The Quality Formerly Known as Greed

A couple decades ago when vanity license plates surged in popularity here in central Ohio, a friend remarked, “Isn’t vanity supposed to be a bad thing?”

Recently while reading a book, the author commented upon greed. Like the word vanity, I haven’t heard of anyone calling another “greedy” in quite a while. Dictionary.com describes greed as “excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions.”

Has Ohio eradicated greed? Should Ohioans be promoting the non-greedy life among their fellow men?

Or is greed strong and healthy living an anonymous life under another, assumed name?

Greed in the Horoscope

The houses of the horoscope that rule money are Taurus (2nd house) and Scorpio (8th house) which I think of as “my money, your money.”

Looking for greed in the money houses is logical, but I don’t think it’s entirely accurate. Greed, like any quality, is separate from the object of desire. The object isn’t the greed; the energy is the greed.

While the earth-sign Taurus may like objects more than other signs, I think it tends less toward greed because of the fact it actually enjoys physical life. Greed, as this Psychology Today article describes, is more like an addiction. If you were gratified by something you built or bought, you wouldn’t need more and more and, therefore, wouldn’t be greedy.

Taurus, unlike other signs, can be quite content with what it has. Contentment, in fact, is a trait I associate with Taurus (especially moon in Taurus) which also lessens the tendency toward greed which is a seeking of something else.

When Taureans go bad, however, they do tend to focus their energies in the material realm such as with Bernard Madoff.

On the opposite pole of Taurus is water-sign Scorpio which wants connection through sharing a bed or a bank account – a physical merging. Because Scorpio, the fixed water sign, tends toward obsessiveness, I can see it being more prone to the energy of greediness, yet I don’t see it ultimately seeking the objects of the world that greedy wants. Scorpio ultimately wants emotional connection, not physical objects.

There are two other earth signs (besides Taurus) that seek fulfillment on the physical plane – Virgo (mutable) and Capricorn (cardinal).

In a Forbes article on billionaires’ horoscopes, it found Virgo as the prominent sign, although Scorpio Bill Gates was on the top of the list. We also must consider in that type of list that some have inherited their wealth and some earned it through creativity rather than pure desire for capital accumulation.

But that’s the interesting thing about wealth – it bestows power and control. Talking about power, we’re back in the realm of Scorpio which is ruled by Pluto. Control is Capricorn which is ruled by Saturn.

The last and cardinal earth sign, Capricorn, is not on the billionaire list but is well-known astrologically for its ambition and materialism. Capricorn is the mountain goat which climbs up, up, up. As they say about power, it’s lonely at the top. Capricorn gone bad can sacrifice a lot of personal relationships through drive for success.

If you find a Capricorn content with his/her position in life, please let me know.

Virgo is the most passive of the earth signs, generally focused on practical aspects of life such as work, health and diet. While I don’t have time to trace the Virgo billionaires, I wonder if Virgo wealth doesn’t come from good old-fashioned penny-pinching. I’m guessing those Virgo billionaires may still clip coupons.

Virgo is more about efficiency than gain, but can get caught up in its own devices in what today is called obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Virgo, Capricorn and Scorpio, then, seem to have a tendency toward capital accumulation or material accumulation not for its own enjoyment, but as a type of addiction or compulsion.

The Roaring 90s

A couple years ago, the most popular post-graduate degree became the Masters of Business Administration – MBA (25.4%) surpassing education (23.6%). Education degrees, keep in mind, are often a requirement. While the years are spotty on this site (some years are not represented), the surge in business undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees came in the early to mid 1980s.

While business degrees increased in the 1980s, it wasn’t until the 1990s that the US had an economic boom. As this Economic Policy Institute site notes:

One of the big stories of the 1990s was the acceleration of productivity growth in the latter part of the decade. Productivity growth averaged 2.5% in the second, compared to 1.5% in the first part of the decade. This improvement primarily resulted from more investment in new technologies, mainly computers and software, and from a tightening labor market that forced firms to utilize their existing pool of workers better.

This resulted in the great increase in consumption as percent of GDP:

Consumption is both the largest component of GDP and a leading indicator for future investment. Consumption as a share of GDP grew steadily throughout the 1990s to more than 68% by 2000.

Is consumption just another word for greed?

The Socialization of Greed

At the beginning of the 1990s, Jupiter was in Cancer while Saturn, Uranus and Neptune were all transiting Capricorn. Pluto was in Scorpio.

By the mid 1990s, Saturn had moved to Aquarius. Jupiter changes signs every year so in the decade passed through 11 signs from Cancer to the beginning of Gemini.

The economic boom of the 1990s occurred with Saturn and two outer planets (Uranus and Neptune) in the Capricorn with Pluto in Scorpio.

What’s so fascinating here is that the economic boom occurred with three major planets in Capricorn. Come 2009 Pluto begins to transit Capricorn and a great portion of that gain of the 1990s was destroyed.

Let’s start with Saturn in Capricorn. Saturn rules Capricorn so Capricorn is very happy with this overseer. Saturn in Capricorn are the solid, practical messages sent by our traditions and elders to follow the rules, follow authority (true authority, not anyone that calls him/herself authority), be stable (like buy a house) and save your pennies for a planned future. Oh, and make sure you have insurance.

So far, so good.

Uranus in Capricorn says that conscious awareness and sudden shifts will occur through this same energy.

During the 1990s sophisticated and abstract trading began from individuals known as “quants.” Their trading took down a few corporations from Long-Term Capital Management to Lehman Brothers. The high mathematical and statistical nature of these business practices meant that the average person couldn’t understand them yet one day would find the price of their house had diminished and wouldn’t exactly know why. Electricity trading also rose in this period, as Uranus rules electricity. Enron’s paper financial gains occurred during this period and collapsed in 2001.

Let’s not forget all the technology developed during this time was part of the boom. This increase in technology has further increased our dependency on electricity, which began being traded during that same time (interest to speculate where this will lead).

All the while Saturn in Capricorn had been telling us, “What’s more unassailable as an investment than your home?”

Uranus made us aware of abstract practices that we average folk could never understand but that affected whether or not we had a job and a home.

That’s quite an awakening.

Which brings us to Neptune in Capricorn which “spiritualized” this same energy. Neptune is the glossy glow that is put around the lover’s face in the movies. This halo increased substantially around the individuals who brought us technology and economic growth (which at the time was believed to be a real thing).

The spiritualization of Capricorn seemed to create the belief that “if it’s good for the economy, do it.”

This Neptune in Capricorn energy (which moved to Aquarius and is now in Pisces) worshiped and admired anyone that made money through Capricorn endeavors. These became our new heroes.

The Capricorn and Scorpio (and Virgo) tendency toward greed does not appear to have been eradicated but transformed through the spiritualization and socialization of business.

If greed is consumption which is the basis for the US economy, greed, then, must be promoted for us to survive in this country as we do today.

What if the US economy wasn’t consumption (greed) based? Would we be forced to travel into our own greed to discover what this addiction is truly seeking?

I wonder what an economy of contented people who didn’t need much would look like.

Prone to Greed, Prone to Depression?

What’s interesting, too, about Capricorn and Scorpio energy, is that, according to astrologer Liz Greene, these two signs are also prone to depression (Dynamics of the Unconscious, p 95).

When our economy fails, we call it a Depression, although we’ve also decided to transform that term and instead call it a Recession. Pluto began transiting Capricorn in late 2008-early 2009 and, with it, came a depression of the financial and emotional kind.

Your house is gone, your job is gone so who are you? What is the point of this life? What was the point of all that striving? What was I truly striving for? Will I ever find a job? Will I lose my house?

For Americans, work is defining so loss of work can be extremely traumatic.

If Capricorn and Scorpio tend toward both greed and depression, is greed an attempt to alleviate depression?

An NCHS brief states that:

From 1988–1994 through 2005–2008, the rate of antidepressant use in the United States among all ages increased nearly 400%.

While our economy was booming, our spirits were falling.

Possibly instead of trying to fix the economy, should we try to understand and alleviate this collective depression? Maybe then we wouldn’t have to ever again worry about the economy because we would be happy with our material goods and not constantly seeking more and more.

Greed can then have its name back.

We can then spend some time searching under rocks to find where vanity is hiding.

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Personal and Social Consciousness

Personal consciousness in the horoscope is represented by the sign Cancer and the 4th house. Its opposite, social consciousness, is represented by the opposite sign Capricorn and opposite 10th house.

Personal and social consciousness is a polarity, one of the six polarities symbolized in the horoscope. In Alchemy of Nine Dimensions, Barbara Hand Clow describes this polarity as feeling (Cancer) and power (Capricorn).

While watching a documentary recently, I wondered again why we try to force beliefs on others. It works, but with the disastrous effects that the extremes of any polarity cause.

It’s the polarity’s extreme, not the particular beliefs, that cause the problem. As I was once taught about the tai chi symbol, the sigmoid curve represents this idea that anything in extreme becomes its opposite.

That any extreme becomes its opposite is visible in individuals detonating bombs to protest war; in individuals killing others to create a more pure moral environment; in individuals promoting hatred to produce love.

It’s the same pattern over and over. It seems to occur in just about any cause that exists in organizational form. Maybe the organizational form is the yeast that helps it rise.

Recently someone provided an image that has stuck with me – that of the pendulum. Extreme is a strong pendulum swing that sends the energy back in the opposite direction. As the pendulum slows, the swing is less extreme until it is balanced.

Our strong desire these last few thousand years to force others to believe what we believe is the pendulum of the 4th and 10th houses. The 4th develops a personal moral code. When others agree, we create a social moral code. For all the killing that exists in the world, it’s amazing that murder is the one activity most humans through time and space agree is immoral.

If we all agree on this one thing, why do we continue to kill each other?

When every belief I have must be shared by the entire world, then my 4th house has taken over my 10th house and now personal consciousness is deemed social consciousness. Believing the entire world must agree with me is a goal (delusion?) that will never occur.

Why do we want this?

In the documentary I watched, a group of young people (20s-early 30s) are in a van in a foreign place on their way to spread their message. In the van they are filled with the energy of their mission and are singing loud and joyfully.

That’s the Cancer experience, the sense of belonging, of being accepted, of being part of a family, clan or other close-knit community. Who would want to intrude upon a joy such as this?

To get Cancer energy, do we need to go to the extreme of Capricorn authority to create and enforce the sense of belonging? Possibly the promotion of individuality in the US culture creates more separation and, therefore, an extreme desire for belonging?

What’s in the US chart to signify this?

The sun in the US chart (July 4, 1776 – Sagittarius rising) is in the sign of belonging, Cancer. The moon, however, is in the hyper-rational air sign Aquarius and may explain why so much technology also is developed here.

In the US chart Saturn resides (in Libra) in the 10th house. The 4th house is then ruled by Aries but there are no planets in that house. Saturn in Libra in the 10th is a nice representation of the US desire to make the laws of the world, Saturn in Libra being exalted. This placement seeks fairness and justice.

Saturn in the air sign Libra is given additional energy by the moon in air sign Aquarius and Mars and Uranus in air sign Gemini. That’s a grand air trine and a lot of idealism and also a lot of talk that may or may not come to fruition.

Yet Saturn is Saturn and in Libra in the 10th, others may not feel the partnership and feel, instead, restrained by Saturn. Saturn also squares the sun in Cancer.

In the US chart, it’s actually the 2nd and 8th houses – my money and your money respectively – that are emphasized. Sun in Cancer in the 8th suggests material dependency and sense of belonging through that very dependency. Pluto in Capricorn in the 2nd is transformation through money and resources which ultimately lead to transformation of values.

A Sagittarius rising, that mutable fire sign, adds a crusading urge to the national psyche.

The US chart seems to reflect the Cancer desire to belong with the moon in Aquarius desire to remain separate and individual. That’s a conflict. We travel far to promote belief yet put fences up on our southern border to keep the neighbors out, neighbors who want to participate in our culture, who don’t need to be coerced.

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Interest and Awareness

We’re all familiar with the phenomenon of hearing a new word, discovering a new idea, seeing an icon and suddenly seeing it, hearing it everywhere.

Was it always out there and we didn’t notice? Or did our awareness of it create an attracting energy?

For most of us, empiricists as we are, it was always out there and we didn’t notice. Option two is more mystical and can lead to self-awareness but can also lead to self-absorption.

There is a third option that our mind takes when it has no out – coincidence.

Coincidence is a word in our lexicon, like déjà vu, that allows for itself without explanation. It’s like the “none of the above” option on a test or survey. It doesn’t provide an answer, but doesn’t accept the listed answers.

Why the ancient gods?

Recently while at a data visualization conference, Neil deGrasse Tyson spoke as one of the keynote speakers. While talking his trade, he noted how scientists in his field were logical so tended to describe things literally and logically such as (paraphrasing here because I can’t recall the exact example) calling a small, round-shaped galaxy “The Small Round-Shaped Galaxy.”

Yet later, while discussing an asteroid that may collide with the earth, we learned that scientists gave this asteroid a name – Apophis. To deGrasse’s credit, this asteroid was originally named, according to Wikipedia, 2004 MN4.

But the name changed to Apophis (also referred to in Egyptian mythology as Apep), an Egyptian god described in Ancient Egypt Online as:

…the ancient Egyptian spirit of evil, darkness and destruction who threatened to destroy the sun god Ra as he travelled though the underworld (or sky) at night. Originally Set and Mehen (the serpent headed man) were given the job of defending Ra and his solar barge. They would cut a hole in the belly of the snake to allow Ra to escape his clutches. If they failed, the world would be plunged into darkness. However, in later periods Apep was sometimes equated with Set who was after all a god of chaos. In this case a variety of major and minor gods and goddesses (including Isis, Neith, Serqet (Selket), Geb, Aker and the followers of Horus) protected Ra from this all consuming evil. The dead themselves (in the form of the god Shu) could also fight Apep to help maintain Ma´at (order).

The Astrophysicist Public Relations Department probably caught on to the fact that if you want the public to take seriously the threat of an earth-colliding asteroid, you do better with Egyptian gods of destruction than letters and numbers.

But why an Egyptian god? Why go back 5,000 years for an image?

We could have come closer in time and referenced a Greek or Roman god.

Astrologically, Pluto represents the destruction that precedes evolution. In mythology, Pluto rules the underworld. Possibly we rejected this choice since astronomers recently downgraded Pluto from planet-status.

It’s funny we diminished our own destroyer but picked up the Egyptian one on the way back from the incinerator.

Interest

Since a child, I’ve had a great interest in Egypt. When I heard of this asteroid named after an Egyptian god (not a closer-to-our times Greek or Roman god like Uranus, Neptune and Pluto all named in the 20th century), I wondered if I truly had an interest in Egypt or if I was simply aware of an Egyptian undercurrent in our culture.

When I arrived in Ohio’s capital city for college, I brought with me a deck of Tarot cards. I’d been exposed to them just a few weeks earlier by a Scorpio relative. I thought they were fun and interesting!

My experience with those cards and the unintended accuracy scared me for a number of years. Astrology replaced it (not intentionally), a discipline more analytical and left-brain and, therefore, safe.

My deck was the classic Rider-Waite deck and one of my first perceptions was that there was some medieval soul lurking in the depths of the freedom-seeking American. The images in this deck are medieval with kings, queens, knights, hanging martyrs, people falling from towers and magicians. People responded quite strongly to those images.

It took years to understand those images outside of the cultural and historical context, but back then I was amazed at our medieval fears.

Awareness

These perceptions and many others accompanied my new life. Only later, when fully understanding astrology, did I understand that the very month I arrived in college, Uranus, the great awakener, was transiting my first house.

Astrology was also an interest brought from childhood but began flowering at this time. This is when a friend very casually asked if I’d ever cast a natal horoscope. What was that?

Uranus is sudden, electric – a bolt of lightening as it were. This is a known image and a very good one for the Uranus experience. But who, really, wants to be struck by lightening?

The excitement comes from a sudden understanding or connecting of the dots. A world opens, fresh, clear and vivid. The shock comes from the changing of perception, of ideas. With Uranus, the challenge is whether the awe can outweigh the shock. A well-functioning nervous system is essential for this experience.

What comes after Uranus, Neptune, is more scary because after the awareness comes the dissolving of old identity and beliefs. If this occurs while young, it’s easier because there is less to dissolve. At an older age, you’ve got lots more stuff in the closets, attic and basement and when dissolution arrives, it’s much more difficult to let go of all that stuff.

Interest or awareness?

Am I interested in Egypt or am I picking up on the underlying Egyptian energy in the environment? Are we technological creatures with ancient psyches?

If science is enlightenment and the way out of superstitious thinking, why does science continue to reference mythology of the most ancient kind?

To create concern about the total destruction of our planet, why do rational beings need ancient myths rather than simple facts?

The need for ancient myth seems to relate to the human need to see things visually in story form – when a Hollywood movie is made about Apophis destroying earth, when we go through the visual-feeling experience, only then will we worry.

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The Mozart-Salieri Complex

Amadeus, a movie released in 1984, tells the story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s musical genius through the eyes of an envious peer Antonio Salieri. Salieri is both in awe of Mozart’s genius and also self-loathing of his own perceived “mediocrity.”

Years after this movie was released, I saw its affects around me from people speaking of mediocrity to others professing to compose music in their heads (where else would you compose it?).

It ties in to something I perceive in the American identity – seeing ourselves as unique. Yet if that is a cultural characteristic, it’s an irony because a group of people professing to be unique hardly makes the individuals within the group unique. Yet at the same time, we are truly individual and, therefore, unique.

Where this Amadeus becomes a complex is when we cut off our creativity because we don’t think we are “genius.” In other words, if I’m not the best-of-the-best, then I won’t do it at all. This happens all the time.

While discussing creativity recently with a colleague, he pointed out that when we are children, we are all artists. We stick our hands in the paint, put it on paper, make a big heart, write we love mommy and take it home as a precious gift to the one we love.

We didn’t consider it genius or mediocrity. We just expressed it and gave it away.

When did we lose this ability to create so easily?

When we began comparing.

Once we compare, we react. Our reactions can be positive or negative, but either way they cut us off from the child that painted the picture from the heart. Now my picture is “good” or “bad” or “genius” or “mediocrity.”

Why do we begin comparing?

Astrologically the first and seventh houses of the horoscope represent the polarity of self and other. The signs that rule these houses are Aries and Libra. Look for these houses and signs in your own horoscope to see how you compare yourself to others.

Of course we must do this. It’s part of the whole personality. But just one part.

When did we begin comparing?

As I’m not an educator or parent, I’m not sure exactly when children lose the “child” and begin comparing. From my distant view, it seems around the age of 8-10. Teenager-hood, that dreaded time in a parent’s life, is when comparing takes full force, when the individuality is at its lowest point but the teenage host thinks it’s at its peak.

In astrology, the personal planets are sun, moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars. These planets represent all of your daily characteristics, your likes and dislikes, comforts and pleasures, methods and modes.

After the personal planets come Jupiter and Saturn – the social planets. Jupiter is your school, social, religious and civic organizations. Jupiter is the social self.

Saturn is the police station, the bank, the principal’s office, the curfew. Saturn rules the structures of society. Saturn is the law-abiding self.

Jupiter has a 12-year cycle so spends a year in each sign. In six years, Jupiter is 180 degrees from where it was when you were born (an opposition). This is the time that children enter school and is the first round of what’s called socialization. At some time during your first year or two of school, you are made VERY aware of the others out there which can make the experience traumatic.

In another six years, Jupiter has returned to the place where it was when you were born. By age 12, you are aware of the social environment or never will be. This is the age, to my perception, when the ability to create is threatened by the hyper-awareness and adaption to the social environment.

As a traveler, I’m always on the lookout for key phrases. Phrases that no matter age, gender, race everyone uses to talk about a particular topic.

One of my favorites in this country is the topic of home schooling. Years ago while studying this topic, I mentioned it to a number of people in all areas of my life (few being educators). The response was exactly the same in the exact same words each time – “What about socialization?”

Fascinating.

Where did we learn to say this? I said the same thing – where did I learn it? I have no idea to this day.

What’s fascinating here is that the socialization process itself created its own defense of the process. If you think of the applications of this method, it is astounding.

My own awareness of my lack of awareness made me re-think what’s going on both in the school system and outside of it. Those that do homeschool are very protective and now I understand why. The force against them is very, very strong.

While Jupiter is seen as an ancient benevolent in that it’s expansive (who doesn’t want more of everything?), expansion isn’t always “good.” At age 12, Jupiter expands the awareness of the social environment.

Saturn has a 29-year cycle so the socialization that occurs here is when we “settle down.” If you are not married and thinking about house and children and steady employment by age 30, society may consider you odd. The female body does appear to do best in childbearing before this age. Physically, it makes sense.

At age 30, most of us have given up our youthful pretenses. Children and home often require practical action and responses.

While socialization is necessary to get along in the world, is there a way we can keep our creative child and socialize?

The Mozart-Salieri Complex is destructive because it cuts us off from our creative self through comparison with the highest point of creative endeavor – genius. When you don’t honor whatever it is you create in whatever form, you’ve left yourself to wander in the world of socialization that will tell you many different things based on time and culture.

If your creative genius was like Mozart’s, it wouldn’t be yours. Cancel out the comparison because it doesn’t make any sense.

Your mom didn’t put that painting on the refrigerator because it was genius. She put it on the refrigerator because you created it with sincerity and love.

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Ohio Political Fight Club: Ohio Attorney General

Ohioans are now well aware that an election is just one week away – our television shows are peppered with political ads. Don’t bother watching your favorite shows next Monday – they will probably be abridged due to the need to run as many political ads as possible.

In today’s astrological political coverage, we’ll look at the Ohio Attorney General race. Ohio Attorney General incumbent and Republican Mike DeWine is facing Democrat challenger David Pepper.

My, oh my, did it take a while to find Pepper’s date of birth. The Ohio Democratic candidates have been very hush hush about birthdays and birth places which is the true scandal-that-never-was. Where was gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald born? Where was Ohio Treasurer Connie Pillich born?

Blue-blood Ohioans want to know.

In true political fashion, the focus goes to more banal concerns such as not having a driver’s license for ten years (FitzGerald) or having hundreds of parking tickets (Pepper).

Mike DeWine

DeWine is an interesting blend of rationality and shrewdness with Mercury, sun and Mars in Capricorn with Uranus and moon in Gemini. This is a man of habit who becomes, suddenly, unpredictable.

Capricorn and the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Leo have the entire environment monitored. Uranus conjunct moon in Gemini now picks up any change in that environment, no matter how small, fleeting or Freudian.

Jupiter and Venus in Scorpio lend to having some emotional life, but unfortunately of the obsessive sort (especially with the square to Saturn-Pluto). So when DeWine’s not entirely rational, DeWine is entirely emotional. But mostly he’s removed from his feelings and uses a laser to cut through the machinations of others.

This is one smart man. He’s got you coming and going with practical knowledge and the ability to see what you’re doing with your hands at the same time.

I’d say you can’t beat this guy at chess.

Capricorn is a grudge holder so if you get on DeWine’s bad side, expect to be ostracized. If you think he’s giving you the cold shoulder, he probably is although with Capricorn and Gemini energy combined, coldness has its nuances so it might take a while to see the cold coming from the shoulder rather than from other parts.

If I were an evil astrologer, and I swear I’m not, I’d say the key to dismantling this clever cookie is to ask an emotionally-based question like, “If you discovered your grandmother was spying for the Russians, would you fry her in the electric chair?”

DeWine knows how to answer but may have a slight pause as the rational, rule-following side reacts with, “Of course, she broke the law.”

DeWine would be savvy enough, of course, to answer more rationally and diplomatically in a way that you’re sure means he wouldn’t fry grandma. But then later, when you’re doing the dishes and reflecting on his words, you’re not quite sure that’s what he said.

Gemini is great with words. DeWine is a debater and he has his note cards in his pocket, although he probably has a great memory and doesn’t need them. DeWine is always prepared.

David Pepper

Let’s begin with the easy parts of this complicated horoscope. Pepper has Mercury and sun in Gemini with the sun in a wide air trine with Uranus in Libra and Mars in Aquarius. This is a fun, intellectually-stimulating trine that seeks social interaction from the personal kind to the group and public kind.

He’s witty, conversant, challenging, intelligent, quirky and always coming up with the new idea. If you want to drive left, he’ll suggest right. And if you suggest right, he’ll suggest forward or backward. If you buy a fancy new car, he will show up next week with something bigger and brighter. But I get ahead of myself.

Like finding his date of birth, finding Pepper’s moon sign is equally challenging. The moon is either in late Scorpio or early Sagittarius, very different energies and signs often are when placed next to each other. Regardless of the sign placement, the moon is making soup with Jupiter in the last degree (anaretic) of Scorpio and Neptune in the first degree of Sagittarius.

The moon in this case seems to represent these two different energies sitting together on the bus. They accept their companion but don’t really talk with them much. With a grand air trine to boot, I’d suggest that Mr. Pepper has more than one personality.

Complicating this further is a conjunction of Saturn and Venus in Taurus opposing Jupiter (and probably the moon) and Neptune, in or out of sign.

Saturn in Taurus represents the sense of physical lack. Whether growing up rich or poor, for some reason there is a feeling that I don’t have what others have. Their “stuff” is bigger and better. With Venus tagging along in this, the great pleasure that comes from material life, the enjoyment of the senses, is restricted because the stuff that gives pleasure is just out of reach.

And air trines are looking for the next thing so there’s a carrot dangling in front of Pepper at all times, a carrot he’s always trying to get (good luck).

The moon mixed with Jupiter and Neptune provides a gregarious and giving nature that knows no self-control. Opposing the Saturn-Venus, there might be excessive indulgence that leads to great debt to others. Gambling (which to me includes socially-accepted activities such as playing stocks) might be the physical response to the lack which then creates more lack when great losses occur.

If I were an evil astrologer, which I mentioned I’m not, I’d suggest that opponents follow the money (not the parking tickets which suggest moon in Sagittarius) on this one. With Venus in Taurus next to Saturn, women are involved in the money stuff.

The Election Aspects

DeWine has transiting Pluto conjunct natal sun and Mars which suggests transformation of his ambitions and public self. Transiting Jupiter in Leo and transiting Saturn in Scorpio are in square aspect and are activating DeWine’s natal square (Jupiter-Venus in Scorpio and Saturn-Pluto in Leo). This indicates great changes in sense of self and self-worth. Those emotionally attached to DeWine are challenging him personally.

Pepper has transiting Saturn conjunct Jupiter as well, both men having Jupiter in Scorpio. Both men are going to owe some money after the election – no surprise here. Pepper will probably be in worse shape as he may have borrowed money from that Saturn-Venus conjunction (property or female).

Outside of money losses, an election loss wouldn’t affect Pepper on a personal level as it would DeWine. While Pepper is seeking political office and has some need for power, his horoscope doesn’t seem to depend on it. He may simply want to play in a larger, better playground. If he doesn’t get this job, there are probably ten other roles he’d take instead.

DeWine would be devastated by an election loss because he would lose the Capricorn sense of self that derives from one’s standing in society. The loss of power and control which stems from Capricorn but also his Saturn, Pluto, Jupiter and Venus, would be like losing air to breathe. DeWine probably doesn’t know how to live in a simple, personal environment.

While polls show DeWine winning in a landslide, horoscope aspects suggest that in some way, DeWine’s relationship with politics and power is going to change soon.

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Feel the Scorpio

If you don’t like the energy of the fixed, water sign Scorpio, I’d like to suggest you take a vacation – to another planet (I have a few I could recommend).

A few days ago, the sun, moon (which has moved on) and Venus all moved into Scorpio. Later in the month, the sun and Venus will meet up with Saturn whose been hanging out in Scorpio for a couple years.

The images of Halloween are Scorpionic as they involve death, a subject we avoid for the other eleven months of the year. All cultures seem to have a month to honor the dead and in our western world, we chose Scorpio (end of October through mid November). Scorpio is willing to talk about death and any other subject that needs discussing, subjects others would like to avoid.

Scorpio is known for its emotional intensity and desire to connect which leads to sexual desire. In a larger sense, I think of Scorpio as interested in penetration – of body and emotion.

With so many planets in Scorpio right now, it’s an awful good time to penetrate those emotions and when you’re down there, possibly throw a few out. Emotions come in all flavors and Scorpio will traverse them all while others prefer staying in the pastel colors of a Disney experience.

I suggest throwing a few emotions out because that is one of Scorpio’s difficulties – letting go. Scorpio is a fixed sign which applies itself to the water energy creating intense, penetrating and obsessive thoughts. And we know what thoughts do . . .

Personally, I find the sign of Scorpio to be a delight for its intelligence and emotional honesty. Don’t bother lying to this sign, not that you’d want to since you can be completely honest in return. Whew, isn’t that a relief? (Pisces is great this way too).

If you decide to stay on Earth this November to experience Extreme Scorpio, here are some ways to engage and enjoy the energy:

Scorpio Movies

Many of our famous directors have Scorpio energy so finding intense emotional energy on the big screen (or little screen) should be easy.

Anything directed by Scorpio Martin Scorsese should do the trick from old, intense classics like Raging Bull and Taxi Driver (with Scorpio Jodi Foster taking on a difficult and taboo role) to more modern intensity such as The Wolf of Wall Street (with Scorpio Leonardo DiCaprio as lead).

One of my Scorpio favorites is Jaws, directed by Scorpio moon Steven Spielberg and featuring two Scorpio suns, Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss, in the deep water searching for a killer shark. If you don’t like Scorpio men after this one, you might want to have your blood checked.

A different kind of Scorpio energy – that of the taboo – can be found in the movies of Hanif Kureishi (who has Saturn conjunct Venus in Scorpio). Remember that My Beautiful Laundrette came out in 1985 while its subject may seem commonplace today. The Mother, which deals with mom’s sexuality, will probably always have a bit of the taboo. No one wants to discuss this.

Scorpio Actors

A personal favorite, Toni Collette conveys emotion like no other. Astrotheme says her moon is in Virgo which tends to think about its emotions rather than expressing them. However, the Pluto conjunct Venus in Collette’s chart seems to give her an added Scorpio boost.

Tilda Swinton has taken on some very interesting roles in her career, my favorite the classic Caravaggio. That’s a Scorpio movie to so add it to the list. Caravaggio’s emotions are raw – art, love, sexuality, betrayal. Good stuff with no parent filters, no romance filters.

Matthew McConaughey wears his Scorpio sexual charisma like a loose shirt. Wait, he does that too! This man loves being a Scorpio and you can love it too! Enjoy. You don’t even need to listen to what he says.

Ryan GoslingI’ve blogged about the stare, very Scorpio. A bit annoying too, really.

Scorpio Authors

For classic Scorpio check out Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Scorpio in the northern hemisphere is cold and rainy so you should have time to make it through a work or two this late fall and winter.

Scorpio Margaret Atwood was described in a review once as like cilantro – you either love or hate her. Scorpio’s intensity creates equally strong reactions as we see with Atwood’s reviewer. One of her famous novels The Handmaid’s Tale has been described as a “feminist dystopia.” Say it can’t happen here?

I’ve got to add Neil Gaiman in here for Coraline, so wonderfully Scorpio! Lonely child Coraline discovers a perfect mother living next door! And she can stay forever if . . . she removes her eyes and replaces them with buttons. A high price to pay for perfect love!

Scorpio Musicians

Lying in bed the other night I thought I’d like to hear some Adam Ant. The universe, as usual, provided and at the coffee shop a week later I heard Ant Music.

Adam Ant was aware of his Scorpio-ness, even putting the signs of the zodiac for his musicians on the album cover (back in the day, you had “records” in big, square cardboard containers). Ant sings in Friend or Foe, “I want those who get to know me to become admirers or my enemies.” Open, obvious Scorpio here.

Scorpio Diana Krall is my pick for these upcoming cold, November nights. Her voice will melt the ice, heat the logs and warm the cider. Peel me a grape . . .

Scorpio Politician

In the US, Scorpio is also the time of politics. It’s interesting that we have our voting during a time of emotional intensity rather than a time of intellectual curiosity (such as in June in Gemini).

Well, let’s take a look around and see what Scorpio politicians linger about . . . Oh, here’s one.

Hillary Clinton. Although it looks like she’s going to run for president and many think she will win, I wonder if that will happen. From a purely political standpoint, Clinton divides people. Wait, that’s an astrological standpoint as well as people love or hate Scorpio.

Saturn will be transiting Clinton’s first house the entire election cycle. Saturn in the first might be seen as bestowing that great responsibility she is seeking, but it’s also a great burden to carry a heavy stick on your back for two years. It might hurt and make her ill. Saturn, I mean time, will tell.

Feel the Scorpio!

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Creative Astrology

Astrology to me isn’t a belief system but simply a description. But like all descriptions or belief systems, it can get in the way of direct experience. Creativity, I believe, is the key to having descriptions, thoughts or beliefs but not getting trapped by them.

A local aura reader quoted her late husband as saying that people are like light bulbs and that every belief is like a sticker put on that bulb. The more stickers you put on that bulb, the less light that shines through. To shine fully, you need to remove the stickers.

Astrology has symbolism for this very idea in the planet Mercury. Mythological Mercury takes messages between the gods. Astrological Mercury delivers messages between the parts of your personality.

Imagine being dropped in a new country and not speaking the language but being provided an interpreter. While it’s nice to have an interpreter who will tell you not only what everyone is saying but what everyone is doing, you still wish you could speak the language and directly experience this new, interesting country.

You might even get tired of having an interpreter around all day. You might get the urge to run into the town square and eat something unknown from one of those food carts forgetting that you can’t be understood.

What’s interesting, too, about belief, is how it projects our own fears right back to us. Thinking the other day about doomsday prophecies that come from the new age movement, religion, science and technology (interesting – they come from all disciplines), I was struck, again, but how most of the scenarios of our doomsday prophecies arise from our own actions.

If we examine closely our beliefs, it’s interesting to see how clearly they match our personality. Are our beliefs simply a projection of self?

The prevalence of doomsday prophecies would suggest we don’t think as highly of ourselves as we’d like to believe.

All of the inner planets in astrology represent the personality as we define it – moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter and Saturn are where we connect with society and bring those characteristics into our personality.

Astrology also contains symbolism for a way out of the personality – the outer planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

Uranus creates a crack in the egg of the personality. Neptune dissolves what’s left and then Pluto transforms this into new energy (which some call evolution).

Does that sound fun or terrifying?

Astrology has the symbolism for its own dissolution. Astrology is a ship with an escape hatch. Fascinating.

Creative astrology, then, might be a path that takes us into our personality then out the other side, like a black hole, into direct experience.

While trying to understand why we get trapped in what’s called dogma, a friend provided the analogy of fishing. The key, he said, is to take the food off the hook without getting caught in the hook.

One way of not getting caught is to have creative fun with your beliefs. The image that comes to mind is of the house cat chasing its food around like a toy. The cat protects its food and surely takes it very seriously; but at the same time, it’s sometimes just a toy.

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Ohio Political Fight Club: Mandel and Pillich

Since the Ohio governor’s race is such a snooze-fest, it’s time to move on to a more exciting, raucous, energy-fueled political competition – that of Ohio Treasurer.

Incumbent Treasurer and Republican Josh Mandel is being challenged by Democrat Connie Pillich.

Let’s see how their personal characteristics measure up against the job description. Since neither is in the room interviewing we’ll just have to use astrology.

What else can we do?

Ohio Treasurer

From Ballotpedia, I found these duties for Ohio Treasurer:

The treasurer is the chief financial officer of the state and serves as the state’s banker. The most important duty of the treasury is to safeguard the taxpayer’s money in Ohio. The office is responsible, among other things, for:

  1. managing more than $160 billion in financial assets
  2. investing the state’s money and manage an investment portfolio that exceeds $15 billion
  3. tracking and maintaining a database of all unclaimed property in Ohio
  4. providing financial advice to state agencies
  5. providing financial education and resources

Just five duties? I may be pursuing the wrong career . . . But looking at these duties suggests a finance background is needed.

Then again, what’s the difference between balancing $160 billion in assets, $160 million, $160 thousand or $160 but a bunch of zeros?

I didn’t find any needed personality traits in the job description (is a personality needed?) so consulted eHow and found this:

Characteristics of an Effective [State] Treasurer

In addition to being skilled in the fields of management, business, and finance, a good Treasurer must also possess traits and values such as honesty, integrity, and care when it comes to accuracy of all records and transactions. She must also have common sense, an open-book policy on financial matters (transparency for the public helps build trust, credibility and accountability), and a watchful eye (the Treasurer’s office must keep track of income, expenses and other finances).

Mandel and Pillich

Examining the curriculum vitae of each candidate, there’s quite a bit in common – military background, law degrees and, of course, interest in political office. Pillich additionally has an MBA.

Astrology represents this well. Our candidates have these astrological traits in common:

  • Pluto conjunct sun – need for power and control
  • Moon in Aries – aggression and need for dominance
  • Mars square (ish) to the sun and Pluto – dominance thwarted creates irritability, frustration and sabotaging behavior

The planets represent energies or drives while the signs represent the characteristics of that energy or drive. Mandel is Libra sun while Pillich is Virgo sun. Pluto’s need for power over the lives of others or ability to vanquish opponents completely filters through these signs.

Libra (air) is partnership oriented with a sense of justice and fairness. As the sign of the sun’s “fall,” Libra doesn’t have a strong sense of identity and tends to reflect off others to define self.

Virgo (earth) is work and health oriented focusing on perfection of details with an anxious and worrying nature. Virgo can burn out its nerves through worrying and excessive focus on minutiae.

Mandel’s Pluto square Mars makes him extremely controlling in personal and family relationships. Pluto’s fear of loss must monitor what everyone is doing which can create the need in others to escape. When this happens, Pluto feels betrayed.

Pillich’s Pluto square(ish) Mars creates a need for order of the environment that creates and obsessive-compulsive personality who is excessively disturbed by the typeo in your document. This is someone who picks at every flaw, her own and others. Because no one can meet Pluto/sun Virgo perfection, people are driven away feeling flawed.

Saturn, a traditional malefic suggesting caution, restraint and contraction, is often our weakest link in the personality. Saturn for both candidates is in positive aspect to the sun. Pluto’s need for control is evolving them to work with Saturn.

Mandel’s Saturn in Leo (fire) suggests lack of confidence in self. Pillich’s in Capricorn (earth) suggests fear of failure. Pluto’s excessive control and inevitable loss will probably bring these lacks to our candidates in the way the Wizard of Oz bestows his gifts to Dorothy and her friends.

Mandel must feel confident and valuable in self not to have to control others in order to feel admired. Pillich needs to feel self-respect and self-love so as not to control others to feel a sense of perfection.

There are lots of points of connection between these two charts. If they ever chose to work together, they will find common ground.

Job Description Assessment

1. managing more than $160 billion in financial assets

Both Mandel and Pillich have Mercury in Virgo, the sign of details. Libra sun is more prone to enjoy money than Virgo sun which balances the checkbook daily and notices that you didn’t donate to United Way because you claimed you had to buy medicine for your mother but today have shown up in a new outfit.

Although Libra loves to spend money, it’s a smart air sign that can balance the checkbook. Mandel has both Mercury and Venus in Virgo which can override the Libra energy.

Let’s call this equal.

2. investing the state’s money and manage an investment portfolio that exceeds $15 billion

Both candidates have moon in Aries which is prone to extremeness and inflated ego which leads to impulsive actions. Virgo sun may have a wee bit more control of this inflated ego than Libra sun.

Both have Pluto control so we’ll call this equal as well.

3. tracking and maintaining a database of all unclaimed property in Ohio

I have to go Office Space here and ask, “Does the Treasurer actually, physical maintain the database? Or does someone else do it?”

Show me the chart of the CIOs and we’ll re-visit.

4. providing financial advice to state agencies

I haven’t known a Libra or Virgo that wasn’t willing to provide advice at all times. Libra is a cardinal sign and all cardinal signs are well-known for offering unsolicited advice. The moon sign Aries is also cardinal which both candidates possess.

Both get perfect scores on this one. We’ll call it equal.

5. providing financial education and resources

Now here I’d say that Virgo is an educator personality while Libra is more an artist personality. But Mandel does have Mercury and Venus in Virgo, so he has the ability to teach and might also educate with more finesse.

We’ll call this equal as well.

Personality Traits

1. honesty, integrity, and care when it comes to accuracy of all records and transactions

While there is a sign or two known for sometimes distorting truth, all signs can lie in the particular way of their element. For example, air signs (like Libra) may lie by making up pleasant-sounding stories that divert from the ugly reality. Earth signs (like Virgo), in contrast, may lie by omitting facts or answering so literally you won’t get the truth unless you nail the question on the head.

While it’s difficult to sum up a chart in terms of total honesty and integrity, both candidates have Aries moon which is a bit over-the-top in its self-perception for those of earth or water sensibility. But you definitely need this strong assertive quality in politics.

Let’s say neither appears overly dishonest or less than average in level of integrity. Again, we’ll call it equal.

2. common sense, an open-book policy on financial matters (transparency for the public helps build trust, credibility and accountability)

What is common sense? Dictionaries speak to “sound judgment” and “practical sense.” Earth signs, like Pillich’s Virgo, are definitely considered more practical than fire, water or air signs. But Mandel does have Mercury and Venus in Virgo so can’t be called totally impractical.

Pluto conjunct sun is never an “open book” because of its need for control. Control means I need to always have a trump card.

Let’s call this one equal too.

3. a watchful eye (the Treasurer’s office must keep track of income, expenses and other finances)

With Pluto conjunct sun, both candidates have a watchful eye, so watchful that they both probably need eye drops.

Equal.

The final determination

Don’t you hate when both candidates are the same, politically and astrologically? This makes it soooo difficult to choose and, of course, no one wants to resort to party politics and vote for someone just ’cause he/she is a Republican or Democrat.

But here’s a tie-breaker.

One interesting piece of information you learn as an astrologer is the place of birth. Pillich was born in New York (a foreigner) while Mandel was born in Cleveland (a native).

Pillich’s site says “The youngest of five, Connie grew up in a working class neighborhood.”

Was this in Ohio? New York? Somewhere else?

We’ve got two candidates with similar education, similar values, similar military background and similar astrological charts. One already has the office and was born in Ohio. One doesn’t have the office and was born in New York.

What’s an Ohioan to do?

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Saturn in Sagittarius FAQ

Dear Sagittarians, please sit down.

A little over two years ago Scorpios had to sit down for “the talk.” Now it’s your turn.

In just a few months at the end of December, Saturn, the great taskmaster, is visiting your sign. He visits every 29 years and stays for two and half years.

Saturn is the planet of form and contraction and manifests as responsibility, duty, obligation and serious pursuits. Saturn gone wild can’t relax and is always working, always doing something productive.

The Saturn-in-Your-Sign Task Force has developed a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) to make the Saturn transit easier.

Will I have any fun in the next two years or will life consist only of duty and responsibility?

Do not fear. People can have fun during a Saturn transit. For the first seven months of Saturn in Sagittarius, Jupiter will be transiting Leo while Uranus will continue its long transit of Aries. That’s a grand fire trine. Sagittarius’ fire sign buddies will make sure there are impulsive uprisings (Uranus) and regal gatherings (Jupiter) so there will definitely be excitement.

What may happen is that one evening you will be walking out the door to a Royal Costume Party hosted by a group of eccentric friends with plans for lots of interesting people speaking ten different languages when you’re suddenly struck by the urge to stay home.

You may have an unusual feeling that others sometimes identify as “comfort” where the known is chosen over the unknown. The Royal Costume Party may feel empty for some reason you can’t quite identify.

Jupiter and Uranus will come get you but Saturn may identify “fun” as a different experience than in the past. Experience for its own sake may not have the same thrill and a deeper, more serious, level of experience may be sought.

You’ll have “fun” but what’s called “fun” may change.

Should I have a drink now and again to make this transit easier?

While intoxicants will be readily available during this transit as Saturn in Sagittarius will square Neptune in Pisces, beware the square as you can’t drink Saturn away. When Jupiter moves into Virgo in summer 2015, any overdone Neptune-in-Pisces will put you squarely over the toilet as Virgo purifies you.

The thing about Sagittarius (and Pisces) is that it seeks heightened, otherworldly experiences to escape from the humdrum of life on earth with its bills, nagging spouses, demanding employers and annoying traffic lights.

The Neptune-in-Pisces lure will be strong as it brings the mysticism of “culture” around the ancient and ever-present desire in humans to feel heightened sensation. It’s culture, of course, but also spacing out, of course.

A little Neptune is okay but remember that Neptune has no boundaries so “a little” and “too much” have no line of demarcation in the foggy night. You may need to find a Virgo pal to provide a litmus test and, naturally, do the driving.

How will this affect my freedom?

Saturn and freedom are rarely spoken in the same sentence, it’s true. If you want to rise past seeing Saturn as a cage where you are forced to do chores, you have to think about Saturn in terms of discipline.

For those that love freedom (Sagittarians and others), any bit of restraint makes the desire for freedom greater creating an escape mentality (and sometimes a persecution complex). Sagittarius is a fire sign loving sports and athleticism, so concepts of discipline can tie right into that.

No one is an athlete without spending many of their waking hours in vigorous physical activity. This is the same with Sagittarian dreams and visions. If you like simply the pleasure of dreaming and envisioning, you don’t need Saturn, just a comfy chair.

If you want your vision to materialize or crystallize in this world of form, you need Saturn. Saturn is form. To create the form, you need to stay in one place for more than five minutes. “A rolling stone gathers no moss,” is a description of Sagittarian restless energy.

Will people finally understand my ideas?

Saturn is more cautious and restrained than your Sagittarian ruling planet Jupiter. With Saturn in your sign, you may feel others are cramping your ability to express or you may feel internally that your ideas have lost their energy.

Once again, we must think about how you expect others to be inspired by your ideas. Putting a bumper sticker on your car is one way, but you rarely hear people say, “I was eating meat, but then I saw this really inspiring bumper sticker and changed my ways.”

You can also tell people point blank in the middle of enjoying a hamburger why they shouldn’t eat meat. That, too, proves ineffective as it simply pisses off people.

Saturn will remind you that to be truly effective in sharing your ideas, you must provide a form for people to understand it. For example, people like things in writing. For the past 3,000 years or so, books were the way to bring credibility to your ideas.

Today’s world has many more clever ways than books to express ideas. Saturn is telling you that people won’t listen unless you create a form that lends to authoritativeness.

The past 3,000 years of both forced and willing idea conversion suggests that the form of writing is more effective than simple speech. Speech is transient, although today is less transient than in the past.

The fear of death is a very powerful tool in converting people to one’s ideas. Both fear and death are very Saturnian on the extreme negative side. Sagittarius is optimistic by nature, so hopefully you won’t go this route.

It’s also important for Sagittarius to walk the talk as Jupiter is generous and doesn’t mind if you call yourself a vegan and have bacon now and again. Saturn, however, has a non-negotiable “no bacon” policy.

How will this affect my health?

Saturn is both contraction and discipline, so if you want to lose weight or tone your body, this transit provides the perfect opportunity. Since Saturn may at times make you may feel less gregarious than usual, the physical discipline will restore your natural exuberance.

Sports is a Sagittarius (and fire sign) pursuit and in today’s news, as my astrologer friend pointed out, you’ll notice the focus on athlete’s personal lives where the aggression of the field has made its way into the home. Athleticism is competitive by nature and turning off the aggressive principle is difficult.

With Saturn in Sagittarius, you may feel frustrated because the world seems to be caging you in. In response, you may at times be aggressive. Sports, activity and any kind of workout will be both good for the body and soul. It will also keep you out of trouble.

Will I win the lottery?

Sagittarius is known for its luck, but Saturn hanging about means that if you do win the lottery or have any other windfall, your creditors will be standing outside the door the next day.

Remember, a Saturn transit is two years. If you pay your bills (and wash the dishes) now, when Saturn passes you’ll be home free to spend all your money traveling the world and doing fun stuff.

With Saturn in Sagittarius, you can save up for some nice, new luggage. Maybe when Saturn passes in two years, trips into outer space will be available and affordable.

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Sagittarian Satirists

Satirists, like all professions, draw all signs of the zodiac who then put their particular energy into the profession.

Some professions, like medical doctors, evoke images that come to us through myth, history and television. Do those becoming doctors all have the same motivation? Some may be drawn to problem solving; some to helping others; some to achievement; some to pleasing a parent or society. There are many reasons people become doctors.

While reading an article about satirist Jonathan Swift, I noticed Swift’s birthday (November 30) was the same as my personal favorite satirist Mark Twain.

Looking for a modern satirist born around that time I found the famous Jon Stewart, born November 28.

What’s the quality that these early-degree Sagittarians bring to satire? Why are they interested in satire?

Sagittarius

Sagittarius has a disease that the pharmaceutical industry has not solved. It’s called “foot-in-the-mouth” disease.

Foot-in-the-mouth’s main characteristic is that you often say what you think BEFORE you consider the impact to others of what you are saying. (How you do it any other way is a bit of a mystery to me).

The term “foot in the mouth” is a bit interesting. According to this site, the term originated from putting your “foot in it,” “it” being something foul. The first recorded use was in 1770s referring to an Irish politician known for making verbal gaffes.

Some articles say it came from “hoof and mouth” disease, but don’t indicate how it transformed into a verbal gaffe.

From an astrological (and physiological) perspective, the mouth is at the top of your body, the foot at the bottom. Aries rules the head (and controls the mouth, if you can call it control), while Pisces rules the feet.

Aries is impulsive (and also known to have foot-in-the-mouth disease) while Pisces is more empathetic and receptive. Suggesting your foot should stay away from your mouth suggests Pisces perception doesn’t belong with Aries verbal projection. Pisces is nothing if not perceptive of its emotional surroundings.

Sagittarius, I believe, is a bit more prone to this disease because of its combination of Aries and Pisces sympathies. Like Aries, it is a fire sign so expressive and bold. Like Pisces, it is interesting in finding meaning; the fire in Sagittarius is interested in promoting this meaning to other people.

Sagittarius is using Aries to promote Pisces. And sometimes the foot gets stuck in the mouth. But Sagittarius still meant it (because it’s true).

Mark Twain

Of the three satirists noted in this blog, I’m most familiar with 19th century American satirist Mark Twain. My own perception of Twain is that his satire is trying to both understand and explain the contradictions in the world around him. Sagittarius seeks meaning and the world has this habit of teaching you one thing and doing another.

Take Letters from Earth, where Twain explores the many contradictions of man’s beliefs. My favorite is the concept of heaven:

First of all, I recall to your attention the extraordinary fact with which I began. To wit, that the human being, like the immortals, naturally places sexual intercourse far and away above all other joys — yet he has left it out of his heaven! The very thought of it excites him; opportunity sets him wild; in this state he will risk life, reputation, everything — even his queer heaven itself — to make good that opportunity and ride it to the overwhelming climax. From youth to middle age all men and all women prize copulation above all other pleasures combined, yet it is actually as I have said: it is not in their heaven; prayer takes its place.

In my hometown of Cleveland, we are quite aware of contradictions between what we enjoy on earth and what we plan to enjoy in heaven which is why we sing:

“In heaven there is no beer,
that’s why we drink it here.”

We drink beer when we sing it.

While Twain has been criticized for making certain races look bad through the traits of his characters, Twain, for me, leaves no one out of his satire (Sagittarius – foot in the mouth – remember?). Twain even takes on Adam and Eve. Here’s an excerpt from Adam’s Diary:

MONDAY.–This new creature with the long hair is a good deal in the way. It is always hanging around and following me about. I don’t like this; I am not used to company. I wish it would stay with the other animals…. Cloudy today, wind in the east; think we shall have rain…. WE? Where did I get that word– the new creature uses it.

A future Sunday:

SUNDAY.–Pulled through. This day is getting to be more and more trying. It was selected and set apart last November as a day of rest. I had already six of them per week before. This morning found the new creature trying to clod apples out of that forbidden tree.

Who would have the guts to write the diaries of Adam and Eve but a Sagittarius?

Another Sagittarian trait Twain had in abundance was the love of travel. Because Sagittarius searches for meaning, it needs the perspective of other people, other places – the foreign.

Jonathan Swift

While I’m not as familiar with 18th century Irish satirist Jonathan Swift, I did discover that he’s the author of a satire of which I am a bit familiar, A Modest Proposal.

In A Modest Proposal, Swift has a suggestion to solve the social ills of poverty, unplanned children and overpopulation – eat children:

I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout.

I don’t recall my 12th grade English teacher’s interpretation of this work, but its over-the-top satire seems to be calling awareness to solve social problems. Swift was clearly bothered by the unsolved poverty around him.

In A Satirical Elegy for a deceased person of importance, Swift is clear that the gains of this world mean nothing in the face of death.

His Grace! impossible! what, dead!
Of old age too, and in his bed!
And could that mighty warrior fall,
And so inglorious, after all?
Well, since he’s gone, no matter how,
The last loud trump must wake him now;
And, trust me, as the noise grows stronger,
He’d wish to sleep a little longer.
And could he be indeed so old
As by the newspapers we’re told?
Threescore, I think, is pretty high;
‘Twas time in conscience he should die!
This world he cumber’d long enough;
He burnt his candle to the snuff;
And that’s the reason, some folks think,
He left behind so great a stink.
Behold his funeral appears,
Nor widows’ sighs, nor orphans’ tears,
Wont at such times each heart to pierce,
Attend the progress of his hearse.
But what of that? his friends may say,
He had those honours in his day.
True to his profit and his pride,
He made them weep before he died.
Come hither, all ye empty things!
Ye bubbles rais’d by breath of kings!
Who float upon the tide of state;
Come hither, and behold your fate!
Let pride be taught by this rebuke,
How very mean a thing’s a duke;
From all his ill-got honours flung,
Turn’d to that dirt from whence he sprung.

While I’ve never read Gulliver’s Travels, I learned a lot from the online Cliff Notes (I have a strange sense of high school guilt but wish there was an Internet when I was in high school!). In the Cliff Notes we read of Swift:

His life was one of continual disappointment, and satire was his complaint and his defense — against his enemies and against humankind. People, he believed, were generally ridiculous and petty, greedy and proud; they were blind to the “ideal of the mean.” This ideal of the mean was present in one of Swift’s first major satires, The Battle of the Books (1697). There, Swift took the side of the Ancients, but he showed their views to be ultimately as distorted as those of their adversaries, the Moderns. In Gulliver’s last adventure, Swift again pointed to the ideal of the mean by positioning Gulliver between symbols of sterile reason and symbols of gross sensuality. To Swift, Man is a mixture of sense and nonsense; he had accomplished much but had fallen far short of what he could have been and what he could have done.

Man as a mixture of sense and nonsense. I think Mark Twain could have related to that. As could our modern satirist -

Jon Stewart

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know this writer doesn’t pay for television so doesn’t get to see much Jon Stewart, a contemporary satirist known for satirical news (what other kind of news is there today?).

Searching for Stewart online, I found I can stream his shows (thank you Jon!). Watching the September 15, 2014 edition where he explores the current American initiative to fight in the Middle East, I see the Twainian and Swiftian frustration with human contradiction and rationalization.

Stewart explores the changing acronyms for a group of people we’re proposing to eliminate (ISIS? ISL? What changed here in a week?), the reluctance of authorities to call a war a war and the changing political opinions when your political opponents actually do what you want.

According to Astrotheme, Stewart has both sun and moon in Sagittarius, as well as the planet Mercury. Stewart has Uranus and Pluto in Virgo with some wide squares to this Sagittarian energy. Pluto square suggests compulsion, in this case to call out the disconnects between what people say and what they do.

Sagittarius sun and moon is both conscious and unconscious quest for meaning. Because of this drive, Sagittarius needs experience and will try things others may turn away from. I’m not referring to “adventure tourism” where you jump off a cliff for no reason (to experience heightened physical sensation and feel alive), but the need to experience others’ realities by trying on their clothes, eating their food, experimenting with their lifestyle, taking their hallucinogens.

Moon in Sagittarius finds comfort in heightened sensation so often is associated with a partying nature but can also be focused on more spiritual disciplines which take you past the humdrum contradictions of life on earth.

Transiting Saturn will enter Sagittarius in late December 2014 for a 2.5 year journey through the sign. As Stewart has three planets in Sagittarius squaring two others (Uranus and Pluto) in his chart, he will go through many changes in the next two years.

Saturnian change involves contraction, discipline, responsibility and authority – none of which is common to the sign of Sagittarius. Stewart may have to take on responsibility of a kind he’s not used to handling – the kind that’s a bit boring and may involve drudgery.

Ask a Sagittarius

A professor from the University of Delaware found with a small sample of students that liked satirical news that:

Such viewers exhibit high “need for cognition,” a psychological term used to describe people who engage in and enjoy arguments, ideas and the analysis of problems and their solutions.

The early-degree Sagittarians (born late November) are the purest of the Sagittarian energy and some of the most open to toss around your crazy questions, radical notions, random connections or bizarre ideas.

Remember that when you “Ask a Sagittarius,” you may receive a response that points out that you love sex in this world, but you have left it out of your future, perfect world.

Be prepared.

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