Retro Yin Yang

Mercury. Detail from Progress with Mental and Physical Force or Transportation by Jules Félix Coutan, Grand Central Station, New York

You don’t just retrace your steps when I’m in retrograde; you go on a journey with me, a mental or physical journey, a pilgrimage that helps you step back and gain perspective on your life; not your whole life, but some aspects of it; it all depends on the houses I’m retrograding in. I’ve been retrograding in Pisces and will step back into Aquarius tomorrow, March 3. I will move forward again on March 13. In which house do you have Pisces and Aquarius? You count the houses in proper zodiacal order from the ascendant sign if you have your time of birth, and from the Sun if you don’t. If Pisces is your ascendant or solar sign, I’m retrograding in your first house and will step into your twelfth tomorrow. If you’re Leo, my retrograde is in your eighth and seventh house. If you’re Scorpio, my retrograde is in your fifth and fourth house. If you’re Aquarius, my retrograde is in your second and first house.

I call my retrograde from the eighth house to the third house Yin, and I call my retrograde from the second house to the ninth house Yang. Yin is my pilgrimage through night, and Yang is my pilgrimage through day.


the eighth house

On the surface, the eighth house is the house of sex; we’re in the eighth  house when we bite into the apple and want it. It is the house of intimacy and the garden of forbidden pleasures. It’s where we overcome barriers to get to know another with our body. A Mercury retrograde at this level of the house can see us end an eighth house relationship or turn it into an open, seventh house relationship.


The Garden of Eden by Thomas Cole, 1828

Step deeper into the eighth and it can become the house of our undoing. The eighth house is the house of addictions and the things we do to feed them and to feed the people we’re addicted to. Medea’s story is tied to this house; she killed her brother and dismembered him to help Jason get away with the golden fleece. Her father came after them, and to slow him down, she threw her brother’s body parts into the ocean; she knew her father would stop to retrieve them and give them a proper burial. When they got to their destination, Jason abandoned Medea; he had promised to make her queen and he betrayed her. We’re in the eighth when we feel loss and betrayal and shame. We’re in the eighth when we are shamed. 


The Golden Fleece by Herbert James Draper, 1904

Deeper into this house are horrendous crimes that take a huge toll on the people tasked to deal with them, investigate them and put an end to them. But it’s also here where we find healers who can show us light where it is dark; people who once stripped and fell into the underworld of the eighth house and rose to the surface again. When Mercury retrogrades here, he brings healers and healing into our lives.


The Slave Ship by J.M.W. Turner, 1840

the seventh house

The Descendant is the horizon line, and during a retrograde, the sun sets in the seventh house.


When we connect with another person, we are changed by the connection; it alters us in some way, introduces us to a new dimension of self. When Mercury retrogrades in the seventh, we make adjustments to stay in a relationship, we give up something to be with another, and the sun sets on how we knew ourselves before.


Flint Castle by J.M.W. Turner, 1838

the sixth house

Mars is our will to live and to excel. He rules Aries and is the traditional ruler of Scorpio, but the ancients also said that Mars has his joy in the sixth house; he is strong here.


Planetary joys of the traditional planets

Night comes in the sixth house and we hope that it will hide us. Under cover of darkness, we escape, find refuge, and protect a secret.

It is also here where we withdraw to better ourselves, to perfect a skill and develop Arete.


Conquistador 1     You know what we’re doing.

Conquistador 2     Sealing the vent?

Conquistador 1     More than that; we’re sealing Pandora’s Box.

Conquistador 2     You mean like the myth? All the evils of the world?

Conquistador 1     Not exactly, but this vent does have the potential to unleash unexpected troubles for many people.

Conquistador 2     I know; it’s a can of worms.

Conquistador 1     nods

Conquistador 2     Was your dad at the meeting?

Conquistador 1     Yeah; was yours?

Conquistador 2     Yeah. Pass me the masking tape, willya.

Conquistador 1 (hands it to him)     Came back to haunt them.

Conquistador 2     Mercury retrograde has a way of bringing things back.

Conquistador 1     They’ve done a pretty good job of putting matters to rest.

Conquistador 2     Someone must have Mercury retrograding in their sixth house, or they all do.

Conquistador 1     Joy of Mars; he must have their back.


the fifth house

Venus has her joy in the fifth house and that’s where we go to unwind when the day is done; it’s the house of sociability and play and romance and children. Anyway, when I saw that Mercury was retrograding in my fifth, I was hoping I’d hear from him or run into him. You know how they say that when Mercury goes retrograde you bump into people from the past. He’s really not from my past; I just met him a couple of weeks ago at a party, but he said that he would call me and he never did. So there I was in my car when I see a police car driving behind me with the lights flashing. It can’t be for me, I thought to myself; I’m driving in a straight line and I haven’t done anything wrong. When I stopped at the lights, the cop got out of his car and walked to mine. He gave me such a shock, but when I recovered, I realized it was him. He asked me to pull over to the right, and when I did, he told me that he’d lost my number. When he saw my blue car on the road, he wasn’t sure if it was me, but then he checked and knew it was. He said that Mercury was retrograding in his fourth house and he was having many dreams and he wanted to talk to me about them because I was in all of them. I immediately wanted to know what these dreams were about because I’m not that kind of woman. He reassured me and said that the fourth house is not like the eighth; the fourth is about home and family. He said there was something about me that reminded him of home and family. Well that’s more like it, I said, but before going to his fourth, he’d have to step into my fifth; Mercury’s retrograde after all.


The Maiden by Gustav Klimt, 1913

An aside

The fifth house is the house of courtship and romance that can lead to sex. The eighth house is the house of lust and a biological need for sex.


the fourth house

It is midnight in the fourth; nightest of night when we reach the IC. This is the most subterranean place in our chart, the most personal; it holds memories of our childhood and every stage that has followed. When Mercury retrogrades in the fourth, it stirs up the past and brings up memories that we need to look at again, examine again, from the vantage point of our present. Sometimes they’re memories from a different past, memories that connect us to the man we just met, the woman we just met and promised to meet again.


Fishermen at Sea by J.M.W. Turner, 1796

the third house

The third house is the Moon’s joy, the temple of the goddess, and in this temple is the community that nurtures us to become who we are. Here are our siblings, our extended family, and the people around us who inspire us and help us find ourselves, our style, our way. It takes a village to raise a person.

While Mercury’s been retrograding in my third house, I’ve attended two reunions. One of them was at my old school and I got a chance to speak with my favourite teacher, Claudia Maga. She taught me something valuable; to trust my instincts, to pay attention to my invisible antennae. I told her that I went to the gallery when they found the Lady; I looked inside the vent where she had been hiding for so long. She said that the Lady’s appearance was like una resurrezione. The funny thing is that some people talk about the third house as the house of resurrection, where we awaken from the deep slumber of the fourth.


the second house

We’re in the second house when we leave the temple of the goddess and have to rely on ourselves. There’s a sense here that something’s coming; it’s still dark but we’re aware of the coming of day and that we need to be prepared. The house calls for self-assessment; connecting with the resources we have and cultivating the ones that we need.

Lawyer     I have a feeling that something’s about to begin.  

Detective     The day journey’s about to begin.

Lawyer     I should prepare for it; change my car. I’ll get something less discrete this time.

Detective     Shouldn’t be a problem; you’ve got so many dealerships around you.

Lawyer     How about you?

Detective     Not me; I stick to my pickup.


Trojan Horse, Canakkale Waterfront, Dardanelles, Turkey

Portrait of a box truck, continued

Sagittarius 1     What about us? How does this retrograde affect us?

Pisces of the Dry Cleaner’s van     For you guys it’s in the fourth and third; so you could say that you’ve been in a deep slumber while your truck’s been stuck in the snow, and now comes someone from your community to help you out.

Sagittarius 2     So you’re from the temple of the goddess, nurturing us.

Pisces of the Dry Cleaner’s van     I guess. But you guys should really consider upgrading.

Sagittarius 1     To what?

Sagittarius 2     How about a pickup truck?

Sagittarius 1     Nah; I’m attached to the box.

Sagittarius 2     We could attach a box trailer to a pickup truck.

Sagittarius 1     Wouldn’t that slow us down? The other day I saw a pickup truck pulling a horse trailer, and was it ever slow.

Sagittarius 2     At least it was moving.

Pisces of the Dry Cleaner’s van     You can’t drive fast when you’re transporting horses.

Sagittarius 1     How about a box truck with rear wheel drive?

Sagittarius 2     That’s an idea. We could drive it when Mercury’s retrograde, and then go back to our front wheel drive when he’s direct.

Pisces of the Dry Cleaner’s van     Don’t they have them in 4 wheel drive?

Sagittarius 1     Don’t know.

Sagittarius 2     Yeah; not sure.

Pisces of the Dry Cleaner’s van     You should look into it; maybe you will when Mercury retrogrades in your second house; that’s when you don’t have the assistance of the goddess; when you have to take ownership and be more-

Sagittarius 1     Self-sufficient-

Sagittarius 2     Yeah, and resourceful.

Pisces of the Dry Cleaner’s van     That’s how it is.


Winter scene with Kik Cola Box Truck by Carole Spandau, 2015

the first house

It is twilight in the first house, night before sunrise, and this is where Mercury, god of twilight, has his joy. When he retrogrades in our first house, he takes the helm and pulls us along like the pickup truck pulls the trailer. If we felt bogged down in the second house replenishing resources, this feels much lighter. He puts us first in line at the car wash, gets us processing information faster, and carrying out tasks more easily. We catch up with our work, and also act as his emissaries; we’re chatty with the people we come across and deliver messages we didn’t know we were carrying; and we assist people he puts in our way, like Pisces did.

The night before Pisces assisted Sag 1 and 2, she watched a youtube video called, DIY How to get your vehicle unstuck in the snow. The video recommended that she carry a little snow scoop, some gravel, and an old mat in her vehicle, and although it was past midnight, she found the stamina to put these three things inside her Dry Cleaner’s van. The following day, when she ran into the box truck, she took out the little scoop and cleared the snow around the tires; then she used the scoop to put some gravel on the front and back of each one. When Sag 1 and 2 told her that the truck was a front wheel drive, she put the mat under the front driver side wheel. She told them that if it had been a rear wheel drive, she would have put it under the rear passenger side wheel. That’s how she got to talking about Mercury retrograde and delivered the message Mercury wanted delivered. Plus she got the vehicle unstuck. As simple as that. 


Sunrise by Alex Colville, 1970

the twelfth house

The sun rises in the twelfth house and it’s glorious and golden, but it’s also blinding us. We left our sunglasses at home and we’re driving with the sun in our eyes and can’t see a thing. We’re praying that all our other senses will get us to our destination.

In the middle of our prayers, Saturn sits beside us. He tells us that the safest thing to do would be to pull over, but we don’t listen. We’re on our way to have an illicit love affair. Saturn warns us that we’re not seeing things clearly; he explains that even though our journey through the day has begun, our eyes haven’t yet adjusted to the light. We don’t care, we tell him; we’re not pulling over; we just woke up with yearnings accumulated during our passage through the night, and Mercury retrograde has brought us an opportunity to fulfill them. We’re staying on the road.

We get pulled over and a sea monster walks to our car. It’s not a sea monster, says Saturn; it’s a cop coming to give you a ticket for running a light. He reminds us again that we’re not seeing things properly, that Mercury’s playing with us, tempting us, and we may get caught. He wants us to take the ticket and go back home. What if we don’t, we ask him. Then we’ll be spending a lot of time together, he answers; the twelfth house is my joy.


Sunrise with Sea Monsters by J.M.W. Turner, 1845

Another aside

Like Michael Jackson and Gustav Klimt, J.M.W. Turner also had a Venus Uranus conjunction in his birth chart.


the eleventh house

In the eleventh house, the sun rises higher above the horizon and we leave the illusions and fears and perhaps confinement of the twelfth house behind. Here, we gain a better perspective; we see more clearly what is and what isn’t; who we are and who we aren’t, what is possible and what’s not possible. A Mercury retrograde in the eleventh house brings back hopes, wishes and dreams we’ve held in the past; we talk about them with friends in the groups we belong to, and if the time is right, they encourage us to make them manifest, even lend us a helping hand. If the time is right, Jupiter puts us in the right direction and cheers us on. Jupiter has his joy in the eleventh; he helps us build our public persona, the daylight people we become in the tenth house, when the sun is at its highest point in the sky.


Dido building Carthage by J.M.W. Turner, 1815

the tenth house

The day journey begins in the second house, but it carries remnants of night until we move away from the twelfth. The twelfth house is the last bridge between night and day where we cannot see clearly and rely on Saturn’s protection.

We find our place or we’re put in our place in the house where Jupiter is strong. In the eleventh, we’re fully committed to the day journey.

We meet as professionals in the tenth house where the sun is at its peak. This is the house of manifestations and achievements and confidence, where we materialize dreams, plans and ambitions. When Mercury retrogrades in this house, we add the finishing touches to a plan or a project. It is the house where we see each other’s public persona, and to dig deeper and look into another’s psyche is considered an intrusion.


The Architect’s Dream by Thomas Cole, 1840

Portrait of a box truck, continued

Sagittarius 1     Look at us now, after all those Mercury retrogradations.

Sagittarius 2     We’re still driving a box truck.

Sagittarius 1     But we have All wheel drive!

Sagittarius 2     Yeah, that’s true; All wheel drive and our own CAA membership.

Sagittarius 1     We still carry the scoop, gravel, and the old mat Pisces gave us, just in case.

Sagittarius 2     In case we run into someone who hasn’t journeyed this far.


the ninth house

We give to others in the ninth house, temple of the Sun, and the Sun rejoices. This is where we share and offer our expertise and experience. We give advice, we teach and we travel; we disseminate the knowledge we’ve acquired. We practise our craft, and attend lectures and conferences, and we mingle. When Mercury retrogrades in this house, we may bump into old colleagues and exchange information.

But if we’ve grown weary of our lives and have been looking for change, we may bump into people who act as catalysts for something new and fresh to come into our lives. They may offer us a book and an apple. If Mercury goes direct, we’ll reach for the book and take a new step forward into our day journey. If Mercury keeps retrograding, we’ll reach for the apple and take a new step back into the night. Either way, it will feel joyful, as joyful as the Sun.

When we’re in the temple of the Sun, the god takes a good look at our psyche and knows just what we need.


Still life with books and apples by Carole Rodrigue, contemporary

Fixed Stars


Nothing is really fixed in our universe; everything moves, including the fixed stars. They move one degree every 72 years. The ancients studied the stars and saw how the brightest of them influenced our lives. They gave these stars their place in the astrological wheel, even to the ones that were not in the zodiacal constellations. If they affected people’s lives, they had to be known.

Fixed stars move and their degrees in the astrological wheel move over time, but they move slowly. They influence our lives if they touch the angles of our chart or if they’re conjunct our natal planets, especially the Moon. The Moon has a way of allowing the nature of a star to seep into our being.

Birth charts don’t usually show the fixed stars, but all we have to do is find their placement by sign and degree to know that they are there.


Venus and Mercury

These are the stars I like to look at the most; they have the whiteness of Venus and blueness of Mercury and they’re called the spiritual stars. The power of a spiritual star is magnified tenfold when it’s conjunct our natal Venus or Mercury.

Remember me?

It’s Star and I’m still with Pro but he looks different these days. He was worried that I’d shave my head to match his look so he’s grown his hair back, and he now drives a jeep wrangler instead of his moped. He still listens to the weather station all day long, and it was actually a suggestion I made about this that led me to study the stars. I asked him one day to turn it off; let’s look at the stars instead; the ancients looked at the stars and knew what kind of weather to expect. He looked at me in that way he has of looking at me, and asked me to show him how to figure out what the stars were saying about the weather.

I had no clue what the stars were saying, so I signed up for a class and ended up in an astrology class about the fixed stars instead of an astronomy class about them. Astronomy studies the sky in sidereal time and the earth is seen as a planet among the stars. Western or tropical astrology was developed by the Babylonians, the Egyptians and the Greeks; they studied the sky from the point of view of the earth, and they developed principles that translate all that happens above on an astrological chart.

Pro is skeptical about astrology. When we look at the stars and I say something like, Antares is at 9 degrees of Sagittarius, he puts an arm around my shoulder, and with the other he points at the sky and tells me that Antares is clearly in the constellation of Scorpio; it’s in the heart of Scorpius, which in sidereal time it is. When I explain the Hellenistic principles that put Antares in Sagittarius on a birth chart, he nods his head and says, Okay, but that doesn’t help us figure out the weather. It’s true that it doesn’t, but it does help us understand ourselves better.

Despite his skepticism, I love looking at the stars with him; it’s the only time he keeps the radio off. I’ve been telling him about the different groups of stars we’ve been studying in class, and he does seem to enjoy this part of astrology.

Among the Venus and Mercury stars, Spica, Vega, Deneb and Fomalhaut are the brightest.

Spica, at 23° Libra, has a compassionate and artistic nature.

Vega, star of the angels, is at 15° Capricorn and is known as the star that can do no harm.

Deneb is at 5° Pisces. She is known as the mother of the universe, but she can have a problematic sexual life when she’s a yin star below the horizon. The ancients said that she could be fickle in her sexual desires.

The royal star Fomalhaut is at 3° Pisces. It used to be a reddish star and was given Mars attributes, but it has changed over time to become the white star that it is today. Fomalhaut is the Priest among the spiritual stars.

Pro and I think that Yogi may have Fomalhaut touching him in some way; after all, he levitates and is a bear whisperer.


Mercury and Jupiter

When Star told me about this group of stars, specially Castor, I began to pay closer attention to astrology. These are the stars with a yellow tinge; they’re the stars of artists and athletes, soldiers, officers and guards.

Gemma at 12° Scorpio is a star of fame, of being appreciated and loved by many. This star is in the Corona Borealis constellation, but the ancients projected it in Scorpio. That’s what they did with important stars that were in constellations above and below the zodiacal constellations; they projected and incorporated them into the astrological wheel using mathematical principles.

Castor is one of the twins in the Gemini constellation; he’s the mortal twin that ends up at 20° Cancer in a chart. Constellations are groups of stars spread out along the ecliptic, but when the ecliptic becomes a 2 dimensional wheel, it is divided into 12 equal parts to house each constellation. Mathematical and spiritual principles are tied together in the field of astrology. When we study the nature of fixed stars however, we find their placement projected on the wheel according to their sidereal location and regardless of where their constellation is housed. And so Castor ends up in Cancer.


Castor was the twin that was curious and pious and dignified; he was good at wrestling and loved driving his chariot. People touched by Castor have a good mental constitution and intellectual prowess; they have athletic abilities and love horses and cars and speed, and that’s me, at least some of me. Star showed me that Castor touches my natal Moon and that I have the qualities of Castor.


Portrait of Pro when he was a young boy by Andrey Remnev, 2005

Zubeneschamali at 19° of Scorpio is the last star in the Mercury Jupiter group. It is not as bright as Gemma and Castor, but it is a powerful star of artists. As a yin star below the horizon however, it can make a person boastful.


Jupiter and Mars

My daughter is studying astrology and this morning she gave me a fright. She came to tell me about the stars of power. These are the red stars with the nature of Jupiter and Mars; they are the makers of leaders, kings and generals; independent and effective people in commanding positions. She spoke with such intensity that I could feel my eyes grow wide.

The royal star Regulus at 29° Leo is one of them. He is the brightest of them all and the closest to the Pater who is the Sun. She told me that Donald Trump has it exact on his ascendant and 3 degrees away from Mars, which makes it stronger. Margaret Thatcher had it conjunct her Moon and her MC, and Bill Clinton has it conjunct his Sun, and so do you, daddy, she said. I asked her if this was a good thing, and she said that it was; as long as I didn’t screw up. It’s a long way to fall, she warned me.

I won’t, I said; not me.


The King of Sky Blue (Photo of Andrey Remnev, February 2019)

The royal Antares, heart of the scorpion, at 9° Sagittarius is also a star of leadership, strategic thinking, power and charisma. A conjunction with Mars can make this star strong enough to be dangerous.

Like Fomalhaut, Sirius at 14° Cancer  was once a warrior star. It is now a yellow and white star and the brightest in the sky. It is the star of spiritual leadership. The Dalai Lama has Sirius conjunct his Sun.

Menkalinan at 29° Gemini is not as bright and powerful as Regulus and Antares, but it is still a star of leadership. Winston Churchill had it exact on his Midheaven.

Altair, the cowherd who loved weaver girl, is the brightest star of the Eagle that is the Aquila constellation. This is the eagle that brought Ganymede to Jupiter. Altair at 1° of Aquarius is a star of leadership with a connection to the gods.

Arcturus at 24° Libra is also a star of leadership, intellectual success, and soft power. Gandhi had it conjunct his ascendant and Carl Jung had it conjunct Jupiter.


Jupiter and Saturn

The Jupiter and Saturn group of stars are the stars of wealth. One of the ancients wrote that if we have a wealth star conjunct the ascendant, we’ll have happiness from a young age in the place where we were born. If we have a wealth star conjunct the descendant, we’ll have success and fortune in our middle age but in a foreign place. If we have a wealth star conjunct the IC, we’ll have respect and success in our old age, and our passing will be noted.

Rigel at 16° Gemini can bring multinational wealth in connection to husbandry, properties and construction. A moon conjunction with Rigel or any other wealth star brings good habits, nobility and generosity.

Alnilam is at 23° Gemini and the name means, string of pearls. Alnilam or any other wealth star conjunct Jupiter or Saturn brings good fortune.

Algol at 26° Taurus is a wealth star. The only thing that the manuscripts from ancient Babylon say about Algol is that it is a star of wealth. Donald Trump has it conjunct his MC.

Rukbat at 16° Capricorn gives wealth and a love for animals and birds.

Capella at 21° Capricorn gives everlasting wealth. J. K. Rowling has Capella conjunct Jupiter. It does not touch her IC but it is in her fourth house. 

We should be careful if Mars is conjunct a wealth star; Mars can make us impulsive and we can spend too much. I spend a lot.


Star by Andrey Remnev, 2019

Mars and Venus

My name is Aldebaran and I am Star’s astrology teacher. The king and I went to school together; I remember he’d ask me what was I going to do with the name I had. I thought he was a bully, teasing me about my name.

Aldebaran is at 9° Gemini; she carries administrative and warrior qualities, and she is said to bring power, wealth, and above all, happiness. John Kennedy had her conjunct his Sun. She was thought to be only of the nature of Mars, but when she was conjunct Venus in a chart, she brought out such strong passion that she was reclassified as having the nature of both Venus and Mars.

There are degrees in the chart that belong to Venus; you could say that Venus has given herself five thrones around the astrological wheel. When she is at those degrees, she inspires strong passion, and passion can carry us to do wondrous things and things that harm. One of her thrones is at 6 to 9 degrees of Gemini, where Aldebaran is projected.

These are the thrones of Venus;

7 to 8° Sagittarius

19 to 23° Sagittarius

6 to 9° Gemini

19 to 23° Virgo

4 to 5° Aquarius



When the ancients reclassified Aldebaran, Pollux was the only star left with the nature of Mars. Pollux is at 23° Cancer and he carries with him a warrior spirit and brotherly love. He was Castor’s immortal brother, and when Castor died, he was willing to give up his immortality not to be separated from his twin. There is an element of sacrifice to the star.

The ancients said that Pollux won battles at night, and that he is a more favourable star when the Sun is below the horizon. Pollux is more disciplined and artistic when he is in a night chart; there are artists and writers who have Pollux conjunct Mars or an angle in a night chart. In a day chart when the sun is above the horizon, his expression is outward and athletic and into the world. He is the star of mariners and sailors, travelers and traders. With Pollux, there can be a taste for risk taking and extreme sports that could lead to injuries. In rare cases, it can be violent or attract violence. Kennedy had Pollux conjunct his MC.


Aldebaran by Andrey Remnev, 2019

Mercury and Mars

My daughter came to tell me that back in Babylon, some of the ancients looked at the birth chart as if it were a wheel of fortune. There were points on the wheel that were considered ”your lot in life” and we know them today as the Arabic points or the Arabic parts. One such part is the Part of Fortune and its symbol is a cross inside a circle.

In a day chart, when the Sun is above the horizon in houses 12 to 7, you count the number of degrees from the Sun to the Moon in proper zodiacal order; the distance between them.  You then count the same number of degrees from the ascendant, in proper zodiacal order, until you reach the Part of Fortune.

In a night chart, when the Sun is below the horizon in houses 8 to 1, you count the number of degrees from the Moon to the Sun in proper zodiacal order, and then calculate it from the ascendant.

When she finished telling me this, I was impressed. Here was my daughter, who had never been good in math, explaining formulas to me. Whoever was teaching her astrology was brilliant. I asked her who her teacher was, and when she said, Aldebaran, I told her to invite her over for dinner.

Aldebaran walked in and it was pure joy to see her again; what a beautiful neck she has. People with Venus conjunct Aldebaran have beautiful necks. I reminded her that I used to ask her what she would do with her name, and now I knew where it had taken her. Yes, she said; she had a strong passion for astrology, and the fixed stars in particular. She had been teaching her class that a conjunction with the part of fortune can also trigger a star and its expression.

The Mercury and Mars group of stars are the intellectual stars; they carry intellectual prowess.  

Bellatrix at 20° Gemini has the active and commanding nature of Mars, and the eloquence and versatility of Mercury. It is a daring, clever, and shrewd star. Michelle Obama has Bellatrix conjunct her part of fortune.

Zavijava at 27° Virgo carries intelligence and it is also known as the star of medicine. When it is conjunct Mars or Mercury, people can be involved in making medicine.

Shaula, also known as Lesath at 24° Sagittarius, is the Sting of the Scorpion and the star of chemistry.

Scheat at 29° Pisces carries above average intellect. When Scheat is activated in a chart, no matter the morals of the person, we can be sure that the person is smart.

Betelgeuse at 28° Gemini is a powerful star. It is the star of smart leaders, especially in conjunction with Mars. The ancients said that the star worked through destruction; it showed the true nature of the world by destroying things. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Virginia Woolf had Betelgeuse conjunct Mars. Sean Connery also has this conjunction.

We had reached dessert at this point, and Aldebaran asked if she could look at my birth chart; she wanted to check if I had any smart stars. I asked her if it wasn’t better to judge my intellect through conversation, and she said, yes, but she was still curious. I agreed to it, and Star readily handed it to her; my daughter seems to be using me as her guinea pig. Aldebaran looked at it and said that I have my Moon conjunct Alpheratz at 14° Aries. Wow, exclaimed my daughter; that’s like Angelina Jolie; she’s smart, good looking, and she has eminence. Aldebaran interrupted her and said that one of her favourite writers had this conjunction; Jorge Luis Borges. They both looked at me differently after that; I seem to have grown in their eyes.


Palmistry by Andrey Remnev, 2010

Jupiter and Venus

The Jupiter and Venus stars are stars of nobility and nobleness, and my cousin Star says that I have one of them highlighted in my chart. These stars carry aristocratic traits, and they are noble at heart and in every way.

There’s Acamar at 23° Aries, and some of the ancients considered Arcturus at 24° Libra to also belong to this group. They are stars of nobility, good counselling, purity of soul and decency, and they give an appreciation for art and beauty.

The one that I have is an unnamed star. Star says that the ancients were sparse in their descriptions of the fixed stars, and that over the centuries, astrologers have kept piling meanings to them so that the essence of the stars is forgotten. But this has not been the case with the unnamed star, precisely because it hasn’t been named.

The unnamed star is on the right foot of the Centaurus constellation. In sidereal time, it is at 11° Libra, but it is projected at 6° Scorpio, and I have my part of fortune there. Star says that people with the unnamed star can not only be of noble nature, they can also belong to a noble family, like me.


Portrait of Yasmin by Andrey Remnev, 2018

Saturn and Venus

This is the last group of stars; they are the stars connected with an interest in astrology, mysticism, and occult knowledge. They have the nature of Saturn and Venus. If Venus is love of beauty, Saturn materializes it into possessions; together they make financial planets. If Venus is sensuality, Saturn turns it into dance; If Venus is passion, Saturn turns it into a passion for study; if Venus is sexuality, Saturn turns it into a rite. 

Alphard at 27° Leo carries with it sensuality and passion; a love for possessions and a fondness for dancing; so the ancient texts say. People with this star are unafraid; some dig deep into occult knowledge and study the secret books; others explore the mysteries and the mystery rites. The Dalai Lama has Venus conjunct Alphard, and Madonna has her sun conjunct Alphard.

Zosma at 11° Virgo is a more ascetic star, a star of religiosity and mysticism. Mother Teresa had her part of fortune conjunct Zosma, and the Dalai Lama has his Moon and Neptune conjunct Zosma. Madonna has her moon conjunct Zosma; she’s a Catholic with a deep interest in the Kabbalah.

Denebola at 21° Virgo is the star of astronomers and astrologers. The ancients said that the star carries a love for the heavens and a duty to the stars. Edwin Hubble had his part of fortune conjunct Denebola, and Madonna has her part of fortune at 26° Virgo forming a loose conjunction.

The occult is a sacred and profane art.


Star by Andrey Remnev, 2019

At the bending of the nodes


Oprah Winfrey was born with a planet at the bending of the lunar nodes; half way between ketu and rahu, the tail and the head of the dragon, where we come from and where we’re going, the past and the future.


Ketu is not marked in a birth chart, but it lies directly opposite rahu, and Oprah has ketu at 23° Cancer, and rahu at 23° Capricorn. The bendings in her chart are 23° Aries and 23° Libra, and she has Neptune at 26° Libra, within a 5 degree orb.


Oprah Winfrey, born January 29, 1954, Kosciusko, MS

Neptune in Libra squares her nodes, and she feels his presence each time she takes a step toward her destiny. She comes from difficult origins in her home and homeland, and she’s heading to the house of Self in Capricorn; a self made and influential personality; an artist, a preacher, someone to be reckoned with. Neptune reminds her to stay compassionate; to be balanced, fair, and non judgmental when she makes a decision that will affect her direction in life.

Not everyone has a planet at the bending of the nodes in a natal chart. Decisions we make are not only influenced by the birth chart, but also by the current transits. Decisions made when a transiting planet is at the bending of the transiting nodes are not light ones; they affect the course of our lives.

When a country makes a decision with a planet at the bending of the nodes, it’s an important decision, sometimes urgent; a decision that has to be made in order to move forward.

When the United States declared war on Japan, the Sun and Jupiter were at the bendings of the nodes; ketu was at 17° Pisces, rahu was at 17° Virgo, Jupiter was at 16° Gemini and the Sun was at 16° Sagittarius. It was a decision that would affect not only the United States, but the entire world. Jupiter is our protector and the Sun is the life giver, and a decision that involves Jupiter and the Sun is a life or death decision. Destiny depends on it.


Chart for December 8, 1941, Washington D.C.

Later in time, when Canada signed the Constitution Act, 1982, ketu was at 16° Capricorn, rahu was at 16° Cancer, and Saturn was at 18° Libra. Saturn in Libra was at the bending of the nodes, and a decision that involves Saturn in Libra is an agreement between two parties about structures; the Act would leave old structures behind and change the country.


Chart for April 17, 1982, Ottawa, ON

On July 20, 2005, Canada legalized same sex marriage. Ketu was at 17° Libra and rahu was at 17° Aries; a new beginning for same sex relationships. The Moon was at the bending at 16° Capricorn, introducing a new structure to the family.


Chart for July 20, 2005, Ottawa, ON

The Cannabis Act came into effect in Canada on October 17, 2018, with Uranus, rule breaker, at the bending of the nodes. Ketu was at 2° Aquarius and rahu was at 2° Leo. Uranus was at the bending of the nodes with one foot in Aries and the other at 0°49′ Taurus.


Chart for October 17, 2018, Ottawa, ON

Decisions made when planets are at the bendings of the nodes move us forward to our destiny, as individuals, as nations, and globally. On March 11, when the World Health Organization declared a pandemic, ketu was at 4° Capricorn, rahu was at 4° Cancer, and Chiron was at the bending of the nodes at 4° Aries. 


Chart for March 11, 2020, Ottawa, ON 

Like all the centaurs in our solar system, Chiron is not a planet; he’s a hybrid; he has the characteristics of an asteroid and a comet, and he orbits between the visible planets and the outer planets, between Saturn and Uranus. He was discovered in 1977, and he’s the healer in our zodiac, our medicine centaur. He trained all the heroes of the golden age; he taught them archery, medicine, herbalism and astrology.

He’s not just a healer, he’s a wounded healer because he heals us like homeopathy and vaccines heal us; with a bit of poison. Wherever he is in our charts, we carry a wound, and we heal that wound by going back to the place of wounding over and over again, until we consciously decide not to go there anymore and we say, enough; no more. But he stays in the house that he is in our charts and makes us healers in matters related to that house; we help others with the kind of wound we had.

He wasn’t yet known when Oprah was born, but if he had been known, he would have been conjunct rahu in her first house. Oprah carries a wound of Self, and her destiny is to heal the wounds of Self that others carry.


Chart for Oprah Winfrey with asteroids

Today, Chiron is in Aries, like he was on March 11. He’s in the first sign of the zodiac, the sign of new beginning and taking a decisive step forward, with faith. That’s the kind of step the World Health Organization took when it declared a pandemic, a decisive step with the hope of healing a world infected with a new virus, and a step that carries with it a difficult passage. Chiron heals us by wounding us first.

All the action is in Capricorn, where our social structures are mobilizing to see us reach the safety of Cancer. We have until May 5 before the nodes change signs. 

Mars is in Capricorn until the end of March, moving fast and energizing the planets; it has already touched Jupiter, and we’ve been asked to return to our respective countries, the places we belong. Airlines and ships are stopping or minimizing operations. Mars is now approaching Pluto and fueling changes in our structures. Car factories are considering switching gears to build medical equipment; less cars and more medical equipment in an age concerned with global warming. Less travel and more meetings online, in tune with the spirit of the times, with Uranus in Taurus; taking care of our bodies and the earth. 


Chart for March 21, 2020, Ottawa, ON

There are more decisive steps to come when the Sun joins Chiron at the bending of the nodes on March 23 at 3° Aries. 


Chart for March 23, 2020, Ottawa, ON

The Moon will join the Sun, and there will be a new moon at the bending on March 24.


Chart for March 24, 2020, 7 am, Ottawa, ON

The month ends with Mars and Saturn moving together into Aquarius; and with a Jupiter and Pluto conjunction in Capricorn.

Mars and Saturn can mean new rules, discipline, restriction and containment. Jupiter and Pluto can mean influence and diffusion; a change that becomes widespread, a change in how we live.


Chart for March 31, 2020, Ottawa, ON

The lunar nodes are not planets; they move clockwise, in retrograde motion, and they spend a year and a half in each sign.

The nodes will change signs on May 5; ketu will ingress Sagittarius, and rahu will ingress Gemini. They will move from cardinal earth and water to mutable fire and air.

When they change signs, there will be two stars at the bendings until the end of summer; Zavijava at 27° Virgo and Scheat at 29° Pisces; a star of medicine and a star of high intelligence.

The last time the nodes moved into Sagittarius and Gemini was a month after 9/11, when we mobilized and began recovery.

On 9/11, ketu was at 3° Capricorn and rahu was at 3° Cancer. There were no planets or asteroids at the bendings of the nodes, and there were no conjunctions of the planets to prepare us. The planets opposed each other and we were made to kneel. But on October 13, 2001, when the nodes changed signs, Venus in Virgo was at the bending, conjunct Savijava at 27°. Venus in Virgo is passion for service.


Chart for October 13, 2001, Ottawa, ON

This year, after the summer, when the nodes reach the middle degrees of Sagittarius and Gemini, Neptune in Pisces will be at the bending of the nodes. He will square the nodes within a five degree orb from mid September until March 10, 2021. Neptune in Pisces will challenge the decisions we make concerning our destiny.


Neptune transit in Libra 1942-1957  Oprah has Neptune in Libra at the bending in her natal chart. Neptune in Libra is the crooner; a romantic from the waist up; Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Bing Crosby, Jo stafford, Doris Day.


Neptune transit in Scorpio 1955-1970  Neptune in Scorpio is the rock ‘n’ roll artist; a romantic from the waist down.


Neptune transit in Sagittarius 1970-1984  Neptune is Sagittarius is the outdoor, pancultural, philosophical, big band artist; the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, the Who, Earth Wind & Fire, the Police, Genesis.


Neptune transit in Capricorn 1984-1998  Neptune in Capricorn sings country music, or is Tracy Chapman, or the rap artist who rhymes verse to the beat of drums; Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy.


Neptune transit in Aquarius 1998-2012  Neptune in Aquarius is the artist with an independent style a solo career; Eminem, Usher, Alicia Keys, Nickelback, Beyoncé, Katy Perry.


Neptune transit in Pisces 2011-2026  Neptune in Pisces is the artist who collaborates. The number of songs featuring collaborations has grown since Neptune entered Pisces.

Lines blur in Pisces, lines between people and lines between reality and fantasy, the mortal and the divine; voices sound alike; music belongs to everyone.

Neptune rules Pisces, and when a ruler is in their own sign, they bring out the story of the sign. Pisces is Typhon, and Pisces is Venus and Eros insulated from the world in a river full of water.

In the months to come, there will be global collaboration in the decisions we make, but there will also be fear and a retreat from the world. So when Sagis want to go to a concert, Neptune in Pisces will throw a bucket of water to their plans and say, remember Typhon? We’ll find solutions in Gemini and implement new ways to live and attend a concert.


Neptune in Aries in the natal chart  Neptune in Aries is the trendsetter, the artist who distinguishes himself and creates a new style. He’s Gustav Klimt and Piet Mondrian; erotic and spiritual. In Aries, we sacrifice the divine for the mortal, Chrysomallus for Phrixos, so that Phrixos may live.

Neptune will transit Aries 2025-2038 


Neptune in Taurus in the natal chart  Neptune in Taurus is the artist who captures the spirit of a bull with a simple outline.

Bull by Pablo Picasso, lithograph, 1946

He’s also the artist who captures the spirit of the land.

The Jack Pine by Tom Thomson, 1916-17

Neptune will transit Taurus 2038-2051


Neptune in Gemini in the natal chart  The Royal Canadian Artillery Band was created in 1899 when Neptune was in Gemini. Gemini rules  marching and multi-tasking and multiplicity, and Neptune rules music.

The RCA Band, Canada Day parade, 2012

Neptune was in Cancer from 1902 to 1915, and Neptune in Cancer is the artist who paints the ideal home, sacred home; the ideal country, sacred country.

The problem was that across from Neptune in Cancer was Uranus in Capricorn, and Uranus in Capricorn is naughty, naughty. He shows the loopholes in boring ol’ structures, and adds a bit of swing to the boring ol’ waltz. He comes up with the Bunny Hug and the Grizzly Bear and the Turkey Trot at the Fairmont Hotel no less.

Shocked, Neptune in Cancer bans these dances that imitate the sex relations between the male and female bunny, bear and turkey. Anyone who permits these dances of questionable nature will be arrested for disorderly conduct.

Uranus in Capricorn responds with the Fox Trot, the Horse Trot, the Fish Walk, the Dog Walk and the Tiger Dance.


An evening at the Fairmont Hotel, 1911

Neptune transit in Leo 1915-1929  The popularity and controversy of animal dances died down when WWI broke out. After the war, Neptune found full body expression in Leo, and the jazz age began; even Cancer was dancing the Charleston.

Neptune in Leo in the natal chart  Neptune in Leo doesn’t strive for perfection. He’s the performer who practices his dance moves enough not to be embarrassed, and leaves room for humour and spontaneity.


Pierre Trudeau’s pirouette behind Queen Elizabeth II, May 1977. They both have Neptune in Leo.

Neptune transit in Virgo 1928-1943  Neptune entered Virgo in 1928, retrograded back into Leo, and re entered Virgo in 1929, three months before the great depression. Neptune in Virgo is a less extravagant artist, more formal and able to stand in formation. This is the time of the big orchestra bands like that of Glenn Miller. This is also the time of the folk artist.

Neptune in Virgo in the natal chart  Virgo is a discriminating sign, picking and choosing words carefully, and Neptune in Virgo is a poet. He’s not a showman; he cannot dance. He sings his poetry and his intonation is clear, precise. He wears simple lines, dark colours; nothing that draws away from his face. He says things like

First we take Manhattan

Then we take Berlin.


Leonard Cohen in 1988

In the natal chart. Archetypes.


Neptune in Virgo is the devoted disciple; adherence to a spiritual practice.

Neptune in Libra is the soul mate; a search for companionship without losing one’s Self; a duet where two voices remain distinct.

Neptune in Scorpio is the doctor; learning from life and death drama; raw honesty. The golden age rappers have Neptune in Scorpio.


Neptune in Sagittarius is the seeker, the pilgrim; explorations that lift the spirit. Beyoncé has Neptune in Sagittarius in her natal chart. She established her name when Neptune transited Aquarius, and began collaborating when Neptune entered Pisces. All her life, she’s been on a quest, a personal quest, and the african american quest of finding their place among the masterpieces of western art.

In 2018, she dropped her name in Piscean fashion and became one of the Carters, and she completed her quest with APE**IT. She collaborated with Jay-Z who has Neptune in Scorpio, and the collaboration was done in Libra fashion; her style, his style.



Neptune in Capricorn is the wise elder; lone explorations; doubting and testing the systems that have been handed down; coming to terms with faults in the systems, and making a spiritual commitment to one’s tribe.

If Saturn is with Neptune in Capricorn, the spiritual commitment is long term; there is effort and practice, austerity and discipline, and again, a coming to terms with faults and disillusionment, but persevering nevertheless. Breakthroughs result from relentless effort and perseverance.


Dancer by BAHMAN, 2018

If Uranus is with Neptune in Capricorn, there’s a fearless questioning of the systems and the wisdom handed down; there is doubt and rebellion, and a trust in one’s own experience, one’s own authority. Here are the rebel Buddhas.


Dancers by BAHMAN, 2018

If Jupiter is with Neptune in Capricorn, a spiritual commitment merges with confidence and pride in one’s tribe. One draws inspiration from the wisdom handed down, meets inspirational figures; becomes one.


Claude Monet had Neptune in Aquarius in the natal chart; he awakened us to a fresh and original way of seeing the world; light playing with and dissolving the solid surface of a cathedral. Painting light was his own, personal and direct spiritual experience, and he shared it with us.

Neptune in Aquarius is the visionary; spirituality connected to a personal vision that can awaken others to something new.


Rouen Cathedral, West Façade, Sunlight, by Claude Monet, 1892

Our Neptune in Aquarius generation is still young, between the ages of 9 and 22. The older ones born between 1998 and 2003 have Uranus and Neptune in Aquarius; they are the spiritual revolutionaries of our time; their spiritual vision connected to the earth; awakening us to the spirit of the times.


Prayer by BAHMAN, 2016

The Neptune in Pisces archetype is the dreamer and the innovator. Nikola Tesla had Neptune in Pisces, and Uranus in Taurus, like the children being born today. He said he got flashes of inspiration for his inventions, downloads from the gods that he could visualize, and he’d seclude himself in his lab to work on them. It was a mystical experience, scientific and divine. We owe him the AC motor and the AC generating system; they make staying at home easier. His dream not realized was to provide free electricity across the globe wirelessly.


Nikola Tesla statue at Niagara Falls, Ontario

The future Neptune in Aries generation will not stay home, even with free electricity. They will be our spiritual warriors, off on an adventure, fearless and bold.


The Great Warrior by BAHMAN, 2017

Fire keepers

Once upon a time, the main source of fire was the lightning bolt. When people could not make their own fire, they’d wait for lightning to strike and they’d collect fire and hand it to the fire keeper. The fire keeper had the responsibility of keeping the fire alive.

Every tribe had a different sort of fire keeper; it all depended where Uranus was in their chart, which house, because Uranus rules the lightning bolt. If your Mars lies stagnant, Uranus sends a lightning bolt to re ignite him.

Look at Cancer, the sign of nurture. When Neptune was in Cancer, Cancer became over protective; his claws reached out to censor and ban what he saw as threatening the order of things, the traditional waltz. Neptune must have been sitting on Cancer’s natal Mars, dampening his Mars. Neptune is a watery and slow moving planet, and slower moving planets always have the bigger say when they’re conjunct a faster moving planet. Cancer with Neptune sitting on his Mars couldn’t be the one arresting the revelers; all he could do was censor and ban and call out the police. When Neptune moved on to Leo, Uranus sent a lightning bolt to re ignite Cancer’s Mars; it was war time after all, and Cancer’s strategic moves were needed to protect the troops.


first house fire keepers

Something about their appearance set them apart from the tribe; if it wasn’t in their physical appearance, it was the way they tied their animal skin on, or the way they did their hair. They would act impulsively too; if they were corrected by an elder for not performing a ritual in the expected manner, they’d take off on their own for long periods of time and worry the tribe. When they returned, they’d come back carrying an assortment of rocks, and they’d sit alone for hours on end rubbing them together.

Cave person 1     Eccentric behaviour, don’t you think?

Cave person 2     Indeed. I’ve been thinking we should make them our fire keepers; it’ll keep their minds occupied with better things; keep them a part of the collective.

Cave person 3     What if they take off like they always do and leave the fire unattended?

Tribal chief     I’m sure they’ll improvise a way to take the fire with them; they’re pretty ingenious. Look at the way they’ve done their hair; pulled back to look like an animal’s tail; it’s futuristic. I think we should all follow their example; we’ll be able to see better when we go hunting.

Nikola Tesla had Uranus in Taurus in the first house. Eddie Murphy has Uranus in Leo in the first.


second house fire keepers

They began filling the communal cave with an unusual collection of artifacts.  

Cave person 1     Chief, they’re crowding the cave; filling it up with fertility figurines from all the surrounding tribes.

Tribal chief     I know; I go check out their collection every morning before the sunrise ritual; I like to see if they’ve acquired any new ones. I find those figures voluptuous and titillating.

Cave person 2     But chief, they’re trading some of our fire for them. I see them sneak away with a lit torchlight and come back with figurines.   

Tribal chief     In that case we’ll make them our fire keepers; give them easy access to the fire.

Cave person 2 (aside to cave person 1)    Your plan just backfired.

Cave person 1 (to the tribal chief)     But chief! We’ll be overcrowded!

Tribal chief     Now now; they can transfer their collection to the fire keepers cave; it’ll be a precursor of the museum.


Palaeolithic statuettes known as Venus figurines

Queen Elizabeth II has Uranus in her second house of possessions. She owns over a million works of art, six castles and 437 swans.


third house fire keepers

They said they were too busy to go hunting.

Cave person 1     That group of youth over there won’t go hunting, chief.

Tribal chief     What are they up to?

Cave person 1     Creating symbols.  

Tribal chief     Show me.

Cave person 1 takes a stick and begins to draw on the earth

Cave person 1     A vertical line means, I. A cordiform means, love. A half circle means, you.

Tribal chief (grunts approval)    Ask them to make a symbol for war and peace.

Cave person 1 goes to the group. The chief watches him interact with the youth. Cave person 1 returns, picks up the stick and draws on the earth

Cave person 1     A cruciform means, war. A segmented cruciform means, peace.

Tribal chief (grunts approval)     Train them to be fire keepers. That will give them plenty of time to create more of these symbols.


Palaeolithic symbols found in caves

Mark Zuckerberg has Uranus in the third house of communications, media, and additional qualifications.


fourth house fire keeper

Cave person 1     He used to sleep walk when he was small; we had to send search parties after him several times.

Cave person 2    Now he wakes up in the middle of the night and starts drumming; says he can’t sleep.

Cave person 3     I enjoy his drumming; he’s very talented.

Cave person 1     He’s the result of bad parenting.

Cave person 3     What do you mean?

Cave person 1     I’m sure his mother’s been a bad influence; she posed in the nude for a fertility figurine.

Cave person 2     No!

Cave person 1     Yes!

Cave person 3 (rising)     She may not fit the mold of a typical mom, but she’s not a bad parent.

Cave person 2     Where are you off to?

Cave person 3     I’m going to ask the tribal chief to make the lad a fire keeper.


Elon Musk has Uranus in Libra in his fourth house of home and roots. His chart is a solar chart; he doesn’t have his time of birth.

This is his mom.

fifth house fire keeper

Tribal chief     What’s she doing?

Cave person 1     Experimenting.

Tribal chief    With our food?

Cave person 1    She calls it, marinating the meat.

Tribal chief     Details.

Cave person 1     She’s sliced the meat and sprinkled rock salt and some of the herbs the children picked for her.

Tribal chief     Let’s hope she doesn’t poison us all.

dinner time

Tribal chief (takes a bite)    Tasty.  (another bite) There’s passion in this meat.

Cave people (in unison)     Best meat we ever had.

Tribal chief     Make her fire keeper; she can marinate the meat while she tends the fire to cook it.


Gordon Ramsay has Uranus in Virgo in his fifth house. He has a stellium in the fifth; Mars, Uranus, Pluto and the Moon. If the fourth house is our childhood, the fifth house is the house of adolescence; it’s the house where we fall in love, have children, and do the things we’re passionate about, like cooking and teaching.


sixth house fire keeper

Cave person 1     Chief, I’m against slavery.

Tribal chief     What do you mean?

Cave person 1     We should free the slaves.

Tribal chief     Our slaves are hard won; and they’re of great help to us.

Cave person 1     Then we should give them equal status.

Tribal chief     They wouldn’t be much help if we gave them equal status. They do the jobs nobody else wants to do.

Cave person 1     Chief, I’m against slavery.

Tribal chief     I’m not freeing the slaves or giving them equal status until everyone agrees to do the jobs they do.

Cave person 1     Okay, then make me fire keeper.

Tribal chief     Why? You gave up so easily?

Cave person 1 (shakes his head)     No.

Tribal chief     What’s your plan?

Cave person 1     If I’m fire keeper, you can send one cave person a day to sit by my side so that I can convince them.

The sixth house is the house of service and servitude; it’s how we serve and how we treat people who serve us. It’s also how we act in the face of conflict and adversity, and how we fight injustice.

Obama has the Sun and Mercury in his sixth; he served and fought injustice on a grand stage, with oratory. The Queen has Pluto in her sixth; she’s been transformed by her service, humbled. The Moon sees the soul, pure or damaged; and she cares for both. Mars will fight injustice; endanger his life to defend and protect. Venus adds fuel to the fire, or she charms, depending on her mood. Saturn serves and fights with patience, endurance and self-discipline.

Uranus in the sixth house goes against the grain and stands up for what he believes is true. Neptune looks for peaceful solutions. Jupiter takes the lead with optimism and erudition.  

Malala Yousafzai has Neptune, Uranus, and Jupiter in her sixth house. She’s one of the spiritual revolutionaries of our time.


seventh house fire keeper

Cave person 1     Chief, I’m going to marry a foreigner, and I need time off on weekends.

Tribal chief     Why?

Cave person 1     To see her.

Tribal chief     What do you mean, to see her? Isn’t she joining our tribe?

Cave person 1     No. We both want our independence. She’s a fire keeper like me, and she’s a chef.

Tribal chief (grunts disapproval)   

Cave person 1     Please, chief; give me your approval.

Tribal chief     What’s a chef?

Cave person 1     Someone who experiments with food.

Tribal chief     So you’ll be spending weekends over at her tribe?

Cave person 1     No. We’re looking for a safe cave somewhere in between.

Tribal chief     Like the Shaman.

Cave person 1     Yeah, like the Shaman.

Tribal chief     I’d like to try some of her experimental food; I could use a change.

Cave person 1     We’ll cook our meals here.

Tribal chief (grunts approval)


Gwyneth Paltrow has Uranus in her seventh house. She has a stellium there; Mars, Pluto, the Sun, Mercury, and Uranus.


eighth house fire keeper

Shaman     I’m told that you left your place by the fire and came here to draw this.

Cave person 1     Yes, Shaman.


Picture of a half human, half animal being in a Palaeolithic cave painting in Dordogne, France

Shaman     Did you feel the spirit of the bull when you drew this?

Cave person 1     No, Shaman.

Shaman     When I look at the bull, I feel the spirit of the bull; I feel like this; half man, half bull.

Cave person 1     I’m not the apprentice you’re looking for, Shaman. I saw this figure in the sky, among the stars. The stars in the sky form patterns, and I see images in these patterns, like this man-bull.

Shaman     Show me.

They leave the cave and stand outside. Cave person 1 directs the Shaman’s vision to the east, points at a group of stars and draws a figure with his finger

Shaman     A lion!


The Panel of the Lions, Chauvet Cave

Cave person 1 directs the Shaman’s vision above them and draws with his finger

Shaman     A crab! Twins!

Cave person 1 directs the Shaman’s vision westward and draws with his finger

Shaman     The man-bull!

Cave person 1 (pointing first to the western horizon, and then to the east)     When the man-bull drops, a fertility figurine appears behind the lion. One drops and makes room for another. They have an order.

Shaman     I will come again and you will show me more of your magic.

Cave person 1     Yes, Shaman.

Shaman     You are now fire keeper and star gazer.

Cave person 1     Yes, Shaman.


Handprint of the fire keeper and star gazer, Chauvet Cave

ninth house fire keeper

Shaman     Who did this?

Chief     One of our youth, Shaman. There was already a handprint-

Shaman     Yes; the handprint of the star gazer. I marked the star gazer’s hand to honour him for showing me a new magic. Doesn’t your youth know that only the Shaman marks a hand?

Chief     He knows, but challenges tradition.


Cave of hands, Santa Cruz, Argentina

Shaman     What else has he challenged?

Chief     Storytelling.

Shaman     Only the Shaman tells stories during the rituals.

Chief     This youth tells stories by the fire and makes us laugh.

Shaman    Show me.

The chief takes the Shaman by the fire where the youth is telling the tribe a story

The Shaman laughs along with the others

Shaman (to the chief)     Tell this youth that he will be my fire keeper. He will carry my fire and accompany me from tribe to tribe. He will entertain the tribes after my rituals.

Chief     Yes, Shaman.


tenth house fire keeper

They walked together looking for game when he spotted a glint and a glimmer in the dry grass. He struck it with the stone tip of his spear and it bounced and he struck it again. He bent down to check what it was that glinted and glimmered and he saw smoke rise. He had struck a shiny rock that gave smoke and smoke meant fire. He blew on the smoke and saw a flame and called the others. They gathered rocks to put around the flame to  prevent it from spreading. He picked up the shiny rock and showed it to the Sun, and they all kneeled down and thanked the Sun for the rock that strikes fire.


They hunted deer and returned to the tribe. They went to see the chief and he showed him the rock and told him that it gave fire. Show me, said the chief, and he showed him. This changes everything, said the chief, and they all agreed; this changes everything. Someone fetch the Shaman.

The Shaman arrived with his fire keeper and sat to watch him strike the shiny rock. He struck the rock like he had struck the rock before, and there was smoke and there were flames of fire. This changes everything, said the Shaman. You will gather more of these rocks and you will travel from tribe to tribe to spread the word, the Shaman instructed him. Yes, Shaman, he said.

On my way here, said the Shaman, I saw an owl, and now I know that an owl is the harbinger of good news. We will go to the cave and honour you with the image of an owl. With these words the Shaman rose and the chief rose and they walked to the cave and the tribe followed. The tribe’s fire keeper shone the way inside, and the Shaman’s fire keeper kept watch outside. The Shaman chanted the story of the man who struck a shiny rock that gave fire, and while he chanted he used his finger to trace an owl on the cave wall. This will bring us new wisdom, said the chief. This will bring us new wisdom, said the Shaman. This will bring us new wisdom, said the tribe.


Owl, Chauvet Cave

eleventh house fire keeper

There’s a fire keeper in the day and more at night. We light more fires at night to keep the animals away. I was once fire keeper at night, and I carved the hunters’ spear-throwers by the light of the fire. I carved lions, horses, bison.


Bone engraved with lions, Grotte de la Vache, Ariège

Then I found a piece of broken bone and I carved a bison licking an insect bite. I gave it to a child and all the other children wanted one too; the chief wanted one too. 

Now I’m fire keeper in the day; I carve miniature animals on broken pieces of bone and I teach others to carve the way I do.


Bison licking insect bite, width 10.5 cm, Abri de la Madeleine, Dordogne

Jupiter in the eleventh house can give wide influence. Karl Marx had Uranus and Neptune in his tenth house and Jupiter in his eleventh house. His revolutionary and utopian manifesto had wide influence; it has been as widely read and translated as a religious book.

Uranus in the eleventh house can give sudden rise to popularity and the influence is in originality. Psy has Uranus in the eleventh house from his Sun; he doesn’t have his time of birth.


twelfth house fire keeper

The lights went out and I’ve lit a candle. I’m studying for my art history exam tomorrow; I thought studying by candlelight was more appropriate than using my phone light. I’m honoring my ancestors. Did you know palaeolithic art influenced modern art? The first cave art discovered in Europe was at the end of the nineteenth century when the first modern artists were being born. Picasso’s bulls look like the bison in the cave of Altamira, and Jackson Pollock left handprints on his drip paintings; echoes from the past.

fire keeper     I dozed off for a moment and when I woke up I knew what I had to do. I left my fire with another fire keeper, took a torch light and went to see the Shaman. Shaman, I had a dream, I said. He heard my dream and went to wake the cave painters, and we entered the sacred cave together. I lit the torch lights that were lying inside the cave.

Pollock     I woke up and knew what I had to do. I went inside my studio, turned all the lights on,  and lay the largest canvas I had on the ground. I gathered all my paint cans together and cleaned my brushes.

fire keeper     I took some of the hard earth we used to paint our bodies, and I ground it and diluted it and gave it to the Shaman. The Shaman took the bowl of paint and laid it on the scaffold, and the painters climbed the scaffold with their paintbrushes.

Pollock     I dipped my paintbrush into a can of paint, held it over the canvas, and let the paintbrush drip.

fire keeper     The painters painted inside the outline of the bison; they applied thin paint in some areas and thicker paint in others, and the bison came to life.


Bison, Cave of Altamira

Pollock     A pattern formed in my mind, and I walked around the canvas letting the paint drip and I followed the pattern.

fire keeper     The painters were about to begin working on another bison, but the Shaman stopped them. They would paint one bison during each ritual, he said; he wanted the others to see the bison come to life.

Pollock     When I completed my work, I felt the need to commemorate the moment in some way; the beginning of a new style.

fire keeper     Before we left the cave, the Shaman marked our hands on the cave wall.


Pollock     I dipped my hand in paint and did what the Shaman would have done when someone initiated something new; handprints.


Number 1A by Jackson Pollock, 1948

They must have all had Uranus in the twelfth house; Uranus has a way of connecting us through space and time and in our dreams. We wake up knowing what to do; like in the movie Arrival by Denis Villeneuve. His chart is a solar chart, and he has Uranus conjunct Pluto in the twelfth house. 



Saturn is stationing retrograde; he’s standing still in the sky, preparing to move back into Capricorn.

He’d been moving direct, beautifully; he’d left Capricorn, spent the weekend at 0° Aquarius, and on Monday April 6, he woke up at 1° Aquarius and stopped moving.

Monday, April 6, 2020, Ottawa, ON

He’s going to be watching us from 1° Aquarius until June 14.

Sunday, June 14, 2020, Ottawa, ON

On June 15, he’ll take his first step back.

Monday, June 15, 2020, Ottawa, ON

He’s going to retrograde back into Capricorn and have a chat with Jupiter and Pluto, keeping a distance of 2 degrees. He’ll station direct in September, start moving forward in October, and he’ll re enter Aquarius holding hands with Jupiter in December.  

But for now he’s stationary at 1° Aquarius, and when Saturn’s stationary, it’s serious business. It’s as if he were telling us to

Saturn     Settle down.


He’s standing at the entrance of Aquarius and making us reflect on the global crisis we’re facing. Aquarius rules systems that do not have a centre; it’s a humanitarian sign, and in Aquarius, we’re all in charge. But we’re also individuals in Aquarius, and Saturn’s station at 1° Aquarius is affecting us in different ways.

Like many other celebrities, George Clooney has donated money to help with the epidemic. His natal Saturn is at 29° Capricorn, 2 degrees away from Saturn’s station in his eleventh house. He’s having a prolonged Saturn return this year because of Saturn’s retrograde. His eleventh house of friendship and community is being lit up, as well as his fifth house of children. The Saturn transit is activating the opposition with his natal Mars in the fifth, and he’s balancing the responsibility he feels toward his community with his responsibility as a parent.

Mars in the fifth would much rather take the kids to the park than change diapers and do laundry, but there’s no escaping domesticity these days, not with a double Saturn opposition. 


Chart for George Clooney, born May 6, 1961, 2:58 am, Lexington Manor, KY (

Saturn’s station is conjunct Lady Gaga’s part of fortune in her eighth house. The part of fortune brings out the best qualities of any planet, and in this case, it’s brining out discipline, commitment, a sense of responsibility, leadership and hard work.


Chart for Lady Gaga, born March 28, 1986, 9:53 am, Manhattan, NY (

The eighth house is where we heal and help others heal from bankruptcy, trauma and drug abuse; it is the house of transformation. The eighth is a hidden house; it does not aspect the first house; it lies hidden from the light of the ascendant sign or the solar sign, and it is the house of hidden matters.

But on the surface, the eighth is the second house from the seventh, and also known as the house of our partners’ talents, money and resources. When we manage other people’s talents, money and resources, we are in the eighth house.

During this time of crisis, Lady Gaga has raised money for the World Health Organization’s relief fund through her relationships. She is also spearheading and bringing together talents for a global special to support healthcare workers on the frontlines of the epidemic; we’re going to hear their stories. ‘One World: Together at home’ will air on Saturday April 18 at 8 pm.


Saturday, April 18, 2020, 8 pm, Manhattan, NY

It’s a day that will bring out the best in her.


Synastry chart for Lady Gaga and April 18, 2020, 8 pm, Manhattan, NY, with Lady Gaga’s chart in the inner wheel

Her part of fortune will be conjunct transiting Saturn, and in close proximity to transiting Jupiter and Pluto; leadership, generosity, and healing. She will unite us in spirit.

Transiting Neptune will be conjunct her natal Mercury, and the transiting Sun will be conjunct her natal Venus, enhancing her artistry.

Transiting Venus will be conjunct her natal Chiron in her twelfth house. There’s wounding in Gemini in her twelfth, and Mercury, ruler of Gemini, is in her tenth house of career. Her career helps her heal the wound she carries, and she in turn helps others through her career and events such as this one. This is how she does her part.

On April 18, she will feel the grace and love of Venus where she needs it most.


An aside: hidden houses

There are four houses that the ascendant or the solar house does not aspect by sextile, square, trine or opposition; they don’t receive light from the ascendant or the solar house. These are the 2nd, 6th, 8th and 12th houses.

The 8th house and the 12th house don’t receive direct light from the ascendant or the solar house, but they sextile the midheaven and the tenth house. Natal planets in the 8th and 12th can influence our vocation and choice of career.


Chart for Al Capone, born January 18, 1899, 9:30 am, Brooklyn, NY (

Al Capone had Jupiter in Scorpio in the eighth house, and it sextiled Mercury in Capricorn in his tenth house. He was a master in the world of hidden things and made a career of it. He was a gangster and a business man.


Chart for Mother Teresa, born August 26, 1910, 2:25 pm, Skopje, Macedonia (

Mother Teresa had her Sun and Venus in Leo in her eighth house. Venus was the ruler of her tenth house of career. She dedicated her life and vitality caring for the poor and the sick.

Jupiter, ruler of her twelfth house, was conjunct her midheaven. She was a missionary who worked far away from home, and for a long time, far away from the limelight, in the slums of Calcutta. When she was recognized for her work, she brought worldwide attention to the poverty of the slums. 

The twelfth house is the house of retreat, solitude and isolation. When we work in places of retreat, in the spiritual field, we’re in the twelfth house. When we work with marginalized groups of people, people with a separate set of services, in group homes, hospitals, prisons, we’re in the twelfth house.


Chart for Martin Luther King Jr., born January 15, 1929, 12 pm, Atlanta, GA (

Martin Luther King had Uranus, ruler of his tenth house, and Jupiter, ruler of his eighth house, in the twelfth. Uranus sextiled his midheaven. He was a brilliant man, a Christian minister and an activist who exposed and fought against racial injustice in the United States. Uranus in Aries can be explosive, but in the 12th house and with the influence of Jupiter, he settled for civil disobedience. Martin Luther King led the Civil Rights Movement and was jailed 29 times.


The 2nd house and the 6th house don’t receive direct light from the ascendant or the solar house, but they sextile the fourth house of our beginnings, home and roots. They are houses nourished and supported by our parents and caregivers.

The second house of talents and resources begins with praise for having an ability. The sixth house of health routines and learning skills begins with being told to do our homework, eat our vegetables and brush our teeth.


Chart for Billie Eilish, born December 18, 2001, 11:30 am, Los Angeles, CA (

Billie Eilish has Venus, ruler of the second house, conjunct her midheaven. She has her Sun, ruler of the sixth house, in her tenth house.

Her talents and skills have been nurtured from childhood towards a career in music.

Mercury, ruler of the fourth house, is in her tenth house, and Jupiter, ruler of the tenth house, is in her fourth house.

The encouragement to explore where her talents and skills will take her come from home. Her home and career are one; they support and depend on each other.

Her mom’s an actress and a scriptwriter, and her dad’s an actor, and they are both musicians. Billie and her brother were homeschooled, and their mom taught them how to write songs.

The artist Takashi Murakami directed and animated the official video for her song, you should see me in a crown.


Chart for Takashi Murakami, born February 1, 1962, time unknown, Tokyo, Japan (

Venus, ruler of Taurus in the fourth house, is conjunct his Sun in the solar house. He was mama’s boy growing up; the light in her eyes.

Jupiter, traditional ruler of Pisces in the second house, is also in his solar house. Neptune, modern ruler of Pisces, is in Scorpio in the tenth. His talent for the arts was recognized early on; his unique expression was encouraged. His parents believed that his destiny lay in the field of art. They invested in his education; Venus also rules the ninth house of higher learning.

The Moon, ruler of Cancer in the sixth house, is in Sagittarius in the eleventh. His family spoke proudly of his skills with people in their community; they promoted him.


Another aside: placidus, equal and whole houses

Once upon a time, in ancient Babylon, an astronomer astrologer looked at the sky in sidereal time and divided the constellations into houses, depending on our time of birth. Later on, Ptolemy looked at the sky and made corrections and recalculations, and after Ptolemy, Placidus wrote his interpretations. He gave us the placidus house system based on sidereal time.

To make chart reading easier, the equal house system honours the cusp of the ascendant, and divides the rest of the houses into equal 30 degree houses from the ascendant cusp. If the ascendant is 15° Capricorn, the cusp of the second house is 15° Aquarius.

To teach astrology, many astrologers use the whole sign system. No matter where the cusp is in the ascendant sign, the whole sign becomes the first house, and the sign that follows is the second house. It echoes what we do when we do not have the time of birth and use the solar sign as the first house. Even if the Sun is at 28° Leo, Leo is the first house, and Virgo is the second house. In the whole sign system, even if the cusp of the ascendant is 28° Leo, Leo is the first house, and Virgo is the second house.

Saturn’s station at 1° Aquarius is in Lady Gaga’s eighth house in the placidus house system. It would be in her ninth house if we were using whole signs, and the ninth is where we pursue higher knowledge.

‘One World: Together at home’ will be broadcast at 8 pm New York time, when Saturn’s station is in the third house using placidus. The third is the house of media and communications, information and entertainment. Saturn’s station would be in the fourth house of home and roots using whole signs.

When we have our time of birth, we choose a house system depending on how planetary transits affect us. Boris Johnson was home sick with the virus and was admitted to hospital on Sunday evening, April 5. Using placidus, Saturn’s station is in his fourth house. It would be in his fifth house using whole signs. 


Chart for Boris Johnson, June 19, 1964, 2 pm, New York City (

Physically and psychologically, the fourth is where we go when we’re unwell.


Back to stationary

As a collective, we’re feeling Saturn’s station in Aquarius, conjunct Altair. The leaders emerging are in the medical profession. We don’t have their dates or times of birth; they don’t belong to the public; they don’t rely on voters or fans or subjects. They’re part of our communities and rely on their expertise.


Altair (photograph by NASA)


Gemini and Venus retrograde

The neolithic age was the age of Gemini.

We invented the wheel and the sailboat and began to travel; we traded goods and made connections; we kept count and developed written forms of language; villages became towns and towns got busier and busier.

We get a feel for what the neolithic was like when we watch Richard Scarry’s busy town and busy people, the busy busy world of Gemini.


Chart for Richard Scarry, born June 5, 1919, time unknown, Boston, MA

With Mercury conjunct Mars in his solar house, Richard Scarry would have invented the wheel back in 4000 BCE. With Uranus at the bending of the nodes, he would have gone off to trade potatoes for some cannabis.

Gemini is the sign that makes connections; it builds bridges, has everyone’s phone number and brings people together. It rules opposites because it sees both points of view without judgement; it’s the sign of curiosity, exploration and experimentation; what if and why not. Wherever we have Gemini in our charts, we may transgress, cross the line and be immoral, not because we’re bad; we’re just toddlers in Gemini. Born in Aries, breast fed in Taurus and toddlers in Gemini, in one of those walk-about walkers.

Gemini rules what we think about; we’re clever and active in Gemini, even restless.

Gemini in the second house thinks about wealth and ways to multiply it. It likes vehicles, collects them.

It’s not true that Aries is at a loss for words, not if they have Gemini on the cusp of the third house. In the third house, Gemini has a silver tongue and is quick to answer back. It learns fast, mimics others’ speech and writing, gossips and is a great conversationalist. It’s good with technology, unfazed by it.

Gemini in the fourth house has a busy house; relatives, friends and neighbours walking in and out. The TV’s on; there’s a school around the corner; a bicycle workshop not too far and a bridge that leads downtown.

Gemini in the fifth is organizing a party, a fundraiser. It’s going out for a walk and playing racquetball. It’s busy with research and hobbies; busy romancing diversity, even if it’s officially in a relationship; but we don’t judge in Gemini, we don’t judge.

Gemini in the sixth is a skillful writer and speaker. It gathers information, breaks it down and simplifies it; makes a great teacher.

Gemini in the seventh is savvy with contractual agreements; it likes a lighthearted partner, someone fun to be with.

Gemini in the eighth thinks about sex; it thinks about crisis, debt, crime and all those things under the table. It brings an analytical mind to emergency situations, to any situation. Gemini in the eighth makes a good psychotherapist; it’s curious to know what’s going on in someone else’s brain; like a child poking an anthill with a stick to see what’s hiding inside.

Gemini in the ninth won’t get tied to one philosophy; it will pick and choose a bit from all. The brain works fast and is easily bored and it will study a topic until another catches its attention. It’s best to get to the point quickly and keep things short for Gemini in the ninth, like they do in ads and commercials.

Gemini in the tenth needs to be busy; busyness is stimulating. Brain busy careers like programming will suit Gemini in the tenth, and active careers that involve movement and driving and making connections.  

Gemini in the eleventh has youthful friends, intelligent and skilled; they’re friends who introduce Gemini to new experiences; friends who are lively.

If Gemini in the twelfth meditates, it will be the sort of meditation that involves chanting a mantra with every exhalation. It needs to be stimulating or Gemini will fall asleep.  

Gemini in the first is all of the above.

Whichever house we have Gemini in, we will also express the Geminian qualities of the opposite house. If we have Gemini in the eighth house, we will also express the Geminian qualities of the second. Gemini rules opposites.


Venus is in Gemini today; she’s an evening star in Gemini, visible in the sky after the Sun sets. She’ll shine her brightest on April 27 and 28.

On May 13, she turns retrograde and an R appears next to her symbol on the chart.


Chart for May 13, 2020, 8 pm, Ottawa, ON

She’ll be an evening star in retrograde until she crosses paths with the Sun on June 3.


Chart for June 3, 2020, 8 pm, Ottawa, ON

When she crosses paths with the Sun, she’ll be a morning star in retrograde, setting before the Sun and no longer visible in the night sky.

She’ll retrograde until she reaches 5° Gemini, and she turns direct on June 25.


Chart for June 25, 2020, 8 pm, Ottawa, ON

When Venus is direct, whether she’s a morning or evening star, the Sun stands between her and the earth. Her rays go through the Sun before they reach us and she sacrifices some of her independent spirit. In the same way, when Venus is direct in our natal charts, we sacrifice some of our independent spirit to fit into our families, communities, society.

When Venus is retrograde, whether she’s a morning or evening star, she stands between the Sun and the earth and her rays reach us directly, without the Sun’s filter.

People with Venus retrograde in their natal charts break away from the norm; they show us that there are different ways of learning, loving, dressing.

Venus in our charts tells us what we value most in ourselves and in others. If she’s in our ninth house, we value higher knowledge above all else. If she’s retrograde in our ninth house, we value higher knowledge above all else, but something prevents us from learning and acquiring knowledge the traditional way. But our heart’s in the ninth and Venus is retrograde there, so we persevere and find our own independent way of going about learning; it may be a harder way, but for us it’s the only way.


Transiting Venus reminds us to pay attention to the things we love and value in other houses. She’s transiting Gemini; what do we love and value in the house Gemini is in. If Gemini’s in the first house, we pay attention to our appearance; we like our hair to look a certain way and it doesn’t anymore and we hope the hair salon opens soon. If it doesn’t open by the time Venus goes retrograde, we’ll end up fixing it ourselves or start a new look; free ourselves from the hair salon once and for all. Or we’ll break a rule; we’ll go to the salon that’s operating under cover.


When Venus retrogrades as an evening star, the owner of the hair salon will call her most loyal clients and tell them that she’ll be operating under cover, but only once a week because Venus is still visible in the sky. The owner of the hair salon has Gemini in the tenth house and she’s itching to go back to work; styling hair is her passion.

Once Venus crosses paths with the Sun and retrogrades as a morning star, the owner of the salon will be operating daily for a couple of hours. One client at a time and please park in the back so the neighbours don’t call the police.


I’m one of her neighbours and I’m not a snitch; I’ve got better things to do. Been busy with one of my hobbies, my fashion design; reading a lot about Versace. He had Venus retrograde in Scorpio in his natal chart; no wonder his brand’s logo is Medusa. My natal Venus is direct, but transiting Venus is retrograding in my fifth house and I’m being drawn to Versace. He brought punk into high fashion and I’m thinking of doing something similar. I’m thinking of creating a clothing line based on what people are wearing during this pandemic; I’m telling you, people are going out wearing the same clothes they slept in. So here’s what I’m going to do; I’m going to call my line, the out and about and jump into bed collection; I’m going to bring sleep into high fashion.


My mom went to the hairdresser’s; can you believe it? She won’t let me leave the house, but she goes off to some clandestine salon. It actually gives me the chance to sneak out of here; I’m going over to a friend who does tattoos. He owns a tattoo parlour, but it’s a non-essential so he had to close it and is now working from home. I’ve decided I want the same tattoo Helen Mirren has; she said she got it when only Hell’s Angels had tattoos; must have been during a Venus retrograde. It represents the idea of being equal and opposite to another person and I really like that.



Sometimes, when Venus retrogrades, we realize how important, how valuable something is in our lives, and if we’re about to lose it, we fight to keep it. It could be a relationship, a contract, a place we fight to keep. I have my own company and I’m fighting to keep my trucks. Gemini’s in my second house and I don’t have any natal planets there to help me out; all I have in Gemini are my trucks. If my natal Venus were in Gemini, I’d have beautiful hands and a different talent. Venus in Gemini in the natal chart gives beautiful hands, like Helen Mirren’s hands, and Christina Hendricks; Christina’s hand is the hand you see on the poster for American Beauty.


Like I said, I don’t have any natal planets in Gemini; just my trucks and the strong and bulky hands to drive them.  

Venus is emotion and Venus retrograde is intense emotion. She’s transiting Gemini, and in Gemini, she’s astute. She’s helping me juggle things to keep my trucks.


They say Gemini rules the shoulders, arms and hands, but I have none. Gemini is in my third house and I rely on my mouth and my legs to interact and drive and make art. Rahu’s in my third and my third is my destiny, and I’ve managed well with what I have; I even raised a child.

Chart for Alison Lapper, born April 7, 1965, time unknown, Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire

In 2004, when Venus was transiting Gemini, Marc Quinn asked if he could make a sculpture of me. I wasn’t sure; I didn’t want people to make fun of my body. He showed me Venus de Milo with her missing arms; he reassured me that his sculpture would celebrate the beauty of my body. When Venus retrograded in Gemini, I agreed to pose for him.

Chart for June 11, 2004, time unknown, London, England

Alison Lapper Pregnant by Marc Quinn, Trafalgar Square, 2005-2007


When Venus transits Gemini in the seventh house, we pay attention to our relationships, we value them. We analyze and talk about them; we answer all our calls, and if we miss one, we call back. We can be argumentative but we’re quick to smooth things over. Venus direct in Gemini is a connector; she’s Libran in nature. Venus suave.

When Venus retrogrades in Gemini, she establishes a new relationship or saves an old one, and this is the part she likes best; a challenge. Her tools in Gemini are her brain and silver tongue; she shows off how smart she is, how much she knows; she can even lie. She’s Taurean when she’s retrograde; wants what she wants. Venus Aldebaran.

An aside

Venus retrograde can lie in any house and any sign to save something precious; a precious relationship. Bill Clinton told the American people that he ‘did not have sexual relations with that woman,’  when transiting Venus was retrograde in Capricorn in his fourth house. He was saving his precious relationship with home and family.

Synastry chart for Bill Clinton, and January 26, 1998, noon, Washington D.C., with Bill Clinton’s chart in the inside wheel


If you want to see Leo, watch Kate Bush sing Wuthering Heights.

If you want to see me take Wuthering Heights and turn it into a Scorpio song, watch my video Blue Jeans.

I too sneaked out of my house to get my first tattoo. I say it’s an M for Madeleine, my grandmother’s name, but it’s also the symbol of my rising sign, Scorpio.

Lana del Rey’s tattoo

My natal Venus is not in Gemini, it’s in Taurus, but Gemini’s my solar sign and it’s in my eighth house. I think of sex and death a lot.

When transiting Venus retrograded in Gemini in May 2012, my demo album ‘Sirens’ with my pseudonym May Jailer was leaked through youtube. Someone tried to embarrass me. Although the reviews were kind, I made sure the tracks were removed. The part that I’m proud of is that I kept quiet; I never confirmed or denied that it was me singing those tracks.

I had it easy compared to the people affected by the Ashley Madison data breach. Venus was retrograding in Leo when users’ names were leaked, and Leo’s a stage sign, filled with light; there’s nowhere to hide. But then again, Venus in Leo is all heart; she’s emotional and demonstrative; she helps us apologize. When she’s retrograde, we see clearly where we’re valued and separate ourselves from where we’re not.


Neptune in Virgo was the time of the folk artist.

Bob Dylan wrote his lyrics in Gemini in the sixth house; his songs became anthems for the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 60s. ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ is succinct and graced with the elegance of Venus.

Chart for Bob Dylan, born May 24, 1941, 9:05 pm, Duluth, MN (

In June and July 1964, when transiting Venus retrograded in Gemini, he changed his style; he went from folk to folk rock, took off his jeans and picked up an electric guitar.

Chart for July 6, 1964, time unknown, New York

This is Bob Dylan in November 1963.


This is in 1965, after Venus retrograded in the most powerful house of his chart. The sixth house is his solar house and his Sun is conjunct Jupiter, ruler of the ascendant.  Mercury, ruler of Gemini, is in its own sign, together with Venus, ruler of the midheaven.



Boris Johnson has Mercury in Gemini and Venus Retrograde conjunct his Sun at 28 degrees Gemini in the ninth. He values knowledge, and he’s thrived in his unique way and made connections in multiple places of higher learning.

Chart for Boris Johnson (

He’s had a highbrow education, but hasn’t always stuck to the rules. In 1988, he was fired from The Times for inventing a quote in an article he wrote. He was 23 and a graduate trainee, and this wasn’t good, but it wasn’t that bad either. That same year, he secured a job with the Daily Telegraph; he happened to know the editor of the Daily from his university years. He did well with the Daily; became popular; was promoted and stayed with them till 1994.

In May, June and July of  1988, that fated year, transiting Mercury and Venus retrograded over all his natal planets in Gemini. When Mercury transits retrograde, we get our act together and work harder, correct mistakes, run into people from the past. When Venus transits retrograde, we may blunder and be ostracized for it, but we hold ourselves together, put up a front and remain assertive, and we get another job.

Chart for June 15, 1988, time unknown, London

In May and June of this year, transiting Venus will retrograde from 21 degrees Gemini to 5 degrees Gemini and go over his natal Mercury.


Another aside

Tom Hanks has Venus Retrograde conjunct his midheaven in Gemini. He won an oscar when he played the part of a man diagnosed with aids, and when he played forrest gump; roles that show us what happens when Venus isn’t pretty.

Venus will transit retrograde over his midheaven in May.

Chart for Tom Hanks, July 9, 1956, 11:17 am, Concord, CA (

Donald Trump has Gemini in the tenth house; the tenth is his solar house and the house of his destiny.

With Rahu in Gemini, he shows us the light and shadow of Gemini to an extreme, and he has Uranus in Gemini, and Uranus is full of surprises.

Venus will transit retrograde over his Rahu and Uranus in May.

Chart for Donald Trump, born June 14, 1946, 10:54 am, New York (


When Jonathan Franzen published Corrections in 2001, it was selected for Oprah Winfrey’s book club with his approval. Not long after, he expressed concern about this. Some of his male readers had written to him saying that if they hadn’t watched his interviews, they would have never read his book; they felt Oprah picks were for women.

When Oprah heard about his concern, she uninvited him to her show. She reacted with her natal Venus conjunct her Sun in Aquarius; her ego was hurt; she took offense and took him off her list. Her reaction didn’t hurt Franzen; it drew more attention to his book and he won the national book award in 2002. He thanked Oprah for her advocacy of his book when he received the award.

They’ve made up since then; she’s come to respect his natal Venus Retrograde conjunct Mars in Virgo.

Chart for Jonathan Franzen, born August 17, 1959, time unknown, Chicago, IL (

Venus Retrograde in Virgo is not a pleasing planet; she doesn’t serve others. Venus Retrograde conjunct Mars in Virgo tells you what’s on her mind without niceties; she studies people, dissects them. This is Franzen’s talent.

Franzen’s book Freedom was an Oprah pick in 2010 and he was a guest at her show. She arranged for him to have questions not only from the audience made up entirely of women, but from a book club made up entirely of men via video call.

All of this happened without Venus transiting retrograde. This was about two people coming to terms with each other’s natal differences.

Franzen has Gemini in his eleventh house with no natal planets there. Mercury, ruler of the eleventh, is in his first house and he’s a writer. Gemini in the eleventh house multiplies the social groups we belong to, and in Franzen’s case, his readership. His social life is directly related to the books he writes.  

He’s a private man so we won’t know how the Venus retrograde in May and June will affect him. With Venus direct, he’s been gracious, reading and answering all his emails.

When Venus transits retrograde, emotions can intensify; possessiveness, jealousy, revenge; but we can also assert our self worth and independence; be less gracious. 


Last aside

In 2007, Vanessa Hudgens was sued for breach of contract by the agent who helped bring her to fame. The agent lost the case because Vanessa was a minor when she signed the contract. Later in September, when Venus retrograded in Leo, photographs showing her in lingerie and nude were leaked online. 

Today she’s facing a backlash because she made a comment to her fans that many people will die from this virus. Her critics are calling her insensitive and she’s apologizing profusely. Venus will soon retrograde in her social house and in her house of career; something will change in her. As the Venus retrograde ends, Mercury will retrograde in Cancer and she may make adjustments, like Boris.

Chart for Vanessa Hudgens, born December 14, 1988, 9:27 pm, Salinas, CA (


Will Smith is a Gemini ascendant.  He enjoys the company of youthful people and he enjoyed making a movie with Margot Robbie; he’d make another movie with her anytime.

Margot has her natal Venus in Gemini in her twelfth house; she’s youthful, flirty and fun to be with behind the scenes.  

When they finished filming Focus, there was a party on the set and someone brought in a photo booth. Will and Margot went inside and took some pictures; they lifted their t shirts, he licked her finger, things like that. In Margot’s words, they were just goofing around.

In the meantime, Will’s wife was giving a talk at the Associated Black Charities of Baltimore Girls’ Night Out event. She’s a Virgo. Leo’s in her twelfth house and Leo’s her private life and Will’s in there, so whatever he does, she gets asked about. When they asked her about the pictures Will and Margot left behind in the photo both, she said that she and Will were laughing off the episode.

Two women defending a Gemini who got carried away by the spirit of youth.

Maybe this would not have happened had Venus been transiting retrograde in Gemini. When she’s retrograde, we’re more strategic in the house she’s in; we take time to consider what the consequences of our actions might be; we plan things better. The transit can take the form of a person who stops us or stalls us from taking action.

At the party had Venus been transiting retrograde

Will     Hey guys! Margot and I are going over to the photo booth to take some pictures!

Someone     Make sure you take the pictures with you!

Someone else     Wait! Your wife’s on the phone!


Chart for Will Smith, born September 25, 1968, 9:47 pm, Philadelphia, PA (

In their day to day lives, his wife Jada plays a role in his birth chart, in his habitat; she can play the role of his natal Moon or Venus or another planet. Will’s natal Venus cradles his natal Mercury, ruler of his first house. When Jada plays the role of Venus, she cradles him and supports his work in the sixth house.

She trusts him; she knows he has an inner compass; his natal Saturn R is on the cusp of his twelfth house. She knows he’ll goof around, but limit himself to foreplay.

When she’s with him, he’s reminded of their commitment to each other. Jada’s Saturn sits on his ascendant, and her Rahu and Mars are conjunct his midheaven.


Chart for Jada Pickett Smith, September 18, 1971, time unknown, Baltimore, MD (

At the party with Venus transiting direct

Jada was not in the picture.

Margot had entered Will’s habitat and she has her natal Mars exactly where he has his natal Saturn R, and her natal Venus in Gemini sits on his ascendant.


Chart for Margot Robbie, born July 2, 1990, time unknown, Dalby, Queensland, Australia (

She charms him with her Venus; she tempts him; her natal planets in Capricorn tease his eighth house; her Mars and his Saturn join forces and plan a pose for every shot.


She makes him forget all about the pictures.