Celtic Astrology: What Halloween and String Theory Have in Common

Physicists have theorized the existence of up to eleven different dimensions, depending on what brand of string theory you buy, four of them with observable space time references that are similar but not the same as ours. While many us have a hard time wrapping our heads around these theoretical physics, the ancient Celts were well aware of the existence of the “Otherworld.” The Otherworld was the haunt of spirits of the dead, gods and fairies, were time flowed in strange ways. Unfortunate people who happened upon portals to these otherworlds and spending an hour or a few nights adventure there might find themselves returned to their own dimension years ahead or years behind of their original entry point, that is, if they returned at all.

Certain places were considered portals to the Otherworld, such as Glastonbury, England, the portal to the land of Avalon, but other souls might happen upon one that appeared suddenly, what some called “fairy paths”. So concerned about these pathways, Celtic builders of new structures would mark the proposed floor plan in the earth and set stones at the corners overnight. If the stones remained undisturbed in the morning then it was safe to build. Still at other times, such as Samhain (Sow’ uin), as the balance from the light time of the year shifted to the dark, the veil (what physicists call “branes”, short for membranes) between this world and the next thins. At this time inhabitants of the Otherworld could pass more easily into this one. This is time where fairies would act out on their mischief on poor unsuspecting mortals, and the spirits of the ancestors would come to visit their families. The Celtic peoples would appease the fairies by leaving cakes and milk by the door and welcome their ancestors by setting a place at the table. At the end of the night’s festivities, villagers would dress up as ghosts and with torches in hand, singing and laughing, would escort their beloved passed to the outskirts of town.

Though some people have referenced Samhain as the Celtic New Year, my personal belief is that the Celts, the ancient Gaelic peoples did not recognize endings and beginnings in the way that modern man, with a timepiece on every electronic device, does. These were an agricultural people, where repetitive tasks were the order of the day, and one day would seem much like another except for change of tasks according to the season. Life flowed from one activity to the next, from the phases of the brightening and dimming of the sun and the moon, from the birth and death of a human being. Death was not an ending, but a change of circumstance, from dwelling in this world, to dwelling in another.

A year ago, this astrologer began a quest on understanding the astrology of the Celts, and sifting through the information at hand have come to this understanding. If we attempted to construct an astrological dichotomy in parallel with our own, it would be a misunderstanding of how these ancient Neolithic, these “new stone age” peoples perceived the world. As modern humans we consider ourselves more evolved than our ancestors, yet the ancient festivals yield an understanding of how this dimension and other dimensions work that our own physicists have only begun to understand in the last one hundred years. Think on this as hobgoblins, fairies, and ghosts, as well as other strange creatures visit your house and threaten you with a trick if you don’t give them a treat on the feast of Samhain, that which we call Halloween.

Photo titled “Fairy Holding Superstring Model of the Multiverse” created from elements from Creative Commons licensed pieces from Flickr, Wikipedia and public information from NASA’s Photojournal. As such you are free to display the work without alteration with appropriate attribution to this page.

If you would like a single question answered on these pages, please send your birth date, birth place and birth time to starrynightastro@aol.com. Sorry, time limitations prevent answers to anything else than a specific question.


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Weekly Astrology Forecast: Surface Impressions and What Lies Beneath

jane-video-phoneSaturn has moved in Libra which signals a shift in the things that restricts our movements. Libra is all about relationships, social connections, justice, in other words “What is fair?”. How do we navigate the ties that bind us to our family, friends and community? The danger with Saturn in Libra is that we might be drawn surface impressions of ourselves and others to wend our way through the social fabric of our lives. Like Jane Jetson putting on fake happy face before she answers the video phone, we’ll only show people what will make us look good. Other people will only look for that in us as well.

Saturn and Uranus continue their opposition, but both are challenged with a square to Pluto. T-Squares are about conflicts with relationships, and here the Plutonian challenge stirs the pot of the simmering brew of keeping things the same and changing them for the better. Pluto kicks into high gear revelations of our personal secrets revealing them for the lies that they are. This is what lies beneath, but not for long!

Aries—Cat fight! As someone moves in to poach your turf, you gear up to do battle. Is it worth it Aries? Sometimes you like to engage in a good fight for the fun of it, rather than anything you’ll gain.

Taurus—With the planet of communications Mercury and the Sun in the sign opposite your Sun, you are feeling that others are talking about you behind your back. Part of being the opposite sign of secretive and paranoid Scorpio is a bit of paranoia of your own. The funny thing is Scorpio has every reason to start at movements in the dark, whereas you have a more sure and certain footing of your surroundings. Remember that.

Gemini—“Fly me to the moon”, that old Sinatra song, could be your theme song this week. With other people working at cross purposes against you, you first response is to flee the unpleasantries. A mental health day might be a good idea.

Cancer—You have a small breather where the Scorpio Sun provides support for your more tender feelings. Take this time to reenergize yourself with some TLC as Saturn in Libra is going to push you to shore up your money and health with some really stern measures.

Leo—I’ve been feeling badly for you, Leo, this past year, with the planet of confusion and the planet of expansion, Jupiter doing a happy dance on your head. You haven’t been able to get anywhere, though not for a lack of trying on your part. Even with energetic Mars in your sign, you still need to step carefully for the land mines that are scattered in your path.

Virgo—Nothing seems stable so you are in holding pattern right now. Women in your home and your social sphere seem to be living on another planet, unable or unwilling to listen to sense and reason. You can’t do anymore than you have, so don’t

Libra—Lucky you, the planet of duty and responsibility, Saturn, is coming to sit on your doorstep this week.. Light hearted Libra doesn’t enjoy getting down into the nitty-gritty or the how’s and wherefores of how things are done, but now you are going to have to experience first hand what you usually hire someone else to do.

Scorpio—This is an excellent time to set up those online college courses or to plan taking a night class. Scorpio always looks to expand their mind, anyway, and, trust me, this is so much better than spending lonely midnight hours with your auntie’s dusty grimoire.

Sagittarius—Your current energy level and a recent influx of cash has you hopeful for the future. However, if you hope to move up quickly, after such a long slump, you might want to rethink your plan. You need to show a little more to the higher ups before they trust you with bigger assignments.

Capricorn—If you are willing to try a few different things than you might find yourself a bit luckier than if you didn’t. The stars support a little romance, and running off at the drop of a hat to pursue a dream. Don’t let this opportunity slip away because of some misguided notion of how responsible you need to be.

Aquarius—A lucky trine between Jupiter in Aquarius and Venus in Libra has the potential to make money flow in, at last! Don’t let some brain confusion about your family prevent you from doing what you need to do to cash in on this rare situation. At the very least, buy lottery tickets.

Pisces—Did you put all your eggs in one basket? Did you forget to diversify your holdings? Did you forget to take the hamburger out of the freezer? This week has you going back and forth trying to figure out the best way to manage your interests. Slow down and take a deep breath.

If you would like a single question answered on these pages, please send your birth date, birth place and birth time to starrynightastro@aol.com. Sorry, time limitations prevent answers to anything else than a specific question.

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Halloween Costumes by Zodiac Sign 2009

Halloween coming up fast and you are surely thinking about what you are going to wear to the party. As that magical day ticks forward, all sorts of mischief brews in the concoction of Halloween costumes.

Fires signs, Aries, Leo and, Sagittarius men are far too busy to actually pick out a costume. Instead they delegate this task to their significant others, and then complain that the costume is too stupid, silly or dull to wear. They will dig up that silly hard hat that let’s them siphon off beer from two cans on either side of their heads, put on a flannel shirt and some jeans and calls themselves construction workers. Fire sign women want dress up as movie stars, of course.

The earth signs men, Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn secretly envy their fire sign friends’ chutzpah, but opt instead to go out as either policemen, firemen or some version of gun toting hunter or cowboy. The real naughty ones will dress up as sailors and then try to act the part. The women opt for Fairy Princess, Cinderella or Snow White, and then wonder why the sailor boys are trying to pick them up.

The water sign men, Cancer, and Pisces, don’t bother to ask their significant others to get a costume, nor do they pick one up themselves. They usually forget there is party to go to until they get home from work and see their honey decked out in full regalia. These are the people who poke holes in the bed sheets and call themselves ghosts, or wrap a towel around their waist and call themselves Egyptians. If the wife gets to them before they can deface the bed sheets, they’ll wrap it around themselves, calling it a toga, then give a fine display of ‘roman fingers all night long. The only exception to this is Scorpio, who still, after all these years, gets a kick out of their vampire cape and teeth, which they always have on hand for those special occasions. The women tend to dress up as Playboy bunnies, Vampira, Mistress of the Dark or a saucy medieval barmaid.

The air signs, Gemini, Libra and Aquarius give a lot of thought to their costumes, but that’s about it. At the last minute they’ll call their water sign friends to get some ideas, and after their wives and honeys pull the scissors out of their hands, make a quick run to K-Mart, Wal-Mart or that temporary costume store on the corner, spend way too much money for the last costume on the shelf and then expect their significant other to be the butt end of a horse or cow. After that idea is nixed, they will wrap themselves in cellophane, or in the case of Aquarius, tin foil, and spend an uncomfortable evening dealing with the consequences of their costume choice. The women will dress up in some version of magical creature, be it fairy, sprite, or angel, which they would have to be after spending an evening dealing with all this nonsense.

Here are some suggestions to ease the angst of costume creation that reflect the inner soul of your zodiac sign.

matadorAries—For the fire sign male that thinks they can charm anyone, what is more appropriate than a a snake charmer’s costume? There are two versions on the above website, one naughty and one nice. Which one do you think they’d choose? For the ladies, a sexy matador outfit appeals to your inner warrior.

Taurus—What can brown do for you? Taurus has no problem mixing the mundane with sublime, so a romp as a UPS delivery man just might be thing for you, though you may have to assemble this one yourself with a brown shirt, pants and cap. Let your honey help you with some fabric paint for the logo. Ms. Taurus can do her thing as a naughty housewife. Imagine the possibilities.

spongebobGemini—If you guys haven’t got it yet, for some strange reason Spongebob Square Pants is a real turn-on for some women. Maybe it’s because he is just so innocent, or maybe he’s just so sappy, but I know some women that watch that cartoon. Gemini, you are just lighthearted enough to carry this costume off. Gem ladies, you can appear as an angel, fairy or butterfly, anything with wings. A ladybug costume might do nicely too.

Cancer—Come on, you know that you always think of yourself as a Barbie doll, don’t you, Cancer. Well this year you can dress yourself as one, all ready to unwrap, though the Barbie Solo Singer costume is more elegant and easier to drive in. Boy crabs pull of Barbie’s boyfriend, Ken with style.

burger-kingLeo—Who else would you show up at the party as the Burger King. No, you have to wear the entire costume, because if you just wear the crown, no one will know you are dressed any different. Lady Leos may want to dig out that Cleopatra costume they’ve been saving for a rainy day.

naughty-nurseVirgo—No one does a naughty nurse better than Virgo looking to unleash to your hands on approach to life. Male Virgins show off their “Dr. Dreamy persona.

prince-princessLibra—You’ll come as a couple, so why not as a medieval prince and princess? You know you want to.

demonScorpio—Time to shed that well-worn vampire cape and branch out to something a little more creative. Female Scorps should check out this Medusacostume, a natural seque to your inner temptress. Stag Scorps can render their inner demons with gusto with a good demon mask.

Sagitarrius—Who else would you be other than the iconic Captain America? No one looks better in Aqua spandex than you. Lady Archer’s playful side is revealed as a racy looking tennis player, typecasting if I ever saw it.

Capricorn—By day you are all buttoned up, hiding your wild side so well, no one knows that you have one. Lady Caps, always on the job anyway, do well as a saucy chambermaid, while guy goats act out as the gambler they wish they were.

facebookAquarius—Time to shed the tie-die redux that clutters your closets and your Halloween costumes. Aquarians never really seem to understand that clothes go in and out of style, which is why you are particularly popular with your friends this time of year. After all these years tie-dye is still a fashion staple for you. Perfect for socially hip Aquarians of both genders is a Facebook home page, made with some foam core board, a blue marker and a steady hand.

Pisces—Ruled by dreamy Neptune, Fish can be anything, but most often show up in the most cobbed together of costumes. Why? They are so busy dreaming about what they’d be, they spend almost no time putting the thing together. One Pisces guy this astrologer knew showed up with a cut up sheet as a diaper, drinking his beer in a baby bottle. Pick anything at all Pisces, other than that, because some memories are too tough to bear. Put on your leather jacket and Fedora and come as Indiana Jones. Lady Pisces, dress up as the gypsy you are.

All Photos published under a Creative Commons License from Flickr.

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The Astrology of Divorce: The Supermodel and the Mogul–At What Price Beauty?

Hyperrealist Portrait of Stephanie Seymour

Hyperrealist Portrait of Stephanie Seymour

Middletown, Connecticut, this astrologer’s hometown, is a sleepy little town of about 55,000 souls, not counting Wesleyan University students, so it is natural that when a divorce between a super model and a Greenwich, CT publisher hits the steps of the local Superior Court it makes the local paper’s front page—above the fold.

Stephanie Seymour former Playboy and Victoria’s Secret model is divorcing publisher Peter Brant after 16 years of marriage. While we do not have the specifics of Ms. Seymour’s complaints, we do have the meat of Mr. Brant’s. According to the Middletown Press, which references divorce papers filed in Middlesex Superior Court Mr. Brant alleges that Seymour has abused drugs and alcohol, and has been in rehab twice during their marriage, once for alcohol and in 2000 for Vicodin addiction. He claims that Seymour is not in compliance with drug and alcohol tests ordered as part of the divorce proceedings.

Stephanie Seymour is described in Wikipedia like this:

Stephanie M. Seymour (born July 23, 1968) is an American model and actress. Seymour has modeled for many notable fashion magazines and designers, and has been photographed by several well-known photographers including Herb Ritts, Richard Avedon, and Gilles Bensimon. She has appeared on over 300 magazine covers.

Brant was the second married man with which Seymour became involved, the first being John Casablancas who she dated and lived with when she was sixteen. She married briefly in 1989 and divorced in 1990 guitarist Tommy Andres having her first son with him. In mid 1991 she started dating Guns N Roses’ Axl Rose. A scant month after her February 1993 turbulent breakup with Rose, she apparently became pregnant with Brant’s child who was born in December of 1993. The couple married in 1995 in France and have resided in Greenwich, CT since then, having two more children in the ensuing years.

Though Stephanie apparently has kept her hand in the modeling game throughout her marriage, her career had slowed down to the point where a New York Observer article described her as a “supermodel turned homemaker.”

Peter Brant is described as:

a guy who seems to have everything. The New York Times called him “a Donald Trump with taste” for his elegant real estate projects. Brant owns trendy magazines like Interview and Art in America. He co-founded the Greenwich (Conn.) Polo Club and is married to former Playboy and Victoria’s Secret model Stephanie Seymour.

Wikepedia tells us:

Peter Brant is an American newsprint mogul, art collector, and film producer and is the Chairman and C.E.O. of White Birch Paper Company, a private company, headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Brant is also the owner of Brant Publications, Inc., which specialises in publishing about art in America and antiques via its three magazines: Interview magazine (founded by Andy Warhol), Art in America, and The Magazine Antiques.

So what happened between the “man who has everything” and the supermodel? Why are these two in divorce court? What does astrology have to tell us?

For both individuals we have the birth date only, and one birthplace, so we can not consider house or moon placements. Peter Brant’s birth date listed is the result of some sleuthing, coming from a New York Observer article that referenced 2007 birthday party given in Peter Brant’s honor.

Stephanie’s Sun is in the Zodiac sign of Leo, with the planet of beauty, Venus sitting right next to it. With these placements Stephanie would be beautiful, with a magnetic personality that lights up a room. Leo’s want and need to be the center of attention and are well know to be high maintenance for the people involved in their lives.

Her Sun makes an a harmonious energetic connection to the planet of illusions, Neptune. This would make her a natural in front of a camera, of which it would be said “the camera loves her face.” One is tempted, given her tumultuous personal history to sling her Neptune in the Seventh house. With Neptune trine to her Sun, she would have a natural affinity for fairy tales of princesses and princes who sweep them off their feet. Maybe this is how she sees herself. However, that Neptune is in Scorpio, so underneath the fairy tale is dark tale of power and control. With her Sun in easy energetic connection to the planet of power and control, Pluto in Virgo, she is drawn to powerful, magnetic, yet exacting men. With the Sun in the same sextile to Uranus, the men are unusual, unique, independent, and interesting but could also be prone to fits of unexpected bursts of anger.

Peter Brant has his Sun in Pisces, sitting along with his Mercury in the same zodiac sign. Pisces men are so very good at playing the role of white knight, indulging in a fairy tale persona of their own. They can have a “rescuer” mentality, and given the stormy break-up of Seymour from Rose, with lawsuits on both sides, he may have relished being Seymour’s rescuer from a rock ‘n roll legend. His Sun is inconjunct Pluto, which can indicate a personality that can become embroiled in power and control issues and obsessive relationships.

What locks these two together is Brant’s Saturn sitting on top of her Sun. In relationships, with a conjunction like this, the Saturn person feels obligated to take care of the other partner. Brant’s Pluto in the zodiac sign of Leo sits on Seymour’s Venus.

Sakioan and Acker say of this placement:

“. . .The Pluto individual may be jealous and possessive toward the Venus individual and attempt to emotionally mold, control, or remake the Venus individual.”

On top of that what may have been the cold water thrown on the relationship is a differences each partner has in handling wealth. In court documents, Brant claims a monthly income of $400,000 while Seymour has listed expenses of $257,000 a month, with $50,000 of that for clothing. This makes sense for Seymour’s Venus in Leo, who loves to spread it around and have plenty of trendy duds in which to dress, but not for Brant’s Venus in the zodiac sign of Capricorn. Venus in Capricorn people can be tight with a buck, to the point of mean cheapness. Oh, someone with Venus in Capricorn will buy expensive, because quality lasts. I would bet money that Brant has suits from each decade, and recycles them when the style comes back in. He would not understand a constant reshuffling of wardrobe with an unending outflow of resources, just to keep up with the latest trend. With the panic the publishing industry is in with reduced ad revenues, he would naturally be feeling the need to curb expenses. It would be a case of Brant asking “At what price beauty?”

Brant’s claim of Seymour’s drug use is a bid to trade against Connecticut’s option for a fault divorce, “habitual intemperance”. If the Court found such a cause, Seymour would be given a smaller share of the marital assets. Perhaps, he is even trying to prove Seymour is an unfit mother, to gain custody and deny paying her child support.

However, that is unlikely. A stint nine years ago in rehab is hardly going to carry weight in a Family Court. Connecticut’s total emphasis is for mediated resolution to dissolution of marriages, urging participants to put aside personal issues and focus on equitable division of assets and the good and welfare of the children. The Courts are much more sympathetic to parents who put the interests of the children first. This includes not spending time fighting over the dollars and cents and past conduct the court has no interest in hearing.

Transiting Uranus is opposite Seymour’s Uranus, a traditional time to seek a divorce. Uranus is conjunct Brant’s Sun conjunct Mercury, so it is evident there is not going to be a reconciliation. If both were smart, they would employ some post marital counseling to put a period on this relationship and get things settled between them. As it stands now, the only people who are going to make out are the lawyers. Neither one is going to get as much as they feel they deserve and the children need two parents that can participate in their care.
seymour-brant-divorce

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Weekly Astrology Forecast: Connect the Dots

connect-the-dotsThe corridors of power have never been so dimly lit to hide the actions of players. The Sun, recently moving into secretive Scorpio makes a challenge the action planet, Mars, which in turn is in stress aspect (nconjunct) Pluto. Secret meetings and back door deals are part of the disturbing scenario. Laws are passed under the cover of darkness that defy to will of the common people. If you think the elite of Wall Street are going to sit by idle while their salaries are stripped, you would be wrong. But what do we care? We have bread, beer and circuses. (or at least the WWF on pay per view) so all is well with the world even if the repo man is creeping onto your street.

The complex chain of aspects that tell this story are Sun square Mars, Mars inconjunct Pluto, Pluto sextile Neptune, Neptune trine Mercury, Mercury inconjunct Uranus, Uranus opposite Saturn, Saturn inconjunct Jupiter, Jupiter sextile Pluto, Pluto sextile the Sun, and on again in a continuous loop. Even if we connect the dots, will we get the message?

Aries—Why can’t you keep yourself out of trouble, Ram? You rush into ill-advised activities, then hit your own forehead when you realize what a boneheaded thing you did. If you didn’t have such a hard head, you’d have a crushing headache right now.

Taurus—People talk about money, but have their own agenda when they talk about yours. Not only should you not believe everything you hear, you should keep personal financial information close to your vest. Don’t bet on Wall Street.

Gemini—The weekend is great time to socialize with men and women. You could get lucky, but then again, you would anyway, wouldn’t you?

Cancer—Don’t fall for first beautiful Scorpio you see or even the second. Though no one is better than the Crab at managing their murky moods, they are on one of their “seek and destroy” mission this week which could include your heart if you let them.

Leo—You’ve been feeling like a stallion that’s been penned away from the mares. Not only are you eager for action you are willing to do just about anything this week to get it. Don’t. The consequences are greater than you realize.

Virgo—Someone has snookered you into doing their work for them under the guise of “duty”. Workaholic that you are you fall for it. Sometimes it is better to let other people learn lessons on their own.

Libra—Socially lively, you make some connections with some well-connected yet eccentric people. Make the most of this, but realize that they may not stay part of your social circle.

Scorpio– Whether on not you intend on breaking some hearts, this week your love ‘em and leave ‘em style leaves them devastated. Others get hooked on your intensity, which they mistake for personal chemistry. Be gentle to the mere mortals.

Sagitarrius—You manage to stay under the radar while making some impressive moves. You do this with your usual weapons, a glad hand and your usual smile. Make phone calls to further your personal goals.

Capricorn—You are tempted to take risky short cuts to manage a crushing work load,
Unfortunately, nothing will do short of your usually thorough methods so don’t tempt fate by taking a covert path around obstacles.

Aquarius—Money comes into your hands quickly though it is likely to flow out just as fast. Creative activities are moneymakers for you.

Pisces—People dump at lot of work on you suddenly. If they promise you money for doing it, get it in writing, otherwise tell them you have your own Halloween party plan and can’t help right now.

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The Astrology of Finance: Saturn Square Pluto–A Very Capricorn Function

ifrs-vs-gaap
This astrologer wrote this time last year when Jupiter was in Capricorn:

“We have entered a period due to the planet of expansion, Jupiter, being in the sign of constriction, Capricorn and the planet of transformation, Pluto, soon to reenter that sign, when government control of resources will grow more pervasive than ever.
Pluto as a planet talks about power and control, and in its extreme side, theft, rape and gross greed. The theft and rape of economic resources of under the aegis of the government control will never be subtler than with Pluto in the sign of Capricorn. We won’t be dealing with Big Brother; we will be dealing with Big Daddy, and a withholding one at that. All governments will seek to maintain the status quo, a very Capricorn function. To do that more laws will be placed to steal resources from those least able to defend themselves against the system to pay those entities that have an insatiable greed.”

And so it was not with much surprise that in the wake of the U. S. Government seizing control of weaker banks and selling them to the highest bidder, then handing over billions in bail out money to those same banks (such as Bank of America) I received an email asking me if my business was ready to adopt International Financial Reporting Standards, IFRS for short.

Current United States publicly traded companies are required to report profit and loss under GAAP, Generally Accepted Accounting Standards. GAAP is rules based system, where the rules for assets and liabilities are firmly set. There is a line for everything and everything is its on its proper line. It shows you the how much money the company has made. It is very black and white.

IFRS on the other hand is a principles based system. It allows less tangible assets that are not cash and inventory to be added to the value of a company. It is called “fair value accounting”. For instance, software that a company sells as a product has tangible worth, but software that a company uses itself under GAAP would not be so considered. Under IFRS company used software can be considered an asset and added the value of the company. It a system that projects the value of the company as a going concern. INFS is a system that operates under shade of gray.

If we’ve learned anything from Enron and the collapse of the financial markets we’ve learned that we do not need more ambiguity in the reporting of financial strength of a company. American financiers and stock market analysts rely on that information determine whether or not to invest in a company’s stock. Under IFRS though, the black and white, dollars and sense approach to investing will evaporate into a “professional judgement” assessment, an atmosphere that could trade heavily into insider’s knowledge of the true strength of a company. In other words, those who travel in the corridors of financial power will be in a position to reap the greatest benefits while average Americans with their 401K’s meant for their retirement could be left in cold with lukewarm financial information..

Though our SEC top dog, Mary Shapiro urges caution and a slower timeline in adopting INFS, she is pitted against the likes of Paul Volcker, chairman of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board formed by President Obama. Volcker wants INFS adopted as quickly as possible.

As Saturn prepares to enter the zodiac sign of law and justice, Libra, it will make a challenge aspect to the planet of control, Pluto. Whether the people step up to plate and voice their opinions about the loosey goosey financial dealings of the government to lobby for laws that protect the interests of Americans is entirely up to us. Otherwise, we’ll be fed the same pabulum of “let’s make the financiers happy and we’ll all be happy”. Yep. That’s worked so well in the past.

If you have a question you would answered on these pages, please send your birth date, birth time and birth place along with your question starrynightastro@aol.com. Sorry, time limitations prevent me from answering other than a single question.

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Weekly Forecast: Fear of Flying, Fear of Dying & The Only Thing to Fear

saturn-in-libraDuring the seventies, women were on the frontiers of cultural change. It was a heady time, where the definitions of a woman’s role in society were scrutinized, debated and contested. Pluto was in Libra speaking about our fears about our social relationships.

Erica Jong’s work, “Fear of Flying” came out at the time. The protagonist, Isadora Wing, went on quest, though she herself did not see it that way, to face her fears regarding life and her relationships through a sexual romp through Europe. She fantasized about anonymous sexual encounters coining a term that is a little too graphic for this Venus in Capricorn gal. Yet she glorified it for these reasons:

[It} is absolutely pure. It is free of ulterior motives. There is no power game. The man is not “taking” and the woman is not “giving.” No one is attempting to cuckold a husband or humiliate a wife. No one is trying to prove anything or get anything out of anyone. [It] is the purest thing there is. And it is rarer than the unicorn. And I have never had one.

Such a declaration was social heresy at the time. The fear was that if women broke from their proscribed roles, were actually free to pursue sexual relationships as they desired, society itself would fail.

That, of course, never happened. Despite the free wheeling sexuality of some notable celebrities, the wedding business is still booming and the divorce lawyers still have lots of business. But this is one aspect of Pluto, to magnify our fears.

Saturn in health conscious Virgo has been in an out of sign square to Pluto in Capricorn since September. During this time we’ve been wrangling with national health care reform and have yet come to a consensus. There is a lot of fear talk centered on this debate, which is a function of Saturn. One of the talking fear points centered on so called “death panels” reflecting a fear of dying of which the Saturn/Pluto square speaks. As Saturn moves into Libra and the challenge to and from Pluto becomes more acute, our fear of dying will be kicked into high gear. From Health Care reform to the U. S. Financial crisis, no matter what happens, we need to remember “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Society is not going to fail and the world is not going to end. As Saturn in Libra tells us, don’t let your fear of dying guide your actions. Act on the facts, not your emotions.

Aries—So you have fantasies about running away. Who doesn’t? Resist the urge to kick up your heels in response to difficulties in your relationships.

Taurus—You like to be cautious, but other people want to move quickly. Don’t allow yourself to be swept away by the enthusiasm of others.

Gemini—Everyone is urging you to do something different. Your friends want you to hang out; authority figures want you to stretch your wings. What do you want to do?

Cancer—Even though you have a major decision to make, you swing so wildly from end of it to another you are confused as to what to do. Ask Virgo what you should do.

Leo—Pushing a relationship too hard can have some harsh consequences. Ease up. You’ll get farther.

Virgo—The more things change, the more they stay the same. Whole chunks of your life are changing now. Striving to remain in control will only make things more difficult for you to get life back to normal.

Libra—This week you get by with a little help from your friends. Aren’t you glad you’ve cultivated such a large group of them?

Scorpio—There is another Alpha dog crossing your turf. You tend to be a might possessive about your and yours, sometimes even claiming things that you definitely do not own. To get along, you need to make due with claiming a little less.

Sagittarius–A variety of outdoor and indoor sports occupy your attention this week. Do I have to draw you a picture? Come up for air to answer your cell phone once in a while.

Capricorn—Someone wants you to act more aggressively, but your instincts tell you to hold back, definitely a “conflict of interest”! Some friends can give you good advice on how to handle the situation.

Aquarius—Like it or not the spotlight is on you this week. People tell you to chill out then fuss at you for not being aggressive enough. Fortunately, you have people that have got your back and who will help out when needed.

Pisces—Money pressures continue to ratchet up the stress. You alternate between being meanly frugal and extraordinarily extravagant. Get a grip and make a plan.

For another forecast, Julie Demboski talks about the upcoming New Moon here.

Photo published under a Creative Commons License from Flickr.

If you have a question you would answered on these pages, please send your birth date, birth time and birth place along with your question starrynightastro@aol.com. Sorry, time limitations prevent me from answering other than a single question.

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Horoscopes & Astrology: How Did 2009 Turn Out for You?

sun-signs

Well, it happened. We blinked and 2009 is just about over. Before I spend the next month preparing my horoscopes for 2010. I thought I’d ask my readers how close I hit the mark this past year. Below is 2009’s predictions. Take a look and make a comment. You can be honest, I am an Aquarian, afterall. To encourage you to do so, each comment will be entered into a drawing for a $20.00 gift card to Amazon.com. For my international friends, where an Amazon gift card wouldn’t work, I’ll have a nifty book for you. Now before you get too excited, before I dole out my hard earned cash, there needs to be at least 10 comments submitted before the gift card is awarded, so tell your friends, and send them over. There is a time limit too, and the deadline is midnight, one week from today, October 21, 2009. Even if you don’t win the drawing, there are still two months worth of predictions left on the 2009 books, so its not a total loss. On to the 2009 horoscopes:

Aries—You’ve a marvelous opportunity to make sweeping changes in your life during 2009. The cycle of change that started with last year’s eclipses in February is refueled by two eclipses in late January, both in the sign of Aquarius, a zodiac sign who understands the Ram’s need take on impossible obstacles, or just act impossibly for a little while. Aquarius likes to shake things up just for the fun of it, and you, dear Aries, like nothing more than a thrill ride. But life isn’t all fun and games, despite your propensity to treat it as such. In July a new cycle will start for you. For the rest of the year it will starkly highlight the importance of family and your responsibilities to it. Your challenge will be to step up to plate without feeling like you are cornered.

Taurus—You don’t mind change, just as long as it doesn’t happen to you. Despite the fact that the Universe has gently being trying to change your mindset, ala Pisces in Uranus, you aren’t willing to step out on that ledge just yet. As a result, you’ve experience a set of odd circumstances in the past year. Strange physical symptoms appeared out of blue, affecting your bones and your feet, give you grief, and then disappear as mysteriously as they came. Its not all in your head as your doctor believes, but in your soul, as your inner self struggles with your physical self to pay attention to your spiritual needs. Even those who have paid attention are a bit confused, because the spiritual journey is not like a trip to the beach, which has a beginning and end point. There is no beginning, there is no end, and life is exactly what you want to make of it. What do you want to make of it? In June Venus and Mars enters your sign, nudging you to put down some strong financial roots of your own. There is nothing wrong with seeking the spiritual through material means as long as you handle it correctly.

Gemini—What’s the buzz, Gemini? You’ve got all the good gossip. Now who is gossiping about you? The fact is that for most of the year, everyone is keeping an eye on the “big show” revolving your key relationship. Either someone is trying to hang onto you, are you are trying to hang onto an impossible situation. In April, you will discover, much to your dismay that the key to personal growth is to “let go and let God”. Since God is more or less an abstract concept to you, it is hard for you to reconcile this spiritual concept with your thinking processes. In July however you begin to see the light when some interesting new people cross your path. Be careful not to land yourself in the same situation as for the rest of the year, you are prone to keep repeating the same habit patterns. Real progress will only be made if you see yourself as an individual with a life to share, instead of a person who shares someone else’s.

Cancer-February is an important month for you as you take on additional responsibilities that end up changing your life in a welcome way. Not usually the first one to step up to the plate to change the status quo, this time you welcome a change in your status and your role. In March you may think you’ve taken on too much and in April you are rushing around way too much to get everything done. Yet everything turns out all good at the end of April when you start feeling much more comfortable in your new role. August has you feeling a money pinch; so before it gets to that point, start putting some money by for that rainy day. In November things are working out marvelously, but you fret anyway. Can anything be this good and stay that way? Yes it can. All you need to do is have faith in yourself and things will work out just fine.

Leo—This year has you taking on an old role that you thought you had outgrown. Surprise Leo, the Universe needs your talents once again. You are not sure you want to do this yet again, but truth be told, there is a sense of fate about this situation. February and March has you none too happy, as you deal with one left field pop up fly after another when you are trying to play center field. You get some support from Venus and Mars for the spring of the year as they form a friendly aspect to your Sun. At least you have the energy to deal with challenges and there is a hope of money coming in. The summer has you languishing in the office instead of by the pool, which annoys you to no end. The Lion needs the sun! All hell breaks loose in August, but for everyone else, not you. You needn’t worry; you’ll know exactly what to do. The time you’ve been spending at work though causes some stress in your key relationship, so remember to pay some attention to things on the home front. Remember that money can’t buy love, at least at respectable places. November has you stressing over the back stabbing antics of someone you thought was a friend. Being generous over the holidays is a good way to smooth over the stresses of the year.

Virgo—Whether you like it or not, the Universe has decided that it is time for you to strike out on your own and make your mark. No more hiding behind the kitchen cupboards or a good book. You are to stand on your own two feet, thank you very much. This is no more or no less an exercise in realizing not just your potential but also your faith in yourself. It will take most of the first part of the year for you to realize that this is for your own good, but in May the clouds break and things seem to be much easier. Though you continue to buck and whine about your circumstances, (because Virgo has such a talent to act the martyr) you are being made to realize that there are some benefits to your current situation. August can be a real mess, with things zinging at you from all directions. Plan to have back-up plans for the back up plans. The last quarter of the year has you yearning for freedom though you still cling to the past. Maybe it’s time to figure out what you really want.

Libra—You got two burning hot issues this year. Love and money. A new offbeat or foreign friend catches your eye. On one hand this person is totally unsuitable. On the other hand, there is something magical about this person, the glint in their eye, the way they smile at you. Libra loves nothing more than a good romance and it doesn’t have to be with the marrying kind, though that is your first choice. However, you are hesitant to take the plunge, with good reason, though don’t be surprised if this person keeps buzzing in and out of your social circle through out the year. In February, you get a first glimpse of money troubles as Christmas bills come rolling in. In March, rumored changes in the workplace ups your angst over finances. It’s all just a bit too much, and April has you tripping over your own feet with. Fatigue and April you are just plain run down. June’s first blush of summer brightens your mood, though family obligations and finances have you taking short trips instead of your usual vacation. Throughout the fall and early winter, Mr. or Ms Unusual shows up yet again. Is this a love that can last? Only the New Year will tell.

Scorpio—In late February someone pops out of the blue and strikes a romantic spark in your heart, though duties and responsibilities keep you from immediately pursing this cutie. In March you find out you is one of pack that is pursuing this person, which only kicks up your competitive nature. In March, however, you find yourself separated from this person by either unusual circumstances or distance, and the hope of a lasting romance becomes a fond memory. If it is a move from your current locale, you find yourself in your new situation at odds with the people and the clime. In April you find yourself moving from place to place, and without a secure home base you feel very unsettled. In May, a younger person’s actions set you on edged. You find yourself treading carefully the rest of year, but Scorpionic stealth and cunning carry your through. In June, money issues takes up most of your attention. Have you overspent, Scorpio? In July money issues settle down, but you find yourself having to put a younger person in their place, though by September, things should be worked out nicely. In December, Venus comes into your sign to point the way to a long lasting relationship.

Sagittarius—Your relationships will be tested this year, as the need for personal freedom clashes with your need to take care of your responsibilities. Sagittarius never likes to be tied down anyway, so this year you will be working on what it is you need to do as opposed to what you’d like to do. In February you have the urge to chuck everything and go your own way, and some of you Archers do. However, you can’t escape what it is for which you are responsible. In March, fuzzy thinking gets you into trouble; in April you’ll spend a lot of time trying to sort it out. May has you hooking up with a new love interest, but as usual, flirting with danger has its downside. This doesn’t stop you; however, as you like things a little down and dirty just to spice things up. In July, you find yourself feeling a bit run down. August finds you back in the harness again, and you aren’t too happy about it. In September you are willing to risk everything for love, but maybe you should rethink this position. During the holidays you are feeling recharged and ready for action. Watch out world!

Capricorn—Things are going so well for you that you are waiting for other shoe to drop. Stop waiting and take advantage of the many opportunities waiting for you this year. February brings a fascinating new love interest, though you should remember that al that glitters is not gold. April brings a lucrative deal, which you should snap up. Looking at the teeth of this horse will only waste time. In May you try too hard to repeat the success of last month. One of your ilk came up with the rhyme “a stitch in time saves nine,” which you should heed. In June you are working as hard as ever, but new bosses don’t quite see your worth. Family responsibilities take up your time in July, and seem to work out by the end of August, but raise their ugly head again in September. The last quarter of the year has you wondering if you’ve done the right thing as you waiver between one position or another of a decision you need to make. Whatever it is won’t be resolved this year, but it gives you something to start on for the New Year.

Aquarius—This should be a lucky year for you Aquarius, as the planet of abundance, Jupiter sweeps through your zodiac sign this year. You might not appreciate the high regard your employers place on you, since their form of flattery only ends up being more work for you. In March you’ll have an opportunity to make more money, though don’t blink before you make a decision. In April and May some disappointing news sets you back a bit. When the Sun rolls around to Gemini in June, you’ll feel on top of the word again. July has you fretting over work and family obligations. Usually you can make one balance against the other, but not this month. August and September has you itching to get away from it all. October is more hospitable for you, offering you some opportunities make some new friends, though in November, someone dastardly upsets your applecart. No matter, December has opportunities for you to make love and money, and that’s a wonderful way to end the year.

Pisces—Most of this year has you struggling with responsibilities you’d rather not have. You might find yourself contemplating some radical plans to free yourself from these obligations. But wandering off into the Sunset isn’t going to help you in the long run. Where you run to is likely to have the same problems as the place you left. Radical changes in your life, no matter where you are a likely to have a sobering effect on will-o-the-wisp Pisces especially in April. May has some opportunities for you to connect with some stable and comforting people, perhaps your parents or some other family members. In July you spend some time with these folks, which is a balm to your soul. August gives you an opportunity to gain financially, but this is likely to flow out as soon as comes in. September finds you at odds with some authority figures that have pushed you a bit too far. In October you are feeling better, but you stlll feel the strain of dealing with an extra helping of responsibilities. In November if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. The holidays bring some excitement in your love life, and after this year, you are due a treat. Have fun!

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Celtic Astrology Working the Modern World: The Month of Ivy

fairies-and-moonFor ancient Celtic tribes, October is the Moon of Ivy, the evergreen plant that is said to harbor fairies dancing in its abundant folds. This association with fairies, an immortal race that rides the backs of butterflies, invokes the themes of the timelessness of the soul, physical death and resurrection. It is the time of Samhain, (Sow’ when) when the veil between this world and the next thins and those sensitive enough can communicate with the souls of the departed.

For the astrological significance of this moon we turn to the book the Celtic Lunar Zodiac by Helena Paterson,published in 1992 , a painstaking and rich work that recreates the meaning of the lost Celtic Calendar.

“Astrological rulership is partly designated to the moon, for in esoteric astrology the sun and moon are said to veil or eclipse hidden planets. The moon in the month of the ivy is therefore veiling a hidden planet yet to be discovered, and which, according the ancients, lies on the other side of Pluto. The of name of Persephone has been chosen because of the evidence for this planet . . . This choice of name is not by chance, but fits into the mythological cycle of the planets in our universe. In Greek mythology, Persephone, daughter of Ceres, the great earth mother goddess, was kidnapped by Pluto, god of the underworld, forced to remain with him for six months of the year.”

This planet was discovered in 2003, but not named Persephone. It is now called Sedna, the Inuit Goddess of the Sea, who among other things, demands a shaman to visit her from time to time in her watery depths, to tell her stories and comb her long beautiful hair. In return her allows her sea children, the seals and the whales, be hunted for food. Sedna was transmuted into the Goddess of the Sea by the betrayal of her father. He murdered her rather than face the wrath of Sedna’s demon husband. Persephone’s story is that she was forced into marriage to the powerful god of the Underworld who kidnapped, then raped her, to make her his bride.

In the story of Persephone and Sedna the common theme is that they faced the overwhelming force of the male principal as controllers of womens’ destinies, those that will use any means, murder, kidnapping, rape, to secure what they desire.

The Month of Ivy is a time of examination of what had gone before and a time a prophecy to see what it is to come. It is a time to look at the darker places of our soul. Maybe this is why of all months, for us Americans, October, in the natural synchronicity that governs our lives October is designated Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

This month we look at an ugly side for the life of some Americans, the abuse of family members at the hands of their significant others. This hidden side of women’s lives masks a bigger problem, that of a cultural dynamic that is so out of balance that one in four American women are subject to violence at the hands of their partners. However this is a world wide problem. In Afghanistan, one in nine women are abused.

The Celtic peoples strove to maintain balance in their lives with dire consequences if it was not maintained. The story of Branwen, the abused wife of the High King of Ireland, demonstrated the serious consequences of not valuing women. In the end, not just her and her husband’s families but two nations lay in ruin. This is a lesson to bring forward to our time, and something to reflect on during the Month of Ivy.

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The Astrology of Neptune: The Devil You Know

Do you know someone who fits this description? “God doesn’t want him, and the Devil thinks he’s competition.”

The Irish legend of the Jack-O-Latern describes just one such person, Jack the Smith.

As the story goes, several centuries ago amongst the myriad of towns and villages in Ireland there lived a drunkard known as “Jack the Smith”. Good time boy Jack was a deceiver and manipulator. The Devil overheard the tale of Jack’s evil deeds and silver-tongue. Unconvinced and a bit envious of the rumors, the Devil went to find out for himself whether or not Jack lived up to his vile reputation.

Typical of Jack, he was drunk and wandering through the countryside at night when he came upon a body on the road. Overturning the body, Jack found the Devil leering at him with an eerie grimace. Jack realized the Devil had come to collect his malevolent soul but Jack had no intention of facing heavenly judgement or the fires of hell. Meeting the Devil like an old friend he wheedled and flattered the Father of Lies so that the Devil was feeling like the Jack was a kindred soul. Wiley Jack made a last request, to get one more drink before he was carted to Hell. The Devil fascinated with this human incarnation of himself, escorted him to the local pub where Jack proceeded to tie one on. Jack entertained Beelezebub, with his drunken tales for many hours. But it became obvious to the Devil, that Jack had no intention a stopping at one, two or even three drinks and he called for the tab to wind up his business with the drunkard. When the tab came due, Jack, of course, found himself a bit short. Jack to the Devil’s surprise asked him to pay the tab. The Devil, of course, had no means to pay himself. Jack then convinced the Devil to pull a trick on the bartender and metamorphose into a silver coin with which to pay. Shrewdly, Jack stuck the now transmogrified devil coin into his pocket, which also contained a crucifix. The Devil, bound by the crucifix was unable to escape his form. Stuck he agreed to a demand of Jack that his soul be spared for ten years in exchange for the Devil’s freedom.

Exactly ten years to the date upon which Jack originally struck his deal, the devil once again found him and demanded his due. Again Jack had no intention of going to Hell, and using all his loquacious wiles convinced the Devil to climb an apple tree to retrieve one of the fruits. Once the Devil was in the tree, Jack stuck a bunch of crucifixes in the ground around the tree, stranding the infuriated demon in its branches. Jack demanded that the Devil never take him into Hell, and Satan reluctantly agreed.

Jack eventually died, but because of his sinful ways was not admitted to heaven. He wandered in the dark and lonely spaces between this life and the next, having no place to go, and no rest for his soul. Figuring it was better to suffer in hell, than suffer alone, in desperation he came to the gates of hell seeking admittance among his own kind. Standing before the entrance of his dominion, the Devil laughed at Jack, taunting him. “You thought you were so clever, tricking me. Now you see that you have tricked yourself out of your last refuge. By our own agreement I can’t let you inside these gates. But to remind you forever on of your folly, here is an ember of my fiery dominion, for you to carry as you wander alone through eternity.”

Jack put the ember in a hollowed out turnip, and wanders still, with the fragment of the fires of hell illuminating his face with its ghastly light.

Jack’s story is a Halloween tale illustrative of how the planet of illusion, Neptune, works in our lives. Neptune in its most enlightened form can lead us literally to heaven, but it also capable of great deception. It is the planet that rules all forms of lies, self-destructive behavior and substance abuse. Jack deceived himself into believing he could escape the consequences of his behavior. Whether we follow the path of enlightenment or the path of self-deception, Neptune teaches us about our individual illusions. It just might show you the devil you know.


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