I’ve been wanting to profile a woman here, and there haven’t been many women in the news lately. I want to cover Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein at some point, and I thought a noble first choice would be Christiane Amanpour who is just so fabulous. I also considered the annoying Rita Crosby. But then I decided it was most appropriate for my first female profile here to be Stephanie Miller.
From the first time I listened to the Stephanie Miller show I was hooked. She has an amazing way of taking depressing and frustrating news and making it funny and easy to digest. From the beginning, I looked for excuses while at work to get in my car so I could listen to the show. I scheduled appointments for afternoons so as not to miss the show. Finally, so as not to miss another show, I invested $300 in an mp3 player and purchased the podcast on the first day it was available. Evidently I am not alone, because in little more than a year the Stephanie Miller show has gained about a million listeners. From her roots in stand-up comedy she has forged a brilliant career as a liberal talk show host.
It’s difficult to do birthcharts for celebrities because we are counting on the accuracy of the bio birth times which are notoriously inaccurate. Since writing this Stephanie sent me her accurate birth date and birth time and I have updated the details.
Steph was born with the Sun in Libra (as was your faithful blogger here). Those with a Libra Sun have the blessing and the curse of a natural ability to charm and attract others because Libra is the sign of relationship. Ruled by Venus, the mission of Librans is to achieve the fine balance of developing the individual sense of self while being in relationship to others. Mars in her chart is also in Libra, showing that she has a strong drive (Mars) to achieve harmony with others (Libra). The strong Libra influence makes her an excellent negotiator and able to easily influence others.
Stephanie’s Moon is in Gemini, the sign of the natural talker making her a perfect candidate for talk radio! Those with the Moon in Gemini tend to be independent and somewhat freewheeling, they don’t like to be tied down and need to be able to communicate (Mercury) their feelings (Moon).
Stephanie has Scorpio rising, giving her a boost of intensity that Libra doesn’t typically demonstrate. In addition, she has Mercury conjunct Neptune, both in Scorpio, showing that she has a strong imagination (Mercury/Neptune) and a probing (Scorpio) intelligence (Mercury) that delves deep below the surface to discover what is truly going on behind the scenes.
Jupiter is conjunct Saturn in her chart, both in Capricorn. Saturn rules Capricorn, so Saturn in Capricorn finds its fullest expression in hard work, discipline, and a laser focus on building success. Jupiter in Capricorn tends to bring good fortune (Jupiter) in all earthly endeavors (Capricorn).
Steph began her broadcasting career after the death of her father, Republican representative from New York who ran as Barry Goldwater’s running mate. Stephanie underwent a number of transits of Pluto and Chiron to her natal chart from 1983-1986, and it was during this period that she first was heard on the radio. Often the death of a parent can be overwhelmingly painful and fraught with complex emotions, yet out of the ashes of the pain of that death we often find ourselves transformed into individuals with greater power and effectiveness, particularly if we were overwhelmed by those parents during our earlier years.
Thank you Stephanie Miller, for being a “voice of reason in a world of treason,” “the aggressive progressive,” and for making me laugh because without your show, as you say, I might cry all day.
Venus, traveling through Aquarius, turns retrograde on December 24. When Venus is retrograde we are often forced to pay more attention to our dealing with others and our own sense of connectedness and how well we manage our connections with those around us. At the same time, Venus has been moving into a conjunction with Chiron, the wounded healer. What a perfect time for this to happen as many of us regroup with our families at the holidays!
In Aquarius Venus tends to be less emotional, more concerned with matters of fairness and equality and ensuring that everyone is given fair treatment. Connected to Chiron, however, old wounds and damaged places could erupt in a process that can ultimately be healing for all involved. The key to successfully navigating Chiron events is to pay attention and try not to hide from emotions as they attempt to make themselves known.
During this period watch for there to be greater consideration of others in the public eye as well as in our personal lives. Venus will remain in retrograde motion through February 3, and the conjunction with Chiron will remain in effect for most of the holiday week.
Every now and then I have to use astrology for fun, like to peer behind the curtain and find out what in the world is going on with Brad Pitt. Taking up with Angelina Jolie, admittedly probably the most fascinating but unusual woman in the public eye, adopting her children but not getting married, Pitt has had lots of change over the past few years and I wanted to find out why.
Brad Pitt has a Sagittarius Sun and Sagittarius rising – light hearted, generally optimistic, intent on enjoying life and seeking adventure. Sagittarians are hard to pin down, and generally seek a great deal of freedom in their lives. Interestingly, his Sun makes no aspects to any other planet (we say it is “unaspected”), a phenomenon that is fairly rare. Unaspected Sun people tend to operate alone – they may be in relationships with others, but they don’t form attachments easily and often feel isolated. His Sun falls in his first house of personality and identity, showing us that developing his persona and expressing his own reality is his mission. This is someone whose radiance shines best unadulterated by interference from others.
On the other hand, he has four planets in Capricorn, the sign of responsibility, hard work and discipline, including all of the personal planets: Mars, Mercury, Moon and Venus. On the other, he is a “double Sagittarius) (Sun and rising sign) with its associated need for freedom and adventure. Jupiter in his chart, his chart “ruler” since it rules both his Sun and rising sign/ascendant, falls in Aries and squares Mars which it rules. This is a “double whammy” associating the the search for meaning and ones innate faith in life with the god of war (Aries/Mars), demonstrating an individual who has a courageous nature, and whose desires and drives (Aries/Mars) are expansive and tends to be impulsively expressed. Jupiter is in the fourth house of the home and family, showing Brad Pitt’s desire to build a home both literally and figuratively.
Pitt has an exact opposition (180 degrees) of Chiron (the wounded healer) to Uranus (electromagnetic energy) which is also conjunct Pluto. The Uranus/Pluto conjunction of the early 1960s brought about a tremendous shift in the power balance between men and women, blacks and whites. Those individuals born during that time bear that challenge within them of integrating the revolutionary urge of Uranus with the need to establish a strong power base of Pluto. Adding the opposition of Chiron opens up another dimension of thought and the potential of wisdom, but also a tendency towards nervous issues.
Balancing all of these differing influences can be quite difficult: he has a strong need for commitment (Capricorn) in order to feel emotionally secure (Moon), he has a strong drive (Mars) to be successful and achieve something lasting (Capricorn), he is a practical and detailed thinker (Mercury) and he longs in relationships (Venus) to be responsible to his friends and romantic partners. Yet he also feels a need to be free, to avoid being tied down.
Brad Pitt started filming Mr. and Mrs. Smith with Angelina Jolie in the fall of 2003. By March 2004 filming had to be stopped because both stars kept coming down with the flu. (Chiron conjuncted his Moon and Venus in February and throughout the spring of 2004, bringing up emotional issues (Moon) which can easily turn into health problems. The pressure of Chiron on Venus also would have brought out any unresolved problems in his marriage to Jennifer Aniston and exacerbated the difficulty inherent in keeping any on-screen romance from turning into reality.)
In August of 2004 and throughout the spring of 2005, Saturn opposed Pitt’s Moon and Venus, adding even more pressure to the relationship realm. It is during this period that Brad Pitt separated from his wife and began openly dating Jolie.
Also in early 2005 he entered into one of the challenging “midlife crisis” transits, the “Neptune Square” where transiting Neptune makes a square (90 degree aspect) to Neptune in the birthchart. This can be a very disorienting time, where your view of reality becomes shaky and it is very easy to become caught up in illusion, delusion and confusion. Neptune casts a glamor on us and while it brings us great imagination and creativity, it can also make it difficult to determine what is truly real in our lives. During this same period (from May of ’05) he went through the next of the midlife crisis transits, the Uranus opposition, where transiting Uranus opposes Uranus in the birthchart and creates within us an urgent need to break free of the routines that are keeping us from following our life’s dream.
What’s in store for Brad Pitt in 2006? The conjunction of Pluto (god of death and rebirth) to his Sun could create tremendous transformation in his life. This is a period where we become turned inside out and recreated from within. It can be a tremendously exhilarating time if we are able to let go to change, but it can be difficult as well. It is not unusual to encounter death during Pluto periods, such as the death of a loved one or family member. At the same time Uranus will oppose Pluto in his chart, another intense time of emotional shifts and change.
If Brad has approached these changes over the past couple of years with conscious attention and awareness, the next year could be an incredible time of personal growth and realization of his inner dreams. But if as I suspect he has impulsively left his past behind in a stubborn insistence of a new reality, he could be heading for a fall over the next year. Only time will tell!
Tookie Williams and I both came of age during the era where Power to the People was the rallying cry, where women needed men like fish needed bicycles, and where Black Power thrillingly began to free African-Americans from the shackles of slavery and Jim Crow. As a white girl from the New Jersey suburbs I had never met a black person except the women who might clean our house, but when I got to college I found I related to the black girls in my dorm much better than the whites. Angry with my parents, my family, and the world in general, I found myself in comfortable surroundings with the student revolutionary movements.
A shared revolutionary fervor established a kinship between the radical student groups and the Black Panthers, and the repression of black people helped to stir the boiling pot of resentment on college campuses. Bombings of student buildings were discussed, and several of my friends went underground when plots were discovered and were never heard from again. Fortunately, I discovered meditation shortly thereafter which I found to be a superior method of handling my distress and safely retreated from the world of revolutionaries.
While I was discussing bombing buildings, Tookie Williams was organizing the Crips gang out of smaller gangs that were loosely associated with the Black Panthers. In those days there was a strong Robin Hood mentality, that it was ok to steal from the powerful to give to the poor and weak. ( There is some evidence that the CIA sold assault weapons and cocaine to the Crips and Bloods in order to fund the Sandanista movement in Nicaragua. The side effect of this intervention was to increase the violence between the gangs and help the black community to destroy itself.)
Tookie Williams went to prison in 1979, and in the late 1980s spent 6-1/2 years in solitary confinement for multiple assaults. However, since 1993 he has gained world-wide attention for his work in keeping children from entering gangs and has bee nominating for a Nobel peace price. Tuesday he will be put to death for the murders of four people, proving that our prison system is more about the Judeo-Christian “eye for an eye” vengeance that truly rehabilitating human beings.
The birthchart of Tookie Williams is a powerful one. He has three planets in Capricorn including his Sun, Venus and Chiron, showing a strong focus on the Capricorn virtues of hard work and building something lasting that society will recognize. His Mars is in Scorpio, a placement that reveals a powerful charisma and passionate approach to life. An exact opposition between Chiron (the wounded healer) and Uranus (the revolutionary) tells of a strong karmic need to be an agent for change, to heal the problems in his society, and both of these planets are square to Neptune, forming a “T-square” that is a powerful aspect that is very difficult to manage but generates a great deal of energy and strength. The presence of Neptune here shows a potential for martyrdom, for losing himself (Neptune) in the cause and becoming a scapegoat for society’s greater ills.
This past summer Tookie transiting Saturn (delay, disappointment, discipline) began a difficult cycle for him, coming on the heels of an expansive year with multiple transits by Jupiter and Uranus. However, he is just beginning a harmonious cycle of Pluto, the god of death and rebirth, signifying that his death will evoke not only liberation for Mr. Williams, but hopefully his death and the discussion surrounding it will help to facilitate the revolutionary impact for which he spent his life working.