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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

If you were wondering if this couple have a future, well according to their progressed synastry, we have a classic and significant connection (which while being no guarantee of permanency, is very much a significator of relationship). Even if you don't understand astrological jargon or symbolism, you will be able to tell from this that they have something in common. And Yes its Sun and Venus and (like his parents) its by progression, but this time its the rarer (but statistically significant) 0 degree conjunction.This connection is supposed to occur in relationship populations half as often as the trine, but actually its wildly more popular than chance would predict.

The last time we saw the progressed Sun progressed Venus conjunction in the British Royal family was in the 1930s... it was King Edward VIII and US divorcee Wallis Simpson...

Nov 6th 2016


 

Its taken me ten years to test it, but...

Some readers may recall the case of Geldof Yates and Hutchence from When Stars Collide. I devoted a whole chapter to their synastry and the fact that Geldof and Yates' pSun pVenus trine tracked perfectly with the parameters of their relationship. but then Yates next relationship had the same pattern which would have reached perfection after both parties died. At the time I speculated that it would be significant if Geldof's next relationship (with actor Jeanne Marine) may include the same pattern or connection. We have seen similar repetitions in the Charles Diana Camilla relationship. Of course, you can only sensibly speculate like this if you think you are right and that this subject is true.

So here we are Bob Geldof and Jeanne Marine got married according to news sources on Jeanne's 50th birthday. If this is true this is their synstry matrix:

As I promised myself back in 2005, if this relationship contained this pattern at the time it began (and the chances are it wouldn't), I would stop saying things like "...if astrology is true..." From where I'm sitting the chances its not are getting slimmer and slimmer.

So there we go, I'm going to say it: "If Jeanne Marine's data is correct astrology is probably true" and you can quote me on that if you like.

Oct 31st 2015


 

Lets talk about...Love at First Sight

Do you believe in it? Here's one of the few examples I have found.

Franz Kafka and Dora Diamant

Strangely, there are few relationships which claim the phenomenon of LAFS (love at first sight) for which evidence can be given for this rare claim.

Franz Kafka was suffering from tuberculosis in July 1923 when he met Dora Diamant. She was a volunteer for the Berlin Jewish Peoples Homes Vacation Camp on the Baltic Sea at the time. He was 40, she 19. They planned almost immediately to live together in Berlin as soon as Kafka was sufficiently recovered. In September 1923 they moved together to Prague, then Berlin. In 1924 Kafka was hospitalised and was moved to a Sanatorium in Vienna. Dora accompanied him. He died there (in her arms) in June 1924.

Again, natal synastry would not give us the reason for their immediate devotion. For instance, their natal Venuses (B6 & C6) are square to one another.

...But when we add their progressed charts we can see which planets are the main players in this rare event:

Here's how that looks in the context of Kafka's entire life...

Sept 5th 2014

 

Its been a while...how you been?

To celebrate my return and seven years since When Stars Collide was first published I will be giving two free credits to all the site members who signed up before 21st December 2013. So if you signed up at any point since 2007 it may be worth logging into Your Relationship Analysis after December 21st (under the user name you created) and adding two names to your database. Happy Holidays.

So where have I been? Well, I took a year off from believing in anything. Its been a tough experimental year and although I've enjoyed being a skeptic, I am back in the astrological world. I just need to rejoin ISAR now.

Since I began in astrology back in 1985 I have regularly spent 6 to 12 months away from the subject and I generally know more about it when I come back to it than when I left. If only more people would try to not believe a little more often.

Has it changed my view of astrology? No, I am still of the same view as Kepler - a seam of gold runs through this subject. I have however avoided all things astrological (except answering a couple of distress calls) for 12 months.

Except for one thing. I found out Sam Harris' birthday. If you scroll down to 2008 you'll find a piece on this page that talks about the skeptical group the Four Horsemen.

Here it is in full. And we now know that Sam Harris was born on APRIL 9th 1967

December 17th 2013

The Four Horsemen - is there a link between atheism and Aries?

Richard Dawkins (author of The God Delusion), Daniel Dennett (author of Breaking the Spell - Religion as a Natural Phenomenon), Christopher Hitchens (author of God is not Great) and Sam Harris (author of The End of Faith) are the four most vociferous atheists currently working to change the attitudes of people of faith, away from faith and towards rationalism. Some of what they say makes sense to me, but I find their approach to astrology obviously wrong (having said that, they deliberately don't appear to know much about it, so fair's fair).

Prof. Dawkins was kind enough to include my book briefly in his series Enemies of Reason. I thought I would return the favor with a little comment about the four horsemen, and particularly their Sun Signs.

It turns out that 75% of the Four Horsemen have the Sun in Aries and we are not sure about the other 25%. That is, Dennett was born on March 28th 1942, Christopher Hitchens was born on April 13th 1949 and Richard Dawkins on 26th March 1941. All we know about Sam Harris is that he was born in 1967 and that he bears a passing resemblence to Ben Stiller (who is a Sag). It would be quite amusing if all four turned out to be Aries, particularly as the beginning of their discussion is this:

RD: "One of the things we've all met is the accusation that we are strident or arrogant, or vitriolic, or shrill. What do we think about that?"

While I am one of the few astrologers who tends to downplay the importance of zodiac signs in favor of other astrological concepts, I can't help thinking the discussion fits the Sun Sign.

Some of the traditional principles ascribed to the sign Aries include its Martial, combative, impatient and direct attitude. The necessity to arrive at conclusions and to do so in a dramatic way. Aries are dramatic, warlike and political in their outlook and extraordinarily efficient in achieving their aims which are often based on headstrong self-belief and an over simplification of ideas. In short, they get results because they don't mess around with much of the unnecessary philosophy that other Sun signs might.

It's also worth remembering that some other atheistic commentators are not Aries, but again, they aren't members of the very direct and impatient group known as the four horsemen. If we added Virgo Michael Shermer (author of Why Darwin Matters) to the group, it would skew my hypothesis that all skeptics are Aries, but if we added A.C Grayling (April 3rd 1949), author of Against All Gods: Six Polemics on Religion and an Essay on Kindness I'd be back on track.
So, is Sam Harris an Aries, I wonder?

Prof. Dawkins says that belief in astrology is an impoverishing thing.

I disagree. I think prejudiced contempt for anything, especially if that contempt leads deliberate ignorance of a subject, is an impoverishing thing.

February 4th 2008


 

Sun Mars and the Quest for Power

Related article: The Power of Mars

You may recall that we can see a number of astrological similarities in the lives of dictators. That Mao, Stalin, Franco, Mussolini, Castro and even Churchill came to power at the same time that progressed Sun Mars apects became exact in their lives.

To recap, only certain progressed Sun Mars aspects can occur during the life...sometimes three aspects will occur. In the case of Raul Castro two aspects happened in the same year - 2008 - coincidentally the same year he took power in Cuba, however this is rare. Its also true that Presidents of the United States can't be assessed by the same measure as communist and fascist dictators, but in fact we do find Sun Mars aspects that coincide with Presidents of the USA taking power: Washington, George Bush Jr and George Bush Snr, Taft, Tyler, Polk, Fillmore, Van Buren, John Quincy Adams, Jackson, Ford, Truman and Lincoln all had either conjunction, trine, square or opposition of Sun and Mars the year they came to the presidency.

The progressions of the Sun and Mars during life are part of a process and so it doesn't follow that we will always observe a leader coming to power at the same time as their Sun Mars progressed aspect, this would of course be relevant if the thing that the Sun and Mars progressions correlates with is the quest for, or desire for, power rather than the attainment of power.
I find it difficult to believe that, for example, a Sun Mars conjunction would give power, this idea doesn't hold water simply because not everyone who seeks power gains power, but most power seekers exhibit or experience great confidence. This experience of seeking power may in some cases be a levelling experience in that if you seek it and are denied it maybe that the process itself has a shaping effect on the rest of an individuals life.

If we look at the Sun Mars progressions for the 2012 Republican Presidential candidates as well as those for President Obama (whose only Sun Mars major aspect fell in 2003 which was the year he announced his candidacy for the US senate), we can note that while Romney and Obama do not have Sun Mars progressions in 2012, Santorum (trine), Gingrich (square), Huntsman (conjunction) and Ron Paul (conjunction) all experience Sun Mars progressions within a year of 2012. Rick Perry (not included) incidentally experiences a Sun Mars trine by progression in 2020. Sun Mars appears to be an aspect of confidence (traditionally its an alignment of the will (Sun) and the means to exercise that will (Mars) - basically the execution of personal power) and so it shouldn't be such a surprise to see it in this context if astrology is, at least to some extent, true.


 

 

 

 

20th January 2012


 

Russell Brand and Katy Perry

I've uploaded an article about progressed Venus Squares. Turns out Katy and Russell have a couple and so I've included them in the article which is all about how squares block and break relationships which is called Demonstrating Squares_in_action the other item of interest in this article is the fact that it deals with the role of squares in rekindled relationships - a phenomenon of modern social media - Facebook was cited in 33% of all divorces in the UK last year. If people knew more about Venus squares perhaps Facebook would not be inthe firing line so much.

1st January 2012

 


 

Paul McCartney does it again...

Validates my theory of progressed synastry that is.

You may recall that Macca's relationship with Heather Mills was highly demonstrative of the typical nature of Venus Mars trines (and squares). Well, his third marriage is a fantastic example of what you need in a relationship to make it last. A progressed Venus/progressed Venus trine...that lasts (stays in orb) for the rest of your life. If I were to pick an aspect that were quite hard to find, but which imbues couples with deep and lasting feelings of romantic and limerent love, then the Venus trine (involving at least one progressed planet) would be my first choice. What's special about this aspect in McCartney and Shevell's relationship is that the two planets are poised and tracking each other over a long period. Often this type of aspect is gone in a few years or sometimes months. Long term bliss is the only way to describe it. This one is for life.

Like William and Kate, Paul and Nancy have an extended period of time with their progressed Venus trine in close orb. Also a pSun nVenus trine developed (and is operating now) which in progressed synastry facilitates the formalisation of the partnership (it provides a window of opportunity beyond the purely romantic)

Paul and Nancy married on October 9th. Lennon's birthday.

 

October 9th 2011


 

An old post from 2007 that you might have missed...

The year after I posted this blog entry/review, I went to see John Edward's show for a second time. On this occasion I got a reading. It proved unsuccessful for Edward, but as soon as I sat down it dawned on me that I do actually have an Aunt called Bess and her husband my uncle did die of lung cancer...oops. He thought he'd got the reading wrong and I let him believe it. My lack of validation was not intentional, but in the moment its sometimes difficult to focus. My Aunt Bess died exactly a month after the reading. So as I came across this archived review detailing my thoughts from the previous year, I thought it would be appropriate to re-post it.

John Edward: Cold Reader? Probably not.

John Edward, Perth Convention Centre, November 4th 2007

I went to see a show given by John Edward (the psychic medium) in Perth yesterday. While I didn't personally pay for the ticket, I was happy to go along as it gave me the opportunity to see whether he was using the technique suggested by Derren Brown and James Randi, that is: cold reading.
The Wikipedia entry for John Edward is quite critical, and, although I don't think many of the Wikipedia pages relating to psychic mediums give a particularly balanced view, I don't necessarily believe all psychics are really psychic.

Cold reading, the Derren Brown way, is done like this:

DB: "...Ok, this is a lady,who is trying to connect with somebody she looks very elegant and there's guilt on her part, a feeling of guilt I think your father passed when you were very young is that right? She's asking about, I wanna say Charlie, Charles..."
Audience Member: "Yes, that's my ex-husbands name."

It's that simple. You just need to gain the audience members confidence and then you "fish" using a random fact or name.

According to Derren Brown:
"Cold reading: a way of communicating information where it sounds like they know everything about you and they can reveal facts seemingly about your life. In fact its a linguistic trick or a set of linguistic tricks, where they're saying words and you're constantly supplying the meaning yourself. It can be very convincing." (Enemies of Reason)

Or, in James Randi's charge of cold reading against Doris Collins which panned out something like this:

Collins is giving a reading in Melbourne, filmed by TV cameras, James Randi was not allowed in the venue and so had to debunk her methods from TV footage.
DC: "Who would you have called Paulie?"
Audience Member: "Paul"
DC: "Paul"
Audience member: "Paul. That's my son that died."
JR: "OK hold it right there, listen to what she said: WHO WOULD YOU HAVE CALLED PAULIE, not WHO WAS PAULIE or WHO IS PAULIE, WHO DID YOU CALL PAULIE; WHO WOULD YOU HAVE CALLED PAULIE? The Woman corrects her and says Paul and she immediately answers PAUL and agrees with Paul, she's dropped Paulie."
TV reporter:"Yes but she didn't say Fred or Bill or..."
JR: "That's true, but in other cases (not shown) she did."
TV Reporter: "That's the name of the dead child though, that's pretty specific."
JR: "It's also the name of the game (?) it's called fishing. Isn't that the first name she would come up with if she's talking to the spirit of a child?"
TV Reporter: "Depends on what message she gets. She's not talking in that sense."
JR: "Well, it's a case of whether you're looking to make her successful or if you're looking to find out what she is really doing."

JR: "She's a marvellous practitioner, she's a lot better than I was led to believe, she's got good ways of getting the information from the people and making them agree. She's a good operator."

So When I heard that James Randi had 'successfully debunked John Edward', I thought OK, maybe he did a little better with John Edward. Perhaps he managed to capture something on tape the way he did with the rather more obvious fraud Peter Popoff. It turns out he didn't, he just made a claim that he could do what Edward does.

I must say, after looking at both sides of the argument, and paying close attention to the differences, there appears to me to be a difference between the cold reading that conjurors do and the readings that (at least) John Edward (and it would appear Doris Collins) does (did) and this was illustrated in a few minutes on Sunday in Perth.

Here's an example from Sunday's show which was before an audience of 2000 people:

JE: "OK, I'm being pulled to this area" (fairly specific area at the back of the auditorium that contained about 400 people. Let's say 600 people for arguments sake.) All of these people will have been difficult for John Edward to see due to auditorium lighting.
JE: "I'm being shown someone being stampeded to death by elephants."

A hand went up at the back of the auditorium. A microphone was handed to the gentleman.

Audience Member: "I came here today said the man to get a message from my grandmother..."
(most people groaned at this point wondering what this had to do with elephants.)
"...And she used to tell a story about her cousin who was a zookeeper at Perth zoo and who was crushed to death by elephants"
A reading then ensued.

Now remember, Brown said:
"...Ok, this is a lady,who is trying to connect with somebody she looks very elegant and there's guilt on her part, a feeling of guilt I think your father passed when you were very young is that right? She's asking about, I wanna say Charlie, Charles..."
and Edward said:
"I'm being shown someone being stampeded to death by elephants."

Despite the fact that I could argue, a la James Randi, that a stampede of elephents may be different to being crushed to death by an elephant or elephants; in the absence of a clear picture of what Edward was seeing/feeling/hearing and what actually happened at the zoo, which even if different, doesn't really negate the "hit", Occams Razor shaves down on the side of John Edward for me on this occasion: I think cold reading is probably not the first conclusion I would arrive at. Although I admit I haven't seen the stats on elephant related deaths in Western Australia.

Apparently psychic mediums use a multivalent symbolic communication system, one that is not exactly the same as human verbal communication, but one which consists mainly of pictures, symbols and events, and this is not necessarily linear, logical or a particularly efficient method. So when I chanced upon a comment on YouTube where someone said:
" I kinda need some evidence" and other such comments specifying exactly what he requires as evidence, including the parameters of a successful prediction (which is not what psychic mediums do, I might add, but this was a comment on James Randi, not psychics): "There will be a magnitude 5.89 earthquake five miles south of Los Angeles followed 39 minutes later by a 3.2 aftershock which will last 13 seconds."
It got me thinking. I may be making a blanket statement here, but the guy making the claim appeared to be in his twenties and appeared to have been to college. Now, if someone has just finished a science degree and they're in their twenties and they believe in the paranormal, either they didn't go to class or the Jesuits had them for seven years earlier in their lives.You're not supposed to believe in the paranormal after half a decade in college. You're supposed to be outraged by it, that's OK and it needn't last forever. But, it does mean you should think before you apply 18th century solutions to 21st century questions.

But extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, don't they? Well, I'm not sure actually. Maybe if we lived in the 18th Century when the spirit of this statement was born, along with its originators, Hume and Laplace and the mundanity of the enlightenment universe. If we live in an extraordinary universe (which we now know for certain that we do), then the rules have to change. The idea that the paranormal is impossible or unproven is really a social construct based primarily on utility; on the notion of what is useful and easy to explain and which fits in with Western socioeconomic utility.The argument is largely one of conservatism versus liberalism, rather than the rational versus the irrational.

Perhaps extraordinary claims require an extraordinary dispensation in some cases. Dispensation from bad experimentation would be the first order. The mistake that the 18th Century paradigm can be applied to paranormal events is perhaps another. I think that you can fill a bucket with some fish, but you can't fill a fish with some buckets (except in extraordinary cases) and mixing your paradigms is the first step towards bad experiments because you begin with flawed assumptions. If we approach the idea of psychic mediums as if what they do is something we currently understand, we miss the point and we miss opportunities. If it is true and we haven't 'got it' yet then maybe, just maybe, it's not their problem and this is where the counter-advocates (not skeptics) do us a disservice because they actively campaign against relevant research.

The big assumption appears to be that anyone (at all) understands what the paranormal is, or understands the nature of the claims made by people working with paranormal tools (including those people making the claims). The subtle difference between the cold reader and the psychic medium might be lost on some, but it's not that difficult to see that when Edward says "Who's Kathleen?" and the audience member responds "I'm Kathleen" that there really is a difference. The other issue I have with counter-advocates and debunkers (but not actual skeptics) is that they have a vested interest in what they do (in the same way that tobacco company spokespeople do). Whether they do a job of work which is in a similar field to the psychic medium, and they feel aggrieved because the psychic guy in the theatre down the street is making more money than they are -or - that they make a living de-masking frauds, is immaterial, if they have a vested interest, they are biased.
Everyone in the paranormal field is a potential target to the counter advocate and their skilful rhetoric which is often justified by some rather emotional statements such as "they're trampling over the memory of your dead relatives". Of course, the ideal alternative is that the psychic medium be a well-qualified scientist's research subject and I understand John Edward has been willingly tested by a psychologist named professor Gary Schwartz. Of course, when a scientist tests psi or psychic mediums, the counter-advocate will poke fun at them, question their credentials, and even insult them. Dean Radin, senior scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences is not referred to as a psychologist by Randi despite the fact that he holds a psychology doctorate, instead he is referred to as an electrical engineer because he also has a degree in this field and, I assume, Randi is using this as a rhetorical put-down; a diminishment of the widely qualified Radin's credentials. Radin's first degree must have come in handy as he has designed equipment used to test psi-related claims. The same treatment is meted out to Schwartz (even worse if you read his account of an encounter with Penn Gillette). These counter-advocates do not really inhabit a truly scientific world, but they fly a flag for science and act pretty much like the science world's hired thugs.

Derren Brown and James Randi are really good at what they do, which is making people believe things that aren't true. When they try to tell me something, anything, I have to wonder why they're telling me, and the answer, in Randi's case at least, may be that his whole raison d'etre depends on people like John Edward being liars and if they're not liars, then pretty much every authoritarian comment he has made over the past fifty years has been based on an incorrect assumption and I don't believe he wants people to believe that. If there's something he doesn't want you to believe, then, if he's any good at what he does, he'll make sure you don't.
The paranormal will remain unproven, intellectually impoverished and outside the realm of respectable research as long as these devils advocates tell you what to believe.

Is John Edward a cold reader? Probably not.

Nov 2007 re-posted August 2011

 

Astrology News Service

Take a look at this article on the Astrology News Service and then look at this page which sums up the main case for dynamic astrology (for non-astrologers).

It's time that we started to change the arguments used by some critics of astrology. I believe the first step is for non-astrologers to understand why astrologers still do astrology when skeptics say it can't possibly be true. The problem being that astrology is true, but until now its been difficult to explain why this is obviously so without studying lots of charts and looking very carefully at things which are hard to see in the first place. The new page demonstrates this fact in bite size pieces of information which repeat over and over again.
If I hear another uninformed astronomer talking about the gravitational pull of the midwife or a 'new' thirteenth zodiac sign I think I'll go nuts. In fact, if you know anyone who believes that astrology isn't true, send them to this page and ask them to take a look at our demonstrations of why it is. No one ever mentions dynamic astrology or progressed synastry when they're criticising astrology.

As it stands, the evidence for dynamic astrology is such that if it doesn't stop you in your tracks (and if you're a skeptic make you change your arguments against astrology) then you simply haven't understood what you were looking at.

27 April 2011


 

William and Kate

Elsewhere on the positiveastrology site, (click here to view this page) you will find an analysis of the relationship aspects which played a role in the relationship of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales. This relationship could be described as a fairly happy one for about three years from 1981 to 1984; despite the fact that there may have been some deceit at its heart, the actual relationship appeared to be quite a good one until the birth of the couple's second child, Prince Harry, in 1984. Then things started to go wrong. It is interesting to astrologers, particularly those who study progressed synastry, that the "three good years" coincide with a progressed Venus natal Venus trine (highlighted in the matrix below) which came and went during the 'fairytale' period of their relationship....

It might be another coincidence that William and Kate share the same aspect in their relationship. (We would expect to see it with a two degree orb once in about every 22 relationships.) William and Kate became a couple in December 2003. (We don't have a time of birth for Kate so I'm using Noon GMT in this case).

The good news is that on this occasion, the aspect is no fly-by-night Cinderella aspect, it's actually quite a long-lived aspect and this in itself is quite a rare occurrence. You see, Kate was born with Venus retrograde (meaning it was, from our Earth-bound point of view, travelling backwards through the zodiac), this phenomenon continued in Kate's progressed chart until about 2004, when Venus turned direct. Venus' motion after turning direct is quite slow, so that it actually takes seven years to travel the same distance it normally would in one year. Because this aspect is formed by Kate's progressing Venus and William's natal Venus the upshot is a very long-lived aspect which lasts 20+ years compared with the usual five years. This aspect won't finally separate for good until around the year 2030. The collision graph (below) shows the progress of this aspect (in green), but it also shows another relationship aspect which can sometimes create problems - a progressed Sun progressed Venus opposition. This type of opposition is very popular in relationships, but it is common at the outset of relationships. Its presence in established relationships may present issues other than attraction and we can't be sure if it will be a positive or a negative influence in all relationships, although it is never a quiet influence.

Some might regard the Sun Venus opposition as creating a block or a distance between two people (its popularity in relationships should not be mistaken for inherent softness), others that it creates a magnetic and desperate attraction. In isolation it might represent an obstacle that would doom a relationship. In this case, however, I think it symbolises the external intrusion that made the couple announce their split in 2007, but the other connections in their synastry are powerful and good. The Sun Venus opposition probably also played a role in their inability to make this permanent as it inclines people toward deep attraction at same time as highlighting their inherent differences. This couple also share a natal Venus (Kate) natal Mars (William) trine which is probably another reason why they are a good match. Kate's retrograde Venus also means that she is constant in relationships, she is unlikely to grow distant from William and this fact is facilitated by their ability to relate over a long period of time. Charles and Diana had about three years in which they could truly relate; Kate and William on the other hand have at least thirty years and that in itself is a fairly good foundation for a relationship.

26th January 2008 (Revised 17th November 2010)


 

Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins (again)

Opposition replaces myriad conjunctions

As mentioned previously, Sue and Tim got together under a large number of progressed (and therefore temporary) conjunctions involving Venus. Since the mid-1990s This symbol of similarity has been replaced by one of division - an opposition. While these are very useful at the beginning of relationships, as noted previously in established relationships they can be a drag.

The blue, green and red lines are all conjunctions. The yellow lines are oppositions.

21st March 2010

 


 

Harriet Taylor and John Stuart Mill

Demonstrating the nature of progressed Sun Venus oppositions

John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor. Husband and wife for seven years, tortured lovers in a peculiar way for a lot longer and the joint authors of on the subjection of women.
In 1839 the philosopher Mill went to dinner party which changed his life for ever. He was struck dumb by the vision of a swan throat and dark enormous eyes. They belonged to one Harriet Taylor writer, poet and unhappily married wife. Between the soup and the port John and Harriet were swept away by an instantaneous knowledge that they had found their true soulmates.
Simon Schama History of Britain

Taylor and Mill had to be content with being lovers for 19 years. In 1849 Harriet's unloved husband John Taylor finally died freeing them to marry, which they did in 1851. It is acknowledged that they became lovers very quickly, although Harriet had two children with Taylor in the years 1830 and 1831. By 1833, the Taylor's were living apart.

John and Harriet's story is quite close to one of those rare cases of love at first sight and so we should look at the progressed synastry to try to learn from it.

I've already explored the case of Franz Kafka and Dora Diamant elsewhere on this site (theirs was also a claim of love at first sight). John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor's similar claim is also accompanied by quite striking progressed Venus synastry. In Kafka and Diamants case we see two very close exact progressed Sun Venus trines. In Mill and Taylor's case we see another of significantly common relationship connections: Oppositions.

This is a case that would have benefited from times of birth. With times we could have shown the exact moment of exactness of a very long-period progressed Sun progressed Venus opposition, which reveals much about the dual-nature of oppositions. Oppositions are both intensely attracting (like the trine) yet they symbolize barriers which require effort to overcome (like squares). We can't say for certain what year the Mill Taylor opposition was exact, but it was some time between 1826 and 1834. And whichever year it was, its close to exactness continued for another twenty years. Passing the two degree point in either the late 1840s or the early 1850s.

Here we have two significant dates:
An exact opposition of Sun and Venus occurs between the two in 1830 or thereabouts, when they meet and, it appears fall in love. And the same opposition dissipates to the two-degree point on or around 1849 when they are allowed them to legally marry on the death of Taylor's husband.

Around the time they do marry, in 1851, a progressed Venus natal Mars opposition becomes exact as does a progressed Sun natal Sun opposition.

Mill and Taylor worked very hard to establish the rights of women in marriage and Taylor only married Mill after he legally waived all legal rights that Victorian men had over their wives person and property.

2nd July 2009


 

Peter Andre and Katie Price

Progressed Venus Mars opposition: The curse of Burton and Taylor

If you have ever read to the bottom of this page, you will no doubt have noticed a collision graph depicting the trajectory of a progressed Venus progressed Mars opposition in the relationship of Katie Price (AKA Jordan) and Peter Andre dated 4th January 2008. Peter and Katie got together in 2004 after building up a friendship on the UK TV show I'm a Celebrity... I calculated their progressed synastry at the time and it was fairly obvious that the primary relationship indicator in their case was the same as that in the relationship of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, Errol Flynn and Lili Damita, Russell Crowe and Meg Ryan, and Lana Turner and Johnny Stomponato. This particular connection is extremely passionate and if you share it at any time in a relationship, you will notice when it starts to fade. Katie and Peter have recently announced they are to separate.

While we can't be certain of the timing of the aspect (because we would have to have exact times of birth for both partners), we can see the shape and trajectory of the aspect. Based on noon births for both, the aspect will separate to the point it was at when they met towards the end of this year. All the same, their story is typical of this aspect - when it separates often so does the couple. Its the curse of Burton and Taylor.

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor's relationship (1962 to 1974) closely mirrored their progressed Venus progressed Mars opposition. You can read about this relationship (and many of their other relationships) in detail in When Stars Collide.

19th May 2009


 

Whatever happened to...

...The historical revisionists of the 90s?


Back in the 1990's many of us were on the edge of our seats waiting first for July 1999 and then for the millenium and its eponymous bug. Also during this decade a number of writers, possibly spurred on by the presence of iconoclastic planets Uranus and Neptune in Capricorn in the late 80s, were challenging conventional ideas about history. It's possible that this iconoclasm will make a return appearance now that Pluto (that crazy mixed-up planetoid) has stepped in to Capricorn for the first time since the decade of the American Revolution. I would think that any challenge to convention would be on stronger ground than previous attempts and perhaps we've learned from the mistakes of others. Here are a few of the literary movers and shakers from the 1990s and my personal view of their contributions.

John Anthony West and Robert Schoch
I quoted John Anthony West extensively in When Stars Collide. His work the Case for Astrology, while a little dated now, is still the most comprehensive piece on why astrology isn't bunk.
West has contributed a great deal to different attempts at explaining a possible alternative view of the ancient world. His interpretation of R.A Schwaller de Lubicz and the subsequent research into the age of the Sphinx won him an Emmy award and is possibly the most convincing assault on the academic interpretation of the chronology of antiquity. I suspect West and Schoch's credibility was marred by their associaton with the highly successful, yet somewhat controversial...

...Graham Hancock
Hancock is a journalist with an obvious desire to effect enormous change in the way we view the world. Of course I empathise with this desire, but I would tend towards a cautious approach until armed with a hatful of irrefutable data. Hancock had a hatful of data, but it was less than irrefutable. Hancock is very good at communicating his ideas. In fact the ideas he espoused in the 1990s were, in the main, the ideas of others. Robert Bauval thought that the pyramids were planned to mirror Orion's belt, West and Schoch presented the evidence that the Sphinx was more than 6000 years old, Emmanual Velikovsky believed that Tihuanaco was very ancient, Rand and Rose Flem-Ath believed that Atlantis was beneath Antartica and John Grigsby suggested that Angkor Wat was shaped to mirror the constellation Draco. Perhaps Hancock went too far and got a little too much publicity for his collection of theories, because the only really firm piece of research in this is that the Sphinx is very, very old. Problem is, because everything else Hancock subscribed to has been discredited, people have begun to ignore the very important fact that there is a monument in Egypt that was carved at least 7000 years ago and that's a shame.

David Rohl...
...was another person who challenged the mainstream view of ancient history. His redating of events of the first and second millenium BCE was quite compelling, suggesting that the Pharoah Ramesses II was actually the Egyptian pharoah (called Shishak in the Bible) who sacked Jerusalem. The dating of Ramesses reign is quite important for astrologers who are interested in the history of the subject because a little-known reference to astrology exists on an Egyptian stele known as the Israel stele. This stone record was carved during the reign of Merenptah, son of Ramesses II and records the following in relation to Tjehenu (the people of Libya):

By his word their villages were ruined;
There's no work of carrying [loads] these days.
Hiding is useful, it's safe in the cave.
The great Lord of Egypt, might and strength are his, Who will combat, knowing how he strides?
A witless fool is he who takes him on,
He knows no tomorrow who attacks his border!
As for Egypt, "Since the gods," they say,
"She is the only daughter of Pre;
His son is he who's on the throne of Shu,
None who attacks her people will succeed.
The eye of every god is after her despoiler,
It will make an end of all its foes",
So say they who gaze toward their stars,
And know all their spells by looking to the winds.

If Ramesses was Pharoah in the 13th century BCE as the conventional chronology states, then this is evidence of astrology in Egypt in the second millenium BCE. If he was Pharoah in the 10th century BCE as Rohl suggested, it takes this allusion to astrology into first millenium BCE Egypt. Either way, it's probably the earliest mention of astrology in Egypt.

7th May 2009


Updates

I'm going to be updating this blog a bit more often, research permitting. I've had a few emails suggesting I should write more, so I will oblige. The first request was a 'Dynamic Astrology for Dummies' article, which I will provide in due course, although I hesitate to call it that. If you have any particular requests, let me know by sending an email to the "info" address which you will find at the foot of each page.

7th May 2009


Nononsenseastrology.com

I'm quite taken by this web site. Particularly by Drew Biggin's byline "So long sun signs". Brilliant.

7th May 2009


FLF

For those of you interested in ambient music, I would like to recommend a former colleague of mine from, as they say, waaay back. Mark Barrott (aka Future Loop Foundation) and I shared the stage on two occasions; the first gig I ever played in August 1984 and the last in February 1987. We didn't always agree musically, but I recently visited the Future Loop Foundation MySpace page and on my visit I particularly enjoyed Sunshine Philosophy.

7th May 2009


 

Astrology as Football (and other astro-sporting analogies)

Several people have emailed asking me to expand upon my analogy of "astrology as football" which featured in my appearance on Blogtalkradio and so here goes:

The purpose of this analogy is to show that the most accessible and commonly known attribute of astrology - the Zodiac - is not actually its most fundamental property. Basically we can do astrology without a zodiac, but we can't do it without other attributes, namely the planets.

The Zodiac (any zodiac in fact) is like a field or a track upon which we measure the movements of planets (or players). What makes the Zodiac the most accessible part of astrology is that the Sun's path through it, from Aries in March to Pisces in the following February, is simple and predictable, in fact the Zodiac used in Western Astrology takes its starting point from the date in the year when the Sun crosses the equator at the Spring Equinox. The upshot is that people can easily learn the sign that the Sun was in when they were born, but this is not the case for the other planets whose motions through the Zodiac are not linked to the calendar.

As the Sun, Moon and planets have very specific roles in astrology, we cannot apply all of their rules to the Sun, so believing that all Aries people are assertive and pushy, or that all Taureans are practical and stubborn, on the sole basis of their Sun position, is both premature and unastrological (although we often find that the some people with these Sun positions also possess these qualities). Even worse is the idea that the Sun Signs have anything valuable to tell us about relationships. While connections or aspects between Venus in one chart and the Sun in another are of great importance in intimate relationship astrology, connections between the Sun in one chart and the Sun in another (which is basically what Love Sign books are about) are not particularly significant. So it doesn't really matter if your Sun Signs are supposedly incompatible - just as many Aquarians marry Taureans as marry Librans - but it probably does matter that Venus and the Sun are well positioned in relation to each other.

Zodiacs are very useful and their signs seems to imbue qualities in us that can be convincing, particularly from a subjective point of view. This usefulness does not also mean that they are a fundamental and vital tenet of astrology. Planets however, are fundamental to astrology and cannot be replaced.

The Zodiac is like a field. The planets are players. There are many codes of football, the purpose of all of the codes is fundamentally the same. It is possible to play a game of football without a marked out pitch, but we gain something from goal posts, lines and penalty areas. The passes between players are like the energetic aspects that the planets cast between each other when they make geometric alignments in the Zodiac.

The planets as soccer players - Chiron has been sent off for dangerous play; Ceres, Pallas, Vesta, Juno, Sedna and Quaoar are on the subs bench

Newspaper Sun Sign astrology is like a penalty shoot out - here the astrologer/journalist will focus on one planet just as we focus upon the goalkeeper in the shoot out. In the mind of the astrologer, the other planets (including the current Sun and Moon) line up to take shots at your Sun sign.

Mars prepares to take a penalty against the Sun. The other planets line up on the halfway line. The Moon just can't bear to watch.

 

The Planets as runners on a track - the Zodiac is the track - we don't go to the games to watch the track: we go to watch the runners.

Even if you learn a little about the other planets, you may have a tendency to associate astrology primarily with zodiac signs. If you want to try to push the boundaries a little and try to understand the implications of astrology, recognize the planets for what they are - the important players in the subject.

15th February 2009


 

Paul Westran on Blogtalkradio February 4th

I'll be appearing on the Playbook phone- in show on Blogtalkradio with THE Professor which airs at 10pm EST February 4th. Click theplaybook to reach this site.

 


 

Barack and Michelle Obama

And the winning couple has....an exact natal Venus trine in water signs:

...nice.


 

New Articles

There are two new articles in the current articles section relating to the astrological Mars. Dynamic astrology VIII - more experiments with time - the power of mars looks at progressed Mars in the charts of world leaders and dictators. Dynamic Astrology IX the mars effect and dynamic astrology looks at the Gauquelin mars effect as an artifact of dynamic astrology.

Enjoy.

9th June 2008


 

When Stars Confuse

I've noticed a couple of online comments about my book When Stars Collide which, while very gratifying, suggest some people don't get some of the premises of the book. I am always grateful when people take the time to review it, and so I am happy to take the time to respond to questions.

A reader on Amazon.com writes:
"There has to be something more than this.
I tested the theories in this book against four relationships I have had. Two fit very well. Both were exact Sun trine Venus.
One was a stretch, and I was a bit disappointed. We had Sun wide conjunction Venus, but being 3 degrees apart and not 2. We had helpful factors like multiple sextiles, including Venus Sextile Mars, but no trines. And yet, it was love at first sight on my ex-fiance's part. Oh well, may be the three degree wide conjunction still plays a role, who knows. I can just leave it at that.

But for one - the most passionate relationship I had - just did not fit. We had natal Sun Square Venus, with no helpful trines. When we met, it was worse. With progression, Sun was again Square to Venus, and we even had Venus Square Mars!
And yet, this triple square relationship was love at first sight. It was full of conflicts, but was passionate. I ultimately broke off the relationship saying "I love you but I have been chronically unhappy and I do not believe a healthy relationship should feel this way. I am crazy about you, but I feel like I am going crazy." (The book does note that Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes had Sun square Venus, and Sylvia committed suicide). I wish the book explained a bit more why Sun Square Venus or Venus Square Mars could cause attraction. I felt like my questions were unanswered.
Still, an interesting book worth reading."

The content of this review is quite interesting and fully supports my theories, but the reader is obviously left with questions.
I don't claim that squares of the Sun and Venus or Venus and Mars are not very interesting and exciting in relationships. I do claim that they do not appear to bring with them a great deal of conventionality and that people may be kept apart or forced apart by the dynamics that these aspects create. The sentence: "I love you but I have been chronically unhappy and I do not believe a healthy relationship should feel this way. I am crazy about you, but I feel like I am going crazy" is absolutely in line with my ideas about the kind of dynamics squares create in relationships.

In response I would say that there does have to be something more than Sun Venus, Venus Mars and Venus Venus trines, conjunctions and oppositions in relationship astrology, but these aspects turn up more often than we would expect in relationships and so require an explanation. I suggest an explanation. The two-degree rule is not a hard and fast rule, but more of a device that we must use in order to bring parity to the differences between natal and progressed aspects, most people would only use a one degree aspect in progressed charts, but they may also use a three degree or more aspect in natal charts. This is one of the reasons why I consider progressed charts to be much more amenable to scientific testing than natal charts. Natal charts are slippery articles: progressed charts are less so. With this in mind, and because the reader has provided three relationships out of four which fit the patterns defined, it appears that they have provided good support to the ideas I am espousing.

As far as the Sun square Venus and Venus square Mars question being unanswered, I think they were dealt with in the book in terms of separation and remoteness. Sun square Venus does not always cause internal aesthetic repulsion (although the case of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves in the book is an example of non-attraction), but repulsion in other terms which are contingent upon circumstances and so are an external constraint (fame, motherhood, poverty, family emnity etc.) rather than in King Henry's case which was clearly internal (he just didn't fancy Anne). We also find that separating squares are often present at the outset of relationships, as if an obstacle is removed after the aspect becomes exact. Furthermore there is the matter of no aspect or an aspect of indifference. The square cannot be described as indifferent in astrology, but it does not make life easy, and most people want a relationship which is more fun and less stress and as trines traditionally make for easy situations, we are probably on the right track when we ascribe to them the role of conventional relationship starters.

Another comment, this time from someone who has ordered the book, but not yet read it, says the following:

"When stars collide by Paul Westran.
I actually have a lot of synastry and composite books, but Paul Westrans gets great reviews. I do however already have one critique. It kind of doesn’t make any sense to base your data on celeb’s charts. They can be quite accessible, but I wouldn’t want to ‘compare’ or ‘look for’ similar things in your own chart because guess what: we’re not all rich, handsome and loved by the public. ;) The Charles and Lady Di thing is so overdone. It’s like in every synastry or composite book I know. *sighs*."

I'm sure she'll see the reasons why when she reads the book, but in the meantime, if this occurs to anyone else, I'll elucidate my reasons.
1. Progressed synastry is a totally new way of looking at synastry and is markedly different from anything that has preceded it. It has very little in common with composites.
2. Celebrity relationships are in the most part,and especially in terms of timing, transparent. We do not get this transparency in private relationships and progressed synastry and dynamic astrology needs the kind of data that is only available in the public record. People with a high degree of freedom also tend to have a lot of public record relationships, so we get another perspective here - that of one person's series of relationships (see Merle Oberon, Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor for the outcome here). You will find that you can compare the synastry patterns you find in When Stars Collide with your own relationships because riches, looks and public adulation create no special astrological circumstances.
2. Charles and Diana's relationship has been overdone, but it has never been analysed in a way that makes the interpretation undeniable. Every astrologer who has written about this couple has said something different. Their relationship has never been looked at from the point of view of dynamic synastry before. When we introduce timing to this relationship, we stop having to make qualitative astrological explanations fit the horoscopes, we let the dynamic horoscope do the talking and, if we understand what we're looking at, we should gasp with surprise at the result. The outcome is that we start to be able to find the basis of consensus, which has been, until now, a rarity in both the analysis of this relationship and in astrology generally.

Tibet trauma not written in the stars is an article on Eureka Street

In this article, the writer Brian Matthews tells of his visit to positiveastrology.com and while he has lots of impressive sounding things to say, he doesn't seem to have grasped the profundity of what he was looking at (or maybe it's just too complicated for mere writers).

"...But maybe I have misconstrued this aspect — a favourite astrological word. Dynamic Astrology IV, at Positiveastrology.com, makes an alternative view clear to even the feeblest minded Capricorn:

'There is more than one way to calculate the progression of an aspect and the positiveastrology synastry application uses a more accurate algorithm to calculate the curve of the progressed aspect. This method averages the aspect distance month by month; the previous method was to calculate the aspect difference as a yearly average.'

Mired in the old yearly average routine, I found myself marvelling at the 'collision graphs' the positiveastrology synastry application produced to illustrate the remorseless inevitability with which Paula Yates came across Bob Geldof, then Michael Hutchence; how Charles intersected with Diana and then Camilla; how all of them wished they'd missed the Duke of Edinburgh; and how the Olympic Torch could have avoided protesters by going through Heathrow Terminal Five. Amazing astrological stuff: a zodiacal finger on the starry pulse of the universe."

Remorseless inevitability is right. Sad, but right. Brian goes on to say that astrologers tell us what we want to hear because they have what journalists call a hook. I'm surprised that positiveastrology is mentioned in an article that comes to this conclusion. It's almost as if the conclusion was there before Brian's visit and it is drawn with remorseless inevitability.

Meanwhile...

I'm currently working on another book and this one will include some new pieces of research.

19th May 2008


 

Speaking Again

I'll be giving a talk in Perth on The Future of Astrology on Sunday 4th May for the WA branch of the Federation of Australian Astrologers. Details can be found by clicking this link


 

Pink and Carey Hart

Alecia Moore alias Pink and her husband, motocross star Carey Hart, announced the end of their marriage, but not the end of their friendship. I know little about this couple, but I have noticed a natal Sun progressed Venus square, the symbolic effect of the Sun Venus square is typically as a splitting configuration - a little like magnetic repulsion, but this does not mean an absence of attraction, rather a set of circumstances which conspire to cause separation or remoteness. The good news is that it doesn't last forever, so if a couple part under an aspect like this, the chances are their relationship will improve over the following few years. While this may not mean a reconciliation is on the cards, it does mean the circumstances that kept the couple apart, or in this case brought an end to their relationship, will probably disappear to some extent.

The collision graph shows the extent, in time terms, of the divergence caused by the square aspect.

25th March 2008


 

J K Rowling

The subject of astrology in the Harry Potter books came up recently and I took some time to look into the author's use of astrology to describe people and events in the books. It appears Jo Rowling has some familiarity with astrology, but not great sympathy with it. For example, the divination teacher in the books, Sybill Trelawney, seems to be quite able and accurate when she first appears in the books and then inexplicably turns into a bit of a charlatan in the later books, she is consistently dealt with like this in the films. Meanwhile, the Centaur who takes her job in a later book is an astrologer, but more of a mundane astrologer than one of the fortune-telling type, suggesting that for the purposes of her books Rowling was driving home the idea that planets are less interested in the petty lives of individual people than in events. She may have possibly thought that astrology is the most widely believed magical practice left in the world and that all the other ideas presented in her books are harmless in that most people regard them as obvious fantasy.
What Rowling does do from an astrological point of view is split pupils at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry into four houses based on the traditional astrological elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The Earthy pupils are steadfast and loyal but intellectually dull, she calls this house Hufflepuff; the Airy pupils are mentally quick and intelligent problem solvers, she calls these people Ravenclaws. The Fiery pupils are brave and good and these are called Gryffindors while those who use underhand tricks are Watery pupils called Slytherins.
Jo Rowling is a Sun-Leo born on 31st July 1965 and as such qualifies by her Sun sign for Gryffindor. Her actual personality and a massive five-planet stellium in Virgo suggests that at heart she is a Hufflepuff. It is quite relevant that the creative Leo Sun is a focal point for her creation of a world which is intricately constructed in extreme detail fulfilling the requirements of her five planet Virgo stellium.
Her admiration of the principles of fire over water is interesting and her attribution of birth dates to members of the Weasley family is also interesting. For all but one of them has a fire-Sun birthday, the exception being Ron Weasley who is given a Pisces Sun suggesting Ron's birthday is actually shared by a close friend of the author's. Although she also gives her most notable Slytherin pupil Draco Malfoy a Gemini Sun - an Air sign - rather than the more obvious Scorpio, she does name Draco's future son Scorpius at the end of the final book.
Rowling says that the character Hermione Granger is based on herself and gives a birthday of September 19th to Hermione - a Virgo Sun.

Perhaps the most sophisticated astrological issue the Rowling presents is the relationship between Harry Potter's birth date and the death date of his parents. Harry was born on July 31st, his parents died on October 31st - Halloween - and also a 90 degree square aspect from the Sun on Harry's birthday and the Sun at Halloween. Perhaps it is a coincidence, but it is nevertheless a suitable date.

Joanne Rowling met Neil Murray in 2000 and they married in 2001. The most notable synastry aspect shared by the couple is a progressed Venus progressed Mars trine aspect in Air signs which was exact in 2001 although it is followed closely by two more Venus trines which develop in quick succession. The progressed Venus progressed Mars trine is notable in progressed Venus synastry, being the main aspect in the relationships of Paul McCartney and Heather Mills, Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow, John McEnroe and Tatum O'Neal and Sonny and Cher to name a few. In fact this relationship aspect has been bringing couples together for many hundreds of years. The magically renowned Elizabethan astrologer Dr. John Dee shared it with his wife Jane Fremonds at their marriage in 1578.

While progressed Venus Mars aspects such as these have occasionally appeared to create havoc in some relationships, they only do this after separating in relationships where physical passion is of paramount importance. They do remain one of the most popular and common relationship aspects and are a remarkably good proof of progressed Venus synastry simply because they coincide with so many relationships.

24th March 2008


 

Paul Westran on MySpiritRadio My Spirit Radio

Victoria Sheridan interviewed me for her Sex and the Stars show onMySpiritRadio last year, and the interview is now online. It's worth a listen if you're interested in Dynamic Astrology, in the interview I discuss the Geldof Yates and Hutchence relationship. Note that the software I discuss in the programme is already online (and you can access it by clicking on the menu link "Your Relationship Analysis" above). MySpiritRadio covers a wide gamut of spiritual subjects and there is a large archive of interviews, so if you're interested in astrology and other related subjects you might enjoy exploring the site. Adam Fronteras, MySpiritRadio's Executive Producer is the author of several books including Instant Tarot, Family Sun Signs and Past Lives Astrology.

Click here for Victoria Sheridan's interview with Paul Westran

 

February 26th 2008


 

 

As a bit of fun, I've added a page explaining X-Ching, the art of divination using episodes of the X-Files (or any other TV Series you happen to own as a box set). If you decide to have a go at this, I hope you enjoy it, but let me know if it works for you and which TV series/movies you used.

Here's a quick explanation of Videomancy:

Bibliomancy is simply divination using a book, commonly the bible. The diviner will ask a question and then open the book at a random page, place their fingers on a passage and seek the answer in the chosen passage. Practitioners have used this method of divination for anything from finding inspiration to predicting the result of the US presidential election. It is similar to I Ching, Tarot and Horary astrology in that it invokes an answer to a question from the moment the answer is sought - the belief being that time has meaning; that every moment in time has particular qualities and from a holographic perspective, that information about the whole universe is available in every particle of the universe and can be accessed by any conscious entity.
I don't regularly practice Bibliomancy, but I have toyed with it in the past and it is an interesting idea, which is based on the same principles that astrology is founded. Instead I have developed a type of Videomancy - bibliomancy for the modern age, which is in itself more dynamic in nature. This is divination using TV series box sets and in particular the X Files. X Ching is therefore videomancy using box sets and collections of TV series. The idea is that you ask a question, choose an episode, enjoy the program and look for an answer to the question. While this is really only a bit of fun, it's worth a go just to see if you get a result.

Click Here to find out more about X-Ching

February 16th 2008


 

The Four Horsemen - is there a link between atheism and Aries?

Richard Dawkins (author of The God Delusion), Daniel Dennett (author of Breaking the Spell - Religion as a Natural Phenomenon), Christopher Hitchens (author of God is not Great) and Sam Harris (author of The End of Faith) are the four most vociferous atheists currently working to change the attitudes of people of faith, away from faith and towards rationalism. Some of what they say makes sense to me, but I find their approach to astrology obviously wrong (having said that, they deliberately don't appear to know much about it, so fair's fair).

Prof. Dawkins was kind enough to include my book briefly in his series Enemies of Reason. I thought I would return the favor with a little comment about the four horsemen, and particularly their Sun Signs.

It turns out that 75% of the Four Horsemen have the Sun in Aries and we are not sure about the other 25%. That is, Dennett was born on March 28th 1942, Christopher Hitchens was born on April 13th 1949 and Richard Dawkins on 26th March 1941. All we know about Sam Harris is that he was born in 1967 and that he bears a passing resemblence to Ben Stiller (who is a Sag). It would be quite amusing if all four turned out to be Aries, particularly as the beginning of their discussion is this:

RD: "One of the things we've all met is the accusation that we are strident or arrogant, or vitriolic, or shrill. What do we think about that?"

While I am one of the few astrologers who tends to downplay the importance of zodiac signs in favor of other astrological concepts, I can't help thinking the discussion fits the Sun Sign.

Some of the traditional principles ascribed to the sign Aries include its Martial, combative, impatient and direct attitude. The necessity to arrive at conclusions and to do so in a dramatic way. Aries are dramatic, warlike and political in their outlook and extraordinarily efficient in achieving their aims which are often based on headstrong self-belief and an over simplification of ideas. In short, they get results because they don't mess around with much of the unnecessary philosophy that other Sun signs might.

It's also worth remembering that some other atheistic commentators are not Aries, but again, they aren't members of the very direct and impatient group known as the four horsemen. If we added Virgo Michael Shermer (author of Why Darwin Matters) to the group, it would skew my hypothesis that all skeptics are Aries, but if we added A.C Grayling (April 3rd 1949), author of Against All Gods: Six Polemics on Religion and an Essay on Kindness I'd be back on track.
So, is Sam Harris an Aries, I wonder?

Prof. Dawkins says that belief in astrology is an impoverishing thing.

I disagree. I think prejudiced contempt for anything, especially if that contempt leads deliberate ignorance of a subject, is an impoverishing thing.

February 4th 2008


Seduction Central

If you haven't found it already, and you like discussions about synastry, stop by Seduction Central, a social network devoted to relationship astrology.

3rd February 2008


Brendan Fraser and Afton Smith

Another famous couple have separated. From the point of view of astrology, Brendan Fraser and Afton Smith are an interesting couple, this is because they share the same birthday - a year apart. As many readers will know, there is an idea in synastry that the Sun position in one person's horoscope in relation to the Sun position in another person's chart, is a major indicator of their compatibility.

Compatibility is an overused and somewhat misunderstood concept. In popular astrology compatibility is treated as a constant quality shared between people, a concept which is at odds with our experience of life which tells us that this is not really the case; after all people can change and a consequcne is that their feelings about their partner's can change - the divorce rate tells us so.
Conversely, the idea that - say - Taureans and Aquarians are incompatible because of their Sun position is a real problem for the wider understanding of astrology. While many will say such statements as these are not often said; if you read Linda Goodman, you'll see that this sort of thing is inferred simply by suggesting that there are better fits for both Taurus and Aquarius. This position has been taken up by many astrological writers over the years, although it must be said that many of these writers were only writing in a very conventional way. The methods that Sun Sign astrologers use to communicate are very formulaic and conventional and, unfortuately for astrology, economical in every sense.

If we were looking at the relationship of Fraser and Smith in an economical way, we might posit their Sun Sun connection - which is a very close conjunction - as a major indicator of their initial attraction; while it will constitute an important element of their connection over a long period of time (for example, they may have similar interests) it will have little to do with the way they 'relate' to each other, which is the core of that thing we term compatibility. With the benefit of dynamic astrology, and particularly progressed synastry, we can see other indicators which are far more appropriate and symbolically congruous to intimate relationships.

They met in 1993, were married on September 27th 1998, their three children were born in 2002, 2004 and 2006. They announced their intention to divorce on December 27th 2007.

A conjunction of progressed Venus and progressed Mars is exact in 1993 (note that these matrices and graphs are based on noon GMT birth times and can be out by up to one year or one degree).

A trine of progressed and natal Venus (this connection is mentioned below in the relationship of Prince William and Kate Middleton) is approaching exactness in 1997.

This collision graph shows the progress of the conjunction (in red) and trine aspect (the dotted green line). It also shows the development of two dynamic Sun Venus squares (pink lines), symbolic of lack of proximity and other internal and external differences, which will become exact over the next four years.

So much for Sun Sign compatibility.

31st January 2008


William and Kate

Elsewhere on the positiveastrology site, (click here to view this page) you will find an analysis of the relationship aspects which played a role in the relationship of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales. This relationship could be described as a fairly happy one for about three years from 1981 to 1984; despite the fact that there may have been some deceit at its heart, the actual relationship appeared to be quite a good one until the birth of the couple's second child, Prince Harry, in 1984. Then things started to go wrong. It is interesting to astrologers, particularly those who study progressed synastry, that the "three good years" coincide with a progressed Venus natal Venus trine (highlighted in the matrix below) which came and went during the 'fairytale' period of their relationship....

It might be another coincidence that William and Kate share the same aspect in their relationship. (We would expect to see it with a two degree orb once in about every 22 relationships.) William and Kate became a couple in December 2003. (We don't have a time of birth for Kate so I'm using Noon GMT in this case).

The good news is that on this occasion, the aspect is no fly-by-night Cinderella aspect, it's actually quite a long-lived aspect and this in itself is quite a rare occurrence. You see, Kate was born with Venus retrograde (meaning it was, from our Earth-bound point of view, travelling backwards through the zodiac), this phenomenon continued in Kate's progressed chart until about 2004, when Venus turned direct. Venus' motion after turning direct is quite slow, so that it actually takes seven years to travel the same distance it normally would in one year. Because this aspect is formed by Kate's progressing Venus and William's natal Venus the upshot is a very long-lived aspect which lasts 20+ years compared with the usual five years. This aspect won't finally separate for good until around the year 2030. The collision graph (below) shows the progress of this aspect (in green), but it also shows another relationship aspect which can sometimes create problems - a progressed Sun progressed Venus opposition. This type of opposition is very popular in relationships, but it is common at the outset of relationships. Its presence in established relationships may present issues other than attraction and we can't be sure if it will be a positive or a negative influence in all relationships, although it is never a quiet influence.

Some might regard the Sun Venus opposition as creating a block or a distance between two people (its popularity in relationships should not be mistaken for inherent softness), others that it creates a magnetic and desperate attraction. In isolation it might represent an obstacle that would doom a relationship. In this case, however, I think it symbolises the external intrusion that made the couple announce their split in 2007, but the other connections in their synastry are powerful and good. The Sun Venus opposition probably also played a role in their inability to make this permanent as it inclines people toward deep attraction at same time as highlighting their inherent differences. This couple also share a natal Venus (Kate) natal Mars (William) trine which is probably another reason why they are a good match. Kate's retograde Venus also means that she is constant in relationships, she is unlikely to grow distant from William and this fact is facilitated by their ability to relate over a long period of time. Charles and Diana had about three years in which they could truly relate; Kate and William on the other hand have at least thirty years and that in itself is a fairly good foundation for a relationship.

26th January 2008


Australian Celebrity Relationships

Here's some comment and information about some relationships from 'down under':

It was announced on January 4th that Natalie Imbruglia and Daniel Johns are to divorce. For those of you who are unfamiliar with them, Natalie is a singer and actress who was once voted the"6th most naturally beautiful woman of all time" (Audrey Hepburn came top) and Daniel is the Silverchair frontman. They stated that, "We have simply grown apart through not being able to spend enough time together." As many of you will already know this is a condition which is often associated with progressing Venus squares.

Here's their history: Relationship began in 2000; Married on 31st December 2003, Separation announced 4th January 2008.

And here's their relationship matrix from 2003 showing a progressing Venus natal Mars conjunction:

Without times of birth we can't be sure what the orb or distance of this aspect was in 2000 when their relationship began, but a conservative estimate would place the aspect at about four degrees from exact, which makes it a wide but quite fast moving connection. In any event, when they married in 2003 it was close to exact and a point of sharp synastric congruence.

If we fast-forward to 2008, we find that this connection has faded and another, this time a square aspect between progressing Venus and progressing Mars has come into play:

Squares are tangential aspects, their focus in relationships appears to be to provide external obstacles. Sharp eyed readers will note that Natalie and Daniel's progressed Mars' are also in square aspect. Mars square Mars is common in couples whose methods or approach to work and physical activities are diverse. Squares of the Sun and Venus have been likened to Romeo Juliet "star-crossed scenario", but I think this also applies to Venus Mars and Venus Venus square connections in that they keep couples remote or apart.

Squares occur between planets in the same (or close to the same degree) of signs which have the same quality, but a different polarity- Taurus and Aquarius in this case have the same "Fixed" quality, but Taurus is Earth (and therefore negative) and Aquarius is Air (and therefore positive). Oppositions occur between planets in the same degree (or close to the same degree) of the same quality and the same polarity. (Taurus opposes fixed and water Scorpio, while Aquarius opposes fixed and fire Leo).
Conjunctions occur between planets in the same degree (or close to the same degree) of the same sign and trines occur in the same degree (or close to the same degree) of signs of the same element - a trine to a planet at 3 degrees Taurus would come from another planet at about 3 degrees of Capricorn or Virgo which are the other Earth signs.

Here is their collision graph showing the progress of these two aspects, the friendly conjunction and not-so-friendly square:

The trend of these lines is accurate, the date of "impact" depends on their times of birth, the possible range is about 1 year. The square aspect is applying and therefore at its strongest between now and mid 2009.

On a more optimistic note, Delta Goodrem and Bryan McFadden have announced they are to marry. Their synastry is conventionally (according to the rules of Venus synastry) very positive.

Here's their history: Their relationship began in 2004 (or perhaps early 2005). Delta was partnered with tennis player Mark Phillippoussis prior to this relationship and Bryan was married to ex- Atomic Kitten singer Kerry Katona. Their relationship blossomed after they recorded the duet "Almost Here". Despite some minor difficulties in the interim, their announcement came on November 30th 2007.

The matrix aboveshows their Sun Venus trines. The Aries - Sag trine is natal, the Taurus Capricorn trine is progressed. These aspects are fundamentally harmonious factors in conventional intimate relationships, it is difficult to routinely single out any factor in astrology and make claims with regard to compatibility, but it is possible to make claims about attraction and these aspects carry with them the potential for good relations: they combine aspiration with aesthetics in an harmonious context among (many) other things.

The matrix below shows a natal Venus progressed Mars trine, which is largely welcome in relationships for two reasons, first it is an aspect which relates to physical harmony and concord and second it usually lasts longer than pVenus trine nMars because Mars progresses more slowly than Venus. Also present in a natal Mars (26 Leo 06) natal Venus (24 Sag 01) trine which is slightly wide, but still relevant.

Funnily enough, for a relationship so replete with gentle trines the catalyst may have been an opposition between Delta's progressing Sun (symbolizing her developing personality and developing aspirations) and Bryan's natal Venus (symbolizing his ideas about relationships). Oppositions of Venus are hard aspects which create attraction, sometimes at inconvenient times. At the beginning of relationships they don't generally manifest in the same way that squares do, but that may be because squares manifest as problems over which the parties involved have little or no control, while oppositions may manifest as internal issues which are ineviitably glossed over or ignored by two individuals at what is usually the most passionate time of their relationship. Progressed oppositions which develop during a relationship have a different quality and can cause exasperation and remoteness due to divergent behavior. Sometimes oppositions act as gap-fillers and we seek "what we are not", in these types of relationship they can have a positive influence.

A collision graph showing some of the progressed trines (two relevant ones were separating at the outset of the relationship in 2004/05).

A collision graph depicting a square which is most probably responsible for any external issues the couple have experienced lately. It is either separating or about to begin separating (depending on times of birth). While aspects such as this cannot be ignored (this one looks like a wedge and that's how it acts), it is not a long-period aspect by any means.

 

 

9th January 2008


More Celebrity Divorces

Well hopefully not, but whose relationships are in the firing line this year?

Writing about celebrity divorces opened the floodgates to a steady stream of enquiries about whether or not we can predict the end of relationships using progressed synastry. Some of you will know that I have a reputation for this, although it's actually an unintentional by-product of investigating astrology using relationships.
Back in October 2003 an article of mine was published in the US magazine The Mountain Astrologer, entitled "Why do lovers break each other's hearts?" it was the first time progressed synastry matrices were used in a publication to demonstrate relationship astrology. The article was actually written in 2002, but the turn around for long articles in TMA is sometimes quite slow. In the article I examined a progressed Venus progressed Mars trine shared by Paul McCartney and his wife Heather. I knew that this aspect connection was a major player in their relationship because I'd seen it in other relationships (notably Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow). While I don't hold that you can predict the end of a relationship, you can tell when the relationship is going to change; if it was a relationship founded upon sexual attraction and the astrological aspect that causes sexual attraction dissipates or fades, then you can make a safe bet that the relationship will change and that can very often mean the end of the affair.

Here's what I wrote on the subject of McCartney and Mills in 2002.

"As far as the long and winding road of their relationship is concerned, there are interesting points for comment: Heather's progressing Mars and Paul's progressing Venus have been holding hands in orb for two years now; however, the effects of this progressed trine will start to fade as his progressing Venus moves away from her progressing Mars. By 2006, this aspect will be out of orb, and the honeymoon will be over; his progressing Mars will temporarily square her natal Venus. My (slightly light-hearted) conclusion: Heather will most probably still be needing him and feeding him when he's 64, but after that, well, "Tomorrow Never Knows."
TMA Oct/Nov 2003

In an earlier draft (reviewed by another astrologer) I also suggested that they might have a baby in 2003, but I was put off that line of enquiry when I was informed Heather couldn't have children (always go with your educated intuition, I guess). Here's what their matrix looks like:

So my answer is yes, you can predict the end of some relationships, but certain factors have to exist in the astrology of the relationship to place it in the critical category. Which brings me to the Celebrity Divorce Betting Odds that are being bandied about. Here are the hapless couples whose relationships have become matters of sport this year: Jordan (Katie Price) and Peter Andre, Madonna and Guy Ritchie, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Liz Hurley and Arun Nayar and Amy Winehouse and Blake Fielder-Civil. Their odds are irrelevant, but some of their astrology is interesting.
I've known for a few years that Jordan and Peter Andre will reach a critical stage over the next two years. Without times of birth it's difficult to say exactly when, but we can show the path of the aspect that undoubtedly played a role in their initial connection on the TV Show I'm a Celebrity...

It's the same aspect that, ahem, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, shared in the 1960s. Perhaps they should remake Cleopatra...although as is the case with all progressed synastry aspects, we should probably refer to this as a window of opportunity, not as an entrance and exit, but its role lies in imbuing the relationship with sexual passion, the absence of which might not go unnoticed.

Likewise Brad and Angelina, their synastry is critical and it needs positive commitment to overcome relationship change. Here's why:

The pink line signifies an inhibiting factor at the outset of the relationship (Brad's marital status is my guess), the two blue dotted lines show relationship indicators and its fairly obvious that the first one signifies admiration from afar for a long time prior to intimacy, while the second is the main relationship indicator. The first trine probably set a scene over a long period of time which the second trine capitalised on (Brad shared the same Sun Venus aspect with Jennifer Aniston btw). They have now "run out of trine", so the big question is whether they will take their relationship to another level. I think they already have, but it is always possible that Angelina will wake up one day and want out - she has before and it will always be an issue for her due to the fact that Uranus closely squares Venus in her natal chart (Uranus closely conjoined Venus in Liz Taylor's chart). When Uranus and Venus aspect each other, then the tendency is to want your love to be renewed all the time - you get bored easily - if it's a square aspect then you get bored and can react badly to any hint of day to day sameness in your partner.

Madonna and Guy are in quite a strong relationship IMHO, I see a series of quite positive aspects that bind these two together for quite a while (although you never can tell with the oppositions which are shown in orange on this graph).


I can't comment on Amy and Blake as I don't have his birth data, and I can only speculate on Liz Hurley and Arun Nayar because Arun's birth date is uncertain, but if he was born when he celebrated his birthday (first week of November 1964), then the likelihood is that he was born on the 5th. This gives the couple a natal Venus square (B6 - E6) signifying a fundamental difference in their ideas about relationships, but with some long-term, although ultimately temporary compensating factors.

The blue and red aspects are primary relationship indicators (both progressed Sun progressed Venus trines - I refer to these two aspects together as "Kafka Diamant" aspects as they were responsible for the "love at first sight" claimed by Dora Diamant and Franz Kafka) and the purple aspect is their inhibiting factor. Of course, if Arun was born on another date (I've seen December 1964 quoted), then this is not relevant.

Their collision graph shows that the trines are long period aspects that don't depart for good until 2018 or thereabouts (given a correct date for Arun).

So there we are, my guess is all of these couples will be together at the close of 2008, but if I was to hazard a guess on any who might not be too happy about it, then Angelina Jolie is the one whose feet are itchiest followed by Katie Price.

4th January 2008


 

Rosie the non-practising Buddhist cat

All cats are Buddhists...deep down

 


 

Celebrity Divorces

Believe it or not I take a passing interest in celebrity relationships. A couple of note have recently ended and so I'll post some of the data here to liven this space up a little.

First, Sean Penn and Robyn Wright Penn have decided to call it a day after seventeen years. They initially connected under a perennially popular aspect - what we call a progressed Venus natal Sun opposition. Regulars and readers of When Stars Collide will have noticed this in many relationships, but in case you're new to progressed synastry and to give you an idea of some of the relationships which began under this aspect here's a list of some famous couples whose relationships began under this aspect when it was inside a two degree orb:

Marilyn Monroe and Joe Dimaggio
Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall
Tyrone Power and Linda Christian
Robert Wagner and Jill St.John
Chris Evans and Billie Piper
Ryan Phillipe and Reese Witherspoon
Jared Leto and Cameron Diaz
Stephanie Powers and William Holden
Shannen Doherty and Ashley Hamilton
Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke
Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson
George Burns and Gracie Allen
Stanley Donen and Yvette Mimieux
Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson
Ivana Trump and Donald Trump
Charlotte Gainsbourg and Yvan Attal
Quentin Tarantino and Mira Sorvino
Miles Davis and Cicely Tyson
Peter Davison and Sandra Dickinson
Viggo Mortensen and Exene Cervenka
William Holden and Brenda Marshall
Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles
Robert Graves and Laura Riding
Esther Williams and Jeff Chandler
Gloria Grahame and Stanley Clements
Howard Hughes and Olivia De Havilland
Michael Powell and Thelma Schoonmaker
Herbert Berghof and Uta Hagen
Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof
Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany
Claus Amsberg and Queen Beatrix
Jack Jones and Jill St. John
Julie London and Jack Webb
Viveca Lindfors and George Tabori
Cilla Black and Bobby Willis
Shirley Maclaine and Robert Mitchum
Sarah Greene and Mike Smith
Aleister Crowley and Leah Hirsig
Greta Garbo and George Brent
Olivia Newton-John and Matt Lattanzi

Glancing at the list you can probably tell that it's a passionate, but in most cases not necessarily a long-term-relationship type of aspect. So, you might ask, why it is that such relationships sometimes last for life and sometimes fail? Well, the answer is often that the opposition is a crucial and very intense part of a series of progressed aspects and, of course, in the vast majority of cases, progressed aspects change and fade over time.

Here's what Sean and Robyn's progressed and natal synastry looks like in a matrix. Their progressed Venus (cell D6) natal Sun (cell E3) opposition is in red:

[Note also a fairly difficult progressed Venus (cell C6) progressed Mars (cell D7) square that will actually suit Sean Penn in some ways - he has the same aspect natally (cell B6 - B7) and so the relationship behaviors will match his own at least for the time that the aspect is in orb.]

This progressed Venus natal Sun aspect looks like this when mapped on a collision graph:

Sean Penn met Robyn Wright on the set of State of Grace in 1990, their first child Dylan Frances was born in 1991 followed by Hopper Jack in 1993. They married in 1996.

The opposition creates the attraction at the beginning of the relationship, but it fades fairly quickly. The pair did not marry until 1996 and that happened not because of the isolated opposition, but because of a series of trines.

Here is their synastry matrix for 1996:

And here's the collision graph showing trines in their relationship over time:

The trines and oppositions act in a game of tag, passing on the love from one attribute of the relationship to another over time. The main player here being a long-period natal Venus progressed Mars trine which is exact in 1999. This game of tag ended some time between 2002 and 2004 when there were no more Venus aspects left.

The second divorcing couple are Marilyn Manson and Dita Von Teese, whose separation has come about for the following reason according to Dita: "I wasn't supportive of his partying or his relationship with another girl. As much as I loved him I wasn't going to be part of that". The other is girl is said to be Evan Rachel Wood.

Here again we encounter a relationship founded upon the progressed Venus (cell D6) natal Sun (cell E3) opposition, and while the same signs are involved (Aries and Libra), this time we have a progressed Venus in Aries (not its most conventionally favorable place) and natal Sun in Libra.

Their relationship began on Manson's 32nd birthday (5th January 2001).

If we plot the aspect on a graph it looks like this:

The opposition achieves exactness around mid 2002 (we don't have a time of birth for Dita, so this may be out by a few months). It is followed - tag style - by a second Sun Venus opposition (pSun in cell D3 and nVenus in cell E6) which peters out in September 2007.

Manson has, it would appear, moved on to another relationship, which is described by Evan Rachel Wood as "healthy and loving"...

...and here's why. They share a natal Sun (B3) natal Venus (E6) trine (it's just wide of the two degree mark here, but again there is no time of birth for Wood, so it may be slightly closer). This is one of those relationship aspects that just keeps popping up again and again. So much so that I have to concur with those who think it really is a Cinderella aspect. In this case a small fly in the ointment may be Wood's progressing Venus (C6) which until 2010 will be applying in square aspect to Manson's natal Sun (B3). This means some star-crossed situations for a couple of years. Perhaps they'll be kept apart by work commitments or maybe, just maybe, her parents won't approve, but that's just the nature of Venus Sun squares. Gotta love 'em.

3rd January 2008


 

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