Happy Birthday, Gian Paul!

Today is the birthday of our celebrated Brazil bureau chief, Gian Paul, who has singlehandedly kept this blog going with his spirited comments and his longer posts under the banner The View From Brazil. Thanks and many happy returns, GP!

Unfortunately, today was also the day that a dear high school friend of mine passed away. I also still need to push the button on the California electronic return on TurboTax.

Happy Birthday, Astrology Mundo!

It was one year ago today that I decided to join the blogosphere by launching Astrology Mundo. Now, 422 posts, 1,353 (approved) comments, and 136,901 hits later, Astrology Mundo is celebrating its first birthday.

My output has varied since I fired up the blog for the first time, courtesy of WordPress, on Mar. 17, 2008, but my love of the astrological and blogging community hasn’t.

There have been two contributors who have kept this blog afloat over the past year when my energy flagged — Regina at Gastriques and Gian Paul, who has given us The View from Brazil. Thanks to both of you!

Also, thanks to the astrobloggers who have taken the time to comment on my posts and to link to them. I can’t name them all, but I’m thinking of Jude Cowell at Stars Over Washington and Jude’s Threshold, Comet at Out the Comet’s Ass, Julie Demboski, Beth Turnage at Astrology Explored, and ElsaElsa of blog aggregator AstroDispatch, to name a few. I couldn’t have done it without you. (More links later!)

Away from the cosmos, SFMike of Civic Center and Susan DeMark of Mindful Walker have helped keep my feet firmly on the ground while I’m looking up at the stars.

Last but not least, a big shout-out to Pamela Cucinell, my roommate at last year’s United Astrology Conference and the host of AstroChatter Radio, where I put my two astro cents in on a (mostly) regular basis.

Thanks everybody! I love all of you, especially my readers!

The Pluto in Capricorn Ingress and the Mumbai Attacks

Those of us who study astrology know that even when we’re right, we’re rarely exactly right. A case in point: Gian Paul’s prescient post about the impact of the Pluto in Capricorn Ingress on Indian-Pakistani relations.

Gian Paul, who has contributed to Astrology Mundo in posts labeled “The View From Brazil,” predicted trouble between India and Pakistan around Nov. 27, 2008 as a result of Pluto moving from Sagittarius into Capricorn.

Gian Paul thought the problems would surface in Kashmir. Instead, we’ve gotten deadly attacks on tourists over the past two days in Mumbai, India, by an Islamic terrorist group calling itself the Deccan Mujihadeen.

Kudos to you, Gian Paul. Here’s the link to the earlier post about the Pluto in Capricorn Ingress.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this heinous crime and their families. The U.S. State Dept. has set up a call center for Americans concerned about family members who may be in Mumbai. The number is 1-888-407-4747.

How Twentysomethings Influence Collective Destiny: The View From Brazil

Here’s the latest post from Gian Paul, Astrology Mundo’s “Brazil bureau chief.”

It’s not easy to be certain exactly how astrological mechanisms work, or collective destiny, for that matter.

Astrologers study transits, ingresses of planets into new signs, and the geometrical aspects between planets. But that does not really explain much about the forces at play. To drive a car, one does not actually need to know how a crankcase functions.

I can imagine that astrological influences work somehow like “cloud computing,” which is the latest fashion in information technology, so much so that even old IBM has jumped on board.

I wonder if in the “astrological cloud,” the hardware is not actually the whole of humanity. Sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists, and many other students of human nature have a notion that there are “vintage years.”

To verify my hunches, I looked up various generations over the past 100 years, astrologically, that is. In an effort to be brief, let’s consider two important historical events of the last 100 years: the recent Presidential elections in the U.S. and the Great Depression of the 1930s.

My premise is that the people “who count,” i.e. the collective ferment of any society, are those who are aged 23 to 29, approaching their first Saturn return. It was this group that was behind the revolutionary uprisings in 1968 in Paris and Prague. Even though students get credit for fomenting the rebellion, they were actually the followers.

In the case of the recent U.S. elections, twentysomethings voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama and changed the course of history. In light of this fact, I have examined the demographic cohort born between January 1980 and the end of 1985, and discovered the Plutos of this group range from 20 degrees of Libra to 7 degrees of Scorpio. Natal Neptune for this Class of ’80 to ’85 is placed between 21 degrees of Sagittarius and 4 degrees of Capricorn.

From my calculations, these people represent 10% of the active, decision-making population, leaving out children, adolescents, and the infirm. They have recently experienced or are about to have Pluto conjunct their natal Neptune.

They are also experiencing collectively a square of transiting Uranus to their natal Neptune and a trine of Neptune to their natal Plutos.

Pluto conjunct Neptune restricts dreams and ease of comfort. For anyone with natal Neptune in Sagittarius, life is more than having a nice house. It’s about an exciting job, travel, fun, and aspirations.

When Uranus squares Neptune, dreams will be shaken up. Things won’t be “normal” anymore for quite some time. Happy hours may occur at odd times of the day, or not at all.

A trine of Neptune to natal Pluto should leave people’s hope intact, especially now that Neptune is in Aquarius. But there will be surprises, very Aquarian, for certain.

Now, to turn our attention to the Great Depression: People who were between 23 to 29 in the early 1930 had natal Neptune between 17 and 28 degrees of Cancer and natal Pluto between 19 and 28 degrees of Gemini.

On Jan. 1, 1930, Pluto was conjunct Neptune for a large segment of the age class in question. That’s identical to what’s the case today. Time will tell what the future holds for the latest group of twentysomethings, but there is no doubt that they hold great influence over our society today.

Editor’s note: My question for Gian Paul is: Isn’t there always a generation of twentysomethings who are about to get Pluto on their Neptune, regardless of what’s happening in the world? The fact that this is happening now and did before at other times in history cannot possibly indicate any causality, can it?

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!

A Cosmic Take on Cuisine: The View From Brazil

Gian Paul, who has emerged as the Brazil bureau chief of Astrology Mundo and Lula watcher par excellence, is back with a fascinating look at cuisine and the cosmos, peppered by some personal insights. After all, this is a blog.

Here’s Gian Paul, a Swiss-born finance type who follows French astrology and loves Belgian chocolate. (Pralinée only, s’il vous plâit.)

In a recent edition of BusinessWeek, there are two alarming items, related and of astrological interest:

The first is that an increasing percentage of Greek children today are overweight, similar to in the U.S. The second is that nearly 3,000 restaurants and cafés have closed in France this year already.

The decline in the number of French eateries is most likely taking place in the Western Hemisphere as well.

What’s truly alarming is the speed at which things are going downhill in France, where a a gourmand culture has existed since before the French Revolution. One hundred years ago, a somewhat sophisticated meal consisted of six or seven courses or so. If it were a banquet, the number of courses would normally increase to 20.

BusinessWeek concentrates on the “economic” side of the issue, as one would expect for a business publication. So what’s the astrological angle?

I am a follower of the French type of astrology. One of the best French astrologers I know, Henry Gouchon, always related health issues with children to the planetary transits that they had in the first four years of their lives. An intriguing concept. Even more so because it’s possible to look up these transits much later in life, when some health problems have become chronic.

Many people struggle at one point or another in their lives with a weight problem. Some physicians find psychological reasons, while others cite early childhood habits or ignorant parents.

In astrology, health is associated with the sign Virgo and the sixth house. With Moon in Virgo opposing Mars myself, I am quite sympathetic to those with ulcers.

I used to be a financial analyst at one stage in my life, covering oil, chemicals, and drugs. Back in the Sixties and early Seventies, I remember there were practically no new drugs coming out of research. Then all of a sudden came Tagamet, the revolutionary anti-ulcer medication, as well as a slew of various anti-cholesterol drugs, beta blockers, etc.

Interested in astrology, I went searching for the astrological link. Drugs are related to Neptune. Here’s my theory: Neptune had to move out of Scorpio in the early Seventies and into Sagittarius in before drug research could make a quantum leap forward!

Unfortunately, these pharmaceutical breakthroughs were also accompanied by great advances in the adulteration of food. Interesting that the food industry is a favorite investment area of Warren Buffett, with his Jupiter/Pluto conjunction in Cancer, which rules food.

We have witnessed the advent of an onslaught of sugar substitutes and food preservatives, as well as artificial flavors, fragrances, and colors.
.
So, back to our poor Greek kids and French restaurant owners. Blaming Neptune’s passage through Sagittarius does not offer much consolation. However, thanks to the “mutual reception” of Neptune in Aquarius and Uranus in Pisces, we have an opportunity for scientists to discover what is truly healthy. (Mutual reception occurs when two planets are transiting signs ruled by one another.)

Having suffered from a heart attack and having cholesterol problems for quite a long time, I have been forced to become knowledgeable about this domain. Only eight years ago my cardiologists were insisting that I eat margarine, not butter. Now margarine is out.

I was happily eating eggs and red meat, while the drugs to control cholesterol were counterbalancing my excesses. Everybody was happy: Nestlé, Kraft, P&G, Pfizer, Bayer, Roche, and many others. Even good restaurants because I had returned as a client.

I realize that I’m not alone in adhering to one gastronomical regimen, only to be told by a doctor or the press that it’s “wrong,” and that I must change lanes. When everyone was jogging, carbs were good. Then, as people became glued to their desks and their computers, high-protein diets like Atkins and the Zone were all the rage.

For those who dismiss the “Mediterranean diet” as a fad, you’re wrong. It’s truly healthy and wonderful food. Too bad those Greek kids have abandoned this traditional way of eating.

And while Napa Valley vintners extol the virtue of wine as part of a healthy diet, they fail to tell us that new processes to mature wines more rapidly use quite a variety of Neptunian ingredients that are far from natural.

The Greeks who came to New York to run the diners for years may have the right idea: Go home to a little Greek island to retire. Enjoy a variety of local cheeses, olives, delicious tomatoes, and truly natural wine.

Thanks, Gian Paul, I’m off to a samba class to keep off the fat!