Donald Trump’s Real Birth Time

Several astrology blogs, including AstroDataBank, list 9:51 a.m. as the time that New York real estate billionaire Donald Trump was born on June 14, 1946. However, when Trump released his birth certificate in a nod to the “birthers” who believe that President Obama was not born in the US, it revealed a 10:36 or 10:56 a.m. time of birth. The handwriting is too small for me to make out in this image. Maybe one of Astrology Mundo’s eagle-eyed readers will let me know which one it is.

Assuming that 10:56 is the time of birth, Trump has a 0 degree Virgo rising. Given his prominent hair, now dyed brightly red, I would have chosen a Leo rising for Trump. But the new chart has Mars in Leo quite close to the Ascendant, so that works for me. Loaded Second House of Wealth also seems to confirm the new birthtime. Any thoughts, astrologers?

Mind the Grand Cross: Full Moon in Gemini

As Nancy’s Blog has been pointing out for some time, today’s Full Moon at 21 degrees of Gemini/Sagittarius squares Uranus in Pisces and Saturn in Virgo. It took place at 11:37 a.m. Eastern time.

Given that Mars is also conjuncting the Sun in this picture, one might reasonably expect something to suddenly “hit the skids” (Saturn plus Uranus equals Mars), and this morning we’ve heard that the bailout for Detroit has been derailed by Senate Republicans.

Bankruptcy for General Motors and Chrysler promises to further increase the unemployment that we’ve been seeing under Saturn in Virgo.

Here’s the chart for the Full Moon, courtesy of Star IQ.

Eliot Spitzer’s New Career

Perfect for a Gemini: Former New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer is reinventing himself. This time around, he’s a journalist. Here’s a link to Spitzer’s new column in Slate.

Here’s his chart, courtesy of the Reluctant Astrologer. You’ll notice that transiting Mercury in Sag is on Spitzer’s descendant. By birth, the Winged Messenger is in Gemini and is conjunct Spitzer’s Sun in the first house.

T. Boone Pickens: Community Organizer?

I’ve decided to reprint a piece that I posted during the dog days of August. Tonight, as I was surfing the Net, I clicked on an ad that T. Boone Pickens is running to raise awareness about our dependence on foreign oil.

Now, to someone like me who grew up thinking of Pickens as king of the oil patch, it’s weird to hear him talking about wind power and doing grass-roots organizing in places like Shreveport, La., where the economy depends on oil refineries.

Given that these ads are popping up as Saturn opposes Uranus, I decided to look at Pickens’ chart again. He’s got Mercury at 21 Gemini, making a T-square to the opposition of Saturn in Virgo and Uranus in Pisces that is exact on Election Day.

Reinhold Ebertin, my astrology guru, says this aspect leads to “the ability to organize resistance,” in his indispensable guide to astrology, The Combination of Stellar Influences. Sounds like Pickens is becoming a community organizer of sorts.

Here’s my earlier post:

I’m no stranger to the ways of T. Boone Pickens. But something interesting has happened in the last month or so: The legendary billionaire oilman has jumped off the business pages of the newspaper and the Net to become a household name.

Pickens is no longer just a businessman; he’s a business celebrity, joining the ranks of folks such as Donald Trump, Ross Perot, Warren Buffett, and Jack Welch. (I’m straining to think of a woman here. I guess you can call Oprah and Martha Stewart business celebrities, though they were media personalities first.)

Back in the 1980s, when I was following Pickens’ machinations closely, he was called a “corporate raider” and “greenmailer.” Taking a position in a company’s stock, hounding management to increase “shareholder value,” and then getting bought out at a premium came naturally to the former wildcatter.

Flash forward to 2008, when Pickens is being hailed as a savior for his plan to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil by calling for increased investment in natural gas, wind, and solar power, an initiative now known as the “Pickens Plan.” The Dallas Morning News, for one, has questioned the altruism of the Pickens Plan, noting that the oilman has made sizeable investments in clean energy and stands to gain, particularly in California, if some of his proposals are put into action.

As an astrologer, I’m curious to know why an 80-year-old businessman is suddenly in the limelight. And even though I don’t have a time of birth, which is required to calculate an accurate chart for Pickens, I think I have the answer to why Pickens is everyone’s favorite business celebrity these days. (Sorry, Donald!)

Pickens is a Gemini, born May 22, 1928 in Holdenville, Okla. Here’s his chart, set for noon, courtesy of Astrodienst. I’ve done progressions and transits for July 8, the day the Oklahoman unveiled his new energy plan.

I don’t have time to do a complete interpretation of Pickens’ chart right now, but I think the reason why his name suddenly is on everyone’s lips is that his progressed Sun, at 17 degrees of Leo, is opposing the North Node. Neptune, which rules energy, is a few degrees away from the North Node in Aquarius right now, but earlier this year it had been traveling in tandem with the Node.

With transiting Jupiter in Capricorn about to make a station opposing Pickens’ natal Pluto in Cancer (and possibly his Moon, depending on his time of birth), a windfall is coming his way around Labor Day weekend.

I hope you don’t detect any skepticism or sarcasm about Pickens’ motivations in this post. I believe he is sincere in his belief that the U.S. needs to wean itself from foreign energy. But once a wildcatter, always a wildcatter.

All Charged Up About Scranton

Something’s happening with Scranton. It started with the U.S. version of The Office, which is set in the “Electric City,” the nickname Scranton gave itself in 1886 after becoming home to the nation’s first electrified trolley system.

Then, at the end of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, when New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd dubbed her the “Scranton gal” because Clinton had struck a chord with Wal-Mart Moms, Scranton got another notch in its tattered belt.

The hometown of Delaware Senator Joe Biden, Scranton received some more high-voltage exposure over the weekend, thanks to the hilarious vice-presidential debate routine on Saturday Night Live.

In the skit, Biden, played by actor Jason Sudeikis, runs Scranton through the mud, calling it a “hell hole,” among other things, to establish his working-class street cred. From Scranton’s point of view, though, any publicity is good publicity.

While trawling the Net this morning, I discovered a T-shirt for a Police cover band called Scrantonicity on the Snorg Tees Web site that’s at the top of this post. Commenter Marge informs me that Scrantonicity is a “fake” Police cover band that Kevin from TV’s The Office plays in.

Still, the “icity” suffix in Scrantonicity suggests a Uranus transit for the hardscrabble city in Northeastern Pennsylvania, as does all the TV and Internet coverage. (Uranus is associated with electricity.)

Carolyn Dodson’s Horoscopes of the U.S. shows a Scranton chart with Neptune rising at 15 degrees of Virgo, just past a 14 degree Ascendant. The chart is set for noon on June 2, 1773, when an ordinance was adopted to establish the town. The noon time suggests that the actual time the ordinance was passed is unknown.

Even so, natal Neptune is getting an opposition from starmaker Uranus in Pisces. Bingo! Transiting Saturn is also conjuncting that Neptune as it moves toward an opposition with Uranus on Election Day. Maybe the presence of Saturn is why the buzz (Uranus) surrounding Scranton is of the backhanded-compliment kind.

The natal chart has a Sun/Venus conjunction at 12 and 11 degrees of Gemini, respectively, at the Midheaven, squaring Neptune in Virgo. My brother (there’s a Gemini word for you) once observed that Scranton had more bars and churches (both ruled by Neptune) per capita than any place he had ever visited.

The chart also features a Mercury/Uranus conjunction in Taurus in the Ninth House fortunately trined by Pluto in the fifth at 22 degrees of Capricorn. That Taurus/Capricorn aspect reflects the city’s wealth from coal and its reputation as a leading industrial center from 1846 until 1945, when the city began a long steady descent. By the 1970s, the city known for generating energy by producing coal was becoming an arson capital.

In recent years, Scranton’s fortunes have been revived somewhat by good old-fashioned pork barrel, which led to the creation of a new National Park Service site called Steamtown. Founded in 1986, Steamtown is dedicated to the history of steam railroading.

Evidently, millions of taxpayer dollars are being wasted to maintain Steamtown and its attendance figures have fallen short of the mark. Still, it’s a feather in Scranton’s newsboy cap.

In the spirit of disclosure, especially since the SNL skit labeled Scranton as a “genetic cesspool,” my grandfather emigrated from a part of Austria-Hungary that is now in Ukraine and became a coal miner in Scranton. Like Biden, my father clawed his way out of Scranton, actually a “suburb” called Peckville, but his exit strategy was to join the military.

In the SNL skit, “Biden” claims to be the only good thing ever to come out of Scranton. That’s not quite true. The city has produced a Pennsylvania political dynasty for the family that gave Scranton its name as well as some exceptional athletes. Gerry McNamara, who played for the Syracuse University Orangemen from 2002 to 2006, comes to mind.

No doubt some young punk or punkette is walking Scranton’s mean streets today, with just one goal: to get out of the Electric City and see his or her name in lights. Hey, I’ve got your back. We’re from the same genetic cesspool!

It’s Hard to Have a Happy Birthday Under House Arrest

I’ve been thinking about the fate of Burmese democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi ever since the cyclone hit Myanmar, as the country is known under its current oppressive regime, in early May (See “Laura Bush Takes the Lead on Myanmar,” http://astrologymundo.wordpress.com/2008/05/05/laura-bush-takes-the-lead-on-myanma/

I’ve done some Internet searches but haven’t been able to learn how the cyclone affected the residence where the woman popularly known as “The Lady” has been held under house arrest by the Myanmar junta since 1980. I did see in the Wikipedia that the government extended her detention for another year on May 27, three weeks after the cyclone hit.

With this in mind, I welcomed the chance to kill some time at the Vassar College Bookstore yesterday while a friend’s daughter took a tour. I was lucky to find a book about Aung San Suu Kyi and to learn that her 63rd birthday was June 19. Kind of funny that it was the day before I found the book.

The Irrawaddy.org, an excellent resource on the struggle for freedom in Burma, reported that four democracy activists were arrested as they released sparrows and doves in honor of Suu Kyi’s birthday this week: http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=12849

I’m going to embellish this post later, but if you’re interested in the life of one of the planet’s most courageous women, please go to Michael WolfStar’s excellent article on Burma and Suu Kyi, whose father was Burma’s answer to George Washington. You can find the link here to the article and natal charts for Suu Kyi and the country of Burma: http://www.neptunecafe.com/burma.html

I immediately notice that Suu Kyi has the North Node, ruling the collective, conjunct a restrictive Saturn in Cancer, the sign that rules home. The world (North Node) has been watching her life under house (Cancer) arrest (Saturn). Saturn in Cancer conjunct North Node also illustrates that she’s carrying the weight of her family’s legacy in Burma.

Suu Kyi has Jupiter at 19 degrees of Virgo, so she’ll be having transiting Saturn on her Jupiter this fall, as transiting Uranus in Pisces opposes Saturn in the sky. This could be a chance for release or escape since Uranus often leads to breakthroughs.

I’ll post more on the charts later myself, but it would be interesting to see how the storm manifested itself from an astrological point of view. In the meantime, here’s an article about U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice paying tribute to The Lady, who won the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, on her birthday: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080619/pl_afp/usmyanmarpoliticsoppositionsuukyi_080619134007

I’m surprised to find myself on the same side of an issue as Condi, but there’s a first for everything!

The Astrology of Bloomsday

Would the departed never nowhere nohow reappear? Ever he would wander, selfcompelled, to the extreme limit of his cometary orbit, beyond the fixed stars and variable suns and telescopic planets, astronomical waifs and strays, to the extreme boundary of space, passing from land to land, among peoples, amid events. — James Joyce, Ulysses

A literary friend reminded me that today, June 16, is Bloomsday, a celebration of James Joyce’s Ulysses and the novel’s protagonist Leopold Bloom. Bloomsday, according to the Wiki, is the anniversary of the day in 1904 when Joyce and his future wife Nora Barnacle had their first formal date, a walk to the Dublin village of Ringsend.

Bloomsday is a marathon of words, with Joyce aficionados reading from Ulysses for hours in locales around the world, including some of the places where Joyce and Barnacle actually stopped on their walk, like Davy Byrne’s pub in Dublin.

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, you can hear one of these readings taking place live tonight at Symphony Space in New York from 6:30 p.m. on. It’s the 27th celebration of Bloomsday on Broadway.

Here’s the link: http://www.symphonyspace.org/bloomsday/index.php

As an astrologer, I was curious what the chart of June 16, 1904, set for noon in Dublin, would look like. I don’t know what time Joyce and Barnacle made their celebrated trek; when the time of an event is unknown, astrologers set the chart for noon.

In any event, this chart has no less than five planets in the talk-talk-talk sign of Gemini, which are squared by group-oriented North Node in Virgo, which is rising. So this is a collective jabberfest, the chart says. The Gemini lineup is opposed by Uranus in the global sign of Sagittarius down near the IC, or bottom of the chart, so it’s interesting that Bloomsday tributes are held around the world.

Revolutionary Uranus could be seen to represent Joyce’s break with such niceties as punctuation and traditional sentence structure in Ulysses, which takes place during a single day in Dublin.

Bloomsday is at its heart a tribute to word play, a very Geminian concept. Here’s what Joyce had to say about Ulysses: “The pity is the public will demand and find a moral in my book — or worse they may take it in some more serious way, and on the honor of a gentleman, there is not one single serious line in it.” Remember that last line the next time you’re talking to a Gemini!

Given Bloom’s meditations on Molly’s sexual charms that infuse the stream-of-consciousness novel, it’s fitting that in our chart that Jupiter is found in the forthright sign of Aries and is located in the eighth house of sex and other mysteries. This chart, though it may be theoretical, is a surprisingly apt representation of what Bloomsday is today.

Here’s the link to the chart, courtesy of Astrodienst: http://www.astro.com/cgi/chart.cgi?cid=41laaaa19347-s971800598&lang=e&gm=a1&nhor=250&nho2=12&btyp=2&mth=gw&sday=16&smon=6&syr=2008&hsy=-1&zod=&orbp=&rs=0&ast=

Meet My New Nephew

My family has been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Brayden, who made his entrance into this world via C-section yesterday, June 10, at 5:43 a.m. in Albuquerque, N.M.

Even before Brayden was born, I was sure he was going to have a prominent Venus in his chart. Why? Because his dresser and closet were filled with clothes, some new and some hand-me-downs, that had been given to my sister before he was born.

The kid’s not even here yet and he’s got a great wardrobe, I thought. So here’s his chart, courtesy of Astrodienst:
http://www.astro.com/cgi/chart.cgi?cid=41laaaa19347-s971800598&lang=e&gm=a1&nhor=248&nho2=12&btyp=2&mth=gw&sday=11&smon=6&syr=2008&hsy=-1&zod=&orbp=&rs=0&ast=

Interesting that Uranus in Pisces squares the Mercury/Sun/Venus conjunction on the Ascendant and that Brayden was born through surgical means. Uranus sometimes has to do with cutting.

As a proud aunt, it’s hard to be impartial about this chart. As an astrologer, I wish he didn’t have Mercury retrograde, which can be associated with communication difficulties. Of course, these don’t have to be serious. I have a friend with Merc retro and she’s always coming out with the funniest malaprops, but is a very successful writer, nonetheless.

Braden has a T-square. The Gemini stellium squares the opposition of Uranus in Pisces and Moon in Virgo. My former teacher, New York astrologer Eileen McCabe, always said to look to the “outlet” of the T-square, which in this case is Sagittarius in the seventh house. That’s where the energy wants to escape. The outlet of a T-square is where the fourth point of a grand cross would be. In Braden’s case: Travel, baby, travel or sports, baby, sports!

I have a feeling I’m going to be quite involved in Brayden’s life, as I have no children myself and my Sag stellium opposes his Gemini lineup and falls in his seventh house. My Sun is nearly exactly on his Jupiter in the eighth house of joint resources so he may end up inheriting money from me.

Brayden and his Mom share a Virgo Moon so they will get along nicely. Before he was born, she was already talking about how they were doing household chores together. “Brayden and I raked leaves today,” she would say, or “Brayden and I are going to wash the car.”

Daddy’s a Harley-riding Sag so there are definitely some road trips in Brayden’s future. With all that Gemini energy on the Ascendant, he might find it hard to stay in one place. Maybe he’ll be on the PGA Tour, as his Daddy was in his younger days. Just what we need in this family: another golfer!

Wassup with the Washington Post?

I got an e-mail from an old friend of mine earlier this week who lives in the Washington D.C. area. I’ve been subjecting her to my telethon-like pleas to click on Astrology Mundo and she’s been obliging. Now it’s time to return the favor.

She wants to know if it’s possible for a newspaper like the Washington Post to have a natal chart? Yes, indeed it is. My friend asks whether this natal chart yields any clues as to why so many people were laid off from the paper and its sister publication Newsweek on May 31, 2008.

Now, some folks would cast the chart for the founding of the paper, back in 1877.

But I don’t think that’s the right date because the Post went into bankruptcy, meaning it “died” from a financial standpoint and was reborn when it was purchased by financier and Federal Reserve Board governor Eugene Meyer on June 1, 1933. Interesting that my friend’s e-mail arrived on June 2, quite close to the anniversary of this purchase, and that many of the latest layoffs tooks place around this “birthday.”

Birthdays and anniversaries often bring about news or change as the Sun returns to its original position, lighting up the chart.

Most readers may not be familiar with Eugene Meyer, but many have probably heard of his daughter, former Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham. A socialite who ended up at the helm of the family-owned paper after her husband committed suicide, Graham took on the Nixon Administration by exposing the Watergate break-in in a series of articles written by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in the 1970s.

One of my favorite anecdotes about Graham was how Nixon’s Attorney General, John Mitchell, warned Bernstein in 1972 that if the Watergate stories were published, “Katie Graham’s gonna get her tit caught in a big fat wringer.” Boys will be boys, even when they’re sitting in the White House.

Graham, who died in 2001 at Herb Allen’s Sun Valley media conference, wrote a poignant biography that won the Pulitzer prize called Personal History. Graham captivates the reader early on with her naivete. She doesn’t realize her family is rich, she doesn’t understand that she’s considered Jewish because her father is a Jew, and she doesn’t acknowledge her mother is an alcoholic. But her masterful recounting of her life lets you mature and ripen along with her.

Somewhere in Personal History, it may mention the time of the bankruptcy auction on June 1, but I lent my copy to somebody who never returned it. I searched the Web but I couldn’t find a time for the auction so I set the chart for the Washington Post’s “birth” for noon.

Here’s the chart with transits to May 31: http://www.astro.com/cgi/chart.cgi?cid=41laaaa19347-s971800598&lang=e&gm=a1&nhor=247&nho2=12&btyp=24&mth=gw&sday=31&smon=5&syr=2008&hsy=-1&zod=&orbp=&rs=0&ast=

I could spend a lot of time analyzing this chart, especially its connections to the U.S. chart and how those were being activated during the early 1970s. But alas, I’m a dilettante and I have a day job.

However, from a cursory glance, I can see that the natal Pluto of the WaPo chart opposes the U.S. Pluto and conjuncts natal Mercury, promising powerful (Pluto) communication (Mercury) concerning secrets (Pluto) like Watergate.

What’s happening now? Saturn in Virgo is eliminating the excess in the the paper’s operations. While a changing of the guard is taking place and many familiar bylines are moving on, I don’t think this is the end of the paper’s influence by any means.

My friend talks about readers feeling as if they are losing old friends. That leads me to believe the bankruptcy auction took place before noon and that transiting Saturn may be closer to the natal Moon than it appears from this chart. Saturn/Moon is about separation and saying good-bye.

Saturn is on the paper’s South Node and is heading for conjunctions with the WaPo’s natal planets in Virgo, including Mars, Moon, and Jupiter, and a square to the natal Sun, Mercury, and Venus conjunction in Gemini. Transiting Uranus is past a square to natal Venus, but will return as it moves retrograde in Pisces.

Keep in mind this isn’t the incorporation or first-day trade chart of the Washington Post Co., which encompasses a wide variety of media interests. Still, looking at the chart of the paper, I wouldn’t be surprised to see changes involving technology, perhaps an expansion of its Internet presence and the acquisition of other Web sites.

Also, when Saturn reaches Jupiter later this year, there could be a real estate transaction, perhaps the sale of the paper’s headquarters. I know nothing about what’s happening in Washington real estate right now, but Saturn/Jupiter conjunctions often mean property is being bought or sold.

If anybody has any thoughts on this chart, I’d love to hear them.

New Moon in Gemini: He Said, She Said Edition

When I was growing up, one of my favorite segments of 60 Minutes was “Point-Counterpoint” with Shana Alexander and James Kilpatrick. In the spirit of Point-Counterpoint, I present two different perspectives on today’s New Moon in Gemini, which takes place at 3:23 p.m. EDT.

I think the juxtaposition captures the duality of Gemini, whose astrological symbol is the Twins.

Even though the expression is: “He said, she said,” I’m going to flip-flop things. First up is our astrological Shana Alexander, Jude Cowell, who blogs at Jude’s Threshold: http://judecowell.wordpress.com/2008/05/31/balm-for-our-misery-june-3rds-new-moon-in-gemini/

Then it’s James Kilpatrick, er, Jeff Jawer’s turn. He and colleague Rick Levine run a first-rate operation over at Star IQ. Here’s Jawer on today’s New Moon:
http://www.stariq.com/NewMoonReport.HTM

Maybe I’ll do some cross-dressing, affect my best whine, and channel Andy Rooney on the New Moon. But I think I’m more Roseanne Roseannadanna: “What’s all this fuss about global worming? I have lots of worms in my garden and they’re good for the environment.”