Monthly Archives: September 2007

The Joy Of The Graphic Ephemeris

(It may look confusing and weird now, but if you click on it it’ll be bigger and confusing and weird, at least)

This is what the month of October looks like to me.

A lot of people take an interest in astrology and quickly become intimidated by the challenge of looking at a bland listing of positions in an ephemeris. Bland, that is, once you’ve actually figured it out. I prefer to use a graphic ephemeris, ad pictured above.

The red horizontal lines represent placements in my birth chart. The wavy lines represent the current planetary positions.

For example, my Jupiter is at 27 degrees Gemini. Note the very close opposition from Pluto at 26-27 Sagittarius throughout the month, growing slowly closer towards the 31st. Notice that the Pluto line is nearly flat because it moves so slowly, whereas the Moon line whips up and down the page.

On the 4th of October, transiting Venus sextiles my Jupiter exactly (the Venus line crosses the Jupiter line), and around the same time that day the transiting Moon in Cancer exactly semi-sextiles my Jupiter.

Once you get the hang of using a graphic ephemeris, you’d be amazed at how much easier it is to see the transits and how and when they hit, compared to the traditional columns of text.

Okay, now my question: how many of you out there understood that, and/or would like to understand it, and/or would find it useful if I posted a year or so worth of graphic ephemerides here that you can print off and use yourself?


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Sometimes Astrology Doesn’t Work The Way You Want It To, Thank God

The government of Myanmar (formerly Burma) continues its ongoing efforts to crush the pro-democratic uprising.

If you have a look at Google News using the search terms “Myanmar” and “astrology” you’ll find a few articles about the ruling party’s use of astrology. The tone of these reports is pretty much what you’d expect: “The junta‚Äôs belief in astrology in part reflects the capricious weirdness of a peculiarly nasty regime, insulated from the rest of the world and divorced from reality.”

Senior General Than Shwe’s astrologer warned him of trouble if the capital wasn’t officially moved — which it was on November 6, 2005, at 6:37 AM. And, admittedly, up til now the government there has functioned unusually well, given the widespread opposition to it.

I’ve shown the chart here, along with the September 11 eclipse chart in the outer wheel. Personally, I can see why the astrologer in question went with this chart: it looks especially good in Vedic terms.

Of course, the place is going to hell in a handbasket at the moment. Having Neptune square your Ascendant within a degree on the eclipse will do that sort of thing to you.

The government is in serious trouble. There are those who might use this as evidence that astrology doesn’t work. Of course, the current astrological weather looks awful for the Myanmar government, which is an argument in favor of astrology.

Personally, it reminds me of some clients who have tried to make the impossible happen by choosing the right time to start. It’s also a reminder that there is a larger Universe out there that always has veto power when it comes to your plans and mine.

And no matter what the transiting planets are doing, and no matter how strong this or that in your birth chart is… it’s never a good time to be evil. Ever.
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How Libras Get Their Way

(Scene: The Matthew The Astrologer laboratories. MATT types at the keyboard while in the background, LIBRA re-arranges the magazines on the coffee table.)

MATT: God, this is frustrating!

LIBRA: What’s that, honey?

MATT: I was all pumped and ready to write something about the influence of this last New Moon in Libra, and all I can do is sit around and read poetry online and crap like that. It was trining my natal Venus, so you’d think I’d have something to say about it. But I’m stuck for words.

LIBRA: I notice you changed the layout on the blog. I like it. It’s my favourite.

MATT: Me too. (Pauses) Wait, isn’t this the same color scheme you said you liked last week?

LIBRA: Yes sweetie. I see you like it too.

MATT: Funny thing is, a few days ago I wasn’t sure it was professional-looking enough.

LIBRA: I remember you saying that. (Pinches MATT’S cheek) You’re so silly!

MATT: Come to think of it, I was dead-set against it.

LIBRA: Actually, what you said was “Okay. I’ll think about it.”

MATT: And the more I thought about it the more I didn’t like it. Matter of fact, I couldn’t stand it. But after you gave me that neck rub I calmed down. But I still didn’t like it that much.

LIBRA: You liked it when I said that colour scheme brought out your eyes. (LIBRA runs her fingers through MATT’S hair) You have beautiful eyes.

MATT: Thanks. But I didn’t actually say I’d change everything just because you liked it… I said “Okay. I’ll think about it.”

LIBRA: But someone as smart… and handsome… as you knows the value of reconsidering things you may not have questioned otherwise. Otherwise, you might just be wrong. And you wouldn’t want to be wrong about something this important to me, would you? it’s called “partnership,” and even monkeys know the value of partnership. (Squealing with delight) Look at the monkey! He’s so cute! You liked my monkey idea too!

MATT: Well… (sighing) I suppose, since you like it so much, it can stay.

LIBRA: That’s what I adore about you. You understand how partnership works. (Pauses thoughtfully) Would you be willing to co-sign a loan for me?

MATT: I’m not sure that’s such a good idea. I’ve seen your spending habits.

LIBRA: I love a man who knows how to be responsible. It’s so… manly.

MATT: (Pauses) Okay. I’ll think about it…

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Meet Astro-Monkey, My New Subcontractor!

I have a hard time keeping up with both my generalized ramblings about astrology and my recurring urge to provide specific, useful information on current astrological happenings. So I’ve decided to invest part of my gigantic fortune — all astrologers have one, honest! — in a subcontractor. Over to the right you’ll see Astro-Monkey, who will be flinging regular handfuls of current astrological wisdom at you.

Regular readers will already be familiar with my profound respect for the predictive powers of monkeys.

Watch your fingers if you try to feed him, though.

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The Perils Of A Misinterpreted Composite Chart

One of my former astrology students kept coming back to me, years later, trying to make sense of her often-confused love life. What puzzled me about this is that, despite my rantings in class, she’d always start with the composite chart, not the two individual charts. And the more I pointed this out over the intervening years, the more she’d do it.

(For those of you not familiar with the composite chart, it’s when you add up the placements in two charts and work out the average… a chart for the relationship itself, if you will. If your Sun is at 10 degrees Aquarius, and your mate’s Sun is at 10 degrees Aries, your composite chart will have the Sun at 10 degrees Pisces, and so on through the other planets in the two birth charts.)

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that finding a soul mate is not a guarantee of bliss, in this astrologer’s humble opinion. It’s not even a free pass to a stable relationship. Often, it’s the contrary.

I’ve come up with a composite chart that can give misleading results… if consciously or otherwise, you’re looking to be misled. Don’t laugh: a lot of durable relationships have strong Neptune action going on, and who doesn’t love a good romantic delusion now and then?

Meet Matthew The Astrologer and his soul mate du jour… Richard Milhouse Nixon. I’ve printed my/our composite chart above.

I have certain strongly held political beliefs. I don’t want to get into too much detail here… that’s what the other blog is for. And in a lot of ways, Richard Nixon is a symbol of a lot of things that can go very wrong with the democratic process. Just thinking about the man can make me antsy.

But if you look at the composite chart for me and Dick, it’s actually not that bad. Under different circumstances… like if it was an actual relationship… an astrologer could be forgiven for making observations like:

-“North Node in the composite 7th House gives this relationship a real feeling of destiny.”

-“Mercury-Mars-Jupiter conjunct in the 4th makes for interesting, purposeful
activity on the domestic front.”

-“Sun and Uranus in the composite Fifth House? You two are going to have a lot of fun together!”

All of which would be more or less true. And none of which would change the fact that if the two of us were locked in the same room for an hour, one or both of us might get killed. A lot of life’s craziness comes from us trying to shoehorn people and our relationships with them into forms that don’t fit.

On the other hand, a composite can certainly give you some interesting clues about what a relationship wants to be, as opposed to what it is or what you think it should be. And, come to think of it, this composite does indicate that Tricky Dick and I might in fact develop a functional relationship, if I was (for example) a member of his personal staff.

Admit it: if you heard there was a sitcom about Richard Nixon and his time-travelling liberal hippie valet, you’d watch. Besides, I’ve always had a sneaking fondness for the man, no matter how much he annoys the hell out of me.

Now: does that sound like any relationship you’ve ever been in…?


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Astro-Karaoke: Leo Girl

(To the tune of “Smelly Cat” from “Friends”)

Leo girl, Leo girl, what on Earth is keeping you?
Leo girl, Leo girl, the wrong hairspray you’ve bought.

[Background singers:
Leo Leo Leo Girl
it’s not your fault!]

Leo girl, Leo girl, did the bathroom eat you?
Leo girl, Leo girl, it’s not your fault.
You got the wrong hairspray today
You’ve got a hot date but can’t go away
Leo girl, Leo girl, it’s not your fault.
Oh no!
Yeah you know you already look hot.
But go with imperfect hair? I think not!
I promise you, before your date’s through
This poor sap’s gonna fall for you.

[Background singers:
Leo Leo Leo
really insecure sexy Leo Girl]

Leo girl, Leo girl, what the hell is keeping you?
Leo girl, Leo girl, I could get you in bed on a dare
Leo girl, Leo girl, once you’re done with your hair.

(With apologies to every Leo woman I’ve ever dated. I only tease out of love. Also, it’s true.)

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Preparing For An Astrological Consultation

Further to my previous entry on how an astrological counselling session works, here are some additional tips as to how you can get the most out of your time with an astrologer:

-Gather up whatever information you can on anyone else in your life that you may have questions about, specifically, their dates, times, and places of birth. The more in advance you get this information to your astrologer, the more time he/she has to look over their data too.

-Know why you’re going for a consultation. It may seem obvious to you right now that you need answers about your love life, but since an astrologer can get into just about any subject, it’s easy to get distracted from the main issues on your mind. Write down your most important questions.

-It can be tremendously helpful to an astrologer if you can give him/her even an approximate time line as to when your current issues seem to have begun.

-Pick an appointment time you can keep!

-Finally: no matter what, remember that you have free will. If God didn’t want you to have that, he would have skipped making people and gone straight to creating a world populated with wind-up toys. A session with an astrologer is like consulting a native guide when you go on safari… except this jungle is your life. I can tell you when and how to duck, but you have to do the ducking.


Astrology For Life On Earth

Astro-Karaoke: The Sagittarius Child

(To the tune of “Don’t Fence Me In”)

Give me a hand, another hand, with this playpen chicken wire
Let’s fence him in!
This kid keeps running off, and he just won’t ever tire
Let’s fence him in!
He got out last night just to go exploring
It’s kinda frustrating but it’s never boring
Just wearing socks and outside was pouring
Let’s fence him in!
Let’s fence him in!

Just lock him up, let the thinker try to tinker
With the handcuffs til he’s done
You know he’ll bust loose like a moose
Running from the hunter’s gun!

The kid loves us both but he needs his freedom
Can’t follow rules though he knows he needs ’em
Last week he got himself onto a flight to Sweden
Let’s fence him in!

Oh give him guidance, lotsa guidance but be beware
Let’s fence him in!
This kid can’t sit still, not even on a dare
Let’s fence him in!
His charm with strangers is his best feature
The kid won’t care if it’s a thug or a preacher
He makes a lousy student but a gifted teacher
Let’s fence him in!


Now, please rise for the Sagittarius anthem:

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Astro-Karaoke: The Aries Woman

Why learn basic astrological traits out of a boring old book, when you can sing?


(To the tune of “When A Man Loves A Woman”)

When a man loves an Aries
He can’t be with no one else
She’ll rip his head off
To keep her man around
When she’s sad no one sees it
Won’t cry when you’re there
She’d rather look like a tough guy
And slap you down

When a man loves an Aries
Gotta watch what he says
It can make a man feel confused
She can get quickly cranky
Then sex breaks out
And then he can end up feeling used

When a man loves an Aries
It’s an all or nothing thing
You could build a life around this girl
Or could end up in a sling

When a man loves an Aries
It’s all or nothing, man
She makes him her whole world
Love him like she’s crazy
Everything is wonderful
Til he looks at another girl

When a man loves an Aries
Remember this here song
She’s so sexy and so sublime
So go ahead and make that date
But you’d better leave home early
‘Cause she’ll hit the road if you aren’t on time.

Matthew The Astrologer: Reinforcing astrological stereotypes, so you don’t have to.

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The Hot, Semi-Nude Astrology Of Attraction

Limited Time Offer: Learn Astrology, laugh, learn how to get a date, impress the opposite sex, and get a future collector’s Item with a $20 freebie! Details are HERE!

One of the primary rules for attraction is that if there is an aspect between person A’s Venus and or Mars, there will be social and/or sexual attraction.

An example: semi-famous and partly-clothed tattoo artist Kat Von D (born March 8, 1982 Nuevo Leon, Mexico) has her Venus at 4 degrees Aquarius… closely conjunct mine. Her Mars at 17 Libra squares my Mars. On the face of it, you might look in one of those supermarket checkout astrology guides and say to yourself: “Hmmm. He’s a Sagittarius and she’s a Pisces. He won’t give her the time of day.” Of course, anyone who knows me knows better.

When it comes to more general arousal, regardless of who (if anyone) else is “causing it” in you, you have to look at your own birth chart. Not just your Venus and Mars, but (at least as importantly) the rulers of your Fifth and Eighth Houses.

An example: My Fifth and Eight House rulers are conjunct. They were, in turn, closely conjuncted by the September 11 2007 eclipse I’ve obsessing over of late.

So, to summarize: Sex. It’s great!

Okay, I’m done writing for the day. Time for some Youtube. I have important research to do on Venus conjunctions…

PS: Kat, if you’re out there… I’ll toss you a consultation for half price! Call now!

The Amazing Surprise Economic Turnaround Astrology Experiment continues! Click here to read more, and to join in!
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