The July 1, 2011 Eclipse and Hurricane Irene

Does anybody remember at UAC in Denver when astrologer Shelley Ackerman analyzed the July 1, 2011 eclipse chart and compared it to New York City’s chart and predicted “mass migrations” because of weather? I do.

Of course, I thought her prediction would manifest immediately so I stayed out of New York City in the days that followed that eclipse, including the July 4 weekend. As I drove to work today and watched millions of New Yorkers heading out of the city because of storm-related evacuations, I made a note to self: Eclipses are usually active for up to six months after they occur. Anyway, bravo Shelley!


Mind Your Step, NYC!

One of my favorite charts in the whole world is the incorporation chart for New York City’s five boroughs (Jan. 1, 1898, 12:01 a.m., New York). It has a lovely Venus/Mars conjunction in Sagittarius, which picks up my own Mars.

This weekend’s accident on the Staten Island Ferry got me thinking about how the current Saturn/Uranus opposition is making New York very prone to accidents until May 26. So if you live or work in the Big Apple, look both ways before you step into the crosswalk.

Of course, I’m going to read this post out loud and look into the mirror. I’m looking out for the other guy more than usual these days.

Saturn Returns: Get Out Your Handkerchiefs!

I caught a preview performance yesterday of Noah Haidle’s poignant play Saturn Returns at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater yesterday. I didn’t bring any Kleenex, but I should have.

Directed by Nicholas Martin, Saturn Returns is a triptych of the life of Gustin, a Grand Rapids, Mich., radiologist in 1948, 1978, and 2008, as he experiences his first, second, and third Saturn returns.

Astrology is never mentioned, but the playwright, who appears to be experiencing his own Saturn return, has a keen understanding of the language of loss and loneliness that the planet of restriction speaks so eloquently.

As befitting a play called Saturn Returns, it’s a sparse production, with Gustin at age 88, 58, and 28 played by three actors — John McMartin, James Rebhorn, and Robert Eli, respectively. The women in Gustin’s life are portrayed by the same thespian — the beautiful, versatile Rosie Benton. No other players are on stage and there are no intermissions.

Film buffs may know Rebhorn from his numerous screen and TV roles, including The Talented Mr. Ripley, My Cousin Vinny, and The Scent of a Woman. Throughout his career, Rebhorn has often appeared as the nerd or expert, a guy with a plastic pen holder in the pocket of his starched white shirt. Sure enough, he’s a Virgo born Sept. 1.

I like the fact that Gustin is a radiologist because that embodies the current opposition of Uranus in Pisces and Saturn in Virgo.

I’m no drama critic, but if Saturn Returns is representative of what Haidle is doing at 28, I can only imagine what his future holds. Is he the next Edward Albee? I took a friend who is an accomplished actress, Anney Giobbe, with me and she was also blown away by Haidle’s talent. Like Saturn, Haidle’s not going away.

Hey, this gives me an excuse to reprint my poll, “What Happened During Your Saturn Return?”

Saturn Returns in the Spotlight

I get lots of astrology-oriented spam, so when I saw an e-mail in my inbox this morning that had “Saturn Returns” as the subject line, I assumed it came from one of the astro Web sites. Wrong! It came from, which is offering discounted tickets on a new play at Lincoln Center in New York called Saturn Returns.

Anyone who has made it through his first, second, or third Saturn return, when the Great Taskmaster returns to the place in the sky where he was when we were born, knows it can be dramatic. But who knew it was worthy of a theatrical production?

Lynn Hayes at Beliefnet has a writeup on Noah Haidle, the author of Saturn Returns. . Like me, she couldn’t find a date of birth for the playwright.

I wonder if he’s having his Saturn return. According to various sources on the Web, Haidle is a 2001 graduate of Princeton University. Let’s say he was 21 or 22 when he graduated. That would make him 28 or 29 right now, the age where you experience your first Saturn return.

You can tell by the poster for the play that Saturn returns aren’t a lot of fun.

The Astrology of Bloomsday

Would the departed never nowhere nohow reappear? Ever he would wander, selfcompelled, to the extreme limit of his cometary orbit, beyond the fixed stars and variable suns and telescopic planets, astronomical waifs and strays, to the extreme boundary of space, passing from land to land, among peoples, amid events. — James Joyce, Ulysses

A literary friend reminded me that today, June 16, is Bloomsday, a celebration of James Joyce’s Ulysses and the novel’s protagonist Leopold Bloom. Bloomsday, according to the Wiki, is the anniversary of the day in 1904 when Joyce and his future wife Nora Barnacle had their first formal date, a walk to the Dublin village of Ringsend.

Bloomsday is a marathon of words, with Joyce aficionados reading from Ulysses for hours in locales around the world, including some of the places where Joyce and Barnacle actually stopped on their walk, like Davy Byrne’s pub in Dublin.

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, you can hear one of these readings taking place live tonight at Symphony Space in New York from 6:30 p.m. on. It’s the 27th celebration of Bloomsday on Broadway.

Here’s the link:

As an astrologer, I was curious what the chart of June 16, 1904, set for noon in Dublin, would look like. I don’t know what time Joyce and Barnacle made their celebrated trek; when the time of an event is unknown, astrologers set the chart for noon.

In any event, this chart has no less than five planets in the talk-talk-talk sign of Gemini, which are squared by group-oriented North Node in Virgo, which is rising. So this is a collective jabberfest, the chart says. The Gemini lineup is opposed by Uranus in the global sign of Sagittarius down near the IC, or bottom of the chart, so it’s interesting that Bloomsday tributes are held around the world.

Revolutionary Uranus could be seen to represent Joyce’s break with such niceties as punctuation and traditional sentence structure in Ulysses, which takes place during a single day in Dublin.

Bloomsday is at its heart a tribute to word play, a very Geminian concept. Here’s what Joyce had to say about Ulysses: “The pity is the public will demand and find a moral in my book — or worse they may take it in some more serious way, and on the honor of a gentleman, there is not one single serious line in it.” Remember that last line the next time you’re talking to a Gemini!

Given Bloom’s meditations on Molly’s sexual charms that infuse the stream-of-consciousness novel, it’s fitting that in our chart that Jupiter is found in the forthright sign of Aries and is located in the eighth house of sex and other mysteries. This chart, though it may be theoretical, is a surprisingly apt representation of what Bloomsday is today.

Here’s the link to the chart, courtesy of Astrodienst:

When the Numbers Are Going Down

I have returned to New York to learn that the rich are in a state of near-hysteria because their net worth is declining. One of the most e-mailed stories in The New York Times earlier this week, “It’s Not So Easy Being Less Rich,” has an anecdote about a guy who’s afraid that his wife is going to leave him because his net worth has declined from $20 million to $8 million.

When I told a dear friend the story last night, she quipped: “That’s not a wife. That’s a hired hand.”

Here’s the link to the article:

That fear of falling wealth has prompted me to repackage the bottom of my May 7 post on “The Coming U.S. Depression” (, which was too long for most folks to slog through.

Here’s what you probably didn’t read:

We’re going to have to adjust our thinking in the U.S. because the numbers we live by will be going down over the next few years, probably through 2018. If you want to know the astrological reasoning behind this, please go to my blogroll and click on Ray Merriman, whose excellent columns explain how the Saturn/Pluto cycle plays out in the economy.

According to Merriman, who is well-respected in financial circles, the period from 1982 to 2000 was one of expansion. No kidding: The bull market started in 1982, and with a few bumps in the road, continued until the tech bubble burst in 2001. Merriman expects that the period from 2000 to 2018 will be one of contraction. What’s going to be expanding in this period is debt, not assets.

As some of you know, I spent the winter in California, instead of New York, where I normally live. I’m an Army brat and have lived all around the country, but basically I’m an Easterner. Sometimes the smug nature lovers of the American West get on my nerves. “We’ve got 360 days of sunshine here,” they say. “But how many bookstores, museums, and theaters do you have?” I ask.

I’ve been a culture junkie most of my life, but maybe counting days of sunshine isn’t a bad way to measure happiness. We’ve got to find a better way of keeping score of our progress than the gross domestic product, particularly in an age where growth isn’t sustainable.

Two Canadian economists have tried to solve the problem by developing an Index of Economic Well-Being that has four components: per capita consumption, societal accumulation of productive resources, income distribution, and economic security. To read more about the index, click here:

From 1980-2001, Norway showed the biggest increase in economic well-being, followed by France. Of the nine OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) nations studied by economists Lars Osberg and Andrew Sharpe over the two-decade period, the four Anglo-Saxon countries (Britain, Australia, Canada, and the U.S.) fared the worst. I guess the WASP work ethic can only take you so far, particularly if you’ve been laid off from your job and you’ve lost your health insurance.

Given the recent food shortages, maybe we’ll take a page from the Mormons and other survivalists by stocking up on food and water. We’ll get a whole new set of things to brag about at cocktail parties. (I know, Mormons don’t drink. I only said that we might take a page from them, not the whole book.) “I’ve got 300 lbs. of rice and 60 gallons of water in my pantry” may replace “I bought this great biotech stock that has doubled in the past two months,” or “The value of my home has increased 300% in the past three years.”

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The Church Gets Its Groove Back

I was talking to a friend yesterday who lives in New York. Like me, she’s a closet astrologer. She was marveling at the Pope’s lovefest at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the good vibes coming from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was raised Jewish, throughout the whole thing.

My observation was that with Neptune, the North Node, and Chiron moving closely together in Aquarius, that it’s a good time for the church (Neptune) to heal its wounds (Chiron) with the public (North Node). Why was Bloomberg in the mix? He was on born on Valentine’s Day, which puts this transiting Aquarius stellium smack dab on his Sun.

Here’s Bloomberg’s chart, thanks to AstroDataBank:

Those who know Bloomberg observe that his tastes are ecumenical, to say the least. With a group of Aquarius planets in his seventh house, he thrives on mixing with all kinds of people, not just the tribe he was raised in.

In another manifestation of the current Aquarius lineup, we’ve got pilgrims flocking to the Italian village where the body of Padre Pio has been exhumed. Here’s the link to that story:

It doesn’t stop. Here’s a news story from Britain about a trio of Roman Catholic priests who have signed a recording contract. Neptune in Aquarius could be seen as favorable to religious music and certainly the North Node is about connecting with the public. Here’s the link to that article:,,2275794,00.html

Takes me back to my childhood and “The Singing Nun.”

Stew, Meet Tony

You’d think I would be licking my wounds. Tiger Woods came in second at the Masters after I predicted that he would win. No, it’s time to get back on the horse, says my Jupiter in Sag. Yeah, I’m feeling lucky.

Also, the thing about making astrological predictions is that people only remember when you get it right. I’ve gotten no feedback for striking out on my Tiger forecast, but dozens of e-mails from college kids in the Midwest who were amazed that my Kansas NCAA prediction came to pass. No one (except astrologers)  expects astrology to EVER get it right.

Here’s to aiming for the fences when you step up to the plate.  To wit: There’s this quirky musical at the Belasco Theatre in New York called Passing Strange starring a guy from L.A. named Stew. Charles Isherwood of The New York Times loves it, but the show hasn’t caught fire yet. For those tourists who come to town primed to see Wicked, Jersey Boys, or the revival of A Chorus Line, Passing Strange isn’t on the radar.

Stew (he goes by one name alone) and his musical collaborator Heidi Rodewald have cooked up a story that Isherwood has dubbed “a portrait of the artist as a confused young black man,” which the critic hails as “fresh, exuberant, and bitingly funny.” So why aren’t the crowds beating down the doors at the Belasco?

Maybe because they can’t find it. Located at 111 W. 44th Street, the Belasco is farther east than many popular Broadway theaters. But I can guarantee that theater goers will make the trek after Passing Strange, Stew, or both win a Tony.  A bold prediction, you say? It’s a month until the Tony nominations are announced and two months till the awards ceremony. No matter. The ephemeris (a listing of the planetary positions) says that Tony night, June 15, is a red-hot one for Stew.

Nothing’s 100% sure, especially not in astrology, but I’d say at the very least Stew is getting some prime-time TV time. Even in the unlikely situation where he walks away empty-handed, Stew will still have made the aquaintance of all those folks out in TV land.

Stew was born Aug. 16, 1961 in Los Angeles. We don’t have a time of birth. Actually, Stew looks like he should have been playing in a Greenwich Village coffee house that hot August night instead of emerging from his mother’s womb. He has that retro jazz thing going on, à la The Subterraneans. Daddy-o, this cat is cool!

Let’s look at the chart, which, thanks to Astrodienst, you can see here:

Right off the bat, we see Stew is a Leo. He likes to be the center of attention. He’ll steal the show everytime. He commands our attention. More than a mere artist, Stew is a revolutionary who can connect with the public is new and, yes, strange ways (Sun conjunct Mercury, Uranus, and North Node in Leo). Stew is an original.

But he’s kicked around a bit and fame and fortune are taking their time to find him. Why? That Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in the last degree of Capricorn. Talking about waiting around! That’s O.K. because if Stew takes care of himself — doesn’t eat and drink too much and watches his weight — he could end up like B.B. King and be the granddaddy of a musical movement (I’m not sure of the exact term to describe Stew’s “brew,” as Playbill dubs his oeuvre). The Jupiter/Saturn conjunction trines Mars in Virgo, giving him staying power. He could also end up pretty well-off, if he hangs in there.

Stew’s transits are fantastic on Tony night. The transiting Sun/Venus conjunction in Gemini sextiles his natal Leo stellium. Plus, transiting Pluto will have moved back into Sagittarius the night before the awards show, forming a nice trine with Stew’s natal Leo lineup. In addition, transiting Mars in Leo will be lighting up Stew’s Mercury and all those other Leo planets.

Now, Mars can be anger, as well as action, so I hope Stew won’t have to quote Spike Lee and say “We wuz robbed” come Tony night. I’m going to be an optimist and predict that Stew will be howling for joy.

Transiting Neptune in Aquarius is with the South Node and Chiron on Tony night, opposing Stew’s Leo stellium. Neptune, to be sure, can bring disappointment and disillusionment, particularly with the South Node in the picture.  But since Neptune rules music it could be beneficial for Stew. 

I’m going to view this Aquarius lineup as the possibility of too much partying after the show or some issues about credit. Maybe there will be some hard feelings if star of the show Stew doesn’t give Heidi Rodewald her due. You know how touchy folks get about not getting props in awards speeches. Nevertheless, pass the word —Passing Strange is destined for glory!