Astrological Musings

The astrology of Meghan Markle

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This is Part I of a two-part series on Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.  Disclosure: As a long time fan of the Suits TV show (Seasons 1-5, it lost me after Season 6) and a follower of Meghan’s Tig blog until its recent demise,  I am fully on Team Meghan.  While I’ve tried to be as impartial as possible in this profile, I am definitely prejudiced by my admiration for her and am tickled that a mixed-race American is going to marry Prince Harry, forever transforming the British monarchy and symbolizing a sea change in the traditions of royalty. 

In case you have been cloistered away from the news, and who could blame you, Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle are engaged and will be married in May 2018.  I profiled Prince Harry in the summer of 2017 (catch up here)  after he opened up to the world about his psychological issues – this article is about Meghan and I will follow up with an astro analysis of their relationship.

Meghan Markle astrology

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Meghan was born with the Sun in Leo: sign of the actor, the entertainer – with a generous heart and a craving for attention. It must be said that Leo IS the sign of royalty – represented by the King of the Lions, most individuals with a strong Leo signature in their charts have a need to feel special and acclaimed.

Her Libra Moon signifies a craving for partnership and a need for personal harmony, but her Moon is impinged by both Saturn (isolation, loneliness, achievement) and Jupiter (expansion, confidence and good fortune).  This obviously creates a push-pull of enthusiasm from Jupiter and sadness and insecurity from Saturn that can be difficult to balance.  This could manifest in a basically hopeful attitude (Jupiter) combined with a deep insecurity. And in Libra, she needs for everyone else to be happy so that her life can remain in balance.  This is echoed by the Cancer ascendant which is focused on nurturing and taking care of things which we see in her devotion to rescue animals and the charity work she has been doing with children for years, and her Mars (drive and desire) is also in Cancer.  Mars, however, is in the twelfth house of the hidden, where it can be more difficult to express.  You will nearly never see a twelfth house Mars express anger in public unless it is severely stressed.

Venus in the chart reveals what we need in our relationships with others, and Meghan’s Venus is in the modest and particular sign of Virgo.  Those with Venus in Virgo usually have well-defined ideas of what they want in a relationship and they are unwilling to settle for something less, although her Libra Moon would long for partnership, often expressed through a best friend or some other kind of partner. However, that pesky Saturn next to the Moon also rules her seventh house of marriage and partnerships, making relationships more challenging.  Saturn can be a cruel teacher when we are young but once we learn to toe the line he becomes kinder as we age and develop the inner resources which he bestows through challenge and adversity.

Meghan’s North Node of destiny in Leo, the sign of individual self expression AND of course royalty) is rising in the chart – the first symbol in the first house.  Obviously not everyone with the North Node in Leo will marry into royalty, but it does fit the circumstance!  In any case, individuals with a rising North Node will typically have a clear path of destiny.

This is a significant time astrologically for Meghan.  Transiting Juno, the asteroid signifying marriage, aligned with the cusp of her seventh house of marriage and partnership at the time of the engagement announcement, as did her progressed Moon (her evolving emotional needs).  Jupiter, planet of opportunities, harmonized with her natal Venus (love, relationships) at that same time.

Saturn is the planet of material success as well as hard work and hardship, and Meghan has a challenging planetary cycle involving Saturn to her natal Moon/Saturn/Jupiter conjunction that begins in February.  Under this influence she may feel isolated and challenged by the events around her, but because Saturn is strong in her natal chart she is more accustomed to this energy than others might be and quite possibly better able to use the Saturn force to her advantage.  In any case I would expect her negative press to ramp up during this time as well as during the second phase in late June/early July, and in October.

Neptune is the planet of mystery and magic, and it began an opposition cycle to Meghan’s Venus back in July 2017.  The second phase of that cycle returns towards the end of February which could create some confusion and potential problems with a relationship in Meghan’s life (it’s impossible to predict specific events or people using these astrological cycles although many will try).  The third phase takes place between September 2018 and the end of the year.

Check back soon for Part II: The astrology of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. 


By | 2018-01-27T13:14:55+00:00 January 27th, 2018|People|3 Comments

Seven year growth cycles of the human experience

The number seven has great significance in spiritual numerology (seven planets, seven chakras, seven days of the week, seven heavens in Islam and ancient Judaism, seven deadly sins and seven virtues, etc.) but it also has meaning in human evolution.  Astrologers and astrology enthusiasts will recognize a seven year cycle as being part of the Saturn cycle.  Saturn takes 28 years to circle the Sun, and the synodic cycle of Saturn (relative to its placement in the birthchart) brings about a peak event every seven years.  At age seven we have the opening square of Saturn in the sky to Saturn in the birthchart, at age 14 we have the opposition (180 degree point), at age 21 the closing square, and at age 28-29 we have the Saturn Return.

Philosopher Rudolf Steiner had his own idea about planetary correspondences in these seven year cycles:

The first seven years of life (0-7 years old) were associated with the Moon. During this time, the psychic forces are working to transform the body of the child from one that was inherited from the parents, to one that represents the full personality of the child.

The second seven years (7-14 years old) is associated with Mercury. At this time, the child’s imagination and feeling life takes center stage.

The third seven years (14-21 years old) is associated with Venus, during which time the higher mind of the adolescent takes root, and the psychic development can be disturbed by the strong impulses of puberty.

The next three seven-year segments are associated with the Sun (21-42 years old), and the elements of sentient soul, intellectual soul, and consciousness soul.

The next seven-year segment is associated with Mars (42-49 years old), when the soul works hard to impress the full forces of its personality upon the world.  At this time, the soul has the opportunity to a higher state of consciousness called Spirit Self.

The following seven-year segment is associated with Jupiter (49-56 years old), when wisdom is dawning and the ego needs to unfold the Life Spirit.

The final seven-year period is associated with Saturn (56-63 years old) when Saturn completes its second “return” (e.g. comes back to its position it had at one’s birth), and the soul can manifest an event higher element of Self called Spirit Man.

read more here…

Unlike the traditional models of planetary correspondence, which place the luminaries in the (northern hemisphere) summer at Cancer (Moon) and Leo (Sun) and then proceed to the farthest planets in winter with Sagittarius (Jupiter) and Capricorn (Saturn), Steiner’s assignment of the planets to the seven year cycles isn’t quite as neat, with the triple Sun cycle at 21-42 years between Venus and Mars.  I do find it interesting that Steiner’s solar cycle corresponds to the period between the opening Uranus square at age 21 and the Uranus opposition at age 42 since Uranus presides over shocking and surprising events which inspire us to live a life that more authentically fits the Self (Sun).  The first Saturn return sits right between the two Uranus cycles, enforcing a structure into our lives which will help us to more successfully navigate through the material aspects of our lives.

Steiner lived in the late 19th century, and his model goes only to age 63. I wonder if we can apply the outer planets to subsequent cycles? Perhaps the cycle from age 63-70 might correspond to Uranus, breaking down the barriers that keep us from living an authentic life. The next two cycles, age 70-84, we could assign to Neptune and the dissolving of our attachments to the material world and the moving into a more spiritual plane of existence. And everything past 84, which also coincides with the Uranus return, let’s give to the great god of destruction and regeneration, Pluto the transformer, who takes us to the real, of death and teaches us what it means to be alive.

The number seven has long been a sacred number.  There are seven planets, seven chakras.  The western Bible is full of the number seven: seven heavens, seven days of creation, seven deadly sins, seven pillars of wisdom.  My spiritual therapist tells me that there are seven layers of consciousness and seven sublayers.  From the sublime to the ridiculous, online marketers swear that including a number seven in their pricing strategy increases sales.

In any event, it’s smart to pay attention to these seven year cycles in your own life. You will find that they mark important turning points may have something important to teach.

By | 2018-02-02T11:01:55+00:00 January 21st, 2018|Life, Planetary cycles|9 Comments

Fate vs Free Will in Astrology: Part II, the modern debate

Catch up with Part I, a History, here. 

The question of whether humans are controlled by their fate or have a part to play in their own destiny is as old as time.  Much of our western philosophy comes from the ancient Greeks for whom the gods controlled human destinies despite great efforts of men and women to escape the fates accorded to them.  The Greek concept of hubris is applied to ordinary mortals who attempt to challenge the gods, and therefore their fate.

It’s no surprise, then, that the resurgence of Hellenistic (Greek) astrology brings with it the return of the idea of fate.  Astrologer Chris Brennan, a graduate from Kepler College, is the acclaimed expert in this field.  Chris and I did a podcast on this topic a while back which you can listen to here and he has just published a comprehensive bible on the subject as well.

Chris writes:

An important point to make with respect to transits to a person’s natal chart is that they do not only represent internal character traits and psychological states that are being activated or experienced during a given transit, as some modern astrologers argue, but transits also correlate with concrete external events and circumstances that occur in the life of the native at fixed periods.

While we may have a certain amount of leverage as to how we react to the internal psychological states that we experience during a given transit, some of the external events that occur in tandem with the transits are frequently out of our control in a concrete sense. With these concrete external events we are still in a position of being able to slightly modify our perception or internal reaction to these events though. However, the argument could be made that even our ability to modify our reaction to external events may be fated or predetermined as well, since that too depends on our own internal dispositions and character traits at a given point in time, and all of this is contained in our natal chart. Of course, our internal reaction to events changes over time as we grow and develop, and this is largely what the study of transits is all about.

read more here…

It should be noted that many of the astrologers pursuing the ancient traditions are younger than those of us who came up in the time of psychological astrology.  When we are young, we do tend to play out the dynamics of our chart in a much more unconscious way, and as we age we tend to have more control over our impulses and therefore have more control over our fate.

I have been listening to Chris’s podcast and have heard some of the arguments made by the younger astrologers against the idea of free will and the concept of personal transformation, and the idea that planetary transits bring about predictable concrete events is something that I have seen over and over again in my client practice to be false.  Two charts, virtually identical, will undergo the same planetary cycle with very different results as anyone who has read my profiles of criminals will note.

On the other hand, the idea that we have complete control over our lives and can alchemize the planetary cycles through sheer force of will, is also false.  The natal chart that we are born with is completely out of our control and a gift of fate.  The death of a spouse, the collapse of a company for which we work – these sorts of things are completely out of our control and gifts of fate.  We CAN argue, as Chris proposes, that our ability to react to these events from a more conscious perspective, is due to fate or as I would view it, our level of awareness in our evolutionary journey and perhaps this is true.

All of these arguments come down to personal beliefs, because we have no way to know.

These ideas have led to a great debate among professional astrologers which emerged into the public domain with this article on the Quartz website:

Today, modern psychology has cast astrology as a fantastical way that people of the past project the workings of their minds onto the environment around them. This interpretation leaves far too much wiggle room for astrology to simply sound like affirmations of what people want to hear about themselves and think about the world. Even worse, the nurturing approach psychologists take has polluted modern astrology with watered-down interpretations that seek to protect their clients. Even if an astrological configuration spells trouble, the modern astrologer will describe it as an “opportunity for growth,” as if they were a patronizing middle-manager. Where is the trust in that?

read more here…

The author of this piece, Ida Benedetto, is apparently not an astrologer.  Her bio says “Ida C. Benedetto is an experience designer who sparks new insight through adventure and play. Her recent research outlines the design of transformative social experiences by comparing sex parties, funerals, and wilderness trips.”  I am not clear how this research qualifies her to expound on the validity of astrology.

While it’s true that many modern astrologers, myself included, lack a scholarly background in astrological studies and ancient methodologies that could be helpful in delineating natal charts with greater accuracy, it’s also true that not everything from the ancient world should be considered as gospel truth today.  Astrology no longer governs astronomy, and as a result we are learning about world that lie beyond our entire universe. Ancient Greece also came up with the practice of bloodletting which was used for much of the past 2,000 years to cure a wide variety of ailments, but you don’t hear too many physicians calling for its return.

The fact is, astrological configurations that spell trouble ARE opportunities for growth.  Presenting a situation of impending doom such as the ones described in this earlier article in a consultation in way which will serve only to frighten a client really serves no purpose.  Certainly it must be pointed out that a challenging period is coming, but then there are the situations such as the ones I talked about in this article in which the deaths of two people occurred under a planetary cycle (a New Moon in the progressed chart) which is not notable for death.  In fact I myself had this same planetary cycle myself last summer.  After these deaths I sought wisdom from my traditional astrology colleagues, but found none.

The fact is, we cannot predict the future – note the failure of astrologers to correctly predict the outcome of the 2016 election using traditional techniques.  We cannot look at an astrological signature in an individual chart and predict with any certainty what will happen under that transit.  As astrological practitioners our first duty is to provide our clients with the information that will be most helpful to them – to prepare them for challenges but not to terrify them by offering predictions that may never come true.

This is an interesting debate that is sure to continue!  You can read more about it here on Chris’s website.


By | 2018-01-19T11:10:06+00:00 January 16th, 2018|Astrology, Fate, Featured posts|0 Comments

Fate vs free will in astrology: Part I, a history involving Pluto

modern astrologyEven though Pluto was not discovered until 1930, its influence is evident in the evolution of modern astrology. The renaissance of astrology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries began with Alan Leo and the birth of the publication “Modern Astrology” in 1895 when Pluto was in the information gathering sign of Gemini.  Gemini is more concerned with the sharing of information than finding any kind of ultimate truth, and Alan Leo, who was a Theosophist, was primarily concerned with spreading the language of astrology to the masses via what we now call horoscope columns.

In England, astrology under Pluto in Gemini was a more academic affair but the “cookbook” texts of Charles Carter similarly helped to spread the language of astrology to more people than ever before. Carter’s words on fate illustrate the way in which the idea of predetermination was beginning to fade:

As regards the higher part of man’s nature, his rational, moral, and aesthetic faculties, it is my firm belief that, if we chose to unfold them, no stellar influence can prevent us, though it may place obstacles and hindrances in our path. There are parts of our lives which the stars do seem to a large extent to dominate, and there is a yet greater part which they undoubtedly can affect, both favourably and adversely. It is for us to place our treasure where they cannot penetrate; no easy task, it is true, but probably the one most worth performing.

The discovery of Pluto in the 1930s coincided with the scientific breakthroughs required to release the atomic bomb which symbolizes Pluto’s destructive force which sometimes requires complete annihilation followed by a necessary rebuilding phase.  But it also coincided with the groundbreaking work of Freud and especially Carl Jung into the workings of the human psyche and the idea that if humans were able to better understand themselves, they could change the world around them and ultimately, their destiny.

The psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate. That is to say, when the individual remains undivided and does not become conscious of his inner opposite, the world must perforce act out the conflict and be torn into opposing halves. ~Carl Jung, Aion, Christ: A Symbol of the Self, Pages 70-71, Para 126.

read more about Carl Jung here. 

The work of Carl Jung helped to influence and inspire the development of modern astrology, with the bulk of Jung’s writings being published while Pluto was in Leo, the sign of individual expression and self-mastery, between 1937 and 1957.  Depth psychology asked the question: “What is the Self?” – a very Pluto in Leo idea.

Dane Rudhyar came of age under Pluto in Leo and was influenced by the quest for the ultimate expression of the Self and the idea that humans are not bound to a particular destiny but have the power to transcend one’s fate by utilizing the influence of the astrological chart rather than be a victim of it.  Rudhyar called this practice “transpersonal astrology”:

The humanistic astrologer tries to present to his client’s consciousness a concrete, existential picture of what the chart signifies – the tensions to be resolved as well as the special abilities, the conflicts to be harmonized, the possibilities of disintegration to be avoided, and the opportunities that can be expected for individual self-fulfillment. In other worlds, he tries to assist the client in what Carl Jung calls “the integration of the personality” – how to be a whole person.

The transpersonal astrologer sees the astrological situation with which he is dealing in a different light – a sharp, penetrating light that illumines and guides a process of transformation. In that light, everything in the chart is to be used for transformation; and this may mainly be self-transformation, or in a more fated, because transpersonal way, the transformation of the individual’s socio-cultural environment in which his destiny is to act as a transforming agent. In such a light a basic conflict shown in the birth-chart need not be “harmonized” in terms of individual fulfillment; it may have instead to be used as a dynamic instrumentality able to produce definite effects in whatever has to be transformed. The goal is not personal happiness, but effectively focused action.

Rudhyar’s works were not popularized until the resurgence in interest in astrology of the 1960s and the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in the conservative sign of Virgo. During that period (between 1956 and 1972) the traditional societal rules were broken wide open, and new ways of living were embraced. Rudhyar did more than anyone else to popularize astrology and opened the doors to other modern astrologers with which we are now quite familiar: Stephen Arroyo, Liz Greene and Howard Sasportas, etc. The emphasis on psychological astrology came to a head while Pluto was in the deep thinking sign of Scorpio (1983-1995) and was followed by an interest in astrological history under Project Hindsight with Pluto in Sagittarius, the sign that inspires a search for greater knowledge (1995-2008).

Project Hindsight was dedicated to studying and translating the astrological works of the ancient Greeks who originated what we now call western astrology.  Thanks to Kepler College which was founded in 2000, serious astrology students were able to study these ancient texts and techniques and in 2008 when Pluto moved into traditional Capricorn, the debate over the legitimacy of modern astrology (including psychological astrology, transpersonal astrology, evolutionary astrology and what I call transformational astrology) began.

Part II will explore this debate further and give me an opportunity to stake out a position in the argument.




By | 2018-01-16T08:43:01+00:00 January 11th, 2018|Astrology, Fate|2 Comments

In praise of hierarchy: A tale of the Uranus/Pluto square

In case you missed it, ever since Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008, followed by Uranus entering Aries in 2010, these two planets were locked in a challenging aspect that inspired and motivated the change that we have seen between 2010 and 2017.  (You can catch up here if this is all new to you.)

I always find it interesting when the zeitgeist (defined: the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time) reflects for the mainstream thinker the planetary cycles that astrologers have been talking about and explaining in the context of planetary cycles.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal by economist Niall Ferguson (may be behind a paywall) tells a part of the story of this planetary cycle:

Established, traditional order [Capricorn]  is under assault [Pluto] from freewheeling [Aries], networked disrupters [Uranus] as never before. But society craves centralized leadership ([Capricorn], too. …

Networks rule not only in the realm of business. In politics, too, party establishments and their machines have been displaced by crowdfunded campaigns and viral messaging. Money, once a monopoly of the state, is being challenged by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which require no central banks to manage them, only consensus algorithms.

But is all this wise? In all the excitement of the age of hyper-connection, have we perhaps forgotten why hierarchies came into existence in the first place? Do we perhaps overestimate what can be achieved by ungoverned networks—and underestimate the perils of a world without any legitimate hierarchical structure?

The answer is, of course going from one extreme (rigid hierarchical societal structures) to another (chaos and anarchy) is not a great idea.  Nature and human nature both tend to swing from one extreme to another until we meet in the middle and I think we are about ready to take that step towards balance.

By | 2018-01-07T18:45:55+00:00 January 7th, 2018|Future Shock, Life|2 Comments