluto. It looks like Minnesota will dominate its opponent. Advantage: Minnesota.

Duke vs Binghamton. Duke has Scorpio rising and is square the nodes. Bing has Taurus on its
ascendant, with its ruler Venus retrograde and square the Moon. That does not help Bing much
astrologically. And Duke's co-rulers, Mars and Pluto, are sextile. Advantage: Duke.

Villanova vs American Univ. Libra rising again for Villanova, with a square to the Moon, and opposite Venus but in the sixth house this time. Descendant (American) is Aries with a retrograde Venus in its 12th house. Somehow American will shoot itself in the foot even tho the later quarters of the game may proceed better than the earlier quarters. A tricky call but Advantage: Villanova.

UCLA vs VCU. UCLA is Scorpio rising, square Jupiter in the 3rd house. Sextile Saturn at the top of the chart, which is promising. Descendant (VCU) is Taurus with ruler Venus retrograde in the chart's fifth house and square the Moon. I think the elevated Saturn is too much for VCU to overcome. Advantage: UCLA.

California vs Maryland. Cal has Scorpio rising, trining the Sun in the fourth house. Co-rulers sextile each other in the second and third houses. Descendant (Maryland) is Taurus with ruler Venus retrograde. However Taurus also sextiles the Sun in its eleventh house of friends and groups. Perhaps a fan continent will help them stay focused on doing their best. However, even tho most of the Scorpio charts will have the favored team winning, Maryland gets some help from the stars. Advantage: Maryland.

LSU vs Butler. Hmm, finally a Cancer ascendant for the favored team. This chart has a square to Venus in the tenth, and a sextile to Saturn in the third. Mixed results. The descendant (Butler) has Moon and Pluto in its twelfth house, and a trine to retrograde Saturn. This is a hard call, but the heavy affliction in the Butler twelfth house will shoot down its hopes. Advantage: LSU.

Memphis vs Cal State. Ascendant Virgo (Memphis) trines the Moon, and is conjunct Saturn in the first house. Saturn is honors here. The descendant (Cal St) is Pisces with Mercury, Uranus and Sun in its first house. Also Mars Neptune in its twelfth house, which is not quite so deadly as having Pluto or Saturn there. Perhaps they will be hurt by injuries. Still they look strong with that stellium in their first house. Advantage: Memphis.

N. Carolina vs Radford. I know, I know, it will not prove anything to pick NC because it is ranked Number One. But anyway, we proceed. NC has Leo rising, opposite Jupiter at the descendant, and trine Venus. Aquarius is Radford, with Jupiter, Mars and Neptune in its first house. Jupiter is inconjunct Saturn and sextile Venus. Mars-Neptune is very unfavorable, with Jupiter magnifying things. Loss of key players to injuries, perhaps. Advantage: North Carolina.

BYU vs Texas A&M. BYU has Cancer rising, trining Mercury-Uranus in the ninth house. Sparkling play, favorable press. Descendant TX A&M is Capricorn, with ruler Saturn in its ninth house. Moon-Pluto in its twelfth; Pluto there is bad. North Node in its first house. Hmm, tough call. Texas may show potential for next year, but might not get too far this year. Advantage: Texas.

Gonzaga vs Akron. Gonzaga has Virgo rising here, with no aspects, although Saturn is in its first house and ruler Muercury in the seventh. Akron is Pisces, with Mars-Neptune in its twelfth house (bad). Probable injuries. But Mercury, Uranus and Sun are in its first house. A tough call but I am going with Akron to overcome its obstacles. Advantage: Akron.

U Conn vs Chattanooga. Leo is U Conn, with an opposition to Neptune in the seventh house. Also an inconjunct to Uranus in the eighth. Hmm, inconjuncts change things around, and Uranus sometimes denotes an upset. Chattanooga is Aquarius, with Mars-Neptune in its first house (bad). Jupiter in its twelfth. Loss of key players probably, and harsh officiating may go against them. Advantage: U Conn.

Illinois vs Western Kentucky. The Illini have Libra rising with ruler, retrograde Venus, opposing them. Also a square to heavyweight Pluto. Western KY has Aries rising and its ruler Mars sextile Pluto. Having the opponents' ruler in your first house is usually a sign that it has its opponent's number. Advantage: Western Kentucky.

Purdue vs Northern Iowa. Purdue has Cancer rising, opposing the Moon at the descendant. Square to Venus in the tenth. Iowa has the ruler of the opponent in its first house, a great indicator of dominance. I call for Iowa to pull an upset.

Clemson vs Michigan. Clemson is Virgo rising, opposing Sun and Uranus at the descendant. Saturn in the twelfth is bad because it could be done in by penalties. Michigan is Pisces, with the Sun in its first house. Again, Mars and Neptune in its twelfth mean losses, possible lost players due to injuries. A very tough call on this game. Advantage: Michigan.

Washington vs Mississippi State. Washington is Leo rising, trine a retrograde Venus. Its ruler the Sun is high in the ninth house. Miss is Aquarius with Jupiter and Neptune in its first house, a mixed bag. North Node in its twelfth house. Hmm. Washington has the advantage, I'd say.

Oklahoma vs Morgan State. The Okies have Libra rising trine Neptune in the fourth house. Morgan is Aries with Mars in the fifth house sextile Pluto in the third. Morgan has ruler Mars in better aspect, while the Okies have ruler Venus in retrograde and square the Moon. Advantage: Morgan State.

Louisville vs Morehead. Louisville is Libra rising, trine Jupiter in the fourth house, a great boon. Morehead has Aries rising, and in this chart Venus is in its twelfth house not in its first. So I see no upset here. Advantage: Louisville.

Oklahoma State vs Tennessee. OK has Cancer rising and trine the Sun and Uranus in the ninth house -- sparkling play again. Tenn has Capricorn as its ascendant, with its ruler Saturn inconjunct Jupiter. The Moon in its twelfth house just means the crowd will not be rooting for it. Very tough to call this matchup. I think the score will be very close. I will just go with the favorite -- Oklahoma.

Ohio State vs Siena. Ohio has Scorpio rising, with a trine to Mercury Uranus in the fourth house, and square to Jupiter in the third house. A lot of press attention for this game, I think. Plus a sextile to Saturn in the tenth house, very auspicious. Siena is Taurus with a trine to Saturn. Ruler Venus is retrograde and in the eleventh house (its fifth). Just because there are more aspects to Ohio, I will go with them.

Pittsburgh vs ETSU. Pittsburgh is Leo rising opposing Neptune at the descendant. A minor aspect to Venus. ETSU is Aquarius with Neptune in its twelfth house, which is not good -- fouls, missed opportunities, crossed signals, etc. Big advantage to Pittsburgh.

Utah vs Arizona. Utah is Libra rising, oppsosing Venus at descendant, sextile the South Node, a minor aspect to Neptune. Arizona is Aries, with its opponents' ruler Venus under control in its first house. Sun, Mercury and Uranus in its twelfth -- chance of lots of lost balls, interceptions, etc. But unheralded Arizona can steal this game.

Xavier vs Portland. Xavier has Virgo rising, conjunct Saturn in the first. Ruler Mercury conjunct Uranus in the seventh house -- not good. Portland is Pisces, Mercury and Uranus in its first house. Mars and Neptune in its twelfth house. Hurt by injuries etc. but I think they can bottle up Xavier. Advantage: Portland.

Wake Forest vs Cleveland State. Wake is Scorpio rising, square Jupiter at the bottom of the chart. Cleveland is Taurus with ruler Venus retrograde in its eleventh -- lots of friends come to root for them. Because Wake's co-rulers are sextile, I give them the advantage. Advantage: Wake Forest.

Florida State vs Wisconsin. Florida has Libra rising, again its ruler is retrograde and at the
descendent. Wisconsin is Aries, with ruler Mars sextile heavyweight Pluto. I see Wisconsin bottling up Florida pretty well. Advantage: Wisconsin.

Kansas vs North Dakota State. Kansas has Cancer rising, square Venus in the tenth house. Its ruler the Moon is in the seventh house, a bad placement. ND is Capricorn rising, with ruler Saturn at its Midheaven. I see North Dakota all over Kansas like chocolate sauce on an ice cream sundae. Advantage: North Dakota State.

West Virginia vs. Daytona. WV has Leo rising, trine venus in the ninth house. Nice national press. Ruler the Sun is in the ninth house also, with Mercury and Uranus near. Daytona has Aquarius rising, with Jupiter, Neptune in its first house. Jupiter is such a great boon, even with Neptune there. They might just benefit from blind luck. The crowd will not like them, tho (Moon in its twelfth house). Advantage: Daytona.

Boston College vs Southern Cal. Boston has Libra rising, opposing the sun at the descendant. It also has a square to Pluto in the fourth house which challenges but also pushes you to do better than your best. So-Cal has Aries rising, with the Sun on its ascendant, and opponent's ruler Venus in its first house -- a bright omen. Mercury and Uranus are in its twelfth house, which may denote lost balls, interceptions, muffed handoffs. Nevertheless, it has ruler Mars sextile Pluto going for it, which is hard to ignore. Advantage: Southern Cal.

Michigan State vs Robert Morris. Mich has the last degree of Libra rising, and a square to the Moon. It also has a trine to Neptune, which could mean inspiring play. Morris has Aries rising with Venus in its twelfth house. The game's first minutes could be of a different quality than the rest of the game. Mich's ascendant will change rapidly to Scorpio, with its co-rulers in sextile aspect. Advantage: Michigan State.

Marquette vs Utah State. Marquette has Scorpio rising, with no aspects. However as we have noted several times, its co-rulers are in sextile (favorable) aspect. Utah has Taurus as its rising sign, with its ruler Venus retrograde in its eleventh, friends and fans. Advantage: Marquette.

Syracuse vs Stephen F Austin. Syracuse has Cancer rising, squaring Venus in the tenth house which is favorable. Also a trine to Mars in the ninth house, which sextiles Pluto. Austin has Capricorn rising, and Pluto in its twelfth house -- very bad! The Moon is in its first, but it is hard to see anyone overcoming a Pluto affliction. This may be tough but I am going with Syracuse.

Missouri vs Cornell. Missouri also has Cancer rising, this time with Mercury and Uranus in the ninth house. Opposing Moon at the descendant. Very mixed. Cornell has capricorn rising, Pluto in its twelfth again, although ruler Saturn is in its ninth house. The elevated Saturn for Cornell is good, the opponent's ruler (Moon) in its first house is good. I may catch heck for this but -- Advantage: Cornell.

Arizona State vs Temple. Arizona has Leo rising with Venus trine in the ninth house -- adoring press. Conjunct the South Node above the horizon. Hmm. Temple has Aquarius with Jupiter in its first house, a hard placement to beat. They'll just be durn lucky, is all. Advantage: Temple.