Bush Buzzed in Beijing?

You’ve got to love astrology. We’ve got the North Node (mass events), Neptune (alcohol, water, oil), and Chiron (the Wounded Leader, oops, Healer) all traveling together in Aquarius.

With this celestial lineup, it’s not surprising that we’re seeing pictures of a red-faced President George W. Bush apparently so inebriated that he requires assistance to sit down during the swimming competition at the Beijing Olympics.

Where’s the Chirotic wound? Check out the scabs on his elbow. Gastriques, as always, is on the case.

Whether Bush is drunk or not doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that photos are being transmitted by the Associated Press, Reuters, and other wire services around the world of the U.S. President looking very un-Presidential.

Hey, W., this isn’t a Deke party and you’re not a private citizen. Show a little respect for the good ole USA. You’re embarrassing us — and your family — with your sophomoric antics at the Olympics.

Perhaps it was a good thing that our Cancer Sun President used to stay close to home before he got to the White House. Someone needs to get him back to the ranch in Crawford, Tex. — or to rehab, if needed — pretty darn fast.

Interestingly, Bush himself has a broad conjunction between Neptune and Chiron that is trine the North Node.

With a Leo rising, the Sun is the ruler of his chart and it’s in the 12th house of self-undoing and deception. Everything that Bush has ever been involved in has been a failure that was bailed out by friends and family. Why should the Presidency be any different?

What I Did on 8-8-8

I picked up lots of interesting odds and ends on what has become my annual pilgrimage to Lily Dale, N.Y., considered the home of American Spiritualism.

Patricia Bell’s workshop on manifesting the dream at 8:08 p.m. on Aug. 8, 2008 began with a wedding that caught some of the workshop’s participants off-guard. I thought it was wonderful celebration.

After members of the wedding party and spiritual sojourners alike sampled the delicious wedding cake, San Diego astrologer Kenneth D. Miller talked about the relationship between 8 and Saturn and provided a brief overview of Vedic astrology.

Bell was the fairy godmother of the event, bestowing blessings on the happy couple and presiding over rituals and exercises to help everyone manifest their own dream. The icing on the cake? Bell’s introduction to the Chinese design philosophy feng shui.

Recently, one of my commenters accused me of being on the “wrong side of history,” and that was certainly the case on Aug. 8. In order to attend Bell’s workshop and the wedding, I had to pass up watching the opening ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics, which took place at 8:08 p.m. Thanks heavens for YouTube, which will allow me to watch the spectacular performance at my leisure, on my laptop.

Being a financially-oriented (if not accomplished) Capricorn, my “takeaway” for the weekend came during a reading that Bell, one of Lily Dale’s registered mediums, did for me.

I don’t know if this was Spirit or Bell talking, but somebody pointed out that real estate prices will continue to decline until the Nodes, which are currently in the middle of Aquarius/Leo, make their way back through Capricorn/Cancer from August 2009 to February 2011.

So if you’re looking to buy property at bargain prices, the best time to do it will be when the North Node is in Capricorn and the South Node is in Cancer, says Bell.

Barbara Hand Clow and Gerry Clow were in Lily Dale for the weekend, but alas my schedule didn’t permit me to attend their seminar. I did pick up a copy of Hand Clow’s book, The Mayan Code: Time Acceleration and Awakening the World Mind in the Lily Dale bookstore, though.

With the recent crop circle in Avebury, England, corresponding to the end day of the Mayan calendar, Dec. 21, 2012, I decided I need to learn more about Mayan lore.

Here’s my own 8-8-8 story. Last week, I went to the library and randomly checked out a book called Two Lives, a memoir by Vikram Seth. You may remember Seth as the author of A Suitable Boy, the epic novel about an Indian widow’s matchmaking odyssey on behalf of her daughter. On Aug. 6, as I was preparing for my 8-8-8 getaway, I read the following line:

“Shanti Behari Seth was born on the eighth day of the eighth month of the eighth year of the twentieth century.”

Now, what are the chances of that? About one in 8 million, I’d guess.

Gone Fishin’

Tomorrow, Aug. 8, 2008, my friend Patricia and I are driving to Lily Dale, N.Y. for Patricia Bell’s seminar at 8:08 p.m. We’ll be fishing for spiritual inspiration and trying to tap the power of 8.

I met Patricia Bell at the United Astrology Conference in Denver back in May, so this trip is yet another great thing that came out of attending UAC. By the way, the pictures from UAC are now up. You can see them here.

In the interest of communing with the spirits that are said to inhabit Lily Dale, I’m leaving my laptop at home. So if Amy Winehouse dies of a drug overdose or there’s an earthquake in Beijing during opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics, I won’t be able to write about it till Sunday, Aug. 10. Enjoy the weekend, everyone!

I’m really doing it: I’m turning off my computer right now.

All Eyes on the Beijing Olympics

My post “What Will You Be Doing on Aug. 8 at 8:08 p.m.?” is getting a lot of traffic given that the date is approaching. This has prompted me to dig up my astrological analysis of the Beijing Olympics, which I first posted back in May. It’s more timely now.

The opening ceremony of the Beijing Summer Olympics starts at 8:08 local time on Aug. 8, 2008. This time was selected because the Chinese, among others, believe that 8 is a powerful number. In fact, 9,000 Chinese couples are tying the knot on Aug. 8 because they believe it is an auspicious date.

I wonder what astrologer April Elliott Kent would have to say about the stampede to the altar. Let’s hope Aug. 8 is a nice day for a white wedding.

If I had been asked by the mandarins to do an electional chart for the start of the Summer Olympics, this isn’t the time I would have selected, despite the supposed good fortune of 8.

Here’s a link to the opening ceremony chart, courtesy of Astrodienst.

Let’s take a look at the chart. First off, it’s an idealistic Pisces Ascendant, which is ruled by Neptune in Aquarius in the 12th house. Neptune is broadly conjunct Chiron and the North Node. The 12th house governs hidden enemies, self-undoing, hospitals, prisons, and sacrifice.

This group of Aquarius planets, known as a stellium, opposes a theatrical Leo Sun and Mercury, which sit in the sixth house of service. The Aquarius/Leo opposition is part of a T-square with a secretive, power-driven Moon in Scorpio as the center point.

Despite the flamboyant Leo Sun, this show isn’t a labor of love. In fact, it’s a command performance for the government. Given the loss and suffering caused by the recent earthquake in China, I think this opening ceremony has a feeling of “the show must go on.”

Maybe I’m getting carried away here, but it reminds me of how mourners at a funeral go back to the house and entertain guests and relatives because it must be done, but all the time feeling as if they’re sleepwalking.

A loaded sixth house in the chart points to precision and perfectionism. Anyone who has seen a performance of the Cirque du Soleil knows that some of the world’s finest acrobats come from China. Regardless of the political drama surrounding these Olympics, which have become a flashpoint for opposition to China’s continued suppression of Tibet and its tolerance of human rights abuses in Sudan, this will be a performance to remember.

The political controversy is quite evident in the elevated 10th house Pluto in Sagittarius, which is part of a very volatile T-square involving an opposition of Uranus in Pisces and Mars in Virgo, which straddles the first and seventh houses. Translation: This Olympics is unpredictable and fraught with surprising and dangerous eruptions. Indeed, the protests surrounding the Olympic flame’s journey around the globe may be just a hint of what’s to come.

In some cases, the Olympic torch has been carried secretly through different countries to avoid attracting demonstrations. I know that it’s difficult if not impossible to divorce politics from the Olympics, but I find the idea of the flame traveling under wraps heartbreaking.

It makes feel very sad for all the athletes who have worked so hard to compete in this international competition, which is supposed to bring the world together. Perhaps the Olympic organizing committee should have chosen a less controversial venue for the Games.

 Or maybe the number 8 isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Astro Chatter Radio

Last night, I drove down the Taconic Parkway to Westchester County, where I joined astrologer Pamela Cucinell on her weekly BlogTalkRadio show. After a tasty backyard barbecue with Pamela’s husband and daughter, we retreated to Pam’s office for our maiden journey. We had some technical difficulties at first — an annoying echo — and we didn’t get any callers or folks in the chatroom, save one who didn’t want to chat.

It’s slow going in the beginning of the hour-long show, which you can listen to here, but we eventually hit our stride with some good discussion about Barack Obama’s solar return, opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics, China’s Saturn return, the U.S. Pluto return, and what it all means for Sino-U.S. relations. I really learned a lot from talking with Pamela.

We’ll be back again next week so please call in or join us in the chatroom.

Olympia Rising

As readers of this blog know, I’ve been having fun playing with the name asteroids that are now available on Astrodienst. Given that the Beijing Olympics begin this Friday, Aug. 8, at 8:08 p.m., I decided to see if there is an asteroid named Olympics or something close and where it’s transiting right now.

Sure enough, there is an asteroid named Olympia and it’s at 17 degrees of Scorpio. Olympia is squaring the North Node, now at 18 degrees of Aquarius. The aspect will soon be exact because the Nodes move backwards. In Uranian astrology, which I’m a fan of, squares and oppositions basically are read as conjunctions. So we’ve got the public (Nodes) focused on the Olympics (asteroid Olympia).

Then my brain started doing its pinball thing — that little silver ball of thought bouncing off the sides of the machine, setting off bells and whistles and triggering lights. Are there any other things or people with the name Olympia? Perhaps they will also be in the news.

Interestingly, the asteroid Olympia was conjunct filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl’s North Node when she was filming her epic picture Olympiad at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Here’s Riefenstahl’s chart with transits for Aug. 1, 1936, if you’re interested. It took Riefenstahl nearly two years to finish Olympiad. The film made its world premiere on Apr. 20, 1938, Hitler’s birthday.

More recently, we saw the powerful effect that a name asteroid can have during May, when we had the Indianapolis 500 race and the new Indiana Jones film making its premiere as the asteroid Indiana traveled with the North Node and Neptune. Something else happened that didn’t get much press: The U.S. government held a big nuclear disaster test, which is also consistent with Node/Neptune, just outside Indianapolis in mid-May.

Here’s my theory: Based on the asteroid Olympia’s transit right now with the Nodes, I think we’ll be hearing about Olympia Snowe, the respected Republican Senator from Maine, as a possible vice-presidential candidate.

Don’t automatically assume that her name is being bandied about only by GOP Presidential candidate John McCain’s camp. On the political blogs, Snowe has also been mentioned as a possible veep for Democrat Barack Obama. Now that would really be shaking things up, but Snowe is considered a “Republican in Name Only” because of her support for gay rights and abortion, among other issues that are anathema to the conservative right wing.

Let’s look at her chart, courtesy of Astrodienst:

What’s interesting about Ms. Snowe is that transiting Jupiter in Capricorn will make a powerful station on her natal Venus in early September, during the Republican convention. Sorry, Carly! Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina has been campaigning for McCain in what many people believe is an effort to be designated the Arizona Republican’s vice-presidential candidate.

A name asteroid transiting the Nodes and a beautiful Venus/Jupiter conjunction can’t guarantee Snowe the No. 2 spot on either ticket. But this I will guarantee: We’ll be hearing a lot about Snowe, a Pisces born Feb. 21, 1947 in Augusta, Me., during the next month or so.

Here’s what one blog, The New Republic’s The Plank, is saying about her. All hail Olympia!

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.

For He’s a Dalai Good Fellow

How can anybody not like the Dalai Lama? He’s a man for all seasons. He can even talk to George W. Bush, which isn’t easy to do since many of the words that Dubya uses aren’t in the dictionary. Perhaps because they are fellow Cancers, His Holiness and Bush are able to commune with each other without many words being exchanged. In the spirit of disclosure, I want to say it’s impossible for me to be objective about the Dalai Lama since his North Node is conjunct my Sun. I feel better just looking at that beatific smile on his Web site: http://www.dalailama.com.

According to our friends at AstroDataBank, the 14th incarnation of the Dalai Lama was born July 6, 1935 at 4:38 a.m. in Takster, Tibet. You can see the chart here: http://www.astrodatabank.com/NM/DalaiLama.htm.

Looking at the chart, it’s easy to see why the Dalai Lama is much beloved in the U.S.: His Cancer Sun is nearly exactly conjunct the U.S. Sun and in the same sign as our Cancer stellium of Venus, Jupiter, and Mercury. We love him so much that on Oct. 17, 2007, he was given the Congressional Medal of Owner and granted GWB an audience (not the other way around, the way it was reported!), much to the annoyance of the Chinese government.

Now, the Chinese are complaining about the Dalai Lama again, blaming violent protests in Tibet on the “Dalai clique.” This charge sounds ridiculous when you consider that His Holiness is one the great leaders of the nonviolence movement. (I wish I was more knowledgeable about his life, but if he ever carried a gun in his youth, I forgive him.) The remainder of the year promises to keep the Dalai Lama in the spotlight and even expose him to danger as Uranus hangs around his Midheaven, where it is opposed by Mars near the time of the Beijing Summer Olympics, which begin Aug. 8.

With a tight opposition of Moon in Virgo and Saturn in Pisces, the Dalai’s natal chart indicates separation from his homeland and family. (He left his home after the Tibetan separatist movement was quashed in 1959 and established a new headquarters in Dharamsala, India when Saturn was in Capricorn, opposing his natal Sun and Ascendant.)

As Saturn comes to conjunct his Virgo Moon the week of Aug. 12, I wonder if he won’t have to move his base of operations again, from Dharamsala, under pressure from the Indian government if the Chinese start rattling their sabers near the border.  Who knows? Maybe all hell will break loose in China and the Dalai Lama will return to Tibet as transiting Saturn conjuncts his Moon. Still, I suspect that whatever comes to pass is going to leave him feeling depressed (Saturn) about his homeland (Moon).

Despite the erratic, upsetting nature of the Mars/Uranus opposition in Virgo/Pisces and followed by the Saturn/Uranus opposition in the same set of signs very close to his MC/IC, I believe His Holiness will be protected by Jupiter moving through Capricorn. This guarantees  him the respect and support of many political and religious leaders around the world, not the least from his buddy and fellow Cancer GWB. I’m a mundane astrologer, not a psychic, so I don’t know what the future holds for the Dalai Lama, but I can tell you that this year promises to be a very exciting one for him. I pray that his entourage is vigilant in protecting their leader, who has done so much to advance the cause of Buddhism and peace in the West.