Get Ready for Jupiter/Uranus in Aries

As many stargazers know, we’re preparing for a major planetary shift on June 8, thanks to a powerful Uranus/Jupiter conjunction in Aries.

The last time revolutionary Uranus was in the pioneering sign of Aries was approximately 84 years ago, in April 1927. I did a little surfing on the Web and discovered April 15, 1927 was when Babe Ruth hit the first of 60 home runs in a season.

So what can we expect from Uranus in Aries? Awesome displays of sportsmanship and militarism. April 1927 was also the time of the “Shanghai Massacre,” a purge of Communists from General Chiang Kai-Shek’s Kuomintang Party.

Jupiter didn’t enter Aries to join Uranus until June 7, 1927. About a week later, a ticker tape parade was held for aviator Charles Lindbergh .

Other noteworthy events of 1927 included the founding of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which bestows the Oscars, and the release of the first “talkie” picture, “The Jazz Singer.” The year 1927 also saw the beginning of federal regulation of radio air waves.

After Jupiter moved into Aries to hook up with Uranus, political unrest continued in China, eventually resulting in a civil war. I haven’t looked at China’s chart to see what’s happening today, but I’ll wonder out loud whether the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction may not spark a political uprising in China.

In any event, I think it’s safe to say that we will see tremendous breakthroughs in travel and entertainment as a result of the Jupiter/Uranus meet-up in Aries. Of course, there are astrological cross-currents, but I’ll deal with them in other posts.

My take on the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction in martial Aries: Fasten your seat belts!

Obama’s Choice of Rick Warren Sends the Wrong Message

I don’t get the argument that Barack Obama’s decision to invite celebrity pastor Rick Warren, who is openly anti-gay, to lead a prayer at the inauguration, is a “good thing,” to quote celebrity homemaker Martha Stewart. The thinking is that the President-elect is reaching out to those on the other side of the aisle, the political spectrum, etc.

I know I’m not the only one out there who sees great irony in the fact that the nation’s first black President is choosing to break bread with a man who actively campaigned against gay marriage in California and was successful in that effort.

I know that Warren is helping to lead us to a “Purpose-Driven Life” through his 20,000-member Saddleback Church in Los Angeles. I just don’t think my purpose in life is supporting someone who is trying to exclude a certain group from the same rights that everybody else gets to enjoy.

Now that Pluto is in Capricorn, we all have to be on the lookout for the tendency of the government and the corporation to encourage and enforce patriarchal family structures. This runs counter to the community-oriented spirit of idealistic Neptune in Aquarius, which will be joined by expansive Jupiter in 2009. (Incidentally, Warren is an Aquarius so he’ll be getting a lift from Jupiter for a year, starting in early January.)

There is nothing that can make me feel good about this situation. From where I sit — straight, white, married, middle-aged — gay union is a civil rights issue. Churches that adhere to the teachings of the Bible may feel justified in shutting the door on gays, lesbians, and transgender folks, but the government does not have that luxury.

Why? I’m no constitutional scholar, but here’s why I’m so sure of my beliefs: Article 14 of the U.S. Bill of Rights. And I quote:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

By asking Rick Warren to bless his Administration, Obama is sending the message to gays that they are not welcome at his table. And that is definitely not a good thing!

All Hail Arianna Huffington, Queen of All Media!

Gian Paul, Astrology Mundo’s “Brazil bureau chief,” had predicted Nov. 4 would be a great day for Republican John McCain and conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Given that Democrat Barack Obama won the Presidential election, the media titan who is sitting pretty this morning is Arianna Huffington. She runs the liberal news aggregator, The Huffington Post, that has been pro-Obama throughout election season.

Huffington has been the subject of profiles by Astrology Mundo, Star IQ’s Michael WolfStar, and Vanity Fair. I called the Greek immigrant a modern-day Betsy Ross.

WolfStar, top-notch investigator that he is, learned that there are two birthdays reported for Huffington: July 7, 1950 and July 15, 1950. He likes the latter, and it’s available, thanks to his calculations here.

Breaking the Color Barrier

On Election Day, when Pamela Cucinell and I gabbed on our weekly BlogTalkRadio show, AstroChatter Radio, an interesting factoid came up: As Neptune turned direct over the weekend, a black man won a Formula One race for the first time. Lewis Hamilton of England made history in Brazil with his racing win.

Perhaps this breakthrough was also the result of the approaching Saturn/Uranus opposition, which was exact on Nov. 4.

In the U.S., we had Jackie Robinson break the color barrier in 1947 with Major League Baseball. We had Sidney Poitier do the same thing in Hollywood in 1963 with his best actor Oscar for The Lilies of the Field. Since then, we’ve seen Arthur Ashe win groundbreaking championships in tennis and Tiger Woods become king of the greens in golf, a sport known for its discrimination against Jews, blacks, and women.

Now, Barack Obama has been elected the first black President of the U.S. Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream has become a reality.

According to the AP, Obama won 52% of the popular vote, vs. 46% for Republican John McCain. The official Astrology Mundo Presidential Poll mirrored the electorate, with 45% saying McCain would win, vs. 54% for Obama.

We are not black. We are not white. We are American. Rest in peace, Dr. King. Your sacrifice was not in vain.

Michael Mandel Gets It

As readers of this blog know, I’m a bit of a groupie for economists. One of my favorites has long been Morgan Stanley’s Steve Roach. He used to be chief economist for the firm and write the weekly economic commentary, which mere mortals could read because it was published on the company Web site. In April 2007, Roach was promoted and named chairman of Morgan Stanley’s Asia operations. He stopped writing his column.

It’s our loss. Roach has been warning for years that the trade imbalances between China and the U.S. are not sustainable, and that the cozy situation where the Chinese lend us money (by buying U.S. Treasury securities) so we could buy the toys that they were manufacturing, even though we couldn’t afford them, was not going to last.

Michael Mandel, the chief economist at BusinessWeek, recently wrote a piece, “It’s Not a Crisis of Confidence,” that takes this idea that trade imbalances cannot be sustained a step further. Mandel argues: “Long accepted patterns of cross-border technological transfer, foreign trade, and global finance are simply not sustainable.”

If you only read one thing about why the financial markets are in turmoil, this should be it. Mandel gets it.

Jupiter and Economist Paul Krugman’s Nobel Prize

Let’s hear it for Paul Krugman! The New York Times columnist who is the soul of the liberal conscience, has won the Nobel prize in economics. He’s a Pisces born Feb. 28, 1953 in Albany, N.Y. The chart is set for noon, because the time of birth is unknown. You can see Paul Krugman’s natal chart here, courtesy of Astrodienst.

The trigger for the prize appears to be Jupiter in Capricorn opposing Krugman’s natal Uranus, within minutes. Jupiter/Uranus is the rags-to-riches aspect and often bestows sudden fame, though Krugman was clearly successful and well-known before winning the Nobel prize.

Don’t Count Out the Dodgers

Just as Astrology Mundo predicted, the Los Angeles Dodgers won their game at home today against the Philadelphia Phillies. For Cancer Joe Torre, who manages the Dodgers, there’s no place like home.

According to the Associated Press, the attendance at the game, 56,800, was the largest in Dodger Stadium history and is 800 higher than listed capacity. A special guest was Tiger Woods, who sat in owner Frank McCourt’s box, wearing a Dodgers cap.

The Dodgers face another home game against the Phils on Monday. Boy, I bet the Steinbrenners are really kicking themselves.

Joe Torre’s Revenge

I don’t know if anybody remembers that at the beginning of baseball season, I wrote about Joe Torre, who is in his first year managing the Los Angeles Dodgers after leading the New York Yankees to four World Series wins.

Torre was dissed by fellow Cancer George Steinbrenner, the New York Yankees owner who wanted to cut Torre’s pay last fall after the team didn’t make it to the playoffs for the third year in a row. So Torre packed his bags for the West Coast. Well, Torre’s gotten the last laugh because the Bronx Bombers didn’t make it to the playoffs without him.

I predicted great things for Torre this year, mostly because he’s a late Cancer Sun with a Capricorn Moon. Both the lights are getting the benefit of the transit from Jupiter in Capricorn. His time of birth is unknown on July 18, 1940 in Brooklyn so I don’t know if he’s an early or late Capricorn Moon. Right in the middle would be good because that’s where Jupiter is right now.

Until today, I didn’t know the Dodgers were playing the Phillies in the National League Championship Series. I confess that I totally took my eye off the ball. Los Angeles is down two games, having lost to the Phillies in Philadelphia, and must win either Game Three on Sunday or Game Four on Monday to have a chance at playing in the World Series.

Well, as they say in sports, “It’s not over till the fat lady sings.” And the good news for Torre is that Games Three and Four are at home. That’s an important word for Cancers. They function much better on their own territory than when they have to go on the road.

On Sunday, Torre has Jupiter exactly square his North Node at the Midheaven. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Los Angeles stays in the game, even though Saturn is slightly past a square to Torre’s Part of Fortune at 15 Gemini.

Here’s Torre’s natal chart with transits of Sunday, courtesy of Astrodienst.

Before you go calling your bookie, some disclosure is in order. For the record, I picked the Kansas Jayhawks to win the NCAA Final Four and I was right. (When I made my selection the bracket was down to four teams.)

I thought this would be a great year on and off the course for Tiger Woods. He’s expanded his business empire but leg surgery has hampered his winning ways.

Before I bombed out in my picks for the Indy 500, I managed to get one of the three horses in the Kentucky Derby trifecta. I thought that Calvin Borel, last year’s winner, would repeat, riding Denis of Cork, but I was wrong. He came in third. As you can imagine, the bigger the field, the harder it is to pick the winner because of all the charts you have to look at.

The fact that Torre made it to the championships is due to Jupiter’s winning ways. It may be that this isn’t his year to win another World Series. But, looking at his chart, I think he has a very good chance. And that’s what I said back in March.

I also like the fact that the chart for the city of Los Angeles has Mars at 17 degrees of Capricorn, according to Carolyn R. Dodson’s Horoscopes of the U.S. Mars rules sports and Jupiter signifies expansion and glory. So the stars might be rightly aligned for the Dodgers to make it to the World Series.

Pete Seeger: Alive and Kickin’ at 89

Imagine the scene. You’ve just taken a leisurely jog down a trail that hugs the Hudson River. You’re nearing the dock where a farmer’s market is in progress, and you hear the familiar tune She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountains.

She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes
She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes
She’ll be driving six white horses, she’ll be driving six white horses,
She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes

Getting closer, you see a bearded, rangy man of indeterminate age in blue jeans strumming a banjo. No, you’re not hallucinating. At 89, Pete Seeger is playing for farmers’ market shoppers outside his Sloop House in Beacon, N.Y.

How many singers out there can pepper their performances with asides like “This is a song that Woody Guthrie taught me”? Say what?

I did a little research on Seeger, the legendary folk singer who has been a driving force behind the revitalization of this gritty mill town. Among my generation, he’s best known for writing the Byrds hit Turn Turn Turn and the folk classics If I Had a Hammer (co-written with Lee Hays) and Where Have All the Flowers Gone? recorded by Peter Paul & Mary and others. My mother knows him for Goodnight Irene.

Guess what? Today, Sept. 30, he’s released a new CD called, of all things, At 89.

Here’s Seeger’s chart, courtesy of Astrodienst. He’s got a Sun/Mars conjunction in artsy Taurus. He was briefly a painter before becoming a singer and musician. His popular folk band was called The Weavers, which has a very Taurean feel to it. The chart is set for noon because I don’t know the time of birth.

Mars is very active and it’s with the life force of the Sun in a Venusian sign. Think about that Mars when you hear:

If I had a hammer
I’d hammer in the morning
I’d hammer in the evening
All over this land
I’d hammer out danger
I’d hammer out a warning
I’d hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

Seeger is a crusader. And look at his longevity: He’s basically a marathoner among folk singers. There is tremendous physical endurance in this chart.

The Taurus conjunction is sextiled by a strong stellium in Cancer, including a Jupiter that is quite close to the U.S. Sun and is very tightly aspected to his own Sun. Along with Guthrie, Seeger is the prototypical American troubadour.

Although he did not write it, Seeger adapted and helped popularize We Shall Overcome before it became the anthem of the civil rights movement. (To musicologists and African-Americans reading this: Don’t worry, I’m not trying to give him credit for the Negro spiritual. It was a black thang long before Seeger arrived; he merely helped spread the gospel, so to speak.)

Back to Seeger’s Jupiter in Cancer, which rules spirituality. As he did for his rendition of We Shall Overcome, Seeger drew on historical material for Turn Turn Turn: The Bible, no less. Those familiar with the Byrds classic will recognize the words of Ecclesiastes 3:2: There is “a time to be born, a time to die, a time to sow, a time to reap.”

Bruce Springsteen gave a new generation an introduction to Seeger with his folkie album and tour We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, in 2006. It was the first album recorded by Springsteen that didn’t showcase his own material, and was not a commercial success in the U.S. However, it was critically acclaimed overseas, where they generally appreciate “classics” more than Americans do.

Get this: Seeger has an out-of-sign opposition of Saturn in Leo and Uranus in Pisces. Sound familiar? The aspect between restriction and rebellion in his chart is similar to the one between Saturn and Uranus that’s going to be exact on Election Day, though Saturn is currently in Virgo, not Leo, as it is in Seeger’s chart.

At 89, Seeger is back in tune with the times. Some would say he was never out of tune; we just weren’t listening. Let’s just say he’s striking a chord once again.

Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Seeger’s not afraid of another Depression. He had the time of his life criss-crossing the country with Guthrie in the late Thirties, holding concerts in support of striking workers, a journey that gave rise to Guthrie’s standard This Land is Your Land.

You know, they never taught me the last two verses in school. Do you know them?

As I was walkin’ – I saw a sign there
And that sign said – no tress passin’
But on the other side …. it didn’t say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!

Chorus

In the squares of the city – In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office – I see my people
And some are grumblin’ and some are wonderin’
If this land’s still made for you and me.

Paul Newman, 1925-2008: Nobody’s Fool


I’m reposting an updated version of something I wrote back in June, when it was first reported that Paul Newman was suffering from cancer. Newman passed away Friday.

Even at the age of 83, Paul Newman was still my favorite bad boy. Unlike James Dean, he stayed alive, and unlike Marlon Brando, he managed to live his life off-screen in an inspiring manner.

He married a class act, Joanne Woodward, and stayed married for 50 years. He started Newman’s Own, the food company that has donated $200 million of its profits to charity, and he funded the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for terminally ill kids. And the race car driving! Talk about living the life you want.

A cool Aquarius born Jan. 26, 1925, Newman had a Capricorn stellium of Jupiter, Mercury, and Venus on his Ascendant. The combo showed up in his childhood — his father owned a successful sporting (Jupiter) goods store (Cap) and in his movies — ones about the legal system (Jupiter) like The Verdict and ones about racing (Mercury) like Winning, which prompted Newman to take up the sport in real life.

The Jupiterian sports theme was also evident in the aptly named Somebody Up There Likes Me (a boxing film that was supposed to star James Dean until he died), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (ex-football player), The Hustler (pool), and Slap Shot (hockey).

Because the Jupiter/Mercury/Venus lineup was in Capricorn, Newman continued to work well after he acquired wrinkles and gray hair, a rarity in youth-dominated Hollywood. And, as commenter GianPaul points out, it’s square Mars in Aries, injecting an element of sexy danger.

The Cap lineup opposed Pluto in Cancer in the seventh house of relationships. Here was a very intense guy who forged lasting alliances with both business and romantic partners.

Given that Cancerian (food) emphasis in the seventh house of partnerships, I get a chuckle when I remember Newman’s response when an interviewer asked why he remained married in spite of the temptations that beckon a superstar actor: “I have steak at home, why go out for hamburger?” is what Newman told Playboy magazine.

Underneath the bravado, Newman was sensitive, with a Pisces Moon, which was conjunct Woodward’s Sun. Meanwhile, her Aquarius Moon was on his Sun. They had the classic marriage indicator — Sun/Moon conjunction — going in both directions. In a world where the word “soulmates” gets overused, Newman and Woodward were the real thing.

When I was reading an article about Newman in the September Vanity Fair, I was struck by his description of his relationship with Woodward. “Joanne has a habit of rationalizing [Aquarius], and when she starts that, that’s when I turn ugly! But when she tells me what she instinctively feels [Pisces], I pay very close attention.”

Interesting that the Aquarian gets annoyed when his Aquarius Moon wife starts “rationalizing,” but responds when she expresses her feelings, mirroring his Pisces Moon.

The amazing synastry between Newman and Woodward prompted many astrologers to write journal articles and give conference presentations on Newman and Woodward. (Synastry is astrologese for compatibility.)

Rather than live in the limelight of Tinseltown, Newman and Woodward escaped to small-town America to raise three daughters — Claire, Elinor (Nell), and Melissa. Newman had two daughters — Susan and Stephanie — from a previous marriage, as well as a son, Scott, who died of an accidental drug overdose in 1978. The residents of Westport, Conn., respected the privacy of their town’s biggest celebrities, according to this poignant story from the Associated Press.

Looking at recent transits to Newman’s chart, his natal Neptune in Leo, which squared Saturn in Scorpio, was being opposed by transiting Neptune, North Node, and Chiron in Aquarius during his fight with cancer.

Jupiter in Capricorn was on Newman’s Ascendant when he died. As we students of astrology know, people leaving the earth often have “happy” transits. Saturn and Pluto show up in the charts of the survivors, usually making aspects to the personal planets or the angles.

My French astropal, Claire Courts at AstroRevolution, has a good analysis of the transits to Newman’s chart when he passed away.

Here’s the chart from AstroDataBank.

I’d be hard-pressed to say which Paul Newman film is my favorite. Certainly, not the classic Seventies buddy flicks he did with Robert Redford, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting, though I loved them at the time. Not edgy enough for me. I’ve narrowed it down to Hud, Cool Hand Luke, and The Hustler.

In his later years, I loved the reprise of The Hustler that he did with Tom Cruise, The Color of Money, which won him his sole best actor Oscar.

A special place is reserved for Newman’s collaboration with Woodward in Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, produced by the art film champions Ishmael Merchant and James Ivory. The two play a bourgeois WASP couple from Kansas City who try to keep their marriage on even keel.

I had the pleasure of meeting Newman once at an Indian restaurant that Merchant owned next to the Paris Theatre in New York in the mid-Nineties. Those blue eyes were truly incredible. I’ll never forget them. Ditto for the sly grin when you first spot him across the room, the one that says, “Yeah, it’s me.”

As an old college buddy pointed out when I first posted this riff, Newman was the perfect curmudgeon in the film adaptation of the Richard Russo novel Nobody’s Fool. Filmed in the town where I live, Beacon, N.Y., Fool helped kick-start the revitalization of Main Street after the film studio paid for some refurbishing. Interesting that with this connection between Newman and my hometown, his stellium of Cap planets falls on the cusp of the fourth house, while rules the home.

Millions of children who may not know Newman for his charismatic screen presence probably can recognize his voice. He vivified a Hudson Hornet in Pixar’s Cars. In that animated film, Newman was the voice of Doc Hudson, the mayor in the town of Radiator Springs. Ole Doc has a thing or two to teach whippersnapper Lightning McQueen, whose voice was provided by Owen Wilson.

The slogan for Cool Hand Luke, which was uttered by a prison warden in the film and has since become part of the American lexicon, was: “What we’ve got here is a failure (pronounced “fail-yuh”) to communicate.”

There was never a failure to communicate between Newman and his audiences. Fans got the testosterone-injected message loud and clear. Men wanted to be cool, tough, and later, worldly-wise like him. And women? We all know what women wanted.