Another Look at Biden’s Inauguration

January 29, 2021

I promised to compare my analysis of Joe Biden’s inauguration with other astrologers. No particular endorsement of these astrologers. I picked them at random on the internet, the sole criteria being a set of predictions based on the time and place of the inauguration, not on the USA’s chart or Joe Biden’s birth chart (both perfectly acceptable ways of examining Biden’s presidency).

All of these charts were drawn for noon on January 20th, the official time of the inauguration. One astrologer expressed reservations that the inauguration might be postponed for violence, the prediction based partly on void-of-course Moon (more on this below). I waited to see when the oath of office would actually occur before drawing the chart, giving the time as 11:50 a.m. This gave a Tenth House placement for Pluto, as opposed to the Ninth in charts which used the official time.

The void-of-course Moon was the item that stood out the most for astrologers. Lisa Stardust with Oprah Magazine noted that in the past hundred years there have been four inaugurations which took place with Moon void-of-course: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1945), John F. Kennedy (1960), Richard M. Nixon (1973), and Barack Obama (2009). Three of these presidents did not serve out their terms. The fourth, Obama, faced unusually harsh challenges from Congress passing legislation (although, to be contraire, The Affordable Healthcare Act was pretty significant).

Wendell C. Perry at Good Golly Astrology points out that Chief Justice John Roberts flubbed his lines at Obama’s swearing in, forcing him to take the oath again the next day, when the Moon was not void-of-course. So perhaps that’s how Obama escaped. Good job, Roberts!

The Uranus-Mars conjunction in the Twelfth House was another thing that was picked out of this chart. Molly Gauthier at Molly’s Astrology thought there might be violence at the inauguration. There wasn’t, but there was extremely high military presence at the Capitol. Astrology with Andy also saw violence during Biden’s term, though he cautioned that Uranus transits are unpredictable. Andy saw the square between this conjunction and Saturn manifesting in struggles between status quo and new ideas.

Pluto on the Midheaven was remarked upon by several astrologers (and completely ignored by others). Despite the high-profile placement, Pluto’s affinity was secrets was seen as significant to Andy. Carol Duhart wondered about hidden foreign influence in this administration. She saw an autocratic tendency in the busy Tenth House, which has four or five planets, depending on the time the chart is drawn.

Venus has significance in typical US presidential inauguration charts, since the specified date, time and place bring a predictable Taurus rising (and Venus rules Taurus). Elizabeth Grace saw the Ninth House Venus as auspicious for the arts and humanities.

You can compare these insights with my own post here.

The Biden Presidency: A hasty astrological impression

January 20, 2021

Here is the chart for President Joe Biden’s assumption of office.

I drew this chart for 11:50 a.m., Eastern Standard Time. Determining time in an event chart can present a challenge. What incident along the timeline marks the event? The official time of the inauguration, according to the White House, was 12:00 p.m. Biden and Vice President Kamal Harris took their oaths some minutes before that. Senator Amy Klobuchar introduced the 46th President of the United State shortly before noon, and Biden then spoke those honored words from the podium, “My fellow Americans…” only a few minutes before the official time.

In this case, it doesn’t matter whether we time the event at 11:45 or 12:00. The essential features are the same. A beginning with Moon void-of-course, signifying a presidency going much different than expected for anyone. Biden will see his plans stymied by persons and events, probably unforeseen, reflected again in the stellium of planets in the Tenth House squaring the Mars-Uranus conjunction in the Twelfth.

That Mars-Uranus conjunction, nearly exact in the chart, speaks to revolutionary change of a far-reaching nature. The attempted coup springs immediately to mind, suggesting Biden’s administration may be dealing with violent plots to undermine the government. The Twelfth House placement of this conjunction speaks to subversive acts done in secret, outside the awareness of most Americans. But secret revolutions can also be nonviolent, taking the form of hidden but intense jostling for power within an administration. Look for Harris, whose background as a prosecutor makes her comfortable in adversarial dealings, to wield more power, albeit behind the scenes, than a typical Vice President. As the first woman Vice President, her assertion of power will be challenged. Biden himself took a more active role than former Vice Presidents in the Obama administration, which could make him inclined to allow Harris to spread her wings.

The Twelfth House placement of the Mars-Uranus conjunction might suggest far reaching changes that are implemented subversively, through administrative rule and policy changes that sneak through unnoticed (or ignored) by the media. Harris, a talented tactician, is primed for this kind of strategy. Who these stealth changes will benefit cannot be predicted. (This is the nature of Uranus changes; if you could predict what happens, it wouldn’t be Uranus.) Despite touting his working class roots, Biden has throughout his career been as pro-corporation as you would expect a Senator from the State of Delaware to be. On the other hand, even he must be aware that distrust of corporations (especially the tech corporations that form Harris’s base) has been fueling Trump’s popular appeal. Democrats like to pretend that Trump’s appeal is limited to his White Supremacist base. Are they as dense as they appear? This active Twelfth House, squaring the public Tenth, will provoke that question repeatedly. Underscoring the intense grab for power behind the scenes is Pluto squarely on the midheaven squaring that Twelfth House Moon. Pluto is associated with inexorable power, while the Moon influences emotions, making this a highly charged conflict.

The cluster of planets in the Tenth House shows this presidency will be focused on getting business done. It will be ostensibly, even flamboyantly, transparent while conducting real business in secret. That legal Ninth House Venus might be a female former prosecutor with a significant role (Harris) or it might speak to laws or court rulings of significance to women. We may get another female Supreme Court justice. These are my initial thoughts. No doubt I’m overlooking something obvious. I’ll be examining analyses from people with more astrological insight than I in the coming weeks.

Brilliant Mars

October 16, 2020

Mars is unusually close to the Earth right now. Look for it overhead around midnight (it’s in opposition to the sun now). It will appear a bit more to the west every night (it’s retrograde until November 13th). Mars is so bright at the moment that you might mistake it for Venus: the “red planet” now has a blue or greenish cast.

Mars was technically closer to Earth last year, but dust storms on the planet hid its shine. You won’t be able to view Mars this close for another fifteen years.

Photo: David Craig

Aries Rules!

October 1, 2020

Moon is full in Aries through Friday, October 2nd. Aries is the feel good full Moon of the year, also called the Harvest Moon. People are outgoing, energetic, social, spontaneous. Like any other Moon only more so. Aries moon can also be headstrong and combative, but the Sun in Libra balances that somewhat.

Mars, ruler of Aries, is retrograde now in Aries, until mid-November. A retrograde in its own sign is felt more intensely. The inner planets retrograde (Mercury, Venus, Mars) shake things up. Mars represents energy more than anything else, so prudence, reflection, and calculated inaction may be appropriate now. Not the best time for moving forward.

Mars rules dentistry, so I’m wondering what my checkup this month will reveal. I keep putting off diagnostic x-rays, thinking it’s senseless to pay for information about a problem I can’t afford to fix right now. I promised to have them done this time. Should I?

I do think of retrogrades of the inner planets as times when things get fixed. Mercury retrograde, especially, points to areas of life that have been neglected. Mercury, ruler of machines, health, and communication, is also retrograde starting the middle of October.

When both planets are direct again in late November, we can check back in and see if we’ve had twice the fun.

Is this Mercury retrograde intense or what?

June 26, 2020


I don’t like eclipses. I find it difficult to get anything done during the eclipse, and there are always bumps in the road. The period between a lunar and solar eclipse is especially dicey, and we had a lunar, then a solar, eclipse, and we’re gearing up for another lunar. Penumbral rather than full, to be sure, but still.

Mercury retrograde usually doesn’t bother me as much. It happens three or four times a year, for one thing, so I’d be biting my nails a lot if I got too hung up over it. Things also don’t progress as usual during Mercury retrograde, but I take it as a time to devote energy to neglected areas of life.

This Mercury retrograde, coinciding with eclipse season, has jarred me a bit. I had a serious car breakdown on the road yesterday and the car had to be towed. Something structural went wrong, and I was lucky not to crash or be hurt. I’m biting my nails waiting for the verdict, hoping the car can be repaired, because I don’t think I can afford another one.

I haven’t figured out how to get the car back. The garage is 25 miles away, and normally people are willing to offer rides, but we have a pandemic going on and nobody wants to be close to anyone else. What a bother! There’s a huge mountain between the valley and town, so a bicycle won’t work. We don’t have Uber here. Ugh. County public transportation has been discontinued until further notice, again for the pandemic.

I have been worried about my car for some time. I really need to start making some money. I’ve been stubborn about not giving up my writing, and I don’t have the constitution at this stage of life to work a full day and then come home and write in the evening and weekends. Really, I never did. I’m one of these sorry people, ill equipped for this age, who come home from work tired in mind if not body, and I need eight hours of sleep to function. Getting a job with longer hours to get a car would mean giving up writing and this blog, at least for awhile. That’s provided I could even get a job that would pay enough to buy a car. We’re in a pandemic.

I named the car I have now Greatest Love. I don’t want to part with it yet.

Full Moon Eclipse: It’s all about me

June 5, 2020

Full moon eclipse in Gemini this week, and while a partial eclipse in this sign isn’t necessarily the most powerful, other astrological features are intensifying things. The longer-term square between Saturn and Uranus is magnified by retrograde Venus squaring Mars, inching up to a Venus-in-retrograde conjunction with the Sun.

The dominant social feature of the moment is protests against police homicides of Black people, sparked by the murder of George Floyd. Law enforcement has remained stuck in its abysmal patterns, racism being the pattern highlighted by the protests, and people of all races are sick of the willful refusal of this segment of society to change. This is a widespread issue, social in nature, not really about any one person (although it’s important that certain high profile people in the incendiary event be held accountable).

The trouble is that eclipses, even though wide ranging in effect, are personally felt. The moon is the quintessential personal planet, ruling and fueling emotions, and detachment in favor of the greater good is almost impossible. I have felt myself being drawn into my frustration with White people on the Left, particularly the “Right-on Lefty Dudes,” for the self-aggrandizing way they capitalize on other people’s pain. I’ve seen others become distracted over the stupidity of Trump’s comments in response to the protests or the clueless-as-usual way the elite journalist class tries to interpret the situation for us. Trump’s decision to involve the military should be roundly criticized, but the heart of the protests can be whitewashed by focusing on tangential issues. Troublesome moon energy demands attention to personal feelings, however inappropriate or inconvenient they appear to the intellect. I believe the best way to handle this is to recognize the myriad of personal issues surfacing and prioritize what belongs where and what is important now. The personal is political, but not every personal issue belongs in every political response.

Of course, other important things besides the demonstrations are happening on the planet. There’s still COVID-19. I’ve seen people complain that Americans can’t think about more than one issue at a time because the attention of the moment in the US has moved from the pandemic to homicidal racist police. Well, we get to decide where we put our attention. At the same time, a popular medical vlogger in England got pulled up by Americans for ignoring police brutality on his vlog about COVID-19! Did I mention this is a self-centered transit? Me-me-me. With a solar eclipse at the Solstice, and another lunar eclipse on July 5th, expect the emotionally intense self-absorbed energy to last until at least the July new Moon on the 20th. Remember: your emotions are valid; you only need to be mindful of how they’re directed.

Desolate Places

August 22, 2019

It was the owl that shriek’d, the fatal bellman
Which gives the stern’st good-night.

~ William Shakespeare, MacBeth

Two of the most forsaken places in popular imagination are cemeteries at night and deep outer space. I spent an evening earlier this week at Norton Cemetery stargazing with a friend who has a really good telescope.

Photo: Greg Smith

As we waited for twilight to deepen, a bat flitted over our heads. Eastern Coyotes wailed in the distance. As the night got underway, a Long-Eared Owl began her subtle one-note song.

The Ojibwe call death “crossing the owl bridge,” and the Tohono O’odham bury owl feathers with loved ones. The association in Western Europe of owls with death is thought to carry over from the pre-Indo-European practice of excarnation, the placement of dead bodies on platforms to be devoured by birds. But all the bodies in this cemetery were in the ground.

Photo: Rawastrodata

I heard the territorial scream of a Long-Eared Owl a few years ago, and I’ll never forget it. A friend and I were camping and awakened in the night by the sound, so piercing that we scrambled out of our sleeping bags trying to place it. In contrast, the single long note of the placid Long-Eared Owl could easily be missed if not repeated.

The stargazing was great. We looked at Saturn with his rings and Jupiter with his moons and debated how “Io” should be pronounced (I say EE-oh, you say EYE-oh).

One of the most awesome sights through the telescope, six thousand light years away, was the Wild Duck star cluster. It was discovered in 1681 by Gottfried Kirch and included in Charles Messier’s 1764 catalog (M-11). It is supposed to resemble the tale of a duck in flight. Honestly, I couldn’t see it, but it is a beautiful cluster.

Event Chart for Notre Dame Fire

April 16, 2019

In the wake of the fire that gutted Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday, there have been many articles and blog posts describing the spectacular blaze as well as the tumultuous history of the 850 year old cathedral. I’m going to interpret some astrological data for the event.

I don’t have a time for the dedication of the building, so I’m going to look at general astrological data as the fire started. According to Paris police, the fire was discovered at 6:50 p.m. local time on April 15. The fire could (and probably did) start earlier than this, but since this is an old wooden building, and therefore a tinder box, it is doubtful that it smoldered for long. Moon sign is probably correct.

Events of far reaching destruction and change are generally driven by outer planets – Pluto, Chiron, Jupiter, and (especially) Uranus. Inner planets Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars trigger the timing of the event.

Looking at the outer planets, using sign-specific orb of 5 degrees or less, there is a hard aspect (a square) between a Pluto-Saturn conjunction in Capricorn and the Sun in Aries. Saturn is the planet of karma and slow, difficult growth. Pluto is a planet of transformation, rebirth, and inevitable change. This difficult conjunction reflects uncomfortable events happening in the world in general right now. Again, these planets are squaring the Sun. Squares generate energy through resistance, and in this case the square involves a fire sign, Aries.

There is another square involving Jupiter in its home fire sign of Sagittarius and a Mercury-Venus conjunction. Again, this is triggering conflict, resistance, and energy.

While squares generate energy through resistance, there has to be accommodating aspects for that energy to be expressed. In this case the planet most associated with sudden, disruptive change, Uranus, trines the planet closest to the Earth, the Moon. This is the aspect that facilitated the flames. This, and a trine between Jupiter and the Sun, both in their home fire signs.

An accommodation of destructive energy is reflected to a lesser extent in the sextile between Chiron, an asteroid also associated with deep change, and the aggressive planet Mars. The 9th House placement of Mars is significant, since this house is associated with religion and government. Of course the Ascendant is not completely reliable here, since it is impossible to know exactly when the fire started, but even pushing the time back to 5:00 p.m. keeps Mars in the 9th House.

The astrological data in the event chart is potential, not predictive, since it describes influences on the whole earth at the time in question. Looking at planetary transits in the context of a chart specific to the Cathedral could shed additional information.

Year of the Pig

February 8, 2019

Elephant seals next week.

The Chinese Year of the Pig began this week. The pig in Chinese astrology is a calm, prosperous, gentle animal, generous and focused. Here are some brief horoscopes for Year of the Pig.

A roundup of world folktales about pigs can be found here.

A four-part article I wrote several years ago about the sow in Western mythology is here.

I read once that you’re not supposed to clean the house for the first three days of the Chinese New Year, so as not to clean out the good luck. It seemed like good advice, and I started applying it to the Gregorian new year as well. What a boon to have days when you not only don’t clean, you don’t feel like you should be cleaning. I decided that the no-cleaning days should apply to Halloween (the Celtic new year) and Yule (the Heathen new year). Then I started celebrating Diwali and Rosh Hashana, by not cleaning of course. Now if I don’t feel like cleaning, I can say “It’s New Year’s somewhere.”

The Change in Progress

July 27, 2018

I have a lot on my mind right now, but the astrologers say this is not the best time for sharing, with a super lunar eclipse in progress and so many planets retrograde.

Until next week, Hearth.