Greek Myths and the Zodiac

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Enjoy this entertaining article contributed by James Hirlehey that introduces the Greek gods as they relate to the 12 zodiac signs.

Greek Myths and Your Zodiac Sign

There is evidence for the practice of Astrology as far back as 3,000 BC in Mesopotamia. From here the practice was exported to Greece, and later adopted by the Romans and used throughout their empire. The Greek version of Astrology is the foundation of the system used in the West today. It used the paradigm of the Greek mythology in order to describe the aspects of the different astrological signs.

Which Greek myth is associated with your sign and what characteristics might you share?

Aries – Ares, God of War

Ares was the Greek god of war, son of Zeus and Hera and brother to Athena. The Greeks used Ares and Athena to represent the two sides of war: Athena strategy and discipline, Ares chaos and destruction. Ares was thought as spontaneous and daring, but also impatient and blood thirsty, often leaving pain and destruction in his wake.

Are you bold and impulsive, often acting without thinking of the consequences of your actions on others?

Taurus – Cerus the Bull

According to the myth there was a mighty bull named Cerus that caused havoc and destruction around some villages. Cerus allowed his emotions to decide how he behaved, which left him uncontrollable. One day Cerus met Persephone, goddess of Spring and the Underworld, who was able to communicate with him and taught Cerus how to calm his emotions and use his strength for good.

Do you have strong emotions that you find difficult to control?

Gemini – Castor and Pollux

Castor and Pollux are the famous twins of Greek myth. While the twins had the same mother, Leda, they had different fathers, Castor’s father being the kind of Sparta, and Pollux’s Zeus, king of the gods. Both heroic figures, they had many adventures together, but eventually they came up against a foe they could not defeat, and while Pollux survived since as the son of Zeus he was immortal, Castor died. Devastated by the loss of his twin Pollux asked Zeus to kill him, but instead Zeus made Castor immortal so that they could continue their adventures together.

Are bravery and loyalty some of the qualities you hold in high esteem?

Cancer – Crios, Guardian of the Sea Nymphs

Crios was a giant crab responsible for guarding the sea nymphs in Poseidon’s kingdom. He was large and strong, and blessed by Poseidon with the gift of immortality. When Poseidon went into hiding because of Typhoid’s attack on the Olympians, he asked Crios to look after his daughters as well. But Crios did his job too well and Poseidon’s daughters became restless with their lack of freedom and escaped. Unable to abandon his other charges he asked a giant squid for help locating the daughters – the Squid located them, but then ate them. The Squid lied to Crios and said that he could not find the daughters, but Crios knew immediately that he was lying, and a battle ensued. Crios won, but was severely crippled, a pain he had to live for forever as an immortal.

Are you protective to a fault and can you spot a liar?

Leo – The Nemean Lion of Hercules

As one of his 12 trials Hercules was charged with bringing the skin of the Nemean Lion to King Eurystheus. The lion was large and strong with an impenetrable pelt, and it took Hercules many attempts to slay the Lion, eventually killing it by clubbing it on the head and then strangling it. He still needed to remove the pelt, which again took many attempts because the pelt was impenetrable. Hercules eventually realised that the only way to remove the pelt was with the Lion’s own claws.

Are you thick skinned, and is the person in your life that hurts you the most you?

Virgo – Persephone, Goddess of the Harvest and the Underworld

When the goddess Persephone was kidnapped by Hades and taken to the underworld, her mother was so sad that she deliberately caused the harvest to fail. As a consequence, Persephone was allowed to return to the Earth for six months each year to help her mother with the harvest – from March to August, the same months that her constellation is visible. Persephone has two distinct sides, she is both nurturing, bringing the harvest to fruition, but also has a more serious side as queen of the underworld. It was thought that this serious side helped Persephone to nurture, as by being contained and self-sufficient, she was fulfilled within herself, which allowed her to nurture others.

Are you individualistic and self-sufficient, but still nurturing and caring?

Libra – Astraea, Star Goddess

Astraea was known as a virgin goddess of justice that served as a caretaker of humanity, hence the scales of justice found within Libra. Astraea is also known as the last immortal and is said to have lived among humans before eventually leaving because she was disgusted by humanity’s wickedness and brutality. As such Astraea represented both the light of justice and the darkness of chaos.

Can you keep the light and darkness within yourself in balance and not give in to the chaos around you?

Scorpio – Scorpio, Slayer of Orion

According to myth Orion, son of Poseidon, was a great hunter, but also extremely boastful, in a way that irritated the other gods. Apollo and Gaia got so annoyed that they made a giant scorpion called Scorpio that would hunt the hunter. Hearing about this plan Orion fled, but Scorpio pursued him relentlessly and eventually killed Orion.

Do you tenaciously pursue your goals?

Sagittarius – Crotus the Musical Satyr

Son of Eupheme and Pan, Crotus lived with the muses on Mount Helicon. He had the legs and horns of a goat and the torso and head of a human and was a skilled hunter and musician. He is credited with inventing both the bow and applause as a means of showing appreciation. Crotus was devoted to the art of the muses.

Art you a creative person who also knows how to show gratitude?

Capricorn – Pricus the Sea Goat

Pricus was the father of all sea goats, which have the head of a goat and the tail of a fish and are extremely intelligent and can think and speak. He was created by Kronus, god of time, and is both immortal and had the ability to control time. The children of Pricus were drawn to the land and would crawl onto shore where they would eventually lose their fish tales as well as the ability to think and speak. This upset Pricus, who continually turned back time in an attempt to convince his children not to venture onto land, only to fail each time. Eventually he despaired and asked Kronus to grant him death rather than live without his children. Instead Kronus placed him in the stars where he could continue to watch over his children.

Are you always trying to control the world around you?

Aquarius – Ganymede, Consort of Zeus

Ganymede was regarded as the most handsome young man in Troy. A shepherd, one day he was tending his sheep and Zeus saw the young man and thought him so attractive that he decided to take him as his lover (a normal practice at the time). Taking the form of an eagle Zeus snatched Ganymede and took him to Mount Olympus where he becomes the god’s lover and cup bearer, essentially Zeus’ slave. Unhappy with the situation Ganymede decides to pour out all the ambrosia, wine and water of the gods, causing immense storms and a great flood on Earth. Initially angry, Zeus soon realised that this was a result of his treatment of Ganymede and made him immortal as the constellation Aquarius.

Do you often react without considering the consequences of your actions?

Pisces – Pisces, Aphrodite’s fish guides

The monster Typhon threatens the Greek gods on Mount Olympus, causing them to abandon their home. As Typhon approaches their home, Aphrodite and her son Eros decide that they needed to escape. At this time they meet two fish, so the two gods turn themselves into fish and followed the other two fish to safety.

Are you a generous person who often counsels others?

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A Vivid Backstory for Bible Lovers

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Some Shall Not Die — Philip

by Everett Cole

This story is an excellent example of well-executed Christian fiction.  The characters are well-developed, the research is outstanding, and it’s not preachy. Clearly, the main character, Philip, is passionate about sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but he does it in a natural, compelling manner. If you’re a Christian, you’ll find your faith strengthened by Philip’s quoting of Biblical verses and intrigued by how much of this story is historical truth and how much is fiction, as the two are blended beautifully.

As stated in the introduction, the premise is based upon a statement made by Jesus Christ and recorded in the Bible that promised that some of his disciples wouldn’t taste of death until Jesus returned. The story recounts the mission of Philip, one assumed to be one of these chosen few, and starts when he’s in Britannia, i.e. today’s United Kingdom, as his companion, Barnabas, dies. Following that event, he’s summoned to a meeting with the other disciples so he leaves to return to mainland Europe. He winds up in a small village in Northern Italy and become involved with the various citizens of a town called Martigny.

If you’ve ever wondered what it was like for these early Christian missionaries, this story will take you there. It’s a great history (and geography) lesson with regard to travel at that time as well as the Roman Empire’s influence. Threats early Christians faced, not only from the Romans, but the Druids as well as hoards of barbarians, who resented the Roman invasion of their land, are clearly explained. Living conditions of the time are well-represented, as well as the simple nature of the majority of people, who were mostly illiterate. This enjoyable story takes you on a fascinating journey and provides a powerful glimpse of what it was like to be one of the early Christians. While fictitious, it nonetheless will provide fascinating context to your comprehension of the New Testament. For that, I highly recommend it, especially since it’s suitable for family reading time if you or your children’s eyes glaze over when reading the actual scriptures.

As a Christian myself, but also a professional astrologer, I wasn’t surprised when the primary antagonist was an astrologer and mystic. Of course there have always been charlatans, but I can’t resist mentioning that if it weren’t for the Magi’s knowledge of astrology, they never would have found Jesus or recognized his significance. The Bible tells us to expect signs in the heavens (as well as in the Earth beneath), the recognition of which in the majority of cases will require a knowledge of astrology. What better way to keep people in the dark than to forbid such knowledge? Furthermore, all the Bible says against astrologers is that they’re not as powerful as prophets and are not intended to replace them.

To set the record straight, it was actually the Roman Empire who did all it could to keep astrology out of the hands of those who weren’t in the highest echelons of society; they wanted to control the common people and what they knew. Individuals are never encouraged by emperors and/or dictators (or even popes) to think for themselves.  Given the heavy influence on Christianity by the Romans, it’s no wonder that this false tradition has persisted in Christianity to this day.

I have found astrology to be so elegantly detailed and precise that it could have no origin other than from God, who created the stars and planets in the first place. Thus, how could their message not be from Him? A knowledge of astrology was required of those considered learned for centuries, but ironically fell out of favor during the Enlightenment, when most things spiritual in nature were dismissed as either nonexistent or of the devil when they couldn’t be proven with hard data.

The Sefer Yetzirah, the book of the Letters of Abraham, contains a wealth of information related to Jewish mysticism and Kabbalistic traditions. Astrology is mentioned in great detail. along with the statement that Abraham was the greatest astrologer of all time. It seems to me that’s a pretty high recommendation. Like so many other gifts given to man by our Creator, its use has been misunderstood and maligned to keep us from recognizing signs in the heavens and the many insights it can provide into our personal lives.

You can pick up your copy on Amazon here.

Calling All Bibliophiles!

2017 WC&BE Badges

Whether you’re an avid reader, an aspiring writer, or published author, there’s something for you at RRBC’s Writers’ Conference and Book Expo. It’s open now and will be online until October 30.

Come meet dozens of outstanding authors, many of which are award winners, learn about their often amazing backgrounds, and explore their many books. Most of us are sponsoring a giveaway and all you have to do to enter is leave a comment on our author page! Be sure to stop by my Author Page for a chance to win an 8 gigabyte USB card preloaded with the Star Trails Tetralogy, including my latest release, “The Terra Debacle.”

Don’t miss the raffle, which has some spectacular prizes. For only $5, you get a chance at a virtual gift basket worth approximately $100 in gift cards! You can sign up here.

While you’re there, be sure to check out my Astrological Services page to discover how astrology can be a writer’s best friend, whether it’s timing a book release or rounding out a character.

Hope to see you there!

Cosmic Influences on the 1977 Tenerife Aviation Disaster

doorintospacebkgd[Note: Several weeks ago I posted a review of the book “Gone: Catastrophe in Paradise” by O.J. Modjeska, which chronicled events leading up to and following the horrific ground collision between two jumbo jets in the Canary Islands in March 1977, killing 583 people. As a professional astrologer, of course I had to look at the cosmic influences at work at the time. As is typical of an event chart, everything was there, but at the time I didn’t have time to write it up. Thus, I am doing so now.]

Astrology isn’t simple. Every planet, major fixed star, constellation, named asteroid (and some that aren’t), zodiac sign, and house has multiple meanings and implications. The good news is that this is conducive to computer interpretations, or what is sometimes referred to as “cook book astrology.” I sell several varieties of such reports and use them for myself, family, and close friends because in general they are very helpful. However, there are numerous subtleties that only a trained astrologer will catch since there are so many possibilities as well as interpretations.

This complexity is what makes predictive astrology such a challenge. There are too many possibilities for how an event can manifest (or a person can react) due to the eternal principle of free will.  In retrospect, however, I’ve never examined a chart that failed to contain the energy expressed by the event it represents. If you’re familiar with the “Bible Code” then you know that it’s much the same way–after the fact events can be found, but finding them beforehand is next to impossible. In many cases, the chart looks rather benign. Some charts are so angry and filled with negative energy, that their appearance alone is a tip-off. Others are less obvious, until you start digging deeper. Some may feel as if such scrutiny could unearth anything you wanted to find, but this is entirely untrue. Rather, what lurks in a horoscope tends to fall under the category of “you can’t make this stuff up.”

I’d like to point out that it’s important to recognize that these energies did not directly cause this horrible accident. Rather, they show the cosmic influences at work at the time that contributed to it. If certain decisions had been different, it could have been avoided. Some events have a fated flavor to them, perhaps due to human nature being more predictable than we care to admit. But astrology does not cause events, even though its influences can drive those involved in certain directions, whether for good or ill.

tenerifeaccidentSo, getting to the matter at hand, the collision between a KLM and a Pan American Boeing 747 on a runway that is the worst aviation disaster of all time occurred 27 March 1977 at 5:06:47 p.m. in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain. If you know nothing about astrology, more than likely the chart shown above reveals nothing to you, even if you laboriously check the various legends to interpret the various strange looking glyphs. So hang onto your seats, (or perhaps I should say fasten your seatbelts) because I’m about to explain it to you.

How ironic that this accident was on the ground as opposed to in-flight. The ascendant of this chart, shown on the left at the 9:00 o’clock position, represents the zodiacal sign on the eastern horizon at the moment in question and relates to its personality, if you will. In this case it’s 08:26 Virgo, which just happens to be an Earth sign. The cusp of the 9th house, which represents long-distance travel and foreign lands, is also  on an Earth sign, in this case Taurus. Small points, but an example of how such details tend to reinforce the happening.

What are the odds for this? Actually, I’ll admit, they’re fairly high. There are four elements in astrology, Fire, Earth, Air, and Water, with three of the 12 signs of the Zodiac falling in each one. Thus, there was a 1:3 chance for an Earth sign on these two houses. Fairly high, but be patient. Other characteristics of this chart, especially when combined, will put the odds off the chart (no pun intended).

There were various causes of this horrific accident, one of which was actual fog which rolled in unexpectedly. Representing this we have Uranus, planet of surprises as well as the unexpected, explosions, and rebellion, to name a few, in Scorpio (another Water sign) in the 3rd house, which represents the locale.  Saturn, in the 12th house of hidden enemies, is squaring Uranus, a hard aspect that tends to bring conflict. Saturn rules structure as well as rules and protocol and was in Leo, the sign of leadership as well as ego. Thus, Saturn’s organization was compromised by the sudden advent of fog.

The 3rd house is also the one that includes communications. These were also unclear, and thus implied a problem, while yet another interpretation, that of rebellion(Uranus) against authority (Saturn) to one’s self-undoing (12th house) is there as well, which reflects the decision of the KLM pilot to take off when he had not been authorized to do so, yet apparently thought he had been due to the unclear communications between him and the tower.

Mercury, the planet that rules communications, is trining Neptune, the planet that represents confusion as well as fog itself. Neptune was in Sagittarius, a sign prone toward optimism, perhaps even embellished by arrogance, while Mercury was in Aries, providing impulsive energy. Thus, these two further show assumptions with deadly implications, given Neptune is in the 4th house of endings and Mercury is in the 8th, which includes death and traumatic experiences.

An astrological rule of thumb as far as transit charts are concerned is that there will usually be no less than seven aspects relating to an important incident. So far we have two.

The Sun, which tends to highlight the main theme of a chart, is in the 8th house of death in the sign of Aries, which is know for violence. Many such violent events have occurred in the March – April timeframe. The Moon is in Water sign, Cancer, indicating strong emotional implications with her placement in the 10th house indicating this will have an effect on the public as well. Planets in this house tend to point toward what a person or place will be known for. I, for one, will always think of this accident whenever I hear anything about Tenerife, since I’d never heard of it until this happened. The Moon is trining Mars, ruler of the 8th house of death, thus showing the cause of the emotional reaction. The 10th house if ruled by Mercury, reiterating the communications aspects and newsworthiness.

Mars has multiple meanings, the most neutral of which is simply taking action. He is in Pisces, sign of compassion, in the 6th house which includes both health and service to others, and being infused with emotional involvement by the Moon. Following this horrible event, the people of this small island put forth an amazing amount of concern and help toward the victims and survivors. A minor aspect known as a semi-sextile between Mars and the Sun represents the jaded opportunity to do so.

Most people would assume, even without a background in astrology, that Pluto is probably not a good influence. At the most fundamental level, he represents power and control as well as hidden corruption. The Sun opposing him shows a power struggle, albeit at the subconscious level, as a factor in the event. Mercury is also opposing Pluto, again suggesting corrupt conversations or information, something that surfaced during the investigation and resulted in implementing more standardized commands between the tower and aircraft.

Jupiter, a planet that tends to exaggerate what he touches, is in the 9th house of foreign travel, suggesting the magnitude of this event which would make the news worldwide.  Jupiter is semisextile the asteroid, Chiron, the wounded healer who’s in the 8th house of death, pointing toward the huge number of victims.

Note that the influence of asteroids, as well as the planets, tends to reflect their mythological archetype; nomen est omen, if you will. That said, Chiron isn’t the only asteroid lending influence. Icarus, named for the unfortunate mythological figure who tried to fly, yet fell to earth when the wax securing his wings melted in the Sun, is on the cusp of the 8th house of death. He is in an aspect known as a quincunx with the Moon, an unstable aspect that tends to show a change of direction, need for adjustment, or Catch-22. Again, this has implications for protocol and procedures that required changes.

The asteroid named Ceres a.k.a. Demeter, forever mourning separation from her daughter, Persephone, is conjunct the asteroid, Lucifer, indicating loss of loved ones through an hellish event. The asteroid, Phaethon, the mythological figure who crashed Apollo’s chariot into the Sun, is semi-sextile the Sun as well, again contributing “crash and burn” energy.

Other asteroids worth noting playing a role include Chaos (whose meaning should be obvious) who is in cahoots with Jupiter, showing the resulting extreme chaos, which goes without saying. Ixion, son of Aries (or possibly some other mythological character), the main point being his name connotes “fiery”, his conjunction with Uranus indicating a fiery explosion or sudden fire. Varuna, a Vedic deity associated with the sky and later with water is conjunct the Midheaven, at the top of the chart, suggesting aviation. He is in near-exact square to the ascendant, showing conflict and trouble and also in cahoots with Phaethon, implying a crash.

At this point I have to ask, what are the odds that all these influences would so intimately relate to this event? I’ve somewhat lost count, but know it’s over a dozen between implications of house or sign placement plus the aspects themselves. While this moment in time passed unnoticed by scores of people, for some it was life-changing or even life-ending.

So, if that event chart alone hasn’t convinced you this stuff works, let’s look at the influence of the time of the accident (which we’ve just examined) on the two airlines involved.

KLMTenerifeBiYes, corporations have birth charts as well. When an entity is “born”, it assumes the energy of that moment. The principle of transits is that the aspects formed from the real-time location of the planets to the birth chart are indicative of influences. I’m not going to belabor these biwheels to the level of detail of the event chart, but will only point out some obvious indicators.

For KLM, Neptune in the 1st house suggests delusions or confusion. He is sextile the Midheaven, suggesting their reputation for excellence and safety is a delusion. Uranus is sextile Venus, ruler of the Midheaven, suggesting a sudden change from their exalted status due to events in a foreign land. Mars opposing Saturn shows pushing against tradition or regulations. Uranus being squared by Jupiter suggests a huge surprise or explosion, with the house placement indicating financial implications due to personal injury.

The Sun quincunx Saturn shows a change of direction of a transformational nature. The asteroid, Chaos, is trining Mars in the 8th house of death from the house of endings, certainly not an auspicious omen. Pluto is conjunct KLM’s Sun, a transformational indicator that tends to relate to death, whether literal or figurative.  Saturn conjunct Neptune shows a rude awakening. Saturn, considered the lord of karma, transiting the 8th house is often a call to reckoning.

PanAmTenerifeBiPan Am’s chart is slightly less harsh, which makes sense since they were not found to be at fault. Pluto, nonetheless, is showing a change of direction in their status. Jupiter sextile Uranus shows a hidden enemy causing an unexpected event known to the public. The Sun trining Saturn in the 6th, has implications for vindication of the crew. Uranus quincunx Mars in the 12th shows a sudden change of direction related to an attack from a hidden enemy. Saturn conjunct Pan Am’s Moon shows the sadness and mourning, the sextile from Pluto adding transformational energy. Pluto quincunx Jupiter as well as the Midheaven shows a huge involvement with death in the public eye. Venus and Mercury conjunct Venus imply group support.

More indicators could be found, some that may have conceivably predicted this event in advance if given intense scrutiny. However, prediction is a labor-intensive process and another case where you need to have some idea what you’re looking for and thus easier done after-the-fact.

There is nothing simple about astrology, but it contains a considerable amount of information and surprising insights when applied. Those who think it’s nothing but myth and superstition have clearly never investigated what its capabilities really are. I, too, at one point was a skeptic. Not anymore.

If you’d like to learn more about astrology and the incredible amount of information it can reveal, I invite you to check out my book “Whobeda’s Guide to Basic Astrology.” It’s written for beginners and the book I’d hoped to find when I was first learning about it. It’s available in electronic and print copy format at several vendors you can find here. Much of the same information is found on my website, ValkyrieAstrology.com, except you’ll be subjected to a lot of hyperlink bingo. If you’d like more information about the disaster in question, then I highly recommend O.J. Modjeska’s book, which provides a painfully detailed postmortem of this horrific piece of aviation history.

Believe me, you can’t make this stuff up.

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Stock Photo Copyright Bruce Rolff / 123RF Stock Photo

Astrological charts generated with Sirius version 2.0, Copyright (c) 2008 Cosmic Patterns Software, Inc.

Houston, we have a problem. It’s named Harvey.

Harvey became a named tropical storm on 17 August, then regressed to a tropical depression for a few days. With Mercury retrograde, it doesn’t surprise me that he regained sufficient energy to resume tropical storm status on 23 August, two days after a total solar eclipse slashed its way across the USA. A day later Harvey’s wind speeds reached hurricane range. He made landfall on the coast of Texas as a Category 4 hurricane with 130 mph winds at around 10:00 pm on 25 August 2017.

Harvey was no ordinary storm. His slow movement resulted in all-time record setting rainfall that inundated a zone covering 3,643 square miles (larger than the state of Delaware) with at least 40 inches of rain. This constituted over a trillion gallon of water for Harris County in the Houston metropolitan area, the resulting flood making news around the world.

I lived in the Houston area for over 21 years and saw a few hurricanes myself, but nothing like this. I’m beyond grateful that various family members, who are still in the area, were spared, their homes dry, even though their neighborhoods were virtual islands. Unfortunately, some of my friends from my NASA days weren’t so lucky.

In a previous blog back in April 2016 I discussed the astrology of another Houston flood. That one wasn’t even a named storm. Interestingly enough, it also followed an eclipse.

I explained Houston’s horoscope a.k.a. natal chart at that time, but will reiterate some of the basics again. These charts look daunting to the uninitiated, but reading one is just a matter of understanding all the symbolism involved.

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Many folks are not aware that even as a person’s natal chart has a strong bearing on their personality, so it follows for a city. Neptune, ruler of all liquids, is prominent in Houston’s chart. This not only relates to rain, but also oil and being a port city. Neptune’s position in the 2nd house makes it an important driver for the area’s economy; the second house typically has a bearing on income, material possessions, needs, pleasures, and what is valued.  If you’re wondering what the “POS” represents in the 2nd house, that’s the asteroid, Poseidon. Having him as the same house as Neptune speaks for itself. Asteroids, like the planets, bring the same energy as their namesake’s mythological archetype.

However, there are other factors that make Neptune’s placement problematic. For one thing, he’s in Aquarius, an Air Sign, which brings to mind the fact that air and water are both major constituents of a hurricane or tropical storm. Of course that placement alone won’t do it–Neptune is also being slammed by negative energy from five other planets. Therein lies the problem.

The red triangle is an aspect pattern known as a T-square. Neptune is on one corner with Jupiter opposing him while Saturn squares the god of the deep. Jupiter tends to exaggerate anything he touches and Saturn is largely considered unfriendly, albeit the orchestrator of hard lessons and lord of karma. However, Saturn is also part of a more favorable aspect pattern known as a Grand Water Trine. With Saturn about building, structure, and discipline, this suggests how Houston continues to rebuild regardless of what catastrophes befall it.

The Grand Water Trine comprises three planets placed in Water signs (Mars in Cancer; Saturn in Scorpio; and Uranus in Pisces). This trio, however, comprises planets with a bad reputation. Mars is know for aggression and in emotionally driven Cancer often function like a temper tantrum. Uranus is full of surprises, disruptions, rebellion, explosions, disturbances, and the unexpected. Thus, in a nutshell, the combination can result in surprises of a violent nature that affects the status quo.

The city’s Sun connects with each of those planets as well, which makes their effects personal and further associated with the city itself. Since they’re all connected, when one of them is activated, they all resonate to create a large influx of energy. What activates them, you ask? That would be what astrologers call “transits”, which is the current location of the planets and how they connect with the ones in the natal chart.

As if that’s not enough, more aspect pattern on Houston’s chart has strong implications. It’s called a yod or finger of God. It looks like a blue arrow which is pointing toward Neptune. Yods tend to have a fated nature about them, indicating what might be important to the person or location with such an indicator on their horoscope.

Generally speaking, Houston’s natal chart is an accident waiting to happen. It has all the right (or perhaps wrong) characteristics to be very vulnerable.  This was further exacerbated by the August Lunar and Solar eclipses, which brought a blast of ominous, Plutonian energy to bear on Houston with implications that it was going to bring considerable public attention.

Next, let’s look at Harvey. The following chart represents when Harvey was declared a hurricane.

harveyhurricane

The sextile pattern, shown as a green triangle, shows a great deal of cooperation between violent Mars, Ominous Saturn, and Jupiter, increasing this malefic energy. The square between Jupiter and Pluto increases the death and destruction while the square between Uranus and Venus, where Uranus represents surprises and Venus material comforts, shows a definite conflict there. Neptune and the asteroid, Poseidon (POS on the chart) shows conflict between those two cosmic entities, perhaps in a battle to prove which is superior. The ascendant in Scorpio, the sign that rules death, implies the storm’s lethality, while Mercury, the Sun, and Mars in the 10th house, which represents reputation, status, and what you’ll be remembered for, indicate his energy, public recognition, and even hint as his slow movement and repeated landfalls, which numbered at least three.

The relationship between two people, or in this case a storm and a location, is shown by how their natal charts interact. The following chart is known as a biwheel and shows Houston’s chart in the middle and Harvey’s around the outside, indicating how the two would interact.

hou-harveybiwheel

The first thing that jumped out at me with this chart was that Harvey became a hurricane on Houston’s “birthday”, indicated by the fact the Sun for both charts is in the same degree of the zodiac, i.e. the first degree of the sign Virgo.  The technical term for when the Sun returns to the position it was in when a person, thing, or city, was born is “solar return”, which is typically a prognosticator for the year ahead.  What this Sun – Sun conjunction energy blast effectively did was wake up that Grand Water Trine and all those other water-related aspects in Houston’s natal chart. The accident waiting to happen just did.

Transiting Pluto is trining the chart’s Midheaven, which represents its status, reputation, and public image, suggests a major transformation as well as death and material destruction. The square from Mercury retrograde to the chart’s ascendant hints at bad news. Mercury retrograde tends to slow things down, which certainly happened when the storm’s movement stalled. That is what facilitated the incredible quantity of rain. The semi-sextile from Mercury to Houston’s Jupiter in the 8th house of transformations and death, further exaggerated this effect. On the positive side, the sextile from the transiting Sun to Houston’s Saturn implies help and assistance from afar in rebuilding. This is further reinforced by Venus, transiting the 8th house.

These very basic aspects shown here are only a few and represent the more common ones. There are several others known as minor aspects or harmonics which seldom have a minor effect, especially those associated with intense energy and power. Others relate to physical and spiritual extremes.  There were at least nine of these aspects involved, which certainly did their part to make this a record breaking storm that left unprecedented devastation behind.

As I’ve said repeatedly, you can’t make this stuff up.

Hurricane Information Sources: The Weather Channel & NOAA National Hurricane Center Advisories

 

“Gone: Catastrophe in Paradise” by O.J. Modjeska

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This book reminds me of the movie, “Titanic” in that you know from the start it’s not going to end well, yet up until that horrible moment, there’s nail-biting suspense as you wish that, somehow, it isn’t true and never happened. And like the Titanic, this incident is also horrifyingly true.

I blew through this gripping, yet heart rending book in a single day. I can’t name a single novel at which I’ve shed more tears. It recounts in incredible detail what went on behind the scenes of the catastrophic plane crash that occurred March 27, 1977 on Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands, when two jumbo jet Boeing 747s collided on the ground, killing 583 people.  I remember that accident well and how horrified I was that something so terrible could happen. I’d never even heard of Tenerife until that time, and unfortunately, every time I’ve heard it since, this tragedy is the first thing that comes to mind.

The author takes you, step by step, through all the events that led up to it, again showing that every disaster has multiple causes, an unfortunate chain that could have been broken at any number of points, yet never was, resulting in the unthinkable. Incredibly, it started way before that, with the placement of the airport at a horrible location where banks of fog were known to roll in from the adjacent mountains. Folklore has it that the “X” on the map was originally to indicate the place NOT to place the airport, yet later that rationale was lost, Murphy’s Law prevailed, and that was exactly where it was placed. How ironic and how human.

Having worked at NASA for over 20 years, including during the time immediately following the Challenger accident as well as when Columbia broke up over Texas skies in 2003, I’d already seen that pattern. It’s never one, single thing, one single mistake, that causes a major disaster, but an unfortunate chain that is seemingly cursed by fate.

It made my blood boil that it actually started with a terrorist attack on Las Palmas, another airport in the Canary Islands. While I’m sure there’s a special place in hell for the insidious individual perpetuating that scourge, it’s horrible the damage and loss of life their barbaric beliefs have caused. In this case, their actions of detonating a bomb in the Las Palmas terminal forced numerous aircraft to be rerouted to Los Rodeos, an airport far too small to accommodate such an influx of unexpected flights, especially wide-body, jumbo jets like the Boeing 747.

Truly, this situation was an accident waiting to happen from the start as two tower controllers near the end of their shift attempted to manage the unexpected situation with antiquated equipment; they didn’t even have ground radar. These critical circumstances were further exacerbated by cultural issues and the quirks of human nature, always a factor in such a tragedy, yet so often far from deliberate. Someone makes a bad decision, never dreaming in their worst nightmare what the result will be. And the coup de grace was the fog.

I’m not sure it would constitute a spoiler to say more, given the unfortunate end result is well known and documented. To say I enjoyed the book is a bit of a misnomer, given it was far from pleasant, yet a very emotional experience, which to me is the hallmark of an outstanding book.  This one is skillfully written and represents meticulously detailed research, which provides a three or even four dimensional view of the happenings of that day.

I’m probably not the “average reader” since I worked in shuttle and payload safety at NASA, I where I personally participated in accident investigations, had classes in such, and was involved in the post-mortem of the Columbia accident. I’ve read NTSB reports of other airline accidents with interest and had the privilege of attending Aerospace Medical Association Conferences a few times where such things were discussed, including TWA Flight 800, which went down in flames July 17, 1996 after taking off from JFK airport in New York.  Some pretty interesting theories exist related to that one, too, which were not included in the official accident report.

The author did a spectacular job of leaving no stone unturned, reporting the situations, circumstances, and results in an objective, yet thoughtful manner, demonstrating once again that accidents don’t just “happen,” at least not of this scope.

The message, of course, for us all, is to recognize that nothing in life is guaranteed. There’s no telling when what appears to be a benign decision might be the fatal link that takes a normal day into the realm of tragedy. For the human factors involved alone, this book deserves attention, especially for those who work in any industry that has the potential for a similar disaster.

I particularly appreciated mention at the end of various individuals reporting paranormal and ghostly apparitions appearing from time to time on the runway. This is the case of various locations where horrific loss of life has occurred. As a professional astrologer, upon finishing the book, I immediately cast the event chart for the accident and could see that there were definitely very sordid aspects in play at the time, all of which reflected much of what was included in the book.

Whether or not you believe in astrology, disaster charts tend to include details that fall into the category “you can’t make this stuff up.” For example, for this disaster it showed fog and unclear communications, power trips, rebellion against authority and regulations to one’s own self-undoing, death and separation from loved ones, and a tremendous amount of activity in the 8th house of death, including the asteroid Icarus, namesake of the mythological individual who tried to fly but went down in flames, on the cusp of the 8th house. It shows the compassionate action of those on the ground, and even that Tenerife would ultimately bear the stigma of being remembered for this horrific event. No, you can’t make this stuff up.

Read this book. It’s outstanding, albeit heartbreaking. And never take anything for granted again. I give this nonfiction thriller 5 stars for content, even though there were a few grammatical issues here and there. The research more than compensates.

You can pick up your copy on Amazon here.

Why Democracies Fail

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Whether or not you have any belief in metaphysics, it seems the severe weather plaguing the country today serves as an interesting commentary on protests that spanned the nation and even the world this past weekend. The winds of change are seldom a gentle breeze.

While some were sipping champagne in celebration of the events associated with Donald J. Trump’s inauguration as the 45th president of the United States, others were crying in their beer. Of course, for the past eight years of the Obama administration, these sentiments were reversed. Thus the pendulum swings again.

It’s been said and proven throughout history that the average lifetime of a democracy tends to be right around 200 years. The USA has currently survived for 240. Beating the odds? I doubt it.

Unlikely as it may sound, the insights I’ve gained as a professional astrologer have helped explain why I believe this is so. Here’s the Readers’ Digest version of the stages I’ve recognized, without the astrologese:

  1. A nation is founded on the principles of freedom by a group with common standards and beliefs which unify them. Unifying factors often include religion and a common language. A set of governing laws are set in place to keep society protected and under control.
  2. Over time, freedom results in a proliferation of beliefs, some of which are contrary to those on which the nation was founded and possibly its laws as well.
  3. If these factions are tolerant and peaceful, coexistence can be achieved. If not, protests and demonstrations ensue. Diversity in many cases eventually turns confrontational and combative, particularly if those involved feel oppressed or violated.
  4. When protests become disruptive, violent or destructive and are contrary to the rule of law, it’s the government’s job to restore order. If leaders don’t do their job, protests continue to escalate until they can no longer be tolerated. At that point, they either prevail and effect an overthrow of the status quo, or they are squelched.

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  1. If a heavy hand is required to restore order, then a dictatorship, the usual successor to a democracy, assumes power, silencing the dissenters by whatever means necessary.

Not a pretty picture, is it? I see Donald Trump taking over this country somewhere between Stages 4 and 5.

There is such a thing as too much freedom when either tolerance is absent or extremism is present, thus causing some factions to want to eradicate or control those with opposing beliefs. In a country that has polarized into a two-party system, extremism is particularly likely. As these ideologies become farther and farther separated, both eventually abandoning country’s the founding principles, the populace is forced to choose one or the other, even though in many cases their true beliefs may lie somewhere in the middle. I can see positive aspects of both prevailing parties, but cannot endorse either 100%. However, when election time rolls around, I’m forced to make a choice. I can remember more elections in which I voted against someone as opposed to for. That, in itself, is a sad commentary.

For a while, as one party gains power and the pendulum swings their way, its opposing factions will be quite disenchanted. After a while, this discontent reaches critical mass and the opposition wins the next election. Then the pendulum swings the other way. The more antithetical beliefs and values become, the stronger the desire to gain complete control and annihilate the other, which inevitably leads to corruption. Or as they say, absolute power corrupts absolutely. This cannot go on forever.

Sadly, both sides accuse the other of hate. That is what disagreement evolves into when issues are volatile and so extreme that compromise and/or mutual understanding become impossible.

The United States is at a very critical stage of its evolution as a country. Ironically, it was never intended to be a democracy. It was designed as a Constitutional Republic. But given the freedom granted to its citizenry, it’s no wonder it has trodden the same path. Those original laws set in place by the Founding Fathers to maintain order were gradually repealed as they offended the masses. And here we are.

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There are too many factions, some easily given to violence, too many languages, too many religions, special interests and various other issues that divide us. Some revere Old Glory, others desecrate her. Some believe the environment should be preserved, others that it’s expendable. And this doesn’t even consider the corruption and corporatism that has sullied the entire system. This begs the question of who’s organizing the more violent protesters and in some cases even paying them? And why? To drive us more quickly to stage 5?

Thinking America can be put back together is like upending a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle and expecting it to land on the floor assembled. Astrology shows the USA’s evolution quite clearly. Interestingly, it’s course is entirely independent of who’s in the Whitehouse. Either way, the future does not look bright.

Download “Whobeda’s Guide to Basic Astrology” for FREE ’til Dec. 11th!

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If you’ve always wondered whether astrology works or what all that sign, house, and aspect stuff means, this is the perfect chance to find out for FREE until December 11! This is the book I wanted when I was first learning about it.

The Kindle version is always FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited. If you’re a beginning student of astrology or an instructor teaching the basics, this book covers the material in an easy to follow manner.

What readers are saying about Whobeda’s Guide:

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“If you have no clue about cusps, rising, or what a fixed or mutable sign is, then you need to read this book.”

“Fun, witty and informative. . . An Absolute must read!”

“Five stars only because I can’t give it a hundred!”

“Written with wit and candor, this book is a must have for beginners as well as seasoned professionals.”

“Like sitting in the kitchen with a dear friend as she shares her delicious astro insights!”

Get your copy at one of the outlets below:

Click here to get it FREE until December 11th

Looking for the perfect gift for the person who has everything? Get the print version for $15.95 here

Or better yet, get the print version from the CreateSpace eStore and use Discount Code 4KCHSKEW to get 20% off!

 

“Wandering Feelings” by Boyko Ovcharov: A Glimpse into the World of Those Driven by Emotion

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Much of the prose in this story was poetic and beautifully rendered, such that it did an excellent job of capturing feelings, which can be elusive and difficult to describe with words. The descriptions of various places provide excellent imagery and added to the dreamy, flowing nature of the story. The style is definitely unique and doesn’t conform to formula writing. There is no plot in the usual sense most readers expect and the characters are nameless. In other words, it breaks plenty of rules, yet in its own way, as a chronolog of feelings, it “works.”

As an astrologer, this story struck me as a great example of getting inside the head of someone driven by emotion, such as those born under a Water Sign (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces). If you’re not a deeply emotional person, you’re likely to see the characters in this book as illogical and possibly even dysfunctional in their inability to dismiss their unloving, materialistic upbringing and get on with their lives. However, for someone ruled by emotion, this is not easily done.

And for those driven by logic, not easily understood.  In fact, this latter group will probably be unable to understand the emotions expressed in this story. They may feel uncomfortable and perhaps even disgusted with the characters, who simply can’t seem to “get over it.” This is something that can cause great divides in relationships when people can’t understand how others are programmed. We’re all egocentric to some degree, especially when we’re younger, and think everyone sees the world as we do, or at least should.

Thus, if you fully relate to this book and become blissfully immersed in its beautiful prose and deeply felt emotions, you’re probably an emotional person yourself. Those who roll their eyes, keep waiting for something to happen worth noting or for the characters to get a grip and quit whining are probably logical by nature.

The richest part of life is often that which is felt. Those who have never fallen deeply in love, felt overwhelming joy or even its antithesis of debilitating emotional pain, are missing something. I believe this book is most important for those who don’t understand how deeply emotions can operate because it introduces them to a world with which they are entirely unfamiliar. Emotions are not always positive, e.g. love, but can be viciously destructive as well. Understanding that brings new insights into human nature, of which no one can ever have too much.

Rather than dismissing or criticizing the book or the characters, learn from it. Yes, there are people out there who are that tied to their emotions. If you’re not one of them, this is an example of what you’re missing, for good or ill.

You can find it on Amazon here.

Was Houston Flood the Fault of the Stars?

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If you’re a fan of The Old Farmer’s Almanac, you’re most likely aware that it contains weather predictions as well as advice regarding when to plant, harvest, and numerous other activities. Most likely anyone who’s drawn from its wisdom hasn’t questioned its source or wondered what it was. If that’s a burning question you’ve had for most your life, then I have good news for you because I’m about to tell you where that advice comes from.

Ready? Are you sitting down? Okay. It’s astrological.

Whether or not you believe in astrology makes no difference. It works and doesn’t much care whether people recognize it or not and neither do I.

As an example of how it works for weather, I couldn’t resist doing another extreme weather blog regarding the astrological influences in effect at the time, in this case, the massive flooding event in Houston, Texas. This blog, like numerous others involving astrology, is in the category best known as “You can’t make this stuff up” or “What are the odds?”

As a professional astrologer I tend to speak in astrologese, which of course makes no sense to anyone unfamiliar with its terminology. I will do my best here to explain things in lay terms which will of necessity include a few brief, albeit essential, astrology lessons.

First of all, what you see below is the “birth chart” of Houston, Texas. Since it is a major city, detailed information about it’s founding is available in the historical record. In reality, the worst part of this recent flood was centered slightly northwest of the city in a city called Katy, but an actual date much less time of its incorporation or naming (which occurred when they applied for a post office in 1896) were unavailable. Houston felt the effects too, so thus, we’ll look at Houston.

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Planets, signs and houses (of which there are twelve as you can see from the numbers around the smaller inside circle) each represent a variety of things. Planets and signs have their own distinctive energies while houses indicate different categories relative to life.

If you look at the city’s horoscope, which represents the location of the Sun, Moon and planets at that moment in time, you can see a variety of different lines in the center. These indicate relationships known as aspects between the Sun, Moon and planets. In general, the red ones are stressful, the green ones favorable, and the blue ones somewhat unstable, except when two of them come together, like they do here, with a green line connecting them at the base.

This aspect pattern is known as a yod or “finger of god” and typically has a fated flavor to it. From time to time, as the actual location of the planets in our solar system form other aspects to these natal planets, events are triggered. Seriously. The yod is comprised of Houston’s Virgo Sun, Cancer Mars and Aquarius Neptune, which is represented by a glyph that looks a lot like Neptune’s famous trident. Neptune is in a position in the yod known as its eye, which is where the Sun’s energy (Sun being indicative of personality) and Mars’ energy (symbolic of activity) are directed.

If you know a little about mythology, you know that Neptune is the God of the Deep. In astrology, he rules anything related to liquids among other things. Houston’s nickname is “The Bayou City.” The Houston Ship Channel is a major influence on its economy. Oil, another biggie for Houston, is also ruled by Neptune. Being not too far from the Gulf of Mexico, Houston is often troubled by hurricanes, such as Ike in 2008.

So we have Neptune very prominently placed in Houston’s horoscope and it’s easy to see its influence has been a big one on this city as expressed by the yod, which basically states that the city’s personality and activity is going to relate a lot to Neptunian matters such as water and oil.

Get the idea?

Coincidence? Maybe. Let’s see what else is going on.

Neptune is also related by aspect to some other planets as well. Note the red triangle, an aspect pattern known as a T-square. These are stressful. The other planets involved are Saturn, which represents structures, responsibility and tradition, and Jupiter, which tends to exaggerate and inflate matters. Saturn is in the 11th house which includes groups and organizations and Jupiter is in the 8th house, which includes matters that are intense, transformational or involve shared resources. It also includes death and is usually involved for severe weather events. For Houston, this house is particularly sensitive to the Moon.

Thus, this T-square can easily be related to major storms and floods that damage structures of both a physical and societal variety with extreme impact on the infrastructure as well as the potential for loss of life.

The green lines that look like a big triangle is what is called a Grand Water Trine. I swear I’m not making this up. That is because the three planets involved are in Water Signs which include Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. The smaller green triangle on top of the big one, which makes the entire configuration look like a kite, ties the Sun into the Grand Trine. While this configuration is often favorable, all it really means is that the planets all communicate their energy well, so if that energy isn’t good, then the influence isn’t, either.

The glyph at the bottom of the Grand Trine, which looks like an old-style television antenna, represents Uranus. This is appropriate since Uranus is associated with technology. He is also related to surprises, unexpected events, upsets, rebellion, explosions, freedom and so forth. Uranus, in turn, is connected back to Neptune by an aspect that tends to denote friction. The implication is for numerous unexpected and disruptive events related to water. The main point here is that so many planets are connected such that when one is affected it will reverberate throughout making things a bigger deal than if they weren’t tied together.

If you’re wondering what the planet labeled “Pos” represents (probably not what you think), that’s the asteroid named Poseidon, also associated with water. We’ll get to him in a moment.

There are certain cosmic events that tend to have tremendous impact astrologically. One of those is eclipses, which are even recognized by stock market gurus as influential. Look it up some time. In March there were two eclipses, one a solar eclipse and the other lunar. The location of the Sun and Moon for the lunar eclipse was in a zodiacal degree that slammed Houston’s Neptune creating an astrological tsunami.

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Neptune was aspected by the Moon and the Sun, both of which were in houses that typically indicate important events, which in this case include a lot of public attention and the property and residents of the city itself. Uranus, master of the unexpected and upsets, was involved as well. Part of the “You can’t make this stuff up” department, and why I love the asteroids in astrology, is that Poseidon’s current position is irritating Uranus PLUS opposite Houston’s Sun, kind of an “in your face” kind of aspect, to say the least.

Jupiter’s current location is at the top of the chart, which indicates major attention from the public, in this case worldwide.

You’ll note that the eclipse was March 23 while the flood didn’t occur until April 17, but eclipses set events in motion with their effects strong enough to last for months. The night the rain began that started this debacle, a few things had changed in the planetary configurations which were far from helpful.

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This looks like a relatively quiet chart until you look a little closer. Out in space, Jupiter and the Moon were aligned and parked on Houston’s Mercury, which is all about news and movement. Neptune’s cosmic position was opposing them, making it a key player. The Moon is always important, but as noted earlier,it’s particularly influential for Houston’s ominous 8th house of death and such. So first there’s a lunar eclipse, now the Moon is stirring things up some more.

Holy guacamole! On top of all that, the asteroid, Poseidon, is in a different zodiacal sign but in the same degree as the natal chart, increasing his energy, plus he was cozied up to Neptune, so both mythological gods of the deep were in cahoots, too. Saturn, which relates to structure, as noted earlier, and Pluto, god of the underworld, were also combined in a malefic blast, though Venus did provide some intervention, enough to keep this from being a lot worse than it already was, such as the fact most of the rain came down overnight when less people were out, though Houston is definitely another city that never sleeps.

There are various other indicators in these charts that tie in even more of Neptune’s soggy influences as well as several others that I won’t go into, because I think I’ve made my point and there’s a good chance you didn’t even make it this far and if you did, your eyes have long since glazed over and you’ve set this aside for bedtime reading.

So be it. Once again, at least as far as I’m concerned, astrology has not failed me, if nowhere else in the domain of “What are the odds?” Poseidon, if nothing else, is the coup de grace, much as the asteroid, Marathon, was for the Boston Marathon bombing several years ago, where he was in a key location of the event chart.

You can’t make this stuff up.