The Probability of Predictions: Will and Kate So Far

(Astrology Explored) As a front line fighter in the skeptic’s wars against superstition, the paranormal and the supernatural, Michael Shermer has a whole line of pat answers to why people believe in what he and his fellows believe irrational. In fact he wrote a book about it The Believing Brain in which he postulates that the brain constructs its own belief systems based on patterns and culture, essentially creating its own reality.

Being a man of science, Shermer believes that science holds the answers about what is real and what is not. Science being his guide he tells us that what we perceive is true is only dictated by our belief systems. Continue reading

Prediction in Astrology: Are We Unwritten?

Astrology Reading at the ASC New Age Fair

Astrologer giving reading

(Astrology Explored)

I am unwritten, can’t read my mind, I’m undefined
I’m just beginning, the pen’s in my hand, ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it . . .Natasha Bedingfield, “Unwritten”

(note: play Natasha’s song at the bottom of this post while reading)

There are some astrologers who maintain that astrology can’t predict events; that ‘free will’ is too much a part of the human equation to allow for the prediction of events.

I couldn’t disagree more. Continue reading

Thrifty Brains and Predictive Astrology

(Astrology Explored) What does the art of prediction and solving a daughter’s wardrobe crisis share in common?

My college age daughter came into my room with a belt.

“Can you fix this, mom?”

“What’s wrong?”

“I can’t get the buckle to hook into the belt”

In other words the prong (some people call it the post) was not in the right place. Or was it?

I examined it for a few seconds and considered the options. To get the prong in position to slide into the holes in the belt I’d have to bend it so it would slip into the correct position on the other side of the frame of the buckle. But how did it get in the wrong position in the first place? Both the prong and the frame were sturdy and not amenable to bending. Something was wrong with this picture. I then looked at the belt and realized all I had to do was to turn the belt back through frame of the buckle and all was in the right place.

“Is this how it is supposed to look?”

The daughter looked at me as if I was some sort of magician. Continue reading

Techniques in Astrology: Finding Lady Gaga’s Ascendant

Lady Gaga in 2010

Lady Gaga in 2010

The outrageous Lady Gaga is being sued by a former personal assistant for putting, well, outrageous demands on the amount of time and range of duties foisted on the hapless assistant. The assistant was paid a measley $75,000 per year for duties ranging from handing Gaga towels in the bathroom to managing the fashion diva’s wardrobe. The assistant claims that she wasn’t given breaks or at times, time to sleep and that she is owed over $380,000 dollars in overtime.

People who work for you are sixth house matters, but there is one problem in discussing this in Lady Gaga’s chart. We don’t know her birth time. Though there are several birth times bandied about on the internet, no one in particular seems reliable.

So what is to be done? Rectification! Under the principle that certain things happen when the planets hit certain places in the birth chart, an astrologer will matching life events to astrological events. Most, though not all, of this work revolves around fixing the angles, the ascendant and the midheaven in particular.

Physical Characteristics of the Ascendant

Often in rectification we look first to the physical characteristics of the subject to try to narrow down the Ascendant since the ascendant often dictates facial and body features. Fixing an ascendant by body features is tricky business. While the ascendant does have a say in what features we notice, the Sun sign and other personal planets can influence how you look. For instance, this astrologer has a Taurus ascendant that would indicate stocky frame but as an Aquarian I was taller than the other girls, (and some of the boys!).

Her facial shape is most decidedly oval, with oval, heavy lidded eyes and a longish nose. This could indicate a Virgo or Gemini ascendant, though with a Gemini ascendant you would expect small, triangular eyes. She self describes her eye color as green, though the eyes often appears other colors from time to time. There is speculation that since she is of Italian descent her eyes and hair are naturally brown. However she is also of German descent, so that any eye color is possible. If she were naturally a brunette with brown eyes and with her short frame you would gravitate to Virgo as the ascendant. However you can’t discount that heavy bodied thigh area and her almond shaped eyes, an indication of Sagittarius ascendant. Continue reading

The Astrologer’s Process: Dirty Data, Rectification and Amy Winehouse’s Birth Time

Every astrologer has had this conversation with a client at least once. “My mother said I was born at 10:00 o’clock.” “AM or PM?” asks the astrologer. “Not sure, I’ll have to ask my mother.”

In an astrologer’s perfect world birth times would published right along the birth date. This would make our job easier and would eliminate what Lois Rodden would label DD, dirty data. Dirty data is anything along the lines of “my mother said” or “Auntie remembers it to be . . .”

A birth time is important because it fixes the ascendant and the moon, two of the the Big Three that includes the Sun, the three most basic markers of your personality. A birth time also fixes the position of the houses which important when it comes to making predictions based on the movements (transits) of the positions.

Whenever I give a reading that does not include an accurate birth time I tell the client straight up that the lack of the birth time can affect the accuracy of the reading.

Astrologers also have a technique called rectification that can pinpoint the possible birth time by matching life events against the chart to see which time makes the most sense in terms of what happened in an individual’s life. Rectification is a lengthy process, very technical, requiring a willingness to look at a lot of charts. Not all of us want to do that. Personally, I’d rather rip out my upper lip hairs with tweezers. Continue reading

The Astrology of Luck: The Transiting Part of Fortune

Your Luck Will Change(Astrology Explored) Today the part of fortune in Leo is in line with my moon. What does this mean?

Not exactly a reader question, but this was a very long search string my site stats. It actually is a very good question.

The Part (or Lot) of Fortune is the one lot of all the Arabic parts that have survived into modern astrology. Lots were used since ancient times for predictive work long before secondary progressions became popular. There are said to be upward to 97 separate lots governing aspects of life from birth to death.

Lots are calculated with specific formulae taking the position of one of the angles, adding the position of one planet and subtracting another. The result is a sensitive part of the chart relating to the question at hand. However, in ancient astrology these positions were static on the chart, waiting a transit to activate them. Using transiting lots just wasn’t done! Imagine trying to calculate the position of a lot as the position of the angles shift every 4 minutes! However, advent modern computers and this is now possible. Actually, most modern programs calculate the Part of Fortune just as a matter of course, though I have yet to see documentation using this lot as a transit. This of course, prompted me to look at this on my own.

The Part of Fortune is an especially juicy lot as it shows just where you tend to have luck in your chart, acting in some ways as a second Jupiter position. As a transit it is almost faster than a speeding bullet. Even using very wide orbs, its effect lasts no more than two hours, so if you want to use it, you should plan for it and be quick about using it.

Here is an example from my own life. Working at one New Age Fair, the transiting Part of Fortune was moving over my Venus. For those that don’t know, Venus rules the acquisition of money. Before the lot came into orb I had no clients. As the part moved within orb and for the next two hours, business was brisk and I actually earned more than I usually do for one of these fairs. When the part moved out of orb, business dropped off again.

This is the sort of thing that might explain a sudden streak of hot luck in gambling that eventually runs cold.

For those out there who like to go to the casinos you might want to check out when the Part of Fortune transits Venus or the second house and play during that time to see what happens. You just might get lucky. Or you might not. This is obviously one area where I need to do a little more personal research.

So to get back to the original question about the Part of Fortune conjuncting the Leo Moon, well, darhling, you just know that for those two hour all eyes will be on you. If you’ve applied for home loan, you will hear some good news, or if you are trying to get pregnant this would be the time to get busy. Or maybe you’ll find some especially good bargains for the home during a shopping trip or you’ll go to a beauty parlor and be happy with the results. It is important to keep in mind that quick moving transits rarely have life changing events attached to them. So don’t get too excited when the transiting Part of Fortune moves over one of the planets of your chart. But don’t be surprised if something good happens either.

Photo published under a Creative Commons License from user caseywest as posted on Flickr.

Techniques in Astrology: Delineating a Chart

Horoscope Reading(Astrology Explored)–Many a beginning and mid-level astrology student agonizes over how to put all the pieces of chart together to read it.

Much of this can not be taught. Oh we can go through the delineations of various signs, house placements and aspects and tell you what each one means. But the next step, fluency, is process that happens within the budding astrologer’s mind. It can not be taught because each astrologer must rely on their own unique way of processing information to help them make sense of a chart.

Of course writing about delineating a chart would take a book. But here at least are a few things to consider when starting to work on your methods to gain fluency.

How I Started Reading Charts

For a long time I used Steven Forrest’s technique of analyzing the Sun, Moon and Ascendant first, but at that point I was still looking every possible combination and writing it all down. This turned out to be very useful in the learning process because I had delineations in front of me that I could juxtapose. If I saw the same information repeated in the pattern in the stars, then I counted it as a running theme and used it in the reading for the client. Along the way I learned a few things that taught me how to read a chart in a meaningful way to the client.

Analyzing a Chart

When I look at a chart now, I tend to look at aspect structures, how a set of planets interacts with each other. I also look at a horoscope from two perspectives, how the client views him or her self and how other people might view that person, from the outside, looking in.

First, I look at the personal planets to get a snapshot of the how the person thinks of him or her self. For this process I do not consider the aspects, because those are how they interact with other people. One thing I’ve learned about clients is that not many people have insight on the impact of their daily interactions. Most of the time how they think of themselves is wrapped up in the delineations of Sun, Moon, Venus, Mercury and Mars.

Next I will look at how Uranus, Neptune and Pluto interact with the personal planets. These heavy hitters will often point out significant growth issues that are constantly being worked by the client either consciously or unconsciously. Here the aspects become very important as the energies of these planets significantly alter how an individual handles the energy of the personal planet.

For those not familiar, or for those that need review these planets represents these issues.

Uranus—the need to find a separate identity apart from the home, clique of friends, community, nation ad infinitum. The goal is find your special gift and incorporate it into what you share with the world.

Neptune—Our very heady connection to the divine forces of the Universe. The Universe is a broad place with heaven and hell coexisting very nicely. Whether you take Neptunian forces and create your own version of either is strictly up to you. The trick is that one wears the guise of the other. Learning to recognize the difference is the goal.

Pluto—the god of the underworld strips you of everything, from emotional attachments to personal possessions. You can’t take it with you, Pluto, tells you, so what exactly are you going to take back when you return to spirit? Our earthly selves resists this message, resulting in us holding people and things in iron grips setting us up for painful experiences where we are forced to examine exactly this.

Aspects to the “Heavy Hitters”

Trines to Uranus, Neptune and Pluto should be treated cautiously. Due the easy way energy flows from these planets to the personal planet in question they can, but not always, overwhelm the personal planet involved having the individual act more in a Neptune, Uranus or Pluto way. Think of it as too much of a good thing.

Sextiles show that the individual can act in a Uranus, Neptune or Pluto, but not always. Afflictions to this aspect structure indicate that people will act in a Uranian, Neptunian or Plutonian manner when they are facing stress.

Conjunctions can easily overwhelm the personal planet. For instance, take a normally sweet Virgo and combine him or her with a Pluto conjunction and you have a very controlling Virgo. Make sure those socks are not only paired in the sock drawer, make sure they are arranged from dark to light. On the other hand, someone with a personal planet in conjunction with Uranus won’t even have a sock drawer, just basket with all the socks thrown in together. Neptunian conjunctions won’t know where the socks or the sock basket is.

With Squares, the personal planet resists the energy of the heavy hitter, so is constantly having to deal with those sorts of issues. Generally, though not always, the client perceives this as events happening to him or her.

Inconjuncts has the client swinging from the personal planet to the heavy hitter unable to resolve the energy.

Oppositions play out as the client going from one extreme to another until they find a way to balance the energies.

Jupiter and Saturn

I’m not giving short shrift to these two planets. Not strictly personal planets, they do represent your place in the world. This is important information, no doubt. Keep in mind that the essential delineation is how the person views himself, while the aspects show how other people perceive him or her.

Jupiter represents your sense of social justice, how communities should be organized for people to interact. Your place or what place you think you deserve, in the social order, is represented by big Fatso.

Saturn represents the limitations that you feel the world places on you. Where the client is in their Saturn cycle, pre-Saturn 1st Saturn return, between 1st and 2nd return or after the 2nd has a bearing on how the person perceives these limitations.

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