What Happened During Your Saturn Return?

O.K., it’s official: Astrology Mundo has poll fever. My maiden effort (What’s Your Sign?) is still open for voting. However, I want to move on to another idea: Saturn Returns, especially since there’s a show at Lincoln Center with the same name.

Just in case you don’t know, your first Saturn return typically occurs around 29, the second around 58, and the third around 87.

As Saturn in Virgo moves to an opposition with Uranus in Pisces that is exact on Election Day, I think using the Web (Uranus) to talk about Saturn returns is a good way to channel the energy of this challenging aspect.

If you don’t see what happened to you in the poll or you’d like to share your Saturn return story, please use the comment form. Thanks, and many happy Saturn returns!

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 broadwaybox.com, 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.

McCain’s ‘New’ Chart: The View From Brazil

Here’s Gian Paul’s analysis of the natal horoscope of GOP Presidential candidate John McCain, using the new birth time of 6:25 p.m. on Aug. 29, 1936 in Colon, Panama. The data comes from a State Dept. document that has suddenly surfaced on the Internet as Mercury is preparing to go direct.

You may recall that in his first post for Astrology Mundo, Gian Paul predicted that McCain will be the next President. (See “Why McCain Will Win: The View From Brazil”). He’s not backing away from that theory. Here’s why:

I gave McCain’s “new” chart a test run using three events in the man’s life. I will even speculate on the next one, which will take place on Nov. 4.

1) McCain escaped a serious explosion on the aircraft carrier Forrestal on July 29, 1967. Although there were several casualties, he escaped with his life. The North Node/Moon was then transiting his Uranus. Jupiter was conjunct his natal Mars in the sixth house of health in the latest chart. Nice protection health-wise!

2) McCain was shot down on Oct. 26 1967, and captured by the North Vietnamese, as he recently reminded us by addressing voters as “my fellow prisoners.” What’s striking to me is that McCain has Saturn retrograde at 20 degrees of Pisces in his first house.

Because this house represents the physical body, it is not unexpected that he would become a prisoner of some sort at one or seven several times in his life. The question now: Has he become a “prisoner” of Sarah Palin, his vice-presidential nominee?

The transits of when McCain was grounded and was captured also provide support for the new chart. The Moon (change) was transiting his Pluto in Cancer and the fifth house. I interpret this as “an end to creativity and play.” As a prisoner of war, McCain could hardly think of having children!

Venus, being exactly conjunct his natal Neptune in in the seventh house of relationships an marriage, indicates that at some time Venusian “aspirations” would have to be relegated to the realm of fantasy.

3) On Mar. 14, 1973, McCain was released by the North Vietnamese. The Sun was then transiting his troublesome retrograde Saturn in the first. The Moon, again over his Pluto in the fifth house, was this time accompanied by a strong and favorable transit of Jupiter to his natal Moon in the 12th house of forced confinements.

From my point of view, these three events amply confirm that this time we have the correct birth time for McCain.

Concerning Nov. 4, Election Day: I prefer using 0 hours of Nov. 5, for practical reasons. By then, the entire U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii, will have had its say.

I will restrict my interpretation exclusively to McCain and his current chart, using transits of zero hour of the day after.

The man is in for trouble, first with women, than with an enormous load of responsibilities. I believe that McCain will be your next President in an extremely trying world.

Let me explain: Saturn is exactly opposite his natal Saturn. A new half-cycle (Saturn) is starting. As Saturn is also closing in to conjunct his Venus in Virgo (not a comfortable aspect), I presume that some “feminine stresses” are to be expected.
Confirming this is a square of transiting Venus to his natal Saturn/Venus opposition, forming a T-square. If he gets elected with Palin, he will have to deal with two women, at least — his wife and his vice-president. We’ll see how that will work out.

But transiting Venus is in McCain’s 10th house. On Nov. 5, it will have just completed a conjunction with his Jupiter in Sagittarius, the ruler of his natal chart. (According to my style of astrological interpretation, a planet in its ruling sign becomes the chart’s “governor.”)

Another salient transit on Nov. 4-5: The Moon is exactly over his natal Moon, in
Aquarius, and Sarah Palin is an Aquarius.

One last point: Uranus, which turns direct on Nov. 27, will exactly conjunct McCain’s Saturn in the first house around Jan. 20, 2009, Inauguration Day. He may finally feel free from the restrictions of Saturn. Being the boss can do that for you.

Or he may feel imprisoned by the media circus (Uranus) that surrounds his new jail at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue!

Why is the Financial Crisis Happening Now?

As I write this, Jupiter is rising in Capricorn, making a beautiful trine to Saturn in Virgo. Jupiter rules expansion while Saturn governs contraction and the aspects between the two planets have a lot to do with financial cycles, as Liz Greene and other astrologers have noted.

Normally economic hardship occurs when there is a square between Jupiter and Saturn. Conjunctions and trines typically usher in widespread prosperity.

For instance, during the last Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Taurus, which was exact on May 28, 2000, we had the tech boom as Uranus squared the duo. On Mar. 10, 2000, the Nasdaq Composite Index hit an all-time high of 5132.52. Just a few days later, it began its descent as Pluto turned retrograde at 12 degrees of Sagittarius, on the U.S. Ascendant in the Sibley chart.

But it wasn’t until Saturn moved into Gemini, out of the same sign as Jupiter, on Aug. 9, 2000, that things got really ugly. That was my sell signal. By August 2002, the Nasdaq had lost 78% of its value.

How can the market be tanking now with this harmonious Jupiter/Saturn trine? One reason may be that Saturn is moving toward an opposition with erratic Uranus in Pisces that will be exact on Election Day. I’ve also heard some astrologers say that Jupiter and Saturn aren’t as powerful in earth signs as they are in other elements.

For instance, the 1982 bull market in equities started around the time of the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Libra. However, I will point out that stocks did pretty well with Jupiter and Saturn together in Taurus, an earth sign, so I’m not sure I buy this argument.

Everyone is in agreement that the current crash got under way when Pluto turned direct on Sept. 8, a few days after Jupiter started moving forward again in Capricorn. Earlier this year, when Pluto made a test run in Capricorn after spending 13 years in speculative Sagittarius, we got a taste of welfare for Wall Street.

And now we’ve seen a growing nationalization of the financial sector around the world as Pluto moves through the last degrees of Sagittarius. But despite the jawboning of presidents, prime ministers, and central banker, as well as billions of dollars in government bailouts, the Dow Jones industrial average and other global indexes continue their downward descent.

The Dow reached its all-time high of 14,164.53 on Oct. 8, 2007, about a year ago. Right now, it’s trading at 8,104, having broken the 8,000 level a couple of times today and bouncing back, a sign of support that technical traders like. After the Dow closed down only 128 points, some traders claimed that the market has found its bottom.

For entertainment purposes only, I issued a “sell” warning back in August, when an eclipse squared the New York Stock Exchange Sun in Taurus. But what’s happening now is bigger than the Big Board. Whole countries such as Iceland are going under as the result of a financial crisis that is forcing the “deleveraging” of the balance sheets of banks, investment banks, governments, corporations, and individuals.

Much of this debt was piled on during Pluto’s transit through Sagittarius, where rising values of practically everything encouraged people to borrow to buy something they couldn’t really afford, knowing they would be able to sell it at a higher price later on.

As you can see from this post, I’m thinking out loud. Why is this meltdown happening now, instead of when Pluto moves into Capricorn on Nov. 27? Is it because Pluto has basically been unaspected since Sept. 8, with the exception of a sextile from Mercury in Libra as it went retrograde?

Or are investors selling because they recognize that government control and lower returns are going to be the norm now that the excessive speculation encouraged by a laissez-faire attitude during Pluto in Sag has ended in disaster?

What do you think? I’m looking for analysis based solely on the aspects in the sky over the past month — not based on the NYSE chart or various charts of the U.S. or other countries.

California: Buddy, Can You Spare $7 Billion?

There has been so much financial turmoil in so many places, it’s hard to keep up with it all. BusinessWeek, whose cover language this week is the Pluto in Capricorn-inspired “The New Financial Ice Age,” recently ran a story on California’s financial problems. The headline was “California to Feds: Got a Spare $7 Billion?”

What’s going in on the Golden State? Well, transiting Saturn, the stern taskmaster, is conjuncting California’s natal Sun in hard-working, health-conscious Virgo. You don’t have to be a California Psychic to figure out that’s going to result in some belt-tightening around those very toned California abs.

You can look at California’s chart here, courtesy of Astrodienst.

Back in June, I wrote about the imminent conjunction of Saturn in Virgo to the California Sun, which is also being opposed by Uranus in Pisces. I predicted everything from increased wildfire activity to possible unrest among Golden State residents.

This time, though, I have a prescription for Saturn in Virgo. Here’s my solution to California’s fiscal woes. So many people, Americans and Mexicans alike, want to enter the Golden State that I think California should set up toll booths at its borders and collect a fee from everybody who wants to come in.

Why does everybody want to come in? No, it’s not just to enjoy California’s splendid natural beauty and laid-back lifestyle and to catch a glimpse of a movie star or two. (Remember, this is a state where movie stars like Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger have been elected governor.)

With a Virgo Sun, California’s main attraction is work. According to The World Factbook published by the CIA, if California were an independent nation, it would have had the 10th largest economy in the world in 2007.

Before you dismiss the idea of tolls to enter California, consider this: New York City essentially does the same thing by charging fees on tunnels and bridges leading into the Big Apple. For example, it costs $8 to cross the George Washington Bridge from New Jersey into New York. (No toll going out.)

Californians will hate me for my next idea: tolls on highways. I recently drove from New York to Washington D.C. and was astounded at how much the little state of Delaware (represented by Senator Joe Biden) manages to extract from you for driving a few miles on Route 95.

I used to do this drive on a regular basis back in the Eighties. Driving through Delaware was free then. Now, I think it’s $9 or more. Forgive the sloppy reporting here. If I wanted to Google this morning, I’m sure I could find the exact toll and the exact number of miles you’re on Route 95 through Delaware. But I want to help California solve its economic woes instead.

I hope my commenter SFMike, who writes the Civic Center blog, will weigh in on these civic matters. I’m sure there are some highways in California that already have tolls, but I’m thinking of Interstate 10 running from Los Angeles into Arizona.

Maybe “the 10” needs to become a toll road. I know that truckers would be hurt because this is a main thoroughfare for them to transport produce out of California, but desperate times require desperate measures.

I’m sure there are some truckers or libertarians out there who are going to explain why states can’t or shouldn’t be allowed to collect tolls on interstate highways. In advance, I will tell you that it’s done in the Northeast on Interstate 95. Perhaps 95 has been declared a state road for the stretch that runs through New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. I plead ignorance.

That’s what’s great about blogging. Somebody out there who is a taxation or federal highway freak will write in and set me straight.

So to steal a line from that great California film The Graduate: “I just wanna say one word to you. Are you listening? Tolls.”

P.S. If you click on the “plastics” clip from The Graduate, you’ll be amazed that even in the revolutionary times of 1967, people still had manners. When Ben (Dustin Hoffman) turns away from talking to the women, he says, “Excuse me.” When the plastics man says, “Ben,” he replies, “Mr. McGuire.”

How many times have you been at a party when someone you were talking to was whisked away and never bothered to say, “Excuse me” or “I’ll catch up with you later”? Geez, I’m not turning into my mother. I’m turning into my grandmother!

John McCain, Father of Indian Casino Gambling?

Whether you like a 9 a.m. or 11 a.m. birth time for John McCain, he’s got Jupiter in high-rolling Sagittarius in the second house of resources.

As stern Saturn at 15 degrees of Virgo squares that Jupiter exactly, The New York Times has exposed McCain’s close ties to the Indian gaming industry. Here’s the Times story.

I got my lead from Salon.

Like McCain, I have Jupiter in Sagittarius, but mine is in the third house of communications. So instead of ending up with a lot of money, I’ve ended up with a lot of words, both here and elsewhere. No complaints.

Under Pluto in Sagittarius, gambling has become serious problem for many people in this country, some of whom have run the nation’s financial institutions into the ground. So I don’t want to make light of the issue or of any politician’s close ties to lobbyists.

Still, as someone who likes to buy a lottery ticket or spin a roulette wheel every once in a while, I can relate to being chastised for indulging in games of chance.

I’m reserving further comment on this one other than to say the Lord may work in mysterious ways, but Saturn doesn’t. He kicks your butt, man! Just ask John McCain.

Saturn in Virgo: Handmade Nation

Folks, something really big is happening out there. As usual, I’m late to the party and I’m going to wax nostalgic about my Army brat childhood somewhere in this post.

First, kudos to Gastriques, my faithful tipster, who sent me a link a few weeks ago about Etsy, a eBay for handmade crafts. Duly noted, but not yet a trend in my mind. Then, last Thursday, while I was reading The New York Times (which used to benefit from the insight of Gastriques), I noticed an article in the Home section about the modern-day mother of Handmade Nation: a crafty chick called Faythe Levine.

So far, so good. Then I noticed that Jim Kunstler, my guru on the post-oil future, has written a book called World Made by Hand, a novel about an apocalyptic future where we’re not knitting sweaters for fun or to express our creativity. Handmade Nation, World Made by Hand: I sense a trend here.

Today, I stopped on Main Street in Beacon, N.Y., to participate in our “Second Saturday,” where there are always lots of gallery openings and other interesting happenings (as they used to say on Mod Squad. I stopped by Paper Presence to admire the window full of origami cranes, a continuation of the dream of Hiroshima victim Sadako Sasaki, and then stepped into a garage-cum-workshop with saws, hammers, and other tools artistically displayed on the wall.

This was the venue of the Handmade Calvacade of Etsy vendors that rolled into Beacon. The vendors were mostly hipsters from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, who had to restrain themselves from rolling their eyes when I asked: “What’s Etsy?” Of course, I knew, but the journalist in me had to play dumb to get information. I bought a couple of really cool tote bags made from embossed Indian burlap sacks and decorated with ribbon and beads.

The Handmade Calvacade seems to be a younger, groovier version of the craft bazaar that is well-known to church ladies and militry wives. I remember in the early Seventies when my Mom complained that the general’s wife at Fort Riley, Kans. was snubbing her because she didn’t knit enough hats for the Officers Wives Club’s Christmas bazaar. Yes, crafty folks can get catty and petty.

What’s driving all this hipster interest in making things by hand? It’s definitely Saturn in Virgo, which is fueling an appreciation for craftsmanship. But I believe this trend is being electrified by the opposition with Uranus in Pisces. By buying something handmade at Etsy, I’m declaring to the world that I’ve rejected the crap at the mall in favor of unique things made by hand, and I’m on the cutting edge.

The handmade movement seems a little more gritty and low-budget than the upscale arts and crafts exhibition held in places like Lincoln Center and Grand Central Terminal in New York. It also seems more political than artsy-fartsy.

Making things by hand can indeed be revolutionary. Think of Gandhi with his spinning wheel, exhorting Indians to reject the textiles made in British mills.

Who is the loser in the handmade movement? Wal-Mart, with all its cheesy Chinese goods. Who is the winner? Wal-Mart, the only store in my neighborhood where you can still buy fabric by the yard, an embroidery hoop, thread, and other tools of the crafty trades.

Let me leave you with my reminiscence of the coolest mall I ever visited. It was in Japan, where peak shopping experiences abound. The mall that blew my mind was near Mount Aso, Japan’s largest active volcano. This was a place where you could drop in unannounced and learn how to make handmade paper, arrange flowers, or do calligraphy. Yes, I was a consumer. I was spending money. But after two or so hours, I left with something I had made by hand.

What did the adults do with the kids? Well, this crafts center mall had day care, a working farm, and a petting zoo!

I’ve got to study Japan’s chart, but I think this nation epitomizes the yen (pun intended!) to make something by hand. I also think the Land of the Rising Sun has a great appreciation for nature and generally knows how to live in a civilized fashion, though I can do without the special slippers for the loo.

I’ve written previously about the Japanese version of Ikea, a store called Muji, which I think epitomizes Saturn in Virgo.

Obviously, the crafts revival has been percolating for quite while in the U.S. It never went out of fashion if you were a member of 4-H and working on a quilt for the county fair. But the handmade movement seems ready to go mainstream in a big way.

What are you making by hand? It’s not too early to start making your holiday gifts because I’m predicting this will be a Handmade Christmas, Yuletide, Saturnalia, Hannukah, and Kwanzaa.

Nouriel Roubini: The New Dr. Doom

You know the way some people gush over movie stars and athletes? With a Sun/Mercury/Saturn in financially-minded Capricorn opposing a cyclical Cancer Moon, I get a little starry-eyed over economists.

Maybe the reason why practitioners of the so-called Dismal Science get my heart beating a little faster is because I secretly consider them to be fellow travelers. After all, both economists and astrologers spend their time poring over charts and making prognostications. This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, from economist John Kenneth Galbraith: “The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.”

Earlier this year, I wrote an ode to the late economist Hyman Minsky and I’ve been known to blow virtual kisses at market maven Barry Ritholtz.

I’m out of town so I’m just catching up with this New York Times Sunday Magazine story on Nouriel Roubini, whom I quoted in my Minsky post. Don’t have time to read it right now? Here’s a key point:

Only a handful of 20th-century economists have even bothered to study financial panics. (The most notable example is probably the late economist Hyman Minksy, of whom Roubini is an avid reader.) “These are things most economists barely understand,” Roubini told me. “We’re in uncharted territory where standard economic theory isn’t helpful.”

The NYT has dubbed Roubini “Dr. Doom.” Want to know the last time the mainstream media nicknamed an economist Dr. Doom? Interestingly enough, it was when Saturn was last in Virgo, 29 years ago. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Salomon Brothers chief economist Henry Kaufman had that moniker. Kaufman was a talking head who influenced markets during the tenure of Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker. You can read about that period here.

I love the symbolism: Dr. Doom as a finance icon is having his Saturn return! By the way, the original Dr. Doom is still going strong at age 80. Henry Kaufman runs an eponymous consulting firm and gets a seat on the dais at Economic Club of New York functions in honor of his longevity.

Why is Roubini, the new Dr. Doom, getting so much ink right now? He is an Aries born Mar. 29, 1958, according to the Wiki. You can see Roubini’s chart with transits and progressions of Aug. 17, the day the NYT article was published, here courtesy of Astrodienst.

Interesting that Roubini’s progressed Sun and Moon are conjunct in late Taurus. This often signifies marriage or the beginning of a new creative partnership. The economist’s got the transiting North Node, which is traveling with Neptune and Chiron, on his Venus/natal Chiron in Aquarius right now. The Sun was a little past an opposition to his Venus on Aug. 17.

The transiting North Node, which is good for connections with the public, is bringing attention from the media, and increasing Roubini’s popularity, though the article mentions his perennial “outsider” status. I believe this reflects the conjunction of Chiron, the Wounded Healer, with Venus in his natal chart. The son of Iranian Jews who was raised in Turkey, Roubini is an immigrant. So is the original Dr. Doom, Henry Kaufman, whose family left Germany to escape Hitler after living through the hyperinflation of the 1920s.

Let’s hope the two Dr. Dooms, and the rest of us, don’t have to live through U.S. hyperinflation of the 2010s.

Obama, Hawaii, and Mahalo

When I was first getting back into astrology around the time of the Uranus/Neptune conjunction in Capricorn (1993-94), I told my then-husband that I wanted to become a trend-spotter who relied on astro indicators to make my forecasts.

Being a business-oriented Capricorn, I even incorporated a company called Celestial Cycles to help me fulfill my goal. My heroine was trend-watcher Faith Popcorn, and my husband dubbed me “Monica Pizza.”

Well, just the way that Popcorn predicted in the early 1990s that bottled water and SUVs were going to be really big (boy, was she right!), I’m forecasting that Hawaii will go mainstream once again. (I realize Hawaii never goes out of fashion for the folks who live and vacation there and for Old Navy shoppers.)

Why do I think Hawaii will be hot? Because Barack Obama was born there in 1961 and he’s on vacation there right now.

It’s not just Obama who’s upping the ante on Hawaii. Singer/surfer Jack Johnson is helping to raise the state’s profile and promote its laid-back attitude. Johnson is on the last leg of his Sleep Through the Static tour, but I’m still humming his now-classic 2005 song Good People.

Hawaii’s cultural influence was quite strong in the 1960s, not long after it became a state in 1959. Helping to spread the word were the many American soldiers who stopped there for “R&R” on their way home from Vietnam and bought their loved ones Hawaiian shirts and muu muus. After my father finished his second tour of duty in Vietnam and vacationed with my Mom in Hawaii, Don Ho’s Tiny Bubbles became the soundtrack to happy hour in our house.

On TV, we got a taste of the islands by watching Hawaii Five-O, which was on from 1968 to 1980, and was the longest-running crime series until it was surpassed by Law & Order, according to the Wiki. What a great opening Hawaii Five-O had. You can see it and hear the theme song here.

There’s some Sixties nostalgia going on right now because the Saturn-Uranus opposition in Virgo-Pisces, which will be exact on Election Day, is a flip-flop of the Saturn-Uranus opposition in Pisces-Virgo that we had in the 1960s. Don’t believe me about the Sixties? Just look at Amy Winehouse’s beehive hairdo and dramatic eyeliner.

Still not convinced that there are tiny bubbles in the wine? Did you know that one of the new search engines (it’s in beta) on the Web right now is called Mahalo, which means “thank you” in Hawaiian?

Jude’s Threshold has some interesting things to say about Hawaii’s gynocentric culture and America’s occupation of the former Sandwich Islands here.

The Hawaiian statehood chart, set for Aug. 21, 1959 at noon in Honolulu, has a broad Venus/Mars conjunction in Virgo, so it makes sense that the Saturn/Uranus opposition in Virgo/Pisces is stirring up all things Polynesian. Instead of Freaky Friday, get ready for Tiki Friday.

The state’s Sun is at 27 degrees of Leo, not far from the Aug. 16, 2008 eclipse at 24 degrees of Aquarius. This eclipse straddles the MC/IC of the statehood chart, but the cusps of charts set for noon are always a little suspect in my book. Still, it’s worth keeping an eye on Hawaii a few days before and after the eclipse. (That would be now!)

In the meantime, get out your grass skirt, your Don Ho records, and start planning the luau. I’m off to put on my colorful Jams World dress to get in the spirit of things. See you in the Tiki Lounge!

Knitting Wit

This is one of the most hysterical posts I’ve ever read on the Internet and so fitting for Saturn in Virgo, which rules handicrafts, among other things. Don’t miss Out the Comet’s… post on knitting.

I thought I was obsessive/compulsive, with my need to go back and clean up all of Astrology Mundo’s links. But now I see I’m a mild case. Comet’s post had me in stitches, or should I say loops?