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Astrological Essays, page 3

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Here are more essays on astrological themes.

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On Skeets

Houses, and what to do with them
Yogas of the East, Aphorisms of the West
Politicians and Astrology
Be a professional Astrologer and make lotsa money!
La Rentrée—How the French get back to business
How to read intercepted signs
Towards a new history of Astrology
Transmission, oral and written
The excitement of hope—The 2009 Inaugural chart
Dear Dave
On Charles Carter’s The Principles of Astrology
Hot tips in real estate
Dancing Lessons: How the world sees you
Dancing Lessons: Where the money comes from
Astrology and number
State of play
Fertility / On Zodiacs
Dancing Lessons: Techniques
Eclipse season
Eclipses: Mundane
Vive le Bastille
Tropical versus Sidereal
Astrology in the news
What is Pseudoscience? Doppler dogma
Astrology and weather
Science or Pseudoscience? Craters of the Moon
The best books on Progressions
AstroAmerica’s retrograde technology roundup
Pseudoscience proudly presents: The 5000 year old
theory of the Sun More on the Antikythera mechanism
Astro*Carto*Graphy at your fingertips
NASA lays an egg, and, Pain management
Rules for Operations, by H.L. Cornell
More on A pill in the hand

The Introductory from AstroAmerica’s Daily Ephemeris
Make money with astrology !
More on Make money
Friday the 13th of November is good for you !
Book of the week
Thee kinds of astrologers, by Sepharial
Merry Christmas 2009
Reincarnation: Astrology and karma
Reincarnation: Intercepted signs
Intercepted signs and reincarnation
More on houses
Initiation, and other new books
More Fun with houses
Neptune returns
Another birthtime for President Obama
George Washington’s Birthday
Sun versus Moon, which is stronger?
Help save astrology !
Mozart’s birthday
A Dream
How to set up a chart
How to calculate Tertiary Progressions
Spring planting
The new health care legislation Easy astrology
New books for spring
Porphyry the Philosopher
Charles Carter versus Adolf Hitler
Odds and ends
A Charles Carter festival !
A new theory of astrology
The Pre-Copernican World

Epilogue: The Author’s Lament

Appendix: Natal charts mentioned in this book



The first book of essays from AstroAmerica's ascerbic director. Not quite what you would expect. The title of the book seems to be a joke, as if telling us to not take anything we read too seriously. The essays, taken mostly from his monthly, and then, weekly, newsletter, cover a variety of topics, most of which are astrological. In addition to his own writing, the author has also included brief excerpts by H.L. Cornell, Sepharial, Ronald Davison, and others.

Most of the essays are short. They can be read in a matter of minutes. Some are less than a page. The author often launces into a subject, only to break off abruptly. I would like to see more of his house delineation system.

Roell says he reads charts largely from house rulers (which he terms "dispositors") alone. He gives a number of examples, including some cook-book delineations. He says his methods are superior to traditional aspects, in that dispositors, or rulers, give a wealth of detail, far beyond what aspects can do. As an example, he does Charles Carter one better and gives a short, frightening delineation of Adolf Hitler's chart. Which, according to Roell, Carter himself said he could not read. Here is part of it:

Now look at the chart with Scorpio rising. Mars rules from the 7th in Taurus. Debilitated, Mars wants to be in the first (all debilitated planets want to be in the house opposite, one of Dave’s Rules). Mars wanting to be in the first makes Hitler want to be the Man of Action! The Ruthless Hero.

Mars conjunct Venus made him sexually magnetic, but Venus, being retrograde, made Hitler The Man Your Mother Warned You About. In spades. He’s a no-good. He will seduce you, lead you up the garden path — and then murder you. Or, at the very least, be profoundly strange at your death (Maria Reiter, Geli Raubal, Ernst Roehm). Dysfunctional/debilitated chart ruler Mars killing the object of affection (Venus retrograde, ruler of the 7th) who just wasn’t good enough.

But, trine to the Moon, a long 16 degrees away from the Sun, and opposed to the ascendant, Hitler could keep his love-death nature away from the populace in general.

Mars/Venus conjunctions, in signs of Mars or Venus, especially when they rule the ascendant/descendant, always show people who are adored, loved, mobbed by thousands. Which Hitler was. (Not to mention Casanova.)

Elsewhere, you’ve heard that a 10th house Saturn means ultimate failure. Why? Because it takes on responsibilities until it is overwhelmed. That’s why. In Hitler’s case, Saturn was disposed by his Sun. When a 10th house Saturn disposes, or is disposed by, the Sun, it makes for a born leader. This isn’t a matter of aspect. It is inherent in the nature of the planets themselves. Not only is the Sun-Saturn person the man you will trust, it’s the person you instinctively look to for fathership itself. The qualities inherent in the very word, fiihrer. This is Hitler, the leader. (pgs. 174-5)

Many of Roell's ideas are innovative. For example, he believes astrology to be a product of number system and latitude north of the equator. Thus, he believes Hellenistic astrology to be an offshoot of Vedic astrology because, as he says, the Indians had a system appropriate to their tropical latitudes, whereas the Greek system, lacking an adequate number system, is in his opinion a make-do.

He is also convinced that in the days before the printing press, knowledge was transmitted orally, from generation to generation, by means of memorized poetry. He contrasts Poe's The Raven, with Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. He says knowledge of the earlier oral-based system had been long forgotten by the time of Guttenberg.

The book concludes with a new theory of astrology. Astrology, according to Roell, is a form of planet-to-planet resonance. The planets "vibrate" each other, and that collective vibration, as transmitted to us by the Earth itself, is our "astrology" of any given moment. Someone should look into that.

Leaving aside the many distractions, Roell's book is one of the best collections of essays since Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson, and much more nicely printed.

And if you're curious, the author of the book did indeed write these notes about himself.

Here are more excerpts.

July, 2012: I am much too hard on myself. Chris Lorenz has written a very nice review, published in the September, 2012 issue of Dell Horoscope. Read the complete review here (pdf file). A condensed version is directly below:

Astrology Classics, 217 pages.

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SKEET SHOOTING FOR ASTROLOGERS is, like it's title, definitely off the beaten track. And thank goodness for that! I've had enough of astrological cookbooks as well as quasi-astrological musings that serve up the same stale information and leaves me wondering 'where's the beef' ? Skeet Shooting's definitely got the 'beef' but be prepared to do some chewing. In my estimation this author is one of the true original thinkers of our generation. The book is a treasure chest filled with so many gems of wisdom that you can't immediately comprehend them all on your first reading. The minute I finished it I immediately turned to the beginning and started to read it again. I expect that I will do this many more times until I fully comprehend all the finer points. For example topics such as Eclipse Season sent me back to charts in my own files as well as to other books to test the theories which gave me a whole new perspective on rectification. To get the most out of this book the reader should posses a variety of astrological skills as well as the ability to approach the work from many different angles. Personally I found this to be incredibly stimulating but by the same token it may be somewhat challenging for most beginners. But anyone who is fortunate enough to read it will be stimulated to take a look at astrology through a different lens. Although the book is largely a collection of essays from the AstroAmerica newsletters, the bonus is the last chapter when the author presents his original theory of the true nature of astrological influence. This chapter is pure gold and it is my prediction that it will be read for generations to come.

As those of you know who are familiar with the weekly newsletter, Dave has a 'throwaway line' style of writing which is very similar to the actual sport of skeetshooting. Dave plays two roles in this book. One is as the mechanism that launches his astrological concepts into the mental atmosphere at warp speed. The other is as the shooter who cracks open those ideas from a variety of angles which challenges the reader to consider new astrological realities.

Although you may not nail every 'skeet' in this book, you will be eternally thankful that it was written and grateful that this author walks among us. This book is definitely at the top of my astrological list. --Pam Ciampi

If you love astrology books and handy insights into the complex workings of astrology, then you'll enjoy reading David Roell's Skeet Shooting for Astrologers. The author is a bookseller by trade and specializes in astrology, which he has studied with a passion since the 1980's. He wrote a monthly online newsletter, which turned into a weekly newsletter, and rather than have all his essays disappear into cyberspace, he's collected them into this Skeet Shooting book. Just about every essay mentions an astrology book, from which he finds his inspiration to expand, speculate, and elaborate on various topics.

It's great fun just to open the book at random and dive into the subject at hand. During a coffee break, for example, you might find yourself reading the one page on Marc Robertson's book titled The 8th House. This house is about investment advice, which, according to Roell, not one astrologer in a hundred knows. If you think the eighth house is about sex, you're right, but with this caveat: "Sex for the sake of amusement is the 5th house. Sex as something that changes you forever, that's the 8th house."

One of my favorite essays is the last one, "Towards a New Theory of Astrology." Here he describes how planets influence the earth by resonance, and humans are especially responsive since they are the most sensitive instruments on earth.

Many of the essays offer practical advice on how to read a horoscope. The two essays titled, "Dancing Lessons" are about how the world sees you, and how to tell where a person's money comes from; the rulers of the first and second houses by sign and house describe these qualities. Other relevant essays describe how to read intercepted signs, what to do about the thirteenth sign, how to predict the weather, what to do about midpoints, using Astro*Carto*Graphy and AstroLocality, when to operate according to astrological rules, how to calculate tertiary progressions, and how to make lots of money by giving mini-readings at a bar.

Some of the astrology tips are whimsical, some based on ancient texts, and some come from the author's own experience. Several essays explore alternative birthdates or birth times for well-known politicians and musicians.

You can enjoy the engaging, original, and provocative banter by plunging into Skeet Shooting. It'll have you scratching your head - and encouraging you to learn more.- Chris Lorenz, Dell Horoscope, September 2012

THE TRIPLE WITCHING HOUR - David R. Roell, $24.95



Occupy Wall Street, part 1
Occupy Wall Street, part 2: Time and Time Again
The chart of the week: Howie Mandel
Losing Your Virginity
Charles Baudelaire: How to Read a Stellium
Daffodils and haircuts
William Shatner: Sun and Moon
Whole Sign Houses
Newt Gingrich Hates Mitt Romney
Hellenists, Medievalists
Whole Sign Houses
Vettius Valens calculates the ascendant
The Florida Primary
Lady Gaga
George McCormack’s Weather Astrology
Whitney Houston
Michael Jackson
Rush Limbaugh
The Heat Wave
The Spring Equinox Chart
AstroMeteorology and Astro*Carto*Graphy

Mozart’s Birth and Death
The Program to the Eroica
The Program to the Ninth

Spring Planting
Know your leaders: Antonin Scalia
Table of Alchochoden
My Dinner with Andrea
Know your leaders: Joseph Biden
Excerpt from Long Range Weather Forecasting
Astrology Under Our Feet
People as Transits
Introducing Luke Broughton
Everybody’s favorite host: Tom Bergeron
Venus, Money and the Eclipse
The New Medicine
The Development of Science
Dorothy and Her Magic Broomstick
Tropical and Sidereal: Clint Eastwood
Fix Your Heart with Astrology and Herbs

Bibliography: Books referenced in this book
About the Author


The title of this book, The Triple Witching Hour, is a Wall Street term for the end of the financial quarter. It has nothing to do with broomsticks and is unknown outside of the Street.

In his third book of essays, Roell starts, appropriately enough, with an analysis of Occupy Wall Street, a short-lived protest movement which was brutally suppressed. This book will tell you why OWS failed and why astrology is essential for planning protest movements, or, for that matter, weddings and children, though you won't find them in this book.

Roell then takes off the gloves. In an extraordinary bare-knuckle essay, Astrology Under Our Feet, Roell proves astrology does not fall from an empty sky, but is generated by the earth itself. We are soaked in astrology, from birth to death.

Why the hostility from science? Roell finds the origins of modern science in the French Renaissance, which produced an Enlightenment that was a consensus dictat. It was based on a simplistic "science" vs: "superstition," which was formed at the very outset. In reality the Enlightenment was a clash between rich city vs: poor rural, bookish vs: hand-me-down. The Enlightenment amounts to city folk who do not know where milk comes from. Roell declares science to be a series of consensus-based fads. Over the long run, he says, as much quirky as correct. Proof? Roell says to read old science journals.

Roell then sketches a new world with astrology, most particularly a new medicine, based on solid astrological analysis, rather than scientific guesswork. Roell declares astrology, like engineering but unlike science, to be based upon fundamental realities and is therefore permanent and unchanging.

Along the way in this book, he adds lots of celebrity and political riff-raff for your amusement, a masterful tour de force of astrology at work. Enjoy!

Astrology Classics, 212 pages.

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DUELS AT DAWN: The second book of essays - David R. Roell, $24.95



Houses vs: Signs, part 1
Houses vs: Signs, part 2
Houses vs: Signs, part 3
Houses vs: Signs, part 4
Angles and Aspects
Mangling Hellenistic Astrology
Chuck and Dave and Firdaria
An Eclipse and an (Astrological) Election
Ophiuchus, the “13th Sign”
The Orbit of the Moon is not what you think
Astrology and Medicine
Astro Med
George Washington’s Chart
Basic Medical Chart Analysis
Robert Blaschke, 1953–2001, RIP
The Decumbiture Chart
Jon Stewart, The Daily Show
The Japanese Earthquake
Elizabeth Taylor
Time Twins
Johnny Cash, The Man in Black
Herbert von Karajan
Bette Davis
That Big Royal Wedding: Bill and Kate Wed
More (ghoulish) fun: Kate and Diana

Sathya Sai Baba is dead
Newton : Goethe : Polarities
Rapture! Howard Camping
How to pick a house system
How to write a daily horoscope
footnote: green astrology
Emperor Nero
Newt Gingrich
Resonance, a work in progress
Planet Earth as astrology
Hurricane Irene
Claudius Ptolemy on weather
A peek at election day, 2012
The Republican Party, part I
Vivian Robson, portrait
More Republican mayhem
Mad as hatters: The Tea Party
Astrological Tools You Can Use
Ron Paul
Truthiness: Stephen Colbert
Adam Savage, Mythbuster
Jeremy Clarkson, Top Gear
Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York
Postscript: Rays and Ages
Steve Jobs, Apple Computers
Dave’s own fudge recipe

Bibliography: Books referenced in this book


From the Introduction:

You have economic hard times to thank for this book. I am by profession a bookseller. In 2007, Margaret Cahill, at the Wessex Astrologer, suggested a newsletter as a way of enhancing book sales. I think she had monthly specials, promo sheets and upcoming new titles in mind, but I was too dense for that. Instead I wrote on topics of my own fancy.

The first two years, 2007-9, when the newsletter appeared monthly were, well, dreadful. The week that Venus went retrograde in March, 2009, with the stock market stabilizing after months of plunging, I shifted from a monthly single-page newsletter, to a weekly three-pager.

I followed a strict three-page format for a couple of years. Most of the worth-while essays were compiled in my first book, Skeet Shooting for Astrologers.

Two years later in March, 2011, with the economy ever more bleak and myself running out of ideas, I started writing celebrity delineations and in the process broke out of a rigid format. The delineation of Jon Stewart, of the Daily Show, was the first of these. Retrograde Venus has turned up in a surprising number of the charts I’ve written about, given its rarity, among them, the chart for the Republican Party, as well as the charts for Rep. Ron Paul, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Jon Stewart, and some others. No, my Venus is not retrograde.

What follows is in order of publication, in part as I think organizing by topic makes for a boring block of reading. The book starts with the last of the 2-column essays from the original 3-page weekly.

Meanwhile the economy is now in the fifth year of straight decline. Things are getting desperate. I do wish the people in charge of the country would just send us all envelopes stuffed with cash. (They seem incapable of actually governing.) I can live on barter just as well as money, but when that happens there will be no authors, there will be no books, there will be no commerce. Money has its uses.

Highlights from the second book of essays:
  • How to pick a house system for specific types of astrology.
  • Many innovative ways to use houses.
  • How to write a daily/weekly/monthly horoscope.
  • The real dirt on time twins: Various pairs of people born the same day. How and why their lives differed.
  • The Royals. Always good clean fun!
  • The Full Moon in astrology.
  • Essential tables. Planets that like other planets.
  • Did you know? The Republican Party has a birth chart. Find out what it means and why!
  • For early shoppers, a peek at election day, 2012. For tardy shoppers, an X-ray of the author’s foibles.
  • Lots of celebrity and political horoscopes. Well, okay, 17 of ‘em.
  • How to make the best fudge!

Astrology Classics, 214 pages.

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True stories by Judith Hill:


Perfect faith
Don't be superstitious
My bus ride
The life guard
Wrong station
The sullen teen
My astro twin
Dog tales
Opera baby
Screaming redhead
The computer wife
Beginner's luck
Sky rocks
Ruby red slippers
Miss Communication
The Yom Kippur tragedy
The day is not yet over
Stellar rescue
The horse's knees
Born that way
Ankle Fandankle
The right time
The tourist
The cosmic microscope
Deluge of happiness
The cat who loved music
The time travelers
The calling

True Stories by Andrea Gehrz:


The skeptic
Special sauce
The curiosity disorder
The ossified man
Case closed
The tiny nook
Night shift
The monsoon
The puppet
The strange request
Astral gas
Tongue tied
Deja vu
The gay spirit guide
The Easter man
Aunt Kathy
Diversity training
The cornucopia
The dotted line
I'm your Venus!
Heat wave
The red shirt
Manifest destiny


Two sets of essays by two very good astrologers, both based in Portland, Oregon. Both sets of essays are typically 3 - 4 pages each. The authors have complimentary writing styles, they blend together well. Hill is technically focused. Gehrz adds psychic sensitivity.

Both authors write "gee-whizz" essays, as in gee-whizz, that's amazing! There is little in the way of astrological detail. It is easy to skip from one essay to another, from Hill's essays in the front, to Gehrz's in the back. Read all of these and you will be enthused to find and take up with an astrologer, or perhaps take up the study of astrology itself.

Here are some examples. First, Hill:

"The Astrologer's Convention, please," I instructed the gum chewing taxi driver. It was amazing how many nationally known astrologers of all shapes and sizes were converging on the scene of the packed conference. It was all so exciting! I was especially excited, because I had peeked into my Ephemeris before departing. The Ephemeris is the astrologer's handy pocket guide of current planetary placements, and is a primary tool for any working astrologer. When I had flipped through the pages of The Ephemeris, I had noticed that the planets were about to pile up in a manner that promised to be one of the most fortunate days of my entire life!

When reaching my room, I called my publisher. "Make sure you push my new book tomorrow," I encouraged her. "It is my super lucky day for books. I am sure we will get an offer!"

You are probably wondering how I could tell that this next day was to be so fortunate. Jupiter is the planet that tends to bring about lucky weather. As astrologers, we tend to call Jupiter the "Great Benefic," as Jupiter tends to bring feelings of being glorious and blessed. Let's just say that when I looked into The Ephemeris, I noticed that Jupiter would be supremely prominent on the next day, poised to deliver his blessing. (pg. 65)

Tongue Tied: It is a true delight to have a happy and precocious couple in my office. I specifically remember a couple who felt like they were very much meant to be together. In fact, a series of love omens had kept them optimistic even though they could not seem to communicate all that well. For instance, their dads both happened to have the same middle names and their cats were born on the same day. While I can't remember all the details of their special connection, I will never forget the sweet and pure love they seemed to have for one another.

As I began to analyze their compatibility in relation to the planets, I noticed something quite striking. One of these girls had been born with an intense planetary combination in relation to communication blockages. The planet of Mercury is the planet that represents the urge to communicate and express one's needs. This girl had been born with the cold and blocking planet of Saturn directly upon her Mercury. (pg. 152)

Later. Andrea tells me I am correct, that the Wonderbook was intended to showcase Hill's and her talents as astrological consultants. She is elated that the book has already produced several new clients. While I am happy for her, I am disappointed for me, as I will have few sales to give her, as her intended audience is not part of my customer base. Andrea tells me she will soon have a new book, Remediation that will, to quote Andrea, run naked in the streets. I look forward to it, and will stock it as soon as it is published. Judith Hill has an upcoming book on eclipses.

Moira Press, Stellium Press, 208 pages.

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UNDER ONE SKY: Astrologers representing twelve different traditions read the same natal chart - blind! - Rafael Nasser, edited by Jodie Forrest, $24.95
Editor's note; Preface; Prologue; Part 1: The astrologer's forum; Part 2: Joyce's story; Part 3: The interpretations:
  • Thumbnail sketches
  • Demetra George: Asteroid centered
  • Evelyn Roberts: Archetypal
  • Gary Christen: Uranian
  • Hadley Fitzgerald: Psychological
  • John Marchesella: Modern western
  • Ken Bowser: Western sidereal
  • Kim Roger-Gallagher: Light-hearted
  • Robert Hand: Medieval
  • Robert Schmidt: Hellenistic
  • Ronnie Gayle Dreyer: Vedic
  • Steven Forrest: Evolutionary
  • Wendy Z. Ashley: Mythological
Epilogue; Glossary

Comment: This was Nasser's idea, which makes him the producer of the book. He wondered how twelve different astrologers would "read", blind, the same chart. His method was to solicit twelve written interpretations of the same chart, that for "Joyce", born January 16, 1943, 4:18 pm CWT, Pryor, OK. The book suffers from two conceptual flaws: Astrologers were not chosen for their ability at blind readings, nor were they chosen for their ability at written interpretations. All have, or believe they have, strong writing skills. (At least eight have written books.) The result reads like twelve advertisments ("buy me!" "buy me!"), but, for the most part, cannot be indicative of actual reading styles, which are usually oral. For that matter, "Joyce" herself has strong writing skills: Her autobiography runs 41 pages & reads like a novel.

It is said that, based on "Joyce's" own story (which, of course, none of the astrologers read until after their interpretations were finalized), some astrologers got things more right than others. As "Joyce's" self-described history is subjective & as none of the astrologers provide their own birth-data, terms such as "right" or "wrong", "correct" or "incorrect", with regards to the readings, are meaningless. With these caveats, this is an interesting book.

Seven Paws Press, 489 pages.

TRUE CRIME ASTROLOGY: Famous murders and suicides - Edna Rowland, $23.95


An introduction to astrology

Part 1: Homicide
1. The Diane Downs murder case
2. Who was the "fatal vision" murderer?
3. Richard Spect
4. The murder of John Lennon
5. The many faces of Ted Bundy
6. The last ride
7. Dr. Tarnower's last supper

Part 2: The link between suicide and homicide:
8. Suicide
9. Was Marilyn Monroe's death suicide or murder?
10. The life and death of Sylvia Plath

1. Midpoints associated with violence or homicide
2. Seven special-interest Arabic Parts



This book was first published in 1996, originally in 8.5 x 11 format, comb bound. The AFA has reprinted in standard paperback format, albeit in a squarish format. Back when this book was first published, 1996, a year I still vaguely remember, times were better than they are now and on TV there was still a wide focus. Since then, it seems that whenever I turn on the TV, whenever I flip the channels, whenever I see ads for movies, there is violence, violence, violence, death, violence, murder, violence. It is hyper-male, it is unrelenting, and I have had enough. Forgive me, but I have to grit my teeth to look at a book consisting only of murder and suicide. I at least want to see general principles emerge from it.

An example of the writing, from the first chapter on Diane Downs:

Diane Downs successful rate of childbearing made her a prime candidate for surrogate motherhood. Just before midnight on May 7, 1982, in Louisville, Kentucky, Diane gave birth to a baby girl. The child was adopted by surrogate parents who paid Diana ten thousand dollars for her labor and sacrifice. She spent part of this money on a trailer, since she had permanently separated from her husband and needed a place to live. Shortly after, Diane and her sister attempted to organize a surrogate clinic of their own, but they reluctantly abandoned the idea when they were unable to comply with restrictive state regulations. (pg. 10)
Diane Downs was accused of murdering one of her three children and attempting to murder the other two, on May 19, 1983, and sent to prison. She says she's innocent. Rowland accepts the judgment of the court and reads the chart as if Downs was guilty. I would much rather Rowland attempted to establish guilt. Rowland establishes that on the date in question, Downs was having extraordinary transits, which would be true whether or not she was guilty, since the death of a child is always most strongly marked in a parent's chart. Rowland does not connect the mother's alleged act directly to any of the children, she does not show that the mother was capable of harming a specific child in a specific way. In the natal chart (August 7,1955, 7:35 pm MST, Phoenix, AZ), the 5th house of children is Gemini and empty, the ruler, Mercury, is conjunct Mars in Leo late in the 6th. Is this violence to children? Perhaps. The degree on the cusp of the 5th is 27 Gemini, which means the house is ruled largely by the Moon, which we find in Aries in the 2nd, of money. Which would be money for breeding children which Downs had little emotional connection with (lack of water in the chart as a whole). While the Moon is itself disposed by Mars, it makes no sense to murder your source of income. On the other hand, Leo is on the cusp of the 7th and just inside it is Pluto in Leo. The Sun, which rules Leo, is 12 houses away from it. If an estranged boyfriend murdered the children (Pluto in Leo in the 7th, with the Sun in Leo in the 6th behind it, triggering Mars to act directly upon Mercury, the ruler of the 5th and indirectly upon the Moon, which Mars rules), Diane Downs's chart backs her story, with one critical change: She knew the attacker, but chose to remain silent. Seventh house ruled from the 6th (12 houses away from the 7th) means the identity of a 7th house individual will be very hard to determine. I have no confidence in detectives to do anything other than follow their noses, so a guilty verdict must be proved. Astrologically speaking, I don't think Rowland did.

Since you will ask, Rowland sort of, kind of, thinks Marilyn was murdered. I wish the astrology was better.

AFA, 126 pages.

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Nicholas Campion
SKY & PSYCHE: The relationship between cosmos & consciousness - edited by Nicholas Campion & Patrick Curry, $35.00


Introduction: Sky & Psyche, heaven & soul, by Nicholas Campion

Part 1: The Alchemical Sky:
1. Love & the alchemical Saturn, by Liz Greene
2. The azure vault: The caelum as experience, by James Hillman

Part 2: Sky & Psyche:
3. Chartres Cathedral & the role of the Sun in the cathedral's Christian Platonist theology, by Bernadette Brady
4. Life across the cosmos, by Neville Brown
5. Imagining eternity: Weaving "The Heavens' embroidered cloth", by Jules Cashford
6. The soul of the sky, by Noel Cobb
7. The Russian spirit of place, by Cherry Gilchrist
8. A dimensional model for the relationship of consciousness & cosmos: Mathematical abstraction vs: conscious experience, by Robert Hand
9. Sun gods & moon deities in Africa, by Jarita C. Holbrook
10. Where the heavens meet the earth: Inspirations from the lives of Carl Jung, Jalal-u-din Rumi & Mahatma Gandhi, by Nicholas Pearson
11. Understanding the modern disenchantment of the cosmos, by Richard Tarnas
12. The secret life of statues, by Angela Voss

The Sophia Center

Comment: Nicholas Campion's Introduction will set the stage. He is the director of the Sophia Centre at Bath Spa University.

The chapters in this book are based on lectures delivered at two conferences held in Bath on May 1 [Sunday] & July 1-2 [Friday-Saturday], 2005, respectively: "The Alchemical Sky" and "Sky & Psyche". Both events were initiated by Bath Spa University's Sophia Centre, and were designed, as the title of the second event suggests, to address the question of the relationship of between sky & psyche - in their broadest sense. Psyche, in particular, has a double meaning as soul and mind. Until the seventeenth century the two were indistinguishable; soul was that part of mind which could communicate with, travel to, and/or unite with, God. Alchemical sky, meanwhile, points to the possibility of transmutation - or tramsformation; that the psyche's ability to reflect on the heavens necessarily involves what we might nowadays call an evolutionary process.

The question of the relationship between the soul & the stars has been central to cosmology for thousands of years. The belief in the soul's journey to the stars permeated Egyptian thought. It appeared amongst the Greek Orphics, perhaps under Egyptian influence, from where it made its way into Plato's teachings in fourth century BCE Athens. Thanks to Plato's impact on the Church Fathers, his theories became a persistent, if controversial, part of Christian theology. In fact, one could argue that the entire Christian notion of soul is pagan. The belief that the soul could embark on a celestial journey draws attention to the cosmos as a real, physical space, one in which morality varies with the region within which one finds one's self. For medieval Christians, Heaven, the soul's natural home, was located above earth - beyond the stars.

To paraphrase Rob Hand, who spoke at the "Sky & Psyche" conference, the relationship of soul to stars was the central problem in cosmology during the centuries when Christian theology was being formulated and was fighting for supremacy over its pagan & heretical rivals. Did the soul come from the stars? If so, how did it return? Could it return? Did it even want to? These were the sort of questions that pervaded discussions of humanity's relationship with the divine.

While much modern psychology has become almost entirely dissociated from psyche in its original sense, the reaction to such ideas began with Jung in the 1910s and has found a home in the various schools of post-Jungian and transpersonal psychology. Plato's idea of the rational mind, that part of the psyche which was in contact with the divine, survives in various forms. His Idealism, which presented mind as independent of matter, flourishes, unrecognized, in a world in which most academic disciplines take materialism as their starting point. Plato's cosmic order though, survives in one other significant area apart from depth psychology, and that is pure mathematics. John Barrow, professor of mathematical sciences at Cambridge University and one of the orginators of of the anthropic principle, in which the universe & human life are to one degree or another mutually dependent, discussed "mathematical Platonism", which he considered "almost religious in the sense that it provides an underpinning necessary to give meaning to life & human activity." Roger Penrose is another mathematical Platonist. Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, he shared the 1988 Wolf Prize for physics with Stephen Hawking. Penrose's explanation for the manner in which mathematics allows for intellectual inquiry is instructive.... (pg. 9-10)

This should be enough to give an idea of the book. It would seem the seminar topic became an excuse for papers on the contributors' pet projects, provided they could work "Platonism" into it. For example, Bernadette Brady's article, on Chartres Cathedral, relates her discovery that at sunrise on Christmas Day, the sun shines directly into the south transept, while, only a few hours later, the Xmas setting sun shines directly through the great western portal, straight up the nave itself. A fabulous feat of architecture, but nothing whatever to do with where your soul goes after you're dead.

Dear Sophia People: Compilations that are on topic will get a better reception than grab-bags. Topics that are relevant, which can be expressed in common terms, will beat out abstractions. Finally, Carl Jung is not God. He's not the Word of God, he's not even a good God substitute. Metaphysically, his ideas are crude. Endless, mindless repetition has not improved them. Given the harm his many crusaders are causing, a moratorium is overdue.

Floris Books, 234 pages.

ASTROLOGY FOR TODAY - Joanna Watters, $22.00
Contents: Introduction
1. Sun signs
2. The planets
3. The horoscope
4. Significance & symbolism
5. Transits & prediction
6. Locating progressions
7. Relationships
8. Astrology in action

Ephemerides; Glossary; Index; Acknowledgments

Comment: This is a very nice book about what astrology is & what it's like to be an astrologer, in practical terms. But on the way to getting itself printed, the text ran into a fancy high street publisher who smothered it with pictures & fancy layouts & turned it into a coffee table book.

Which made it hard to find the author's original text underneath it all. But look hard. It's there. And it's worth a read.

For example, the chapter on Relationships, which form the bulk of Watters' astrological business. First, she offers guidelines: Look at the 7th house, 1st house, planets in the 7th, Venus, Mars, the lights. Then follows brief pointers on synastry, with Catherine Zeta-Jones & Michael Douglas as a romantic couple, a brief comparison of a Cancer/Aries sun sign couple, the "cosmic marriage", which Watters defines as one Sun conjunct the other's Moon, other powerful forms of synastry, a note on Saturn, Saturn & serious love, Saturn in synastry. Then Uranus & John & Yoko, romantic or redeeming love, Neptune in synastry, Pluto & obsessive or healing love. The chapter ends with case studies, which are perhaps the best thing in the book. The author writes directly about her own experiences as a counselor, about the stuff she got right, about the many other times she didn't figure it out until it was all over. There's nothing here that's comprehensive, there's nothing in real depth, but the writing has immediacy.

Carroll & Brown, 160 pages.

ASTROLOGY FOR THE 21ST CENTURY - David Cochrane, $17.95
Contents: 1. Historical Perspective: Valid disciplines surpass our expectations; 2. The search for a starting point in astrology; 3. Theories on how & why astrology works; 4. Short digression: How I became interested in astrology; 5. Energy process interpretation of the planets; 6. Energy process interpretation of the Zodiac signs; 7. Energy process interpretation of the houses; 8. Harmonics!; 9. Degree meanings; 10. Compatibility analysis; 11. Treasure maps; 12. September 11, 2001; 13. A research study; 14. A second research study; Bibliography.

Comment: David Cochrane is the guy behind Cosmic Patterns astrology software (the famous Kepler program, among others).

This book is the culmination of 30 years of wrestling the beast of astrology. By beast I mean that astrology is so vast & immense that every astrologer carves out only a few inroads into this daunting field. (pg 23)

Surveying the book, Cochrane has read a variety of authors (only some of which are listed in the bibliography). His view of planets is influenced by Bailey's Esoteric Astrology (though he doesn't do much with it), he's also been influenced by Charles Jayne & Reinhold Ebertin & a number of others. It is impressive to read Cochrane's book if only for the sheer depth of his studies. He has a good deal of practical experience with harmonics. He combines harmonics with Vedic divisional charts (Vargas) to take another look at degree symbols, such as those by Jones & Charubel - both of which he mentions. The result is his own set of degree symbols, based, as he says, on a combination of harmonics & Vargas. In this, he reminded me of Mohan Koparkar's Degrees of the Zodiac Magnified, which, if I am not mistaken, was also based on the Vargas. So far as I am aware, Cochrane & Koparkar are unaware of each other's work, which, superficially at least, appear unrelated. This is a book that will repay close study.

Cosmic Press, 232 pages.

SEX & THE OUTER PLANETS - Barbara Watters, $19.95
Contents: List of illustrations; 1. The inner planets; 2. The middle planets; 3. The expanding universe;

4. Sexual distortion in the Saturn dominated chart: i. Adolf Hitler, ii. The Marquis de Sade;

5. Sexual distortion in the Jupiter dominated chart;

6. The outer planets: i. Uranus, ii. Neptune, iii. Pluto

7. Uranus as a sex significator: i. Homosexuality - rebellion, ii. Somerset Maugham & Gertrude Stein;

8. Neptune as a sex significator: i. Masochism, ii. Impotence;

9. Pluto as a sex signficator: i. Violence & delinquency, ii. Rape;

10. Pluto & genius: i. Sublimation of sex & violence, ii. Pasteur, iii. Van Gogh, iv. Eugene O'Neill

Appendices: A. Formula for casting Johndro charts; B. Source data for the horoscopes used in this book; C. Karl Marx - horoscope data.

Comment: Contrasts American & European sexuality & how Charlemagne's coronation turns up in Hitler's chart. Among other highlights: Sexual attitudes of European civilization: the predatory male, sex as sin, the female principle as evil. Sexual attitudes in the US: emerging matriarchy, guns & money as substitutes for sex. Sexual distortions of Saturn: sadism, guilt, anal eroticism. Sexual distortions of Jupiter: voyeurism, exhibitionism, promiscuity. Uranus as sexual significator: homosexuality, rebellion, fanaticism, the castration complex. Neptune as sex significator: masochism, impotence, narcissism, drugs. Pluto as sex significator: violence, rape, the criminal gang, group sex.

August 2010: This is now in the AFA's new squarish format (7.5 x 9.25 inch), which I think is dreadful & unattractive. It always pains me to see books rendered in this format. Llewellyn's guilty of the same thing, but they do better page formatting.

AFA, 122 pages.




The Sun, Moon & eight planets
Symbols of the planets decoded
The eight planetary companions
Further evidence & comments on use in interpretation
Mathematics, the solar system, and rulerships

1. Planet data
2. Planetary moon data



The best way to understand this book is to let it speak for itself. Here is the Self Evident (TM) pairing of the planets:
Mercury & Pluto (Humanity)
Here is a list of reasons why these two planets should be paired together:
  • They are both difficult to see
  • They have the most eccentric orbits
  • They have the greatest two orbital inclines from the plane of the solar system
  • They are each at the end positions in the solar system
  • They are the two smallest planets

Venus & Mars (Individual)
In the case of these two planets, I have suggested that it is their relationship to Earth that makes them a pair & that the Earth is the reference. So here is a look at how each of these planets compares with the Earth.

First Venus:

  • Venus is very similar in size to Earth
  • Both have atmospheres held to a hard surfaced planet
  • The are sequential in orbit
  • They have similar compositions
  • The orbit of Venus is synchronized so when Venus makes its closest approach to Earth, the same side of Venus is always facing the Earth. (The opposite is not true.)

Now Mars:

  • Earth & Mars are sequential in orbit
  • They have similar compositions
  • They both have atmospheres
  • They both have four seasons (similar axial tilt).
  • They both have polar ice caps
  • They both have at least one moon. (all from page 55)
Here is how the author describes individual planets:
Venus as integrational:
  • Venus has the next orbit inside of, or integrated with, Earth's orbit
  • As mentioned, Venus has an orbit that is synchronized (integrated with) Earth's
  • Venus is the only planet which has its day equal to its year. It could be said that they day & year on Venus are integrated into each other.
  • The atmosphere on Venus is tightly held in, almost integrated into the surface of the planet.

Jupiter, the king of separational:

  • Ajacent to the Mars-Jupiter asteroid belt
  • The first of the gas giant planets
  • Not counting Saturn's rings, Jupiter is the largest planet
  • Jupiter & its moons are almost like their own solar system trying to separate from our solar system.
  • The four small inner moons of Jupiter, like Phobos of Mars, are slowly falling into Jupiter & will either eventually smash into Jupiter or be thrown out of Jupiter's orbit - both results being separational in nature.
  • Jupiter is the only planet with more than one giant moon (Jupiter has four)
  • These four large moons of Jupiter strongly suggest the concept of separation. The three inner moons, Io, Europa & Ganymede are in synchronous orbits. The outermost moon, Callisto is just barely out of synchronization. Callisto emphasizes its separation from the orbital timings of the other three giant moons. (pgs. 57-8)
Okay, it's strange. So what do we do with it? Here's part of his analysis of George W. Bush, the recent US president:
The Sun & Moon in Astrological Charts . . .

The Sun is at 13 degrees Cancer 47 minutes in the twelfth house in George W. Bush's chart.
Sun: Source, point of radiation, outflow
Cancer: Starting family
Twelfth house: Self-separated from commmunity - Endings

Put together, these considerations suggest that George W. Bush instigates actions (Sun) that, taken together (Cancer), form a new family of endings (twelfth house). (page 3)

Elsewhere, Sayer is the very first astrological author to attempt to assign independent values to the moons of other planets:
As can be seen in Figure 25, there are a great number of large moons in the solar system. Several are larger than the Earth's Moon. Hence it is logical to ask if Earth's Moon has so much meaning, why don't astrologers have meanings for these large planetary moons?

SELF EVIDENT ASTROLOGY (TM) suggests a logical answer to this question. If we look at a planet with any rings & moons that it may have & treat this grouping as a planetary system, the meanings become more evident. Perhaps one can derive the meanings of the moons, in particular, by their characteristics. Since the vast majority of the planetary moons rotate around one of the four gas giants, there is an evident parent/child relationship between these planets & their moons. Hence it would be natural to assume a degree of inheritance of meaning from a planet to each of its moons. (pgs. 35-6)

Two people at the AFA published this book. They're friends of mine, or so I would hope. One of them edited the text. The other designed the cover (one of Jack's best covers, by the way). Should I tell you this is an okay - sorta - kinda - book & encourage you to buy it & not upset my friends, or should I simply say that despite the best efforts of people I respect, this is one of the most stupid books I have ever read? Why are the moons of Jupiter not a factor in astrology? Because if you plot the position of Jupiter to the nearest sixtieth of a second of a minute of a degree (which is impossible) you will still not be able to distinguish the planet from any of its moons. Ascribing value to planetary moons, such as make any difference to humans on Earth, failing to realize the importance of the Earth's Moon is because it's the Earth's Moon, is mindless stupidity. It's as if I said, well, I have a wife, and you have a wife and since my wife is important to me, your wife is important to me, too. It takes my breath away. And we are promised more books like this !!!

AFA, 94 pages.

Read the book? Want to tell the world? How many stars (1-5) would you give this book?

ASTROLOGY FOR SELF-EMPOWERMENT: Techniques for reclaiming your sacred power - Dovid Strusiner, $12.95
Contents: List of illustrations; Tables; Acknowledgments; Introduction; Prologue

1. The magic of astrology; 2. Celestial self-discovery; 3. Astrology for self-empowerment; 4. The signs of the zodiac; 5. The planets; 6. The ascendant & the houses; 7. Aspects of sacred change; 8. Astrological affirmations & invocations; 9. Zodiacal & planetary visualizations; 10. Aspects & crystal energy transformation; 11. Finding the major themes in your birth chart; 12. Creating your program for self-change; Epilogue; Glossary; Index.

Comment: Here's the essence of this book, a five step process:

  • Step one involves learning about the signs, planets, houses & aspects & their part in the practice of Sacred Astrology.
  • In step two you will be introduced to the specific techniques of the astrology of self-empowerment, including affirmation, visualization, and crystal energy transformation. As you study these techniques you will learn how to affect fundamental changes in your psycho-spiritual nature.
  • Step three teaches you how to find the major themes & potential in your birth chart. This knowledge not only allows you to determine which planetary & zodiacal symbols to work with to affect sacred soul alchemy, but significantly, it also facilitates learning to unleash your creative force & invoke the healing energy within.
  • Step four is the design of your personalized astrological program of self-change - a program centered upon your major themes, patterns, & inner potentiality. At this point in the process you decide which areas of your life you wish to work on. You also choose specific exercises & therapies from those provided (affirmations, invocations, visualizations, and crystal energy therapies) or you create your own personalized exercises & therapies.
  • Step five is the ongoing practice of the techniques of Sacred Astrology. (from pgs 20-21)
Some quotes:

Alchemy is nothing but the art which makes the impure into the pure through fire - Paracelsus (pg. xi).

Astrology awaits its renaissance in the hearts of each of us. (pg. xiv).

We are, potentially, both the controlling center & the dynamic point of self-awareness that determines how a crisis or an event is integrated into our consciousness. (pg. 18).

An invocation of Mars: Come to me mighty warrior. I invoke the daring courage & power of Mars to enter my life. I feel your passion & strength. I call forth the spirit hero within myself to resonate with your energy. I am now vitalized with initiative, drive & masculine force (pg. 121). (Am glad he hasn't a clue what he just tried to do.)

Whole of Zodiac Breathing Exercise (pg. 127).

Planetary Rainbow Dance Exercise (pg. 129).

Solar Uranian Visualization Exercise (pg. 132).

If this speaks to you, get this book.

Llewellyn, 168 pages.

Astrological Essays: Page 1 Page 2 Page 3

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