Archives for category: Beauty

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One of the most common questions I get from people seeking readings is why they don’t identify with their Sun signs. “I don’t feel like a Pisces,” a woman said to me recently, and certainly she was not typically a Pisces type. And this is the drawback of only looking at the Sun sign: it’s a piece of the puzzle, a significant piece to be sure and in some charts the most important piece, but not always.

One thing to realize is that every Sign is ruled by a Planet. And the placement of that planet is just one of the important considerations in how much or how little you feel like your sign. That’s why we look at all the planets, where they are and how they relate to each other. Going back to something I’ve written about in the past: the chart represents levels of behavior, of being. This is why there are contradictions in our characters and behaviors.

For instance, Moon in Cancer wants to nurture. Sun in Aries wants to go out and conquer. How do those conflicting needs get resolved? Is there a comprise? Is one chosen over the other? So with Aries ruled by Mars, we would look to where Mars is in the chart. Strong? Weak? Connected to the Sun or to the Moon, or neither?

Remember: planets can be described as needs. Growing up in your particular family, is one need much more rewarded than the other? The way the planets fit – not just the Sun sign – but all of them together starts to give us a portrait. Too many conflicting needs may leave you uanble to act with certainty or confidence. Not enough inner conflict and you may lack motivation to do much.

In addition, the relative strength of other planets may take center stage over the Sun sign. A strongly placed Venus or Jupiter – for instance, on an angle of the chart – may give it precedence over the Sun sign. But let’s use an example, and to do so we’ll use one of my favorites: the chart of Angelina Jolie below.

  Jolie Planets

Jolie is a Gemini: Sun and Mercury are in Gemini. Mercury rules Gemini, which should give her strong mental qualities. She should be diverse in her interests and her approach, if we’re looking at it strictly from a Sun sign perspective. And with her humanitarian work, interest in directing and so on, that certainly seems to be the case.

But what we know her for is her beauty and her roles in which she projects herself as a person of powerful action. In the chart, we see that in two places: Venus right on the Ascendant (marked on the left side of the chart) and Mars, Moon and Jupiter in Aries (fighting, headstrong, force) at the top of the chart (also marked). The Gemini signature is there, but there’s a way where it is subsumed by the Moon, Venus, Mars and Jupiter. She described herself once as someone who gets what she wants. That’s not a Gemini statement, that’s an Aries statement, and the placement of those three planets at the Midheaven (career, public exposure) testifies to those needs.

Summing it up: the question of why you do or don’t feel like your Sun sign is a complicated one. And there may be a very good reason why you don’t.


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We live in patterns because we have to. They are inescapable. The Cosmos is a pattern. So are we. We can alter ourselves by altering our patterns.

~William Grey


Back at the end of January and beginning of February, I had wanted to take a look at Beyonce’s chart – since we were reading a lot about her performances at Obama’s inauguration and the Super Bowl – but I never quite got it together.  But when I came across this extraordinary photo, I had to pull out my notes and just do it. The chart is below.


One way of approaching the chart – or of approaching your life, for that matter – is by answering the question: what is your “primary motivation”? It’s an old, old phrase but useful as a focusing mechanism. Of course, to some might appear to be a touch anachronistic, particularly in this time where everyone encouraged to have it all, whatever that actually means. But the concept of a Primary Motivation can be a powerful one, as it gives you a reference point for direction.

Looking at any chart, we start, not with the Sun sign, but with the rising sign, the Ascendant, as the indicator of the Primary Motivation. In Beyonce’s chart, that gives us the sign of Leo rising with the planet Mars close the cusp. Here the Primary Motivation is, or should, be for recognition and power, either positively or negatively. Why? Because those are the essential qualities of Leo.  To find out whether those qualities have the opportunity to express themselves is accomplished by looking at the rest of the chart. In this case, Mars is close to rising, which adds more force to the Primary Motivation, leading to a take charge approach.

To keep this manageable for the newsletter, we’ll skip the Sun and Moon, and go right to the group of planets that are bracketed at the bottom of the chart: in order, that’s Mercury, Saturn,  Jupiter, the Part of Fortune, Venus and Pluto all in Libra. This extraordinary group in Libra is an overwhelming projection of grace, beauty, artistic expression and so on. In fact, Venus is likely the most powerful planet in the chart: it rules Libra as well as the 10th house of career and profession, we can expect these Venus qualities (beauty, grace) to be powerfully projected. Which leads us back to the Primary Motivation. How is power and recognition found? Through Venus. What kind of Venus? A comfortable Venus that will always find a way to be in its own element (sign). What else? Venus is conjunct Jupiter: lots of beauty, excess, an overflow.

Very quickly, let’s go back to that photo. The date is Feb. 3, 2013, the day of the Super Bowl. Below is Beyonce’s harmonic chart for the beginning of the game.  What do we see: her Venus (marked on the right) EXACTLY in support of her Part of Fortune (marked at the top of the chart which is shown below).  That’s a good day for anybody.

Beyonce Harmonic










Forget all this nonsense about the end of the world. The source of our lives is harmony and beauty, but the challenges and burdens of daily life has made us forget our origins. As I mentioned in my most recent newsletter – which is FREE and can be received every Monday evening by email – there is a beautiful dance between the Earth and the planet Venus, the pattern of which can be seen in the image in this post. But if you want another perspective, check out this site:

which shows the motion of the planets. Working outward from the Sun, we have Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. You can even twiddle with a few settings. What’s particularly interesting is to see the universe with the Sun at the center (Copernican) or the Earth at the center (Tychonian).

So remember the bigger picture. When asked “What is a fundamental mistake of man’s?” the Sufi writer Idries Shah: “To think that he is alive, when he has merely fallen asleep in life’s waiting room.”

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If you want to get an idea of how differently astronomers and astrologers view the universe, consider the following description of the planet Venus from NASA’s website:

“Venus is a dim world of intense heat and volcanic activity. Similar in structure and size to Earth, Venus’ thick, toxic atmosphere traps heat in a runaway “greenhouse effect.” The scorched world has temperatures hot enough to melt lead. Glimpses below the clouds reveal volcanoes and deformed mountains.”

Now consider the astrological view of Venus:

“Venus is the most luminous planet in the earth’s sky, symbolizing beauty, grace, and relationship. It also represents Love, both in the carnal aspect and in its divine manifestation. The negative side of Venus – when it is badly placed in a chart – suggests laziness, extravagance, bad company, superficiality and a precoccupation with appearances.

Clearly, two very different points of view are at work here. The question is: which is right? To me, the answer is both. While I have no way of verifying the truthfulness of NASA’s data, I do believe that their data is correct. That said, I admit that it’s not terribly meaningful or relevant to me. But I’m also interested in what NASA doesn’t provide on their site, or at least I couldn’t find it there. Look at the image below.


It is the design of the relationship, as seen from above in space, that Venus and Earth make together as they circle around the Sun over an 8 year period.

To my eyes, this graphic is beautiful and speaks to the astrological symbology of Venus given above. One of the interesting things in astrology is how often a strong Venus is highlighted in a person’s chart, either by sign, house or aspect. While this is anecdotal, in my own experience in doing readings, I’ve seen several women named Venus with unusually strong placements of that planet in their charts. In a couple of cases, they were actually stylists (beauty=Venus).

So what’s my point? Simply this: the existence of scientific knowledge does not and should not diminish the power of our symbols. In the words of the 20th century philosopher, Bertrand Russell:

“The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.”