Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What in the universe is a "house"?

You know sometimes the simplest questions never get asked or answered. We astrologers forget that words and phrases we so often toss around without thinking are not ones that everyone else uses in their every day lexicon! Nothing is more annoying that someone addresses me in "shop talk" so I want to take a few minutes today to get back to fundamentals.

For instance, what is a house? The famous song talks about the Moon being in the 7th house. Where is that house, 7 Moon Lane? A house is nothing more than a 30 degree swath of the sky. Because we live on a relatively circular planet that travels in a relatively circular path around the Sun, we perceive the sky above us as a circle and a circle has 360 degrees. Because there are twelve houses, each house is 30 degrees of the circle. But why twelve houses?

The ancient Sumerians and Babylonians are credited with devising the astrological system we now use in the West although it is entirely possible that some other civilization came up with the whole thing and these guys get the credit because they had a written language. So the Sumerians and Babs could have cribbed the whole system from someone else and just wrote it down. Regardless of the oddities lost in the mists of history, twelve is a very powerful number. It is a number that vibrates to the wisdom of a powerful circle. There were twelve tribes in Israel, twelve disciples followed Jesus, there are twelve months in the year, and our modern clock is divided into two groups of twelve hours. It is considered to be the ancient number of completion as it signals the end of childhood and the beginning stages of adulthood. Additionally, the ancient numbering and measuring systems are based on this number, as evidenced by terms such as a dozen (12), a gross (12 times 12), a shilling (12 pence) and a foot (12 inches). So 12 was a number of power, wisdom and a power circle - makes sense they would use it for the zodiac as well. Therefore, the zodiac pie is divided into 12 equal 30 degree pieces.

We anchor that pie in the sky, if you will, with the Eastern and Western horizons. The Eastern horizon is the point where the 1st house begins and then the circle moves in a counter clockwise direction down to the second house and up and around again so that the 12th house borders the first.

Each house influences a part of our life but more on that later. I will spend some time on each house in the next few months.

Happy 4th all -- of July not house…although the 4th house vibrates to home, hearth and patriotism!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Ok so I heard from some of my Pisces rising friends when I detailed the saga of poor Pisces being stuck on the first house. Whine Whine Whine J So I will now show you that every sign has a house which makes it feel less than comfortable if you will. Today I will risk the wrath of Mars and explore what happens to Aries when it is placed in the house of OOKEY SPOOKY…. The house in which Pisces feels totally at home I might add…. That is, the 12th house.

“What?” (Thunder clapping in the background.) “Twelfth house again? I WON”T. I hate it. No way. I hate all that karmic crap all that touchy feely connection to past lives and connecting to the god source baloney. NO NO NO NO - hear me NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.” “Oh, you ARE the god source? Oh, I didn’t mean baloney - you know when I get mad… I sometimes…..OK OK don’t get all huffy, already.”

Aries stomps off. There has to be a way out of this. After all, Aries is the warrior, a cardinal leadership sign. It can change and shape things to it’s will. Yeah, I will get someone else to do this. What better mark than Pisces. He looks to his right and sees Pisces happily communing with the universe in the 12th house.

“Oh Pisces my fishy friend. How are you today?” His voice is dripping with just enough untypical honey that Pisces incredible intuition kicks in. “Ah, fine Aries - fine. It is a beautiful day in the cosmos but what do you want.”

Aries is taken aback. Pisces isn’t quite the pushover she seems. Darn. “Oh nothing. Just a teeny weenie favor. You love being here in the 12th house and I just don’t get it. You know the compassion, the peace the joy of all as one - I gotta move, I gotta conquer I have to butt my ram head against great obstacles. Can you please - because you are such a compassionate creature - take my turn on the 12th house? Pretty please with butter?”

Pisces rolls her tail. Oh come on. “Thank you for the compliment but you know the 12th house with all that karmic connection might just be good for you. Actions have results - and you need to slow down and see your results once in awhile.”

Slow down? Slow down? This fish is bonkers. However, Pisces is starring right into Aries soul with her deep, penetrating eyes with such intensity that the warrior loses his nerve for a second. Recovering he huffs, “I have no time for THIS. I have things to do.” Pisces smiles peacefully knowing the lesson will be learned someday and swims off.

“Ouch, who the he….”

“Sorry Aries.” It is Sagittarius quickly pulling his arrow out of Aries back side. “ I just got a new quiver and oh geez that is going to leave a mark.”

“Think nothing of it friend,” grumbles Aries through clenched teeth. “But quid pro quo perhaps you can pay for pain with a little favor.”

“Sure I am all about universal justice and understanding.”

“Great, then take my turn on the twelfth house.”



“Ok sure but I promised the Unbonko people that I would sit in on a native tribal ceremony of unity and peace and well I guess I could be late. Hey, why don’t you come with me? It is a wonderful ceremony where everyone sits around and talks about how to bring justice and truth to the world in their every day actions and then there is dancing and then we eat native meals and then.”

“STOP - please you can’t be serious!”

Sag looks blankly at Aries who is pretty much jumped out of his armor at this point.

“You hurt me with your flipping arrow - you owe me now do it.”

“Oh now Aries I do appreciate you speaking the truth because I love truth - I am truth - truth is king tome -0 next to brotherhood…although it is a toss up brother hood - truth - truth brotherhood…..”

“Forget it. Not worth it!” Aries stomps off.

“Don’t even think about it ram!” Aries hasn’t even gotten to the front door of Scorpio’s dark, watery home yet.


“You heard me. With my fantastic ability to cut through the crap I know exactly what kind of trick you are trying to pull so vamoose..”

Now that is spooky. Scorp is usually freaky but this time she beat even her record at perception. Aries walks off but keeps looking over his shoulder in fear and amazement.

“Oh Libra Libra Libra…my friend the balancing scales.” How are you? Eek, how do you stay on top this large medicine ball all day?”

“It improves my balance and balance is what I seek all the time. I bring people together, I see both sides of their issues ….”

“Issues, issues yes issues - I have one. I need someone to take my spot on the twelfth house and you can help lead people to examine their connection to the universe and balance their beliefs. A natural - I say a total natural at the job.” (This diplomacy makes Aries a little nauseous or maybe it is just the balancing on this stupid ball. Whatever, he has to close the deal on make another conquest…fast.)

“Well yes I would be good - I never know…but if you say I am good well then I must be. I always take the other person’s word for things. I always see myself through others.”

“Yeah it is call co-dependent city.”

Aries went to far. Libra’s eyes fill with tears. “I don’t mean too. I just always think of the other… Is that so bad? “ Aries tries to make the situation right but Libra is so upset he falls off and breaks his arm.

“Darn now you won’t be able to do this for me… I mean, oh you are hurt - poor thing.”

“That is ok, I will get friends to help me - friendship is so important. It makes us see other’s issues and balance them against our own feelings. It is all about the other…”

Libra is still babbling as he is being carted off. Aries is getting desperate and bored. No one has a shorter attention span or faster temper. The other signs are too powerful to conquer - Aries favorite way of doing things and this diplomacy is wearing him down. He walks into a huge garden in search of Earthy Virgo. She is fixing an organic poultice for Libra.

“Did you hear about poor Libra. Some fool knocked her off his scales. Who would do such a thing.”

Aries looks wide eyed an innocent. He can do it with some effort.

“Good thing I have worked all morning in the garden and I have several herbs ready that will heal him. They have to be applied quickly so have to dash off. Sorry Aries, but can we talk later? Come back around 3 and I will have organic breads and teas ready for us and we can have a nice long chant. That is until I have to organize the house again.”

“Um Ok I will try to do that - sounds grand. Yikes what is that?” Few things frighten Aries - well actually Aries doesn’t let on that anything scares him but being the baby of the zodiac he is frighten a lot and just uses his bluster to cover it. But the roar of Leo the Lion sends shivers into his military boots.

“Who dares approach the king of the jungle!”

“It is just me Leo - nice land you have hear.”

“Of course.” That is right - flattery gets you everywhere with Leo.

“Oh mighty and glorious one. Lovely hair day you are having.”

“I always do silly boy.”

“Yes of course. Oh royal one - might I ask a teeny favor of you?”

“Yeah right.”

“Well, I need someone to take over my twelfth house spot and you your royal one - will shine a light so brightly on the universe that the person will have no choice but to see how it is one with Man.”

“Of course I will. But it is not my turn and I never do anything I don’t have to. So be gone.”


“I said BEGONE.” Leo knows Aries is all armor little guts really and the roaring routine will work like a charm.

Aries heart is sinking and his mood doesn’t brighten when he reaches Cancers door. The door is normally hard to open because Cancer the crab retreats so deeply into her shell but today it is swung wide and Cancer is swimming out her arms full of baked goods and blankets.

“Did you hear did you heat?” Cancers home made bonnet is slipping she is in such a hurry. “Libra has broken her arm. I have to apply all my motherly qualities , all my nurturing and caring to get him better. Oh dear and so close to the 4th of July - you know how patriotic I am - oh and I love a parade. How can I get this done and make all my peach pies in time? Well. It will have to be done. Aries perhaps you can help me out and use your sword to cut up the peaches.”

“MY sword full of peach crap - are you out of your &&&*W** mind?” But Cancer is too far gone to hear the ranting.

“WHOA slow down with those words, Aries.” It is Gemini, the twins, the sign of duality, quickness of though and communications. “I am a wordsmith but some of those are a bit much. What is it with that temper guy?”

“OH sorry Gemini but I am having the worst freaking day.”

“YOU? I had to listen to a two hour speech by Sarah Palin.” Sitting for two hours is hard enough but what that woman does to a sentence shouldn’t happen to a buzzard. Oye. “

“Ok well if you go an take my turn on the twelfth you can have some karmic peace for a while it will help you recover.”

“No sorry twelfth house is too stable for me - I have just been sitting for 2 hours! I have to move, move, move - BYE.”

He has one chance left- Taurus the Bull. Nothing moves Taurus if Taurus doesn’t want to be moved.”

“Yes I have heard. Gemini is such a loud lout he woke me from my nap.”

“Then you will do it.. You can sleep in the peace of the cosmos on the twelfth.”

“Yes but I will have to move to get there. And I just started a new painting with my tail and ….”

“Forget it! I can’t stand it anymore. Nothing can be worse than trying to reason with you boobs. I have had it! “””

And so Aries stomped off to be on the twelfth house of some soul just being born and made darn sure they came face to face with their spiritual questions and destiny or else!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Happy Solstice! What does that mean anyway?

It is the Summer Solstice! Yippee! Ok so what does that mean exactly? It is defined in astronomy as the time when the Earth tips on its axis and the Northern part becomes closest to the Sun. For those of us in the Northern hemisphere it brings the onset of summer. It is also the longest day of the year when we have the most sunlight. Astrologically, it is the moment when the Sun tips into Cancer. As you can see in the chart below – the Sun, signified by the blue circle with the dot in the center is in zero degrees Cancer. This will happen at 7:30 AM Eastern on June 21, 2010.

The word solstice comes from the Latin – sol – Sun -and sistere – to stand still and it does look from our vantage point on the ecliptic that the Sun is standing still in the sky. (Yes, I know it always stands still but they didn’t know that when Latin was all the rage.) We know now that because of the way we are tilting it appears that the Sun is static. The science has changed but not the name. For about three days it seems that the Sun has nothing better to do than pour a heavy concentration of its light right on our little heads. Summer is a time of fire, when the sun is growing our crops and providing the food that will nourish our bodies throughout the rest of year.

Cancer, however, is a water sign and tells us that it is the time for home and the enjoyment of friends of family. Summer is the traditional time for family picnics and reunions enjoyed under the warming rays of the Sun – usually by the water. The United States, a country “born” under the sign of Cancer – July 4, 1776 instituted a day of outdoor family celebration right at this time of sun and water!

Later, as the Sun moves into fiery Leo, we will experience the full intensity of the Sun as we move into the “dog days” of summer and finally earthy Virgo takes over in time of the harvest.

What is the “best” way to celebrate the Summer Solstice? Any darn way you please. However, if can incorporate water and fire elements into the day you will be very satisfied I am sure.

This year, Juno, the goddess of loyalty and partnership, will be in conjunction with the Sun as will Mercury. However, this Sun-Juno combination, which is normally of time of committing to someone else, is opposite a Pluto-Ceres conjunction. Pluto is the great transformer – the slow and grinding changer. Ceres is mother Earth. (HMMM Pluto and Ceres are in conjunction in the 6th house of health and physicality and the Earth is erupting toxic oil into the Gulf. Think about that one for a bit.) Add to this mix that the Sun-Juno sisters are in the 12th house – the house of the great cosmic unconsciousness – the house of karma. Can you see what is happening?

A Pluto opposition is a demand to change. Pluto is opposing the Sun – our life force – and Juno – loyalty and commitment and it has karma thrown in. So we will see a time when people are questioning their commitments to others and if it is a karmic commitment – people who came together “like magic” in this lifetime there could be some debt paying to one another. Ceres and Juno in opposition cause “female problems,” i.e. mothers and daughters questioning their relationships. Children particularly from other marriages will be chafing under the rules of the “new mommy.”

So while we are playing on the beach this summer, look out for the sharks. No, not those sharks – the ones that will crop up from the dance of the stars over head!

Happy Solstice all!


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The astrology of multiples

I have been asked to do a birth chart for triplets, recently, and it made me think about the increased number of multiples coming to Earth right now. In vitro fertilization, when successful, lends itself to multiple births. (We have it to thank for Jon and Kate and Octomom….argh.) What does the growth of multiple births mean astrologically? The question had me confused so I turned to my teacher and astro genius Adam Gainsburg, the founder of SoulSign. As usual, he had some amazing insights.

Multiples are usually born via Cesareans; therefore, their births coincide with times that are amenable to the schedules of doctors and hospitals. Some are emergency births because something goes wrong but the average multiple birth is a scheduled C-section. Therefore, these births usually take place between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM. Where is the Sun at those hours? Well, it is creeping up from the Ascendant, the Eastern horizon and making its way up to the center of the sky- high noon. On the astrological chart that places it in the 4th quadrant, the span between the 10th and 12th houses.

This quadrant deals with the individual’s assimilation into society. Essentially, it is learning to blend our life force into society. This isn’t always easy because we are trying to meld and blend into the norms dictated by another group of people. If a chart is such that a person is in step with society then they will have an easy time but if a person is at all quirky or somehow out of synch with society, their life is going to have conflicts, adjustments and perhaps disappointments. So on a personal level a person forced into this birth situation will have to confront issues of fitting in, self awareness and making concessions.

What are the karmic implications of being born a twin, triplet or quad? Well, because the universe hates simple answers, there can be several. The one I find most intriguing is that they could be one soul coming in to life as several people to experience various life experiences with self. Think about it. Who says that a soul can’t incarnate as more than one person….it is the soul for goodness sakes! (Yeah, you thought I was going to say for Heaven’s sake didn’t you?) If the soul wishes to speed up Earth class, why not incarnate as a twin? It will experience itself in another – perhaps adversarial – perhaps totally loving – body. It is the ultimate in seeing ourselves as others see us.*

Multiples usually band together, some even develop their own language. An increase of multiple births can show the beginning of a return to a more tribal society. Isn’t it amazing how everything comes full circle – from tribal society to individualistic and back to tribal? No, we aren’t going to be dancing around campfires again (unless we totally blow up existing society which we are totally capable of doing.) So if we have increased groups of people linked by this common birth trying to assimilate themselves into society as a whole, those who find it difficult will retreat back to the comfort of their birth tribe. If multiples are more apt to marry multiples, which they are, you can see how these little communities will spring up in society.

I can’t help but chuckle to think it is the most modern of scientific techniques that will make us more tribal. At this time of transformation, it will be interesting to see how this new tribalism will play out.

*I know the term “soul-mates” has been tossed around like an old Frisbee these days, but you don’t have to be born of the same parents to be true soul-mates. The soul can incarnate as male and female in the same life to experience life as a married couple. In the case of multiple births, however, it is a more intimate soul experience because you are actually seeing yourself react to self. It is a much deeper learning experience.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Full Moon Baby

My niece had her second child last week and yes, I am one of those wacky astrologers who tracks the chart and see how it moves and what the possibilities are as labor progresses. Those of you who read "In the Lion's Den" where I chronicled my life among Leo rising people,  will be amused to learn that the new baby is Leo rising! Come to think of it, my niece is also Leo rising. Lions, lions all around!

The baby has another astrological distinction in that she was born during the Full Moon. We consider the Moon "full" when it appears totally lit and totally round and we can see it as clearly as we ever can. This is because it is the furthest from the Sun and is out of the grasp of the it's rays. The Moon is always "full" we just can't see it when the sunlight is normally hogging a lot of the space. On a chart, we can always spot someone born under the full Moon because the glyphs for the Sun and Moon are on opposite ends of the chart - they are 180 degrees from one another.

I was amazed when, years ago, I worked for an engineering group and learned that many nuclear power plants add extra security during the full Moon. These button down science types acknowledge that something happens to some people during that time. How astrological of them! Of course, we are all aware of the term "full Moon madness." Since the Moon controls our emotional energy, people with high strung Moon placements do feel the difference when the she is at her most powerful.

 What does this mean for people born under the full Moon? While I am certain that my little great niece will not turn into a werewolf, she will have a hard time connecting her emotions. Expressing her emotions, understanding them, feeling and channeling them will all be hurdles for her to conquer. And during those times when the Moon goes "full" every month, if it is a constellation that activates her Natal Moon, she is going to be a bit off kilter for a day or so.

Fortunately, by making her parents aware of this they will be able to guide her over the rough spots. That is one of the most wonderful aspects of doing baby charts. Because they are road maps, they show parents what they are in for! Seriously, you don't start a journey without a map, why start a life?

Baby charts make excellent gifts!

Pluto and the Oil Spill

Can you see how the Gulf Oil Spill is related to Pluto being in Capricorn? No? Well re-read some of the Capricorn posts I have made and remember what Capricorn rules. It should come to you.

Karmic Astrology by Joan's Fan Box