Pluto In Capricorn Gets The “Up” Lift

up_poster_carl-342x500Growing old and up!

A few months ago I posted about the power of the octogenarian as it resides in Pluto in Capricorn, the aspect that will see The Baby Boomers move into Social Security territory and I explored how Pluto In Capricorn would be a deeply empowering one for this generation, as Capricorn rules the bones, joints, the aging process and even death itself. Pluto brings sweeping changes to any sign it co-mingles, rearranging institutional DNA, transforming the social and cultural manifestations of the sign it is in.

In short, Pluto in Capricorn can imbue the aging boomers with a renewed sense of purpose, energy and the realization that their time is shrinking, so they’d better maximize it.

In keeping with that theme, I want to give great praise to Pixar’s latest masterpiece, Up. I saw it today with my son, his friend and his mom at The Emery Bay UA, which is a stones throw from The Pixar studios. Unlike Wall-E, which left me feeling cold, Up had me alternately tearing up and cracking up on numerous occasions. The storytelling, especially at the beginning was so economical and emotional that while my 3D glasses were misting, I was conscious of the care and depth that went into character development as the opening sequences set the stage for the rest of the film. I’m not going to spoil it for you and betray the power of the first ten minutes, so without great detail, you’ll have to take my word for it.

The main action of the film takes place when a crumudgeonly, old, widower, coot named “Carl Hendrickson” perfectly voiced by a real crumudgeonly old coot, Ed Asner sets out on the adventure of a lifetime, by attaching thousands of balloons to his house, which is uprooted from it’s foundation and takes to the sky. However, Carl is unaware of the fact that an eight-year-old Wilderness Explorer named “Russell” has accidentally stowed away on his domicile dirigible.

They make an unlikely pair of travelers and yet, their path is as star crossed as Carl’s was with his wife, Ellie. Together, the two of them wind up somewhere in South America, a mythical and remote area called, “Paradise Falls,” a place that captured Carl’s imagination as a child, when the daring explorer, George Muntz traveled there in super sleek zeppelin, replete with a loyal band of dogs that went everywhere with him. Muntz returned from Paradise Falls and brought back the skeleton of a primordial bird that scientists claimed was a fake. Angered by their denials of his claims, he vowed to go back to the area and never return until he had procured a live version of the rare creature.

Carl would not only meet, but go head-to-head with his childhood idol as Carl and Russell get swept up in an epic battle between good and evil in Paradise Falls. Muntz is ably voiced by Christopher Plummer, who manages to convey a sense of psychopathology that is truly frightening at times.

What does any of this have to do with Pluto in Capricorn?

In old guy vs. old guy, we’re given heros and villains that have no super powers, not even the power of youth. They are the antithesis, especially Carl as someone that can rise to the occasion, and not only open his flinty heart, but make life changing decisions, where he has to surrender his cherished past on the fly. Carl’s heroism lies in his ability, even at his advanced age to find something worth living for, but only as it relates to an equally powerful ability to surrender. It’s these qualities that have everything to do with a positive expression of Pluto In Capricorn as it not only relates to “The Boomers” but all of us who have to find meaning in our lives, after we think they have ended. Muntz represents the negative aspect of Pluto in Capricorn, cold, calculating, desperate for recognition and vindication. Muntz has isolated and deprived himself of any meaningful relationship, save his legion of loyal hounds.

Ironically, the alchemical symbol of Cancer (the hearth and home) meeting Capricorn (the peak of the mountain) is achieved in balance.

One of the gimmicks selling Up is 3D viewing. I didn’t find the 3D all that scintillating, but it seems to be a trend of the future and will no doubt eventually make it to home theaters at some point, as more and more films are being produced in 3D mode.

Up also has a couple of loose ends that are unanswered, like what happened to Russell’s father, but the few plot holes and dangling threads don’t stand in the way of a marvelous viewing experience and a very positive expression of Pluto in Capricorn as a redemptive and regenerative force.

Prince, Dylan, Tupac, Ginsberg, Miles, Brian, Maca, Wesley Willis And The Gemini Connection

gemineyes1Sense a trend here?

Been away from the blog for a while–busy doing readings, consulting and writing a quick piece for emusic on rock savant, Wesley Willis, a Gemini, (clinically schizophrenic). Some interesting things really popped when i started looking at famous Gemini musicians, mostly the connection between the artist and their alter egos (sort of a creative schizophrenia) and the fact that they usually need another to flesh out their musical vision.

Wesley Willis is an extreme example of Gemini bi-polarity Some people might be familiar with his cult classic, “Rock and Roll McDonalds” that starts out naive, innocent and even goofy, then turns into a nasty little hit piece on McDonald’s, singing about how bad the food is for you, how fattening it is, and that Burger King is better. Everyone whoever heard it for the first time fell in love with it, laughed their ass off and was totally charmed by Willis’ lack of guile. Willis went on to a recording career that basically saw him re-make “Rock and Roll McDonalds” over and over again, using the same music, same song structure and even occasionally the same lyrics. His subject matter leaned towards singing about rock bands and musicians like Nirvana, The Foo Fighters, Courtney Love and KMFDM. These were more like shout outs than actual songs. The repetition in subject matter and language is something that modern psychiatry has linked to schizophrenia and yet, the minutiae, the obsession with details, the tendency to hyperinflate the mundane, can all be considered partial trademarks of The Gemini need to communicate, especially about their most local surroundings and personal experience.

A sense of confessionalism runs through Gemini Prince’s work. When he sings about “Alphabet City” he’s reminiscing about the area he grew up in, in his native Minneapolis. But his narrative extends far beyond his locality. In typical Gemini fashion, Prince has been working out his erotic and sensual side, along with his devoutly religious side for years. Once Prince walked into the studio to record the groundbreaking, Dirty Mind the studio itself became part erotic cabaret, part confessional. In many ways, Prince mirrors the moral conflict that The US has had with sex and salvation through his art and it’s’ no wonder that the US Mars is in Gemini, forming a slightly wide trine (six degrees) with The US Moon in Aquarius. As a nation, we’re restless with Mars in Gemini, crave experience and The Moon in eccentric Aquarius gives us permission to explore the duality in unconventional ways. The US Venus in Cancer however lends a strong conservatism to how we relate across the board, which might explain why Kris Allen (Gemini/Cancer cusp) upset Adam Lambert (Aquarius) on American Idol (much more on this later).

Prince is archetypally Gemini as he works out his relationship with his father in Purple Rain, celebrity in Rainbow Bridge and self-indulgence in Under The Cherry Moon.

Prince, like many Gemini’s has also needed a foil. These came in the form of any number of femme fatales that allowed him to externalize his feminine in his art. From Sheila E, to Mavis Staples, to Vanity, he has used the female voice as a conduit, an externalized and interactive muse. Let’s not forget that has also been a symbol as well as a man. This mercurial nature to move from identity to identity is Prince in action, working out the personal and the mythopoetic through his art. Even his songbook reflects the peripatetic nature of his creativity–it’s all over the place–sometimes frustratingly so. Continue reading “Prince, Dylan, Tupac, Ginsberg, Miles, Brian, Maca, Wesley Willis And The Gemini Connection”

More Mercury Retrograde Madness With The Golden State Warriors

mercuryIf it’s Mercury Retrograde, The Warriors must be doing something.

Just a few quick hits, from the front lines of Mercury Retrograde and then some. Of course, Mercury Retrograde would not be complete without some faux paux by the Golden State Warriors. Yes, we can always count on the retrograde franchise to remind us of their awkward incompetence. Well, leave it to The Warriors to have their head PR guy, Raymond Ritter, who, by all accounts is a decent guy, go to hardcore, Warriors fan site, and pose as a poster, boosting, supporting and ultimately, shilling for a team that is taking a beating on the online PR front lines . The people at warriorsworld traced the IP address of the poster, named, get ready for this, “flunkster dude” and found that it originated on the GSW server. They ultimately traced it back to Ritter and Ritter admitted to local scribe, Tim Kawakami that it indeed was him. What was Ritter guilty of other than bland loyalty? He was guilty of propping himself up as a season ticket holder getting ready to renew his seats. This can either be thought of as cagey or completely disingenuous, bordering on such violation of franchise credibility, that it will likely make the rounds of blogs and message boards and further discredit a failing franchise. Ritter is just a pawn in the game, but a willing pawn nonetheless.

Ultimately, it’s yet another MR blunder to add to the list of other MR blunder for a franchise bought under a Mercury Retrograde. It won’t end until the franchise is sold and is organizationally re-calibrated as a result.

Another MR sports event popped up in baseball last night. Jake Peavey, a pitcher for The Padres was traded . . .well sort of. He had been dealt to The White Sox for four players, but not so fast. Peavey, who had a right to reject a trade based on language in his contract, said, “uh, no thanks” and The Pads had to rescind the deal. Look for Peavy to get dealt once Mercury moves forward.

One last bit of astro news, not MR related went down this week in NYC, where the uber-rich, people like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Oprah, David Rockefeller, Michael Bloomberg and others had an emergency meeting together. This is on the heels of other uber rich and powerful types schmoozing with one another at the Bilderberg conference. Is something in the air? Are they getting some marching orders? Is this the next iteration of Pluto in Capricorn? Are the monied elite ready to assume their roles at the table of overt influence? Are these the high priests and priestesses of the emerging coroporatocracy? Keep your eyes and ears on Oprah and see what she starts dishing to the women of America.

Getting Up Close And Personal With My Transits And The Deception Of The Endless Arrival

roerich-commandRoerich’s Buddha in repose

One of my new, professional muses, Giselle, the alternative PR empress, was waxing about how the most effective blogs are always the most personal. She says it’s what she likes about my site. So, with that little nudge, it gave some push to write a post that I had been thinking about for a while and that is how certain aspects are affecting me personally and how I can share them with you from the front lines of my psyche.

As some of you might know, I am recently removed from my marriage of nearly seven years, which included a beautiful, five-year-old son that continues to enlighten and amaze us. There were many triggers for this transition on the personal level, but make no mistake, there are definitely some major astrological factors in play as well.

At the end of April, transiting Jupiter moved into opposition with my own natal Uranus. Uranus sits in my ninth house in Leo, while Jupiter transits my third house, which is probably why I’m writing about this experience. But when this opposition occurs, as it is for many folks this year who are born with Uranus in Leo, it’s a time for newness, fresh starts, reboots. For me, this impacts how I interact with the qualities of the ninth house, one of which for me, has always represented the upper room, the way station between the body and the soul. In the upper room, we ascend to meet with wisdom, purpose and greater meaning.

As it relates to my sub-generation, it is impacting me in the following way; Here in the nape of the eternal, tantric, process-fille-Bay Area- life, I have noticed that my peers are constantly talking about “transformation” and “processing.” The Uranus in Leo aspect is having me question this reality that we all so readily share and mostly agree upon. Whether we’re shedding the skin of past lives, reformatting our DNA, or preparing our subtle bodies for 2012, there’s always a feeling of moving, churning, crunching, transiting, but rarely, if ever, one of arriving. What would it take for an individual to authentically claim that “I have arrived?” How would it feel to say that “I am through with the navel gazing and am ready to live?” Most people in my neck of the woods would claim hubris, arrogance and excess of pride. Normally, I would agree with such sentiments, but as Uranus opposes Jupiter, it’s making me think along different lines. My thoughts are evolving towards completeness and completion. I am entertaining what it would feel like to be done as much as I can be done right now.

We’ve grown a multi-billion-dollar industry around being a culturally creative society; from yoga and kirtan, to raw foods, to green ideologies, to self-help books, DVD’s and seminars. We have in some ways become obsessed with the search, the idea that we’re not good enough, positive enough, abundant enough, multi-dimensional enough, green enough, clean enough . . .you get the picture. I’m not disagreeing with the idea that we can re-define ourselves against our cultural milieu and find our authentic selves, but here, in The Bay Area, the search seems endless, eternal and ultimately can take us away from our most present states. Sometimes and this is where my next biggest aspect kicks in, we substitute the reality of our lives with the mythopoetic quest for our souls, which seems so much more glamorous than the reality of our grind. In essence, in the intense need to search for ourselves, are we in reality, hiding from them? If so, are we creating a psychic schism between the real and the imaginal? Are we actually splitting ourselves from ourselves through our continual questing?

It’s too late to turn back now, but what is the alternative to the alternative? For me, it’s a sense of knowing who you are right now. Accepting everything about yourself, both positive and negative and to turn your talents, gifts and skills into actualities, not potential. You are here now. 2012 might happen, it might not. It might happen in ways that none of us are truly prepared for, but the reality is, is that 2012 is nearly three years away and a lot can happen between now and then. There is no place to arrive at, no sense of getting clearer or closer to perfection. You have arrived. How does it feel? Can you handle that fact? What is the gnawing sense that this cannot be? What more can you accomplish or need to do? You have everything you need right now. What will you do with it?

Uranus opposing Jupiter is just one aspect that is coloring my perceptions. The other is a major Venus/Saturn square, which is doing a real number on my relationships. Here I am, somewhat isolated, out near the point of The Bay, and my closest connections seem to be getting pared away from me. Just like last week, one of my closest and dearest friends went sideways on me. I’ll spare the gory details, but to suffice it to say, we are no longer on speaking terms and I am more okay with this than I am not. Not because of the toxic aftertaste the interaction left in my mouth, but it’s because such a severe severing means to me that who and what he represents to my life is no longer pertinent. His struggles, his pain, his shadow all of which reflected my own in some way are gone and I have to believe that it is as powerful for him as it has been for me. I don’t know, nor do I care to speculate who or what I have meant to him on a symbolic level, but I hope that the remnant is positive, that he can move on from the stuck place I’ve seen him in since 2000.

If we are both liberated by this disconnect in what has been a mutually supportive connection for years, then it was worth it. If there is more of us available, then I will rejoice for being plucked by the roses thorn.

I wish him well.

For someone that has a stellium in Libra in the 11th house, friendships have been vital for me. But now, as Saturn and Venus square off, I am realizing and getting more at ease with my aloneness as it leads towards new realizations, one of which feeds into the larger tributary of my life; it may not look the way that I would like it to, I may have erred, may have made choices that weren’t always in my best interest, may not have fully embraced who I am to the extent that is was painfully clear to others, but I cannot change that. For better or worse, I have arrived.

Mercury Retrograde Runs Wild In Sports, Brett Favre’s Stellium In Libra Drama

favre-cries2The Hamlet Of The NFL?

Sometimes there is no better example (outside of ones own life) of Mercury Retrograde than sports, which happens in real time. And, just like clockwork MR is wreaking havoc in the world of pro sports.

In Baseball

• Last week, there were two home runs in two different games, called back in the same night. Reversal of call. First time in history.

• Last night, Todd Helton got his 2000th hit, then had the hit ruled an error and Helton went back to 199.

• Also last night, Met, Ryan Church, rounded third to score a go-ahead run and he missed the base. His run home was challenged, the ball was on it’s way to third as Church headed to the dugout and he was called out. Rarely is this play ever called.

• Last week, Manny Ramirez (Gemini) got popped for an illegal female fertility drug and was suspended for 50 games.

• Tampa Rays Manager, Joe Maddon penciled in two third-baseman for one game and one of the third basemen, young star, Evan Longoria had to sit. It was the first time that it had happened since 1968.

In Basketball

• Last week, the refs missed an obvious foul by Antoine Wright on Carmelo Anthony, thus allowing Anthony to hit a dramatic game winner. The NBA apologized.

• The blown call then set in motion Mavs owner Marc Cuban’s insulting of Nuggets Kenyon Martin to Martin’s mon. K-Mart then insulted Cuban. Cuban apologized on his blog, but it wasn’t good enough for Martin. I would wager that both men would like to take back a few words. Watch for this one to get cleared up after MR.

• Speaking Of The Nuggets, their owner, Stan Kroehnke, who owns The Pepsi Center in Denver rented out The Pepsi Center for next Monday night (game four) to wrestling maven, Vince McMahon and now, McMahon’s mega-wrestling extravaganza is scheduled to run on the same night as a Nuggets home playoff game, thus totally conflicting both events! McMahon in true fashion is playing it for everything he can.

In Football

• Convicted dog-fighter and former Atlanta Falcon QB, Michael Vick will be released from prison during Mercury Retrograde, which makes sense as the retrograde motion marks return and in this case it’s Vick’s re-insertion back into his own life.

Then there’s Brett Favre and the seasonal soap opera (cue up The Clash, “Should I Stay Or Should I go?”). Yes, it makes total and complete sense that Favre would reconsider his retirement and sign with The Vikings. But there’s the problem with his shoulder and whether he can work it out without surgery. So we get updates every hour of whether Favre is throwing to the kids at the local high school, playing fetch with his dog or tossing darts down at the local bar. It’s not Mercury Retrograde if we’re not talking about Brett Favre and his return for one more go round the NFL. If Favre does decide to make that call and publicly state that he’ll lace’em up again before June 1, he’ll regret it. Brett, I wish you’d just hang’em up but if you do come back, wait until the first of June. Is there an astrological answer as to why we deal with Favre’s drama year in and year out? The answer is; “Without a doubt!”

Brett Favre’s Chart


Favre was born 10/10/69 at 6:50 AM in Gulfport, Mississippi. Lucky Brett was born with FIVE planets in Libra, with Libra on the ascendant. Libra’s are the Hamlets of the zodiac. The agonize over choices, constantly change their minds and switch their positions. This is part and parcel of the energy of the Sun sign alone. Add four other planets in the same sign conjuncting Mercury, Moon and Uranus and Favre’s just a mess. Mercury, Moon and Uranus are all in Favre’s 12th House, so even he isn’t truly aware of the motivating factors in his life. It’s like Favre is waiting for signs, listening to the voices in his head, waiting for some internal opening, like a receiver getting just enough space for one of Favre’s passes to find it’s target.

While that trio of Libra planets are swirling in the nether regions of Favre’s psyche, The Sun and Jupiter are both conjunct in his first house, just on the other side of his ascendant. Favre is lucky–very lucky with this extremely powerful conjunction. Jupiter, ruled by Sag, is the planet of gamblers, people ruled by the whims of luck and fate People with Jupiter in the first house believe they are lucky and therefore cultivate luck through their outlook and intenttion. Sun and Jupiter together combine to make for great timing, rhythm, balance and bravado. But since both planets are Libra, Favre cannot do it alone. He needs someone with him and Daryl Beaulieu, The Vikings offensive coordinator, a man Favre has known since his days as a Packer, could be that guy.

But let’s face it. with all of the Libra in Favre’s chart making up his mind is not and will not be his forte . . . ever. The only thing that will finally determine the ineveitability of favre’s retirement will be his body’s inability to respond for the final bell. Until then, Favre will be tortured and torturing us with his ongoing and seemingly eternal drama.

Chart courtesy Shelly Jordan.

Bullish On Sound — The Sonic Astrology Of Byrne & Eno — From emusic


The following is fresh, from emusic, my first in a series columns on astrology and music. I really want to thank Joe Keyes, the editor of emusic for taking a chance on this kind of content convergence for their site and their members. If you’d like to know more about emusic, there’s a link at the bottom of the piece that will take you there.

Many years ago, I used to pen a monthly column for eMusic called Sounds Of The Stars, in which I attempted to bridge the gap between astrology and music. I did my best to approximate the sounds of various signs, and to suggest artists that might represent a certain aspect of a sign — even if the artist might not actually be the sign in question. We did a 365-day spin around the sun on it and put it away.

I recently approached eMusic with similar idea, but one that was more focused, topical, pithy and — hopefully — humorous. They said “yes” and here we are. I can’t think of two better artists to feature for May and Taurus than David Byrne and Brian Eno.

It would be pretty safe to say that the Talking Heads wouldn’t exist as we know them if not for the symbiotic relationship between Byrne and Eno. In fact, it could be said that Eno was the unofficial fifth Head — much to Tina Weymouth’s consternation.

Byrne and Eno, while born four years apart (1952 and 1948) celebrate their birthdays on consecutive days: the 14th for Byrne and the 15th for Eno, placing their Taurus suns in an extremely close conjunction, and giving them a unique ability to blend and bend with one another’s purpose. With such a close conjunction, the two of them could actually function as one entity in many cases. Both being the stubborn bull, they must have been a handful for the rest of the band at times, steamrolling them with a double-fisted-punch of creativity and intention — two bulls in a ring — they must have been a force to be reckoned with, They’re both incredibly fascinating on their own let alone a dynamic duo of fourth-world wonder.

Eno had, shall we say, a reputation for excess, an immense appetite for the body and the pleasures of the world. Rumors used to fly around Eno’s legendary sessions in the bedroom with multiple partners. Without getting too technical, a quick glance at Eno’s chart shows more than just a sweet bull in the field. Aries ascending, Moon and Mars in Leo, Jupiter in Sag, Eno’s just got to say “yes” to another excess, but without being sloppy or out of control. In fact, a deep and abiding sensuality drives even his most abstract passions and interests. The electronic composer Steve Roach once recounted a story to me where his wife, Linda Kohanov, had been sent to Tokyo by Pulse Magazine to hang out with Eno. Eno whirled her around from bar-to-bar, drinking the best scotch in Tokyo and then took her back to his hotel where he began to share the base scents for a line of perfumes he was working on (it’s a good thing that Steve is a pretty confident fellow, and dynamo in his own right).

Byrne is another case altogether. While Eno is a solar force, Byrne is pure Earth, with a grand trine; Virgo ascendant (nerdy perfectionist), Moon in Capricorn (cooly calculated and driven to succeed by a certain brand of austerity) and, of course, his Taurus sun. He is a man that obviously gets things done and with that Earth trine, combined with a powerful Mars in Scorpio, he is also a serious energy to be reckoned with. While he may lack the flamboyant flare of Eno, Byrne is not a quitter — and, for me, this is never more evident than with his relationship with Brazilian music. When I first heard Rei Momo, I thought that his love affair with Tropicalismo should have remained a hobby. But his dogged persistence and devotion to the country and its diverse musical styles have paid off in not just the music he’s assembled on a number of fantastic Luaka Bop releases, but also in the unique, post-tropicalismo sound of solo releases like, Uh-Oh and Feelings, albums that make even old guarders like Caetano Veloso proud. Byrne’s steadfast patience, great ear and attention to detail transformed him from infatuated auteur, to accomplished innovator.

David’s a dragon and Brian’s a rat — two deeply compatible Chinese signs that are thick as thieves and natural collaborators. How could they ever remain apart with such a deeply symbiotic conjunction of the Sun and the strong, Chinese connection?

They couldn’t.

In 2008, they released, Everything That Happens, Will Happens Today. Unlike their last collaboration, the utterly timeless My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, they mostly channel their own voices instead of relying on eerie sermons, twisted tape loops and found sounds. But that doesn’t mean that they eschew the dark mysticism and modern trance experience that uncoiled from track to track on My Life. “I Feel My Stuff,” the third track, is classic Byrne/Eno, evoking a sense of power, summoning energies, pulsing, propulsive, respirating, locking into the heart at around 92 BPM, organically building in that classically Enoesque way. But it’s also ironic and dark, unsettling, detached almost to the point of psychotic in a way that is full on Byrne. Is it a triumphant tale? Tragic? Where does the narrative go? Self-empowerment or self-delusion? Getting swept up in the sonic ritual, it almost makes no difference. It’s another “true story” that will happen somewhere today.

On the title track, Byrne and Eno move into a deeply poetic state, one that steadily builds towards affirmation, with an almost canonical feel — a J.S. Bach workout for a secular sermon on faith.

The entire recording is like a page out of the American songbook where Byrne/Eno come off more like a pomo version of Lieber and Stoller than two middle-aged avant-hipsters, seeking one more close encounter with the weird kind.

Solid. That is how I would describe the energy on Everything. Grounded, full bodied and rich, two seasoned vets taking a vintage ride out for a leisurely and beautiful tour of the soul’s countryside. The energy of Taurus, especially practiced on this project is confident, unhurried and layered with resonant and multiple meanings.

The world might be going to hell, but they’re like two stubborn bulls taking a stand in a field of experience and enjoying every facet of the flawed creation.

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