New Moon in Taurus: Smell the Roses!

The new, improved Astrology Mundo is more streamlined than its serious predecessor. With Saturn/Uranus/Jupiter squaring my impatient Mars in Sag, I don’t have the focus to do the math these days. So my Sagittarius stellium in the third house of communication is taking a seat-of-the-pants approach to the stars these days.

Having been duly warned, here’s my take on tonight’s New Moon in Taurus. It’s sextiling Uranus in Pisces. You could have some sudden breakthroughs about your flower beds. I kid you not! Excite (Uranus) yourself with sensuality (Taurus). The New Moon is also being supported by a newly direct Mercury in Taurus so you may want to take out a notebook and draw your new vision of the garden.

Other commentators have noted Mars squares the New Moon. The orb isn’t tight enough for me, but you may want to rein in impulse purchases. Oh, and one other thing: Breathe! The smell of newly mowed grass never smelled so good.

Venus Direct: Is the Rally Over?

I don’t know how often Monica’s Admirer checks in at Astrology Mundo, but I wasn’t surprised to see today’s 289-point drop in the stock market.

Why? Well, Venus turned direct on Apr. 17 and during its retrograde, stocks staged a rally. So it’s a good possibility now that Venus is moving forward from the perspective of earthlings that the rally will run out of steam.

I’m not the only one subscribing to this school of thought. Check out Ray Merriman’s post for this week.

Another reason why stocks may be resuming their descent is that the Sun has moved into Taurus, which is the sign of the New York Stock Exchange incorporation chart. That in and of itself is not a bearish indicator. It’s just that the Sun is moving toward a square with Neptune and Jupiter in Aquarius in the sky.

As Merriman points out, the combination of Neptune and Jupiter can be quite inflationary, but I think the challenging aspect from the Sun will make this a negative influence on stocks. Stay tuned.

As I’ve often pointed out, I’m not a registered investment adviser and this blog is for entertainment purposes only. I also bought my house at the top of the market in August 2005, so my financial acumen is clearly limited.

The Sun Shines on Helio

Good news for Brazilian race car driver Helio Castroneves: A Florida jury has acquitted him of tax evasion charges.

Along with his sister and his lawyer, Castroneves could have faced jail time.

A Taurus, Castroneves was born May 10, 1975 in Sao Paulo. The time of birth is unknown. You can see transits to his natal chart here, courtesy of Astrodienst.

Clearly, today’s Venus direct was good news for Castroneves, who has excelled on the dance floor on TV’s Dancing With the Stars as well as at the racetrack.

AstroChatter Radio Breaks News on Natasha Richardson

This week, when Pamela Cucinell and I did our call-in radio show on BlogTalkRadio, we speculated strongly that the reason why Natasha Richardson was brought from Canada to New York on life support was so that her organs could be donated.

Now, the media is reporting that’s exactly what happened. Check out our broadcast here.

I wish I could take credit for the idea, but it actually came from a photographer friend of mine who is a justice-oriented Libra conjunct visionary Neptune. She had photographed Richardson for the movie Haven, a biopic about Ruth Gruber, who saved 1,000 refugees during World War II.

So let it be known that you never know what you might learn on AstroChatter Radio.

If you want to learn more about how you can save someone’s life by donating your organs when you die, click here.

What Time Was Orson Welles Born?

I’ve long been fascinated by actor/director Orson Welles. Right now, I’m reading a wonderful biography of him published in 1995, Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu, by Simon Callow.

Like many epicurians, Welles was born under the sign of Taurus, the same sign as William Randolph Hearst, the media mogul who was the inspiration for Welles’ epic film Citizen Kane.

Here’s what’s interesting. Many astrology Web sites, including Astrotheme of France, show Welles being born at 7 a.m. on May 6, 1915 in Kenosha, Wis.

That’s not the time that Callow reports. According to the Welles biographer, journalists were constantly asking to see Welles’ birth certificate because they wanted to prove that he was 5 to 10 years older than the wunderkind said he was.

Says Callow: “His mother later told him that because it was six o’clock in the morning — the time Kenosha’s many factories started work — whistles and bells had all started blowing at once, as if to herald him; a perfectly appropriate beginning, since most of the rest of his life was accompanied by fanfares of one sort or another.”

This reminds me of inventor Nikola Tesla, who was reportedly born at midnight as lightning struck outside.

My goal in writing this post is to point out that the time of birth floating around the blogosphere for Welles is most likely wrong. I intend to write more about the prodigy, who had a creative Venus/Mars conjunction in pioneering Aries, after I finish the book and complete my research into Welles’ Depression-era production of The Cradle Will Rock.

Like another O.W. (Oscar Wilde), Welles was born with a conjunction between revolutionary Uranus and the public-oriented North Node.

Wilde had Moon square his Uranus/Node conjunction; Welles had the Moon in the middle of his Uranus/Node combo. According to Reinhold Ebertin’s The Combination of Stellar Influences, this picture results in “an excitable disposition in the presence of other persons.”

Here’s a natal chart for Welles with a 6 a.m. time of birth, courtesy of Astrodienst.

Of course, reading a biography is not as foolproof as seeing a birth certificate for Welles. But back in those days birth times were often not recorded. As I like to point out, biographies are a treasure trove of data for the astrological student.

I’ve got one word for you: Rosebud.

Lehman’s Fuld on the Hot Seat

Representative Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and other members of Congress have been raking Lehman Brothers CEO Richard S. Fuld Jr. over the coals for the generous bonuses that were paid out by his firm as the investment bank was teetering on the brink of insolvency.

Lehman filed for bankruptcy on Sept. 15, just a few days after the board approved $20 million in “special payments” to three executives, according to the Associated Press.

Evidently, some managers at the firm’s Neuberger Berman money management unit had the temerity to suggest that bonuses be dispensed with, given the firm’s precarious economic situation. The AP quotes Fuld as saying in one document, “Don’t worry,” to the idea that execs go without bonuses.

I don’t have time to do a full treatment of Fuld’s chart right now. According to the Wiki, he was born April 26, 1946 in New York. The time of birth is unknown. Here is his chart, courtesy of Astrodienst.

You can see that Mars in Scorpio is moving to an exact opposition to Fuld’s Taurus Sun, so the heat isn’t going away. Fuld was born with Mars in Leo square his Taurus Sun so he’s used to taking flak, but he may not be prepared to become the poster child for greed on Wall Street.

Stern Saturn in Virgo is squaring his Uranus/North Node (public) conjunction in Gemini, by the way. So he’s going to be getting a lot of negative publicity from electronic media — from C Span to the Internet.

By Waxman’s calculations, Fuld has earned $400 million in executive compensation since the year 2000.

Wall Street Weather has a good post up on the grilling Fuld got in Congress.

Tax Trouble for Helio

Yahoo! has a story up that Brazilian heartthrob Helio Castroneves, known for his moves on the race track and the dance floor, has been indicted for tax evasion.

Helio, who won the Indy 500 in 2001 and 2002, has been charged with failing to pay $5 million in taxes over four years.

The story is short on detail. I’ll assume that it’s the Internal Revenue Service that has caught up with the Team Penske driver and that he is a U.S. citizen or at least subject to our tax laws.

I happen to have Helio’s chart in my Astrodienst database because I looked at it earlier this year before the running of the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day.

Helio’s progressed Sun, at 21 degrees of Gemini, is traveling quite closely with his progressed Mercury. Natally, he’s a Taurus Sun, which is sextile Mars in Pisces. The chart is set for noon on May 10, 1975 in São Paulo, Brazil, because the time of birth is unknown.

Transiting Uranus is close to a conjunction with natal Mars right now while transiting Saturn is closing in on an opposition. The progressed Sun/Mercury forms a T-square to this opposition.

Transiting Mars was conjuncting Helio’s Uranus in Libra as the tax evasion charges were announced, not a good transit for partnerships or legal matters.

The transiting Aquarius stellium is squaring Helio’s Sun, suggesting he could be involved in some kind of deception. As an astrologer, I’ll say with all that Neptune hanging around, I’m not sure Helio understood the ramifications of a scheme that was allegedly set up by his sister and his lawyer to evade taxation.

When you’re dancing with the stars, it’s hard to keep your feet on the ground. Helio and partner Julianne Hough won the fifth season of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars reality TV show last year.

Gian Paul, our Brazil bureau chief, tells us that it’s the custom in Brazil to have a caixa dois, a hidden kitty or secret stash. Let’s hope that Helio has one to take care of this tax problem.

Since Helio is not from the U.S., he may not be aware of our tax authority’s penchant for going after high-profile tax evaders and making examples of them. Maybe he should talk to Wesley Snipes for the inside scoop on how the IRS likes to play hardball with celebrities.

Helio’s head is in the clouds right now. However, with Uranus close to his Mars and Mars close to his Uranus, he could be accident-prone, so he needs to take care.

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.

Will the Real Cindy McCain Stand Up?

Hey, Cindy, Honey – Just between us girls, if you want to live in the White House, it might be a good idea to come clean with those tax returns.  Believe you me, I like my privacy. And have learned the hard way that it’s good for man and wife to keep their finances separate. 

But see, that husband of yours, he’s made a name for himself by telling it like it is. He says he wants to bring things out into the open instead of keeping them under the table the way those Beltway folks like to.

So it just don’t look right when you want to keep your tax returns a secret.  Even Bill Clinton released his returns. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about, Cindy. Your Daddy made all that money by working hard. It’s not his fault if folks like to have a Bud or two after work.

So you won’t mind if I take a peek at those 1040s? I promise I won’t tell a soul. Well, maybe just my little ole blog and a couple of my best girlfriends. Honey, did I mention that me and Oprah , we go way back? — Your pal, Monica

Well, one thing that I have mentioned on this blog is how the ultimate degree of a sign really can’t be controlled. No matter what time she was born, Cindy McCain is a 29 degree Taurus, and she’s digging her heels in. Here’s a Yahoo! story quoting from her Today show interview that she’ll never release her tax returns, not even if she’s First Lady.

I don’t have a time of birth for Cindy, who was born May 20, 1954, according to numerous sources, in Phoenix, Ariz. But even if she were born just before midnight, she still has a Taurus Sun. Nobody pushes this lady around.

There’s another thing making Cindy tough to handle these days, other than New York Times articles about her husband’s close ties to a pretty young Washington lobbyist. Here’s Michael WolfStar’s take on that relationship.

Cindy’s progressed Sun is on her natal Uranus at 20 degrees of Cancer, which is making her a little wild. She’s making some big changes in her life, but with Uranus hanging around, it’s hard to predict how things are going to turn out. Maybe she doesn’t even know what she’s capable of doing in an impulsive moment.

On the one hand, Cindy McCain could be heading for the White House, public tax returns or no. She has lived primarily in Arizona for the past 20 years, while her husband has commuted back and forth between Arizona and Washington D.C. If John McCain is elected, she would be forced to move to the White House.

Here’s Cindy McCain’s natal chart, with progressions as of Election Day, courtesy of Astrodienst.

Well, before I get too invested in Cindy being a Taurus, I have to do more research. There’s another date of birth floating around for Cindy McCain. Here’s an article from The Atlanta-Journal Constitution that says she was born Dec. 31, 1954.

Because this an “Old Media” Web site, I’d like to believe this date is accurate. However, WolfStar is an ace researcher, so I’m inclined to trust him. Also, some of things that Cindy has done recently strike me as “Uranian,” which can be read as tapping into new technologies or being erratic, or both.  A case in point: using e-mail to ask John McCain supporters to send donations to celebrate his birthday. Incidentally, McCain’s Mom did the same thing. Here’s the link.

I looked at the chart for Dec. 31, 1954 and it doesn’t seem nearly as fitting as the May 20 one, which has a Mercury/Venus/Jupiter lineup in Gemini trine Neptune in Aquarius. The Venus/Jupiter conjunction is very tight and denotes wealth and beauty, and it’s trine Neptune. How about wealth from liquor?

When her father died in 2000, Cindy McCain, an only child, inherited her family’s business, Hensley & Co., an Anheuser-Busch distributor based in Phoenix. She is chairman but leaves day-to-day operations to a management team put in place by her father.

According to the Wiki, Hensley & Co. rang up $340 million in revenues in 2007. There’s actually a reference for it, too, giving me some confidence in the number.

If you know when Cindy McCain was born, I’d love to hear from you. 

The New Moon of Cinco de Mayo

No question: Today’s New Moon, which occurred at 5:18 a.m. PDT at 16 degrees of Taurus, is a beautiful thing. Of course it is, because Venus in Taurus is part of the picture and there’s a supportive trine with Jupiter in Capricorn. It’s grounding, and it’s taking the edge off of whiny Mars in Cancer, which is past an opposition with expansive Jupiter, thank heavens!

But the Neptune/Node/Chiron lineup in Aquarius, broadly square the New Moon, is bringing big weather and water stories — as many as 10,000 dead and 1 million homeless in Myanmar (formerly Burma) following Cyclone “Nargis,” which I learned from a Pakistani blog is another name for the Narcissus flower. Meanwhile, 1,000 passengers were evacuated to Ventspils, Latvia, from the Mona Lisa cruise ship after it ran aground off the coast of Riga.

For an in-depth New Moon report, click on Star IQ on my blogroll.

I just checked Google Trends to see what the top searches are today. A lot of them have to do with Cinco de Mayo, the Mexican holiday that is used as a major marketing opportunity for Corona and other breweries.

When I was growing up, I was taught that Mexican Independence Day was Sept. 16, also known as Father Hidalgo Day, after the priest who urged Mexicans to rise up against their Spanish oppressors on that day in 1810.

Cinco de Mayo, or May 5, is the day that Mexican forces defeated the French in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Here, in Southern California and elsewhere, it’s a good excuse for a fiesta, though most of them seemed to be held over the weekend. In general, it’s the day to celebrate Mexican heritage the way that St. Patrick’s Day honors the Irish and Columbus Day recognizes the Italians. On that note, Viva Mexico!

The Microsoft/Yahoo! merger is off for now, but with Uranus in Pisces sextiling Jupiter in Capricorn and sextiling the New Moon, there could be a flip-flop. In the past few days, I’ve heard of people who had accepted new jobs suddenly changing their minds. I got a call for a rush freelance job on May 1, when the Moon in Pisces was conjunct Uranus. I started doing the prep work only to get an e-mail a couple of hours later saying that the company had decided to have someone in-house do the work.

Not the end of the world, to be sure. But as long Jupiter is sextiling Uranus, there could be a few more about-faces in the corporate world. Incidentally, I haven’t studied the charts of either Microsoft or Yahoo so I’m not making a prediction here. I’m just saying don’t be surprised when people, companies, and even countries change their minds over the next few days.