Celebrate the Winter Solstice with Jude’s Threshold

As readers of this blog know, I see no point in re-inventing the wheel if someone out there already has a good one. Case in point: I was thinking about working up a chart for the Winter Solstice, but after studying the one at Jude’s Threshold, I don’t think anybody out there could do any better.

Check out Jude’s winter tale here. She sets the chart in Washington D.C. on Dec. 21 at 7:03:53 a.m. EST.

Also, to everyone who wrote in with condolences about the death in my family and being on the road, thanks very much. Your support is greatly appreciated.

What Astrology Can Tell Us About the Closed Session of Congress

About a week ago, I got a little freaked out when I discovered an article from an Australian Web site about a closed meeting of Congress on Mar. 13. Billed as a secret discussion of a surveillance bill, the session also included references to a “September 2008” stock market crisis, according to foreign media articles.

Now, the inimitable Jude Cowell, who blogs at both Stars Over Washington and Jude’s Threshold, has done the astrology of this closed debate of Congress. Don’t miss this post on what was cooking beneath the Capitol dome on Mar. 13, 2008.

Astrology Bloggers: Let the Polls Begin!

This is too funny. I moseyed over to Jude’s Threshold for a looksee and she’s got her first poll up too!

WordPress has unleashed a new tool in the blogosphere with its PollDaddy feature. Move over Gallup, you’ve got some competition!

According to CNN, there were 12 million bloggers as of May. That’s a lot of potential pollsters!

What Makes Warren Buffett Tick?

Dan Ciuboda, a friend of Jude’s Threshold, has a post up on billionaire Warren Buffett that Jude is urging folks to read.

In case you haven’t heard, Buffett is the man of the hour on Wall Street. He’s agreed to give Goldman Sachs a “cash infusion” of $5 billion in exchange for preferred shares in the investment bank, which is converting to commercial bank status to get a little more government protection.

I did my duty on various blogs and pointed out that Warren Buffett is not a “buffet,” a little mental note that has prevented me from misspelling the Oracle of Omaha’s name on many occasions.

I wouldn’t have tried to calculate Buffett’s chart on my own, but looking at the horoscope for Buffett proposed by Ciuboda at Living Astrology got me thinking.

Ciuboda’s got Buffett as a late Gemini rising, with martial Mars quite close to the Ascendant, but Buffett doesn’t seem that combative to me. Of course, Mars is in Cancer so if someone writes in and says he’s read articles about how Buffett gets teary-eyed and sentimental at the drop of a hat, I’ll believe in this chart.

I don’t have the time or patience to rectify. We’ll leave that to the pros like Michael WolfStar. Here’s my seat-of-the-pants calculation:

I believe that Buffett, who was born in Omaha on Aug. 30, 1930, is a Virgo rising with Sun and Neptune conjunct on the Ascendant. If you look at Buffett, he dresses like an accountant — very Virgoan. The Neptune on the Ascendant would be the reason why he’s known as the “Oracle of Omaha” since Neptune is quite visionary.

Buffett’s still going strong at 78, so that could indicate a Sun on the Ascendant, which gives good health and vitality. He has a sunny disposition and is always smiling.

The Sun/Neptune combo in humble Virgo is also his folksiness — personally writing a letter to shareholders every year in the annual report of his main investment vehicle, a publicly traded company named Berkshire Hathaway. (Most CEOs have the PR department write such correspondence.) Berkshire’s annual meeting in Omaha has kind of a state fair feeling to it, with lots of exhibits and diversions for shareholders. It’s been dubbed the “Woodstock of Capitalism.”

By living simply, Buffett is celebrating the common man. But he’s not a stick in the mud: He likes a little good-old fashioned fun.

A couple of other thoughts: The modest house that Buffett lives in? That’s camouflage. That’s why I’ve got Scorpio on the fourth house cusp. The Moon in exotic, free-thinking Sagittarius is inside Buffett’s fourth house, which rules home and family.

Guess what? After his first wife Susie passed away in 2004, Buffett married his longtime partner, Astrid Menks, a Latvian immigrant who ended up waiting tables in Omaha. Susie, who moved to San Francisco in 1977 to pursue political interests and a cabaret singing career, encouraged Buffett’s relationship with Menks. The three used to send out Christmas cards together. Not what you would expect from a buttoned-down Omaha businessman. So, Moon in Sagittarius: The first wife is open-minded and the second one is a foreigner.

Buffett had a close, possibly intimate, friendship with Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham. In her biography Personal History, Graham credited Buffett with showing her the ropes of business after he made in an investment in the family-controlled company.

Graham, best known for publishing the stories that exposed the Watergate scandal and forced President Richard Nixon to resign, was thrust into running the paper and its other media operations after her husband committed suicide. So the Moon in Sag shows up as the lady publisher.

Where does Buffett’s tremendous wealth come from? I think it’s due to the conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto in Cancer in the 11th house, which ancient astrologers considered a very lucky house indeed. Think about it: Pluto the Intensifier and Jupiter the Expander in Cancer, the sign that rules food and sustenance. No wonder so many people have turned “Buffett” into “Buffet.”

Check out Buffett’s chart.

Thanks to Astrodienst, I’ve run the horoscope with transits of July 4, 1776. No, Buffett wasn’t one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. However, like many prominent Americans he has strong connections to the U.S. chart. Buffett has been a champion of American brands, often investing in them when they were out of fashion on Wall Street, and staying in the shares for the long haul.

Like the U.S., Buffett is going to face a lot of financial stress when Pluto starts moving in Capricorn over the next two years. In fact, some astrologers use his chart (even without a correct time of birth) as a surrogate for the U.S. economy.

I’ve filed Buffett under Heroes, not because he’s worth about $60 billion, but because he’s giving away the majority of his wealth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Founded by the chairman of Microsoft and his wife, the foundation is using Buffett’s dough to improve access to health care and education in developing countries.

Buffett also was smart enough to label derivative instruments such as credit default swaps as “financial weapons of mass destruction” long before Wall Street got into the mess it’s in.

No wonder they call him the Oracle of Omaha.

Every Blogger’s Worst Fear

I started this blog on Mar. 17, 2008 and have been at it a little over six months. At the time, transiting Uranus in Pisces was sextiling Jupiter in Capricorn, which was sitting on my natal Sun. I decided to start writing an astrology blog on a whim. About 24 hours later, my blog was up and running.

One person who gave me a push to start the blog, though she didn’t know it, was Pamela Cucinell at AstroChatter, who later invited me co-host her BlogTalkRadio podcast every Tuesday at noon.

Pamela asked if I wanted to be her roommate at the United Astrology Conference in May, and when she did, I instantly decided I needed an “outlet” to cover the convention. Thus, my blog was born!

Get this: Other than Nancy’s Blog, I wasn’t even aware of astrology blogs. Now, thanks to Elsa P at ElsaElsaAstroNews and Jeffrey Kishner at AstrologyBlogger, I know about a whole universe of stargazing blogs, and many navel-gazing ones (my own included), as well.

As I’ve surfed the Net over the past six months, I’ve discovered really smart astrology blogs that came to a dead end. The blogger got a new job, faced a demanding personal situation, nabbed a book deal, or simply ran out of psychic gas.

That scares me. Will I one day drop the thread of Astrology Mundo as impulsively as I picked it up? I hope not.

In the meantime, I wanted to call readers’ attention to a new book by an erstwhile blogger whose posts I greatly admire, even though I didn’t discover them until the blog ended. The book is Cosmic Trends: Astrology Connects the Dots by Philip Brown.

Brown’s blog was called AstroFutureTrends, and it ended in December 2007 after two and a half years. (Hey, that’s a Progressed Moon cycle or Saturn through one sign.) Brown posted in February, explaining why he decided to leave blogging behind:

“I heard someone say recently that they’d gone beyond their own supply line. That’s a little like I’ve felt. My own supply line has always started from within, and I found I was not spending enough time nurturing my own inner self.”

Nothing wrong with that. It just unsettles me — I guess because I’ve been known to quit jobs after about two-and-a-half or three years.

I do things in threes a lot. So I can safely say I’ll be hanging out here in the blogosphere through 2011.

Inshalla, I want to be online when the Mayan Calendar ends at the Winter Solstice Dec. 21, 2012 to report on the return of Jesus or a visit from the extra-terrestrials or the big letdown if nothing monumental happens.

The chart for that moment has Mercury conjunct Venus in Sagittarius straddling the Ascendant opposing Jupiter in Gemini close to the Seventh House cusp, according to Jude’s Threshold. Maybe some twins are stopping by! Stay tuned.

Who is Sarah Palin and Why is Her Daughter Pregnant?

Aug. 29 was John McCain’s 72nd birthday and it was also the day he revealed his vice-presidential choice to the world. As anyone who reads this blog knows, I wasn’t surprised by McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin.

We’re moving to a Saturn/Uranus opposition that is exact on Election Day. Democratic candidate Barack Obama signifies Uranus to me because of his skin color and his sudden success. To balance his ticket, he picked Saturnian Senator Joe Biden, who brings lots of Washington connections and experience to the ticket.

McCain personifies Saturn because of his age and his conservatism. It seemed natural that he was going to pick a surprising (Uranus) running mate — either a woman or Democrat-turned Independent Joe Lieberman. In addition to Palin, I had speculated that Maine Senator Olympia Snowe was a possibility for astrological reasons.

Now that McCain has made his choice, everyone wants to know more about Palin, the Alaska governor who was born Feb. 11, 1964 in Sandpoint, Idaho. As expected, Jude’s Threshold came out of the gate quickly with her post on Palin.

You can read Jude’s post here.

As Jude and her commenters point out, the stellium of Neptune, North Node, and Chiron in Aquarius has been transiting Palin’s Sun/Mars/Saturn stellium in Aquarius. This can undermine her professional status, according to Reinhold Ebertin’s The Combination of Stellar Influences, but it also can signify weakness and involvement with health care.

Palin gave birth to a baby with Down syndrome, Trig Paxson, in April, and is unabashedly pro-life. Abortion wasn’t an option for her when she learned during her pregnancy that her son would have special needs.

Palin’s husband is a former employee of oil company BP but now works as a commercial fisherman (Neptune). According to Wiki, she has been a strong proponent of energy (Neptune) development in Alaska but also has helped pass new taxes on oil company profits.

Palin’s Sun/Mars/Saturn stellium in Aquarius touches the U.S. Moon, though how tight the connection is depends on which U.S. chart you use. She could get the people (Moon) “fired up,” but she could also anger (Mars) them, especially if she becomes an authority figure (Saturn) for them.

The choices that Palin has made in her life — competing in a beauty pageants (she was runner-up in the Miss Alaska contest), hunting game, and joining the National Rifle Association — promise to spark (Mars) controversy about the role of women (U.S. Moon) in our society and shine light on our stereotypes, both liberal and conservative.

Palin’s Sun/Mars/Saturn equals the U.S. Moon came into play on Sept. 1 when the McCain campaign announced that the vice-presidential nominee’s 17-year-old daughter, Bristol Palin, is pregnant. She plans to keep her child and eventually marry the father.

This turn of events continues the theme highlighted in the U.S. Summer Solstice chart: concern about teenage pregnancy. It echoes some of the brouhaha about the spate of pregnancies at Gloucester (Mass.) High School that made national headlines shortly after the Solstice.

I’ve blogged about why pregnancy is such a hot-button issue in this country. You’ll find my musings here.

McCain has made a brilliant choice with Palin. Her conservative values appeal to the Christian right, but her independent spirit and working mom ethos can help McCain pick up some Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton who can’t get themselves to vote for Obama.

The downside? Palin’s relative youth and vitality make McCain appear old by contrast. At his press conference to announce Palin, his face appeared miraculously free of wrinkles for a man of his age, but strangely immobile, perhaps because of recent Botox treatments.

Palin’s relative lack of experience drew criticism from those concerned that she doesn’t have the credentials to become President should McCain die in office.

It’s going to be an interesting election. If you divide the country along the Mississippi River, the Obama-Biden ticket represents the Eastern half of the U.S., while the McCain-Palin duo comes from the Western part.

Historically, the tensions in this country have been between North and South. Perhaps we are moving into a period where the schism is between East and West.

The late Tim Russert gets credit for coining the term Red States/Blue States to describe the divide between Republicans and Democrats. According to the Wiki, most of the Red States carried by Republicans in the last few elections are in the West, but there are many in the South.

What I Did On My Summer Staycation

As Labor Day closes in on us, I’ve been thinking back to the Summer Solstice chart and its Sun/Venus conjunction in the seventh house in the sign of Cancer opposed by Moon/Jupiter in Capricorn.

This was the summer that the word “staycation” became part of the national lingo. Gas prices were high, the dollar was weak, and job security was shaky, at best. What better way to spend those government stimulus checks than on a new Weber grill for the backyard?

Here’s what I posted at Jude’s Threshold about the Summer Solstice chart:

Sun/Venus in the seventh — more emphasis on socializing at home with friends, families, and neighbors than traveling. “Come over to my house for a potluck barbecue!: is how I read this. Even though it’s in cost-conscious Capricorn, the Jupiter/Moon conjunction could also be about socializing at home, I think. So cheer up and fire up that barbie!

Even when folks went away this summer, my observation was they stayed with friends and family more than usual. People actually took each other up on that offer to use the vacant cabin in Durango, the time-share in Mexico, or the country house in Bennington. So the next time John McCain offers you a few nights in one of his seven homes, don’t be shy about saying yes!

But seriously, what did you do on your summer staycation? I got deeper into blogging. I didn’t plant a garden like I usually do because I was glued to my laptop. Next year, the vegetable garden is making a comeback at my house. I miss my tomatoes and I want to get serious about canning.

As back-to-school shopping season gets into full swing, I want to leave you with this. When my husband and I stayed at a friend’s house for a few days in Bennington, Vt. earlier this month, I forgot to bring my mouse. Not being a “thumb person” (no BlackBerry or text-messaging here), I needed to buy a new one to work on my laptop.

When I was standing in line at the Staples to buy the cheapest mouse they sold (about $20), there was a woman in front of me returning three notebooks and exchanging them for some Magic Markers that her son needed for school. The sum of the transaction? About $6.

That’s the reality out there. The digerati and the financial engineers are making small fortunes, but many people are struggling to buy school supplies for their kids.

Pluto in Capricorn and the Bilderberg Club

I’ve never been a fan of conspiracy theories because I subscribe to Murphy’s law, that whatever can go wrong will go wrong. I’m also a follower of the law of entropy, which the dictionary defines as “a measure of disorder or randomness in a closed system.”

Nevertheless, I ackowledge the influence of secret societies like the Masons in the founding of this Republic as well as the existence of such plutocrat fraternities as Yale’s Skull and Bones Society and the Trilateral Commission. Back in college, I read Richard J. Barnet’s seminal 1976 book, Global Reach: The Power of Multinationals.

Still, I had never heard of the Bilderberg Club until a few days ago, when the same friend who told me about the secret plan to introduce the amero mentioned it.

“What’s that?” I asked. And she replied, “You know, the 100 or so businessmen and political leaders who pull the strings of the world’s economy.”

I’ve done a little research since then and it appears that the Bilderberg Club is primarily a translantic organization. I hope they’ve widened their mandate and invited Ratan Tata and Li Ka-Shing to become members because the times, they are a changin’. India and China are rising economic stars.

I thought it would be fun to run the chart of the Bilderberg Club, which according to the Wiki, first met on May 29, 1954, in the Netherlands. You can see the chart here, courtesy of Astrodienst. I’ve set the chart for 9 a.m. because that’s when conferences usually start.

With a stellium of Venus, Jupiter, Uranus, and South Node in Cancer opposing Mars and the North Node in Capricorn, this chart has strong connections to the U.S. chart, whichever one you use. I like the Sibley chart, which you can see here, courtesy of AstroDataBank. The U.S. chart has Venus/Jupiter/Sun/Mercury in Cancer, opposed by Pluto in Capricorn.

The Venus/Jupiter of the U.S. chart closely mirrors the Venus/Jupiter of the Bilderberg chart. So what? Well, both charts are going to be challenged by Pluto, which returns to Capricorn on Nov. 26, 2008. You may recall that Pluto dipped a toe into Capricorn earlier this year. Another aspect that both charts are experiencing is the transit of beneficial Jupiter through Capricorn in 2008.

The presence of Jupiter gives U.S. leaders and Bilderberg Club members great flexibility in dealing with financial problems. This includes expansive measures such as keeping the Federal Reserve’s discount window open to investment banks until January, 2009 (the deadline was originally mid-September) and asking Congress to give Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a blank check to restore investor confidence in the troubled mortgage lenders.

But once Jupiter enters Aquarius on Jan. 17, 2009, that protection disappears. It will be time for a restructuring of both the U.S. and the Bilderberg Club as transiting Pluto in Capricorn opposes Venus and Jupiter in Cancer in both charts. Things get really extreme with the so-called cardinal climax, a T-square involving Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto in the early degrees of cardinal signs. Ray Merriman explains it here.

What’s really interesting is that the Cancer lineups in both the U.S. and Bilderberg Club charts form the final point of a grand cross (the T-square is Saturn in Libra opposing Uranus in Aries, squaring Pluto in Capricorn). Maybe that’s when we’ll see a merger between the dollar and the euro. (The amero is supposed to replace the U.S. and Canadian dollars and the Mexican peso.) Cue spooky music!

One potential hitch to the New World Order conspiracy: The U.S. Uranus in Gemini sits exactly on the Bilderberg Club’s Sun. Perhaps revolutionary (Uranus) elements in the U.S. thwart some of the Bilderberg Club’s intentions (Sun).

I’m hoping that Jude at Jude’s Threshold, who has written a lot about the New World Order and the plutocrats who have been planning it, will weigh in on this chart when she’s done toasting the nuptials of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi.

I guess the last of the rice and confetti has been swept up at Jude’s Threshold, because Jude has posted a dynamite commentary on the Bilderberg Club. You can read it here. Thanks a million, Jude!

Obama: The Net Giveth and the Net Taketh Away

The Internet has been very kind to Barack Obama. Over the past few days his groovy “Barack Roll” video to the sounds of Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up has been making the rounds, thanks to YouTube.

But another, not-so-hip, video of Obama has suddenly surfaced on the Web. I’ve just caught up with the video of what happened to the Democratic Presidential hopeful in Bristol, Va., when his TelePrompTer malfunctioned. (I hate it when that happens!)

At first, I wondered whether this didn’t happen in Bristol, Pa., since the video is up on phillyburbs.com, the Web site for the Calkins Media chain of suburban Philadelphia newspapers, which serves Bristol. However, a Google search confirms that Obama held a “Town Hall” event in Bristol, Va. on June 5, 2008.

Here’s the link to an Obama at a loss for words.

With his angry outbursts at the audience and his malaprops (he confuses “breathalyzer” with “inhaler” in a vignette about a child with asthma), the Democratic hopeful sounds a bit like President George W. Bush. If Obama makes it to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., it could be more of the same at those White House press conferences should the TelePrompTer ever go on the fritz.

Beth Turnage over at Astrology Explored has compared the charts of Obama and W., both of which are chock full of planets in Leo. It’s an interesting post.

Like the pictures of President Bush looking a little out of it at the Olympics, the Obama Town Hall video is yet another example of the transiting Neptune/Node/Chiron in Aquarius, I believe. Neptune is film, the Node is public dissemination, and Chiron is the wound (Bush being propped up by a team of Secret Service agents, Obama stumbling for words).

I’m also reminded me of Jude Threshold’s post on the Aug. 16 eclipse where she talks about “unmasking.” Interesting that a video from a June 5 event is suddenly getting buzz on the Web on Aug. 13.

Will “TelePrompTer malfunction” join the national lexicon along with “wardrobe malfunction”?