By Erica Bridgeman, Pandora Astrology Intern

By the time I saw my first episode of Star Trek on TV, the show had been off the air for 15 years and was, instead, relished as Saturday night reruns. Like almost everyone who experienced the program as part of their childhood and adolescence, I was impacted by the dream and the drama of a futuristic world where humans and aliens grappled with issues of power, domination, diplomacy, negotiation and, hopefully, peace. Star Trek was more than a television entertainment show that brought a message. It was a cultural and technological time marker.

Star Trek Went Where No One Had Gone Before

In 1969, the same year of the last broadcast episode of Star Trek, the U.S succeeded in landing the first humans on Earth’s Moon. Although I was never into the “technical” aspects of rockets like circuit boards and cooling systems, I was taken by the notion of traveling and living among celestial bodies. With the announcement that Roddenberry’s cremated ashes will be put into orbit around the Sun in November 2014, along with the remains of his wife, Majel, and James Doohan, who played Scotty, the chief engineer on the Starship Enterprise, I started thinking about the creator of Star Trek and what his birth chart might reveal.

Gene Roddenberry natal copy 4Roddenberry, A Creative Leo

Television writer Gene Roddenberry helped to usher numerous generations into the humanitarian Age of Aquarius with his legendary characters from the Starship Enterprise. As creator of Star Trek, Roddenberry’s natal chart shows a man with enormous creative energy who could penetrate deeply into imaginative worlds with profound passion, spirit, and energy. Amazingly, four planets and two asteroids reside in the playful and performance-oriented sign of Leo – the Sun, Mercury, Mars, Neptune, Pallas Athene, and Ceres (circled in red) – indicating a strong, creative personality with strategic initiative and drive and the ability to communicate in a down-to-earth manner that affirmed his personal purpose and mission. In fact, I venture to say that taking strategic visionary action was also a very important way to heal past life trauma that was incurred in the area of career as indicated by these celestial bodies in Leo trine both the South Node and Chiron in Aries in the tenth house (circled in blue).

Watery Nostalgia, Uranian Rebellion

Roddenberry was born with Pluto in Cancer.  The Pluto-in-Cancer generation (b. 1913-1938) had an enormously strong identification with nostalgic images of the past (“the way it used to be”), the childhood home environment, and rather provincial, if not entrenched, social and family roles and responsibilities. For Roddenberry, however, his Pluto conjunct a Cancer rising ascendant in the first house (circled in green) trine to a Pisces Moon conjunct Uranus (also in Pisces) in the ninth house (circled in silver), suggests that Roddenberry felt a strong emotional urge to rebel against the status quo and mainstream for a greater life philosophy that was inclusive of all kinds of people, not just those found at home—and the harmonious trine between these Pisces and Cancer planets assured he would give himself permission to act on those urges.

Adventures Far From Home

Uranus conjunct the Moon in Pisces in the ninth house also indicates that Roddenberry had an imaginative spiritual depth blended with an instinctive urge for autonomy that led him on travels through different cultural world and cosmic perspectives. It was Roddenberry’s sense of adventure and love of the unknown and unexpected, along with a sense that “all is one” that allowed him to be able to portray his diverse characters, both human and alien, with enormous respect, care, and dignity. The theme of relating what is “home” to what is “far away” is repeated again in Roddenberry’s Cancer rising ascendant (circled in pink) trine his Moon conjunct Uranus in Pisces in the ninth house.

A Teller of Archetypal Tales

Finally, Roddenberry’s Pisces Midheaven (ruler of movie and television film and circled in yellow) ensured that his deep emotional sensitivities and capacity to imagine terrestrial and cosmic worlds would combine with his fiery creative passionate self-expression to enable him to give birth to fictional characters that would become archetypal heroes and heroines in universal stories. Roddenberry lived out his potential with panache and flair and, in the process, created the first major television franchise by endearing millions to his timeless creations.

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Hi Pandora Astrology blog readers! Sara here again. This month I’m going to speculate about the chart of one of my favorite TV characters. Here’s why. . .

Since I last spoke to you all, I had my birthday! I turned 24 on January 18th, which also happens to be the birthday of one of my favorite fictional characters, Parks and Recreation‘s Leslie Knope (according to the show’s writers). Leslie is a hardworking, idealistic small-town bureaucrat who wants nothing more than to support her community and her friends. Many, many people have told me that I resemble her, and us sharing a birthday is such a validation of that idea! In fact, when I told one of my friends that our birthdays were the same, she said, “That’s the best argument I’ve heard for astrology yet.”

Of course, Leslie is a fictional character, so her chart won’t have the same resonance that a real person’s will. However, I suspect that the writers of the show might have been considering astrology when choosing her birthdate. Amy Poehler, the comedian who plays Leslie and created the show, is a sun-sign Virgo, so I’ll bet they made Leslie’s sun be in an Earth sign to match.

According to the show’s website, Leslie was born on January 18, 1975, in Eagleton, Indiana, next to the show’s setting of Pawnee. Since Pawnee’s a fictional place, I did some research and found a site that figured out the real-world location of Pawnee. Looking on a map, it seemed like the real-life town closest to their location was New Pekin, Indiana. Since the creators of the show didn’t provide a birth time for Leslie (how inconvenient for astrologers!), I arbitrarily chose 12:00 PM, just knowing that I’ll have to ignore her house placements.

Anyway, on to Leslie’s chart, and what my baby astrologer instincts tell me about it. Leslie’s sun is in Capricorn, so, like me and all the rest of you Capricorns out there, she’s very focused on structure and goals. She has one big aspiration: to become the first female president of the United States. To get there, though, she’s set up smaller but progressively larger goals for herself, such as filling in an empty construction pit, creating a park, running the town’s Harvest Festival, and eventually running for City Council. Like Jamie’s post about sun-sign Capricorns said, we get energized by achievable goals and depressed by those that seem out of reach. As Leslie’s ability grows, she’s able to visualize bigger and bigger accomplishments, allowing her to take on larger projects. She can’t work directly toward becoming President – she needs to create small stepping stones for herself along the way.

However, Leslie is not a selfish person. All of the goals she sets for her personal growth involve expressing her love for her community, which is to be expected, given that Venus and Mercury were conjunct on her birth date. She feels love (Venus) by communicating it (Mercury). In fact, she lives this so strongly, she even wrote a book that’s basically a long love letter to her town.

So there you have it – astrology can even work on fictional characters! Provided their birthdays were chosen with care, of course, as Leslie’s obviously was. If any of your favorite fictional characters have exact birthdays, take a look at their charts, and let me know what you see! I wonder how many other writers out there use astrology to help create character types – I’ll bet it’s more than you’d think.

The Federal Reserve Bank has been having a hell of a time since the beginning of 2008.  This is reflected in its astrology chart.  Pluto in the sky has come opposite its position in the Fed’s chart.  This is something that few human beings get to experience in their lifetime but which the Fed gets to experience because it’s over a hundred years old.

Every entity that comes into existence has a chart and the Fed is no exception.  I’m no expert in mundane astrology (that’s the branch devoted to world events, politics and the charts of leaders and nations) but the Fed fascinates me, so I thought I’d apply what I do know—which is the astrology of individual personality—to the Fed.  So what happens when I read the chart of the Fed as if it were a person?  It might go something like this:

Me:  Hello, Fed, how ya doing?
Fed:  Not so good in the last few years.  In fact, I feel like I’m in meltdown.
Me:  Yeah, I can understand why.  You are experiencing an opposition of Pluto to your natal Pluto.  And because your natal Pluto was already opposite your Sun, that means the transiting Pluto is conjuncting your Sun.  See?
Federal Reserve’s Pluto transit
Fed:  Not really, but go on.  What does it mean?
Me:  It’s a time for you to metamorphose into something better, from the core outward.  During this time you’re likely to feel a sense of uncertainty about who you are and why you’re here.  You’ll feel lost in the dark, out of control, a ship at sea without a compass.  During a time like this, your secrets are likely to come to the surface and be seen by everyone.  You’ll feel exposed and vulnerable.  You’ll be forced to let go of things that seemed essential but really are not.  It’s a time of death and rebirth, a time of shedding your skin.  The caterpillar you were is becoming the butterfly you could be.
Fed:  But what if I turn into something completely different?
Me:  You’d best be open to that possibility.  Your past ways of maintaining control are up for change and this is a time of testing for you.  What can you let go of and how gracefully can you do it?
Fed:  That sounds like a lot of work.  I’m pretty complex and change is hard.  What happens if I don’t want to change?
Me:  If you’re not willing to let go of the old ways and trust what you are becoming, this could be a pretty painful process.  Your natal Pluto is in Cancer, which is about emotional ties and the ways they can be used to control and manipulate.  Pluto in the sky today is in Capricorn, and he has a message for you.  He’s asking you to let go of inappropriate codependency and to instead embrace independence.
Fed:  What does that mean?
Me:  I’m saying that your dependence on the government to bail out the banks is not going to fly anymore.  You’re getting the whole nation deeper in debt—to ourselves and other nations—with your monetary policies which were created in the first place by wealthy people who wanted to stay wealthy at the expense of the common man.  It’s just not sustainable.
Fed:  But it’s worked this long.  And I resent your implication that I exist to prop up the rich!  This is America and wealth is available to anyone who wants to work for it.
Me:  Has it really worked?  Are these boom-and-bust cycles symptomatic of a healthy monetary system?  You keep overextending yourself in ways my financial advisor would tell me not to.  The FDIC has propped you up, but how much longer can that continue?
Fed:  But the nation’s economic structures depend on my health.  I need those periodic  infusions of money to keep going.
Me:  Exactly my point.  This Pluto thing you’re experiencing is showing you the ways you’ve become codependent and unable to stand on your own two feet.  Many of your banks have failed this year.  You need restructuring at least, perhaps even replacing.
Fed:  But I don’t want to die!
Me:  Maybe, if you’re willing to be flexible and start serving the actual needs of the people, instead of the comfort of a few, you can change instead of dying.
Fed:  This is scary.
Me:  Fortunately for you, your transition is mostly over.  What’s happening this month is just a small aftershock of events associated with your Pluto transit, which happened from January through November of 2008.
Fed:  Whew!  So, no worries?
Me:  Actually, yes-worries.  Pluto will make one more pass conjunct your Sun.  That will peak around November 10th or 11th this year.  October and November will likely be very challenging for you.  Sometimes illumination of a current transit comes when we look at the previous milestone in its larger cycle.  The last time Pluto transited your Sun and Pluto was in 1971.  You remember what happened then, don’t you?
Fed:  Um, what?
Me:  Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard.  Without gold as an anchor, inflation went through the roof.  You’ve been trying to keep your balance ever since, without an anchor.
Fed:  What can I do?
Me:  Learn from it.  Actually change.  From now through November is the chance to make it better, not worse.  Are you up for that?  Are you willing to see the truth of it if your monetary policies are just not standing the test of time?  Are you willing to try what does work, instead of making adjustments to keep bad policies in place?
Fed:  I honestly don’t know.
Me:  I guess we’ll see, won’t we?

The Fed didn’t like this news very much.  Somehow I get the idea that the Fed is not very personal-growth oriented.  The good news is that when things get bad enough to grab attention, that’s when change can begin.  The Fed is unwell—perhaps the events of 2008 and 2009 are exactly what is needed to bring this country back to financial health.

For interesting background on this, see:
Financial Reform to Address Systemic Risk
(speech by Ben Bernanke, March 2009)
Friedman Scandal Illustrates Need For Federal Reserve Reform
(article in NY Libertarian Examiner, May 2009)
Obama’s Regulatory Reform Removes The Punchbowl From The Fed
(financial astrology blogpost on, June 2009)
August 15, 1971: Inflation Unleashed
(explanation of the woes of fiat currency on

My skirts rustle as I find myself back in Henry’s hall.  What will I say to him today?  I’ve left him quite despondent in my last 3 visits.  I had to hammer on him some, to push through his arrogance and charm (did you see him try to slip a hand up my skirt?).  Today I aim to show him his potential, in all its glory.

The King You Could Be

You, sir, can be a brilliant monarch.  Your ability to think outside the box (oops, Henry’s never heard that phrase before) can lead you to make changes to the benefit of all your people, undermining corrupt authority and giving the little guy a chance (Sun in Cancer opposed Uranus in Capricorn).  You could do this out of a genuine caring for others, an attitude of stewardship (Sun in Cancer).  Your rebellious streak (Uranus opposed Sun) has led you to uproot the Catholic church in England and to assume the position of head of the new Anglican church.  But have you really thought about the consequences of throwing a nation into religious uproar, simply so you can divorce and gain the heir you so desperately need?

The Man You Could Be

Sir, you have a seemingly endless store of vital energy (Mars square Jupiter), but must dedicate yourself to an ideal (Mars square Neptune) lest you become angry and disillusioned as you age and discover that the world is a harsher place than it pretends to be.  Living into an image of knight in shining armor could soothe your soul.  Also, you have a talent for expressing your feelings in words that are charismatic and engaging (Mercury trine Moon in fire signs).  Shape and hone that talent into fine writing (Saturn opposed Mercury) by use of a good editor (Saturn) who will check your more impulsive ideas.

The Lover You Could Be

You hold love as the highest ideal.  Beware of worshipping the woman you love, because a pedestal is a wobbly thing and if she falls from it, your revulsion is likely to be as strong as your passion.  Choose a wife who is your intellectual equal (Venus in Gemini) and then treat her as such.  Choose a wife who will make a great queen and then devote (Vesta rising) yourself to her.  Let her be your chief advisor and give her the power to rule in your stead (Juno square Pallas-Athene) when you are abroad.  And your highness, you must go abroad, for your life-purpose lies in journeying to foreign places and expanding your tolerance for people who live differently than you do (north node in Sagittarius).

The Father You Could Be

Your frustrations around producing a male heir (Saturn in the Fifth House and also ruling it) have wounded you deeply (Chiron squares Saturn).  Why, sir, must you be so stubborn (they are in Fixed signs)?  If you were willing to cultivate Mary and love her as a future monarch, you could vest your frustrated fatherly affections in her and she would not grow up to be so bitter.  Those of us who know your history are aware that you did eventually father a son, but that he died very young, leaving the crown to Mary and finally Elizabeth.  Paradoxically, you produced one of the greatest English monarchs that ever lived (Elizabeth I) and if you could get past the fact that your two oldest children were female, you could see their fitness for rule and that your line is well established.

Ultimate Departure
I leave the mid-sixteenth-century with regret.  After all, Henry, for all his flaws, was brilliant and brought his whole self to the ruling of his country, leaving behind him a reformed church and a solidly established Tudor line.  The Renaissance has already started in Italy and will spread northward toward England over the next hundred years.  Henry, your quest for an heir was ultimately fulfilled and the Tudor name is cemented in the annals of English history.  Dear sir, please rest in peace.

If you want to read a good biography of Henry & his wives, look here:

This article is part 4 in a 4-part series about the astrology chart of Henry VIII of England.
Part 1: The Astrology Of Henry VIII—A Portrait Of Charisma, Charm & Arrogance
Part 2: A Deeper Look At Henry VIII’s Chart
Part 3: What Henry VIII’s Astrology Chart Shows About His Relationships With Women
Part 4: How Henry VIII’s Chart Shows His Glorious Potential



Categories: Astrology for Students, Famous Charts

I’ve just stepped out of my time machine and back into Henry’s court.  I love the dresses I get to wear here:  loaded with brocade, embroidery and so much gold thread I can hardly move.  But I don’t care about mobility because I look great.  The king must think so too, because he hasn’t had me dragged off to the Tower yet.  Here he comes now, ready for his daily reading.

Henry VIII chart 3

Henry’s Relationships With Women
I recalculated Henry’s chart, adding the asteroids I regularly use in my astrology practice, expecting to find some intriguing things about his views of and responses to women.  I was not disappointed.

Sir, I have to tell you you are not suited to monogamy (Vesta rising).  You’re difficult to catch and are drawn to have affairs with women who hew to your ideal of purity.  This despite the fact that you are absolutely the marrying kind (Juno conjunct Sun) and you individuate best through the medium of marriage.  Does that seem like a contradiction?  Yes, it is.  You contradict yourself, sir.  You contain multitudes (oh, it’s no use quoting Whitman—he hasn’t been born yet).

You are drawn to women who are strong and independent and who want autonomy and free rein for their intelligence (Juno square Pallas), but this brings you into conflict with them.  You, sir, are surrounded by uppity females!  Your reaction to them can be quite strong (Uranus in T-square with Sun, Juno, Pallas).

Beware of your tendency to overindulge your senses.  You eat to stave off negative feelings, and you do so impulsively (Ceres conjunct Moon in Aries).  You love intense living and you love the life of the senses, but blended together with some of the bodily sensitivities I mentioned before (in part 1) and with your love/hate relationship with your body (Chiron in Taurus), this can spell a life of hedonism and ill-health.

Departing Again

Sir, I must take my leave.  But I see you are downcast and I want to give you hope.  I have visited you three times, each time speaking mostly of your negative traits.  I will return again tomorrow, for one last visit, in which I will speak about your glorious potential.  Have hope, sir—all is not lost.

This article is part 3 in a 4-part series about the astrology chart of Henry VIII of England.
Part 1: The Astrology Of Henry VIII—A Portrait Of Charisma, Charm & Arrogance
Part 2: A Deeper Look At Henry VIII’s Chart
Part 3: What Henry VIII’s Astrology Chart Shows About His Relationships With Women
Part 4: How Henry VIII’s Chart Shows His Glorious Potential



Categories: Astrology for Students, Famous Charts

That Time Machine Again
After I returned to my own time, I recalculated Henry’s chart, adding in the modern planets, the ones that can’t be seen with the naked eye.  Henry’s astrologer didn’t know about these, so I may have interesting and fresh insights to give the king.  Once again, I’m setting my time machine for a quick getaway, just in case I say anything untoward.  After all, hindsight is 20/20 and I know what the man is capable of.  I also know I have a big mouth sometimes (being an Aries, myself).

Henry VIII chart 2

What Happens When We Add The Modern Planets?

Yesterday, your highness, I said you are a very vital man.  This is true, but you are also prone to various constitutional weaknesses and ailments that can be mysterious in origin and cure (Neptune square Mars).  You should be certain to get enough sleep and to pay attention to your body’s sensitivities.  Also, the piece I said yesterday about you being uncertain of your virility?  Underline that.  You’re actually a rather sensitive guy and if you don’t feel you can afford to be that way (because you’re king) then you’re in rather a pickle, aren’t you?  Gracious!

Yesterday, sir, I had no idea how you struggle with relationships (Pluto and Neptune both quincunx Venus, forming a yod).  Your fantasies about the ideal woman (Neptune quincunx Venus) interfere with your ability to love a real woman, with all her human flaws.  And your sometimes-compulsive sex drive (Pluto quincunx Venus) make you feel that it’s unfair how much power a beautiful woman can have over you.  You enter the battle of the sexes feeling you have already lost.  This is especially hard on you because you take love quite seriously (Venus trine Saturn) and do, in fact, have a restrained, even prudish, streak (Virgo rising).

You have a lot of genius, but tend to be unstable (Uranus opposed Sun).  You are trying to find the balance between passion (Cancer Sun) and responsibility (Capricorn, which Uranus is in), but you have a strong rebellious streak that causes you to buck any authority but your own (Uranus in Capricorn).  You are likely to act with confidence and fortitude on your rebellious ideas (Mars trine Uranus), ignoring those people who disagree.

Um, Running Away Now!
Ok, he REALLY didn’t like that stuff.  Better run away now.  Be back next time with a look at his chart with the asterioids (Ceres, Pallas-Athene, Juno, Vesta) and Chiron in it.

This article is part 2 in a 4-part series about the astrology chart of Henry VIII of England.
Part 1: The Astrology Of Henry VIII—A Portrait Of Charisma, Charm & Arrogance
Part 2: A Deeper Look At Henry VIII’s Chart
Part 3: What Henry VIII’s Astrology Chart Shows About His Relationships With Women
Part 4: How Henry VIII’s Chart Shows His Glorious Potential



Categories: Astrology for Students, Famous Charts

Henry VIII? Oh Yeah, That English King With The 6 Wives
I have been watching the Tudors lately, which features one of my favorite historical figures, Henry VIII of England, father of Elizabeth I and infamous slayer of wives.  The stories surrounding Henry and his six wives and his formation of the Church of England so that he could remarry have fascinated me since high school history class.

This morning, for the fun of it, I looked up Henry’s chart to see if I could perceive his outstanding traits in it.  It took a little digging, due to the change from Gregorian to Julian calendar but here’s the chart I came up with:

Henry VIII chart 1

This is the chart Henry’s astrologer would have cast for him.  In those days, only the visible planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter & Saturn) were known and used.  In looking at this chart I discovered a few interesting things and found myself imagining that I’m at Henry’s court and I’ve just sat down to do a ten-minute sample reading for him.  Here’s what I’d say to Henry (being aware that my time machine is ready to sweep me away instantly if I become in danger of being imprisoned or beheaded and that therefore I can speak freely).  For the benefit of students of astrology, I’m including notes on what pieces of Henry’s chart I’m referring to.

Henry VIII’s Ten-Minute Sample Reading

You’re quite a charmer, aren’t you?  (Venus in Gemini sextile Mercury in Leo).  You’ve got quite the silver tongue and can persuade people of what you want and you give the impression of being collected, intelligent and fastidious when people first meet you (Virgo rising).  You care a lot about your appearance (Mercury in Leo rules rising sign Virgo) and like to dress in the kingliest manner but with only the finest taste, never overdone (interesting Virgo vs. Leo dilemma).  I see you are a man who loves women and relates with them easily (Sun in Cancer, male chart) but you secretly doubt your own virility (Cancer Sun squares Moon in Aries) and may at times become fierce in defense of it.

You’re a vital man (Mars square Jupiter) and your masculine identity is important to you (Mars in First House), especially when it comes to your ability to make money and defend your property (Mars sitting on Second House cusp).  You are talkative (Jupiter in Gemini) and gregarious (Sun and Mercury in Eleventh House) and must marry someone intelligent whom you can really communicate with and who stimulates your mind (Venus in Gemini).

Some of your greatest challenges in life will be in the area of children (Saturn in the Fifth House and also ruling it) and in the frustration of your creativity.  You have so much luck and charisma (Fire Grand Trine and almost a Grand Trine in Air too, forming almost-but-not-quite a Grand Star) that you may become lazy and arrogant in your expectation that life should be easy and everything should flow towards you because it so often does.  When things do not go your way your tendency is to push your expectations onto others instead of rolling up your sleeves and applying the effort needed.  Don’t rely on talent and charm, because it weakens you and leaves you ill-equipped for the challenges life presents to everyone sooner or later.

My Escape Back To The Future
Whew—do you think Henry liked that stuff?  Somehow I doubt it.  I think I’d better get back to my time machine before I’m thrown in the Tower.

My next post will be about the deeper dimensions of Henry’s chart that become apparent when we add in the planets that astrologers use today (Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, etc) and just for good measure, I’ll throw in the asteroids (Ceres, Pallas-Athene, Juno, Vesta) to learn more about what was behind Henry’s relationships with women.  Do stay tuned.

This article is part 1 in a 4-part series about the astrology chart of Henry VIII of England.
Part 1: The Astrology Of Henry VIII—A Portrait Of Charisma, Charm & Arrogance
Part 2: A Deeper Look At Henry VIII’s Chart
Part 3: What Henry VIII’s Astrology Chart Shows About His Relationships With Women
Part 4: How Henry VIII’s Chart Shows His Glorious Potential



Categories: Astrology for Students, Famous Charts

In yesterday’s post I talked about the significance of redoing Barack Obama’s oath of office and the new chart that came of it.  Today I want to say a little more about the challenges in the noon chart and how the 7:30 pm chart overcomes them.  The noon chart had two main problems, one involving Mercury and the other involving the Moon.

The Mercury Problem
Firstly, the inauguration occurred while Mercury was retrograde.  Mercury retrograde is really not the best time for taking oaths, signing contracts, setting deadlines or making concrete agreements of any kind.  Such deadlines are often not met and such agreements usually end up seeming unfinished or cannot be fulfilled on.  But what can a nation do when a very important oath is scheduled during Mercury retrograde?

The solution to the don’t-sign-contracts rule lies in the nature of Mercury retrograde itself.  A Mercury retrograde period is a retrospective period.  It is a time when forward progress is more difficult but backward progress is facilitated.  The very best thing to do during a Mercury retrograde period is to go back and fix or complete something old or to take a retrospective look at something previously unfinished.  Since the first inauguration was an attempt to cement a new agreement, it’s a wonderful piece of luck and an astrological synchronicity that a mistake was made, a mistake large and clear enough to necessitate a do-over under constitutional law.  The very act of having a do-over satisfied Mercury retrograde’s need to fix the old rather than initiate the new.  The 7:30 PM chart IS a fix, merely by existing and replacing the noon chart.

I don’t believe that Mercury retrograde caused the mistake, but I do think that going ahead with the first chart would have been a bad idea and that doing it over not only enabled a better chart (one more suited to Obama’s vision for the United States) but also solved the issue of the presence of Mercury retrograde in the second chart.  Because the second chart was a “do-over,” Mercury had his nod and wink, and we can all breathe a sigh of relief that Mercury’s retrograde status will not prevent the administration from living up to its agreements.

The Moon Problem
The second problem with the original inauguration chart, a glaring one to astrologers, was the void-of-course Moon.  The Moon in a chart is called “void-of-course” when it occupies the end of a sign and will not make any more connections (“aspects”) to other planets before leaving that sign.  The Moon represents feelings in any chart and its placement is always an important factor.  To quote Jim Maynard’s Pocket Astrologer (a yearly planetary-motion publication every astrologer should have on them at all times), during a void-of-course Moon “it is wise to avoid making important decisions.  Judgment at this time is probably faulty.  New paths at this time are likely to be plagued with false starts, errors, and unexpected hassles.  Contracts, promises or new laws tend to bring on difficulties.  Delays and frustrations are common.”

The void-of-course Moon means that feelings are drifting, unable to connect to anything, kind of like free-floating anxiety.  It yields a sensation of emotional instability during which judgment is faulty, tending to result in bad decisions.  In an inauguration chart, the Moon represents the feelings or moods of the public and a void-of-course Moon suggests that under this administration the public mood would drift and be fickle, perhaps changing its mind and questioning its own judgment about having elected him.  This could disconnect Obama from the public, making it hard for his administration to satisfy the people, gain their respect and hold their support for the next 4 years.  A void-of-course Moon would have destabilized his administration, causing frustration for those in government and citizens alike–an administration from hell.

The second inauguration chart solves this problem entirely.  By the day after January 20th, the Moon had passed into the next sign and was receiving several aspects from other planets.  It was no longer void-of-course.  With this chart in place, Obama’s administration will be emotionally grounded and able to connect to the public mood.  The public will be satisfyable and he will be able to connect with them.

How did this happen?
How did Obama and the USA escape a chart/administration with such huge problems?  In a previous article I described Obama’s current Jupiter transit to his Ascendant.  With Jupiter moving through his first house, he is currently experiencing a period of fame and popularity.  Anyone having Jupiter in their first will basically be lucky as long as they make use of Jupiter’s influence by acting like a Sagittarian.  So the short answer to “how did this happen?” is:  Obama put himself in the right place at the right time and got lucky.

At the beginning of yesterday’s post I said this analysis would not be exhaustive.  I do not specialize in mundane (political) astrology and I have just picked out the pieces that are of interest to me.  There is much more to say on the subject, but I’ll leave that to the experts.

Why Is An Inauguration Chart Worth Looking At?
Historically, when astrologers want to understand a monarch’s reign, they look at the chart of the coronation of that monarch.  Similarly, when astrologers want to understand the administration of a president, they look at the chart that began that president’s administration—the inauguration chart.  What follows is a brief, not exhaustive, look at why a change in schedule leading to a different inauguration chart could lead to a very different administration than we would have had.

Inauguration Charts Tend Towards Sameness
The United States government has developed a policy for when its inaugurations happen and how they are conducted.  This has resulted in inaugurations happening on January 20th at noon since the inauguration that began Franklin D. Roosevelt’s second term in 1947.  As a result, many of these inaugurations yield charts that have much in common.  Barack Obama’s original inauguration was scheduled for the usual day and time and would have yielded a chart that had the usual characteristics.  It also had some additional factors (linked to Mercury and to the Moon) that are unappealing in an administration and which no one would have chosen if they’d been given the opportunity.  When a mistake occurred during the oath and it was decided that a fresh oath was necessary, a very different chart was made possible.  Between January 20th at noon and January 21st at 7:30 PM there is a world of astrological difference.

Persistent Themes In The Usual Inauguration Charts
For sixty years, the inauguration charts have had Taurus rising, a Capricorn Midheaven and the Sun in Aquarius in the tenth house.  All other factors have varied, but these have been stable.

A Taurus rising suggests a stoic, peaceful exterior and a resistance to change, at least on the surface.  This resistance to change is contradicted by the Sun in Aquarius, which has as its very heart and center the desire for overthrow of the old and progress into the new that is so consummately American (arguably both our country’s greatest strength and greatest weakness).  There is an intellectual stubbornness about this Aquarian Sun, a tendency to hold to ideals long past their usefulness, which can be mitigated by other chart influences that change from one administration to the next.

The placement of the Sun in the tenth house adds a different note:  one of the acquisition and centralization of power.  A person with the Sun in the tenth house tends to be ambitious and hard-working, avidly climbing the ladder of success.  A country with this placement could be ruthless at times, merely driven at others.  This trait is underscored by the fact of Capricorn being on the Midheaven, showing that power, prestige and status are this entity’s goal and that showing a strong leadership face to the world is valued.  Basically, in the world theater, the USA wants to look good and garner respect.

What’s Different About the Do-Over Chart?
These themes change with Obama’s evening inauguration chart (not permanently, but for his first term only).  The Do-Over Chart (as I’m calling it) has the Aquarian Sun in the sixth house, not the tenth, and Virgo is rising, with a Taurus Midheaven.

The usual inauguration chart’s tenth house emphasis on government and its leaders shifts in the new chart towards a sixth house emphasis on the working class and “getting our house in order.”  This is accentuated and underscored by the 7:30 PM chart’s Virgo rising, which suggests an administration with an attitude of humbleness and service.  This could spell a shift from an entrenched, stubborn leadership style to a more flexible, service-oriented leadership style and a lessened emphasis on looking good and gaining power with a greater emphasis on what actually works and is effective.

This chart’s Rising sign (aka Ascendant) is Virgo, ruled by Mercury, which in this chart is retrograde.  This is a difficult thing to overcome and it needs to be overcome or else much of the value of the chart change could be lost.  In Part 2 of this article (coming out tomorrow) I’ll talk about the Mercury retrograde problem. . . and solution.

Astrology blogger since 2007

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