The Astrology of Barbie

No doll has been as well-loved or as despised as the Barbie doll.  Created by Ruth Handler in the 1950s, she was first introduced to the world at the International Toy Fair in New York on March 9, 1959 which is considered Barbie’s official birthday.

I was unable to find the time of day that Barbie was first introduced, but assuming that she was introduced sometime between 10 am and 3 pm her birthchart shows a tight conjunction between the Sun and the Moon, both in Pisces.  Pisces is the sign of the dreamer, the mystic, and the creative imagination and there is no doubt that Barbie captured the imagination of many a young girl in the 1960s, including me.

She also served as the hook upon which to project all of our adolescent fantasies, another key theme of Pisces. MG Lord, author of Barbie’s unauthorized biography, wrote “People project fears and prejudices onto her; when a person talks at length about Barbie, one usually learns more about the speaker than the doll.”  Ruth Handler herself said, ” “I wanted [little girls] to be able to dream their dreams through Barbie.”  Barbie – the Pisces dreamer and the one who is dreamed. For more on Barbie’s feminist roots see this excellent paper.

Born right after the New Moon (the New Moon that day occurred at 6 am – was there an astrologer in the house?), Barbie is a New Moon personality – fresh, original, optimistic, and ready to begin a brand new life.  Barbie was the first of a series of adult-looking dolls for children that changed forever the way dolls were seen by parents and children all over the world.

Barbie is often criticized by feminists but Barbie was actually one of the first feminists. Her fiercely independent nature is shown by the square of Mars (aggression) to her Sun, and she never settled down in a relationship with Ken or even with any particular career.  Barbie’s Mars is in Gemini which likes to try on a lot of different experiences, and Barbie’s career history is reflective of this.  She began as a fashion model, and quickly advanced to fashion designer. The following year she became a registered nurse, and in 1963 became one of the first female executives.  Then she went back to college and was an astronaut long before the moon landing.  She was a surgeon in 1973 when American women were still arguing their right to work!  She was even in a rock band, Barbie and the Sensations.

In relationships she was a similar free spirit.  She never married Ken, and never had children.  Venus in her chart is in independent Aries (ruled by Mars, which is strong in her chart) and it is in a harmonious trine to Uranus, the planet of revolutionary behavior and change.  She demanded freedom in her relationships and enjoyed a wide circle of friends of all kinds which is what we expect with a Uranus/Venus combination.

Before Barbie, little girls were expected to use their dolls as practice babies for the time when they became mothers.  Barbie opened up our eyes to a whole new world of opportunity for women.  Barbie is about to experience her Chiron Return, the event that occurs when we are about 50-52 and Chiron returns to its place in the birthchart.  This is a time of self-reflection and growing self-awareness, and it occurs at the same time as a transit of Pluto (transformation) to Pluto in her chart.

At the same time, Saturn and Uranus in the sky are activating the New Moon dynamic in Barbie’s chart which will have the effect of creating exciting change for her in a way that increases her popularity and the stability (Saturn) of her brand.  Mattel is hoping for a renaissance of Barbie at her 50th birthday, and it appears that the stars are aligned for this to occur.

Venus retrogrades today and casts her spells in reverse

Venus turns retrograde this morning, shortly after being squared by the Moon at 8:06 am.

Venus usually slips through our lives like a whisper, and we barely experience her transits.  Her influence is usually soft and encouraging and I often say that we only really take notice when we experience discomfort of some kind.  Even the challenging transits of Venus are benign, offering us only an opportunity to indulge in greater indulgence.

Perhaps the timing of this retrograde Venus at the height of Girl Scout Cookie season could spell disaster to some of us (me), but what else does this retrograde period have in store?  Planets are said to be traveling in retrograde motion when they appear to move backwards from our perspective on earth. During these times their influence causes us to look back instead of forward as we encounter the experiences of that planet.

Venus is famous for her influence on relationships.  As the goddess of love and beauty, she bestows an attractive power and grace, but that attractive power draws more than love.  It can also be a magnet for financial wealth and personal possessions so in that way, Venus is said to rule our values and the things that we love as well as the people. Venus also rules our ability to love and relate to our self, and the kind of talents and personal resources that we possess as well as the material possessions.

This Venus retrograde period occurs in the forceful sign of Aries.  In Aries, Venus has been more motivated to grab for the gusto – to impel us to go after what we want and who we want. Venus turning retrograde makes that more difficult.  We still have the desire, but the actualization of that desire is not so easy.  We may have to go back over old situations and reclaim a part of ourselves that was lost there since Aries is the sign of the independent Self. Venus retrograde periods are not a great time for the stock market or for financial gain, not that we need any help in that area right now!

Venus is in a harmonious sextile to expansive Jupiter as it turns to retrograde, facilitating the process for us so that we are better able to integrate the retrograde experience.  After that, however, Venus will make no further aspects to any other planets until March 28 when it will conjunct the Sun.  Traditional astrologers call this “combust” and don’t like it – in their view the Sun actually burns Venus and creates problems in relationships and finance and other Venus-ruled areas.  Most modern astrologers will disagree with that – the energy of the Sun, especially now with Venus in Aries, can help to energize us where we feel weakened by the retrograde of Venus.

After Venus crosses the path of the Sun it will link up with Mercury and then form a square to Pluto at the beginning of April.  This is like to be a negative time for financial matters, for anything having to do with art and creativity, and for relationships.  On the positive side though, Pluto will expose any fissures in these areas that need to be dealt with once and for all.  This process is uncomfortable, but rarely deadly and brings an outcome that is ultimately positive.

Venus will retrograde back into Pisces on April 12 which will likely inspire us to take a deep breath and relax back into the softness of the receptivity of Pisces, a water sign.  However, shortly thereafter as it changes direction to move forward again, Venus will be conjuncted by the aggression of Mars for several days, increasing the intensity and helping us to prepare for the re-entry of Venus into Mars-ruled Aries on April 24.

All retrograde periods are excellent for going back and reviewing areas of life that are ruled by that planet.  For Venus, it’s a wonderful time for artistic pursuits, for music and dance, for redoing your website or marketing materials, for changing your hairstyle and wardrobe.  In our relationships, it’s an excellent time to take a deep look at all of the relationships in our life and see where they can be improved – where the love can be deepened.

For women, the travel of Venus through Aries, retrograde or not, brings us back in touch with the original archetype of this Goddess whose qualities have been watered down over the millenia to the cartoon character she is today.  In ancient Sumeria she was Ishtar and Inanna, goddess of feminine power and sexuality.  It was only later that her power was usurped by the male gods and she became the goddess of love that we know today.  This is interesting timing, because it’s the 50th anniversary of Barbie,, the 20th century version of Venus, and I have promised to post an astrological profile of Barbie today!

More evidence of ancient civilizations

Rich sent me this link about an ancient site at Göbeklitepe in southwest Turkey that appears to be around 12,000 years old:


The Göbeklitepe monuments were created twelve thousand years ago. In other words, 10,000 years before the founding of the Roman Empire, 8,000 years before the appearance of the Hittites, and 7,000 years before the building of the Great Pyramids.

I am standing amidst evidence that could upset everything we know about our remote past. Imagine such an age that it is still thousands of years to the discovery of metal and that the best cutting tool available is made of a piece of flintstone, with which you will hack 25-ton obelisks out of the bedrock and, carving those frightful animal figures on them, drag them here and erect them. We are talking about a project that required the simultaneous toil of two thousand men, a project so big for its time as to be considered gargantuan. Why did these people feel a need to erect such a complex of buildings? Perhaps we will never learn the answer to this question. It is thought that this was a cult centre since everyone, dig director Prof. Dr. Klaus Schmidt included, are in agreement that it was not a site used for vital needs such as hunting and shelter.


Read more here

How could these ancient peoples, born centuries before the advent of tools, create such a city?  Wikipedia reports that only 1.5% of the site has been excavated, and its beginning is estimated to be around 11,000 bce, which would be about 13000 years ago, requiring a level of technology not believed possible in that time period.  From Wikipedia again: “The archaeologists estimate that up to 500 persons were required to extract the 10-20 ton pillars (in fact, some weigh up to 50 tons) from local quarries and move them 100 to 500m to the site.”

Evidently there are several other sites that have yet to be excavated even to this degree, including Karahan Tepe which also has the T-shaped pillars and stone rows. These discoveries could offer clues to the legends of Atlantis and Lemuria, other ancient civilizations that have been dismissed by scientists who refused to consider that such advanced civilizations could have existed before the Ice Age.  Clearly, there are many more civilizations that have been swallowed up by the sands of history and may still reveal themselves!

From 2010: When will the Global Recession be over?

I found this article in my drafts folder – for some reason I never published it.  I found it interesting and perhaps you will too.  

We predicted the coming of the recession, can we also predict when it will be behind us?

I began predicting a decline in the financial markets when Jupiter (expansion) made a square to Saturn (restriction and the imposition of limitations) back in late 2005 and 2006.  At that time I, like other astrologers, began recommending that people get out of the stock market, assuming that Saturn would begin to set limits on the ever-expanding market prices.  Still, the stock market remained relatively strong and continued to expand with Jupiter in Scorpio, the sign of investment and other people’s money.  In January 2007 I admitted that I had been wrong:

I feel that the stock market remained strong because of the determined optimism of Jupiter’s passage through Scorpio, which rules other people’s money and therefore the stock market, as well as the continued travel of Pluto through Sagittarius and its irrational exuberance. The astrological indicators are relatively benign for 2007. Except for the ongoing opposition of Saturn and Neptune which could disappoint (Saturn) some deluded (Neptune) investors who wear rose colored glasses and the square between Jupiter (expansion) and Uranus (sudden change) which may bring about sudden changes of fortune for all kinds of people, I don’t see anything that will bring about a recession.

However, it’s clear now that the seeds were sown during 2006 for the slowdown of the economy that hit us in 2008.  Home prices peaked that year, as did the frenzy of subprime mortgages.  However, the strength of the “irrational exuberance” as I called it of Pluto’s travel through Sagittarius made it difficult to see anything but continued growth and expansion.

When Saturn entered Virgo in the early fall of 2007 we saw the beginning of the reality check and a more practical approach to finance as major banks began to collapse in France, England and the US.  Still, it wasn’t until Pluto entered Capricorn and the Sagittarian party was over that the economy began to collapse.  No longer propped up by the Sagittarian exuberance, the chinks in the structure (Capricorn) began to become obvious and the house of cards began to fall.

So what do we see in the future?  I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but we have a ways to go before the picture becomes rosy.  I do want to emphasize, though, that this economic downturn can provide an opportunity for all of us to see what really has meaning in our lives, and to make the changes that we need in order to strengthen the foundation of that which is important to us.  That is what Pluto in Capricorn is calling for here.

Next year, in 2010, Saturn in Libra will form a challenging square to Pluto in Capricorn beginning in February.  At the same time, the conjunction between Chiron (wounding and healing) and Neptune (dissolving our dependence on material reality) will be complete. This is when I believe the recession will be at its worst.  By summer of 2010, Saturn will have moved out of the square to Pluto, and Jupiter’s expansion and optimism will conjunct the radical new ideas of Uranus, which will help to rebuild and transform the existing and outmoded structures into something more streamlined for the New Economy.

Pluto’s travel through Capricorn will completely transform the way we look at money and finance, and Uranus will be forcing a change.  The conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus will be set off by a square to Pluto, and at this time it will be very clear that the old ways will not work in the Brave New World.  I believe that we will begin to see small banks starting up all over the world as the bigger and more cumbersome financial models collapse.

At the same time, however, there will be an increased struggle between classes since it is the very poor who under this recession may lose more and more, while the rich and middle classes sustain a greater degree of wealth.  It will be important during this time to unite as a global community in order to prevent class warfare as Uranus enters Aries and begins to sow the seeds of revolution against the established order as represented by a square to Capricorn.

This is not a time to despair, because all cycles are temporary.  What is needed now is a clear and practical plan to survive difficult times, combined with the understanding that despair will only create more of the same.  With less work and less available funds, we can spend more time at home with our loved ones and with the things in our life that are most important.


Skywatch for March is posted

The monthly Skywatch article is now posted on my website, and here is the planetary news for the beginning of March.

March begins with a continuation of the stellium of five planets in Aquarius. A stellium is a cluster of three or more planets that all interact tightly together, fusing their energies and becoming more powerful as a group than they would be individually.

Aquarius is ruled by both Saturn (the ancient ruler) and Uranus (the modern ruler), and those two planets are opposing each other in the sky right now, an aspect that will be in effect over the next year or so. From a spiritual perspective, Aquarius embodies both the power to create form of Saturn and the power to out of form of Uranus. There is therefore a constant pressure for evolution embodied in the Aquarian archetype.

Aquarius/Uranus is the revolutionary thinker – the brilliant mind that puts aside conventional wisdom in order to create something entirely new. The Uranian side of Aquarius is the inventor, the revolutionary and the futurist; the Saturnian side of Aquarius has a more fixed ideal of the way that life should unfold, and while exhibiting an impeccable fairness. This dichotomy is the underlying planetary influence over the next few weeks.

On March 1 Mercury (the mind) forms an exact conjunction to Mars (the aggressive instinct), with both planets in Aquarius. This is a short but lively period that will have passed by the 2nd, but which offers a heightened mental energy that can be very useful for projects that involve writing and communication. We may feel more argumentative than usual now, or we may find that others are the angry ones.

Over the next few days Mercury (communication and mental energy) will pass by both Chiron (the Wounded Healer) and Neptune (our experience of soul and spirit). The combination of Chiron and Neptune is bringing our attention to the need to heal the wounds of the past (Chiron) in order to truly be able to experience our inner world at the soul level (Neptune), and Mercury is activating this process until the 5th.

At the same time, Mars is moving closer to conjunct Chiron on the 5th which will tend to aggravate areas of our life where we feel sensitive and vulnerable. Mars energy can be somewhat ruthless when it touches the hypersensitive emotional wounds from the past, and the process of releasing these (Chironic) wounds can be intensified. Mars will pass by Neptune on the 8th, and until the 9th we may feel a bit unbalanced if we are still in the middle of the Chironic process which requires us to revisit the wounds of the past in order to release them. This isn’t an easy process but it’s an extremely valuable one that helps us to move forward with greater wisdom and freedom.

Venus turns retrograde on March 6. Unlike the outer planets and Mercury, Venus retrogrades only once every eighteen months or so. The effect of Venus is usually soft and rather fleeting so we normally barely take notice of Venus transits. When any planet turns retrograde, though, it tends to get our attention. Venus is in Aries now, adding the fire of that Mars-ruled sign to the way we relate to others and express our tastes and aesthetics.

Normally Venus is only in Aries for a month or so, but due to its retrograde travel this month Venus will remain in Aries until the middle of April when it will slip into the last degree of Pisces for a couple of weeks before re-entering Aries where it will remain until early May. Under the influence of Aries, all of our relationships and dealings with others have a heightened magnetism and exuberance, as well as an increased interest in self-preservation. While Venus is retrograde, though, it may become more difficult to express ourselves in our dealing with others, and we may find ourselves needing to go back and take care of unfinished business with an old friend, lover, or business associate.