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Woops! I Had An Accident(al Benefic)

As Chris Warnock pointed out in a comment on my previous blog post, modern astrology tends to deny the existence of malefics and even of evil itself. (Note: which is interesting, since most of the keywords that they use for Uranus, Neptune and Pluto tend to be negative, yet the refuse to refer to these as malefic energies.) So when things like Mercury retrograde or Void of Course Moon happen, the modern habit is to round up everything evil, bad, or inconvenient that is happening and scapegoat that one factor. (Remember, the idea with scapegoating was to take one symbolic [innocent] goat and cast upon Read more…

Here We Go Again

Here we are, at the beginning of another Mercury retrograde cycle. As everyone starts to blame poor Mercury for everything that could possibly go wrong for the next 3.5 weeks, I thought I’d take a closer look to see what traditional sources say about Mercury retrograde periods. I looked specifically at Guido Bonatti (Liber Astronomiae, 12th century, Dykes transl.) and William Ramesey (Astrologia Restaurata, 17th century), since each of these works is about – Ramesey in whole, Bonatti in part – Mundane Astrology, i.e. astrology about events happening in the world (rather than Natal Astrology, which is based on birth charts). Read more…

Alphabet Soup

One of my ongoing complaints is the lack of clarity in Modern Astrology. Nowhere is this more manifest in the technique that is referred to as the 12-letter alphabet. This is a thoroughly modern concept which was first introduced in 1973 in Finding the Person in the Horoscope by Zipporah Dobyns, who is widely credited with having invented it. (Note that Dobyns held a Ph.D. in psychology, and like most modern astrologers, focused on astrology as psychology, not as a predictive art.) This seems to have been an attempt to simplify astrological associations so that it would be easier for Read more…

You Say You Want a Revolution…

… and Many Happy ReturnsWe’ve all heard the expression: “Happy Birthday, and Many Happy Returns!” But did you know that this is an astrological expression?“Happy Returns” refers to Solar Returns. The Solar Return was formerly known as a “Revolution.” Not the violent, government-overthrowing type, but in the original sense of “revolve,” which means “to return”. A revolution is a return to beginnings.The yearly revolution, or Solar Return, is a chart cast for the moment that a person (or country’s) Sun returns to the the exact place in the Zodiac as when that person or country was born. This happens either Read more…

Responses to the Science/Astrology dialogue

After my last blog post, I received a number of comments, most of which I published. Some were simple attacks on astrology, quite full of invective, and not really worth passing on. The purpose of this blog is not to defend astrology, but to present and elucidate elements of astrology that were developed before the Enlightenment. In doing so, I hope to show how they are superior in most ways to what passes for modern, psychological astrology. When commenters address specific items that actually appear in the blog posts, I’m happy to engage, at least in a limited way, in a conversation Read more…

When Modern Scientists Get Hold of Astrology

I just read a short article on how your zodiac sign may have changed because scientists at a planetarium in Minnesota have “recalculate[d] the dates that correspond to each sign to accommodate millennia of subtle shifts in the Earth’s axis.” What they are referring to here is the Precession of the Equinoxes. Let me explain. Where does the Zodiac Begin?Since the beginning of horoscopic astrology in the Middle East, the beginning of the zodiac was considered 0 degrees Aries. There are two definitions of “0 degrees Aries.” One is that it pinpoints the Alpha star (first brightest) in the constellation Read more…

Mercury Retrograde – Again

So here we are again at the end of a Mercury retrograde cycle, and this one seems to have been particularly fierce for some. There are at least a  few reasons for this: Mercury is retrograde Mercury is in Sagittarius for most of this retrograde, where he is debilitated Mercury was combust (as it always is during part of the retrograde) Mercury squared Jupiter during this retrograde Mercury retrograde is a debility, but traditionally, it is not nearly as bad as combustion, where a planet is within 7-8 degrees from the Sun. The idea here is that the Sun burns Read more…

Full Moon Solstice

So for the record, the height of the Full Moon is on Tuesday at 3:13 am ET. This is a Full Moon eclipse at the end of Gemini. Immediately upon reaching this point, the Moon goes “void of course.” This is an ancient term which simply means that from that moment until the Moon enters the next sign, it will make no classical aspects to any planet. That is, it will not conjunct, oppose, square, trine, or sextile any other planet. When the Moon is void, the traditional interpretation is that whatever is begun during that time will come to Read more…

Solstice Eclipse of December 2010 – Part 2

Continuing from the previous post, let’s look at the Solstice. As most people know, the Solstice marks the beginning of a new season, either the summer or the winter, depending on whether it’s June or December, and whether you are in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere. Tropical astrology, the kind of astrology practiced in much of the world other than in India, is linked to the relationship between the Sun and the Earth, and therefore to the seasons. So the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere is also by definition the moment that the Sun enters the sign of Capricorn. Read more…

Solstice Eclipse of December 2010 – Part 1

A number of friends have written to ask me my thoughts on the upcoming total Lunar eclipse which falls right before the Winter Solstice in a few days. I have also seen a number of comments about it by other astrologers come across my Facebook page in the last week or so. Let’s talk about the two phenomena involved and then see if and how they might connect. There are at least two Lunar eclipses every year, either partial or full. The degree to which an eclipse is full or not depends on how close the Moon comes to being Read more…