Has Jim Rogers Been Reading Jim Kunstler?

Check out this story from CNBC, where legendary commodity investor Jim Rogers says that he’s bought land and started farming. I’ll confess I haven’t read the whole story yet, but I was expecting Rogers to advise us to buy gold.

Here’s my thinking on bullion: The approaching conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune in Aquarius opposes Leo, the sign that rules gold. An Aquarius stellium helped make Leos India (Slumdog Millionaire) and Sean Penn (Milk) winners at the Oscars. I’m betting it will do the same thing for gold.

In case, you don’t know who Jim Kunstler is, check out his site. The peak oil guru, who was recently profiled by The New Yorker, envisions a world where food will be grown locally — by you and me!

Well, the U.S. started as a nation of gentleman farmers back when Pluto was last in Capricorn. Maybe we’re going back to the future.

George Soros: The Bad News About Hedge Funds

Do you know who George Soros is? Don’t feel bad if you don’t. The Hungarian-born investor periodically makes headlines in the financial press. He was quite outspoken about free markets in the late 1980s and early 1990s, after the fall of the Iron Curtain. But he is hardly a household name.

Today, the financier, who was born Aug. 12, 1930, was on Capitol Hill testifying about hedge funds. Here’s the natal chart of Soros from something called the Magi Society and an interesting article about how he got clobbered during a Saturn transit. It was actually in April 2000, when Jupiter was making a conjunction with Saturn in Taurus, squaring Soros’ natal Leo Sun.

I’m wondering whether last night’s full Moon at 21 degrees of Taurus, which also squared the legendary investor’s Sun, is the reason why he was ordered to appear in front of Congress.

He told legislators that hedge funds, which are investment vehicles that are essentially free of government regulation and place bets in both directions (long and short) on equities and commodities, will be “decimated” by the current financial crisis. A story from the Times of London appears here about Soros’ day on the Hill.

Like Warren Buffett, another billionaire, Soros has a Jupiter/Pluto conjunction in Cancer that ties in heavily with the U.S. chart.

Helen Thomas, Queen of the White House Correspondents

Back on Aug. 4, when it was Barack Obama’s birthday and I was busily calculating his solar return, my tipster Gastriques was prodding me to look at the chart of longtime White House correspondent Helen Thomas, another Leo born Aug. 4.

I’m catching up with Learning Curve on the Ecliptic and I see this weekend that she featured Thomas as the first in a series of “superwomen” that she plans to write about on Saturdays. So, here you go, Gastriques. Here’s everything you wanted to know about Helen Thomas, together with her natal chart.

So, in true Cindy Adams style, I’ll say: Don’t say I never did anything for you! (I know you wouldn’t, but it’s fun to channel Cindy!)

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!

Barack Obama’s 2008 Solar Return

Barack Obama will celebrate his 47th birthday with a fund-raiser tonight in Boston, but where will he be this morning at 9:50 a.m.? That’s when the Sun returns to the exact place where it was when he was born, allowing astrologers to calculate his “solar return” or chart for this birthday year.

A little background for non-astrologers: The aspects between the planets remain the same, no matter where the chart is set. It’s the house cusps and the placement of the planets within the houses that change according to location.

I did a little digging and CNN.com reports Obama is giving a speech in Lansing, Mich., this morning at 11 a.m. Of course, he could be in an airplane or a bus at 9:50, but I’m going to assume he’ll get to his destination a little ahead of time.

Thanks to the Daily Kos, we have the official proof that Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Aug. 4, 1961 at 7:24 p.m. Here’s his solar return, cast for Lansing.

I’m sorry to see that this chart has Moon/Mars in Virgo on the Ascendant opposing Uranus in Pisces. What does this mean? That Obama and the women (Moon) in his life are going to be subject to attacks or accidents (Mars/Uranus). This doesn’t mean that they will necessarily be physical attacks, but they will be attacks nonetheless.

Here’s what Reinhold Ebertin has to say about Moon/Mars equals Uranus in The Combination of Stellar Influences: “Quick irritability…a sudden experience in a woman’s life.”

But here’s some good news for Obama supporters: Ebertin says Moon/Mars on the Ascendant is “the taking over of leadership.”

Other highlights of Obama’s 2008 solar return:

Pluto in Sagittarius trine Venus in Leo. Issues about parentage could be coming out. I don’t think Obama has a love child, but we could see some interesting allegations about love and sex. I’ve learned since first writing this that the tabloid The Globe is peddling an Obama love child story this week. Strange days, indeed!

Mars conjunct Moon in Virgo. Possible disagreements with his wife Michelle. Perhaps she’s accusing him of selling out or going too mainstream. Big problems involving health care if he is elected President.

Sun conjunct Mercury in Leo on the Nodes. Obama’s connecting with the public in a big way.

Harry Potter and the Magic of J.K. Rowling’s Birthday

Even muggles are smart enough to know that today, July 31, is the birthday of Harry Potter, the boy wizard of book and screen.

More important, it’s the birthday of Potter’s creator, J.K. Rowling, whose rags-to-riches story rivals, no, surpasses, that of Horatio Alger’s. According to Forbes magazine, Rowling earned $300 million last year, more than any other celebrity, including Oprah Winfrey. The Wiki says she’s worth $1.1 billion. Here’s The Guardian’s writeup on Rowling’s phenomenal year:

In little more than a decade, the Harry Potter series has become a classic, eclipsing such long-running children’s franchises as the Hardy Boys, which sold 50 million books, according to the Wiki, and Nancy Drew, which sold 200 million. According to the Wiki, the seven books in the Harry Potter series have sold 400 million copies through June, 2008. (The Guardian says 375 million, but, hey, who’s counting?)

Let’s look at the chart of Joanne Kathleen Rowling, who was born July 31, 1965 at 2 p.m. (I’ve taken this time from other Web sites and haven’t personally confirmed it myself) in Chipping Sodbury, England. We can see that she has had Jupiter moving through her house of second resources, giving a lift to her income last year. Here’s her chart, courtesy of Astrodienst.

Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was published on June 30, 1997 by Bloomsbury in Britain as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (it was called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the U.S.). What was happening in her chart then? Uranus in Aquarius was opposing her Sun. Uranus transits often thrust an individual into the limelight seemingly overnight. Rowling suddenly became “famous.”

Still, she was born with electrical Uranus in a tight square to the North Node (the public) so the potential for her to connect with the public and to be controversial (the Christian right has objected to her tales of wizardry) was there from the start.

I will argue, that much like the Internet millionaires who were born with revolutionary Uranus/Pluto in Virgo, Rowling’s big breakthroughs came about during the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Taurus, which was trining Rowling’s broad Uranus/Pluto conjunction in 1999 and 2000. At the time the conjunction was quite close, in May 2000, it was trining Rowling’s Virgo Moon. Looking back, it seems the height of Harrymania coincided with the tech boom, though Harry continued to expand his empire after tech stocks crashed.

My favorite factoid about Rowling’s life is that her parents met on a train and that she says she conceived of Harry Potter’s character while traveling on one. Does anybody out there see trains in this chart? Maybe in countries where public transportation is widespread, meeting and coming up with the plots for best-selling books on trains isn’t that unusual. But I found the coincidence interesting myself.

Rowling’s progressed Sun is going to hit her natal Moon in about a year and a half. This is often a significator of marriage or some other important partnership. According to Rowling’s official site, she is married to Dr. Neil Murray, who continues to practice medicine in Edinburgh.

I’m going to assume that Rowling keeps her Web site up to date and that all is well in her marriage. By the way, Rowling humorously defends herself against the inaccuracies published about her in the media in the “rubbish bin” section of her site, ranking false reports about herself from “starting to smell” to “toxic.”

Perhaps under the progressed New Moon Rowling will forge a lasting partnership with a humanitarian or charitable organization. Since she has previously worked for Amnesty International, it could be that group, or perhaps another one dedicated to defending the rights of children or encouraging literacy. We’ll see. The J.K. Rowling saga isn’t over yet.

Don’t Pass Up Passing Strange

Readers of this blog know that I like to go out on a limb and make predictions. Some come true (Jayhawks to beat Tarheels in the NCAA Final Four, Kansas to win the Final Four), others don’t (Tiger Woods to win a Grand Slam in the same year, David Archuleta to win American Idol).

Tonight, I’ll have my fingers crossed for a Leo named Stew, the star of Passing Strange, the Broadway show that has been nominated for seven Tony Awards. Back in April, I predicted that Stew and Company would take home at least one Tony. (See “Stew, Meet Tony,” April 17, 2008, https://astrologymundo.wordpress.com/2008/04/17/stew-meet-tony/)

Even though I have been talking up Stew in previous posts based on his favorable transits of tonight, II hadn’t actually seen his show, a musical meditation on what it means to be black in America, until yesterday. And boy, it knocked me out!

To discover his blackness, Stew travels to Amsterdam and Berlin and poses as a refugee from the ghetto, when in fact he has grown up in a comfortable African-American neighborhood in Los Angeles.

It’s a wild, rollicking ride with first-rate performers. This show hasn’t caught fire, but I still think it will (if not here, then overseas), given Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s meteoric rise on the U.S. political scene. (The use of the word “hopeful” is intentional. Although Obama has surpassed the number of electoral votes needed to clinch the nomination, he will not actually be the Democratic Party’s nominee until after the August convention.)

Stew is a light-skinned black who goes to live among Northern Europeans, while Obama’s mother was white. Both have asked themselves the question: What does it mean to be black?

Black entertainers, from blues singers to Motown’s greats to today’s rappers, have helped define American values and style. But the de facto segregation of whites and blacks in this country has allowed powerful media figures to define black identity, whether it be through blaxploitation films like Superfly and Shaft in the Seventies to the black sitcoms like Martin and Living Single that were hits on Fox TV before it went white (http://fun.familyeducation.com/television/african-americans/35259.html).

A case in point: While everyone was celebrating Michelle and Barack Obama’s playful victory bump of fists, I found myself asking: Is this their secret handshake or is this a black thing that I wouldn’t understand? The truth is, I don’t know the answer. Maybe if I were a regular watcher of Oprah, I would.

The fact is even though I work at the same company and live on the same street as African-Americans, our worlds rarely intersect. In my life, I’ve had a couple of good black girlfriends (especially back in the days of the Jackson Five), but not since college.

Until I moved to New York, I could have made the same statement about gay people. But through media and astrology, I’ve made some close gay friends. That’s what I love about astrology. It brings together people of different persuasions, all searching for the truth. Maybe my cosmic pursuits will bring me some black friends too.

Stew’s musical journey in Passing Strange raises some deep issues. I left the show, which essentially is a tribute to his mother, wondering: Who is Stew’s father and why is he never mentioned, not even in passing? As is the case for Obama and many other black men, it appears that Stew was raised by his mother, who devoted all her love and attention to her son.

Though it appears Stew’s Mom helped form his character (clearly this is a self-made man in many ways), astrologers and psychologists know that even when a parent is dead or no longer participating in the family, he or she still exerts a powerful influence.

Interesting that on Father’s Day, my ode to Stew turns into an essay on fatherhood.

I visited my Dad last month in Santa Fe. He makes his home in the veterans’ national cemetery there, though my medium Gretchen Clark in Lily Dale, N.Y., informs me that he’s happily eating popcorn and watching movies in the afterworld, a fitting pastime for a Pisces. We miss you, Dad!

All Hail YSL, King of the Pantsuit

I’ve just read that fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent has died at the age of 71. Here’s the AP story, via Yahoo!: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/obit_yves_saint_laurent

It’s fitting that my headline calls the designer a “king” since he was a regal Leo. Looking quickly at his chart, a couple of things jump out at me: YSL died as Jupiter was transiting his Moon in Capricorn, which opposed his natal Mars/Pluto conjunction in Cancer. Astrologers know that when people die, it usually looks as if they are going on a long journey. If I were reading Saint Laurent’s chart, I probably would have predicted that he was moving into a big new home.

It’s the charts of the people who loved the deceased individual that typically have transits indicating sorrow or separation, usually involving Saturn and/or Neptune.

Interesting that the man who made it socially acceptable for women to wear pantsuits had the Moon, which rules women, in Capricorn, the sign of the boss. Perhaps his mother wore the pants in the family from a psychological point of view.

Saint Laurent’s Leo Sun was conjunct Juno, the asteroid that rules fashion and the arts. His Sun was also quite close to Mercury and Venus in Leo, which may have explained why he was much beloved (Venus) by the media (Mercury). Jupiter in Sagittarius in the 10th house of fame and recognition trined his Leo lineup of planets, expanding his presence in the world.

Although he is remembered for his sophisticated pantsuits, YSL’s Jupiter in Sag trining his Mercury, acted as a cultural messenger, bringing various ethnic and historic influences into modern-day department stores. For instance, in the late 1970s, his collections featured styles inspired by the Ballet Russes (1976), Morocco (1977), and Gypsies (1978), according to this history of fashion Web site: http://www.designerhistory.com/historyofashion/saint.html

YSL’s flair for the theatrical helped make the fall and spring designer shows in Paris, New York, Rome, and London what they are today — spectacles where the rich, famous, and beautiful jockey for the best seats along the runway.

Here’s YSL’s chart, courtesy of Astrotheme, which has a time of birth of 7:45 p.m. in Oran, Algeria, on Aug. 1, 1936: http://www.astrotheme.fr/en/portraits/2LC8ctBGwK4w.htm

Astrotheme uses biographies from the Wiki, which says YSL suffered a nervous breakdown in 1962, following hazing by fellow soldiers while serving a required stint in the French military. Today, this kind of harassment would be called gay-bashing.

I don’t have time to look this up right now, but if memory serves me correctly there was a big Aquarius lineup in February, 1962, which some people believe foreshadowed the death of JFK, but that’s another story. Here’s what Eric Francis at PlanetWaves has to say about that historic Aquarian moment: http://planetwavesweekly.com/dadatemp/373155372.html

This Aquarius lineup was most likely on YSL’s Ascendant, because the Astrotheme/Wiki bio says he underwent shock therapy, though this also could have been brought about by a transit of Uranus in Leo to his Sun or Descendant.

Shortly after his nervous breakdown, YSL launched his fashion business with the financial backing of Pierre Berge. It was Berge, his former lover and longtime partner, who announced YSL’s death on June 1. Perhaps it was Saint Laurent’s steady Moon in Capricorn that led to such a lasting collaboration with a money guy. There’s no question that Berge’s financial acumen helped propel the designer to the top of the fashion world.

Like many Juno-ruled “industries,” fashion is a combination of art and commerce. You can’t have one without the other, as Frank Sinatra once sang about love and marriage. The house of Dior, which YSL took over at the age of 21, was fortunate to have had both.

So the next time you see Hillary Clinton wearing a pantsuit, even if it’s to announce her exit from the U.S. Presidential race, know that it wouldn’t have happened without Yves Saint Laurent.

What Will You Be Doing on Aug. 8, 2008 at 8:08 p.m.?

I’m not very knowledgeable about numerology, but evidently the number 8 is considered to be quite fortunate, especially by Asians. There’s even a New York Times reporter whose legal name is Jennifer 8. Lee and she uses this as her byline. Belief in the power of 8 has led the Chinese to schedule opening ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics on Aug. 8, 2008 at 8:08 p.m. local time. I’m going to run this chart and deal with it in a separate post.

Last night, at a cocktail party hosted by the Tempe (Ariz.)-based American Federation of Astrologers at the United Astrology Conference in Denver, I met Patricia Bell, a clairvoyant who lives in the spiritual community of Lily Dale, N.Y. (www.lilydaleassembly.com). Bell will be hosting a seminar on the symbolism of 8-8-8 on — you guessed it! — Aug. 8, 2008 at 8 p.m.

The same weekend, Barbara Hand Clow and Gerry Clow will be doing a workshop on Journeys Through Nine Dimensions. (It doesn’t conflict with Bell’s session.)

I love the energy in Lily Dale, which is just outside Jamestown, N.Y., the hometown of Lucille Ball. For the past three years, I’ve made a pilgrimage to Lily Dale for a psychic reading with Gretchen Clark.

I even dragged my husband to see Gretchen. He was skeptical until she told him that his father really appreciated the fact that my husband had dropped his Dad’s favorite watch in the coffin right before the burial. He came out of Gretchen’s charming Victorian house a believer before backsliding into cynicism. To wit: His first call to me at UAC started with the question: “How are things in Salem?” (No, dear, we’re not witches; we’re astrologers.)

I’ve sent friends to Lily Dale with mixed results. Some don’t like the church revival feel of the place, which is down the road from the biggest revival camp of them all, Chautauqua Institution. Today, Chautauqua is synonymous (look it up in the dictionary!) with lifelong learning and has moved far away from the Ole Time Religion for which it was once famous. 

Other friends don’t like Lily Dale because it’s a bit ramshackle, but I like shabby chic Victorian gingerbread architecture.

I got interested in Lily Dale after reading Lily Dale: The Town That Talks to the Dead by Christine Wicker, which traces the history of the spiritual community from its days of table rappers in the Victorian age to its modern-day hippy-dippy incarnation.

During the summer, the narrow lanes of Lily Dale are filled mostly with middle-aged women wearing tie-dyed T-shirts who are trying to communicate with loved ones on the other side. Since this basically describes me, I fit right in.  

No trip to Lily Dale is complete without a visit to the Lucy and Desi museums and landmarks in Jamestown, whose refurbished downtown was a recent finalist in the Main Street competition held by the National Trust for Historic Preservation (http://www.mainstreet.org/).

Last year, I passed through Lily Dale and Jamestown during Lucy-Desi Days, which are held every Memorial Day weekend. This event brings out the faithful in busloads to celebrate Lucy’s contribution to show business. It’s a weekend of high camp, that’s for sure.

Another big day in Jamestown is Lucy’s birthday, Aug. 6. Given that most tourists like weekend events, you can be sure that Aug. 8 will be a big day in Jamestown and Lily Dale, as well as in Beijing. Are you surprised that Lucy was a Leo? I’m not.

It’s never too early to start planning what you’re going to do to capture the power of 8 on Aug. 8, 2008. Maybe I’ll finally get out from behind the 8 ball.

The Stage is Set for Stew to Win a Tony Award

I’ve been on the road in New Mexico so I’m just catching up with the nominations for the Tony Awards, which were announced May 13.

I was gratified to see that Passing Strange garnered 7 noms, including best musical, best original score, best book of a musical, and best performance by a leading actor in a musical. Last month, I wrote that Stew, the Leo star of Passing Strange, and his collaborator Heidi Rodewald have a good shot at taking home a Tony or two (“Stew, Meet Tony,” Apr. 17, 2008). You can find the story under African-Americans, to name one category where it’s stored. 

There’s no question that the competition is keen. In the Heights, another funky musical, scored the most Tony nominations (13), while the classic musical South Pacific earned 11 noms. The Tony Awards ceremony will be broadcast on June 15. Whoopi Goldberg will be the emcee of the event. For more information, click here: http://www.tonyawards.com/en_US/index.html 

I like the fact that Whoopi will be hosting the awards. Stew’s powerful Leo stellium falls in her seventh house, where she has got a powerful Jupiter/Pluto conjunction in Leo. Sure, her stellium in Scorpio squares Stew’s Leo lineup, but squares can be quite dynamic. Maybe Whoopi will be Stew’s good luck charm! Here’s her chart:

http://www.vegaattractions.com/celebrity/stars/whoopi_goldberg.html