A Skydiving Accident

Thursday, 31 July 2014: I woke this morning to the clock radio announcing that a young correction’s officer had died in a skydiving accident on Long Island, not far across the Sound from where I live in Connecticut.  The young man, who would have turned 26 years old today, fell to his death yesterday due to a parachute failure. According to the NY Daily News, the deceased man’s mother “told the Daily News that she was supposed to be celebrating her son Gary’s 26th birthday on Thursday, but was instead gathering with family reeling over the Medford man’s death.”

As an astrologer, I wondered about the young man’s chart and about what was going on in his solar return which was about to transpire.  Given his occupation (correction officer) and his fondness for excitement, risk and speed (skydiving), I speculated that he must have a prominent Mars, an emphasis on Pluto, and probably lots of fire in his chart (from his late July birth date I already knew that his sun was in Leo).  The time of birth is not known, so I cast a general sunrise chart for the place of his place of residence.


Skydiver, sunrise, time unknown, Placidus houses

Skydiver, sunrise, time unknown, Placidus houses

As expected, he has five planets in fire signs: Sun, Mercury, Mars, Uranus and Saturn.  Thus, 50% of his natal planets are expressed through the fire element, which is associated with enthusiasm, risk-taking and a fondness for adventure.  He has three planets in their home signs: Sun in Leo, Mars in Aries, and Pluto in Scorpio.  (Mars is the traditional ruler of Scorpio, and Pluto is its modern ruler.)  Mars in Aries is usually fond of competition, risk-taking, speed, adventure, and adrenaline rushes.  In the sunrise chart, Mars happens to be in the Placidus 9th house, which governs air travel.  Pluto in the Placidus 4th house of endings stressfully squares his natal sun in Leo.

Now let’s look at his solar return of today, calculated on the basis of his sunrise chart since we don’t know the actual birth time.

Solar Return 2014 based on sunrise chart.

Solar Return 2014 based on sunrise chart.

The most significant planets in a solar return are the angular planets.  Here Jupiter is almost exactly on the MC, which would typically mean a year of career opportunities and advancement.  Unfortunately, Jupiter is squared by Mars, powerfully placed in Scorpio in the 1st house of the body.  Mercury in the 9th (and ruling the 9th of air travel) is also conjunct the solar return MC and receives the square from Mars in the 1st.  Mars square Mercury is often an indicator of accidents related to travel or speed.  Saturn also in Scorpio occupies the first house (physical integrity of the body).  The presence of both traditional malefics in the 1st house of the return warns of possible health problems during the year, especially because Mars rules the 6th house of illness in the return.

Venus rules the solar return Ascendant and is thus a symbol of his bodily well-being.  Venus in the 9th of air travel receives an opposition from Pluto in the 3rd of local travel.  This Venus-Pluto opposition is squared by Uranus (sudden disruption, accidents) in Aries in the 6th of health problems.  This powerful T-square formation involving the 3rd, 6th and 9th houses warns against taking risks while doing any form of traveling because of the likelihood of an accident (Uranus) affecting health (6th) and bodily integrity (Venus ruling ASC of solar return).

Given the turn of events, the symbolism of the general sunrise chart and its solar return are quite striking.

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Ponerse las pilas

Anthony Louis:

An interesting phrase in Spanish.

Originally posted on Expresiones españolas para Erasmus en apuros:

A lo mejor habéis escuchado alguna vez a alguien decir: chico, ponte las pilas! No es que las personas tengamos ningún hueco para enchufarnos una batería ni nada por el estilo, pero bueno, metafóricamente podría decirse que sí.

Hay momentos en los que estamos como apagados, que nos dormimos o que simplemente nos relajamos y no hacemos las cosas que se supone que deberíamos hacer. Y claro, el tiempo pasa, los exámenes llegan, los plazos de entrega de proyectos se van cumpliendo o simplemente el resto de la gente avanza en su vida y nosotros no.

Pues ante cualquiera de estas situaciones nos pueden decir: PONTE LAS PILAS! Es decir, venga, ánimo, o te mueves o te quedas atrás.

Vayamos con los ejemplos. La fecha del próximo examen se acerca y no hemos estudiado nada. Pues o te pones las pilas y estudias o suspenderás! Otro ejemplo. Van pasando los…

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An interesting electional chart

On Thursday, 12 June 2014, a friend in New York called to ask about a best time to leave for the airport the following day.  She and her husband were going to attend a conference in the UK, and their flight was due to leave on Friday evening from JFK airport.  Because of their busy schedules and the time of the flight, they could only leave their apartment between 4 and 5 pm to arrive at JFK on time.

I quickly checked the chart for the 1-hour range of time which they allowed for their departure and realized that there was no way to avoid retrograde Saturn in Scorpio in the 1st house.  Generally, I would not start any project with retrograde Saturn in the 1st.  In her essay on Considerations Before Judgment, the noted horary astrologer Sue Ward summaries Lilly’s thinking about Saturn in the 1st (emphases mine):

Saturn in the 1st house: this Consideration is preceded by the phrase: The Arabians … doe deliver these following rules, as very fit to be considered … which is also the case for Saturn in the 7th house, the ruler of the ascendant combust and the ruler of the 7th unfortunate. …  The chart on page 437 [of Christian Astrology, 1647], has Saturn retrograde in the 1st house. This question, If he should obtaine the parsonage desired?, was rather distasteful to Lilly, since he disliked the priest and his reasons for asking. Nonetheless, he judges the chart and, in fact, uses this placing of Saturn to describe the querent’s conditions: Saturn is impedited in the ascendant, and by his presence infortunates the question, causing the querent to despaire in the obtaining of it.  So, he [Lilly] agrees that Saturn here is afflicting the chart as a whole and certainly the priest was advised by Lilly not to proceed with the matter and did not obtain the parsonage. It ended unfortunately, in that the priest did go ahead and was subsequently reported anonymously for some liaison with a woman, ruining his chance of getting the post.”

Seeing Saturn Rx in the 1st, I thought there would be some significant delays or problems with the trip.  Since they had a limited time period in which to leave, I looked for a way to minimize or alleviate the potentially adverse significance of the 1st house Saturn.  In cases like this, I find that maximizing the positive effect of the Part of Fortune is useful.  Fortunately there was a brief period around 4:45 pm during which Venus and the Part of Fortune occupied the same degree of the zodiac.  Since Venus is the lesser benefic and was not particularly afflicted in the chart, I advised her to leave to JFK at 4:45 pm.  At this time, Jupiter, which was exalted in Cancer, occupied the 9th house of long-distance travel — another very positive factor for a trip abroad.  Here is the chart for the elected time of departure:

Leave for JFK, Friday, July 13th 2014, at 4:45 pm, NYC.  Placidus houses.

Leave for JFK, Friday, July 13th 2014, at 4:45 pm, NYC. Placidus houses.

The result was that the plane was delayed at JFK.  When it finally got onto the runway, a passenger became ill and the plane had to return to the terminal so that the passenger could deplane and receive medical attention.  (Note Uranus in Aries on the cusp of the 6th of illness opposite Mars in Libra on the cusp of the 12th of undoing.)

When my friend arrived at her hotel in the UK, she discovered that there had been a mixup with the reservation and no room was available.  (Note the Aquarius cusp of the 4th house of lodging is ruled by retrograde Saturn in the 1st and also lies in the Mercury decan of Aquarius with Mercury retrograde in Cancer in the 8th.)  The hotel was able to help my friend find lodging at a nearby hotel which was not as nice as the one she hoped to stay at.  The change is lodging also cost them more money than they had planned to spend.

Otherwise the trip went well.  She and her husband had a good time, and she enjoyed the conference they were attending.  They returned safely to NYC.  Had she consulted me well in advance of the trip, I would have advised her not to plan a trip which starts with retrograde Saturn rising in the 1st house.

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Suarez bites Italian defender

Uruguay’s Luis Suarez made headlines for biting an Italian rival at the World Cup this week in Brazil, after which Suarez grabbed his teeth in pain.  Apparently the Italian’s shoulder was tougher to chew than Suarez expected.  This is what wikipedia says about him:

  • Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz is a Uruguayan footballer who plays as a forward for Premier League club Liverpool and the Uruguayan national team. In 2006, Suárez moved to the Netherlands to play for Groningen in the Eredivisie.
  • Born: January 24, 1987 (age 27), Salto, Uruguay
  • Salary: 10 million GBP (2014)

When I heard the news about the aggressive biting, I expected to see a strong and afflicted Mars in his natal chart.  Here is his natal chart for 12 Noon (time unknown) with solar sign houses:

Uruguay's Luis Suarez Noon chart, time unknown.

Uruguay’s Luis Suarez Noon chart, time unknown.

Mars is quite strong as the red planet lies in Aries the Ram, a sign which it rules. Rams like to butt heads. Mars is nicely sextile Mercury, which is often seen in the charts of athletes who rely on  speed, agility, and physical dexterity.  His Mars is quincunx Pluto in Scorpio, which is also ruled by Mars.  Pluto is a planet of intense power and emotion, and modern astrologers grant Pluto rulership of the sign Scorpio.  Scorpions have a painful sting and can at times be vindictive.

If he were born prior to 7:35 PM, his Moon would also be in Scorpio.  Because of the Moon’s close tie to alimentation, I suspect that Suarez’s Moon acutally does lie in Scorpio. In addition, snakes as well as scorpions are associated with the sign Scorpio, and snakes are feared for their venomous bites.

Solar Fire delineates Mars quincunx Pluto as “your intense energy is not always appreciated by fellow workers …”  It always amazes me how the astrological symbolism plays out in real life.  I doubt that the Italian player with the bite on his shoulder appreciated the intense energy displayed by Luis Suarez.  My only hope is that Suarez is up-to-date on his rabies shots.

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Podcasts from Spain

I just came across this site and it looks like an excellent way to improve one’s grasp of the Spanish language:


Here is the blurb quoted verbatim from their title page:

Bienvenido a podcastfromSpain.com el sitio donde podrás aprender español online de forma gratuita  a través de conversaciones en podcast, ejercicios sobre el audio y explicaciones sobre frases clave que podrás estudiar en Español . Los podcasts tratan sobre distintos temas y están divididos por niveles: principiante (A1-A2), intermedio (B1-B2) y avanzado (C1-C2).

Welcome to podcastfromSpain.com the place where you’ll be able to learn Spanish online for free while you listen to podcast conversations, do exercises to test your comprehension of the audio and read explanations about key sentences that you will be able study in Spanish. The podcasts cover different topics and are targeted to three levels of study: beginner (A1-A2), intermediate (B1-B2) y advanced (C1-C2). 

También podrás leer y conocer la cultura española a través de nuestro blog donde iremos publicando curiosidades y costumbres de España.  ¡No te lo pierdas!

You can also learn about the Spanish culture through our blog where we post interesting articles about the customs of Spain. Don’t miss it! 

Si quieres sugerirnos algún tema para nuestros podcasts o para el blog, ponte en contacto con nosotros y no olvides que puedes comentar en cada podcasts, así practicas tu español escrito, ¡nosotros te lo corregiremos!

If you want to suggest a topic for our podcast or blog, feel free to contact us and don’t forgot that you can leave a comment below the podcast.  You will be able to practice your Spanish writting and we’ll correct it for you. 


A different and also excellent site which I have used for many years is  http://www.audiria.com/

“Audiria is an online tool which freely supports your learning of Spanish, offering podcasts to increase your knowledge of the language.”



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Alan Turing and Divinatory Ethics

Genius codebreaker and computer science pioneer, Alan Turing, committed suicide by cyanide poisoning on June 7, 1954.  This week marks the 60th anniversary of his death.  Turing’s downhill psychological course began when Turing’s house was burglarized on January 23, 1952.  The police investigation revealed that the man who committed the robbery was sexually involved with Turning.  Homosexual activity was regarded as a crime in the UK at the time.  Turning was mandated to take hormone injections to reduce his libido and to enter therapy with a psychiatrist.

When authors Patrick Sammon and Paul Sen interviewed the daughter of Turing’s Jungian psychoanalyst, she told the following story about Turing’s visit to a fortune teller during a visit Turing made with Dr. Greenbaum’s family to Blackpool, an English seaside resort several weeks before his suicide:

“she remembers that Turing had turned up wearing a school blazer and trousers that were far too short for him.  Of their trip to the seaside, she told us, ‘There was a fortune teller’s tent on the promenade and Alan decided that he would like to go in and see the fortune teller.  And he went in there and he was gone for a little while and he came out and we looked at him, and he was ashen faced, absolutely horrified expression on his face.  He wouldn’t divulge what had happened, what the woman had said to him.  He was desperately, desperately unhappy.  And he didn’t say anything more after that.’”

The timing of the visit to the fortune teller several weeks before his suicide and Turing’s noticeable worsening of mood immediately after seeing the fortune teller suggests that something she said to him was quite upsetting.  This story is a cautionary tale for anyone who practices divination and does consultations for others.

Alan Turing was born on June 23, 1912 at St. Leonard’s-on-Sea in East Sussex.  According to AstroDataBank, Turing’s mother gave 2:15 AM as his birthtime, so it has a  Rodden rating of A (from memory).  Here is his natal chart with Placidus houses:

Alan Turing natal chart with Placidus houses.

The most striking feature of this chart is Uranus on the MC, an indicator of his prominence in the field of computer science.

In the Whole Sign and the Regiomontanus house systems, Saturn rules his 8th house of death and occupies his 12th house of self-undoing.  In the Placidus system, Jupiter rules his 8th cusp and lies on this DSC where Jupiter closely opposes his ASC, a symbol of his physical body and its vitality.

Mercury rules his ASC and is closely quincunx Jupiter, ruler of the Placidus 8th cusp.  In June of 1954 (the month of his suicide), a solar eclipse occurred at 8 Cancer 10.  During this solar eclipse there was a conjunction of transiting Sun, Moon and 8th-ruler Jupiter which fell exactly on his natal ASC-ruler Mercury.

In addition, in his primary directions for the summer of 1954, using the Placidus semi-arc method with the Naibod measure, his converse primary directed Mercury (ASC ruler) formed a square to his natal Jupiter (8th house ruler).


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Learning from Chiron, the wounded healer (part 2) by Heather Eggleston

Anthony Louis:

This is a nicely done description of Chiron through the signs of the zodiac.

Originally posted on sphereheals:

  1. To begin take an inventory of why you are drawn to energy healing. Is it to heal a physical, emotional, or spiritual illness in yourself? Is it to pass healing to others? Is it to save the world? Is it to help heal someone you love? Is it to be a superhero? Be honest in your answers. Self-healing requires brutal honesty and recognition the answers are more complex than they may seem on the surface.

  2. Then look at your closest relationships. Are you the person everyone calls when they need something? Do you feel like your relationships are balanced with an easy flow of give and take? Do you get what you need from your partner, friends, and family members? Do you feel heard and valued for yourself in your relationships? How many of your relationships would you call “healthy”? How many are not?

  3. Next look at your traits. Do…

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