The Astrology Blog 25 January 2021
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“I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.”
Larry King – 19 November 1933 – 23 January 2021
“When day comes we step out of the shade/aflame and unafraid/The new dawn blooms as we free it/For there is always light/If only we’re brave enough to see it/If only we’re brave enough to be it.”
Amanda Gorman – 7 March 1998
So, history was made last week as Joe Biden at the age of 78 became the oldest person ever to take up the office of president. He was all but outshone – okay, completely outshone – by Amanda Gorman, who at the age of 22, became the youngest person ever to recite an inaugural poem. We’d never heard of her but she’d already been making a name for herself. In 2014, when she was just 16, she was named the Youth Poet Laureate of her hometown Los Angeles.
If you watched the ceremony I’m sure you’ll agree that it wasn’t so much a recital as a performance – confident, vibrant and mesmerizing. She had the feel and the beat of a rapper without the music. No horoscope has appeared for her yet but she was born 7 March 1998. This obviously makes her a Pisces but I would put money on a Leo Ascendant, OR the Sun (who rules Leo) placed very prominently in her chart.
What is the Ascendant?
Arguably the most important part of the horoscope, the Ascendant – or rising sign – is the sign rising over the eastern horizon at the time of birth. It therefore marks the beginning of the first house and is the front door into any horoscope. This crucial angle can be calculated to exactitude only if the time of birth is known, which is why time is so important to an astrologer. Without a birth time it is a little like looking at a clock with no hands so, or a house without a front door. How do you get in? So the more accurate the birth time, the more accurate the horoscope.
All twelve signs of the zodiac rise over the eastern horizon in any 24-hour period. Owing to a phenomenon called Short Ascension or Long Ascension some signs pass over the horizon more quickly than others but as a rough rule of thumb the Ascendant changes sign approximately every two hours.
If you don’t know your Ascendant you can use the link at the top of this blog to Astrotheme. Enter your data of date, place and time of birth and it will calculate the position of all your planets and give you your Rising Sign.
What does it symbolize?
The Ascendant is the face we present to the world, the personality traits we exhibit and the lens through which we filter all information and experiences. It is the first thing that others see about us or that we see about others. Think of it as the cover to a book. It is not “the whole story”, the rest of it is inside the book, but a flavor of what is to come and an indication of how we come across, how we engage with others especially in first encounters, and how we approach life in general.
As the angle of the First House of the physical body the Ascendant also has a big say on how we look. All the Sun signs have their own physical characteristics and these can be replicated when the sign is rising.
Leo is the only sign ruled by the Sun and Leo rising people have a way of announcing themselves, they don’t just walk into a room, they make an entrance. When Amanda Gorman walked out onto that stage in that stunning sunshine yellow outfit that was how the moment felt, an immediate sense of “we’re about to see something special”. Her poetic theme was also a Leo/Solar one – fiery passion and courage.
The Solar symbolism was there on the day in the transits too as she was born on a Neptune – Venus conjunction at 1 and 2 degrees Aquarius respectively, a conjunction that was illuminated by the Sun on the day of the inauguration, at 1 Aquarius. And by the way it’s extraordinary how often Neptune conjoins with a personal planet in the charts of gifted imaginative types in the world of film, theatre, song, literature and so on.
The crucial part of the Ascendant in terms of predictive astrology is that it points us to the chart ruler. In other words, even though your whole chart is “you” at one level. which planet is you in particular? Once you have the answer to that question you can then move on to a full “who’s who” and you can locate everyone else in your life, and those coming into your life, in your personal horoscope. Such is the magic of astrology.
Famous Leo Ascendants:
Luciano Pavarotti, Marilyn Monroe, Christopher Reeve, Beyonce Knowles, Tina Turner, Taylor Swift, Celine Dion, Meryl Streep
I loved Larry King and I was so sad to read that he passed away this weekend after contracting the Covid virus. I remember when we first got satellite TV here in Greece about 20 years ago and being able to watch CNN and that’s when I came across his show. I’m not a big TV fan but Larry King Live was, for me, compulsive viewing.
It’s fascinating to read that he knew from a very early age that he wanted to be in broadcasting, and nothing else. He conducted over 50,000 interviews in his long career, including presidents and many others in positions of great power but he treated them all the same. He was known for his short but probing questions, and also for being one of those rare interviewers that let the other person speak. He always said he was not the star of his show, his interviewees were.
The first thing you would look for in the chart of an interviewer would be Mercury – the winged messenger of the gods, planet of communication. We locate Larry King’s career and style in his Sun – Mercury conjunction in Scorpio – sign of power, mystery, the taboo, psychoanalysis, sleuths, emotional intensity – with the two planets only one degree apart. Mercury in Scorpio, a traditionally “mute” placing, is also retrograde – there’s the hanging “back” rather than taking over. Both planets are also trine (positive aspect) to “in depth” Pluto (Scorpio’s planet) in the 7th House (Significant Other). It was rare for him not to get even the most tightly wrapped person to shed layers. From my own viewing the only person I saw successfully block him was Jennifer Aniston on the subject of Brad Pitt. Jennifer has Saturn (boundaries, barriers) smack on her Descendant, the angle of “the other”, whether that be husband or interviewer. No Entry.
Larry King passed at age 87 just before his third Saturn Return (Saturn being his chart ruler, he had a Capricorn Ascendant) and when Pluto was transiting opposite natal Pluto for the third and final time, a transit that we can’t experience unless we live to around the age of 90. He ended his long running TV show with his own thoughts and a thank you to his audience for watching and supporting him over the years, “I… I, I don’t know what to say except to you, my audience, thank you. And instead of goodbye, how about so long.” So long Larry.
WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEK?
The most important recent aspect was the big rocky square between Jupiter and Uranus that was exact late last Sunday. As I was saying last week this square, although now separating, isn’t yet past its sell by date as the fast mover planets are playing into it. This is a bit like ripples spreading from a stone cast into a pond, so look for themes of ongoing effects, consequences or trouble shooting. Last week it was Mars joining up with Uranus and squaring up to Jupiter, this week it’s the Sun doing it the other way around and squaring Mars just as we go into next week –
Tuesday 26 January
- Sun 6 Aquarius square Uranus 6 Taurus 12.49
Friday 29 January
- Sun conjunct Jupiter 9 Aquarius 01.41
Monday 1 February
- Sun 12 Aquarius square Mars 12 Taurus 10.35
Out in the world the biggest news stories relating to this astrology include the vaccination campaign, which appeared to be going really well in the UK but then degenerated in some places to chaos in terms of shortages, delays and even talks of lawsuits (Jupiter rules the law, Uranus by square = things going haywire). Bad weather was the cause of further disruption to schedules over the weekend.
In the US the vaccine rollout was described as “chaotic” and, in terms of ripples in the pond, it was reported that the new administration had inherited a vaccine plan that wasn’t – President Joe Biden’s Chief of Staff Ron Klain said there was no plan in the federal government for the distribution of vaccines across the US. (BBC) They have to swing into action and this has started with Biden imploring all Americans to wear masks. Hurray.
The astrology shows even more clearly with Alexei Navalny, who was immediately arrested when he flew back to Russia last Sunday, the exact day of the Jupiter Uranus square. He flew from Germany, where he had been recovering from a nerve agent attack, an assassination attempt which he and investigative journalists have blamed on Russian authorities, and which they deny. Navalny is a lawyer and blogger, an anti-corruption campaigner and has become the most prominent face of the country’s opposition. He was arrested on the grounds of violating parole and has been kept in custody.
Mars as the active agent last week, god of war and therefore ruling everything to do with battles and strife, reflected the rallying of the troops which culminated in massive demonstrations over this last weekend –
Tens of thousands of people rallied across Russia on Saturday in some of the largest demonstrations held against President Vladimir Putin in years. Crowds defied police to show support for opposition leader Alexei Navalny… Monitors say more than 3,000 were arrested for taking part in rallies in dozens of cities across the country. Reuters estimated that some 40,000 gathered in Moscow alone, but authorities played down the figure and said only a tenth of that number showed up. (BBC News)
This is a clear showing of Uranus as unrest, rebellion and the collective in conflict with Jupiter, planet of freedom and justice. Jupiter’s nature is to expand so I have little trouble believing the numbers that turned out.
Usually the Sun – Jupiter conjunction, which happens only once a year, is unmitigated good news but I think we have to be careful not to give it too much hype on this occasion as Uranus is rather rocking the boat. However, Jupiter is still the Greater Benefic and the Liberator, so out of Uranus’s upheavals, shocks or surprises some good should yet come. With regard to Navalny, for example, the eyes of the world are on Russia and the US and UK have already condemned the heavy-handed response (Mars Taurus) and called for the release of peaceful (Jupiter) protesters (Uranus). The astrology would suggest that these calls will be heard, although we have no way of knowing what prices may be paid by the individuals concerned.
In your own life, whatever has rocked the boat or whatever the changes or uncertainty that you’re currently dealing with, the astrological picture indicates that many things are still unfolding. At least this week it’s the Sun shining light into things, but there’s still the square to bolshy Mars to come. On the way to the Sun – Jupiter we have the Full Moon at 9 Leo, the Sun’s sign, the ultimate illuminator, which falls conjunct Navalny’s natal Mars at 10 Leo. If nothing else he’s at the heart of a fight that is unfolding in the glare of worldwide publicity.
LEO FULL MOON & A VENUS FINALE
As I was saying last week we currently have no planets in signs belonging to the element of fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) and we won’t have until the Sun enters Aries on the Spring Equinox. Fire is heat and therefore symbolizes all that relates to the things that we get heated about – passion, fervent beliefs, blazing anger, getting fired up, the energy for life itself and so on. It’s easy to see how a locked down world can squash these things into small boxes or leave us struggling to find outlets for our stronger feelings or the warmth of human connection. The Sun will come out again but right now it definitely feels like the bleak midwinter. In the Southern Hemisphere the Leo Full Moon is a literal showing of the power of the Sun, and is flagging up the big issue of global warming. Heatwaves are Australia’s deadliest natural disaster and have killed thousands more people than bushfires or floods.
Back to the symbolic of our inner worlds the absence of fire makes this month’s Full Moon even more important as it’s a huge hotspot, like a blaze that I want to stand in front of and warm my hands. Of course fires can burn out of control so some care is needed to, especially when we remember that all Full Moons come with a lunacy (lunar) tag. But fire is also strongly linked to intuition and creativity so, no matter how restricted you might be in some ways, there are other avenues to explore here. Seize on whatever fires you up, everything from good ideas to job applications to online dating, it’s up to us to keep stoking those fires of passion and to draw attention to our talents, abilities, visions for the future and so on. Amanda Gorman is the ultimate role model.
While we’re fanning the flames in one area of life there’s another area that is rather a cold dark corner, as this Full Moon comes hand in hand with another conjunction that happens only once a year, the Venus – Pluto –
Thursday 28 January
- Venus conjunct Pluto 25 Capricorn 16.17
- Full Moon 9 Leo 19.17
Saturday 30 January
- Mercury turns retrograde 26 Aquarius 15.53
This is Venus’ last aspect before changing sign as she’ll be entering Aquarius at the beginning of next week, so it’s a double whammy in terms of a closing chapter. For now note that in simple terms Venus is Aphrodite, goddess of love, but she also rules all life’s pleasures and sweetness, and she also rules money. Having to run the gauntlet of wipeout king Pluto is therefore not an easy combination whichever way you look at it. Be prepared for some dark moments, a loss, a setback, a disappointment, money worries but above all remember that the joy of astrology is that it shows us how things are always moving on.
For some the Full Moon will illuminate a loss but otherwise think about the positive face to Pluto, which is deep healing and the potential of the transformative process. Often this starts with letting go of whatever is no longer working for you, whatever has had its day, and there’s no point in trying to breathe new life into it. At first this is disempowering, often bringing events that make us feel at the mercy of fate, but Pluto activity takes away with one hand but can give with the other. Alongside Mercury getting ready to turn retrograde pay special attention to anything that needs a big rethink but don’t look for immediate answers. Take the longer view but put your resourcefulness to work.
On the practical front tend to financial matters and be vigilant, everything from keeping hold of your personal belongings when out and about to being aware of scammers. Look out for dodgy emails and don’t buy anything on line unless it’s from a well known reputable source. Don’t be a victim in any sense! Next week it will be Venus’ turn to play into the Jupiter – Uranus square, happening alongside the first of the three weeks of Mercury’s retrograde journey, and I’ll be talking about these themes next time.
Until then take care
With love from Greece