Saturday, August 29, 2009

Shape-Shifting Virgo: Michael Jackson

Today would've been Michael Jackson's fifty-first birthday, and so despite the relentless media coverage following his demise earlier this summer, I thought I'd take a brief moment to acknowledge this deeply talented, deeply troubled individual, who was born with a close Sun/Pluto conjunction in the First House of self-identity.

In a way, "Jocko" was more of a Scorpio because of the heavy Plutonian influence--and he certainly had more than his fair share of scandal, particularly surrounding what went on with young children at his "Neverland" ranch. Yet his essential Virgo self shone through in many ways: in his precocity, in being the youngest son of a harsh, authoritarian father who drove him relentlessly, in his insecurity that manifested in his turning from a handsome young black man into an apparition resembling the Phantom of the Opera.

The peak of Michael Jackson's fame occurred in 1983, when Thriller ruled the airwaves and he broke the unofficial color barrier on MTV with the incredible short film/music video of that album's title song. Yet the following year, Pluto transited into its ruling sign of Scorpio, and it seemed that the following dozen years were not particularly good for Michael. Nor did Pluto in Sagittarius turn things around for him--although he could've wound up in jail, but didn't.

His death's being ruled a homicide on the eve of his Solar Return is highly significant, and also extremely Plutonian: Michael was a drug addict, and yet the very people around him who could've and should've helped him (family, friends, and oh yes, doctors) instead enabled his addiction.

RIP, Jocko.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

T-Square City: Mercury, Mars, Pluto Problems

One of the toughest things I find about being an astrologer is heeding particular planetary aspects about which I freely (and sometimes less than diplomatically) caution others.

Case in point: the T-square between Mercury, Mars, and Pluto that is still in effect, although the Mercury/Mars square (which killed Ted Kennedy, who was suffering from a malignant brain tumor [a Mars affliction] late last night) is over, as is the Mercury/Pluto square (I do not look forward to reading breaking stories on But the Mars/Pluto opposition is not over until later today.

To backtrack just a bit, for those of you who have no idea what a T-square is: this is a configuration that involves at least three planets, two 90-degree squares, and one 180-degree opposition. As potentially nasty as a T-square can be, it is still preferable to what is called a Grand Cross, which involves at least four planets and two sets of oppositions, which means four sets of squares. A Grand Cross is an aspect that I would not wish on anyone's natal chart, as it is a classic case of being locked up, immobilized (especially when the fixed signs are involved); however, a T-square has a "key" in the form of the sign that is not involved in the second opposition.

In the case of this T-square, critical degrees (i.e., degrees traditionally considered very significant) are in play: Mercury at 0 degrees of Libra, Mars at 0 Cancer, and Pluto at 0 Capricorn. The key to this morass of misunderstandings, miscommunications, anger, resentment, aggression, and abuse of power is 0 degrees Aries--perhaps the most headstrong degree of the zodiac (keeping in mind that Aries rules the head). Aries can be a soft, wooly lamb--or a battering ram. You must decide which of these creatures to be in order to free yourself from this T-square.

Yesterday, despite the oncoming Mercury/Mars square, I chose to throw caution to the wind in terms of communication with two people, and no harm resulted; indeed, with Mercury in the last degree of Virgo and Mars in the last degree of Gemini I was bitten by a most glorious poetry bug. Yet today I decided not to confront someone else about an issue that has been troubling me. At the very least, a Mars/Pluto opposition indicates power plays, secrets, and subterfuge; at most, severe betrayal and violence result. As a Plutonian, I cannot easily shrug off the heavy vibrations and consequences that come from fucking with this planet at the wrong time. The Moon, keeper of the emotions, is still transiting the Pluto-ruled sign of Scorpio.

Time to bide my time.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Clean-Up Time: Welcome to the Sun in Virgo

Summer officially has four more weeks to go, yet with the Sun's entrance into Virgo today at 7:39 p.m. EDT, the season is on its last legs--at least in this hemisphere. Labor Day fittingly occurs with the Sun in Virgo, after which there is a renewed emphasis on such Virgo matters as school, work, and the coming harvest (or not, as the case may be). The mutuable signs of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces all mark the waning of a season, preparing for the next one while still in this one, which often manifests in those born with the Sun in these signs' relative instability and duality as compared with the rest of the the zodiac. This also means more flexibility and ingenuity, if other planetary aspects concur.

Virgo is perhaps the least understood of all twelve signs, and has the most mundane, least awe-inspiring adjectives to describe it: Perfectionist. Competent. High-strung. Service-oriented. Hypochondrical. Obsessive-compulsive. Detail-oriented. Yet the list of exciting, awe-inspiring Virgins is a long one, and over the next four weeks I shall make it my business to post some astrological profiles that will bust this signs's boring rep.

In the meantime, get out those freshly sharpened #2 pencils and take some notes:

The skinny on Virgo:
Element: Earth
Quality: Mutable
Polarity: Feminine/Yin
Planetary ruler: Mercury
Body part/function: intestines/powers of assimilation

After Leo's joy of self-expression comes the task to refine the self. Like Gemini, the other Mercury sign, Virgo is curious and eager to learn but much more painstaking in the process. Virgo marks the crucial stage of human awareness: self-consciousness. Sexually, the Virgin maintains a certain innocence and purity even after losing its virginity--even if it decides to experiment like wild. Its Earth element lends definite sensuality. The scene in the film 9 1/2 Weeks that combines sex, food, and the Domme/Sub dynamic must've been conceived by a Virgo.

This year's entrance into the Virgo period occurs with the Sun trining Pluto at 0 degrees at Capricorn, making it an excellent time not just to clean up, but to excavate and transform the contents of your inner basement...and plumbing. If you find that you are "backed up," blocked, stymied, tangled up, or otherwise constipated, cleanse your system by ruthlessly confronting it and trying to make sense of the clutter, even if you come to the conclusion that whatever you are dealing with is utterly chaotic and illogical. Only by clearing out what no longer works (and perhaps never did) in your mind, office, and body (all ruled by Virgo) can you effectively clear the decks for something new.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Second Lunar Eclipse of the Summer

Exact at 8:55 p.m. EDT, get ready to howl at the Moon! Loudest howlers will be Leos, Aquarians, Geminis, and Sagittarians, but even if you're another Sun sign, much light will be shed on a situation that's been building for the past two weeks.

You can run but you can't hide from this most publicly oriented of lunations. If you're seeking fame and/or friends, take my advice and don't run.