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 Capricorn Conspiracy

I was just about to knock off a post about how financial astrologer Ray Merriman called the crash in oil prices ( now below $67 a barrel, down from $154 this summer) back at the United Astrology Conference, held in Denver in May, when it dawned on me that Merriman is a Capricorn.

At this year’s UAC, which Merriman helped organize, astrologer Michael Lutin made a joke that some of his favorite leaders are Capricorns: Stalin, Mao, and Merriman.

As you may know, I was born under the sign of the Goat and have devoted lots of cyber-ink to fellow Caps, including golf superstar Tiger Woods, political spouse Michelle Obama, French First Lady Carla Bruni, Hiroshima martyr Sadako Sasaki, civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, and University of Kansas basketball coach Bill Self.

My husband and I were married by an Elvis impersonator who crooned Love Me Tender at a Las Vegas wedding chapel, and I’ve never found it strange that the King set up a meeting with fellow Capricorn Richard Nixon back in the day.

I was rooting for Dodgers manager Joe Torre, who has Moon in Capricorn, but he was bested by Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, another Sun in Capricorn. The Phillies are playing the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series, which begins tonight at 8 p.m. (More on this match in a later post.)

The Astrology Mundo poll on “What Sign Are You?” seems to be delivering a fairly even distribution of the signs, with chatty Gemini and spiritual Pisces tied for first place the last time I looked. Given my experience at attracting fellow Capricorns, the poll should show that 90% of respondents are Caps.

Here’s the good news: This Capricorn emphasis isn’t permanent. It’s the result of expansive Jupiter going through Capricorn, which is putting natives of the Goat, including the ever-expanding Federal Reserve Bank, in the news.

Next year, Aquarians will get their 15 minutes of fame as Jupiter moves through the sign of the Water Bearer. So bear with me, I promise this site won’t be all Capricorns all the time for much longer. Plus, we’re all going to get our butts kicked when Pluto moves into Capricorn on Nov. 27 and stays there until, gulp, 2024.

Want to know more. Here’s a Michael Lutin video on Pluto in Cap.

Astrology Mundo Loves Denver

Maybe I should move to Denver. Here’s why:

Until the record was broken on Sunday, I got the best traffic on my blog during the United Astrology Conference in Denver in May.

Elsa, the Queen of All Astrology Media, lives near Denver and has been very good to Astrology Mundo.

When my husband and I flew to Denver for a wedding in June, I learned that Astrology Mundo had been quoted in Time magazine.

On Aug. 24, the day before the Democratic National Convention started in Denver, I was all excited because the number of hits on my blog broke 700 for the first time. That record was shattered yesterday, when I got 1,492 hits.

Today, traffic is back to normal, but I still love Denver. Maybe Pamela Cucinell and I need to broadcast our weekly astrology talk show AstroChatter Radio from the Mile High City. Denver rocks!

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.

Astrology Mundo Makes Time

I’m in Boulder, Colo., for a wedding, but my friend and astrological comrade-in-arms Christopher just left me a voicemail with the exciting news that Astrology Mundo is quoted in this week’s Time magazine in connection with the Gloucester High pregnancy epidemic. (See my post of June 24, “The Gloucester High Pregnancy Pact,” https://astrologymundo.wordpress.com/2008/06/24/the-gloucester-highpregnancy-pact-and-the-summer-solstice-chart/

Of course, the mention is a little tongue-in-check, but who’s complaining? Here’s the link:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1818191,00.html

Frankly, I’m stunned at the level of interest that mainstream media has shown in astrology lately. There’s still a hardy dose of skepticism and a bit of snarkiness, but it’s nothing compared to the ridicule that self-satisfied reporters heaped on cosmobiology, as our German friends like to call it, until very recently.

I have to look at my AstroCartoGraphy for Denver. (See “AstroCartoGraphy: Your Own Map of the World,” https://astrologymundo.wordpress.com/2008/06/23/astrocartography-your-own-map-of-the-world/)

If I remember correctly, I’ve got Uranus, the ruler of surprises and astrology, on the IC (fourth-house cusp) there. Here’s what’s interesting: I learned about the Time mention minutes after landing in Denver, where I also attended the United Astrology Conference in May. Last but not least, I recently learned that Elsa P., whose Top 10 Sources portal has brought this blog so much traffic, is based in the Denver area.

So in my chart, at least, Denver brings astrology home (IC).

The Dangers of Lying in the Internet Age

It seems to be a human weakness to want to dress up our life experience, to say we were higher up on the totem pole than we really were. A case in point: I used to work with a guy who said he was once a backup musician with a well-known New York punk band. This was back in the early days of the Internet, when a lot of fresh information was being posted for the first time.

My boss didn’t particularly like our former punk rocker, whom I’ll call David. So he Googled David and learned that he hadn’t played with this particular band, but that he had been a roadie for them. Evidently, there was a reunion site where the band members thanked David for being such a great roadie.

Now, it’s not as if David lied and said he was a graduate of Columbia when he really went to SUNY-New Paltz (a fine school, by the way, but not a posh Ivy League name like Columbia). As far as I know, he hadn’t improved upon his academic or professional credentials to get his foot in the door. But our boss certainly viewed David in a different light after learned that he only been a roadie, not a backup musician. David had misrepresented himself in order to impress other people. Once he was discovered, everything he said was suspect.

I’m usually not guilty of embellishing my past. It’s colorful enough already. However, I can think of at least one time that I’ve been guilty of this kind of inflation. I was in a fight with an editor about the right way to spell a word. This was before the days of Microsoft Word’s SpellCheck, but after the advent of dictionaries. However, for some reason one wasn’t immediately available or the word in question wasn’t in our abridged version. Without Merriam-Webster to back me up, I insisted that I must be right because, “After all, in sixth grade, I won the Geary County, Kansas, spelling bee.”

Well, in fact, I was No. 3 in the Geary County bee that year, having misspelled “conscience” in a slip of the lip. I knew how to spell the word, but the letters didn’t come out in the right order. Isn’t that ironic?

I’ve also committed sins of omission, most recently when I neglected to tell my husband that I was attending the United Astrology Conference in Denver, a trip tacked onto a family visit to Albuquerque. Meanwhile, I was busily advertising the fact that I was going to be at UAC on my blog. (See my post, “Houston, We Have a Problem.”)

So I’m not trying to let myself off the hook. But lately I’ve heard of a few instances where people have bragged about their participation in big-name events and others have discovered from the Net that Joe didn’t really finish fourth in the 1978 New York City Marathon.

Would you love your wife any less if you learned that she was not a cheerleader in high school, as she told you, but was merely on the drill team?

Check Out Astro Chatter!

I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome Astro Chatter to the blogosphere. The new blog, which is listed in my blogroll on the right, is the brainchild of astrologer extraordinaire Pamela Cucinell, who is based in Westchester County, New York. You’ll find her at www.astrochatter.com

In the spirit of disclosure, I’ll note that Pamela and I have shared a few things in the intermittent intersections of our life, including the same university (Syracuse) and most recently, a hotel room at the United Astrology Conference. (Don’t worry, Pam, to paraphrase Shakespeare: Discretion is the better part of valor.)

Pamela’s North Node in Capricorn is on my Sun, so it’s fitting that she was the one who lured me to UAC with a great room rate that we were able to split. The prospect of attending the conference was what motivated me to start Astrology Mundo on Mar. 17. I wanted to have a media outlet to report on the celestial proceedings once I arrived in Denver. Thanks for the cosmic push, Pamela!

Pamela is a forward-thinking Aquarian with Mercury in Aquarius on the world axis, at 15 degrees fixed. For non-astro types, this represents a powerful connection to the zeitgeist. As a result, I think her call-in radio show and podcasts are going to be a real success, not to mention the blog.

Even though she calls her blog Astro Chatter, there’s nothing trivial about this conversation. I was really moved by her post on Memorial Day, Mercury retrograde, and the Indy 500, a subject I also blogged about, from a different perspective.

Unlike me, Pamela caught the absurdity of paying tribute to those who have sacrificed their lives for their country, most recently in the invasion of an oil-producing country, as race car drivers burn up the track and lots of gas at the Indy 500! You can read that post here: http://astrochatter.com/2008/05/25/mercury-retrograde-memorial-day-and-the-indy-500/

Welcome aboard, Pamela!

Maybe Jupiter Transits are Overrated

The last time transiting Jupiter was on my Sun, in 1996, I got a dream job writing about the business of independent film and covering the world’s major film festivals — Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Berlin, New York.

I had an expense account that I used to buy breakfast, lunch, and dinner for indie film directors (that’s my Moon in Cancer at the Midheaven, feeding the world). I dressed up and hob-nobbed with stars at film premieres and glossy afterparties five nights a week. I know, you’re getting tired just listening to the hectic schedule of fun.

Given Jupiter’s last bit of bounty, I was hoping for something really fabulous this year as the Great Benefic passes over my Sun for the first time in 12 years. The second of Jupiter’s three conjunctions to my Sun was exact on May 30.

What did I get? A free cross-country airplane trip that was remarkably hassle-free, especially compared to my last go-around flying standby as a “nonrev” (that’s airline jargon for nonrevenue passenger). That’s certainly something to be thankful for.

In the month of May, I gained all the weight back that I had lost since the beginning of the year. Thanks, Jupiter! I really needed that extra padding to keep me comfy in those cramped airline seats.

Now, I still I have another pass of expansive Jupiter, later in the year, so maybe the big manna is yet to come. In the meantime, I’m back in Beacon, my working-class, crafty, diverse, tree-hugging gentrified mill town in the Hudson Valley. Sounds very Saturn in Virgo to me, maybe with the exception of the adjective “diverse.”

Guess what? We have a library that is within walking distance to our house. Who cares if gas goes to $5 a gallon? There’s nothing like summer to get me into the cool, prowling the stacks. I found a good book on Edison, Westinghouse, and Tesla, the fathers of electricity, Empires of Light by Jill Jonnes.

I’m on a Tesla kick, as readers of this blog know. I got hooked after hearing astrologers at the United Astrology Conference in Denver last month talk about a breakthrough in energy that’s likely to come when Uranus goes into Aries. (See “The Return of Nikola Tesla,” filed under Cancer in the categories listed at the right.)

I still have a job, a car, a house, and a husband (I think I do, though he’s high on Palm Springs and the 130 or so golf courses in the area), so I’ve got a lot to be thankful for. I was reunited with our cat Bogey today and with Freddy, our beloved handyman, a Taurus who can fix anything on this circa 1900 brick cottage.

When I called him, he came right over to mow the lawn, which had been overlooked during the four months that I was gone. My old-fashioned push mower wasn’t going to topple 18 inches of grass, so I had to expand my carbon footprint a little by using a gasoline-powered model owned by a friend of Freddy’s. Mea culpa, Mother Earth!

With innovative Uranus in Pisces sextiling my Jupiter, I’ve suddenly got a blog and a new group of new astropals in the blogosphere. That counts for a lot, I know. But sometimes it doesn’t feel tangible enough for this ole Capricorn Sun.

I’m afraid the Internet is going to disappear one day, the way the Twin Towers did on Sept. 11, 2001. Apologies to my international readers who are tired of Americans whining about 9/11, but I’ve got a good excuse. A former employer of mine was having a conference at Windows on the World, a restaurant on the 106th and 107th floors of the North Tower, that fateful day, and I knew some folks who didn’t make it out.

In fact, I helped recruit one of the editors who died that day — David Rivers, a currency trading expert from Dow Jones. David was a fitness nut who always dressed in tight white designer jeans, an even tighter white designer T-shirt, and white sneakers (I think these were Converse, not Calvin Klein)– even in the middle of a New York City winter. If angel apparel comes from Marc Jacobs, David was dressed perfectly for heaven, where he most certainly is right now.

Here’s a link to a 9/11 Memorial Web site with a picture and tributes to David. (He’s wearing his trademark white outfit in the picture.)

As you can see, with Jupiter on your Sun, you start thinking about the Big Picture. With Jupiter transiting my fourth house of home and family, a new nephew of mine will be making his entrance into the world any day now. My husband’s nephew is getting married later this month in Colorado and that will bring us together with lots of friends and family. Maybe Jupiter’s gifts don’t always come tied up in a big red bow or with an American Express Corporate Card attached.

The 2008 United Astrology Conference: It’s a Wrap

One of my favorite things about WordPress is that you can see the sites and search terms that are generating your traffic. Right now, most of my readership is coming from people searching for news about the United Astrology Conference in Denver.

If you’re looking for my complete coverage, please go to Categories on the right-hand side of the screen and scroll all the way down to UAC Denver 2008. There, you’ll find all the articles I wrote about the Denver conference in one place.

Thanks for stopping by! After making my bid to reach 500 hits in one day, I made it to 650 yesterday, mostly based on the interest in UAC.

With a Little Help From My Friends

Until I arrived at the United Astrology Conference in Denver last week, the most traffic I’d gotten on my blog in one day was 200 hits. Today, I received 525 visits. And it’s all because of you! Thanks for reading, commenting, and giving me scoops. Gastriques deserves a special shout out for alerting me to a possible new birth time for John McCain.

I feel fortunate that many of my commenters know more about astrology than I do. My friend Chris, a multitalented Pisces who is a whiz at midpoints, correctly predicted that David Cook would win this year’s edition of American Idol. He noted that Cook is having a Jupiter/Juno conjunction.  

Thanks especially to those folks who responded to my e-mail appeal to help me reach 500 hits in one day.  To big-time bloggers, that number might not seem like a lot, but after two months in the blogosphere, it’s a significant milestone to me. As I mentioned in my May 7 post, “The Coming U.S. Depression,” it’s human nature to keep score.

I don’t know where this blog will take me, but it’s been gratifying to connect with smart people who are concerned about the direction of the world. It gives me great hope that we can come up with creative solutions to the challenges that we’ll be collectively facing over the next few years as the planets march toward the “Cardinal Climax,” a configuration last seen early in the Great Depression.

We may not be family, but we are community!