Astrology and Moving Targets

I was just Googling astrologer Richard Nolle to see what he has to say about the financial crisis, and I happened upon the Web site of an Indian astrologer dedicated to defaming Nolle and exposing his “false predictions,” including that Bill Clinton would be a one-term President.

I won’t dignify the site by linking to it, but the guy had the nerve to sign off by saying “Om, Shanti” (Peace)!

Unlike our Indian counterparts, most Western astrologers do not believe that an outcome is fated. We might look at our charts and say Barack Obama has a good chance of standing on the Capitol steps on Inauguration Day.

But then his GOP opponent John McCain chooses Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential nominee, and Obama makes a stupid comment about putting lipstick on a pig. The next thing you know holding up a tube of lipstick fully extended (sort of phallic-looking to me!) becomes a cool thing to do at McCain rallies.

Was the astrologer who predicted great things for Obama wrong or did the Senator from Illinois jeopardize his chances of being President by impulsively uttering an expression that was taken out of context? As the old Duke Ellington ditty goes, “A slip of the lip can sink a ship.”

I’m not a philosopher or a physicist, but I’ve heard the theory that everything that is going to happen already exists and we’re just walking through a tunnel experiencing all of the exhibits in the museum of our life in linear fashion. That may be true, but I still believe in free will.

As astrologers, we’re only as good as the data we’re given, and our ability to interpret symbols varies from one individual to another. I look at my Fall Equinox chart and see John McCain as Saturn in the 10th. My commenter Cynthia thinks it’s Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. Who’s right? Maybe both of us. Maybe neither!

In terms of the outer planets, even one like Pluto, which has been “demoted” by astronomers: I think we’re imparting a valuable weather forecast to folks who are interested. We’ve just lived through the economy on steroids, under Pluto in Sagittarius (1995-2008). Now, we’re entering an economic deep freeze with Pluto in Capricorn. Life is going to slow down. We’ll remember how to smell the roses, assuming we do something about pollution pronto.

We’ll get very resourceful, picking up the picnic table that’s in someone’s driveway down the block with a “free” sign on it instead of buying a new one at Home Depot. These more general predictions I can make with confidence. They affect the collective. And even the folks who’ve got a lot of money squirreled away are going to “get back to basics.”

Economists are fond of noting that consumers account for three-fourths of gross domestic product in the U.S. Well, the American consumer is finally tapped out. We’re going to have retool and invest in infrastructure under Pluto in Capricorn. Otherwise, our bridges and highways are going to fall apart.

Right now, politicians in Washington are trying to prop up the structure of the financial system. But that is bound to come tumbling down under Pluto in Capricorn. It must be rebuilt.

To wind up this rant, Richard Nolle is a fabulous astrologer. His Web site does an amazing job of predicting extreme weather and where it’s going to happen. Perhaps when he predicted that Clinton was going to be a one-term President, he was expecting that Clinton’s impeachment was going to result in the President leaving the White House.

Or perhaps those prayers that Clinton offered up paid off. I believe in miracles, the deus ex machina, and Divine Intervention. But I also believe that how much a person can benefit from these forces depends on the aspects in his natal chart.

When the Sun sign column says it’s my lucky day, I usually get a windfall of some kind — a school tax refund that I’d forgotten about, a small royalty check, or a rebate check from buying a small appliance that I’d mailed in months earlier. Do I win the lottery? No, but I’ll keep buying the tickets, just in case.

I don’t think the election is a “done deal,” by any means, but as they say on Wall Street, “don’t fight the tape,” or in our case, the chart. Our Fall Equinox chart has Old Man Saturn in the 10th. Anybody who wants to run the show better let the gray show in his or her hair. Age and authority are back on top, at least in this horoscope.


The 700 Club

Some people fantasize about joining the mile-high club. Me? I’ve been waiting for the day when I would be a member of the 700 Club. No, not the one founded back in 1960 by religious broadcaster Pat Robertson.

No, the one where your astrology blog gets at least 700 hits in one day. And I just became a member of the club, thanks to you and Joe Biden.

I want to take this opportunity to express my continuing thanks to Regina at Gastriques, who has tipped me off to everything from a new birth time for John McCain to the Barack Roll video. Nobody covers the Web like Regina.

Also, thanks to Elsa at Elsa Elsa Astro News, for persevering through her technical nightmare and continuing to provide a great service to astrological bloggers and surfers alike. Elsa, you’re the best! The soldier is one lucky guy.

The generosity of fellow bloggers never ceases to amaze me. I’ve been searching for community my entire life and I truly feel that I’ve found it.

Last, I’d like to thank my husband, who has patiently sat through dozens of conversations that begin with the words “Guess how many hits my blog got today?” That’s right up there with “Guess what my golf score was today?” And it’s a question that he never asks me.

I promise to refrain from this kind of self-aggrandizement until I hit the next milestone. I have, however, stopped sending e-mails to my entire Yahoo! address book begging for traffic. So I am making progress, I guess.

Blogging Can Save Your Life

In light of my previous post quoting suicide rates and decrying the dangerous American dependency on material things, I was interested to read this story on about how more folks are finding emotional support during difficult times by blogging.

Here’s the link:

So rather than bragging about the rising value of our assets at cocktail parties, the way we did during the fat times, we’ll be publicly licking our wounds about our losses online. I’m cool with that.

I just opened a statement for my husband’s IRA, the Fidelity Freedom 2015. That’s one of those no-brainer accounts that they advertise on TV. It’s designed for baby boomers who don’t want to worry about managing their retirement accounts. Well, the account is DECLINING in value.

My husband and I have got nebulous Neptune in the second house of resources in our composite chart. Translation: Money dissolves.

But it’s a sunny day here in Palm Springs so I’m going to log off and lie by the pool. Life is good: My blog traffic is way up in the last week. We just can’t resist keeping score, can we?

Blogging and Ballet

I have a confession to make: I don’t know where this blogging thing is going to lead me. Big deal, you say. But as a goal-oriented Capricorn, this is a departure for me. When I was 14, I gave up ballet after nine years of study because I didn’t get into a summer program at the Houston Ballet. I did more pirouettes than I dreamed possible for the audition, which took place at Suzanne’s School of Classical Ballet in Albuquerque, N.M., but I didn’t make the grade.

At that time, I was already 6 feet tall and I knew I wasn’t going to be the next Maria Tallchief, the Native American prima ballerina who was larger than life. Not long after, I quit taking ballet lessons and decided to focus all my efforts on the school yearbook and newspaper.

As an aside, when I just googled Suzanne, I learned that Suzanne M. Johnston will be honored on Apr. 26 in Albuquerque at the Arts Alliance Bravo Awards. Can you believe she started her school back in 1962? The “Duke City” was just a small town then. It’s wonderful to hear that Suzanne, as her students were permitted to call her, is still kicking and with a little luck, jetéing.

I quit ballet once it became apparent to me that it was not going to be my vocation. In my narrow Saturn/Mercury in Cap mind, I couldn’t afford to waste time on anything that wasn’t going to pay off. Hobbies? Those were for other people. Now, of course, before the Internet I had to find ways to amuse myself when I wasn’t pursuing my dream of becoming a reporter.

Once I stopped taking ballet classes every weekday, I mostly listened to the radio (I considered Casey Kasem of “American Top 40” a close personal friend), read books, particularly biographies of women, and calculated charts for friends.  There are many people who consider this period in your teens before you are allowed to get your driver’s license a golden age of creativity.

When it came to writing, I wasn’t interested unless I had an outlet for my words. Sure, I kept a diary for a little while but it wasn’t as satisfying as going out and interviewing people, writing stories, and — ta-daa! — seeing my byline in some publication. One of the first articles I wrote for The Sandian at Sandia High School in Albuquerque was about a gifted ballet dancer, Carla Neff, who studied at Suzanne’s School of Classical Ballet. I don’t know where Carla is today but perhaps she’s opened a dance school somewhere.

Ballet has been on my brain lately because there was recently a Native American Film Festival here in Palm Springs, and one of the presentations was Sandra and Yasu Osawa’s documentary about Maria Tallchief, which has been shown on PBS. Like most ballet students,  I idolized Maria, along with Anna Pavlova and Isadora Duncan, whose tragic death by strangulation put me off long scarves and convertibles forever. Unfortunately, a schedule conflict prevented me from attending the one screening of the Tallchief doc, but I started thinking about this amazing woman for the first time in many years.

Often, when a person who has been out of the public eye for a while pops back on the radar, it coincides with a Uranus transit to the Sun or Ascendant. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t learn what time Tallchief was born. Even her own biography doesn’t mention it. According to Chapter One of “Maria Tallchief: America’s Prima Ballerina,” which Tallchief wrote with Larry Kaplan:

“I was born in Fairfax [Oklahoma] in the tiny local hospital on January 24, 1925. The doctor mishandled the forceps, leaving a large red mark on my forehead. Otherwise, I was healthy and normal. They named me Elizabeth Marie after two grandmothers: Eliza Tall Chief, and my Grandma Porter, who’d been named for Marie Antoinette, and with whom I would spend a great deal of time as a child. They called me Betty Marie.”

It was Agnes DeMille who suggested that the ballerina call herself Maria Tallchief and a brilliant suggestion it was. I spent about an hour trawling the Net in hopes of finding a birth time for Tallchief, checking places like AstroDataBank and Astrotheme, both of which are on my blog roll. No luck. Now, if anyone can find out when Tallchief was born, it’s Michael WolfStar over at StarIQ, but I don’t have his sources or persistence.

When you don’t have a time of birth, it’s customary to set the chart for noon. What’s strange is that method gives Tallchief an Aries rising with a Chiron/Mars conjunction in the first house, which would be entirely plausible for someone with a scar on her face!

In addition to a T square in fixed signs (Sun/Moon in Aquarius oppose Neptune/North Node in Leo square Saturn in Scorpio, Tallchief has a Capricorn triple conjunction of Venus/Mercury/Jupiter, which falls in the 10th house with a noon birth time. Because we don’t have a birth time, we don’t know for sure that the stellium, or group of planets, is in the 10th house of fame and career. Even if it isn’t, that powerful combination of planets would guarantee that Tallchief would have luck with foreigners and dignitaries.

Indeed, she studied under Russian dancer Bronislava Nijinska in Los Angeles and got her first big break with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, where she became a soloist. Her collaboration with Russian choreographer George Balanchine, who was her husband for six years, at the New York City Ballet, where she was prima ballerina from 1947 to 1960, helped solidify her reputation. In 1953, no less than President Dwight D. Eisenhower named her “Woman of the Year.”

That powerful Capricorn stellium is opposed by Pluto in Cancer and trines Uranus, which is at 18 degrees, 59 minutes of Pisces. Tallchief isn’t having Uranus on her Sun right now, but she is having Uranus and Jupiter returns at the same time, which could account for the public interest in her career. You can look at the chart here.

Well, blogging has brought me back to my love of ballet. Perhaps it will lead me back to the barre.