Saturday, September 13, 2014

Nodes in Motion: Jackie O's example

With this piece, I try to ‘investigate’ what ‘was going on’ at the time of the major – to me at least – turning point in Jackie's life, at the time of (and the short period after) the death of her second husband, Ari Onassis. Because it was only after Ari died (and the battle with his daughter Christina over inheritance was over) that Jackie left her old habits behind and became a totally different woman: she did not care to be neither the ‘First Lady’ nor the ‘First Wealthy’, she stopped seeking for the ‘(extra) rich husband’, she settled permanently in New York, and most importantly, she started working (as an editor), actually doing very well. At a certain point she started dating again, choosing however men totally different than the ones she used to (the rich and powerful). She seemed to have been born again, happy in her role of a proud mother and ‘nobody’s wife’. By the end of her life she was a sweet grandmother (of three) and lover (in an affair with probably the only man who really loved her without expecting to gain anything from her).  

When Ari passed away on March 15th, 1975, the Nodes (at the time at 4 degrees Sag(N)/Gemini(S)) were transiting her 1st/7th houses. By the time she started working in September of the same year the transiting Nodes had moved closer to her AC/DC axis (natally Scorpio rising at 17°58’ Scorpio, at the time Nodes at 24°59’ Scorpio(N)/Taurus(S)) but also her natal Nodal axis (transiting nodes opposing natal) as in Jackie’s chart the two axes (AC-DC and Nodal) nearly coincide (Snode: 17°12’ Scorpio) – an indication, according to Rudhyar, that her life was controlled by karma. Transiting Nodes had also already formed an exact square aspect to her IC/MC axis (at 28°54’ Aquarius/Leo). Just before entering the Scorpio/Taurus, the transiting Nodes had squared Jackie’s Neptune. Anything that would touch her Neptune or MC would activate the entire kite involving Saturn-Moon-MC/Neptune-Venus. With nodal transits to all her angles and to the natal Nodes we have enough indications marking a life crossroad, the end of a phase in life and the beginning of a new one. The period was obviously characterized by both external events (the transit to the angles) – Ari’s death, the battles over money, the new job, relocation – and inner changes (the transit to the Nodes) – the will to change, the decision to start working and not go after another tycoon etc.

With the Nodes transiting her 1st/7th houses anyways the emphasis was on re-determining herself in comparison to others – Jackie decided to be ‘nobody’s wife’ and stand on her own feet. At the time, Jackie’s natal Nodes did not receive any major aspects by transiting outer planets. Around Ari’s death, the transiting north Node from Sag was trine Jackie’s Sun-Mercury conjunction. This is a contact that could be connected to the relocation, the change in status (widowed-working), the financial gain even that occurred from the death of her husband. After all, the Sun is the ruler of Jackie’s 10th house. Mercury rules the 8th house of loss. Ari’s death most probably wasn’t such an unpleasant event for Jackie since for quite a while he wanted to get a divorce – the death of his son and his consequent depression (even madness for some) has just put these plans aside and Jackie was lucky enough to become his widow and get richer by 20 million dollars. The marriage was not a happy one anyways.

As far as the progressed Nodes are concerned, these indeed had not progressed much until the period ‘under survey’. They had moved enough to form a within 1-degree orb aspect to Chiron (pr. NNode conjunct Chiron). I am thinking that a possible (yet simplistic) interpretation of this contact could be getting over an old wound since the north Node has to do with moving forward and leaving the past behind in order to find one’s destination. The trine between progressed north Node and natal Mars had also become closer (in comparison to the same natal contact) and this was probably something that emphasized her courage and dynamic for action so to move forward. Finally, regarding directed lunar Nodes, these formed only two minor aspects to natal planets at the time, a semisextile to Mercury and a quintile to Mars. I guess that the Nodes, transiting, progressed, or directed, always talk about lessons that have to be learned. Progressed lunar nodes however could only emphasize issues that already ‘exist’ in the chart, like if the lessons that somebody believes that s/he has to learn is something that was recorded during infancy. Transits and directions on the other hand possibly bring on new things

In the particular example it is definitely the transiting Nodes that provide with more information as aspecting the natal chart. A period of great change for Jackie in all major areas of her life, was characterized by the transiting Nodes aspecting the angles of her chart which represent exactly these major areas. Her sense of self (AC), career and status (MC), living conditions (IC), the way she related with partners (DC), everything was profoundly changed as touched by the Nodes. The nodes are by some related to karma and easily somebody could claim that Jackie lived a lot of karmic drama in her life, something possibly correlated to her nodal axis coinciding with her AC/DC. I would prefer not to give a karmic weight to nodal movement but rather speak of evolving, of doing necessary changes, of leaving things behind and moving forward. With her north Node in Taurus Jackie probably felt that she needed a partner to find her destination. Yet partnerships, the marriages she of course chose to do for specific reasons, brought her much pain. She gained the power and the money she wanted through them, but she also had to bear infidelity, and violence. At a certain point she had to close that circle and move forward. She had what she always wanted, now she should be really happy for a change. Stand on her own feet, express herself, live where she belonged.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Last Days of Jackie O. - Transits, Progressions and Directions between January and May 1994

 Jackie Kennedy - Onassis was diagnosed with lymphoma (a form of cancer that proved to be very aggressive) in January 1994 and passed away on May 19th, after four months of chemotherapy (since February) and a hospitalization for bleeding ulcer.

Several solar arc aspects were formed at the time: directed Moon sextile the MC, directed Mercury sextile natal Sun, directed Venus trine natal Saturn, directed Mars conjunct natal AC and the south Node and trine natal Pluto (with this latter aspect starting being active a little before her death), directed Jupiter trine natal Uranus, directed Uranus square natal Mars, directed Neptune square natal Mercury, and directed Pluto square natal Venus.

I feel that especially directed Mars in conjunction with the ascendant is very revealing. The AC represents health, vitality, the physical body so with any planet arching it we would expect some changes regarding these areas. Mars is a malefic planet something that probably points towards a ‘negative’ change and I think, without though having worked much yet with transits, progressions and directions in Jackie’s chart, that Mars might have been particularly challenging for her since it is the ruler of her chart which is also a diurnal chart (from a Hellenistic point of view Mars tends to be particularly problematic in day charts). In any case, in Jackie’s chart Mars rules both the 1st house of health and the 6th of disease and describes very well Kennedy’s particular condition and especially the bleeding ulcer incident (a bleeding cut in the stomach – blood and cuts have always been associated with Mars ; let’s not forget that lymphoma is a type of blood cancer).

The conjunction of directed Mars with the south Node is probably another indication of an ‘unpleasant’ development (illness) since two ‘malefics’ (again more ‘traditionally’ speaking) come together.  With directed Neptune in square aspect with Jackie’s Mercury, there might have been a ‘confusion’ regarding her perception of the situation, a ‘deception’ of some kind; as mentioned in her Wikipedia biography, Jackie and her family were initially very optimistic and herself quit smoking and continued working not having ‘foreseen’ that cancer would be so aggressive. There are two aspects between directed and natal planets involving Uranus, in one of which Uranus is the arching planet. Making a square to Mars it probably bring a sudden and unexpected development regarding Jackie’s physical condition (Mars ruler of the 1st house and generally and indicator for physical strength). Overall, what happened was very quick, Jackie died just four months after the diagnosis. But, on another hand, one could say she had a good end, she did not suffer, she did not have to go through therapy, on drugs, in pain, for years, as other cancer patients, she faced the whole situation with much courage as her biographers claim and one night she just died peacefully in her sleep. The disease and eventual death came at a point of happiness and great satisfaction with her life; again according to her biographers, she enjoyed very much her role as a grandmother, she was surrounded by her children and grandchildren whom she adored, she had a very good relationship at the time, and her she loved her job as an editor (going in the business was a source of great fulfilment for her since the beginning). So this ‘good’ and quick end of her life, without suffering, might be shown by the directed Jupiter - natal Uranus trine (Uranus is also the ruler of 4th house – endings of all things?). The situation developed very quickly (something that can be associated with Jupiter – the quick growth of her condition) and death came ‘easily’ (the trine).

Around the same time, transiting Uranus and Neptune (in Capricorn) formed square aspects with Jackie’s natal Moon in Aries. I consider this to be a 6th-house Moon since it is very close to its cusp (just a bit more than 1-degree orb using Placidus – with WSH it is clearly a 6th house Moon) and in the same sign (Moon and 6th house cusp both in Aries). The fact that the transit is on a 6th house planet probably indicates some health issue occurring and with Uranus being the one of the planets making the transit it is not surprising that it occurred all of a sudden and it actually didn’t give time to realize what was going on. Jackie’s diagnosis obviously was the reason for some amendment in her living conditions (Moon) – besides Uranus is the modern ruler of her 4th house (I don’t use modern rulerships generally, but..) - , also her habits as mentioned (a ‘fanatic’ smoker for years) and it surely affected her emotions. Her Moon is also the ruler of her 9th house and I believe that it was in this week’s readings that the idea of 9th house involvement in times of death was discussed (the ‘long journey’). Generally, two planets generating change in hard aspect with one of the luminaries is again an indication of an ‘unpleasant’ situation, most probably of high significance. Looking at these transits only one could say that a health issue alters living conditions, has, as would be expected, psychological implications and probably creates the need for travel – many people travel to see doctors abroad and get more specialized treatment, especially in our part of the world, this could be an assumption looking at the transits only. Evidently, interpreting directions adds more detail revealing some extra challenges to be faced. There many are the outer planets transits at the time, but trying to stick to not very wide orbs I would refer to the ones above and probably also Pluto squaring (on and off) her MC.

 In Jackie’s natal chart there is a configuration but not according to the very strict definition of aspect patterns (i.e. it does not involve only planetary bodies as Burk suggests but also points). Taking also angles into consideration, Jackie’s MC (at 28 degrees Leo) forms a grand trine with Saturn (24° Sagittarius) and the Moon (25° Aries). Her Venus in Gemini opposes this Saturn and is (as expected) in sextile aspect with the Moon and MC, so a kite is formed. This kite is activated in early 1994 both by directions and transits as transiting Uranus and Neptune square the natal Moon, directed Moon is sextile natal MC, directed Venus is trine Saturn and directed Pluto squares Venus. I tend to connect this configuration mostly with her relationships and marriages, the status she wanted to gain and her public image, and how her family had influenced her in all that. Jackie became an idol partly because Neptune (idealization) was conjunct her MC (public image). She did put effort (Saturn) on it for some time but even when she ‘retired’ , and even after her death, her ‘icon’ lasted (and still does). It was easy for her to attract people (Moon trine the MC) and femininity (style, the way she dressed especially) was the main part of the icon she created (Venus sextile Moon and MC). So, and I might be total wrong here, but the way I see her, with her death Jackie made history as one of the iconic figures, one of the greatest, most beautiful and graceful women of all time (directed Moon sextile MC).

Directed Pluto, a planet associated with death, was also at the time in hard aspect with Venus in Jackie’s 8th house, the house of death, probably acting as an indication of the fatal event but again activating the pattern and also contributing in Jackie gaining a ‘place in eternity’. I am not sure if one could also say that with Saturn being the traditional ruler of her 4th house (endings) and it being involved in this configuration, generally good conditions towards the end of the life are suggested. Jackie was lucky enough to die without suffering, among her beloved persons and maybe more importantly, she was lucky enough to die without having seen her son being killed.  

When Jackie was diagnosed with this form of blood cancer, there were not many aspects formed between natal and progressed planets but interestingly there was some Mars activity again. In particular, progressed Mars formed an opposition with Jackie’s natal Moon in Aries. By the time of the diagnosis, the progression was in the waning phase but still within an orb of 1 degree. Mars, natally the ruler of both Jackie’s 1st and 6th houses (vitality/illness), opposed her natal Moon which, as above mentioned , is very close to the 6th house cusp and could be considered a 6th house Moon. Throughout the four months between the diagnosis and her death, progressed Mars was about (less than 1 degree orb) to enter Jackie’s 12th house (opposing the 6th house cusp). This was obviously another indication of a possible disease and hospitalization and I view again the Mars-Moon contact as very indicative of the bleeding ulcer incident (Moon rules stomach whereas Mars is connected with cuts and bleeding).

Although according to March and McEvers the death of an individual cannot be predicted looking at his/her chart, I believe that one could also think of this possibility looking at Jackie’s progressed chart. Progressed Mercury (Mercury is the ruler of her natal 8th house of death) was trine her natal Venus in her 8th house with the trine probably being indicative of the fact that her condition developed quickly leading to an ‘easy’ end. Furthermore, at the time of the diagnosis, the progressed Moon formed a one-degree orb separating conjunction with natal Mars. With the progressed Moon acting as a highlighter it was likely that issues regarding Jackie’s health and physical condition (Mars ruler of 1st and 6th) would come up.

At the time, the activated natal Moon was also aspected by transiting Uranus and Neptune. The two outer planets were square the natal Moon. A 6th house body being aspected by transiting planets likely indicates a health issue occurring and everyday routine being altered (leading to other events). The fact that Moon was also activated by progressions made these aspects being expressed more probable. A challenging (the square) situation regarding health (the Moon in the 6th) did indeed occur. It ‘popped-up’ suddenly and developed very quickly (an Uranian element). By the time of Jackie’s death, transiting Saturn opposed natal Mars, again indicating some kind of ‘limitation’ of physical health, strength and vitality. It also interesting that Mars was square natal Moon at the time of the diagnosis and conjucted it by the time Jackie passed away (an exact aspect). Of course Mars is not an outer planet, yet, it could be very challenging for Jackie who likely was ‘sensitive’ to its transits. 

Overall, considering solar arcs, progressions, and transits one could note important Mars-Moon activity reinforcing the hypothesis of a challenging health situation. Bernadette Brady characterizes Saturn-Neptune aspects as the major signifier of health problems in predictive astrology. Jackie also had a similar transit; by the time she was diagnosed with lymphoma transiting Saturn in Aquarius had already started forming a dissociate opposition (another challenging aspect) with her natal Neptune in early Virgo which soon became exact; another indication pointing out to a health issue. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Chiron and the "Big 4" : Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

In Woolf’s chart, Chiron is located at 17 Taurus 37’ in her 12th house and the closest aspect he forms is a square to Mercury at 18 Aquarius 03’ (orb 0 26’).

 I personally found the fact that, in this particular chart, Chiron makes such a strong connection with Mercury to be extremely interesting, because it is true that, for Woolf, mental illness and creative expression were inextricably tied together creating a vicious cycle where her artistic creation, writing, played the role of both the cause and the cure.
Placed in her very emphasized 12th house of anguish of mind and personal fears, Woolf’s natal Chiron accentuates the theme of her mental condition, of the “demons” she suffered from – visual and acoustic illusions, nightmares, insomnia, anorexia, melancholy, depression. Those “demons”, that “unhealable wound” depicted by Chiron’s placement was a situation Woolf could not escape from, and of course what eventually led her to suicide. Her 10th house Mercury on the other hand, undoubtedly describes her work as an author. Not only, as in any chart, does it show how one communicates, in any possible way, including writing, but is also the ruler of the 5th house in Woolf’s chart, and thus an indicator of her creative, artistic production, of what she “gave birth to”.

Further examining the author’s mental illness’ connection with her work, reveals a complicated “relationship” between the two. Woolf’s biographer, Alessandra Lemasson, mentions that the author had “confessed” having written her second novel, Night and Day, aiming at “keeping away the illness”. In her Diary, Woolf described her work as her only reality. She could understand that writing was the only way she could distance herself from everything else, the only way her experience of the world and of herself could be structured, and organized and have sense. 

Virginia insisted that creation made her feel alive and helped her psychologically, she saw a ‘healer’ in it, whereas for her husband, Leonard Woolf, it was the ‘wounder’ and for this reason he tried –most often unsuccessfully- to convince her to write only an hour per day. The strange thing is that they were both right. Because, on one hand, not doing anything increased for Virginia the danger of losing touch with reality, of being drifted away by illusion. And the fact that she eventually committed suicide when she could not longer see any point in writing, easily leads to the conclusion that being creatively productive was actually what postponed –for many years- her fatal decision. On the other hand however, and this was where Leonard was right, all of Virginia’s depression crises that led to the need for medical surveillance, coincided with drafting her books. The reason for this was that she left herself being too carried away by the writer’s need for solitude, which is of course common among intellectuals but in her case became more dangerous.

There are several other aspects of Woolf’s life that could be added to what was above mentioned and that can most probably be associated with her Mercury - Chiron connection. One example could be that the author’s “unhealable wound”, her mental illness (Chiron in the 12th) had partly its root in the sexual abuse she suffered from her brothers (the square to Mercury). Let’s not forget that the 12th is the house where we find the skeletons kept in families’ closets. Those ghosts from her past tortured Woolf for all her life (Chiron) and undermined her mental health. 
In 1939, she made an effort to heal herself with an autobiography, an almost psychoanalytical book (Mercury) about her family but it was too late. 

Another way Woolf’s Chiron-Mercury connection could have played out is by depicting her brilliance as an author, which was of course what made her stand out and defined her (a Chiron theme underlined both by Demetra George and Sue Tompkins in Asteroid Goddesses and The Contemporary Astrologer’s Handbook respectively). 

Finally, I wanted to mention that, to me, and as Mercury is also Woolf’s chart ruler, its aspect to Chiron is probably indicative of the fact that Virginia did never manage to accept herself just as she was, especially as far as her sexuality was concerned. This is a theme that will be further analyzed bringing asteroids into the picture.

In Woolf’s chart, the “Big 4” Asteroids are placed –by sign and house- as follows: Ceres is located at 2 ⁰ 27’ Aquarius in the author’s 9th house; Pallas at 21 ⁰ 45’ Capricorn again in the 9th house; Juno at 5 ⁰ 30’ Capricorn in the 8th house and, Vesta at 5 27’ Taurus in the 12th house. 
It is obvious from the above mentioned that, only Vesta and Juno of the four asteroids, form close (up to 2-degree orb) major aspects to Woolf’s Lights and natal planets. To be more precise, the aspects formed are “partile” aspects as all planets and asteroids involved are at 5 degrees of the signs they are placed in: Vesta conjuncts Saturn in Taurus and squares Sun in Aquarius whereas Saturn is also trined by Juno in Capricorn.

Virginia Woolf was a self-contained woman; freedom of thought, but also sexual freedom like hers, very rarely characterized other women of her time. Let’s not forget that she was raised in Victorian England. She was considered a feminist, she was one of the first women authors to doubt male superiority, before getting married she used to work teaching other working women, and some years later she fought for London Society for Women’s Service. Moreover, Woolf was one of the first members of the Bloomsbury Group, an intellectual circle of young, revolutionary minded writers and artists. All these could be seen as her free-minded, unconventional, independent, avant garde Sun in Aquarius playing out. 

However, there was one thing Woolf never dared to do, and that was to live with another woman, something that – as some of her biographers believe – would have helped her lead a happier life. Most of the male members of the Bloomsbury Group were homosexuals, and there were also several lesbian couples in the circle. One would expect that living in the -without taboos- micro-society of Bloomsbury, would have allowed, would have helped Woolf express her homosexuality and truly, fully incorporate it into her way of life. Yet it didn’t. Woolf’s Sun-Saturn square can of course be indicative of a fear, an inhibition, to express her true self. It seems though that it was a very particular part of herself that she tried to oppress, her sexuality, and this is what makes the involvement of Vesta in this picture with Sun and Saturn more interesting. 

According to Demetra George, a 12th house Vesta is alone enough proof for sexual fears and inhibitions, a theme underlined by the asteroid’s stressful square to Sun – George writes about “frustrations and denials in sexuality”. The Vesta – Saturn conjunction could of course be one indication of Virginia’s dedication to her work – not only was she a prolific writer, but she actually lived to write (and writing was what gave her reason to live as analyzed) and in a sense she was “sacrificed” for writing (she denied psychotherapy for example fearing she would lose her inspiration). But Saturn always speaks of fears and restrictions and his conjunction to Vesta probably illustrates once more the theme of Woolf’s oppressed sexuality. Despite being open-minded enough and belonging to a group that could have supported her in expressing herself, Woolf chose to remain a “prisoner” of herself and her guilt mostly, but of her upbringing and era too. Denying her homosexual tendency, she decided to get married and fell into deep depression afterwards. Until her suicide, she maintained a sexless marriage with Leonard who was more like a friend, like a brother to her. Her two homosexual affairs with Mansfield and Vita West unfortunately came very late in her life and not without guilt (I am not sure whether her relationship with Mansfield was a physical one but at least it was one step towards admitting her homosexuality). 

The Juno-Saturn trine could – to me – be descriptive of one aspect of Virginia’s relationship with Leonard Woolf. Although not physical, their relationship was long-lasting, loving, and supportive but mostly – and this is associated both with Juno’s connection to Saturn and with her placement in Virginia’s 8th house – it produced Hogarth Press, their successful publishing company that attracted the crème de la crème of the time’s writers, their “offspring”, the child they didn’t literally gave birth to. The Woolfs did not have a usual marriage, but they managed to work together as business partners (Juno-Saturn) and build something “concrete”, something that lasted.

See also: Femmes Celebres sur le Divan by Catherine Siguret 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Planetary Configurations: "The Beauty Queens"*. Princess Diana's t-square.

If we stick to 0-2 degree orbs and we accept that configurations are formed only between bodies and not points (as Kevin Burk suggests) there is only one configuration in Diana’s chart and this is a fixed t-square formed between Moon at 25 degrees Aquarius, Venus at 24 degrees Taurus, and Uranus at 23 degrees Leo.
Let's first take a look at the actual aspects involved in the configuration:
The Moon – Venus square. In Diana’s chart, the two “feminine” planets were in hard aspect to each other. This might have been an indication of the princess’ low self-esteem and bad image of herself (feminine principles in clash) or the constant struggle (square) to get the love and appreciation (Venus) she needed (Moon). It could also show something about Diana’s mother: did she prefer her relationship (Venus) over her children? She was the one to decide to break up from their father, although possibly unaware of how the custody battle would end up for her. Anyways, she chose to “live her life” with an extremely wealthy man she adored (the very “hedonistic” Venus in Taurus) neglecting (square) her maternal (and domestic) “duties” (Moon – and especially, Moon in Aquarius which would make her loving her freedom and independence). I believe that one would not exaggerate connecting this aspect also to Diana’s eating disorders (Moon – the way we nurture ourselves vs. Venus – our image, how we want to attract others).

The Moon – Uranus opposition. I believe this aspect adds an extra Uranian/Aquarian “touch” to Diana’s Moon in Aquarius and that is indicative of her experience of her mother and generally her home situation and childhood. It could describe an (emotionally and physically as it turned out) detached (Uranus/Aquarius) mother (Moon), needing freedom, space and independency (Uranus/Aquarius), possibly ambivalent (Uranus) about motherhood (she was depressive during her pregnancies and early years of her children), a sudden separation / cutting off (Uranus) from her and from the family (Moon) in general (later, when Diana went into boarding school), and thus, a rather unusual, unconventional (Uranus/Aquarius) childhood (Moon). Let’s not forget that oppositions are considered hard aspects and all this had been very stressful for Diana. Diana felt (Moon) like an “outcast” (Uranus) during her life in boarding school (she was choppy and her family situation made her “distinguish” from other children of the upper class) but also during her life in the Palace, she was for sure a lot different from the Royal family. Possibly there was an inner need (Moon) to rebel and shock (Uranus), illustrated by her affairs with men of different religious, ethnical and cultural background (with Hasnat Khan and Dodi – especially with the latter one it was like the two “ostracized” of the Crown came together – the Queen insisted –and still does- on denying Al Fayed the UK citizenship despite his contribution in the country’s economy and Harrod’s emblematic role for London). Another stressful aspect to her Moon most probably emphasized Diana’s eating disorder problem (inconsistent –Uranus- eating habits –Moon- from bulimia to anorexia). The aspect can also be connected to her over-sensitivity to rejection (which of course had its root to her experience of her mother).

The Venus – Uranus square. As mentioned above, Diana was engaged in a series of unconventional (Uranus) relationships (Venus), that did eventually manage to shock and were seen as acts of rebellion, something more or less expected when Uranus and Venus come together. There were not only affairs with men of a different cultural background, but also with men that did not belong to her class, like Hewitt, men who exploited her and sold the details of their relationship to the press for money, leaving Diana profoundly hurt (the stressful nature of the square). Her inability to sustain relationships but also the fear of rejection by men she was related to, can also be associated with this aspect.

As it becomes obvious , the planet that receives squares by both other planets, Moon and Uranus (which are in opposition), is Venus, so Venus is the apex, the focal  planet. 
Configurations like the t-square illustrate life’s main storylines, they describe stories that have been at the center of life since birth. Diana’s t-square is in fixed signs something that informs about ongoing, immovable situations. The truth is that, according to analysts, Diana was a person somewhat “trapped” in repetition, she tended to repeatedly adopt similar behavioral patterns. She wanted to be a “perfect mother” whereas her mother had failed, she wanted to be an affectionate and protective mother in contrast to her experience of her mother. Diana’s t-square describes very well this experience with the Moon - Uranus opposition, Moon – Venus square and Moon’s placement in Aquarius, all analyzed above. 
But it is illustrative of her attitude towards mothering too: her Moon (mothering) is in the 2nd house of values (she valued mothering) while her Venus is in the 5th house of children, a common placement for people who love children and have good relationships with children. Diana had children as soon as she could (hardly a year after the marriage), and, unlike what one would expect from a royal family member, she was always the one to take care of them and she was very protective – something that often happens with those who had an emotionally deprived childhood when they become parents themselves. Diana did manage to become an ideal mother, and not only for her children; she repeated the pattern in all her close relationships (a “mother instinct” brought her close to Charles when they first met), and, even more than that she wanted to “mother” (and did very well with that) the whole humanity. Here one can see her Moon in Aquarius playing out very strongly – a very humanitarian and altruistic Moon that could extend her sympathy to the “plight of the many” (S. Tompkins). And this was her biggest “asset” (2nd house). I found interesting the fact that the Moon – Uranus opposition occurs across the Aquarius – Leo axis: the group, the many, society vs. the person, individuality.   Diana wanted so much to be loved, that she wanted to be loved by everybody, forgetting that the whole world is actually nobody. She was indeed a “queen in people’s hearts” but in her close relationships she suffered, she was married to a man that belonged to another woman, and she engaged herself to a series of relationships that left her emotionally deceived. And this is probably Venus, “natural” ruler of all close relationships, receiving all the stress and pressure – as any apex planet would. 
According to Kevin Burk, when analyzing a t-square we should pay special attention to the houses where the planets in opposition are located, to see where the tension comes from. The opposition occurs not only across the Aquarius-Leo axis, but also across to the 2nd-8th axis. What we think we are worth vs. inheritance – inheritance not only as tangible assets but also as the psychological baggage we carry from our families. Let’s not forget that, as described analytically, this is an opposition that clearly describes the situation in her early home. So, the tension comes from what Diana has inherited, a past without the love and affection a child should receive, something that had a deep impact in her self-esteem too (2nd house). Diana started to value mothering more than anything else, she wanted to succeed with that, not to repeat her mother’s mistakes, and she kept on bring a “momsy” attitude to all her relationships that possibly was unbearable for others, trapped them in a way (the Venus-Moon square). When analyzing the Moon-Venus square and Moon-Uranus opposition I referred to eating disorders. It is the same thing the t-square talks about, just with different manifestations throughout Diana’s life. Eating disorders were the result of trying to fill the emotional gap. The choice of wrong partners was the result of her low self-esteem and desperate need to find love somewhere. And so on and so forth. But what about the fact that Venus is also an indicator for her children in her chart as ruler of her 5th house? Objectively Diana was a good mother, she adored her children and her children loved her very much too. It seems normal when one considers that this is a very strong Venus, in domicile, and in the house she rules. But as the focal planet she is stressed. And indeed Diana was extremely worried about her children, precisely because of what she had to carry with her. Not only was she anxious to give what she had not received, but she was afraid that her children could be taken away from her, like it happened when her mother was denied custody. And this was something that made Diana suffer. I guess that many astrologers would connect the t-square with Diana’s tragic death, an issue I am scrupulously trying to avoid throughout this analysis. Uranus is in the 8th house (also) of death which could indicate a sudden death if other factors agreed and opposes Moon, the 8th house ruler (btw, Uranus does not rule any house in this chart since – even if one included modern rulerships in the analysis- Aquarius is intercepted in this chart). I cannot really go very far with this, I just want to make a comment to show it is something I have started thinking of. 
But finally, did Diana manage to release the t-square energy? It seems that, while approaching the end of her life especially, she was doing pretty well although she was unable to completely leave known patterns behind her and avoid repetition (fixity?) – analysts say the choice of Dodi was exactly the choice mom did, a multimillionaire playboy who knew how to enjoy life (Venus in Taurus in the 5th?) . What helps release the energy of a t-square? Well, the truth is we’ve all seen several interpretations. Some pay special attention to the “empty leg”. In this case the “empty leg” is in the 11th house of social responsibility (among other things). Her charity work did help Diana find some peace, that is something generally accepted. So, finding the anchor needed in the 11th house seems like an interpretation that “fits”. Frank Clifford does not pay that much attention to “empty legs” and suggests to look for a “release” aspect, something foreign to the configuration. In Diana’s case Venus, the focal point, trines Saturn in Capricorn. But there is also Moon trining the MC – for some, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the apex that gives a “way out”, any aspect from the other planets in the configuration could do. Of course the Moon-MC would again indicate that Diana manage to find comfort in the love she received by the people, in her undoubted popularity. 
Another thing that seemed to have helped Diana finally feel  better, was her relationship with Dodi, but I can’t really connect this relationship with any of the trines. The Venus-Saturn trine (which has a somewhat wider orb) could show that a Saturnian, i.e. a committed, long-lasting (Saturn) relationship (Venus) would be what she needed in order to find a constructive way out, but I don’t think her relationship had the time to reach this point. But then again, Venus was also the ruler of her 10th house (Midheaven in Libra), her public image, her “career”: the talent to commit to, to work hard in order to build a concrete public image, a “career” that would last, helped her release the pressure of her t-square.
*term used by my teacher at Kepler College, Carol Tebbs
To write this piece I used:
The Contemporary Astrologer's Handbook by Sue Tompkins (2007)
Astrology: Understanding the Birth Chart by Kevin Burk (2011)
The Anatomy of a T-square by Frank Clifford (published in The Mountain Astrologer, June/July 2012) and,
Femmes Celebres sur le Divan by Catherine Siguret

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Clint Eastwood's Step-by-Step Chart Analysis. Step I: Hemispheres and Quadrants

In Eastwood’s chart, we notice an emphasis on the Southern hemisphere. In particular, there are seven bodies above the horizon against three that are below. Both his Lights, the Sun and the Moon, together with the personal planets Mercury and Venus, Jupiter, and the outer, Neptune and Pluto, are all above the AC-DC axis, while Mars, Saturn and Uranus are below, in the Northern hemisphere.

The IC-MC axis divides the chart in Eastern and Western hemisphere. The emphasis here is in the Western hemisphere since there are eight bodies setting against only two rising. In particular, both Lights, together with the inner planets – Mercury, Venus and Mars, Jupiter, and two of the outer planets – Uranus and Pluto, are located in the right part of the chart (Western hemisphere), which leaves only Saturn and Neptune in the left (Eastern hemisphere).


The division of hemispheres is not house based. The AC-DC and IC-MC axes are the ones dividing a chart in Northern / Southern and Eastern / Western hemispheres respectively. The placement of the axes does not change as we change house systems, so the distribution of planets in hemispheres is the same, no matter which house system we use.


A chart with a Southern hemisphere emphasis like this one, can be indicative of a person who wants to “rise above his/her position at birth”, who is more extroverted than introverted, more social, more objective and less personal. Individuals with “heavy” Southern hemispheres are said to be more focused on the interaction between themselves and others.

On the other hand, a Western hemisphere emphasis can show a more reactive and relationship-oriented individual. Those with the majority of planets setting are the ones who “enjoy” more working with others, the “team-players”; they tend to focus on external relationships and are more dependent on the reactions of others and more receptive.

The strongest Quadrant in this chart is the third where the majority of “planets” (Lights + planets) is placed. Six bodies –including the two Lights- are located in the space between DC and MC (Q3). In the first Quadrant (AC-IC), there is only one planet, Saturn; 2 planets, Uranus and Mars are in the second Quadrant (IC-DC); and only one planet, Neptune, is located in the space between the MC and AC (Q4).

Deciding which is the strongest Quadrant is again something that wouldn’t be affected by the house system we would use as quadrants are not house based but divided by the AC-IC-DC-MC which are the same regardless house system.

The 3rd Quadrant belongs both to the Southern and Western hemispheres. A strong 3rd Quadrant would thus indicate an individual who is extroverted (Southern) and reactive (Western). Those with an emphasized Q3 are of course relationship-oriented but tend to focus more on their relationships with society (rather than with their immediate environment). Besides, the phrase “awareness of society” is a key-phrase for Q3.

Planets in Rulership, Exaltation, Detriment and Fall: Definitions and Prince William's Example

Rulership: In classical astrology, the Lights, the Sun and the Moon, ruled the signs of Leo and Cancer respectively, and the –then known- five planets ruled two signs each. The classical system of rulerships was based on the idea that planets have more strength in some signs and less in others. A planet in the sign it ruled was said to be “at home” and it was believed to be no different than any individual at home: he would feel stronger and safer and have the permission to do pretty much whatever he wanted to do. A planet in rulership is strong, it does not necessarily operate in a “good” or “bad” way, but in any case it tends to “rule the roost” (S. Tompkins)* and dominate over other energies.As Kevin Burk** says, planets in rulership are able to express their true nature, their pure energy (I like to use the term “raw” energy).
When outer planets were discovered, modern astrologers wanted to incorporate them in the “rulership system”, actually give them a sign to rule too, associate them with a sign. This introduced the idea of “affinity”; a planet and the sign it rules have things in common, they share similar characteristics. Depending on the astrologer, outer planets can be used as only rulers or co-rulers (of Aquarius, Pisces and Scorpio) or not used as rulers at all.

Detriment: A planet is said to be in detriment when it is placed in the sign opposite to the sign it rules. A planet in detriment is considered “debilitated” but the question is to which extent it is really “weakened”. If a planet in rulership is in the position that better allows it to express its true, essential nature, the problem with the opposite placement is that the planet cannot express itself. So, a planet in detriment is not exactly weak nor does operate necessarily in a “bad” way. It just can’t operate in its best interest and this is what might bring it in a difficult position, what can feel like a disadvantage. As already mentioned, it always helps to think of a planet in detriment as the exact opposite of a planet in rulership. A planet in rulership feels at home and thus comfortable enough to do its own thing. A planet in detriment is in a somewhat unfamiliar environment and thus “afraid” and “worried” when it comes to expressing its energy.

Exaltation: Every planet has a sign in which it is said to be “exalted”. The sign of its exaltation is a “good” placement for any planet, it is strong there. But, if a planet in rulership is like an individual at his own place, a planet in exaltation is like an “honored guest” (W. Lilly). Thus, a planet in exaltation does not operate in such a “selfish” way (having its own agenda as K. Burk says) as a planet in rulership would, but it is still in an environment where it feels comfortable (the host offers the best to an honored guest) and is able to express the best of itself. The sign of its exaltation is thus probably the best placement a planet could be in. It is strong, it is in an environment that suits him and where it can be comfortable, it is able to express itself, but at the same time it remains a guest, so “forced” in a way to behave, to bring out not simply its true self, that could be “bad” and selfish and tending to dominate everything, but its best self. A planet in exaltation can express its “higher nature”.

Fall: A planet is said to be “in fall” when placed in the sign opposite to the sign in which it is exalted. Planets in fall are also considered debilitated (as planets in detriment). They are disadvantaged because they too are found in an unfamiliar environment; Kevin Burk compares them to somebody that has landed to a foreign place, not knowing the language or the customs. And as anybody in an alien, uncomfortable territory and not being able to communicate, planets in fall cannot express themselves easily. Sue Tompkins uses the “expatriate” example too. But she adds that as any individual in such a situation would do, planets in fall tend to focus too much on survival and thus to not care much about others and act quite “selfishly” (as a result of their feeling of insecurity). This could make sense if again we thought of planets in fall as the opposite of planets in exaltation that are comfortable enough to be able to express their “higher nature”.

In Prince William’s chart there are three planets in rulershipAs any planet in rulership, these too will tend to express themselves very powerfully and dominate over other energies in the chart.

William’s Venus in Taurus is in his 5th house (Placidus). This placement is indicative of someone who values (Venus) loyalty and stability (Taurus) in his affairs (and this is not only because Venus generally has to do with relationships but also because here she is placed in the 5thhouse implying that the area where she will express her energy is romance).

From what I can tell, this Venus is very prominent in William’s life. He had a long-term relationship with Kate whom he ended up marrying. It lasted (as an affair and not marriage, which would take us to the 7th house – ok, I know this is a matter of debate, and then it’s Venus anyways) from 2003 to 2011, i.e. almost seven years, quite a long time especially taking into consideration that the couple was –at the time of the wedding- in its late 20s. Overall the relationship seemed to incorporate many Taurean traits, to be grounded, unpretentious, developing steadily through the years - from the dorm to engagement, to walking down the aisle, to having a baby. But this is obviously what William, who declared “not a party animal” during his college years, wants, what dominates his personality. He could well fool around, at least for some time, like a Prince Charming he is, but this Venus in Taurus seems to make him hold on tight. To me it is also interesting taking a look at the aspects this Venus forms, which are actually only two. An almost exact quincunx with Neptune that could “disturb” this very fixed and grounded Venus making her want to escape, to constantly run after the ideal and never feel fulfilled. And an out-of-sign (and thus not an aspect for some) but applying opposition with Uranus that could possibly lead to sudden and unexpected changes in relationships or a marked need for freedom and autonomy as far as they are concerned. But, as it seems at least, Venus here dominates over the other energies she touches. They want to “disturb” her but, as a planet in rulership, she gets to do her own thing, manages to show more strength and remain loyal, stable and persistent enough.

Another “planet” in rulership in William’s chart is his Moon in Cancer. According to Kevin Burk this is a Moon that tends to express herself so powerfully that she might have a hard time “accepting” she is not the only actor in the play! This is an intensely emotional Moon and probably the prince has a sensitive emotional and feeling nature that is very prominent. It is hard to know how sensitive one is, to which extent he tends to overreact, how dependable he is on other people’s support, how much he needs to experience and share emotions with others, especially when talking about a public figure. But apart from one’s needs, emotions and innate behavior, the Moon in his/her chart can also describe his/her experience of his/her mother. As of course she can describe any important woman in one’s life (as long as he turns there for support and nurturing!).

The same could apply to Venus; let’s not forget that for classical astrologers, Venus is used as the mother indicator in diurnal charts (and the one of William is a diurnal chart since the Sun is above the horizon), and anyways, in a man’s chart she is an indicator of the type of woman he is attracted to. In any case, what is interesting in William’s chart, is that both his “female indicators” are so strong, which is something showing that women play a major role in his life. And most probably this is the truth for William. Searching the web for as much information as possible about him, I would find articles and biographies focusing more on his relationship with Kate and of course on late Princess Diana, than on anything about his very own personality.
Probably, women in William’s life do not just play an important role, but are actually experienced as more powerful. A Moon in Cancer almost always shows a very symbiotic tie between mother and child, a relationship that is more powerful than usual. If we compare that very strong Moon in rulership, to William’s peregrine Sun, the father indicator in his chart, it is not difficult to understand that it was his mother that influenced him the most. His Moon-Sun conjunction (a separating one and thus less powerful than other aspects his Moon forms) might be an indicator that the relationship between his parents, despite their problems, was not experienced very “negatively”. Apparently, as the Lights are in the same sign, they had things in common. But the condition of the Lights (one in rulership, the other peregrine) shows that dad had always been on mum’s shadow. And he was indeed. Diana was very popular, “The People’s Princess”. Charles on the other hand was never that likeable. Let’s not forget that apart from father/mother indicators, the Sun and Moon serve as general indicators of the masculine and feminine principal. William grew up seeing his grandmother being a Queen, leading an entire nation, leaving his grandfather again in the shadow. Will William “reproduce” this family pattern? Will Kate be the strong woman, behind the powerful man (especially if he eventually becomes the King)? His Moon in the 7th might be indicative of the fact that his mother had some influence on his selection of partner too (although not with him anymore).
Another thing that is left to be seen is how William will do as a family man. The two “great powers” in his chart, Venus and Moon, are placed –as mentioned already- in the 5th and 7th house respectively, indicating on one hand, that he loves (Venus) children (5th) and he values family, and on the other, that getting married (7th) and having a home and a family is something he really needed and deeply wanted (Moon) and that it would be really important to him. In the signs they are, and being that powerful, his Venus and Moon give me the impression that will play out very strongly also as far as the family he is building now is concerned. I feel that he will be able to support all this, and be a nurturing and loyal father and husband. And maybe this will come out as one of his very prominent characteristics.

Another interesting thing about William’s chart might be the fact that the other “male indicator”, Mars, “the male force”, is in Libra, in the sign of his detriment. This could add to the idea that man figures in his life, and obviously himself too, are not so “worried” about (I guess some would say not able to) doing their own thing and being in control, but put relationships, harmony and balance (Libra) above all and just tactfully let their women have the power (strong female indicators - like grandma).
William’s case makes me think of something I read in Sue Tompkins’ “Contemporary Astrologer’s Handbook”.That there is nothing “good” or “bad” about a planet in detriment. His Mars in Libra, although poorly placed, is actually “good” for him, because this way he is at least somewhat “in sync” with the other, strong planets in his chart. With Mars in Libra he puts a lot of energy intorelationships, relationships are what spurs him into action. Which is something that doesn’t seem to be in conflict with him needing a home and a family and loving children as we mentioned above. A Mars in Aries for example would direct all his energy towards doing his very own thing and satisfying his very own desires, and this could bring some kind of battle.  What I am thinking here is that “good” placements might be “good” for the planets’ interests but not for the individual. Maybe a number of very powerful planets in a chart would be indicative of various very strong energies each one operating in a very autonomous way leading to a situation where the individual would not know where to stand and probably experiencing constant inside battles, feeling that one energy pushes him towards one thing and the other towards something really different.

This is just a thought because on another hand, William’ Mars is in square aspect with his Moon. So, where is this “war”, “the obstacle” the square informs us about when the two “planets” seem to go after more or less the same thing?

Some guesses one could take regarding this square; for William, women are strong, are influential, exercise power, but this should not be confused with the contemporary idea of powerful women who have successful careers, and might be too aggressive and so on. With his Moon in Cancer, William probably feels that women should remain somewhat “traditional”, they should be there to protect, to nurture, to comfort, theyshould not lose their “femininity”. The contact with Mars brings some more “masculine” traits into the picture. He is not a very aggressive Mars this one in Libra, but he still makes them want to fight, and he makes want to fight for their relationships, probably for harmony, peace, fairness and equality in their relationships. It is difficult for anyone to get to know this, but William might had a problem (indicated by the square) with his mother (Moon) leaving her marriage (7th) and her “traditional” role (Cancer) to go after (Mars) a chance to experience a more “fair” to her relationship (Libra), in which she would not experience betrayal, and she would not feel neglected. (in a relationship with a man with different cultural and religious background – Mars in 9th).

But again, this square is formed between a planet in rulership, Moon in Cancer, and a planet in detriment, Mars in Libra, so we would expect the Moon to dominate. And indeed, William did not go into fight with his mother, there was no conflict, there was something challenging there of course, but his overall experience of his mother and family was positive, she was highly supportive, she did try to protect him, she was “momsy” enough despite being a royalty, and she influenced him deeply.
There is something else about this Mars I think of. According to Kevin Burk, planets in detriment might actually be very strong but use their strength in inappropriate ways. In William’s biographies on the web, attention is paid to the royal duties he exercises for themoment. These mostly have to do with travelling abroad and actually taking care of the Palace’s external affairs. A Mars in Libra in the 9th flavor here…But what I thought is that, for something like that to be mentioned in a biography, it seems that it has some impact, it makes people notice. So this is a Mars that despite being in detriment manages to act out strongly. And then there are these inappropriate ways. Maybe William will turn out to be too “diplomatic” for a British loyalty? Maybe he will try to promote more equal and fair relationships (Libra) with foreign countries (9th) and probably this will be in conflict with his heritage (the square with Moon in Cancer)? Maybe this will be considered inappropriate? This is also to be seen.

In William’s chart there is a third planet in rulership, Mercury in Gemini. Most probably William has a quick mind and is capable of communicating in an intelligent way. The truth is that, trying to connect the astrological findings with William’s bio, I could not find any evidence that this is a very prominent characteristic of his, as I would expect. (It is not that I doubt it, I just can’t know it!). Something that might though be connected to Mercury’s placement in Gemini and in the 5th house is the fact that William is known for having many interests which include fishing, skiing, football, riding, shooting, motorcycling, hunting, swimming, and polo. This could be a combination of Gemini’s passion for variety with the 5th house (hobbies, fun). One of course would ask where does Mercury come into this picture. Mercury in the 5th is associated with sports / games / hobbies that need a good level of eye / hand coordination (like shooting). Mercury’s association with vehicles (motorcycling) is also known. Mercury in the 5th could also show one with a talent in writing, and recently William published an article having to do with the Air Force (his Mars trining Mercury?). Managing to communicate his ideas cleverly could possibly show how strong his Mercury is.

Something that also caught my eye while reading William’s biography on, was the following: William gives the impression of being a well-mannered, responsible and mature young man who shows a strong sense of duty and loyalty to the royal family, fully aware of the role he is to play in the future as the King of England.

To me there is something very “Saturnian” about this paragraph and this is probably what made me notice it.Responsibility, maturity, sense of duty, are all senses clearly related to Saturn, and, more than that, to Saturn expressing himself skillfully. Even awareness of roles (involves maturity, sense of authority, and duty) andloyalty to the royal family (respect for tradition, and for the status quo maybe) have a strong Saturnian flavor. I get the impression that here we have a planet in exaltation (William’s Saturn in Librathat really express the best of himself and gifts the individual with positive traits. And this Saturnian paragraph is the general impression people have about who William really is. So this Saturn in exaltation is what actually defines him and we would thus say that he acts out very powerfully. An interesting thing is that all major aspects he forms are quite wide (over 6 degrees orb) so there are no other energies mixing up very strongly with his own. But in his conjunction with Mars, Saturn would tend to dominate, and thus probably “hold back” Mars’ possible impulsiveness and make him act in a more mature way. (so no fear that Mars in detriment would act in inappropriate ways?)

*The Contemporary Astrologer’s Handbook by Sue Tompkins (2007)
**Astrology: Understanding the Birth Chart by Kevin Burk (2011)