The Queen and the First Lady, and a look at the Obama marriage

Michelle ObamaQueen Elizabeth is not known to be particularly casual in her willingness to break from protocol.  Royal etiquette is quite clear: “Whatever you do, don’t touch the Queen!”  So Britons were shocked to see Michelle Obama put her hand on the small of the Queen’s back in a gesture of affection to which the Queen responded by placing her own arm around the First Lady.

Dressed in one of her famous “J Crew Ensembles,” Michelle Obama is charming her way across Britain just as she did the US, and her popularity is soaring.  I have been waiting to profile her, hoping we would find a birth time, but so far none is available.  I can wait no longer!

Michelle Robinson Obama (1/17/64, time unknown, Chicago) was born with the Sun in Capricorn, the sign of hard work, diligence, and achievement.  The individual with a Capricorn Sun is driven to achieve something that the world around them recognizes as success.  There is a strong streak of practicality and ambition in any Capricorn.

We don’t know the exact placement of her Moon, which could be in either the late degrees of Aquarius or the early degrees of Pisces, but Venus in her chart is in Pisces.  Venus describes the way we relate to others, and that Pisces Venus reflects Mrs. Obama’s compassion and empathy.  Pisces is the soft side to her tough Capricorn exterior which is a lovely combination for a skilled political wife and especially for the First Lady of the United States.

Mrs. Obama’s Mercury is in Capricorn, identifying her as a shrewd and practical thinker with a good head for business.  Mercury is in a harmonious sextile to Venus and possibly her Moon, giving her a skill in communicating and an ability to express herself (Mercury) to others (Venus) in such a way that she is able to make her point without offense.  This is a marvelous aspect for anyone who deals with the public, and certainly would have helped her during her legal and administrative careers.

Mars in Mrs. Obama’s chart is in Aquarius and it appears to be unaspected. Mars represents our drive and desire, and when Mars is unaspected it operates freely without being encumbered by any other planet, and in these cases we see it at its best and at its worst.  Unaspected Mars is not afraid to venture forth where others fear to tread, and we saw this very clearly with President Bush II who also had an unaspected Mars.  For Mrs. Obama, though, the unaspected Mars has probably been very useful since she has a remarkable dearth of hard aspects in her chart.  It is the hard aspects (90 and 180 degree) that energize the chart and create the tension that generates change and evolution.

Uranus and Pluto are conjunct in her chart, as they are for everyone born between 1962 and 1968.  This generation carries the principle of transformational (Pluto) revolutionary change (Uranus) within their individual personality.  This is a group of people that are not willing to let well enough alone – they are out to change the world.  Barack Obama, born in 1961, does not have this Uranus/Pluto revolutionary fervor so Mrs. Obama likely provides the inspiration that fuels his Aquarius ascendant (ruled by Uranus).

Looking at their charts, it’s easy to see the attraction between them.  Sun signs are one of the least important pieces of the compatibility puzzle; Mrs. Obama’s Pisces Venus is exactly (within 1 degree) trine the President’s Venus in Cancer.  Her Aries Jupiter (abundance and positive feelings) is exactly trine his Leo Sun, revealing how good he feels when he’s with her. His Virgo Mars is closely trine her Capricorn Sun, showing the energizing effect he has on her.

Still, as in every good marriage, there are a couple of wrinkles between the charts of the Obamas.  Her Mars opposes his Mercury, and she very likely is often irritated (Mars) at the way he talks to her (Mercury).  Her Venus is square to his Moon, and it’s likely that he finds it difficult to express his true feelings (Moon) to her.  But overall, their interplanetary influences are overwhelmingly positive, and that helps to make for an enduring marriage.

Skywatch for April is posted!

SkywatchYou can read the whole article on my website, but here’s the info for the first few days of April:

The first week in April we are building towards a challenging square of Venus to Pluto that is a new peak for the tension that began with the Aries New Moon on March 26th which also formed a square to Pluto. Pluto is the planet represented by the Underworld, and the presence of Pluto typically signifies a deepening of the intensity with which we approach the day-to-day matters of our life.

The planets that have been challenging Pluto over the past week are in the fiery sign Aries which is impulsive and highly energized. Rather than a slow burn, Aries explodes and then the fire fizzles out quickly. Venus, representing relationships and the things we value, has turned retrograde and is passing back through Aries where it is causing us to look back at unfinished business.

The first square of Venus to Pluto in this waxing cycle occurred in early February and any issues raised at that time will be brought up again by the second square on the 3rd. This is a good time to willingly explore the issues in our relationships that give us problems, as the door to the underworld of hidden meanings and motivations is open now. If we don?t pass through the door willingly, we may be pulled in there anyway by the intensity of this dynamic. The waxing square is an opportunity to learn something new ? to begin a new cycle of evolution.

Pluto will be turning retrograde on April 4, so it is at a stationary point in its cycle where its motion is imperceptible and it appears to be at a standstill. Planets are at their most powerful when at their ?station,? as they gather the strength needed to change direction. If Pluto is prominent in our charts, or if we are going through a Pluto transit to our own birthchart, we are likely to experience life at a more intense level than usual, with more of a sense of urgency.

On the 4th, as Pluto changes direction to travel retrograde, Mercury will form a sextile to Jupiter, a harmonious aspect that facilitates our mental understanding (Mercury) by providing us with a more expansive viewpoint (Jupiter). This will help to facilitate the Pluto process of getting to the root of the matters in which we are involved.

Also on the 4th, Mars will oppose Saturn in a face off that pits our individual desires (Mars) against our responsibilities and the requirement that we respect authority (Saturn). Mars is in compassionate Pisces now where it does not have the advantage of being able to utilize all of its tools of warfare and when stressed, there may be a temptation to slip into more passive-aggressive behavior rather than confront problems openly. Try not to succumb to this temptation, because Pluto is ruling this time period and demands that we are as honest and true in our actions as we can possibly be. We are likely to feel that our impulse to action (Mars) is slowed for a few days, and that is absolutely normal under the Saturn influence.

You can sign up on my website for your own subscription to Skywatch, which includes a translation into English each month,

Live-in relationships and the sixth house

sixth houseJeffrey Kishner has a great article up today that illustrates the flexibility of house rulership in the astrological world of symbols.  It’s easy when we’re studying astrology to become rigid about certain things, like house rulers.  For example, we tend to always put relationships in the seventh house of marriage and partnership.  But relationships can fall under quite a few houses:  casual romances in the fifth house, making a home together in the fourth, sexual intimacy and joint financial ventures in the eighth, creating a business together in the tenth, and developing a solid friendship in the eleventh.

But when we’re living with someone else, the mundane realities that we find in the sixth house come into play.  As Jeff writes:

So much of a long-term relationship is the sharing of life on a day-to-day basis. The mundane, daily activities — grocery shopping, fixing up the house or apartment, taking the kids to soccer, reading the paper — are 6th house activities. They’re routine.

The routine can be comforting — it is often what draws people into relationships (e.g., “I want someone with whom I can share my bed every night”) — but it can also be stifling. Perhaps the question of whether an affair is “real” is whether this relationship can survive the 6th house experience. If you leave your boyfriend/husband for your lover and move in together, the habits might be different, but this is also when many of his flaws become apparent — those habits that annoy you.

The little details can be endearing, or they can drive you crazy.

Of course, you don’t have to live together if you are in a long-term relationship, even if you’re married. There are couples who choose to stay in separate residences so that the passion of their relationship isn’t weighed down by the humdrum routine of daily life. But most couples choose to live together. An affair is appealing because the romance exists on another plane, in which you don’t have to see each other brush teeth, wake up with bad hair, go through the stomach flu. Yet, could it be that as long as you haven’t integrated the romance into your 6th house, you cannot know if it can move “to the next level?

I like Jeffrey’s later analysis that we fall in love in the 5th, and have to manage the day-to-day details of living together in the 6th before we can really establish the partnership of the 7th.

Anything that falls under the realm of human life can be experienced through the lenses of different houses.  Our job may be a career and the expression of Self through dharma in the tenth house, or it can be just a job in the sixth house of the mundane details of life.  Children are usually found in the fifth house of creative self expression, but they may also be soulmates in the seventh or friends in the eleventh.

These subtle nuances are what makes astrology and all study of human behavior an art, rather than a science!!

Digital Astrology: What kind of tech user are you?

smartphonePC World brings us this interesting report from the Pew Research Center on the different types of tech users and suggests that perhaps there’s an astrological connection:

With all the various forms of smartphones and laptops entering our lives, it sometimes seems like the Internet is becoming a part of us: The connection is always on, and information is always just a click away. It turns out, though, the majority of Americans don’t feel that mobile electronics are tethering them to the digital world — in fact, most adults see the devices as being distant and unimportant parts of their lives.

A new report by the Pew Research Center attempts to categorize people into 10 different types of tech users. You could call it a kind of astrology for the digital age: a set of memorably named designations that tell you your preferences and personality when it comes to the electronic world. (Sorry — no “heavenly bodies” involved in this pseudo-science.

OK, there’s only ten categories, but if we get creative we can come up with sign correlations:  Remember that each of our charts is made up of many different sign combinations, so this is for entertainment purposes only!

Digital Collaborators: 8% of adults use information gadgets to collaborate with others and share their creativity with the world. These are the Libras – the ones for whom relationships and connections are critical, and probably also the Leos who feel that everything they do is important enough to be shared with the greater universe.

Ambivalent Networkers: 7% of adults heavily use mobile devices to connect with others and entertain themselves, but they don’t always like it when the cell phone rings.  It would be Aries and Scorpio, the Mars-ruled signs, that like to control when and how electronic communication takes place.

Media Movers: 7% of adults use online access to seek out information nuggets, and these nuggets make their way through these users’ social networks via desktop and mobile access.  This would be Gemini – the adept processors of information.

Roving Nodes: 9% of adults use their mobile devices to connect with others and share information with them.  This would be Capricorn, ruled by Saturn for which technology is primarily for practical uses

Mobile Newbies: 8% of adults lack robust access to the internet, but they like their cell phones. Our Taurus friends are usually the last to jump on a fad bandwagon.  They are just discovering cellphones but find the rest of it just silly.

Desktop Veterans: 13% of adults are dedicated to wireline access to digital information, and like how it opens up the pipeline to information for them.  The Virgos among us are practical and find browsing the internet on a phone far less practical than the desktop computer.

Drifting Surfers: 14% of adults are light users – despite having a lot of ICTs – and say they could do without modern gadgets and services.  These are the Sagittarians who would far rather be outdoors having adventures and meeting real people that browsing the internet on their cellphones.

Information Encumbered: 10% of adults feel overwhelmed by information and inadequate to troubleshoot modern ICTs.  This would be our Pisces friends, who find it easy to get lost in the barrage of information technology and the need to continually update their products.

The Tech Indifferent: 10% of adults are unenthusiastic about the internet and cellphone. This is most likely to be the Cancers, who thrive on the personal touch and the emotional connection that you can’t get through a cellphone and internet.

Regardless of the pressure being put on us by the Digital Age, each of us processes information in different ways.  This is revealed in the birthchart by the location of the planet Mercury along with other aspects and planetary placements.  It is no surprise that our relationship to the world of technology has so many varied signatures!

More thoughts on Planetary Reincarnation and how astrology works

Edgar CayceI’m reading an out-of-print book by astrologer Ry Redd called Toward a New Astrology that is quite interesting.  Redd went through thousands of Cayce’s readings and extracted the astrological signatures for each individual.  It is astounding that Cayce, with no astrological training and without casting a chart, was able to pick up the planetary vibrations at work in the astrological charts through his clairvoyant readings while in a trance.

I remembered that I had written a post a couple of years ago on this very subject after finding an article online.  If this subject interests you I suggest that you go back to the original post and the article to which it links on which includes these paragraphs:

… Cayce revealed that our life experience involves more than just the earth. It involves our entire solar system. Through the principles of astrology, each solar system in the universe is like a “university” – a place for higher learning. Our solar system has nine planets and each planet is a physical representation of a particular afterlife realm (or dimension). Our universe is only one realm out of many afterlife realms. Our universe (including the earth) is the third realm in the afterlife hierarchy and represents three-dimensional life.

Because Cayce associated each planet as a physical (three-dimensional) representation of a particular afterlife realm, Cayce referred to these afterlife realms using the name of the planet associated with it. For example, when Cayce uses the name Venus, he is referring to the afterlife realm that are associated astrologically with the planet named Venus. When Cayce mentions that souls inhabit Venus, he does not mean that souls live on the surface of the planet Venus, he means that souls inhabit the afterlife realm named Venus which is associated astrologically with the planet Venus.For example, the planet earth is a physical representation (three-dimensional) of the third afterlife realm (i.e., our universe).

The planet Mercury is a physical representation (three-dimensional) associated with the second afterlife realm, also named Mercury, in the afterlife hierarchy. The afterlife realms are dimensions which souls can experience when not active in the physical body on earth. These non-active states include death, deep sleep, or other altered states that free the subconscious from its normal physical constraints. The planets exert an astrological influence on us.

The seven traditional planets represent archetypes of human experience, and the three transpersonal planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) are archetypes for experiences that enable the individual soul to transcend and transform.  The seven planetary archetypes correspond to the human energy system through the chakra system, and thus there is a microcosm and macrocosm.  In all of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) there are seven heavens.  There are seven days of the week, each corresponding to one of the seven traditional planets. In esoteric literature there are seven rays of divine intelligence. even is the number of Saturn, the lord of space and time that confines us in physical form. .

Is it the actual planets in physical space that provide the impetus for the astrological influences that we experience?  I would argue that the influence has more to do with the planetary archetypes that penetrate all of life’s experience.