NASA’s Mission to Mars is Over

Astrologer Michael WolfStar has written about the fact that the U.S. Mars turned retrograde back in 2006 and what that means for our militaristic activities in the world. Now, I’ve just read that NASA’s Phoenix mission to Mars is over. According to the Associated Press, NASA hasn’t heard from the spacecraft in more than a week. Its equipment was damaged by a sandstorm.

I was trying to decide whether that was a good thing or a bad thing on a symbolic level. Since it’s happening on the same day that President-elect Barack Obama has reiterated his promise to close down Guantanamo prison, the site of many human-rights abuses by the U.S., I think abandoning our mission to Mars may not be such a bad thing after all.

Meanwhile, the New Horizons mission to Pluto continues. It’s time to stop trying to conquer (Mars) and to transform (Pluto) instead.

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.

Michael WolfStar on Neel Kashkari, the $700 Billion Man

I’ve been tough on Michael WolfStar at StarIQ for repeatedly misspelling Warren Buffett’s name, but my hat’s off to the Bend, Ore.-based astrologer for tracking down the birth data of Neel Kashkari. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson recently named Kashkari to oversee the $700 billion bailout fund.

Like Paulson, Kashkari worked for Goldman Sachs, has a shaved head, and intense eyes. Kashkari is of Kashmiri descent.

Here’s WolfStar’s post on Kashkari. Kudos to you, Michael! I looked high and low on the Internet and I couldn’t find the data. Nor did any of my tipsters come up with it.

John McCain’s 2008 Solar Return Using a 6:25 P.M. Birth Time

I may have been the only astrologer in America who believed John McCain’s Mom. The 96-year-old revealed in a Mother’s Day campaign ad this year that the Republican Presidential contender was born at 11 a.m.

Most stargazers have been relying on a 9 a.m. time that was provided earlier by a McCain staffer to AstroDataBank after talking to the candidate’s mother.

Michael WolfStar at StarIQ rectified McCain’s chart and came up with an 8:38 a.m. time. If you want to read what WolfStar thinks about McCain’s chart, click here.

Well, it turns out everybody was wrong. A birth certificate for McCain, which was brought to my attention on Oct. 12, shows a 6:25 p.m. time of birth on Aug. 29, 1936. That gives McCain an early Pisces rising, an Aquarius Moon, and a Virgo stellium that includes his Sun in the seventh house.

So much for the idea of McCain as a Libra rising because he had dimples. Ditto for the Scorpio rising chart, which gave McCain an angular Mars in Leo at the Midheaven. Here we had the war hero in all his glory. Also, this would have explained the fact that among his Washington colleagues, McCain is known for his temper.

Now that we’ve got what appears to be a real birth time based on a State Dept. document, I’ve rerun McCain’s solar return. I set the chart for Dayton, Ohio, thanks to WolfStar’s excellent research. That’s where the GOP Presidential nominee was when the Sun returned to the exact spot it was when he was born. Here’s McCain’s 2008 solar return.

I’ve since run the solar return for Washington for technical reasons and the chart looks pretty much the same as the one set in Dayton.

It’s got the flamboyant Moon in Leo rising. This chart is basically all about Sarah Palin, whom McCain announced as his vice-presidential nominee on his birthday. That Moon could also explain the media firestorm surrounding the revelation that Palin’s 17-year-old daughter Bristol Palin is pregnant, an announcement that appeared to surprise McCain.

I don’t think Aquarian Sarah Palin is going to be that easy to control on the campaign trail. It’s lucky for the McCain camp that her Democrat counterpart, Biden, is known for exhibiting symptoms of foot-in-mouth disease.

You know what other feisty lady in McCain’s life is an Aquarian? You guessed it: His Mom, who was born Feb. 7, 1912. So maybe Sarah isn’t going away after all.

As an Army brat born in Germany who has had to produce something called the “Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America” numerous times in my life, I long wondered why John McCain hadn’t been asked to come up with a similar document.

Now, someone has produced it for him!

P.S. Comments below may reflect an earlier version of this post, which relied on an 11 a.m. time of birth for McCain.

Warren Buffett is Not a Buffet

With the Dow Jones industrial average closing down today 678 points, to 8,579 (a 7% drop), you’d think I’d have something better to rant about than the repeated misspelling of Warren Buffett’s name.

As I like to point out to my astropals, even though the Oracle of Omaha has a cornucopia-like Jupiter/Pluto conjunction in Cancer, he is not a “buffet.”

This past week, Buffett’s name has been misspelled by everyone from astrologer Michael WolfStar at StarIQ to The Wall Street Journal, which got the name wrong in an opinion piece by Vernon L. Smith called “There’s no easy way out of a bubble.”

Even though there’s no easy way out of a bubble, there is an easy way to spell Warren Buffett’s name right. Just say to yourself: Warren is not a “buffet.”

Got that, “fellow prisoners”?

What Makes Warren Buffett Tick?

Dan Ciuboda, a friend of Jude’s Threshold, has a post up on billionaire Warren Buffett that Jude is urging folks to read.

In case you haven’t heard, Buffett is the man of the hour on Wall Street. He’s agreed to give Goldman Sachs a “cash infusion” of $5 billion in exchange for preferred shares in the investment bank, which is converting to commercial bank status to get a little more government protection.

I did my duty on various blogs and pointed out that Warren Buffett is not a “buffet,” a little mental note that has prevented me from misspelling the Oracle of Omaha’s name on many occasions.

I wouldn’t have tried to calculate Buffett’s chart on my own, but looking at the horoscope for Buffett proposed by Ciuboda at Living Astrology got me thinking.

Ciuboda’s got Buffett as a late Gemini rising, with martial Mars quite close to the Ascendant, but Buffett doesn’t seem that combative to me. Of course, Mars is in Cancer so if someone writes in and says he’s read articles about how Buffett gets teary-eyed and sentimental at the drop of a hat, I’ll believe in this chart.

I don’t have the time or patience to rectify. We’ll leave that to the pros like Michael WolfStar. Here’s my seat-of-the-pants calculation:

I believe that Buffett, who was born in Omaha on Aug. 30, 1930, is a Virgo rising with Sun and Neptune conjunct on the Ascendant. If you look at Buffett, he dresses like an accountant — very Virgoan. The Neptune on the Ascendant would be the reason why he’s known as the “Oracle of Omaha” since Neptune is quite visionary.

Buffett’s still going strong at 78, so that could indicate a Sun on the Ascendant, which gives good health and vitality. He has a sunny disposition and is always smiling.

The Sun/Neptune combo in humble Virgo is also his folksiness — personally writing a letter to shareholders every year in the annual report of his main investment vehicle, a publicly traded company named Berkshire Hathaway. (Most CEOs have the PR department write such correspondence.) Berkshire’s annual meeting in Omaha has kind of a state fair feeling to it, with lots of exhibits and diversions for shareholders. It’s been dubbed the “Woodstock of Capitalism.”

By living simply, Buffett is celebrating the common man. But he’s not a stick in the mud: He likes a little good-old fashioned fun.

A couple of other thoughts: The modest house that Buffett lives in? That’s camouflage. That’s why I’ve got Scorpio on the fourth house cusp. The Moon in exotic, free-thinking Sagittarius is inside Buffett’s fourth house, which rules home and family.

Guess what? After his first wife Susie passed away in 2004, Buffett married his longtime partner, Astrid Menks, a Latvian immigrant who ended up waiting tables in Omaha. Susie, who moved to San Francisco in 1977 to pursue political interests and a cabaret singing career, encouraged Buffett’s relationship with Menks. The three used to send out Christmas cards together. Not what you would expect from a buttoned-down Omaha businessman. So, Moon in Sagittarius: The first wife is open-minded and the second one is a foreigner.

Buffett had a close, possibly intimate, friendship with Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham. In her biography Personal History, Graham credited Buffett with showing her the ropes of business after he made in an investment in the family-controlled company.

Graham, best known for publishing the stories that exposed the Watergate scandal and forced President Richard Nixon to resign, was thrust into running the paper and its other media operations after her husband committed suicide. So the Moon in Sag shows up as the lady publisher.

Where does Buffett’s tremendous wealth come from? I think it’s due to the conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto in Cancer in the 11th house, which ancient astrologers considered a very lucky house indeed. Think about it: Pluto the Intensifier and Jupiter the Expander in Cancer, the sign that rules food and sustenance. No wonder so many people have turned “Buffett” into “Buffet.”

Check out Buffett’s chart.

Thanks to Astrodienst, I’ve run the horoscope with transits of July 4, 1776. No, Buffett wasn’t one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. However, like many prominent Americans he has strong connections to the U.S. chart. Buffett has been a champion of American brands, often investing in them when they were out of fashion on Wall Street, and staying in the shares for the long haul.

Like the U.S., Buffett is going to face a lot of financial stress when Pluto starts moving in Capricorn over the next two years. In fact, some astrologers use his chart (even without a correct time of birth) as a surrogate for the U.S. economy.

I’ve filed Buffett under Heroes, not because he’s worth about $60 billion, but because he’s giving away the majority of his wealth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Founded by the chairman of Microsoft and his wife, the foundation is using Buffett’s dough to improve access to health care and education in developing countries.

Buffett also was smart enough to label derivative instruments such as credit default swaps as “financial weapons of mass destruction” long before Wall Street got into the mess it’s in.

No wonder they call him the Oracle of Omaha.

Arianna Huffington’s Star Power

Michael WolfStar at StarIQ joins the party by analyzing the political astrology coverage at Huffington Post. HuffPo is the online news aggregator run by liberal political pundit Arianna Huffington, a Cancer who has enthusiastically embraced her adopted country. Don’t miss his great post.

Astrology Mundo had a post on this last month, after my faithful tipster Gastriques first alerted me to the celestial election coverage on Aug. 7.

WolfStar and I don’t agree on the exact date that HuffPollstrology first appeared (I say Jan. 24; he says Jan. 27), but what else is new? He’s probably right, though you know how the Web is: One person makes a mistake and then everybody else picks it up.

What would I do without Gastriques? I pray I don’t lose her to another astrology blog. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, you know, and no one is better than finding man-bites-dog stories than Gastriques.

Coffee-Klatsch at AstroTableTalk

Before I had my own blog, I used to spend hours posting comments on other people’s blogs. I notice that I don’t do it as much as I used to. This morning, however, I’ve found myself posting three comments over AstroTableTalk, a blog written by Dharmaruci of Glastonbury, England.

You’ll find him on my blogroll. In the meantime, here’s a link to his meditation on our celebrity-driven culture and what it means for society.

With my Saturn conjunct Mercury in Capricorn, I couldn’t resist pointing out to Dharmaruci that Barack Obama’s recent speech in Berlin took place at the Victory Column, not at Brandenburg Gate, as AstroTableTalk reported.

Being a Berliner by birth, if not by upbringing, I’m sensitive about these kinds of things and a bit sentimental. That’s why I’ve gone with the German “Klatsch,” rather than with Webster-Merriam’s preferred “klatch” in my headline for this post.

Like me, Dharmaruci seems to be a fan of Michael Caine or at least of Caine’s mum. Over at AstroTableTalk, I posted a link to my valentine to Caine, which I wrote back in April after reading his biography, What’s It All About? You can find it here.

Here’s the view from Glastonbury that I’m really dying for: What about the July 15 crop circle in Avebury, England, depicting the planetary aspects of Dec. 21, 2012? Michael Wolfstar at StarIQ and Neptune Cafe (see blogroll for both) has done a great job of covering this event, but I’d like to see what the locals think about the latest meeting of astrology and agriculture.

A Bumper Crop of Crop Circles

My friends and I have been dwelling on the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012, trying to decide whether we should sell all our belongings on eBay in anticipation of the event. Evidently, the folks — be they human or extraterrestrial — behind England’s famed crop circles are thinking about the Mayan calendar too.

Astrologer Michael WolfStar features an item on the crop circles in his column this week at StarIQ: http://www.stariq.com/Main/Articles/P0008858.HTM,
A more extensive treatment with fabulous pictures is up at Wolfstar’s Neptune Cafe: http://www.neptunecafe.com/cropcircles.html

Interesting that the latest crop circles, featuring the planetary lineup for Dec. 21, 2012, appeared near Avebury, in Wiltshire, England, on July 15, during the Sun’s passage through Cancer, which governs food and agriculture, as it was trining Uranus, which rules astrology! Not all previous crop circles have been astro-oriented. Talk about a marriage between heaven and earth.

If you want to delve more deeply into this, check out this BBC interview with crop circle researcher David Kingston: http://www.bbc.co.uk/southampton/features/cropcircles/cropcircles_history.shtml

Another good resource is here: http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2008/aveburymanor/aveburymanor2008a.html

One of the more interesting comments at cropcircleconnector.com about the latest Avebury formation comes from Stephen Paoli, who notes, as others do, that all of the planets save Pluto are in the places where they are expected to be on Dec. 21, 2012.

Paoli says: “Pluto’s orbit may have been altered due to the passing of a large body! Nibiru! it could also explain why its orbit is already so strange (Nibiru has come before).”

Niburu. Well, I can see another long and winding Google search is in my future.

In the meantime, I’ve frittered away a couple of hours reading about the history of crop circles and the various hoaxes over the years. Because many of my friends are professional photographers, I don’t use images without giving credit or (gasp!) payment. Here’s one that appears to be in the public domain that comes from All That Is, the Online University of Truth:

Photo by Steve Alexander

What Astrologers Say About Ingrid Betancourt’s Rescue

I’ve been following the case of Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt with great interest ever since she was captured by rebels six years ago. I was thrilled to see that she was rescued on July 2 in a daring rescue mission.

Michael WolfStar at StarIQ has dedicated his entire July 8 NewsScope column to Betancourt’s story. It’s an amazing piece of analysis. You can read it here: http://www.stariq.com/Main/Articles/P0008829.HTM

Here’s what Dutch astrologer Marga Bervoets has to say about Betancourt’s rescue: http://astropost.blogspot.com/2008/07/ingrid-betancourt-liberated.html

British astrologer Marjorie Orr and her readers are having a lively discourse on the astrological aspects that triggered Betancourt’s liberation:
http://www.star4cast.com/index2f.asp?page=forum_article.asp?id=1

If you don’t see any references to Betancourt, scroll down as Orr updates her thread constantly.

I think that one reason why I’m fascinated with political hostages is because a cousin of mine was one of the Iranian hostages who spent 444 days in captivity before being released in the first days of Ronald Reagan’s administration.

I recently posted on Burmese Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been imprisoned for 18 years by Myanmar’s repressive military regime. http://astrologymundo.wordpress.com/2008/06/20/its-hard-to-have-a-happy-birthday-under-house-arrest/

Maybe her story will have a happy ending the way that Betancourt’s and Nelson Mandela’s did.