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Ceres and the Food Crisis

2011 September 1
by Jackie Slevin

It is universally accepted that the basic necessities of life are food, clothing and shelter. In industrialized nations in the 21st century, the additional amenities of well being and security would include a cash flow, a bank account, a life insurance policy, and a credit card.

In the western hemisphere from ancient times until the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, a loaf of bread meant virtually all of these things. In 58 BCE the Roman Emperor Clodius issued an edict to distribute free bread every day for the poorer plebeians. This edict continued with minor changes for over four hundred years until the demise of the Empire in the fifth century CE. Thus it is no coincidence that the early Christians, whose primary congregation was in Rome, included the phrase, “Give us this day our daily bread” in their signature prayer.

The staff of life was readily available, and grain in ancient Rome equals oil in the United States in 2008. The temple of Ceres, the Roman goddess of grain, crowned the Aventine Hill in the Eternal City. Another statue of this goddess sits atop the Chicago Board of Trade Building, where agricultural commodities are traded.

Saturn (restriction) in Virgo (the harvest) has wreaked havoc in the world’s food supply. But the price of grain (Ceres) has skyrocketed beyond the means of most inhabitants in third world countries, or modern day “poorer plebeians.” On March 13, 2008, grain prices in Africa had risen 50 percent. Food riots were reported in the African countries of Egypt, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, and Senegal. In Sierra Leone, grain was up 300 percent. On this day, dwarf planet Ceres was at 24 degrees Taurus, 31 minutes, conjunct malevolent fixed star Algol within one and a half degrees. One month later on April 18, the front page headlines of the New York Times read “Across Globe, Empty Bellies Bring Rising Anger,” reporting on the food riots in Haiti, the severity of which sent the prime minister packing. On that same day at noon, GMT, Ceres was at 7 degrees Gemini and 34 minutes, exactly conjunct the Cardinal Axis. (The Cardinal Axes are highly energized degrees at 0 degrees Cardinal, 22 degrees, 30 minutes Cardinal, 15 degrees Fixed, and 7 degrees, 30 minutes Mutable). Thus the goddess of grain was poised front and center on the world stage. Ceres reaches the Cardinal Axis at 0 degrees Cancer on June 11, 2008, when the food crises will no doubt be in the headlines. This summer the world will get a powerful trilogy of events when transiting Saturn is conjunct the Cardinal Axis at 7 degrees Virgo 30 minutes on July 30, the height of the growing season. Two days later the total eclipse of the Sun on August 1 at 9 degrees Leo 32 minutes may signal a heat wave, bringing drought conditions that would affect the harvest. On August 2, the very next day, Ceres is again conjunct the Cardinal Axis at 22 degrees, 33 minutes in Cancer, the sign of food. This celestial line-up is bound to impact the global markets of grain and rice, the fundamental staples of survival for humankind. Many of us will tighten our belts, and perhaps the poorer plebeians may again receive government rations, echoing the ancient petition to give us this day our daily bread.

How Moon Phases Affect Our Lives

2011 September 1
by Jackie Slevin

The shining disk in the night sky that has held human attention since the dawn of times tells more than we know.  Those shifting shadows that signaled to our ancestors when to plant and when to reap marked the passage of seasonal cycles as well as the passage of life itself. The display of nocturnal celestial phenomenon held a myriad of visual delights; planets wandered, stars twinkled, and meteors darted about in showers of light. Many star patterns remained constant for the navigation of nomadic tribes. One thing was certain; the Great White Circle was always changing its appearance. It mysteriously monitored the growth patterns of the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms and these kingdoms were in a continual state of change, for change is the only evidence of life.

To observe the Moon‘s phases was to partake in the ritual of reflection, which is indeed the Moon’s favorite pastime. This distant disk symbolized the patterns of development from life to death, as virtually all living things have a beginning, a middle, and an end. We’re all familiar with the biblical quote from Ecclesiastes that became a credo for the sixties: “To everything there is a season and time for every purpose under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3).

The Moon pulls the trigger on timing the events that define the experiences of our lives. It can only be observed through the reflection of the Sun and, since it is the nature of the Sun to shine with a fierce light, we can only too easily become blinded by it. Being too bright to comfortably observe, the best way to view cosmic light was from the reflection of the Moon. Although the Sun is 400 times larger than the Moon, the Moon is 400 times closer to the Earth, which is a.ll the better for earthly observation on a clear night. Early peoples knew it was a powerful mirror of their earthly experience and behavior, and thus began to record the occurrences of the changes, or phases, which happened eight times during each cycle.  Some of the most primitive etchings on rocks discovered on archaeological sites worldwide are the recordings of the Moon phases, and these rough etchings were humankind’s first calendars. As the phases repeated themselves without fail over time, the lunar calendar was formulated.

What better way to streamline your life than to plan your schedule according to Nature’s timekeeper? The Great White Circle and her measured movements determine the rhythm of the tides, shellfish activity and marine life, and the surface tension of all fluids on the planet; not to mention the moods of the public. “It has been shown that at the time of the Full Moon, and especially during a lunar eclipse, the surface tension of all fluids is increased (the molecular cohesive forces of the surface of any fluid). Because our bodies consist largely of water, this increase in molecular tension is bound to produce a biochemical effect upon our bodies. Furthermore, our bodies tend to take on and hold larger quantities of water during the Full Moon phase each month. The skull, being the only are of the body that cannot readily expand with increased fluid pressure, therefore exerts greater pressure upon the brain cells, which ultimately affect our behavior patterns. (Jansky, Carl, Interpreting the Eclipses).  Is it any wonder that the root word for lunatic is luna, which is the Latin word for Moon?

Since the Moon rules the Mother Principle and Mother Nature in general, let’s take a look how She intended the population to perform in their daily lives. It’s Her prerogative to change Her mind, only She calls it a phase. She always comes through on schedule, and would like you to follow her example. Your Mother should know.

The first phase is the New Moon, or the Dark Night of the Moon, when darkness reigns. No lunar reflection is visible; living organisms are left to their own devices with no magnetic field to guide them.  All life forms stem from chaos and void. The New Moon symbolizes life at its most basic form, the seed. In order for a seed to sprout, survival tactics are front and center.  It is a pure masculine energy, the primitive warrior who lives on impulse and thrives on spontaneous action, requiring no direction whatsoever. Instinct is the only guide. Mental awareness is acute, yet full consciousness is not present. During this wholly subjective time it is best to plant seeds in all forms, whether you plant a garden, devise a new method of strategy or undertake a new project, the New Moon is the starting point. Not every seed is expected to sprout, as any gardener will tell you. Nor will every project reach the finish line, yet this is the time for laying the foundation for your desired goal.  One never knows where their beginnings will lead them. You’re at the starting line and the shot is being fired. Go for it! Great oaks from little acorns grow.

The next phase is the Crescent Moon, the time of manifestation, when the seeds sprout. The wise gardener now examines his bed of seeds and thins out those that have never sprouted; they are cast aside for the scavenging birds. The promises, vows and plans that were established during the New Moon are now revised as new developments have come into play. Some prospects, like the discarded seeds, have also been completely forgotten. Those visible green shoots, however, represent the first stage of development of your new desire. They struggled through the metamorphosis from tiny speck to organic growth and, needless to say, not everybody else made it through. Your projected thoughts have taken form, and it is in this Crescent phase that we are most vulnerable. There is much unconscious resistance in public attitude during this period and the phrase “yea, but…” is the order of the day. Like toddlers in the playground, we’re up and running, but our definitive outcomes remain to be seen. Just as all promises are not delivered, not all sprouts take root. Those that do move on to the next development: seedlings.

The first quarter Moon, also known as the Half Moon, is the phase of the seedling. Our goals have not take root in our consciousness and sprouted leaves; further growth is assured as there is not turning back. We’re now bound and determined to deliver the promises we made at he New Moon, revised or otherwise. Literally or figuratively, we roll up our sleeves and seize an opportunity to do something – anything- to see our projects through. We become walking combustible missiles in action; we’ll find a crisis or make one happen, but we just can’t keep still.  The outer world steps in with its own agenda and requires us to conform to some degree. Whether this agenda rewards out efforts or throws a monkey wrench at us, we’re ready for it. We’re in the emotional state of the teenager and we need action, whether it’s a challenge to our abilities or a rebellion to launch.  If we’re confused and don’t know which way to turn, this is the time to seek guidance and/or direction.

While undergoing baptism by fire, we are faced with the fact that moving forward with a burning tenacity can lead to problems. Flies in the ointment become inevitable, but they are met with anger and frustration. We’re now in the phase of the Gibbous Moon, where we find ourselves up against a rock and a hard place. After such a good start with the greatest enthusiasm, why do we meet up with obstacles at this point? This phase can bring disillusionment in its wake because we’re up so close, yet so far.  The plant is now ready to bloom, but it can’t bloom fast enough. Something has to give. It’s time to rehash, rewrite, and clarify. It’s the time to weigh pros and cons and put yourself in survivor mode. Pull out all the stops on patience and let go and let God.

The Moon is now at the end of her waxing phase. It will no longer increase in light as it’s reached  its highest point of illumination. The Full Moon is the Moon in full bloom. It’s all it up doing it’s balancing act with the Earth, as it’s exactly opposite the Earth during this phase.  The mood of the population is now blazing at a high pitch and it is open season on human behavior. The Full Moon uses her magnetic field to influence the water levels in our bodies to harness all our capabilities and bring our actions to fruition.  The results of this polarity send a push-me, pull you message to earth dwellers to stand in the spotlight of your particular achievement, because it’s ready to harvest. You’re reached your goal; you can’t shine any brighter than you do right now and if you’re not feeling particularly fulfilled during this time, discontent may take root and flourish and you may shine in a dark light.  All that increased illumination an heightened magnetic energy field has to get channeled somewhere, and if you haven’t planned your schedule according to the Moon’s phases, Mother Nature’s orchestrations become distorted. Agitation becomes blown out of proportion and thus we encounter Full Moon madness; the negative manifestations of which are legendary. Bask in the light of achievement or howl uncontrollably, the choice is yours.  We also become obsessed with relationships during this time, as the Moon is exactly opposite the Earth. It’s as if the two Lights are pitted against each other in a cosmic game of ping pong and heightened sensations are the ball.  The Full Moon marks the end of the waxing phase; she has increased her light to her full capacity and now begins her journey home.

After the emotional feeding frenzy of the Full Moon comes the Disseminating Moon, or what this writer refers to as the “Morning After Moon.” The party’s over, all that high anxiety has passed. Depending on how we reacted during the heightened awareness of the Full Moon, we either cry in our coffee or delight in our results. As the Full Moon represented the plant in full bloom, the Disseminating Moon represents the fruit on the vine. This is the time when we renew where we’ve been, where we are now, and decide our next move. If this process requires deep introspection and painful realization, so be it. Now is the time to hone our skills and demonstrate and distribute. The profit-minded gardener or farmer now harvests his or her crop and heads for the marketplace. The fruit must be picked, or else it will die on the vine. The rest of the population wisely holds it current projects up to the light and troubleshoots for any flaws. This is the sum total of our work and, whether we’re satisfied or not, we must put our name on it and accept it in its final form. Our growing season has ended and we must reap what we have sown. This also the time to reach out and lend a hand to your neighbor who is having trouble harvesting their crop, or bringing projects into their final phase. By doing this, you just may get first pick before it all goes to market. To disseminate means to scatter or disperse widely and, in biblical terms, we must now cast our bread upon the waters and it will return to us a hundredfold.

The Last Quarter Moon represents pay day in terms of consciousness. Our tally sheets are on the cosmic payroll desk and this phase of the Moon will determine our commission and ultimate income. If we completed our tasks and followed through on schedule, we can honestly and humbly expect our just desserts. Are we pleased with our harvest or final result? If so, we can pass “Go,” collect $200. and remain a player. If not, gnawing feelings of inadequacy rise to the surface and we must come to terms with the reality that, in order to remedy our output, then we have to change on the inside in order to improve o the outside. This can result in private disappointment coupled with internal crisis as slowly we turn and head back to the drawing board.  Just as the plant that grew from the seed at the New Moon has withered and now died a natural death, so our inner structure may wither to make room for the new season of growth. The lunar cycle is winding down and coming in for the home stretch.

Draw the veil. The Dark Night of the Moon is upon us. This last and final phase is known as the Balsamic, and old English noun with several definitions. One of which is an “aromatic ointment for ceremonial or medicinal use,” another is “any agency that heals, soothes and restores.” (Websters’ unabridged). This is the perfect description of this Dark Night, as this is the time to to retreat, restore, and rejuvenate. It’s the time to let go of the Moon’s magnetic tie on us and be cast adrift in the void so that the soothing energy can filter through and the healing can take place. The field must be weeded and the desk cleared. It’s the time to withdraw and meditate. Psychic energy is at its peak  as we let our intuition guide us through the shoals in darkness, by tuning in, inner navigation is successful.  By shutting out, we may encounter fog and chaos. Here in the Dark Night we contemplate our higher purpose and clear the path for Destiny to take over.  In this midnight  of the psyche, Mother Nature tucks us in for a good night’s sleep. She’s come full circle back to the beginning, and she wants us to be well rested for the forthcoming New Moon. We’ll need all our energy for the growing season. Mom always did know best.

Swingin’ on the Monicagate

2011 September 1
by Jackie Slevin

Any astrologer worth his or her salt has done the synastry and composite charts for Bill and Monica and interpreted ad infinitum, but here’s yet another look at this nation’s most infamous couple at the end of the current millennium.

The pre-natal eclipse can serve as an indicator of the collective unconscious that your soul chose to incarnate through, with your mother as the vehicle through which you pass through the veil between the worlds. The moment of your birth, otherwise known as your Ascendant, is your own personal window on the world; the Ascendant is you, the pre-natal eclipse is the group collective or, to put it in a more catchy phrase, “the horse you rode in on.”  The sign of your prenatal solar eclipse describes the more positive qualities you have to give to others.  The sign of your lunar eclipse tells what qualities you didn’t get or use the last time around, so you must find a way for your soul to learn its lesson this time.  If either eclipse is in conjunction or other hard aspect to a planet or angle, then the planet or angle can serve as a signpost to working out our K word, better known as our karma.

For example, if your pre-natal solar eclipse is in Taurus, your soul came down this time with an eye for quality, a love of creature comforts and strong instincts in business.  You could have the Midas touch in financial acquisitions without being greedy, ensuring that others gain from your ventures.  If your pre-natal lunar eclipse is in Gemini, you never developed your communication skills, never traveled far from your local environment and may have had a penchant for gossip and slander.  You may have also been a frequent visitor to the seamy side of life, hobnobbing with pickpockets, con artists and forgers.

The houses these eclipses fall in your chart show where these energies will be played out.  Someone born with a pre-natal lunar eclipse in Leo in the second house came here this time flaunting their gaudy jewelry in everyone’s face and must spend a fortune on themselves in order to feel worthwhile.  A pre-natal solar eclipse in Cancer in the sixth house means you can cook like a chef, or even be one.  Or a first-rate pediatrician. You get the idea.

And now to our dynamic duo.  Bill Clinton’s data is August 19, 1946, 8:51 AM CST. Hope, AK. 33N40, 93W35. (Source: birth certificate. Reference: Lois Rodden). His pre-natal solar eclipse is 6 degrees of Cancer, exactly conjunct his Midheaven.  Thus he was born to be the boss and share his nurturing qualities with the world at large.  The Cancer/Capricorn axis rules government and,  as goes the family, so goes the nation.   His pre-natal lunar eclipse is 23 Sagittarius in his third house.  Bill  touched down this time with ambiguous religious convictions and he might have had the inclination to preach right and wrong to his neighbors. Sagittarius rules ethics, and the third house rules rumors and lies.  I’ll say no more on this particular interpretation.  I don’t need to.  Pick up the newspaper or turn on your radio or television and observe what everyone else is saying about it.

Monica Lewinsky was born on July 23, 1973, 12:21 PM  PDT in San Francisco, CA. 37N46 122W25. (Source: birth certificate.  Reference: Lois Rodden).  Her pre-natal solar eclipse is is 8 degrees of Cancer conjunct her South Node in her 9th house of  lawsuits, ethics and the media.  Monica came here to wrap up unfinished business (South Node) by telling the truth concerning government (Cancer/Capricorn axis) in a court of  law and have the whole world know about it.   Take note that this conjunction matches Clinton’s pre-natal solar eclipse within two degrees, and is thus conjunct his Midheaven!!!!  Is this past life pay back or what??????  If this conjunction between charts is not enough to convince you that a divine plan is at work between these two, let’s put the icing on the cake with Monica’s pre-natal lunar eclipse.  That’s right, you guessed it! Monica’s pre-natal lunar eclipse is 24 degrees Sagittarius, conjunct Clinton’s pre-natal lunar eclipse!!!  Matching pre-natal eclipses between two star-crossed wooers, two peas in a pod.  It’s also in her third house of communication and we’re back in the land of rumors again. Wasn’t it a taped conversation that got the word out?  Perhaps Monica functioned as a Town Crier the last time around and lacked discretion in divulging delicate points of information to certain individuals.  Karma rides again.

The ramifications of the “relationship” between these center stage characters remains to be seen. It’s just mind-boggling to observe how it all falls together in the jigsaw puzzle between Bill and Monica, just another microscopic view of how the heavens work on earth.

Copyright 1998 by Jackie Slevin, M.A., C.A. NCGR All Rights Reserved.

Hard Times in the Big Easy: Hurricane Katrina and the Chart of New Orleans

2010 January 23
Hurricane Katrina

Landfall of Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina made landfall at Buras, Louisiana as a category 4 hurricane at 6:15 AM, CDT on August 29, 2005. As the storm traveled north the city of New Orleans, cradled between Lake Ponchartrain and the Mississippi River, prepared for the emergency, but what they ended up facing surpassed their deepest fear. Despite typical wind damage of fallen trees and power lines, the city’s horror manifested when the obsolete levees were unable to sustain the 28-foot surges and tragically broke, perilously flooding a city that, in many places, is already below sea level. The catastrophic deluge demolished the Big Easy, marking Hurricane Katrina not only as the most destructive storm, but also the most extensive and expensive natural disaster in American history.

On The Banks of the Mississippi

“The city of New Orleans must be forever associated with the Mississippi River, for the city was built to guard the mouth of this great stream and owes its existence to its geographical location.” (Lyle Saxon, Fabulous New Orleans, Robert L. Crager and Co., New Orleans, 1954, p.73.) Indeed this is true. Location is everything, as any realtor will tell you. And so will any astrologer, providing he or she has done their homework to determine the very planetary locations that aligned the Crescent City with the ferocious winds of Hurricane Katrina.

New Orleans Incorporation

Incorporation of New Orleans

The City of New Orleans was incorporated on February 17, 1805 at noon (Carolyn Dodson, Horoscopes of the United States and Cities, AFA, 1975, p.66.). Its pre-natal solar eclipse, an indicator of the city’s collective consciousness, occurred almost three weeks prior to the city’s incorporation on January 30, 1805 at 10 Aquarius 32. The position of the progressed Moon on the incorporation chart to August 29, 2005, the date the hurricane struck, was none other than 10 Aquarius 55, exactly conjunct the pre-natal eclipse. This obscure, yet exact conjunction emphasizes the progressed Moon serving as the second hand on the horoscopic clock of destiny.  The New Moon on August 5, 2005 at 12 Leo 48 opposes this degree, and the Full Moon on August 19, 2005 at 26 Aquarius 50 conjuncts the Midheaven and the Sun on the chart of incorporation. The triggering of pre-natal eclipses, along with previous lunations in hard aspect to the incorporation chart, are classic techniques of mundane astrology.  Their tight orbs in this example clearly illustrate their impact. Angles are the most personal points in a chart, and any planetary contact to them points to increased, if not frenetic levels of activity in mundane interpretation.


In the progressed chart of incorporation, progressed Pluto is exactly conjunct the IC, indicating domestic crisis, destruction of housing, evacuation, criminal activity, and death.  Progressed Jupiter is conjunct the progressed Ascendant within one degree, with Neptune right behind it, signaling an overabundance, the dissolving of boundaries (levees), and the inclination toward flooding.  Moreover, solar arced Neptune to the date of the storm is exactly conjunct the Ascendant of incorporation, serving as yet another powerful indicator of the deluge.  One can also characterize this conjunction to the Ascendant in a mundane chart with hysteria, lawlessness and looting, all of which manifested in the storm’s aftermath.


If the above indications with eclipses, progressions, solar arcs were not enough to foretell disaster, the transits tell their own sad story. Transiting Uranus is conjunct Pluto of the incorporation chart to the minute. The transiting South Node is conjunct Saturn, transiting Saturn opposes Venus, Jupiter is conjunct Uranus, and Chiron is conjunct the North Node.  Transiting Saturn just passed a conjunction of Mars and an opposition of Mercury and Venus.  These respective transits point to collective trauma, social and political unrest, restrictive delays and the need for medical and educational reform. The lunar eclipse at 4 Scorpio 05 on April 24, 2005 is exactly conjunct the sixth house Placidean cusp of the incorporation chart, showing the depletion of basic food and medical supplies. The servants of the city, namely the police, firefighters and other civil workers, will be tested to their limits, much like the levees. So will social services and civic aid in general. This eclipse degree also squares Mercury in the incorporation chart, emphasizing communication and transportation breakdowns, and Venus, ruler of pleasure. In the city whose motto is  “Laissez bon temps rollez” (Let the good times roll), all one has to do is read a headline or watch their television screen to see that the good times are no longer rolling in The Big Easy.


Despite widespread catastrophe, the “city that care forgot” will definitely rebuild. Astro-relief is on the way. In October of 2005, transiting Jupiter will trine the MC and Sun of the incorporation chart, Pluto will sextile the MC, Saturn will sextile the Ascendant and Neptune will station at 14 Aquarius, trining the natal Saturn. This station of Neptune may well mark successful reconstruction of the levees, so vital to the safety of this water-surrounded city.  Overall conditions will clearly improve. The eclipse at 10 Libra 19 on October 3, 2005 has too wide an orb to affect Saturn in the incorporation chart, and the eclipse at 24 Aries 13 on October 17th bypasses this chart altogether, eliminating crisis from the immediate future.

Based upon the coming transits, the city of New Orleans can look forward to clear sailing in the months ahead for its reconstruction. Despite a disaster of biblical proportion, citizens and services will regroup, rebuild, and regain their distinctive joie de vive. The Mardi Gras will again reign as America’s premier street party, tap dancers will entertain, and jazz will fill the air in the city of its birth.  The good times will roll again, and when they do, the citizens of America’s most distinctive city will rise from its ashes, grab a go-cup, and sashay down Bourbon Street.

I can smell the gumbo from here.

Copyright 2005 by Jackie Slevin. All rights reserved.

One For The Road: The Horoscope of Frank Sinatra

2010 January 23
by Jackie Slevin
Francis Albert Sinatra was born on December 12, 1915 at 3:00 AM in Hoboken New Jersey.  (Reference: Astrodatabank.  Source: Father’s memory).

Francis Albert Sinatra was born on December 12, 1915 at 3:00 AM in Hoboken New Jersey. (Reference: Astrodatabank. Source: Father’s memory).

Long before the Baby Boomers rocked society to its foundations with its pagan worship of raucous musicians, an underweight matinee idol from the Garden State of New Jersey wreaked similar havoc with his singular possession of  The Voice.  This Voice sent female teenagers shrieking in an unprecedented manner that often bordered on hysteria, it sold out theaters from Boston  to Los Angeles and was the star of the Hit Parade. This twentieth century Orpheus with his gifted vocal chords left a hypnotic sound in his wake that left an indelible impression on all who heard it. It invited anyone who would lend an ear to “Come Fly With Me” and, after hearing The  Voice, they began to sprout wings. It gave hope to a generation returning from war, a hope that is still heard when you listen to the kitchen radio of anyone over the age of 65. It was a mysterious, sometimes dangerous power that could take root in your soul and envelope your whole being. It held an entire generation in the palm of its hand, and even those iconoclastic Baby Boomers were forced to turn their heads on occasion.  How could they not, when they turned on their parent’s television set The Voice was often seen with his magic wand/microphone in his hand or starring in a movie. The Voice was heard and seen everywhere. It gave popular music a  first and last name and those names were none other than Frank Sinatra, Chairman of the Board.

Biographies of Sinatra abound, and almost everyone can tell a story or two on his shenanigans  from their travels through life.  But we as astrologers know where the stories really begin, and that’s why we’re going to take a in-depth look at his chart.

Francis Albert Sinatra was born on December 12, 1915 at 3:00 AM in Hoboken New Jersey.  (Reference: Lois Rodden.  Source: Father’s memory).

The Sun in Sagittarius in the second house gives an ability to make money and spread it around. Frank enjoyed millionaire status in his early thirties and spent, gambled and invested is way through life in the style of the show business potentate that he was.   Moon in Pisces on the cusp of the fifth  gives a strong artistic sense and a need for privacy.  It can also give a need to entertain (5th house) through impression (Pisces).  Sinatra’s ability in this department was no less than legendary.    The sign your Moon is in is how you feel emotionally secure.  The house the Moon is in is where you feel emotionally secure.  Thus Frank was in his element  on a stage, on the set or in the recording studio.  He simply took command and held it as his birthright.   A Sagittarius Sun with Moon in Pisces gave Frank a double dose of Jupiter as Jupiter co-rules Pisces. Since Jupiter is also in Pisces, this gives  Jupiter a triple whammy in Sinatra’s chart.  Jupiter rules freedom of thought, expansion, the Truth delivered by slings and arrows and foreign travel, to name just a few.  In short, Jupiter has no concept of staying within boundaries, and neither did Sinatra. Keep in mind that Jupiter was the Roman counterpart of  the Greek Zeus, the  supreme ruler of Olympus, whose power was greater than all other divinities put together. The Chairman of the Board of gods, if you will.   Zeus fell in love with goddesses and mortals alike, disguising himself as swans, stars and showers of gold. He was forever sneaking around and would go to no end to hide his infidelities from his jealous wife, Hera. See the pattern? Fits like a glove, doesn’t it?  Throw in Mercury in Sagittarius and those verbal slings and arrows hit the bull’s-eye every time.

Mars, co-ruler of the second house of personal income, is conjunct the royal fixed star Regulus in the tenth house.  A royal star as the ruler of your talents and personal resources would definitely ensure  a bank account with never-ending zeros.

Libra rising gives Venus as Sinatra’s ruling planet. Venus is in Capricorn in the third house of siblings, communication, and your local neighborhood.  Try as he might, Sinatra could never shake his Italian, blue-collar roots in Hoboken.  The third house is also co-ruled by Saturn and here Venus and Saturn are in opposition.  Wherever the planet Saturn is placed in the chart, or the house that Capricorn rules, is where you’ll have your most trials and tribulations followed by reward and achievement, but only if you work on these issues.  Frank was denied brothers and sisters in his youth; his mother’s experience with his birth left her unable to have more children.  He was also a poor student, (third house), never getting past his freshman year in high school. His father (Saturn), a immigrant from Sicily, was completely illiterate, and education was not a priority in the Sinatra household.   Sinatra made up for his lack of education later on in life (Saturn again), by becoming an avid reader. On a lighter note, Venus in the third gave Sinatra the ability of  phrasing of his singing in a style that was all his own, often copied but never duplicated.  Lest we forget, the third house also rules the press,  Sinatra’s all-time nemesis.  Venus also rules the twelfth house and suffice it to say that, with Venus opposing Saturn, Sinatra had issues with privacy.  He was not above decking reporters and paparazzi in his salad days and  as he grew older, he kept an entourage of bodyguards specifically for that purpose when the press got too close for comfort. Yet  even the Chairman of the Board himself could not stop author Kitty Kelly from publishing her gossip-ridden unauthorized biography, His Way, the number one bestseller.

Aquarius, co-ruled by Uranus and Saturn,  rules Sinatra’s fourth house of family roots, domesticity and conditions in one’s later years.    Uranus is in dignity in the fourth conjunct the North Node of destiny.  Such a well placed planet describes excellent conditions in fourth house matters, and this case is no exception.  Sinatra’a father was an amateur boxer and  passed down the love of this sport to his son.  Sinatra always held his father in the highest regard and he lived out his later years in the grand style.  He helped those in need in the most Aquarian style, donating millions of dollars to needy charities every year, often anonymously.

Probably the most significant  astrological factor that contributed to his natural ability to entertain was Jupiter, co-ruler of his fifth house, in dignity in the fifth house. The planet, sign and house are highlighted by this placement in dignity and it was hard to argue that Sinatra was truly gifted.  Such a placement gives a profound artistic sense bordering on creative genius.  With the aforementioned Moon being conjunct the cusp of the fifth, the Moon  could also be a co-ruler of the fifth house.  What better placement of the Moon than in Pisces to create moods for creative expression? The Voice was a portal to another world, where the Summer Wind really was blowing.  His trademark posture of slouched hat and coat slung over his shoulder beckoned his audience to emulate his insouciance, and emulate they did. After all,  imitation is the highest form of flattery.  Having conquered music and acting, Sinatra explored painting in his later years.

The fifth house also rules speculation and gambling and, after appearing at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, (a hotel he helped finance), Sinatra’s  usual routine was to head straight  to the casino, parting the Red Sea as he went. The sound of the spinning roulette wheel and the calculating call of the croupiers beckoned Old Blue Eyes like a moth to flame.  If the ruler of the fifth house in dignity in the fifth house produces a dyed-in-the-wool artist, it likewise produces a die-hard gambler.  Notice that the Sun in the second squares Jupiter in the fifth, an aspect that only exaggerated Sinatra’s lifelong habit of throwing money around, as well as pulling it in.

The sixth house rules one’s work ethic, daily routine, habits and attitudes towards hygiene  and diet.  Mars rules Sinatra’s sixth and, with Mars so prominently placed in the Midheaven and conjunct THE royal star, Regulus, Sinatra commanded the treatment of a dignitary.    Above all, the sixth house rules service and, even though he had his own definition  of giving it,  Sinatra demanded it everywhere he went.  Room Service was his watchword and any hotel in which he stayed had to cater to his every whim and the whims of all of his guests.  He once ordered over one hundred martinis to be sent up to his room and, after they arrived on carts, promptly left them all in a corner of the hallway, as the guests of his party had all changed their minds.  Woe betide the hotel employee who informed Zeus that his request could not be granted.  Out came the thunderbolts and, occasionally, the employee was fired at Sinatra’s insistence.  In-between wives he employed a personal valet to attend to his wardrobe, greet guests, prepare his food and, in general, be his personal servant.   In the studio, on the stage or on the set, the cameras rolled and the work began when HE SAID it would begin. Once after The Voice spoke, his demanding work ethic was demonstrated in no uncertain terms, and he demanded perfection in every area of his work.   He was a gifted artist and he knew it.  He then made sure everyone else knew it, too.  One does not question or argue with royalty.  Needless to say, this imperialistic attitude towards “work” did not win him any popularity contests, and not all who confronted him backed down after the thunderbolts landed.  Fist fights often ensued, usually  followed by lawsuits.   For all his celebrity status, Sinatra was not a king, and these are not medieval times.   Yet his primary tool for work, The Voice, truly did rule a kingdom, it commanded more sincere homage from more people than any royal decree ever did.

The effects of Mars and Regulus spilled over into his relationships.  Mars also rules the seventh house of relationships so it was only right and fitting that Sinatra court queens, which he invariably did.  Notice that the only Ptolemaic aspect that Mars makes is a sextile to the Ascendant, ruler of your beginnings in the world and your overall perceptions. If your beginnings and perceptions are granted an opportunity (sextile) for royal  treatment, you would most likely receive said treatment at an early age.  As previously mentioned, Sinatra was an only child and thus was the focal point of his parents’ attention.  His mother (Mars in the tenth house) particularly doted on her only son by catering to his every whim.  His wish was her command. Sinatra unconsciously assumed this style of man-worship onto the women he loved and here was Zeus in all his glory.  They were expected to play the role of lovers on hold while he cavorted among the casinos and his colleagues to his heart’s content.  His first wife, Nancy, the mother of his three children, played this role quite willingly….for a while.  His flagrant philandering became to much to bear, so she granted him a divorce to set him free to marry  the love of his life, Ava Gardner. True to form, Ava was a queen of the silver screen and, at the time of their marriage, commanded almost as much adulation as Sinatra.  Without consciously knowing it, Ava was a feminist who was way ahead of her time. She had no intention of playing second fiddle to anybody, least of all her husband.  Sinatra met his match in Ava.  She was phenomenally successful in her own right and maintained her own celebrity status.  When her temper flared, she was Chairwoman of the Board in  The Department of Verbal Abuse. Sinatra was awed by her, but he could not cope with the fact that he could not control her.  He was completely unaccustomed to females not serving his every need.  Lack of subservience, however, was nothing compared to the freedom-loving, wisecracking, argumentative condescending treatment he received from her.  The tantrums escalated and one night she dramatically marched out of a restaurant never to return, leaving Sinatra broken and humiliated. They loved and fought their way across two continents in a marriage that lasted a grand total of two years.   Some say he never got over her. Mars, ruling the seventh house, is conjunct Regulus,  the fixed star that does everything in a BIG way, the biggest way possible and, with Mars posited in the tenth house of  high visibility, the whole world knew about the break-up.  Ava would not play the role of  queen on hold.  His other two wives, Mia Farrow and Barbara Marx, most certainly did.

Venus rules Sinatra’s eighth house of joint finances, research, psychiatry, death, taxes, secrets and tycoonery. As previously mentioned, Venus is posited in Capricorn (longevity) and opposing Saturn (more longevity). This opposition to Saturn made Sinatra take eighth house matters seriously, which he did.  His tycoonery was a very serious business.  It required a staff of professionals to allocate donations of minimum one million dollars each  to  various charities every year, all for tax purposes.   Dubious friendships in organized crime and politics enabled him to have knowledge of many secrets.  His visits to psychiatrists assured him he was, as he so aptly phrased it, (ruler of the eighth  in the third house) “a fourteen karat manic depressive.”  No one who knew him well disputed that fact as society sharpened its definition of “difficult people of artistic temperament.”  The eighth house ruler signifies how we die. The hard aspect of Venus opposite  Saturn (longevity again) aided and abetted Sinatra to live to the ripe old age of eighty-three and pass on in a relatively painless manner.

The ninth house of long-distance travel, higher education, public relations, religion and ethics is ruled by Mercury and the Moon.  Both  ninth house rulers are in mutable signs ensuring Sinatra would open up his mind to new horizons.  Pluto in the ninth signifies how Sinatra transformed himself and others with race relations.  Growing up in the Italian section of Hoboken, his neighborhood (third house) gave him a very narrow (Saturn) window on the world.  Once he grew into adulthood, he was shocked to see prejudice rear its ugly head.  Show business in the 1940’s was segregated;  black entertainers traveled in a different bus, ate in separate dining rooms and slept in different hotels.  Sinatra would have none of this.  He personally saw to it that those rules were broken wherever he sang.  If they were broken without fanfare, fine.  If hotel management confronted him on this issue, they soon realized their mistake. Down came the thunderbolts again resulting in desk clerks flying and foyers in shambles.  Lawsuit? No problem. The ninth house also rules law and Pluto gave Sinatra nuclear power with lawyers because he had The Truth.  He made a short film about prejudice in the forties called “The House I Live In” which earned him his first Academy Award nomination. Saturn in the ninth often denies higher education; the book from which the script was written for “The House I Live In” was the first book he had ever read from cover to cover. Religion took a back seat in Sinatra’s life; he flew in the face of Catholicism in the early 1950’s when he divorced Nancy and married Ava,  a divorced woman.  Thus he was a renegade Catholic-until his mother died in a plane crash, his private plane, no less.  He then went full circle back to his Catholic roots, befriending Bishops and donating millions to Catholic charities.  Glamorous, other- worldly Neptune is also in the ninth house conjunct the Midheaven.  This ninth house placement of Neptune increases tolerance, and Sinatra certainly had his own definition of ethics; he showed the world in his own way that the best is in the worst and the worst is in the best.  Neptune on the Midheaven gave Sinatra the abililty to blend with Everyman and Everywoman in his singing, reaching the highs and lows of the human condition and expressing the melting pot of everyday life in a popular song.  Rushing over the public like the waves of Neptune’s ocean, his career embraced humanity.

The Sun rules his tenth house of career and public image and the house that Leo rules is the house in which you shine.  After all, that’s what the Sun does best.  To say that Sinatra enjoyed being in the spotlight is like saying Godzilla was a lizard that was above average size.  The Midheaven also shows how you relate to authority and what you’re striving  to emulate.  Since the Sun is the center of the universe and life on earth could not exist without its rays, it was only right and natural that Sinatra would strive to be center of attention, The Chairman of the Board.   Neptune casts an aura of mystery and glamour over his singular career and, with Neptune ruling his fifth house of showmanship conjoining the Midheaven within one degree, we’re looking at artistic expression of the highest order projected into the public eye.

Sinatra’s Part of Fortune is also in his tenth house, conjunct his South Node (what you came with) and also conjunct his prenatal solar eclipse at 17 degrees Leo.  Combine that with Mars conjunct Regulus in the tenth and we may well be looking at Zeus himself.

Mercury rules the eleventh house of his friends, social circles, and his hopes and wishes.  Sinatra’s camaraderie with the Rat Pack is legendary, as he lit up the stage with Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, Dean Martin  and Joey Bishop with discriminating wit.  The house that Virgo rules shows where one will be highly selective, critical and willing to serve.  With Sinatra’s eleventh house ruler, Mercury in detriment in Sagittarius, squaring Jupiter in Pisces, his friends were loud and boisterous with a tendency to overindulge.  Yet, there was nothing Sinatra wouldn’t do for his friends; paying their hospital bills,  cooking for them, or procuring them  medical treatment.

The last stop before we come full circle, the twelfth house, is ruled by Venus.  This house shows how you unwind and spend “down time.”   With the ruler of the twelfth in the third Sinatra spent such time in his later years reading, making up for lost time in his youth.  Venus’ opposition to Saturn lends not a little profundity to the dynamics of this house.  The twelfth house also how one can do themselves in and, ironically enough,  many of Sinatra’s most famous hit songs were about self-undoing situations; broken hearts, shattered dreams and soul-wrenching disillusionment.  It was almost as though pouring his heart out to a microphone was a psychic healing process for him, and The Voice could reach into our soul memories and make us empathize with him.  Sinatra could take his public with him anywhere he wanted with The  Voice.  We in turn took him into our hearts and our collective unconscious where he left such an indelible impression.  We can take comfort in the fact that, although he left this life on May 14, 1998, he’ll always be with us; all we have to do is turn on the radio.

May The Voice be with you.

Copyright 1998 by Jackie Slevin, M.A.

Mutability and Mutual Reception: The Horoscope of Louisa May Alcott

2010 January 23
by Jackie Slevin
Horoscope of Louisa May Alcott

Born November 29, 1832 12:30 AM LMT Germantown, PA 40N02, 75W10. Source: Astrodatabank. Reference: Family bible.

Chick Lit is defined as women’s fiction written for and marketed to young women. This particular literary genre was launched after the Women’s Movement in the 1970s, earned its own category of genre fiction in the 1990s, and is now front and center in 21st century popular culture. Media moguls market the breadth of women’s experiences to captive audiences on film, bookstores, newsstands, and television. It scintillates, it sizzles, and, above all, it sells.

But despite feminism and the repercussions of liberated women in contemporary society, chick lit is nothing new. It was born in the 19th century in Concord, Massachusetts, and its creator was none other than Louisa May Alcott, the author of Little Women. This tale of the March family, comprised of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, mother Marmee, and absentee Father, holds a precious place in the annals of American Literature, for it was the first American saga that captured the joys and sorrows of adolescent girls who blossom into women.  Alcott captured the ethos of these timeless sisters and their neighbors with passion, brevity and wit. Her classic story was an international sensation upon publication in 1868 and has never been out of print. It has been adapted to play, musical, opera, film, and animated feature. Alcott’s photograph has graced a United States postage stamp. Alcott and her March Family Trilogy, comprised of the novels Little Women, Little Men, and Jo’s Boys, were the 19th century’s counterpart of J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter series of the present time.  The profits of these novels catapulted Alcott and her family from genteel, and, eventually, dire poverty to financial independence and eventual wealth.  But life for Alcott was often far from the domestic bliss she depicted so endearingly.  (But don’t tell her pubescent readers that).

Alcott was the second of four daughters of Transcendentalist philosopher Amos Bronson Alcott and Abigail Sewall May. After moving to Concord, Massachusetts, her neighbors and social circle consisted of no less than Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Concord, the seat of American Transcendentalism movement, was such a hotbed of civil disobedience, self reliance and literary brilliance that it was dubbed the Mecca of the Mind. After the publication of Little Women, Alcott was lionized as a literary superstar and hobnobbed with the literati in the US and Europe, yet she would never associate with a more eclectic society than the one in which she was raised. Emerson was her idol and helped her select books from his personal library. He employed her as a governess to his daughter Ellen, to whom Alcott read the stories she had written.  It was Emerson’s wife Lidian who encouraged Alcott to collect them in one volume and publish them. Thus, in 1854, at age 22, Alcott published Flower Fables, her first book.  Thoreau took Alcott and her sisters on his boat on the Concord River and on frequent excursions in the woods.  Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of the Scarlet Letter, was Alcott’s next-door neighbor. But despite the prodigious talent that surrounded her on a daily basis, Alcott is the most widely read author of the nineteenth century, outselling even in her own lifetime her stellar neighbors and colleagues.

In 1942, two rare book dealers discovered that Alcott wrote under the pseudonym A.M. Barnard and published many Gothic potboilers in magazines. Alcott referred to her short stories as “blood and thunder tales,” and wrote in her letters that “I fancy lurid things” as opposed to writing “moral pap for the young,” (The Journals of Louisa May Alcott, edited by Joel Myerson. University of Georgia Press, October, 1997) which ironically made her a fortune and a household name. Her characters in these potboilers were a Grand Canyon leap from Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, and these  tales included stories of transvestitism, sadomasochism, incest, opium eaters, hashish smokers, insanity, violence, and, above all, feminism.  All were written to pull her impoverished family out of debt, and nearly all preceded her 1868 publication of Little Women.

A Mutable Dilemma

Mercury, ruler of the Virgo Ascendant, is Alcott’s ruling planet. It is also the ruler of her Gemini Midheaven. Mercury is in detriment in Sagittarius in her fourth house of home and family. Mercury is squared by Saturn rising in Virgo in the first house and by Jupiter in Pisces on her descendant. Thus Mercury is at the apex of a T-square that further emphasizes Alcott’s connection to home and family, a connection that served as the cornerstone of her life, and underscored her talent for writing.  It is fascinating to note that the three planets in this T-square receive each other in one way receptions. In the same manner of mutual reception, a planet receives another planet when one planet is in the sign that the other planet rules. Thus reading the T-square clockwise, Mercury receives Jupiter in dignity, (Mercury is in Sagittarius, the natural ruler of Jupiter), and Saturn receives Mercury in dignity and exaltation. (Saturn is in the sign of Virgo, a sign Mercury rules and, also in this case, the sign of Mercury’s exaltation).  To take this T-square one step further, the Gemini Midheaven can serve as the point opposite the Mercury apex, creating a wide Grand Cross in mutable signs. Alcott also has Mars, Saturn and Neptune in a Grand Trine in earth signs, with Neptune receiving Saturn in dignity and Mars in exaltation. (Neptune is in Capricorn, the sign of Saturn’s rulership, or dignity, and the sign of Mars’ exaltation). Thus the two major configurations in her chart contain one way receptions that aid and abet the action of the aspect. Every planet in her chart is involved in a one-way reception:

  • Jupiter receives Neptune
  • The Sun receives Jupiter
  • The Moon receives Saturn
  • Pluto receives Mars
  • Venus receives Saturn
  • Jupiter receives Venus in exaltation
  • Mars receives the Moon in exaltation.
  • Venus and Mars are in a mixed mutual reception, with Venus receiving Mars in exaltation and Mars receiving Venus in dignity.

Thus despite the hard angles of the T-square and the ruler of her Ascendant and Midheaven in detriment, the planets in Alcott’s chart flow together so harmoniously that the one-way and mixed mutual receptions entwine around each other like a set of New England contra dancers.

Alcott has two planets conjunct the Cardinal, or World Axis. This axis mirrors the Sun at 0 degrees Aries, the inception point of the zodiac.  Using the rubric of the 90 degree square divided by two, the answer is 45 degrees, or a semi-square. Dividing 45 degrees by two equals 22 degrees and 30 minutes, or a semi-semisquare. Using the dividend of 22 degrees and 30 minutes throughout the 360 degrees of the zodiac, these degrees equal 0 Cardinal, 22 degrees 30 minutes Cardinal, 15 degrees of Fixed Signs and 7 degrees 30 minutes of mutable signs. These highly energized degrees have an electrifying impact that catapults them into the public eye for better or worse. Thus any point or planet conjunct these degrees within a one-degree orb warrants a closer look to see how these energies will “go public” and place them in a position of recognition. Alcott has the Sun at 7 degrees Sagittarius, 03, conjunct the Cardinal Axis, in her third house of writing and siblings. Writing about siblings in Little Women placed Alcott in the public eye throughout the world.  The Sun rules her twelfth house of solitude, service and the shadow life; Alcott rented rooms in Boston to write her pot boilers for 14 hours a day, isolating herself for months.  In her later years, she was an invalid in a rest home.

Uranus, at 15 degrees Aquarius, is also conjunct the Cardinal Axis, in her fifth house of children and creativity. While she never married or had children of her own, Alcott’s literary creativity made her a seminal force in children’s literature. Uranus rules humanitarianism and radical ideas, and these characteristics describe her family circle perfectly. Bronson Alcott was a strict vegetarian and insisted that his family adapt to his dietary principles. For periods of time he permitted neither himself nor his family to wear clothing made of any material other than linen, because linen was made from flax, not from cotton, which exploited slaves. Wool, which, in Bronson’s opinion, exploited sheep, was also forbidden. It is no accident that the Alcott’s home, along with Thoreau’s, was a stop on the Underground Railroad, where young Alcott and her sisters taught escaped slaves how to read. Abigail “Marmee” Alcott was known to give shelter to every stray animal and person she found and treated them as one of her own. Thus the humanitarian streak in the Alcott Family was deep and wide, complete with its adherence to the free-thinking philosophy of Transcendentalism. Alcott was an ardent suffragette. She was the first woman to register to vote in a Concord school board election and signed her personal letters, Yours for reform. Uranus rules her sixth house of illness, and Alcott suffered for 25 years from one which was unknown in her time; the circumstances of which fundamentally changed her life.

In November 1862 Alcott volunteered as a nurse during the Civil War at Union Hospital in Washington, D.C. After her application was accepted on December 11, she arrived in Washington two days later on December 13.  A week earlier on December 6, 1862, there was a total lunar eclipse at 14 degrees Gemini, 0 minutes, conjunct Alcott’s Midheaven. Three weeks later, Alcott discovered that one of her stories won first prize in a contest, awarding her $100.00, a sum that would equal nearly $2,000.00 in present times. On January 7, 1863, she was stricken with typhoid pneumonia. At that time medical protocol treated this illness with calomel, or mercurous chloride, a treatment that caused a poisoning effect, though this was not known at the time. During her months of convalescence back in Concord, Alcott wrote the book Hospital Sketches. At this time her progressed Venus was at 15 degrees Aquarius on the Cardinal Axis, and, when Hospital Sketches was published in serialization in May 1863 to critical acclaim, her progressed Moon was at 0 degrees Aries, also on the Cardinal Axis.  Thus the eclipse on her Midheaven on December 6, 1862, placed her in the public eye, and caused a watershed of events that changed the course of the rest of her life.

From 1862-1868, Alcott was a voracious writer of potboilers for various mainstream publications and worked as an editor for a children’s magazine in Boston.  When her employer noticed the popularity of the Horatio Alger series, he asked Alcott if she could write a story for girls. Writing ferociously, often skipping meals and sleep, she completed her manuscript in an astonishing ten weeks. The result was Little Women, published in October 1868.  At this time Alcott’s progressed Moon was at 12 degrees Gemini, reaching her Midheaven four months later, when the book was published internationally.  Her progressed Venus was conjunct her Moon (women!), progressed Part of Fortune was exactly conjunct her Ascendant, transiting Jupiter was conjunct her Pluto for financial gain, and transiting Saturn was conjunct her natal Part of Fortune. Solar arced Venus (women) was conjunct her natal IC (home and hearth), and solar arced Jupiter square her natal Neptune, which indicated Alcott’s utter bewilderment with fame.

Success and the pursuit of improved health gave Alcott the urge to travel abroad. In France she consulted a British army doctor who diagnosed her myriad medical problems as mercury poisoning, dosing her with opiates to relieve her chronic symptoms and insomnia. Narcotics would become her constant companion.

Alcott suffered permanent damage from mercury, but modern medical analysis shows that the effects of mercury, in addition to poisoning, caused Alcott’s immune system to attack itself, resulting in Lupus, a disease that ruined her health. On February 11, 1888, a solar eclipse occurred at 22 Aquarius, 44, conjunct Alcott’s Moon in her sixth house of illness within a 5 minute orb. Two weeks later on February 24, Mercury stationed retrograde at 19 Pisces 22, conjunct Alcott’s descendant, ruling open enemies, and Jupiter, ruling her fourth house, or the end of the matter.  On March 6, 1888, she slipped into a coma and died just two days after visiting her father on his deathbed.

Alcott’s legacy was her creation of Topsy Turvy Jo March, the first character in American Literature who showed adolescent girls how to run with the wolves. Over 140 years later, her readers are still running.

And they’ve never looked better.


John Matteson, Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and her Father. Copyright 2008 W.W. Norton and Company, New York City.
Madeleine Stern, Louisa May Alcott, a Biography, copyright 1985 University of Oklahoma Press.
Madeleine Stern, Louisa May Alcott: From Blood and Thunder to Home and Hearth. Copyright May, 1998, Northeastern University Press.
Louisa May Alcott: The Journals of Louisa May Alcott, Edited by Joel Myerson. Copyright 1997, University of Georgia Press.
Norbert Hirschorn and Ian A. Greaves, Louisa May Alcott, Her Mysterious Illness (Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Spring, 2007, Volume 50, number 2.

Copyright 2009 by Jackie Slevin. All rights reserved.

Drew Barrymore: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of an Angel

2010 January 23
by Jackie Slevin

Drew BarrymoreOne of the leading ladies of blockbuster hit “Charlie’s Angels,” actress Drew Barrymore possess a wide streak of  “star quality.” By the age of ten she had appeared in “E.T.”, “Irreconcilable Differences” and Stephen King’s “Firestarter.” Hosting “Saturday Night Live” at age seven, this modern day Shirley Temple awed directors and movie-goers alike with her effortless ability in front of a camera.  Being well connected in Hollywood is a plus for anyone in show business, but Barrymore’s connections are one of a kind, extending back to the nineteenth century.  In short, she was born to the breed.

Moon conjunct Saturn: The Ties That Bind

A conjunction is an aspect that occurs when two planets are within a few degrees of each other in the same sign, combining their energies for better or worse. The blend of Moon and Saturn indicates a strong family pattern that is indelibly imprinted on anyone born with it. Drew Barrymore is a fourth generation actor. Descended from a nineteenth century London stage actor Maurice Barrymore, her grandfather was the legendary John Barrymore, accounted as one of the finest English-speaking actors in addition to being a Hollywood matinee idol.  Great Aunt Ethel was a leading actress of the American stage along with Great Uncle Lionel, accredited as one of the finest actors on Broadway, who left his profession to study art in Paris only to return to the US and resume acting on the silver screen.  Thus Barrymore’s gene pool was an ocean of talent, and she plied its waves with the skill of a mermaid.

Sun in Pisces: Dream Maker and Heart Breaker

Many Thespians are born under this sign.  Acting is to make pretend; drama involves the willing suspension of disbelief.  Whether an actor lives a life of masquerade or assumes a role with uncanny precision, they stretch their empathy to project a particular image upon the public at large.  Pisces is the Fish that swims submerged in an underwater world of incandescent lights, ethereal sounds and strong currents. When trouble lurks, as it often does in the perilous deep, fish either escape to safety or become caught in the nets and hooks of their predators. The same can be said of Pisces people, who must choose their own personal escape route when the going gets too tough.  Fish who catch the upstream current escape through the arts, literature and the helping professions.  Downstream swimmers escape through drugs, alcohol and delusion. Some Pisceans use both exits simultaneously, and Barrymore was no exception.

Venus conjunct Jupiter: Too Much of a Good Thing

When the Goddess of Beauty and the God of Good Fortune join hands, a party results on a grand scale. This gala event can bring a celebration of good cheer or a debacle of debauchery.  Strongly placed in Barrymore’s horoscope, this aspect of abundance is a two edged sword that cuts both ways.  The ocean of artistic talent that runs deep in her ancestry holds very murky depths. Grandfather John died a penniless alcoholic. His son, Drew’s father John Drew Barrymore, while not an actor of great renown, also drank to excess.  Young Drew’s mother, Ildiko Jaid, and father separated before birth.  Fame in Drew’s early childhood and its resultant celebrity status catapulted mother and daughter into life in the fast lane, and it was a lifestyle that was eagerly embraced by both.  Drew’s world changed at age nine when she had her first taste of alcohol at actor Rob Lowe’s birthday party and it marked the beginning of her downward spiral. After a suicide attempt at age ten, isolation became her constant companion. By age thirteen she was in rehab for alcohol and cocaine abuse.   The following year her autobiography “Little Girl Lost” was a tell-all litany of a childhood characterized by overwhelming bouts of loneliness, depression and delusion. Clean and sober at sixteen but no longer able to play childhood roles, directors wouldn’t take Barrymore seriously until her blossoming sexuality came into view along with her notable streak of independence.

Sun trine Uranus – The Free Spirit

The trine aspect of 120 degrees between two planets imparts a beneficial blend of their energies. With the Sun representing one’s identity and Uranus their originality, this aspect is one that enables someone to hear a different drummer while blazing their own trail.  Legally emancipated at age fifteen from her antagonistic manager/mother who had manipulated her career since her breakthrough in E.T., Barrymore’s new found freedom emerged in full bloom. Casting her inhibitions to the wind, she appeared nude on the cover of “Interview” magazine and flashed her breasts in clubs and on “Late Night Letterman.” After establishing her own company “Flower Films” in 1994, her appearance in the 1996 film “Scream” confirmed her career rebirth. Following critically acclaimed performances in “Everybody Says I Love You” and “The Wedding Singer,” she served as Executive Producer in the film “Never Been Kissed.”

Thus the child star that became a little girl lost was ultimately found and rose to be an Angel.  To whom much is given, much is expected.

Why Astrology Works

2009 November 28
by Jackie Slevin

Since prehistoric times, humankind has attempted to fathom its earthly experience.  Their first gesture toward this understanding may well have been a cave dweller lifting his or her eyes toward the heavens in wonder and speculation of forthcoming events.  The sky could tell stories, it held omens.  It foretold weather conditions  which affected travel, hunting and agriculture.  Daylight and darkness were measured by the rise and fall of those two majestic objects, the Sun and the Moon.  The ancients used the sky as their blueprint for action.  The so-called “Wise People” were those who made a thorough study of the patterns of planets and stars and observed how to use them as signposts.  Observations were made regarding how Mother Nature mirrored events in the heavens.  Shellfish activity and the rhythms of the tides coincided with phases of the Moon.  Seafaring peoples, lacking compasses, used the North Star and other constellations for navigation.  The Egyptians repeatedly observed that the Nile flooded every time the star Sirius rose with the Sun.  The clockwork that the ancients observed in the sky shaped and defined their annual calendars.  Moreover, this time-honored system of celestial phenomenon worked.

But how did it work?   What was the direct correlation between earth and sky?  If astronomy was the study of planets and stars, then astrology fell under the definition given to it by transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson.  It was, simply, “astronomy applied to the affairs of men.”

British astronomer Percy Seymour wrote a startling book entitled Astrology, the Evidence of Science, which states that certain predictions made from horoscopes can be explained logically and tested scientifically.  He has wagered his professional standing by espousing such a theory and, as a result, endured much criticism.  The science of astrology is no stranger to intolerant criticism and has been often considered a laughing matter.  Rob Hand, astrologer, author and co-founder of Astrolabe, Inc. claims that “The way the media deal with astrology is to put on the laugh track.”1

Seymour has earned master’s and doctoral degrees in astrophysics and has served as senior lecturer at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England.  He is currently principal lecturer in astronomy at the Plymouth Polytechnic Institute in southwest England and director of the planetarium there.  “Of course I expected people to take objection to my theory,” Seymour concedes, “but I didn’t expect the reaction to be so vehement and irrational.  Some of my colleagues here at the Polytechnic and at the Royal Astronomical  Society simply dismiss the idea without reading the book or even looking at the evidence.  Meanwhile, many other scientists, even respected scientists, have evoked the cosmos-the theories that are a little short of bizarre-to explain the extinction of the dinosaurs, or what have you.  That’s all right.  But propose a theory about astrology and people assume you’re mad.”2

Seymour himself looked askance at astrology until 1984 when a BBC crew interviewed him briefly on his opinion of astrology.  His reply, which was standard on the question, was that he “knew of evidence to support certain aspects of it, but that I personally could not think of any mechanism to explain how the planets, the sun, and the moon might affect human life.”3 He then began to seriously rethink his pat answer to this perpetual question and discovered the mechanism that could serve as the missing link between the cosmos and humans.  His theory of astrology now is plain and simple: “…astrology is not mystical or magical but magnetic.  It can be explained by the tumultuous activity of the sun, churned to a lather by the motions of the planets, borne earthward on the solar wind, and perceived by us via the earth’s magnetic field while we grow inside our mother’s wombs.”4

The initial evidence of validity of astrology that Seymour embraced was the work of Michel Gauquelin, a French psychologist/statistician, whose rigorous method of testing astrology was the show that the placement of the planets in the horoscope is more conclusive overall than the actual Sun sign.  In other words, the components are more important than the sum of their parts.  In 1951, armed with the birth data of 576 French doctors  where selected to the Academie de Medecine, Gauquelin made significant progress in his research.  “Having (painfully) worked out by hand the position of the planets at the hour of birth of each doctor,  I made a statistical compilation of my findings.  Suddenly, I was presented with an extraordinary fact.  My doctors were not born under the same skies as the common run of humanity.  They had chosen to come into the world much more often during roughly the two hours following the rise and culmination of two planets, Mars and Saturn.  Moreover, they tended to ‘avoid’ being born following the rise and culmination fo the planet Jupiter.  After such a long and fruitless search, here I was, confronted with not one but three astonishing results – all from observing the daily movement of the planets.”5

Gauquelin tested this new method further by subjecting to the same scrutiny the charts of 508 doctors who had not yet been elected to the Academie de Medecine.  “I calculated the positions of Mars and Saturn.  Once again, my doctors ‘chose’ the rise and culmination of these planets for coming into the world.  Once again, they ‘avoided’ being born when Jupiter was moving through this sector of the sky.”6 The Gauquelin sector is specifically referring to is the quadrant of the horoscope which extends from the 10th house though the 12th.

Gauquelin’s discovery led to more research on yet another theory of “planetary heredity,” a point which bears resemblance to Seymour’s theory that astrology is “…perceived by us via the earth’s magnetic field while we grow inside our mother’s wombs.”  Sixteen years and over 30,000 charts later, Gauquelin published his results in the book L’Heredite Planetaire: “Children have tendency to be born when a planet has just risen or culminated, if that same planet was in the same regions of the sky at the birth of their parents.  Certainly, it is not a very pronounced tendency; yet bearing in mind the great number of births examined, the probability that chance should have produced so many planetary similarities from one generation to the next falls less than a million to one.”7

Thus, Gauquelin refuted Kepler who, in 1598, tried to convince others of his own theory of astral heredity: “Behold the kinships of births.  You have a conjunction Sun-Mercury; so has your son; you both have Mercury behind the Sun.  You have a trine from Saturn to the Moon, he has almost a Moon-Saturn sextile.  Your Venus and his are in opposition…”8 Kepler could only put forth simplistic propositions because he lacked access to the thousands of birth times that Gauquelin was able to procure.

In discovering his mechanism to explain how the planets, the Sun, and the Moon might affect human life, Seymour claims that Gauquelin’s results on planetary heredity “are the most important of all of his findings, as far as my theory is concerned.  This is because they are based on objectively measurable quantities, like planetary positions and birth times, as opposed to personality traits.  They also indicate quite clearly that a physical agency is involved. . .I knew that Gauquelin found the effects he saw to be exaggerated on days with lots of magnetic disturbance, and that seemed very important to me, so I got cracking on it.”9

Magnetic disturbances are the key to providing the ancient axiom “as above, so below” for disturbance creates perceptible action that can be observed and analyzed.  After all, Seymour’s theory of how astrology works is based on magnetism.  The way a womb might perceive magnetic stimulus is through the nervous system.  In the same way that a baby resembles his parents in terms of physical characteristics, so its magnetic antennae is similarly wired, and resonates to the mother and/or father’s same magnetic frequencies.  Seymour reminds us that the very earth itself is a magnet, surrounded by a magnetic field that is 20 to 30 times larger than the actual planet.  Therefore, magnetic attractions, or “disturbances,” are keenly absorbed. When a baby is ready to be born, it is a magnetic signal from a planet, received by the nervous antennae in the mother’s womb, that triggers the actual moment of birth.  “Astrology. . .has put the cart before the horse by crediting the planets with the power to predict personality.  For Seymour feels certain it is the genes that set the personality on course and the genes that determine which planetary signal will herald the individual’s birth.  Astrology merely labels what nature has already ordained, but the effects that astrology describes are not trivial by any means, nor are they limited to the first moments of life.”10

What is curious about Seymour’s theory of magnetism is that, although he fully acknowledges sunspots, solar prominences, solar flares and solar winds, he never mentions the work of the patriarch of sunspot research, John H. Nelson.  An amateur astronomer since boyhood and radio operator for RCA Communications, Nelson pioneered solar research and forecasting through over 25 years of rigorous experimentation.  In 1946 he was given the title “Short- wave Radio Propagation Analyst,” and began a course of scientific observation, the results of which ended in unexpected controversy.  “We have come to realize that the Sun is doing something to the planets, or the planets are doing something to the Sun that the presently recognized laws of science cannot explain.  Though sunspots have never been completely understood, I found, through careful observation, that they are predictable.  Why the predictions come true is not readily apparent.  When future amateurs or scientists find a scientific explanation for what is taking place in the solar system, on the Sun and in the ionosphere of the Earth, we can take the subject out of the occult and assign it a scientific basis.  I am confident this will be done someday.”11

The Chinese have been recording sunspots since ancient times, but it was the Renaissance scientist Galileo Galilei who, after viewing them with this homemade telescope, reported them to scholars in sixteenth century Italy.  Scholars at this time were connected to the Catholic Church, whose strict dogmas did not allow for much free thinking.  The Church doctrine on the Sun and planets was based on Aristotle, who stated that the Sun was perfect and free of any blemishes whatsoever.  After repeatedly insisting that the Sun did show black spots on its surface periodically, Galileo incurred such fundamentalist wrath he was informed that, unless he rescinded his statement, he would be punished by torture.  Following exasperation and anguish, Galileo finally retracted his statement, but is said to have muttered under his breath immediately afterwards, “but I did see them.”12

Nelson then doggedly pursued his method of experimentation.  RCA constructed a solar map on which Nelson could record sunspots, after observing then with a telescope, just as Galileo did.  With this map he was able to make drawings of the sunspots and place then in their proper position on the Sun.  At first, research with these maps confirmed that radio frequency requirements would vary according to the number of spots from week to week, and even in some cases day to day.  It was also discovered that some types of spots had more influence than others.  This information enabled Nelson to develop a system of forecasting frequency changing times on a daily basis.  “This added to our efficiency in the handling of messages, because less time would be lost during what are known as ‘frequency transition periods.’ During normal conditions, it would be about two hours earlier and, during above normal conditions it could be about two hours later.  Knowing ahead of time when to change was of value in both the saving of time and the saving of power.

“Getting to understand sunspots in relation to good and bad signals was much more difficult.  I mapped and analyzed sunspots for about a year before I dared to try my hand at forecasting what they were going to do to the signals.  Progress was made, however, during the winter of 1947-48 when I fastened a solar map on a drawing board and recorded the position of all sunspots each day that the signals were in trouble.  After a few months, this map became covered with sunspots but distinctly showed a concentration of spots in one particular area of the sun’s surface.  This indicated to me that spots in this area were the ones causing our troubles.13

What yet proved to be intriguing was that each spot had its own “personality.”  Some spots made trouble with radio signal qualities whereas other spots “behaved well.”  Nelson could find no logical reason for this.  what Nelson could pinpoint after years of research was that sunspots operate in a cycle of 11 years and correlated with such events as the Sun conjunct or opposite Jupiter, Venus, Mercury and the earth.

Years after this monumental research had been well established, Nelson decided to find out more about the mysterious subject of astrology.  He attended astrological meetings in New York and, afterward, decided to keep away from it, stating that “ What I have seen in their books is that astrology is a very difficult subject and frankly, I have enough to do in my own specialty.”14 After one meeting, two astrologers approached him and asked for his birth data, saying they wanted to make predictions for him.  “In my business,  predicting magnetic storms, I know I can make predictions either forward or backward in time.  If for instance, someone asked me to tell them what magnetic conditions were on September 4, 1918, I could analyze the planetary positions on that day and tell them what it was like with considerable confidence.  I reasoned that astrologers should be able to do the same thing with their data.”15 Nelson decided on a retroactive reading, asking each astrologer to tell him what he was doing on a particular date two years prior at 12:30 PM EST.  Three months later, he received  a report from each astrologer with a detailed analysis of the date.  “They were both right, in fact, embarrassingly accurate.  It is beyond my comprehension how they could have done this by simply comparing the position of the planets on the day that I was born with the position of the planets on the day that they analyzed.  They astrologers themselves have no logical explanation either.  This puts them in the same boat with the astronomers who cannot tell why sunspots change polarity each cycle and change latitude as the cycle changes.  And, I find myself in a similar situation because I have no reason for the correlation that I have seen for many years between the position of the planets and the behavior of short-wave radio signals.”16

It is now time for the media to take off the laugh track on the subject of astrology.   “A 1988 survey from the National Science Foundation found that 38 percent believed astrology to be ‘very scientific’ or ‘sort of scientific.’  Six percent confessed to changing their plans to fit their horoscope…”17 The pioneering work of John H. Nelson  and the recent  theory of Percy Seymour have modern scientists poised to alter their entire perspective on the celestial mechanics of the universe.  If the so-called arcane axiom “as above, so below” can be formulated into a rational, proven scientific theory, then the age-old profession of astrology will have its principles vindicated, and the global population will join in comprehending the words of  thirteenth century philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas, “The celestial bodies are the cause of all that takes place in the sublunar world.”

1 Patricia King, Newsweek, January 15, 1990.

2 Sobel, Dava, “Dr. Zodiac,” Omni, December, 1989, pp.63-64.

3 Ibid., p. 64.

4 Ibid.

5 Michel Gauquelin, Birthtimes, Hill and Wang, New York, 1983, p. 21.

6 Ibid., p. 26.

7 Ibid., p. 43.

8 Ibid., p. 39.

9 Sobel, Dava, “Dr. Zodiac,” Omni,December 1989, p. 66.

10Ibid., p. 68.

11John H. Nelson, The Propagation Wizard’s Handbook, 73 Inc., Peterborough, NH 1978, p. viii,

12Ibid., p. 7.

13Ibid., pp. 20-21.

14Ibid., p. 84.

15Ibid., p. 85.

16Ibid., pp.86-87.

17Patricia King, Newsweek, Jan 15, 1990.

Anne Frank: A Study In Horoscope Dynamics

2009 November 17
by Jackie Slevin

Anne FrankOriginally published in Horoscope Guide Magazine.

Adolph Hitler’s best known victim of Nazi persecution has become a universal hallmark of human triumph under adversity. The thirteen-year-old girl who went into hiding in the attic of an Amsterdam warehouse left behind a diary of her daily life which eventually became required reading for every adolescent student in all comers of the world. Often the first window on World War II and the Holocaust to the baby boomer generation and those to follow The Diary of Anne Frank, a poignant legacy of abject political oppression and victimization, strikes a primal chord of humanity in everyone who reads it. This Gemini girl had a tale to tell, and was clearly suited to doing it. A study of progressions, transits and solar arcs to Anne’s horoscope gives a crystal clear picture of her short, sheltered and ultimately heroic life.

Annelise Marie Frank was born on June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany the second daughter of Otto and Edith Frank. (Source: Lois Rodden, Profiles of Women, Reference: Otto Frank). A brief glance at Anne’s chart shows a Gemini Sun in the 11th house, Moon and Neptune conjunct in Leo in the 2nd house and Leo rising. The sign Gemini rules communication and writing and the Sun in the 11th house often indicates someone who acts as a leader or representative for a cause. This placement can also point to a person’s tendency to be an idealist, for in the face of unspeakable oppression, this thirteen-year-old girl wrote “in spite of everything, l still believe that people are really good at heart.”

The emphasis in Leo illustrates Anne’s need to be the center of attention among her friends as well as her love of Hollywood films, as photographs of movie stars brightened the walls of her makeshift yet habitable hiding place. A flair for dramatic expression and an overall benevolence, combined with an investigative journalist’s eye for detail, endeared this gifted and talented girl to the world at large. The Moon-Neptune conjunction gives heightened awareness and deep intuition. Anne read the minds of all her cohabitants in the Secret Annex and absorbed their moods and feelings like a sponge. Her Part of Fortune conjunct her I.C. illustrates her development in a serene and tranquil family environment in addition to her utter devotion to her beloved father, Otto, whom she nicknamed “Pim.”

The Frank family had strong roots in Frankfurt’s one-thousand-year-old Jewish community and Otto, affectionately known as “Papa” Frank, enjoyed a stellar reputation from his prior status as an officer during World War I. Kind, capable and socially astute, Otto took a dim view of tile disturbing political changes sweeping Germany, most notably the chancellor ship of the radical Adolph Hitler who took office due to a secret agreement on January 30, 1933, and began to rule as a dictator within two months. Sensing the imminent threats to the Jewish community, Otto took steps to relocate his family to a place safe from the encroaching anti-Semitism that began to manifest around them. By the summer of that same year, Otto moved his wife and daughters to their maternal grandmother’s home in Aachen, West Germany, near the Belgian border. During this time period Anne’s Progressed Midheaven was conjunct her natal Uranus, a classic indication of sudden change, and transiting Jupiter was sextiling her Ascendant, showing an opportunity to enhance and protect one-self. In the winter of 1933-34, transiting Jupiter conjoined Anne’s Part of Fortune and her I.C. and trined her Mercury and Sun, her ruling planet. The move proved a successful stepping stone by all accounts. Otto, moving ahead with his plan, traveled westward and took up residence in Amsterdam, Holland, a country known for its neutral position during World War I. After establishing himself in a food services business, Otto summoned his wife and daughters to the new home he had established and the Frank family was reunited in the Spring of 1934. At this point, transiting Saturn opposed Anne’s Moon, a sure sign of the solidification of domestic events, underscored with hardships of necessity.

Storm clouds of war began brewing when the Nazis invaded Amsterdam on May 10, 1940. Jews were forced by decree to wear the yellow star of identification and Anne and her sister Margot, due to their heritage, were forced to leave a Montessori school and attend the Jewish Lyceum. Otto was also forced to leave his business, yet he retained loyal friends in his employees and associates, who were to become invaluable later on. Despite these problems from the World outside her family, Anne proved to be a bright student and enjoyed a happy childhood that passed without incident.

A Diary Named “Kitty”

In her book, we meet her just after her thirteenth birthday when she received her beloved diary, which she named “Kitty” as a gift. Four days before her birthday on June 8, 1942, Neptune made a station in the 28th degree of Virgo, exactly squaring Anne’s Saturn in the 28th degree of Sagittarius in her 6th house of daily  routine. This station marks the beginning of a serious dedication to observing and recording her own feelings, emphasizing the discipline that Anne used to document the events of her life. Saturn also rules one’s career, and one could say that in the next two years that Anne was laying the foundation for a hoped-for career, for she frequently wrote in her diary that she wanted to be a famous writer.

Life in the Frank family knew it ended three weeks after her thirteenth birthday, on the afternoon of July 5th, when Anne’s older sister Margot received a letter ordering her to report to a labor camp. Wasting no time, on the following morning, Otto moved his family to a warehouse attic (“The Secret Annex”) that was concealed by a floor-to-ceiling bookcase. Anne’s solar-arced Pluto was conjunct her Ascendant within 27 minutes of arc, representing an external event that triggered a crisis in her personal life. Along with this, her solar-arc Moon was exactly conjunct her 3rd house cusp, which rules siblings (Margot) and communication (the letter). It is also important to note that the radio, a 3rd house instrument of communication, became the focus of daily life in the Secret Annex and the enforced seclusion inclined Anne to incorporate writing, a 3rd house activity, into her daily life on a steady basis. On the day Margot received the letter there was a third-quarter Moon in the 12the degree of Aries conjunct Anne’s Midheaven (her place in the world), as well as her Uranus, ruler of her 7th house of open enemies and her 8th house of crisis.

Anne, along with her sister, her parents and four other Jews, lived in the Secret Annex for two years. Kept alive with clandestine food deliveries from Otto’s employees, the inhabitants prayed daily for an end to the war and took particular interest in the broadcasts of D-Day, thinking that freedom from Nazi occupation would come any day now. Through the ever-present fear of being discovered, the upbeat Anne always saw the light at the end of the tunnel. “I have often been downcast, but never in despair; I regard our hiding as a dangerous adventure, romantic and interesting al at the same time. In my diary I treat all the privations as amusing. I have made up my mind now to lead a different life from other girls and, later on, different from ordinary housewives. My start has been so very full of interest, and that is the sole reason why I have to laugh at the humorous side of the most dangerous situations.”

To this day, no one knows who made the telephone call that informed the Nazis of the group of eight Jews hiding in the Secret Annex. They were raided and captured on August 4, 1944, the day of a solar eclipse in the 13th degree Aquarius. Incredibly enough, this eclipse was conjunct Anne’s solar-arced Descendant, the point of open enemies, and her solar-arced Venus was exactly conjunct her North Node in the 11th house of personal identity within a group. A few days later, the Frank family was taken by train to Westerbork, a deportation camp for Jews and other prisoners. They departed for Auschwitz on September 3, 1944 and arrived there two days later. At this time, transiting Mars and Neptune were conjunct, an aspect that gives an atmosphere of high voltage energy surrounding treachery and confusion. This conjunction took place on Anne’s Part of Fortune and on her I.C., or her parental axis. The Frank family was separated by gender on the platform at Auschwitz, and it was the last time Anne ever saw her beloved father. Otto passed selection by Joseph Mengele himself and was sent to the men’s camp for work.

At Auschwitz

Anne arrived at Auschwitz suffering from scabies, so she could not be sent to the work camp;  her skin condition forced her to remain in the main camp near the crematories. Her mother Edith and her sister Margot, both still in good health, were offered the opportunity to be transferred to the work camp, yet chose to remain with Anne. Transiting Jupiter at this time was conjunct Anne’s 3rd house cusp indicating protection from kin.  With the stunned expression of sleepwalkers,  the prisoners moved about in a state of consciousness that numbed and somehow protected them from the horror of their environment. ”But Anne had no such protection, one survivor wrote “I can still see her standing at the door and looking down the camp street as a herd of naked Gypsy girls were driven by to the crematory and Anne watched them go and cried. And she cried also when we marched past the Hungarian children who already had been waiting half a day in the rain in front of the gas chambers because it was not yet their turn.” The hypersensitivity of the Moon-Neptune conjunction inclined Anne to empathize with virtually everyone, despite her own debilitating hardship.

With her scabies under control, Anne, Margot and Mrs. van Pels, another inhabitant of the Secret Annex, (Anne used the pseudonymous last name Van Daan in the diary), were among a group of the youngest women to be transported to another camp at Bergen-Belsen in Germany, where the horrors were even worse. There was none of the meticulous organization of Auschwitz; no roll call, no food and no water. Anne arrived at Bergen-Belsen on October 30, 1944. The following day there was a Full Moon in the eighth degree of Taurus, conjunct Anne’s Midheaven, the point that identified her place in the world and also the location of her Uranus, the planet of sudden, unsettling events. Transiting Neptune was still conjunct her natal Part of Fortune on the cusp of the 4th house (parents). Otto Frank was still alive, but Anne did not know this. Neptune also rules wasting away, and this is precisely what happened to her mother. Remaining behind at the hospital barracks at Auschwitz the already despondent Edith Frank slipped into what is now known as clinical depression. At Bergen-Belsen, the fortunes of the Frank sisters plummeted. A fierce Winter was beginning and Anne and Margot’s bunks were placed next to the door of an unheated barracks. During a particularly ferocious storm one week later on November 7th, Anne and Margot met with friends they knew from the Dutch Resistance who were also interred in the camp. One of these individuals, who survived the Holocaust, described Anne at this point as emaciated, overwrought and shivering in a horse blanket. Their misfortune continued. Back at Auschwitz, Edith Frank died on January 6, 1945. Transiting Neptune made a station and turned retrograde in the sixth degree of Libra, exactly conjunct Anne’s I.C., that very same day.

Typhoid Winter

In late February, the friend from the Resistance again visited Anne and Margot, who by now were both stricken with typhoid fever. The mortally ill Margot was moved to another barracks and soon died and Anne, while never informed of her sister’s death, sensed it. A few days later, a starving Anne glimpsed a schoolmate through the fence and poured her heart out, claiming she had no one, that her parents and sister were all dead and she had nothing. Anne was never to learn the fate of either of her parents.

When the friend from the Dutch Resistance returned seven days later Anne was also dead from typhus, which had reached epidemic proportions, killing 18,168 people in March 1945. While her death was recorded in the camp as occurring on March 31, ”There are, however, some in indications that they both died a few weeks earlier, possibly at the end of February or early March.” One can surmise the date by the placement from her progressed Sun, which in March 1945 was in the fifth degree of Cancer. Transiting Saturn made a station in the third degree of Cancer Sun on March 3, which is most likely the day that marked her final demise.…”she died, peacefully, feeling that nothing bad was happening to her.” She was three months short of her sixteenth birthday. When British soldiers liberated Bergen-Belsen on April 15, 1945, they emptied the contents of a small hut that stood a few hundred feet from the barracks where Anne and Margot lived. It contained medicines for typhoid fever.

Anne Frank possessed a passion for life that saw her through the darkest of human experiences. For being a member of the Jewish religion she was exiled, humiliated, cloistered, captured, imprisoned, starved and finally annihilated. But she was never defeated. Four months before she was captured, she wrote in her diary: ”I want to go on living even after my death! And therefore I am grateful to God for giving me this gift, the possibility of developing myself and of writing, of expressing all that is in me.”

We, in turn, are grateful to God for the gift of Anne Frank, whose young life, while so cruelly ended, continues to be an inspiration to us all.