Musings on the left and right brain of astrologers

artist unknown?

Astrology requires both a left and right brain. The left brain is required to learn the symbols and their meanings, and the basic techniques to delineate (interpret) a chart. The right brain is necessary for the synthesis of energies and chart factors that are at odds with each other and to devise a theme or set of themes that will be useful to the client.

I had my first astrology reading around 1970 and fell in love with it but it was very difficult to learn astrology in those days. Talk about left brain – we had to run algorithms and use tables and various calculations and many of the charts were wrong. For a long time I thought I had Taurus rising due to a mathematical error in my first reading (it’s Gemini). I knew Steve Forrest socially and he became my first teacher in what was then called psychological astrology. Computerized astrology made it easier to add all kinds of techniques: variations in progressed charts, aspects between planets that seem virtually infinite (AstroGold offers 32 including something called a QuinqueUndecile that I’ve never even heard of). But in my practice I tend to use mostly my right brain, the creative intuitive brain, and the more details I try to put in the chart the less I am able to see it and read the story it is telling.

The blossoming of the use of ancient practices in the Hellenistic Astrology revival has brought a myriad of new techniques into the realm of astrology. The use of dignities and terms (the rulership of certain segments of zodiac signs) can offer insight into the way different planets interact with one another. But to use these techniques […]

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By |2023-02-14T08:41:56-05:00February 14th, 2023|Astrology|4 Comments

Thanksgiving and Blogiversary musings

It was a balmy Thanksgiving day that the original form of this blog entered the world. Blogging was still fairly new, but I had a thirst to write about the astrological connections between the way I view the world and the astrological underpinnings and time cycles. I still have that thirst, sometimes more than others, and this blog has been a lifeline for me to share these thoughts with others.

I started out on Blogger, the original blogging platform. My sister was already blogging her unique brand of political sarcasm, and she helped me get everything set up. I had already been writing my monthly astrological report which I started back in the early 1990s, and couldn’t wait to get started. In those early days there were only a handful of blogs, and those of us that started early, April, Elsa, Neith aka Diane, and Robert, still post regularly. Most of the other bloggers have sadly disappeared..

Many of you have been with me since the beginning. Those were the early Bush II years and my writing leaned towards the political, but over the years the appeal of the political landscape began to wane. I still cover politics, of course, but my perspective is less partisan and, I hope, more nuanced.

In early 2010 the blog was picked up by Beliefnet, the largest spirituality website in the world and then by Patheos which resulted in threats of lawsuit and the eventual trademarking of the blog title. Those big sites promise eyeballs and fame, along with the ability to be paid for writing, but as many […]

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By |2022-11-25T10:19:38-05:00November 25th, 2022|Blogging|7 Comments

Mars in Gemini: 2022-2023

art by Andrew Ferez

I wrote about Mars entering Gemini in last week’s update but this is a significant enough event that it deserves its own post. Mars entered Gemini on August 20, 2022 EDT and because of its retrograde cycle it will remain in Gemini until March 25, 2023. Mars is considered a malefic planet by astrologers in the various ancient traditions because of its connection with violence, but Mars is essential to physical and mental health as it inspires and motivates us to action. Mars helps us to identify our needs and desires and create a strategy for getting there. I like to say that without Mars we would have no reason to get up in the morning. Mars is a primary motivator.

The sign that Mars travels through describes the filter that Mars will operate through during that time. Mercury-ruled Gemini is the sign of thought and information – it hungers for knowledge and desires a wide variety of experiences in order to maximize understanding. For this reason, with Mars in Gemini there is the potential for more fluidity in discussion and this could apply to things like peace talks as well as to negotiations in our personal lives.

In Gemini, Mars can lose its focus – so many things become interesting and the creative power of Mars is weakened through the dispersal into multiple avenues of action. We may feel that we are spinning our wheels and getting little done, but the power of Mars in Gemini lies in its ability to open our minds to many different ideas and ways of thinking.

Mars was last retrograde in 2020-2022 and that time Mars was in its own sign of Aries, causing a lot of […]

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By |2022-08-22T07:50:01-04:00August 22nd, 2022|Mars, Planetary cycles|1 Comment

Liz Greene and the Twelve Temples

artist unknown

A portion of this article was originally posted in 2006.  Liz Greene is quite possibly my favorite astrology writer of all time, and yesterday I dug out her book The Art of Stealing Fire: Uranus in the Horoscope, which is actually a transcription of a seminar on the subject. In it she briefly touches on the work of the Roman writer Manilius, who in his work the Astronomica refers to the astrological houses as “templums.”

In the horoscope, which is a map of the sky at a particular time from the perspective of earth, the space above and below the earth is ringed with the symbolic zodiac system and then divided into four quadrants. Each of the four quadrants is divided into three sections, and we call the twelve resulting pie-shaped sections “houses.” Each “house” is associated with a sphere of existence. Liz Greene describes the houses as being like empty stages before a play, each of which is already set with its “decor, furniture and objects according to the domain which the house rules and the sign on the cusp of the house.”

The use of the word “templum” to describe the houses is a fascinating one. Greene writes that the templum, or temple, was any empty building or space used for sacred purposes, and until the cult statue of the god was placed in the temple, the space had no real purpose. Writer Gordon Fisher quotes an earlier work by linguist Zacharie Mayani describing a ceremony dividing a templum into twelve sections:

Two priests are seen marking out the bounds of a holy area consisting of a square in which two medians were marked, one running from north to south and […]

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By |2022-11-06T10:46:01-05:00June 8th, 2022|Astrology|4 Comments

Jupiter in Aries May 10: Forging a new direction

art by Catrin Welz Stein

The story of Jupiter.

The astrological meaning of Jupiter can be deduced from his position in Roman mythology and modern astronomy: As King of the Gods he was the highest ruler and presided over law and order as well as the fates of men and women. Noble in nature, he represents the search for the highest expression of human life.  As the One who fulfilled requests and wishes, Jupiter has come to be associated with good fortune and luck. As the largest of all of the planets, it symbolizes expansion of all things including expansion of human understanding. Jupiter is often called the “greater benefic,” (with Venus as the “lesser benefic”) and the bringer of good fortune. I tend to think that Jupiter’s association with good luck tends to be the result of the optimism and faith that Jupiter brings to the table, enhancing a positive outlook which itself will bring good fortune. 

Jupiter is a partner to Mercury in their rulership of the mutable (flexible and adaptable) signs: Jupiter rules Pisces and Sagittarius, and Mercury rules Virgo and Gemini. Under Mercury’s rulership of Virgo and Gemini we are working with the “small mind” – the personal viewpoints and opinions and ways to measure the world. Under Jupiter’s rulership of Pisces and Sagittarius we seek a broader perspective – that of the “higher mind” or “universal mind.”  We seek expansion and growth and tend to become unsatisfied with the status quo.

Because of its association with good fortune, Jupiter is considered a powerful ally in the chart and that is true to an extent, but Jupiter’s tendency to overdo everything can lead to trouble. And that brings us […]

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