The First Lady from the City of Big Shoulders

Hey, has anyone else out there been following the controversy dogging First Lady Michelle Obama for her choice of sleeveless dresses? Bonnie Fuller has an excellent piece about “Sleevegate” over at Huffington Post.

I didn’t need Fuller to figure out that a woman who bares her arms isn’t just showing off her well-toned biceps and shoulders; she’s indicating her willingness to work, even if the dress in question is an evening gown. And you have to have a little muscle on your bones to help out. Size 0s need not apply!

I also find it interesting that Mrs. Obama hails from the great city of Chicago, which Walt Whitman christened the “City of Big Shoulders.”

On another fashion matter, I recently read a piece about the First Lady’s dazzling selection of flat shoes. No doubt the Capricorn wears them so she doesn’t appear taller than her Leo husband.

How retro, you say? Any Goat worth her salt will tell you that flats are more comfortable when you’re climbing the mountain than heels.

Check out the double-pearls and the black dress in the official White House portrait above. How Capricorn can you get?

The Meaning of Mercury Direct

Yesterday, Mercury went direct almost exactly on my Sun, which is at 21 degrees 45 minutes of Capricorn. I’ve been thinking a lot about what that means for both me and you.

Thankfully, those checks we’ve been waiting for will finally arrive and the money at the bank will clear. Yes, there’s no question that those born under the sign of the Goat are very conscious of finances.

But Mercury direct will also mean a further unraveling of the financial system. We’ll see some of the shocks associated with that later in the week with the second Saturn/Uranus opposition in Virgo/Pisces on Feb. 5.

Regardless of how you feel about President Barack Obama’s stimulus package, if it is not supported by the Republicans, we will see a crisis in confidence in the Administration at this early date. That in turn will show up in the stock market and the value of the dollar. Forewarned is forearmed, as my Daddy liked to say.

Thanks Heavens for Comet!

While I was taking a hike with a fellow blogger in Tahquitz Canyon yesterday, the world was going to hell in a hand basket. Israel started raining bombs on the Gaza Strip, and the island of Oahu, where President-elect Barack Obama is vacationing with his family, lost power. (Generators kicked in at the Obama compound.)

The Mars/Pluto conjunction also produced a killer dressed as Santa Claus in Covina, Calif., before Mars moved into Capricorn, but when it was quite close to the world axis (zero degrees of any Cardinal sign such as Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn).

Luckily for us, while I was out doing my goat thing (climbing up a mountain) not long after the New Moon at 8 degrees of Capricorn, Out the Comet’s Ass was covering the news. You can read Comet’s post about the surge in violence here.

Also, here’s the take of Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor of The Guardian of London, on the situation in Gaza.

Oops, there’s more. Another bloodbath, this one on Friday in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has come to light. According to AFP, the Ugandan military has accused rebels of hacking to death 45 churchgoers. ‘Tis the season for violence, it seems.

No wonder Comet’s been hiding out at the movie theater. I decided to spend the last hours of Mars in Sagittarius on my natal Mars on Friday night watching Tom Cruise in Valkyrie. I figured if I was watching a film about an attack, I might be able to avoid one myself.

A Fond Farewell to Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt (born Jan. 17, 1927) died today at age 81, as Jupiter was transiting her Sun. Astrologers know that a Jupiter passage often coincides with death, or a long journey to a better place.

I think it’s more than coincidence that the Capricorn was best known for her Christmas ditty, Santa Baby. The day we’ve designated as the birth of Christ falls in the sign of Capricorn, in case you don’t know.

With the prominent hair and sex-kitten persona, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kitt had a Leo rising. (Even Kitt could be read as short for “kitten,” a fellow creature of Leo the Lion. ) I don’t have a birth time right now, but I’ll do a little research after dinner.

Well, Astrotheme shows Kitt with a Sagittarius rising. So much for my theory. You can look at Kitt’s natal chart here.

I’m disappointed. I was sure she was a Leo rising. After all, she played Catwoman on Batman in the 1960s!

Celebrate the Winter Solstice with Jude’s Threshold

As readers of this blog know, I see no point in re-inventing the wheel if someone out there already has a good one. Case in point: I was thinking about working up a chart for the Winter Solstice, but after studying the one at Jude’s Threshold, I don’t think anybody out there could do any better.

Check out Jude’s winter tale here. She sets the chart in Washington D.C. on Dec. 21 at 7:03:53 a.m. EST.

Also, to everyone who wrote in with condolences about the death in my family and being on the road, thanks very much. Your support is greatly appreciated.

The Capricorn Conspiracy

I was just about to knock off a post about how financial astrologer Ray Merriman called the crash in oil prices ( now below $67 a barrel, down from $154 this summer) back at the United Astrology Conference, held in Denver in May, when it dawned on me that Merriman is a Capricorn.

At this year’s UAC, which Merriman helped organize, astrologer Michael Lutin made a joke that some of his favorite leaders are Capricorns: Stalin, Mao, and Merriman.

As you may know, I was born under the sign of the Goat and have devoted lots of cyber-ink to fellow Caps, including golf superstar Tiger Woods, political spouse Michelle Obama, French First Lady Carla Bruni, Hiroshima martyr Sadako Sasaki, civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, and University of Kansas basketball coach Bill Self.

My husband and I were married by an Elvis impersonator who crooned Love Me Tender at a Las Vegas wedding chapel, and I’ve never found it strange that the King set up a meeting with fellow Capricorn Richard Nixon back in the day.

I was rooting for Dodgers manager Joe Torre, who has Moon in Capricorn, but he was bested by Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, another Sun in Capricorn. The Phillies are playing the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series, which begins tonight at 8 p.m. (More on this match in a later post.)

The Astrology Mundo poll on “What Sign Are You?” seems to be delivering a fairly even distribution of the signs, with chatty Gemini and spiritual Pisces tied for first place the last time I looked. Given my experience at attracting fellow Capricorns, the poll should show that 90% of respondents are Caps.

Here’s the good news: This Capricorn emphasis isn’t permanent. It’s the result of expansive Jupiter going through Capricorn, which is putting natives of the Goat, including the ever-expanding Federal Reserve Bank, in the news.

Next year, Aquarians will get their 15 minutes of fame as Jupiter moves through the sign of the Water Bearer. So bear with me, I promise this site won’t be all Capricorns all the time for much longer. Plus, we’re all going to get our butts kicked when Pluto moves into Capricorn on Nov. 27 and stays there until, gulp, 2024.

Want to know more. Here’s a Michael Lutin video on Pluto in Cap.

It’s Two for Tiger

Even I’m starting to get sick of the Sarah Palin sideshow so I’m going to catch up with yesterday’s news that golfer Tiger Woods’ wife is expecting their second child.

Earlier this year, I made some grand predictions about how this was going to be the best year ever for Tiger, a Capricorn, because Jupiter was transiting his sign.

I predicted a Grand Slam — four major tournament wins in the same year — as well as an expansion of Woods’ home and family. Well, at least I was right on one count — the family is indeed expanding.

As golf fans know, Tiger has had a less-than-stellar year so far because of leg surgery. One astrologer who got it right was Marjorie Orr. Unfortunately, I can’t link to her post on Tiger because of the way her Web site is set up. But hats off to Marjorie for seeing that Jupiter in your sign doesn’t always mean more wins and more money. It can mean more children and more homes.

Michelle Obama’s Moment to Shine

A lot has been written about Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle, and most of it hasn’t been very nice. Furthermore, the photographers who seemed determined to make Hillary Clinton look pear-shaped like to catch Michelle Obama in a pout or a scowl.

Well, tonight I think she’s going to positively shine at the Democratic National Convention. There will be no stopping the Democratic candidate’s wife, as transiting Venus and Mercury in Virgo trine her Capricorn Sun. With the Virgo emphasis, I think Michelle will make inroads with female working-class voters who supported Hillary but haven’t yet jumped on board the Obama bandwagon.

Here’s Michelle’s natal chart (no time of birth), courtesy of Astrodienst, with transits for today.

Transiting Neptune is on her natal Saturn tonight so I think she’ll be able to soften her hard-nosed image, and it’s traveling with the North Node and Chiron, so I think she’ll strike a chord with the public.

There might be some technical disruption as transiting Saturn is sitting between her natal Uranus/Pluto. Will she face a TelePrompTer malfunction the way her husband did in Bristol, Va. on June 5? I wouldn’t be surprised. But I predict whatever happens, she’s going to come out smelling like a rose.

Rush Limbaugh (my birthday twin but not the same year) is speculating that Michelle is pregnant and that she’ll mention it tonight in her speech. Interesting that both Limbaugh and Michelle are Capricorns. If Michelle is indeed expecting, it would be a good reflection of the Moon/Mars on the Ascendant opposing Uranus on the Descendant in her husband’s solar return.

In my post on Obama’s solar return, I noted that Reinhold Ebertin’s The Combination of Stellar Influences says Moon/Mars equals Uranus can be a “sudden experience in a woman’s life.” That prompted commenter Mandelay to predict that Michelle would have a baby in the White House the way that Jacqueline Kennedy did.

Maybe an Obama pregnancy is what the Democratic candidate needs to show voters that he’s got cojones.

Carla Bruni: France’s Femme Fatale First Lady

Yesterday I did something I haven’t done in months: I bought a magazine. I get all my news on the Web these days, but I couldn’t resist the glossy pages of the September Vanity Fair with Carla Bruni on the cover.

The VF stylists have Bruni, a former model, dressed in riding clothes for the cover photo by Annie Leibovitz. I’ve never owned a horse, nor am I to the manor born, but with all my Sagittarian planets, I love the horsey look.

The cover headline also sold me: “Carla Bruni: The New Jackie O?” Like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Bruni knows how to dress for the occasion. One of my favorite shots in the VF photo spread shows Bruni dressed in a prim tweed suit fit for a dowager and wearing flats as she chats amiably with Queen Elizabeth of England. No doubt the 5-feet, 9-inch former model didn’t want to make the Queen uncomfortable by wearing high heels.

A lot has been written about Bruni, a former muse to rock stars like Mick Jagger and a best-selling chanteuse in her own right, since she and French President Nicolas Sarkozy got married on Feb. 2 after a whirlwind romance.

Bruni’s colorful past has some French citizens questioning whether she is fit to be First Lady. From where I sit, she is the perfect First Lady for France. Her background (fashion and the arts) plays to France’s strengths on the global scene. Oh, and did I mention that she’s beautiful?

Claire Courts, the Frenchwoman who writes AstroRevolution, did an excellent post on Bruni, a Capricorn born Dec. 23, 1967 at 6:10 p.m. in Turin, Italy, and Sarkozy, born Jan. 28, 1955 at 10 p.m. in Paris, the day after their wedding. (Now that’s fast work!) You can read it here.

Courts has done a formidable job of analyzing both the charts of Bruni, who is Sarkozy’s third wife; the mercurial French President; and the composite that combines both their charts. Just so I don’t look like an astrological hitchhiker by linking to AstroRevolution, I’m going to weigh in with a few observations of my own.

VF says that when Bruni was 28 (ah, the old Saturn return!), Italian industrialist Alberto Bruni-Tedeschi told her that he was not her “genetic father.” Bruni learned that her biological father is Maurizio Remmert, a classical guitarist. So her success as a musician is due not just to nurture, but to nature. As astrologers, we might chalk it up to her Venus/Neptune conjunction in Scorpio.

Getting a sudden shock about one’s family reflects Bruni’s Virgo Moon conjunct revolutionary Uranus/Pluto. Interestingly, this Virgo stellium opposes Chiron in Pisces. Since Chiron is called the “Wounded Healer,” this aspect suggests a psychic injury concerning Bruni’s home or background.

Those who follow sun sign astrology might notice that Bruni is a Capricorn, an earth sign, while Sarkozy is an Aquarian, an air sign. These signs are next to, or adjacent, to each other. This position is usually dismissed by the cookie-cutter astrology books, which favor combos between signs of the same element (earth, water, air, or fire) or 60 degrees away (fire with air, earth with water).

Here’s a little secret that my longtime astrology teacher Eileen McCabe taught me: “Adjacents” frequently hook up because the two signs have much to teach each other. The staid Capricorn can give the revolutionary Aquarius some oft-needed discipline, while the Water Bearer can get the stiff-necked Goat to loosen up a little.

Now, you ask, what’s staid about Bruni? Well, she was to the manor born and was raised in a wealthy Italian family that is part of the Establishment. In contrast, Sarkozy is an outsider. He’s the son of immigrants who had to start over after leaving Hungary in 1947 and he did not attend any of the top schools that turn out France’s political leaders. In politics, he’s pursued a maverick style typical of an Aquarian.

Given McCabe’s theory about adjacent signs, it’s interesting to read in Maureen Orth’s VF article how Bruni has reined in Sarkozy’s flashy way of dressing, which had earned him the nickname “le President Bling-Bling.”

A footnote about the Bruni profile in VF: An editor’s note says author Orth turned in the piece a few days before her husband Tim Russert died.

While we’re on the topic of Vanity Fair, I wish the magazine would bring back astrologer Michael Lutin. The magazine isn’t the same without his Planetarium. Yes, I can read Lutin’s horoscopes elsewhere, but as an astrologer, I couldn’t wait to see how he was going to distill complex aspects and transits into a cocktail that the masses could imbibe.

Sadako Sasaki: The Saint of Hiroshima

As I noted in an earlier post, today is the anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima, the most horrific act that man has ever committed against his fellow man.

I’m amazed that there hasn’t been more outrage about dropping a nuclear bomb on innocent civilians. Although President Harry S Truman described Hiroshima as a “military base” when he told the nation of his decision to drop the bomb, in fact, civilians outnumbered military personnel by six to one, according to this Web site.

I think the Japanese are so used to keeping a low profile that the horror of Hiroshima — and Nagasaki two days later — hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves.

Yes, the Japanese brought the U.S. into World War II by bombing Pearl Harbor. Yes, they committed great atrocities such as the so-called Rape of Nanking and subjecting POWs to the Bataan death march. Let’s not forget the Korean “comfort women” enlisted for the sexual pleasure of Japanese soldiers.

But dropping a nuclear bomb is exponentially worse than any of these other acts of violence. However, as the saying goes, it is the victors who write history, and the Japanese lost.

When I went to a demonstration outside the United Nations on Aug. 6, 1995, the 50th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, there were a just handful of protestors gathered on a windy, rainy day. It was me and a few Old Guard Jewish Commies from the Bronx — the same people who had been attacked at the Paul Robeson concert in Peekskill, N.Y. in 1949 and who protested in Union Square against the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1953.

Then 35, I was the youngest face in the crowd. It made me sad that there were no students in front of the U.N. “Who will remember Hiroshima when these octagenarian activists go to their eternal rest?” I asked myself.

Now I know. It seems that Sadako Sasaki, a little girl from Hiroshima who died of leukemia caused by the Hiroshima bomb, is capturing the hearts of schoolchildren around the world more than 60 years after her death in 1955.

According to the Wiki, Sadako’s best friend taught her how to fold origami cranes while Sadako was dying in the hospital. Sadako tried to make 1,000 of them because there is a Japanese story that if you do this, you will get your wish. Sadako’s wish was a simple one — to live.

Sadako died before she reached her goal of 1,000 cranes, according to the Wiki, but she made more than 600. Her friends made up the difference so she was buried with 1,000 of the paper birds.

A Capricorn born Jan. 7, 1943, Sadako was memorialized in Eleanor Coerr’s classic children’s book Sadako Sasaki and the 1,000 Cranes. If you’d like to look at Sadako’s chart, you can see it here, courtesy of Astrodienst.

Along with Sadako’s natal chart, I’ve called up the transits of Aug. 6, the day the bomb was dropped. I wish I knew what time she was born because I think that could tell us a lot more about her iconic role in the peace movement.

Sadako’s visibility will be on the rise this year as Jupiter transits Capricorn and lights up her stellium in Cap, which includes Sun, Mercury, Venus, and possibly the Moon, depending on when she was born. This year’s Jupiter transit also opposes Sadako’s natal Jupiter in Cancer.

Sadako Sasaki may not be a household name, but today children all over the world make origami cranes, posters featuring doves of peace, and other art through the auspices of the Peace Pals Project of the World Peace Prayer Society. Their wish? That war will stop and that there will never be another atomic bomb dropped.

What’s really exciting for me is that in September, artwork from Peace Pals all over the world will be on display for a week in my hometown of Beacon, N.Y. One of the catalysts for this event has been our Main Street stationery store, Paper Presence, which also runs an annual kite-making competition.

When I was researching Sadako to write this post, it struck me that she is Japan’s answer to Anne Frank, an enduring symbol of goodness in a world gone mad. It’s fitting that a child is the messenger of peace because the Sun was in Leo at the time of the Hiroshima bombing and Leo rules children. Children do have the power to change the world!