Saturn meets Pluto, revisited

Back in 2012 I ran into a series of charts of people I knew and those in the news, in which transiting Saturn was crossing natal Pluto.  This is often quite a difficult transit.  I posted a couple of these chart in a blog entitled Irresistible Force Meets Rigid Obstacle. One of the charts was that of the Oakland A’s pitcher Brandon McCarthy who was hit in the head by a line drive.  He suffered an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture, which required head surgery.  Saturn symbolizes hard structures, including the human cranium.

Recently the case of Otto Warmbier has been in the news.  Otto is the university student who foolishly traveled to North Korea despite State Department warnings.  He toyed with a poster in his hotel and was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in a brutal North Korean detention camp.  We learned this week that he has been in a coma for the past year and is likely to be brain dead.

Here is his sunrise chart with Placidus houses for his birth place, time unknown:


Otto has his Sun, Moon, Mercury and Jupiter in fire signs, suggesting an adventurous and daredevil nature.  He may have viewed travel to North Korea, despite the dangers, as a personal challenge.  His natal Pluto/Jupiter conjunction indicates someone who wants to live life to the fullest, even if it involves taking risks.

Comments by Otto’s father confirm these chart factors.  According to Wikipedia:
“Fred Warmbier stated that his son Otto was traveling in China at the end of 2015 when he saw a company offering trips to North Korea. He decided to go because he is adventurous, according to his father, who accused the tour operator of specifically targeting young Westerners with slogans like, ‘This is the trip your parents don’t want you to take!'”

Otto made the decision to go to North Korea toward the end of his 2014-2015 Solar Return year.  If we superimpose his Solar Return on his natal chart we see a striking Saturn/Pluto conjunction, nearly exact, on the cusp of the sunrise chart 12th house of confinement and undoing during this period:


As I commented in the 2012 post, “Pluto symbolizes powerful or explosive forces.  Saturn symbolizes laws, rules, barriers, obstacles, gravity, and governmental authority.  When transiting Saturn meets natal Pluto, we are often confronted with the limits imposed by laws, either man-made or natural.”  Clashes with powerful natural forces or with governmental regulations are common during this transit.

In Otto’s natal chart Pluto intensifies his natal Jupiter in Sagittarius, which seeks adventure and disregards risk.  Transiting Saturn, especially in a Solar Return, throws a monkey wrench into the process.  The unfortunate manifestation in this case was imprisonment and a medical state of coma, both of which are symbolized by the presence of this configuration on the sunrise chart’s 12th house cusp.



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Tiger Woods’ Arrest for Alleged DUI

woods police

At 2:49 AM on Monday (Memorial Day) 29 May 2017 Tiger Woods was arrested in Jupiter Florida for an alleged DUI, which he blamed on prescription medications.  Here is his natal chart surrounded by the transits for the incident.

woods dui

What is striking about this chart is that the transiting Mars/Saturn opposition is exact at the time of the arrest and conjoins his MC/IC axis.  In the natal chart Mars rules his 3rd house of local transport and his 8th house.  In the transit chart Mars rules the Ascendant and also the 8th house of the transit chart.  Also at the time of the arrest, transiting Moon closely squares transiting Uranus which conjoins the natal 8th house Placidus cusp.

If we look at his Zodiacal Releasing from Spirit for this date, we see the following:

On Level 1, Woods is in a long-term Scorpio/Mars period, which highlights the natal 3rd house (local travel) and Mars, which occupies his Whole Sign 10th house of public reputation.

On Level 2, Woods is in an extended Leo/Sun period, which activates his natal 12th house (undoing, sorrow, confinement) and his natal Sun in the 9th house of long-distance travel.

On Level 3, Woods is in a Scorpio/Mars period (May 21 – June 27, 2017), which emphasizes his natal 3rd house (local travel) and Mars which occupies his natal 10th by Whole Sign houses and by transit.

On Level 4, Woods is in a Capricorn/Saturn period (May 27 – June 1, 2017), which activates the transiting Saturn/Mars opposition in effect at the time of the arrest (with Mars being activated on Levels 1 and 3.  Natally, Saturn occupies his 12th house of undoing.  In addition, his natal Sun (ruler of the natal 12th) is activated on Level 4 by its location in Capricorn, and his natal Mercury (rulers of transport and of his 10th house of public reputation) lies in Capricorn.

Here is Woods’ Whole Sign natal chart, which makes these relationships clearer:


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Cyclist hit by truck

I happened to notice in the news that a Spanish cyclist was hit by a truck in a hit-and-run accident in Ciudad Real Spain on Tuesday of this week. According to the site

“The rider Jesús Alberto Ruiz, sub-23 rider of the Bicycles Rodríguez Extremadura team, was hit by a truck in the afternoon on Tuesday (16 May 2017) while training in the municipality of Bolaños de Calatrava. The truck struck him as it tried to pass him, and after the accident the truck fled the scene.  The collision occurred at about 5.30 pm. Ruiz, 21, lay unconscious in the gutter until he was rescued by a driver who called emergency services. He was transferred to the General Hospital of Ciudad Real where he was operated on with a fracture of the clavicle and two ribs and he had to have reconstruction of his right elbow.  The Bolaños de Calatrava (Ciudad Real) racer, born on December 19, 1995, arrived in Bicycles Rodríguez Extremadura from Telcom Gimes in 2016.”

El ciclista Jesús Alberto Ruiz, en la camilla del hospital de Ciudad Real tras ser víctima de un atropello por parte de un camión.

The rider’s birth date is given as 19 December 1995.  Time is unknown.  Here is a birth chart for sunrise in Ciudad Real where he was practicing.

A notable feature of this chart is Sun almost exactly conjunct Jupiter in Sagittarius, indicating a love of sport, adventure and the outdoors.  Mars is exalted in Capricorn, suggesting the discipline needed to succeed in athletic competition.  Moon in Scorpio nicely sextiles this exalted Mars, a reflection of emotional satisfaction gleaned from vigorous physical activity.

The time of the accident is given as 5:30 pm on 16 May 2017 in Ciudad Real.  We would expect Saturn (gravity, heavy obstacles), Mars (fast motion) and Uranus (disruptive events) to be active at the time of a hit-and-run truck accident.  Here is the natal chart surrounded by the chart of the event:

We immediately see that at the time of the accident transiting Saturn Rx at 26 Sag 32 conjoins his natal Sun/Jupiter conjunction.  Transiting Saturn conjunct one’s natal Sun is usually a difficult period in one’s life — a period of testing and restriction marked by a need to confront limitations and responsibilities.  At the same time the transiting Moon is passing over his natal Uranus at 28 Cap 39, triggering the disruptive nature of this planet.

Interestingly, transiting Uranus at 26 Aries 15 is trine the transting Saturn and also trine the natal Sun/Jupiter conjunction.  In addition, transiting Uranus is square his natal Venus, which in the sunrise chart rules his Whole Sign 6th house of bodily injury.

Transiting Mars is applying to square his natal Saturn from the 6th house (bodily infirmity) to the 3rd house (local travel) of the sunrise chart.  Transiting Mars (force and speed) square natal Saturn (structure and obstacles) is often accompanied by problems with bones or teeth.

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Getting the correct answer with the wrong data in horary

In Christian Astrology Lilly gives an example about the missing brother (CA, p.197) in which Lilly tells the querent that he shall hear news of his missing brother “very suddenly” because the querent’s ruler Saturn Rx at 29 Aries 13 is mutually applying to a favorable TRINE with his brother’s significator Venus at 28 Sagittarius 53. According to Lilly, this trine will prefect about 4 pm the same day as the question, so Lilly advised the querent that he would receive news of his brother around 4 pm in London. The querent later confirmed that Lilly was correct.

The problem is that by modern calculations, this Venus/Saturn trine has already perfected at the time of the question, and Venus was separating from Saturn when Lilly cast the chart using what appears to be inaccurate data by modern standards. This raises the question posed by Geoffrey Cornelius in his book The Moment of Astrology of whether Horary Astrology is a system of omen interpretation in which the omen may or may not be the chart cast for the time of the horary question. In this example Lilly got the correct answer by interpreting a chart with inaccurate planetary positions, which happened to be an apt omen for the querent’s question despite the fact that the astronomical data were not correct.

Here is the chart with modern calculations. Capricorn rises, making Saturn the querent’s ruler. Taurus on the 3rd cusp makes Venus the significator of the missing brother. Saturn Rx at 28 Aries 55′ 17″ and Venus at 28 Sag 56′ 05″ are separated by 0 min 48 sec (0′ 48″) of arc. Lilly defined separation as “when two Planets are departed but six minutes distance from each other,” so in the modern chart Lilly would consider the Venus/Saturn trine to be in effect, but he would not have said that the trine would perfect at 4 pm since is it already past being exact by one minute of arc.

Below is the chart which Lilly used to answer this horary question. The planetary positions are inaccurate by modern standards.

It’s also a bit puzzling why Lilly insists on a 6 minutes of arc distance between planets to consider them separating.  Here is a diagram from wikipedia which shows the relative sizes of the planets to the human eye.  Six minutes of arc is a large distance for all the planets other than the Moon and the Sun.

In the chart with modern calculations, the trine of Venus and Saturn occurs with the centers of the two planets having just 0′ 48″ of arc separation.  In the diagram above, the average angular diameter of Venus is about 38″ of arc (range, 9.7″ – 66″), and the average angular diameter of Saturn is about 17″ of arc (range, 14.5″ – 20.1″). Thus 38″ + 17″ = 55″ of arc for the combined average diameters of the two planets.  Since the centers of the planets are only 48″ of arc apart, the bodies of the planets are “touching” in their trine aspect, so Lilly is correct in saying that the querent will very soon hear from his missing brother.

A useful discussion of the greatest illuminated extent of Venus, which occurs about 36 days before and after its inferior conjunction with the Sun, can be found at  where this diagram can be found:
Earth's and Venus' orbits


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Blackouts across the USA

Today (Friday, 21 April 2017) there was a series of blackouts in cities across the USA. According to, “power outages hit Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, leaving commuters stranded and traffic backed up Friday.” The first of these power outages occurred in New York City at 7:20 AM, disrupting the morning subway commute for countless New Yorkers.  Here is the chart for that moment:

It was a Venus day during a Mercury Rx hour.

Venus rules the Taurus Ascendant, and Venus in Pisces is exactly square Saturn in Pisces near the cusp of the 8th house of death. In fact, the Venus/Saturn square perfected at about 7:09 AM in NYC, just 11 minutes before the blackout.

Furthermore, Mars (ruler of the 12th house of undoing) made it ingress into Gemini at 6:32 AM in NYC.  As Mars enters Gemini very close to the Ascendant of this blackout chart, the red planet squares the Moon’s Nodes.  Mars is a general signifier of energy, and Mercury (ruler of Gemini) has to do with the transmission of nervous impulses, which is electrical in nature. Mercury is currently in retrograde motion.

The contra-antiscion of the Moon’s South Node conjoins Mercury.  This aspect has the same significance as the South Node (of the constricting, darkening and limiting nature of Saturn) opposing Mercury Rx (the flow of electrical impulses in the wrong direction).

It is fascinating to see how astrological symbolism plays out in real-world events.


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Pushing counsel in astrological aspects

Ben Dykes in his translation of Bonatti’s 146 Considerations mentions in the Fourth Consideration “pushing strength or power” and “pushing management or counsel.” These ideas derive from the Arabic texts which Bonatti was referencing.  Apparently the use of the word “pushing” comes from the Arabic word دَفْع which is variously translated in English/Arabic dictionaries as the verb to push, thrust, propel, fork out, shove over, render up, shell out, goad, pay, disburse, etc. The dictionary defines “counsel” as “instruction given in directing the judgment or conduct of another.” If I am your counselor, I advise or instruct you about how to behave.

Pushing Management or Counsel (Pushing disposition)

Apparently, the Arabic astrologers of the 8th and 9th centuries viewed applying astrological aspects as interactions in which the faster moving planet goaded the slower planet by shoving over its counsel about how the slower planet ought to manage its affairs. Bonatti referred to this phenomenon as the “pushing of disposition.” To dispose of means to transfer to the control of another. “Disposition” means “the tendency of something to act in a certain manner under given circumstances” or “the way in which something is arranged.”

Thus, if planet A is moving faster than planet B, and A is applying to aspect B, then when the aspect perfects, planet A thrusts its way of arranging things onto B with the expectation that B will carry out A’s instructions about how to behave and will take care of the things that A wants B to do (unless B is somehow debilitated and unable to perform).

For example, suppose that Brian lives with his passionate girlfriend Alice. Brian has had a hard day at work and is coming down with the flu. When he arrives home, Alice leaps on him, strips his clothes off and pushes him down on the bed. Alice is moving a lot faster than Brian and can barely wait for their conjunction to reach perfection. She thrusts her disposition onto Brian with the expectation that he will arrange to make things happen as she desires. Unfortunately, Brian is rather debilitated and unable to perform.

In medieval astrology, the pushing of management/counsel/disposition is part of the theoretical underpinning every aspect that reaches perfection. Reception is not required.

When one of the planets happens to lie in the essential dignity of another, the type of pushing gets more complicated. There can be pushing of strength/power/dignity and also pushing of nature or virtue.


¿Mars pushing Mercury?   Every aspect involves the pushing of management, counsel or disposition.   (“Do as I tell you.”) 



Pushing strength, power, or dignity: In this photo, the guy on the bottom is planet A in his own exaltation. The guy on top is planet B in none of his own dignities (he’s just standing there), but because of A’s aspect to B, the guy on top is able to share in A’s exaltation.

Pushing of strength/power/dignity

When the faster planet A is very strong because it occupies one of its own dignities (especially domicile or exaltation) and A applies to an aspect with planet B, then in the process this supercharged planet A pushes some of its own strength/power/dignity over to B as the aspect perfects. Planet B then participates in the power and competence of the dignified planet A.  Think of Superman perfecting a conjunction with Lois Lane. Lois is likely to feel a bit supercharged by Superman’s hyper-arousal, and she may end up feeling quite exalted in the process. even though she is essentially a lot less powerful than the Man of Steel.

In the picture on the left, the guy on the bottom is in his exaltation and feeling quite powerful. The guy on top is just standing there in none of his own dignities but is participating in the exaltation of the man beneath.


Pushing Nature


Pushing of nature or virtue: “You look famili-ar.* Have we met? Where have I seen you before? I hope I don’t sound pushy, but I’d love to share some of my nature with you.”  One of these people obviously hails from a place of dignity of the other and thus acts like a gracious host who welcomes the other person as a guest. (If each came from a place of dignity of the other, they would be in mutual reception and each would be quite welcoming to the other.)

* familiar:  from Latin familiaris meaning “belonging to a family, of a household; therefore, domestic, private or friendly.” (If I visit your domicile, it’s as if I become a part of your family and we share a bit of the same nature during my stay there.)

When the faster planet A occupies one of the dignities of planet B (especially B’s domicile or exaltation), then when A perfects an aspect with B, planet A will look so familiar to planet B (because of having hailed from a place of B’s dignity) that B will be quite welcoming and will absorb some of A’s nature onto itself.  In other words, planet A impresses its nature onto receiving planet B.  For example suppose you are visiting a foreign country where you know no one and can’t speak the language. Suddenly you hear someone speaking English and you learn that they are from your home town. This person impresses you like a long lost friend, even though they are really a complete stranger and you’ve never met before.

Ryhan Butler notes at his site Medieval Astrology Guide that “pushing power has the most direct effect on whether something will manifest or not, while pushing nature is more effective over the quality, type, or condition of the outcome.”

Ryhan also notes that some medieval texts view the host planet B, which receives A, as pushing its nature onto the guest planet A. In other words, there are differing views in the literature about the direction of flow in which pushing nature occurs.

To paraphrase Ben Dykes, if A applies to B from one of B’s dignities, then A pushes some of its own nature onto B because A is approaching B from such a welcome spot. In contrast, some of the older texts suggest that the presence of A in a dignity of B seems to imbue A with “B-ness” (that is, treat A as part of B’s family) so that when the aspect between them perfects, it is as if the receiving planet B shares some of its nature with A. This latter view appears to be the basis of John Frawley’s idea in his Horary Textbook that if planet A is a guest in one of B’s dignities, then A ends up “liking or loving” B. (The alternative would be self-loathing.) It is as if a person who vacationed a lot at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida would end up liking or loving Donald Trump.

An interesting discussion of “pushing” can be found at

These ideas about “pushing” of disposition, power and nature are especially helpful in horary astrology because the Moon, which is the fastest planet, signifies the horary question itself and  is generally a co-ruler of the querent. Thus, the Moon is always pushing its counsel/disposition onto other planets as it aspects them, and at times the Moon will push its power/dignity and may push its nature/virtue as well. In horary we can follow the chain of pushing and receiving to see how matters will eventually turn out, much as in a game of billiards.


Here the white ball (the Moon) pushes its disposition onto the purple ball, which in turn takes the Moon’s disposition and passes it on to the orange and white ball, which will then head into the middle upper pocket and bring matters to a conclusion, just like in horary astrology. The cue stick striking the white ball represents the moment that the querent asks the astrologer the horary question, which becomes the basis for the chart. The analogy with billiards also shows why the Moon’s next aspect is so important in horary.

All original material in this blog is copyright Anthony Louis, 2017.

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Experimenting with 12th-parts in horary

Recently I’ve been experimenting with dodecatemoria or 12th-parts in horary charts. The idea behind 12th-parts is that you can project a single sign onto the entire zodiac. The 12th-parts of the original chart become a kind of hidden zodiac within the horoscope. Traditional horary texts suggest that the 12th-part of the Ascendant (the querent) will identify the querent’s concerns and intentions in asking a question. It occurred to me that if the 12th-part of the horary Ascendant signifies the querent, then perhaps aspects to the dodecatemorion of the Ascendant will also be significant in horary. To test this hypotheses, I looked for some established horaries on the internet where I came across a chart posted by Ryhan Butler on his excellent site Medieval Astrology Guide.

On 17 June 2014 at 19:56 pm in Little Rock, AR, a nurse asked Ryhan about the status of her financial situation over the next few months. She had repairs to make on her home and was hoping to have enough money to go on a cruise with her extended family later in the year. She was also applying to the VA hospital for a new job, which would make her finances more stable. Below is Ryhan’s horary chart for the nurse’s question with Regiomontanus houses and Ptolemaic terms as used by Lilly. I strongly recommend going to Ryhan’s site to read his analysis of the chart. Here I will focus on the 12th-part of the Ascendant, which he does not deal with in his interpretation.


The Ascendant is at 21 Sag 24, making Jupiter in the mothering, nursing sign Cancer the signifier of the querent. Her co-signifier is the Moon.

The 12th-part of the Ascendant (21 Sag 24) lies at 16 Leo 48 in the 8th house of fear, anxiety, death and debt. Interestingly her signifier Jupiter also lies in the 8th house. The querent is worried about financial loss or indebtedness.


Saturn rules the 2nd house of the querent’s finances. In addition, Saturn in Scorpio is disposed by Mars, which also has rulership of the Capricorn on the 2nd house by exaltation and term (Ptolemy’s system). Mars is angular, peregrine, and in his detriment in Libra in the 10th of career, which is not a good indicator of financial gain from her work. Interestingly, this powerful (angular) debilitated Mars rules both the 11th (hopes, income from career) and 12th (self-undoing) houses — symbolism which plays out in the unfolding of the outcome of the querent’s horary inquiry.

The ruler of Leo, where the 12th-part of the Asc resides, is the Sun in Virgo. The Sun’s only dignity is by face (decanate), suggesting that the querent is worried that she won’t have enough money to do what she would like in the coming months. This interpretation is reinforced by the fact that the Sun lies in opposition to the Ascendant; in other words, the querent may be somehow working against herself. The Sun in the 7th also suggests that issues involving a partnership or a contractual relationship may also be part of the picture.

The Sun’s most immediate aspect is a mutually applying conjunction to Mercury, which rules the 9th house of long-distance travel (the cruise) and the 7th house of contractual partnerships. Unfortunately, Mercury is combust the Sun and getting ever closer to the sun’s heat. Combustion is a damaging condition in horary, so it seems unlikely that she will go on the cruise or be able to successfully negotiate her contract.

The querent asked about her financial situation, which is signified by the Capricorn 2nd house, ruled by Saturn. Unfortunately, Saturn is retrograde in Scorpio in the 11th house (2nd of the 10th, income from career), and Saturn is peregrine (without essential dignity). Saturn remains retrograde until 20 July 2014, so we would not expect much improvement in her finances until some time after that pivotal date, when Saturn will again be traveling direct.

To make matters worse, Saturn Rx at 17 Scorpio 29 is applying to square the 12th-part of the Ascendant (a “hidden” signifier of the the querent) at 16 Leo 48.  This square will perfect in 0 deg 41 min of arc (0.6833 degrees).  Since the mean duration of month is 30.4 days, if we allow one degree to represent a month (Saturn lies in a fixed sign in a succedent house), then 30.4 days x 0.6833 degrees = 20.77 days, which is about 20 days and 18 hours. Thus, Saturn perfects a stressful square to the 12th-part of the Asc in the 8th of financial loss or indebtedness about 20 days and 18 hours after the question, which was asked on 17 June 2014 at about 8 pm. Looking at a calendar, we see that Saturn symbolically perfects the square to the 12th-part of the Asc around mid-day (~ 2 pm) on 8 July 2014.


So what happened to the nurse regarding her finances and income from career (Saturn ruling 2nd and occupying 11th SQUARE 12th-part of Asc) on 8 July 2014? Ryhan Butler tells us that “on July 8th, the querent was let go from her part time job” and in the process there occurred a series of events which led to the rejection of her application for a new job at the VA hospital (a 7th house contractual matter). Please read Ryhan’s analysis for all the gory details. Ryhan had anticipated matters coming to a head on 7 July 2014 because the Moon arrived at the position of horary Saturn on that date at around 7 pm.

Below is the sequence of events and astrological correlations:

  • Horary question about finances asked on 17 June 2014 at 7:56 PM.
  • Transiting Saturn squares 12th-part of Asc (16 Leo 48) on 6 July 2014.
  • Transiting Moon reaches the position of horary Saturn on 7 July 2014.
  • Symbolically directed Saturn squares 12th-part of Asc at mid-day on 8 July 2014.
  • Dismissed from her job on 8 July 2014, almost 21 days after the horary question.
  • Saturn stations and turns direct on 20 July 2014 at 16 Scorpio 38.
  • Uranus stations and turns Rx on 21 July 2014 at 16 Aries 30, almost exactly quincunx Saturn’s station.


All original material posted on this blog is copyright Anthony Louis 2017.

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