The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 357, titled:
With Chris Brennan and Patrick Watson
Episode originally released on June 26, 2022
Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: email@example.com
Transcribed by Mary Sharon
Transcription released July 18, 2022
Copyright © 2022 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hey. My name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. In this episode, I’m going to be talking with my friend Patrick Watson who’s joining me here in the studio to talk about some miscellaneous astrological topics and answer some questions that have been sent in by listeners of the podcast over the past few days. Hey Patrick, welcome to the studio.
PATRICK WATSON: Thank you so much for having me.
CB: So this is your first time to Denver, and definitely first time joining me here in the studio even though you’ve been on a bunch of episodes of the podcast going back to episode three or four or something like that.
PW: Yeah, one of the early episodes, I can’t remember exactly which one now.
CB: Yeah, the early history of the podcast, as I’ve looked back on it, especially the first 100 episodes or so were just me talking to like friends, my closest friends, on random topics that I wanted to talk about, but it ended up being a lot of the same people sort of over and over again early on.
PW: Yeah. I need to make my cameo special. I can’t come on every time, Chris.
CB: Right, yeah. Well, that’s kind of important. There’s a need for scarcity. It’s a marketing thing.
PW: There you go.
CB: And so we go way back. We actually met on Myspace originally on an astrology forum that I used to moderate there back in like 2005/2006.
PW: Yeah. I don’t know if we’ve told the story before, but I think one of the first times that we ever interacted was still really early on in my astrological studies. And you invited me to your group after you found some Myspace astrology group I was trying to make about astrological compatibility, which is basically based on aspects between different Sun signs or something. It was pretty embarrassing looking back at it. But thankfully, you were like, “Hey, you should join this other group.” And that just completely blew my whole world open. That was actually right up my losing of the bond on my zodiacal releasing from spirit was in March, 2005, and that’s when we connected.
CB: On level two?
PW: On level two, yeah. It was around 17 years old. And so, yeah, it was a really life-changing thing because that’s where I came into contact with all of my mentors and all of the people who I end up learning a lot of what I know, and got me on the path towards learning about traditional astrology and Hellenistic astrology. And that’s how it happened, is on Myspace back in March of 2005.
CB: Yeah, and then you eventually, I think, 2006, I asked you to come out for one of the Project Hindsight conclaves or conferences, and that’s where a bunch of us met up with Nick Dagan Best and Austin was also there.
PW: And Austin, who I forgot in a previous podcast. I forgot that that’s when we first met, but yeah.
CB: Yeah, because you roomed with Austin.
PW: Yeah. My memory has surprisingly gone downhill I guess. But it’s hard to keep details straight of my own life when I’m keeping so many other dates and details about the world and other people’s lives now.
CB: So we were the young astrologers then. I used to be the youngest astrologer when I went to conferences, and then you’re a few years younger than me. But now there’s a whole other generation that’s come in over the past few years that’s under us that is the Pluto and Sagittarius astrologers.
PW: I remember being the baby for a long time, and this has been a rough adjustment to being seen as not the baby anymore. And I still see myself ultimately as a student of astrology still, regardless of whatever proficiency or level that I reach, but I still come at it with this teenage-like enthusiasm, even if we have, I guess, just the years of experience that would suggest that we would be like elders in astrology. I don’t really see myself in that way.
CB: Yeah. I don’t think we’re elders. It’s a weird middle ground to be not the oldest astrologers in the community, which are more like the Pluto and Leo generation, although some of them are starting to be on their way out and we’re starting to lose some of the people from that generation, which is really weird. But we’re also not like up there yet, but we’re also not the youngest ones anymore. So it’s a weird in-between, middle-age astrologers. All right, well, we’ve got some topics, you came out. We’re going to do a rectification course this week, and we’re going to record a series of lectures, but we wanted to do a podcast episode first. We were supposed to do a rectification live demonstration from a local astrology group today, but we got sort of bad timing falling in the middle of a COVID wave and then a bunch of astrologers recently got sick at the Northwest Astrology Conference, which wasn’t good. So I didn’t want to risk doing a meeting today. So I thought we would do instead just a Q and A. All right. So let’s go into some discussion topics. Some of these are like Q and A things and some of these are just things that have been coming up recently. So one of them is significant transits often go by unnoticed because we lack the ability to grasp the full importance of events from their simple origins. And part of that and a related thing is that I’m starting to think that all transits coincide with something, but it just isn’t in our field of vision. And I’ve been talking about that for a long time, because it’s something that’s really evident when you look back on like time-lord periods and eclipses and things sometimes, and you see an important transit happening, but it wasn’t until years later or sometime later that you realized that something started then that just hadn’t intersected with your life yet, even though it would eventually become important in your life. And I’m starting to think that that’s a much larger phenomenon in astrology than anybody realizes because it’s very hard to study and document.
PW: Right. You would have to be omniscient, omnipresent to really appreciate that. And who knows, maybe in these sort of coming surveillance stages, maybe we’ll have more data to validate astrology.
CB: Astrologers should be cheering on the surveillance stages for the sake of having better study tools for astrology.
PW: Yeah, probably not the best reason.
CB: Yeah, that’s not going to go over well with the conspiracy theory crowd.
PW: Nothing goes over well with a conspiracy theory crowd. But I always thought it was really compelling. I think a long time ago you had an example about your site getting hacked during a Mars transit that you had been anticipating, but when it happened, nothing happened in your field of view. Do you want to tell us a little bit about that story?
CB: Yeah. I mean, I don’t really remember all the details because it was like 10 or 12 years ago, but it was just that I had a bad transit, and then it turned out I didn’t see anything happen at the time. So I breathed this sigh of relief, but then I found out a few days later that actually my site got hacked, and because I had the access logs for the server, I was able to see that they actually logged in and got into the site and started putting malware on it when the transit was going exact. And I’ve had a bunch of those over the years, especially for me with a day chart because Mars is the malefic contrary to the sect or is the most difficult malefic for me. Because Mars is more difficult for people at day charts. I’ve had other ones like that. Once some of my lectures got pirated, I didn’t find out about it until months later. But I went back and looked when they were posted online on Scribd or something like that, and the timestamp and the date was the exact date that I was having transiting Mars opposing my natal Mercury. And so sometimes just like stuff happens, but I’m being able to track these things now that I’m aware of it and I’m paying more attention to it, which is causing me to realize when I try to track it more, that it’s actually happening quite frequently. And I’m almost getting to the point where I’m wondering, what if in the most extreme scenario, all transits or all negative transits or even all positive transits do manifest in something we’re just not aware of it a good chunk of the time or even maybe most of the time.
PW: Totally. I remember so distinctly back in June of 2011 there was a lunar eclipse occurring in my fifth house. And I knew that it should be significant because I was at that point in a 12th house profection which was ruled by the Moon. So I figured that the lunar eclipse of that time should be one of the most important transits of that year and it was happening in my fifth house. At the time I was single, I wasn’t seeing anyone. The most fifth housey thing I was doing at that point was probably playing Pokemon on my PC. And there were no children obviously in my field of view at that time, but it turned out to be the case that about 11 days or so prior to that lunar eclipse, my eventual stepchild was born. So I just thought that was pretty mind blowing when I look back on that and remembered that I had wondered what it was about. And it was about the emergence of the person who would become essentially my first child, but I had no idea who she was or that I would even be a stepparent about a year later by the time the next eclipse occurred in the fifth house is when I actually met her for the first time just as an infant.
CB: When the next eclipse occurred in the same series in the same sign?
PW: Right. Yeah, because there was another…
CB: How long later?
PW: That was about a year later, there was a lunar eclipse in Sagittarius in my fifth house.
CB: I mean, that connects to two other things. And one of which is that eclipses sometimes people try to look for a singular event, but sometimes it’s actually like a sequence of events that take place as the eclipses keep bouncing back and forth between those two houses in your chart for like a year and a half or two. That’s a good demonstration of that.
PW: Yeah. They sometimes outline developments in process as opposed to just singular events. But I was pretty shook. I was pershooketh by this lunar eclipse that I could not have anticipated that it would actually be literally about becoming a parent. But it did happen outside of my field of view.
CB: And at the time though, I think you said you were in a Cancer profection year, so you’re actually paying a closer attention to the eclipses for that reason, but then didn’t see anything at the time and were kind of like didn’t know why.
PW: Right. I just figured, “Wow, I guess playing Pokemon is the highlight of this year, playing this game.”
CB: I mean, fifth house, I have been that is another sub-topic for later, but fifth house and games I’ve been seeing how that’s more important and how sometimes when people have important fifth house placements games and leisurely activities can become more important for a person or can become even their career or their life focus in some way.
PW: Well, the other reason why I guess that was significant that time is I had just finished college, and in a weird way, it was kind of nostalgic sort of throwback or something to back when I was like a tween playing Pokémon on my Game Boy. I didn’t anticipate talking about Pokémon as much as I currently am on your show, so I think I’m going to stop saying Pokémon now.
CB: Okay. I could just pause and be silent for like a minute until you say it again.
PW: But yeah, so transits happen and you don’t always see what it’s about, but eventually you may or may not find out.
CB: Right. So I think that’s a really important general transit principle. And then also, I’m starting to have a realization after the last series of eclipses that I wonder if there’s something about eclipses themselves that inherently indicate something that starts or that ends that’s major but that it’s hidden from your field vision or that it’s not in view or that there’s something occulted or eclipsed about it since astronomically that’s exactly what’s happening, is like one of the luminaries is passing in front of the other and hiding the other luminary behind it in some sense. So maybe the astronomical symbolism of that is that something itself is hidden and is not immediately evident even though something significant or something major has started at that time. Because that’s a recurring theme that I keep seeing with eclipses now that I go back and think about it, is something important happening but it not being evident initially. But then eventually at some point after that, it becomes clear or something comes to light, so to speak, later on that in retrospect you realize was started at the time of the eclipse.
PW: On the other hand though, you also do have those eclipse events where it seems like they are coinciding with kind of a dramatic event like we just saw with the April 30th solar eclipse in Taurus conjunct Uranus in Taurus. And that was extremely close to the collapse at the Terra stablecoin, named after earth, and it’s associated cryptocurrency LUNA, named after the Moon. Sometimes these things really pop out and other times they seem to be much more subtle, and I wish there was a reason that could be applied to future eclipses as to whether they are more like part of a longer process or whether they are signifying distinct events of something or someone being eclipsed in some sense.
CB: Yeah. I hope somebody figures that out at some point. But at least now I think if people are thinking about it and if there’s an idea that that’s a possibility, maybe there can be ways that people can figure that out. Since I know there’s some old rules in like the medieval tradition about determining when the effects of eclipse will come to fruition or what the duration of the eclipse effect is supposed to be in some texts. And those haven’t always worked super well for me necessarily, although maybe it has to do more with something like this and maybe when put in that context, it could lead to some interesting research.
PW: Right. And you could probably also take into account whether it’s a partial or total or hybrid eclipse, well, what its gamma value is, how closely aligned it is to the center of the earth, those kinds of things. Those might be other dimensions of a future study.
CB: Right, yeah. All right, well that brings up other related things. One of the things I was thinking about recently, an old tweet, was that eclipses are catalysts for change. And sometimes change is good while other times it can be more challenging, and it really depends on how the eclipse falls in your birth chart as part of an ongoing debate on the podcast about if eclipses are always bad or if they can be good. And I think one of the issues is that on the one hand, some of the most positive, as well as some of the most extremely negative events in a person’s life will be foreshadowed by eclipses. And so sometimes when the extremely bad end of the spectrum happens, that can really stick with you and give you a really negative sense of eclipses, because especially eclipses can indicate endings of things since it’s the closing down of a cycle between the Sun and the Moon, but it’s like a major ending. And so sometimes when it falls in a certain house in your chart, it can indicate the end of that chapter of your life or the permanent ending of something. If it’s in the 10th house, it can be a career or a job ending. If it’s in the seventh house, it can be a relationship ending. Fourth house, a living situation ending or changing, and actually, you’re doing that right now, right?
PW: Yeah, I just had the lunar eclipse occur in my fourth house, and it basically fell right in the center of the process of selling my house and moving across the country. And it also connects to the topic of parents too, because it’ll be the first time that I’ve lived in a different city and state than my mother. I called it about two years ago that this is probably what was going to happen. And so, yeah, it definitely fell out as expected. But to this broader question of whether or not eclipses are good or not, I mean, I think it’s sort of like when you were sitting in class at school and you’ll hear your name being called over the intercom to go to the principal’s office. And that could be good or it could be bad. All you know is that the bosses are calling, the principal is calling you, the Sun and Moon, the lights of the sky, have something to say. And so you just are understandably a little nervous or wary of what that could mean. But I think the most true or accurate thing you can say is that the things they signify just tend to be of a sort of more dramatic or heightened nature regardless of whether or not they’re negative or positive.
CB: Yeah, like major endings and major beginnings is my usual keyword for eclipses. And then the subject of the major endings or beginnings tends to be whatever house it falls in. That’s just reminding me, you having your moving story is reminding me one of my earliest eclipse examples. And it was one of the things that actually made me switch to whole sign houses from Placidus after fighting it for like a year. But I had a eclipse back in October of 2004 that fell in Taurus and that was in my fourth whole sign house. And then I moved to Seattle and left my hometown for the first time to be closer to Kepler College and to be able to access their library there, where they had lots of translations and stuff. But then that led to a whole series of events where then the following spring or following summer, I then moved to Project Hindsight and then lived there for two years. So there’s a lot of like changes in my home and living situation, but that also ended up being tied in with career stuff of course as well when I started studying Hellenistic astrology during that time since the eclipses were also hitting my 10th house. And that was the beginning of starting to learn ancient astrology.
PW: Didn’t you also just do a major interview with your mother right after having a solar eclipse in your fourth house?
CB: Yeah, a couple weeks ago she came out here for a visit, and that was the first time I’d seen her in like three years, and we did record a little podcast, little discussion together.
PW: So I imagine then maybe it was closer to the time of the solar eclipse itself then that you might have like organized that trip or planned for that to happen.
CB: Yeah, basically. So anyway, stuff like that comes up, but what was the point? The point is just that eclipses are catalysts for change, and sometimes it can be a major ending in some area and sometimes that can be difficult or traumatic or hard, other times an ending can be a little bit smoother like in your case, where you know that’s a major ending and there’s a lot of emotional stuff there, but it’s also probably for the best or pushing you into a new phase in your life in terms of moving across the country and moving into a new home that’s more in alignment with what you’ve wanted or been looking for for a more ideal living situation.
PW: Right. Yeah, I wouldn’t say that it’s necessarily all bad. There’s obviously some hard things about that, because my wife also has the same rising sign as I do. So she has had the same eclipse fall on the same house. So it’s been a bit more extreme for her than it has for me, but I have benefics in my fourth, so maybe that’s part of it.
CB: Right, yeah. And then sometimes major beginnings, so major endings and major beginnings, and that’s obviously just an instance of both a major ending as well as a major beginning.
PW: I would probably also say that eclipses, especially the lunar eclipses, can signify culminations of things. Because sometimes things which have begun under a solar eclipse in one sign, when the corresponding lunar eclipse happens maybe six months later across this opposite set of signs, can still represent that thing being brought to fulfillment or completion to a height. And then the ending would be when you get back to the solar eclipse that occurs in the same sign where it occurred a year earlier. So I would say solar eclipses are like beginnings and endings, whereas lunar eclipses might be conceptualized more as culminations of things. And this process of moving for me, this has been in the works for such a long time that in some ways this lunar eclipse really feels like we’ve finally made it. As much as you could conceptualize it as a beginning and ending, it feels like it’s been beginning for a long time. So in some ways it feels like we’re reaching the sort of culmination of this whole process. But it’s a [unintelligible] thing, it’s hard to put firm categories around these things.
CB: Yeah. And there can be really bad eclipse events, and I’ve also seen, it’s been interesting watching people around me and people with like fixed signs rising who have the eclipses falling in the more important angular houses in their birth chart and seeing people have major changes and sometimes major endings over the past few weeks. I don’t want to diminish that sometimes eclipses and sometimes those endings can be really negative and subjectively difficult. Even the recent shooting in Texas, not to astrologize it too much, but I couldn’t help but notice when I was reading like a write up in the Washington Post, that they said the shooter turned 18 on May 15th, which was the day of the lunar eclipse in Scorpio that was that really gnarly, not fun-looking, pretty negative-looking lunar eclipse that was square Saturn in the middle of May that we talked about on the last forecast. And then it said that the day that he turned 18 he went out and bought a bunch of guns and ammunition and started the process that would then lead to what he did in murdering a bunch of children a few days later.
PW: That’s also interesting too when you consider the traditional associations of the Moon with uncharacteristic behavior, people behaving strangely around Full Moons or becoming lunatics or the prevalence of lunacy around lunar phenomena. So I’m sort of reminded of that when I think of someone kind of reaching a kind of breaking point or something at a major lunar event.
CB: Yeah. I don’t know, I just know obviously that is one that in my head I was like, “All right, [score one for eclipses.”] Eclipses can be very malefic sometimes, but still just trying to balance out those two, that it can be those extremes of sometimes negative but also sometimes extremely positive. Because you and I for a long time we ran a blog called the Political Astrology Blog. And one of the things that we tracked was how the past three presidents every time an eclipse would take place in their rising sign or in their tenth house, that was usually the indicator of who was going to win the presidential election and become president at that point and reach sort of like the highest point in their career where they become the head of an entire country. And that happened with Obama in 2008 when the eclipse in Aquarius was in his first house. Then it happened when he got reelected four years later and the eclipses shifted to Scorpio and into his 10th house. Then 2016 ended up being Trump and the great American eclipse that occurred shortly after he was elected in the summer of 2017 fell in Leo. And that was the one that fell across the United States and everyone went out and watched it.
PW: That was the one that he watched without the goggles.
CB: He also watched. And that fell in his rising sign of Leo. And then most recently, before the presidential election, one of the things we talked about in the forecast was that was one of the things that inclined us to think that Biden would win because the eclipses were taking place in Sagittarius and Gemini and his rising sign is Sagittarius.
PW: Well, same thing for Kamala Harris as well, Gemini rising.
CB: Oh yeah, Gemini rising.
PW: So she had the same thing. And then for Trump, of course, who could forget that the Electoral College date itself in 2020 in December happened on the very day of the solar eclipse that occurred opposite Trump’s Sun and conjunct his Moon. Although, that’s kind of interesting because that potentially implies that maybe some eclipses are good for some people and bad for others, because obviously that solar eclipse was good for Biden and bad for Trump. Especially with lunar eclipses, you’re often looking at that axis across the north node and south node and you could get into the potential differences you could extract from eclipses which occur on the north node versus the south node. And since the north node is the place where the Moon’s path generally starts going north of the Sun and the south node is where the Moon starts going south of the Sun’s path, I guess we’d assume that there would be sort of an opportunity for whoever was represented by the planet of the north node as potentially being more advantaged than the luminary on the south node. But that’s just a speculation.
CB: Yeah, let’s not get too speculative. But Trump was famously born on a lunar eclipse, which himself made him kind of like, if we’re looking for what eclipses mean in a natal chart or maybe the potential for even potentially, let’s say, eminent people or people will be who will become eminent at some point, there’s an example of somebody that became US president and was born the day of lunar eclipse in Sagittarius. And then that is interesting that it was the Sagittarius eclipse on… It was on December 12th or December 14th or something like that.
PW: It was the exact day of the Electoral College.
CB: And that was the one that was in Sagittarius, it was a solar eclipse, and that was in Biden’s rising sign. And that was the final point where it became clear he was definitely going to become president. Because things were kind of up in the air for a little bit. And even though we knew within a week or two after the election in November of 2020 that Biden had won, it wasn’t until it got certified by the Electoral College six weeks later in December that everyone was kind of like, “Okay, this is pretty much a done deal for the most part.” Yeah. So eclipses can be very important, very important turning points, great endings, great beginnings. And there were some presidents even before this last string of three that that also held up for, wasn’t there? Was it Bush Jr.?
PW: I want to make sure that I get this right.
CB: It’s okay if you don’t. I just wasn’t sure if you could recall that offhand.
PW: Well, for Bush Jr. and for Gore, they both have Leo rising, so they would’ve had any eclipses that were happening in that time occurring in the same houses, which is interesting just in itself because I guess even the solar system didn’t quite know who to declare the winner in that case.
CB: That’s a really good point. And also a danger then sometimes of predicting with eclipses is that sometimes it can be a great beginning and sometimes a great ending. And for Bush, it was the beginning of his presidency, whereas for Gore it was the end for the most part of his political career.
PW: I just can’t remember if there were eclipses in Aquarius and Leo in the year 2000 election.
CB: Yeah, yeah. I could pull it up. I don’t actually want to dwell in it too much.
PW: Actually, they would be close because it’s about 18 years prior to 2017. And if that’s when there would’ve been eclipses in Leo, Aquarius, then math would dictate that the nodes would probably have been… Oh, yeah, they were kind of passed Aquarius and Leo then by that point.
CB: Well, no, but it was the campaigns. It was like launching their campaigns and stuff. .
PW: Okay. Anyway, that’s what I get for trying to talk about things before I looked them up.
CB: So that was an eclipse sort of subtopic that I wanted to start with. Was there anything else related to eclipses relevant? Probably not. I mean, we could transition onto the fifth house thing you mentioned in passing, the fifth house is the place of games. I’ve been coming to understand the importance of that sometimes and how fifth house placements can sometimes very literally manifest in a person who has more interest in games, whether that’s like video games, but also board games or leisurely activities like golf. And sometimes when a person has the ruler of the Ascendant in the fifth house or the ruler of the tenth in the fifth that can become a major part of their life’s work or life’s focus for some reason, because literally their focus in their life becomes what is to other people just a game. Tiger Woods is a famous example of that. He’s Virgo rising with Mercury in Capricorn in the fifth whole sign house, I believe.
PW: He is a Virgo rising, that’s about as much as I can remember.
CB: Okay. Well, he has the ruler of the Ascendant in the fifth house, and he became, not just excelled and reached the top of the field, but most of his life was dedicated to golf, to a game. Even though it’s athletic and it’s a sport, but it’s also ultimately on some level just a game.
PW: I’ve had a few clients, without getting into the specifics you’ve had, either rulers of the tenth or sixth placed in the fifth house and they had careers that were involved with hospitality, tourism, places of recreation and leisure, resorts, that sort of thing.
CB: Another one, I don’t know if I have his chart on here, but is Garry Kasparov has the ruler of the Ascendant in the fifth house.
PW: Yeah, so the pursuit of pleasure in terms of things done for fun, for games.
CB: Well, so he has Sagittarius rising and Jupiter as the ruler of the Ascendant, and it’s located in Aries, which is the fifth whole sign house or the fifth sign from the rising sign. I think the principle is just that for other people occasionally, if somebody has like the Moon in the fifth house or some other planet in the fifth house, they might have more of a propensity towards liking games as long as it’s not situated difficultly. Because there can be the opposite where it’s like a difficult place in the fifth house and then maybe the person has an aversion to games or doesn’t like that area of life or that area of activity. But for some people, if they just have one placement and it’s not a significant placement, maybe it’s something that they do do occasionally or in their free time or there is a period in their life where that’s important, but it’s when that planet is somehow more important in the chart in an overall sense like being the ruler of the Ascendant or the sect light or something like that that potentially that area of life can take up on a much more major role in the life like in this case of becoming the grand master of chess and becoming like the most accomplished chess player in the world for a period of time.
PW: Yeah, totally. I’m reminded of my own Saturn in the fifth house. I have Saturn in Sagittarius in the fifth house, and my wife and I since we both have the same placement, we kind of joke that every time we get involved in something fun we’re asked to take over for it and take on the administrative managerial duties of it. So for example, I just joined a choir just for fun, but somehow I wound up having to take on the responsibility of leading it and making sure the sheet music’s all printed up for it to the point where it’s not that fun for me. Also, this came into play too as a teacher as well, as a music teacher. I was doing music, which is ostensibly a creative field, something that should be enjoyable to teach. But being a musician is a very different experience from teaching children and managing children and administering other people’s kids, which is literally one of the traditional interpretations of Saturn in the fifth house. So games aren’t that fun for me because I end up having to be the administrator of them or something. So that’s Saturn in the fifth, kind of a bummer. In college, I was the place where people went to party. I take on the responsibility of creating the most awesome parties in my dorm, and it was also me on the hook if anything went wrong.
CB: So you’re one that gets in trouble with the RA.
PW: Yeah. It was cool, it was fun, everyone had fun, and that was the idea. But I was the one who had to clean it up, I was the one who made it happen, I was the in the Saturnian role of party master, I guess.
CB: Right. Well, I was thinking of Dungeon Master, if it’s the eighties and you’re playing like Dungeons & Dragons, you would be the Dungeon Master.
PW: Right, right. That’s right.
CB: Okay. Other fifth house things, of course, sometimes it’s not games, and more commonly the most literal manifestation of the fifth house and the most traditional one going back 2000 years is just children. And sometimes when people have either a lot of planets in the fifth house like a stellium or they have an important planet in the fifth house, it means there’s something about the topic of children that becomes more important in their life maybe compared to other people or just will become important at some point in the person’s life. And I always use that famous example that Leisa showed me of the children’s book author, Judy Blume, who has a stellium that includes the ruler of the Ascendant in the fifth house, and she became award-winning children’s book author and notable children’s book author in addition to having her own children. More recently in the news not to get into it too much, but on Twitter right now is trending that Nick Cannon is having another child or something, and he’s had a lot of children over the past two years. And I just glanced, and it turns out we have a birth time for him, and he has a stellium of planets I thought was really interesting, four planets in the fifth house. So just sometimes children becoming more important or that being a larger topic in your life when you have planets there seems pretty straightforward.
PW: Yeah. No, absolutely, totally.
CB: Yeah, all right. So let’s move on to another topic. We’re doing pretty good here.
CB: One of the things, experiences or observations, it was an experience as an observation I made recently was that when experiencing Uranus transits, we all become unruly teenagers again no matter what your age was. And this was an observation I made of a guy that was in his mid-eighties and he’s going through his Uranus return and suddenly is becoming rebellious and wanting to throw off restrictions and do things differently. And then there’s been a funny role reversal with his younger middle-aged daughter who then is put in the position of a parent who’s having to tell him no or tell him to reign it in and stuff like that and having a hard time keeping him in line. And I thought that was interesting because it said something very deep to me about how a Uranus transit is experienced and that deep internal drive for freedom and the throwing off of restrictions that sort of comes with that no matter what your age is. And there’s something about that that’s–
PW: You’re not the boss of me. Yeah, absolutely, it’s the eternal rebellious teenager. Although, I guess, maybe it’s more accurate to say that it’s the eternal 20 to 21 year old since that’s the time of the first square. There’s just been so many weird news stories about people aged 63 to 64. It seems as though when–
CB: Which is the second square.
PW: Which is the second square, the closing square before the final return at 83, 84. And yeah, you’re right. It seems to be a time when people just have such a need for independence and to be free of others rules or standards or expectations that they’re willing to do things that might be hard for other people to understand, which is why some people might even say people can act crazy under major Uranus transits because they set a new precedent for themselves. It’s a time of doing that which is unprecedented in their lives.
CB: Right. And then the classic Uranus transit, of course, that’s in pop culture outside of astrology is the midlife crisis of people in their early to mid-forties and the classic running off and buying a red sports car scenario, which as astrologers we all know is the Uranus opposition transit that occurs in your early to mid-forties for everybody when Uranus gets about halfway through the zodiac compared to where it started in your birth chart.
PW: Absolutely. I mean, there’s so many examples of people being able to kind of throw off the shackles of what they’d previously constrain themselves by or when they… I mean, I think one of my favorite positive Uranus return examples is probably Robert Downey Jr, who at age 42–
CB: Uranus return?
PW: Yeah. It was at his Uranus opposition, pardon me. Yeah, he’s not that old.
CB: He does look young for his age, but not that young.
PW: Yeah, so I meant his Uranus opposition around the age of 41, 42, that was when he was cast as Iron Man and went on to do all the Marvel films. And if you didn’t know about his earlier life, I think it’s harder to appreciate how drastic of a change this has been in this life, where previously up to that point, he was known as a very talented actor who struggled with substance abuse and spent some time in jail and really had a lot of problems that he had to overcome.
CB: Yeah, looked like he was throwing it all away and he kept ending up in trouble and ending up in jail.
PW: But he was really able to remake himself with that Uranus opposition. And I think that’s maybe the lesson we can all take from Uranus hard aspects, is that they kind of give us a chance to renew or remake our lives as if they were new. And sometimes that means taking a big chance or taking a big risk, but ultimately there seems to always be a feeling, and I think Leisa Schaim has said something like this before, where when you look back on it in the rear view mirror, there’s always a feeling that it kind of just had to happen this way in order to reach kind of a new state of equilibrium or a new normal. That was necessary in some sense.
CB: Yeah. And I mean, it doesn’t always look rational from the outside for the people around us, because you’re just suddenly shaking everything up and there’s this sudden impulse to shake everything up. And sometimes that can be constructive. There can be scenarios where it’s not where it’s just shaking everything up and then you’re left with a mess afterwards. So I want to acknowledge that as a possibility as well, so that sometimes happens.
PW: Yeah. It’s often experienced, I would say, as a malefic in many cases. If there’s a part of your life that you are happy with, then disruption is probably not going to be a good thing. I’ve had two separate clients who both had Scorpio rising and they both had Uranus ingress into their seventh house of relationships. Before Uranus entered the seventh house, one of them was already married. So when Uranus went into their seventh house, this is when they started experimenting with having an open marriage and having other sorts of relationship experiences outside of marriage. And so this is obviously a very novel experience to be having, someone’s partnerships with Uranus going through the seventh house. For another person, they had never been in a relationship before for their whole life up to they were at their Uranus opposition. So when Uranus entered their seventh house and made the opposition to the natal Uranus, they experienced relationships for the first time. And so this was a huge change for them, a very different kind of change. And then there’s also probably the more common scenario which is when Uranus goes to the seventh house that there’s just large enough problems in the relationship that potentially cause a breakup or divorce. And then that Uranus transferred through the seventh house is about navigating relationships as if they were new again, just because it had been so long since they had been single. So same flavor, different chip.
CB: Well, it’s been interesting seeing recently, because one of the things we wondered about months ago and I think in the year ahead forecast, which was once the eclipses and the nodes fully changed signs and moved into the Taurus Scorpio axis, that the eclipses would start falling pretty close this year to Uranus. And then that’s been really interesting seeing that happen because we kind of wondered if it would supercharge the Uranus transit for some people that’s already been going through Taurus. And I feel like that’s really happened over the course of the past month or so, and it’s been interesting seeing how that’s shaken up, especially people with major fixed sign placements like Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius and some of the Uranus stuff that’s already been going on just getting amplified or magnified in some sense by the eclipses now also taking place there. And it’ll be interesting to see how that continues to go over the course of the next year. For example, in November, when we have that lunar eclipse in November that takes place, I think, very closely conjunct Uranus.
PW: Yeah, that’s actually on the day of the midterm elections because of course.
CB: Yeah, of course, some sort of disruption. That brings up something I was thinking about recently about how the different modalities and different signs react to change. That also made me wonder if some of the eclipse stuff and some of the Uranus stuff isn’t harder for the fixed signs because the fixed signs of the different three different modalities of cardinal, fixed, immutable, that the fixed signs might be most reluctant to change sort of inherently as an inherent default for them. And so some of the stuff with eclipses indicating major endings or Uranus indicating major changes or disruptions might be harder for fixed signs as a result of that. One of the keywords that I came up with is I was thinking that cardinal signs initiate change and they do it decisively. Fixed signs tend to resist change and mutable signs are sometimes indecisive about change. Although I think you had a better keyword for mutable signs.
PW: Oh, well, adaptability.
CB: So mutable signs tend to be more adaptable to change. They tend to adapt to change.
PW: Right. Yeah, I think that’s a really interesting point because although Uranus is this more paradigm shift level notion of change, Mercury is this more kind of inconstant sort of more minor level notion of change, and Mercury’s domiciles are two of the mutable signs, Gemini and Virgo. So it’s sort of baked right in that mutable signs have a kind of Mercurial or Jupiterian sort of quality, and those are the planets which are maybe most associated with the kind of Mercurial notion of change or maybe Jupiterian notions of being able to sort of expand and capture multitudes. So, yeah, I think that’s a really interesting idea that the fixed signs might struggle the most with transits that suggest changes, paradigm shifts of sorts, being fixed signs and being resistant to change, especially when you consider the kind of seasonal association you can draw with fixed signs, where that’s when a season is at its most sort of constant or whatever, it’s reached its most expressed state. Middle of summer is the hottest part.
CB: Yeah. Well, and that’s why I thought about that, because I’ve been doing the zodiac series and I’ve been doing each sign as the Sun is moving through that sign so that I recorded the Aries episode during Aries season when the Sun was moving through Aries, and I did the Taurus episode when the Sun was moving through Taurus. And in the original two-part zodiac series that I did with Austin and Kelly years ago where we did the first six signs and the second six signs, they were much more reluctant to talk about seasonal things even in connection with the tropical zodiac and in connection with the signs, which is more common amongst 20th century astrologers to make some of those seasonal connections. But obviously it’s tricky because we want our astrology to be more universal and inclusive and to take into account the Northern Hemisphere where Western astrology and tropical zodiac developed, but also the Southern Hemisphere. But you run into an issue where the seasons are flipped or reversed in the Southern Hemisphere, so it wouldn’t be true to make certain seasonal associations in the north unless you’re flipping the zodiac signs in the south, which most astrologers I know for the most part in Australia or other areas say that you don’t have to do or that you don’t have to flip the signs. I don’t have a strong opinion about that, but I have been reviewing and thinking and going back to and thinking that some of the seasonal associations are more important and that we should explore that more and lean into it more, even if it makes our astrology more restricted to certain areas and then needing to decide whether that’s different in other areas. Because I think there is something very important about the quality of the seasons as they’re connected with certain signs of the zodiac in the original meetings that developed for those.
PW: Well, to be fair, at least the quadruplicities, the signs, would technically remain stable even if you flipped the zodiac. Middle of summer here would still be the middle of winter there. So they’d still have those fixed sort of qualities, even if they were the opposite type or something like that.
CB: Yeah, and I’ve always thought about that, but one of the issues, for example, is the reason we start Aries in the first sign there at the Vernal Equinox is because that’s the beginning of the spring season in the Northern Hemisphere when the light starts increasing and the days start becoming longer. But also because at that point that is when plants start growing in the spring season and you start getting the growth of plants emerging coming out of winter and coming out of that hibernating season. And then what’s interesting and what I noticed and thought was very stark this year, was just in the middle of Taurus season when the Sun is at 15 degrees of Taurus. Spring is in full bloom and all of the flowers are in full bloom at that point, and it’s just very beautiful out and very distinctive that everything’s sort of full of life and color and everything else during that part of the season in the middle of the fixed sign when it’s at its most to whatever extent anything is ever permanent, which it’s not, but that’s when it’s at its most stable, let’s say, in the middle of the fixed sign. But then what’s interesting is that opposite to that in the opposite side of the year is Scorpio. And when you’re at 15 degrees of Scorpio, you’re right in the middle of the fall season and all of the leaves are dying and are falling off of the trees, the days are getting shorter and the nights are starting to win over and become longer, and then darkness is starting to triumph over light and you get some of those associations. And I think there’s some important symbolic stuff that informs the meaning of the signs that comes from some of that. So I think it’s worth revisiting a little bit.
PW: Yeah. I mean my own personal pet theory about the Northern versus Southern Hemisphere issues in astrology is basically in order to resolve that debate, you’d have to find something unique or special about north. And I think that what makes the Northern Hemispheric orientation of the Earth preferred or special in my view is that from the point of view of the Earth’s motion through the galaxy, the Northern Hemisphere of the Earth is technically facing in the direction that the Earth itself is moving. So if you were to look at the solar system relative to our galactic center, it’s vertical to it. And so the north face of the Earth is facing in the direction that the solar system itself is moving. So in a sense, north is like the front seat of the car and the Southern Hemisphere is like the backseat of the car when viewed from the point of view of our motion around the galaxy. So that would be why I would think maybe it makes sense that the Earth actually should be considered with the north side as the front, because that is literally facing the direction of our entire solar system and its motion around the galaxy. And that’s just my theory.
CB: I have no idea. I’ve been posing that question. I used to pose it a lot more frequently to astrologers, which is that if we’re going to use the tropical zodiac and Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, then we have to come up with an explanation that’s true for why Aries should be and why the Vernal Equinox should be the beginning of the cycle of the circle of signs that’s true in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. And of course, this problem is why some people or it’s one of the things that could lead somebody to think that the sidereal zodiac is appealing because then the constellations are true in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere and the directionality of the constellations would be true no matter what. But then the problem with switching this sidereal is that then you lose the rulership system because the traditional rulership system is clearly based on a tropical rationale where very explicitly there was a Hermes text that said that you start by assigning the Sun to 15 degrees of the sign of Leo because that’s the height of the summer and that’s the middle of the summer season when the Sun with its light and its heat is at its highest point, essentially. And then that becomes the basis or the anchor for then assigning the rest of the planets based on the relative speed and distance from the Sun starting with Mercury, which then gets assigned to Virgo the next sign over, then to Venus, then to Mars and Jupiter and Saturn and so on and so forth. So the rulership scheme itself has a tropical and explicitly seasonal basis to begin with. So that’s one of the reasons why if you want to use the rulership scheme, then it makes more sense in a tropical context.
PW: Yeah, agreed.
CB: All right. So that’s that when it comes to change cardinal, fixed, mutable. Do you have any other ideas about that in terms of the modalities?
PW: The only other thing I would add is don’t forget about them if you’re watching this. Sometimes there’s really simple things in… Because I feel like sometimes the quadruplicities are something that you learn about in the beginning of astrology and then you kind of forget about later. But helps to remember that those are some of those common qualities of the signs. And I just think it’s maybe one of those forgotten about things that you learned. So yeah, don’t sleep on them.
CB: Right, for sure. Let’s see. There’s a recent tweet by [Elody Miao] who said, “My favorite thing about reading charts is that I can see the beauty of someone when they can’t see it for themselves and then I can reflect it back to them.” And I thought that was really true and a really good thing, and it connected with something I’ve said for years, which is that people often can’t see the benefits in their life because they sometimes take for granted the things that they have going for them, and especially the benefics. They tend to take for granted the benefic parts of their chart and by extension their life. And it’s usually good to be able to help people to see what they have going for them and to mirror that back to them, because it can sometimes tend to be a blind spot that we all take for granted. If you have benefics in, let’s say, fourth house and your parents have always been very supportive or something like that, that can be something you take for granted, whereas other people might not have that or might have a more difficult relationship or less supportive relationship with their parents. Or if benefics are in the seventh house and relationships have always gone well for you, maybe that’s something you take for granted. Or if you have benefics in the second house, maybe finances have never been an issue for you or you have luck always having an income for some reason versus somebody that doesn’t have that. So sometimes letting people see the good things about their life in their chart and helping them to see that better can be helpful or a benefit of astrology.
PW: Yeah, I think so. And I tend to find too that people find a great sense of validation for some of the hard choices they’ve made if I’m able to describe it well enough. And I think that is definitely an important thing that people can get out of reading and understanding astrology. I’m trying to think of a good example of that, but I don’t know that I can do it without potentially giving away personal information.
CB: That’s one of the things that sucks about being a consulting astrologer, is you see so many good examples, but you can’t always share all of them due to client confidentiality. So a lot of secrets die with us, a lot of just would be good examples. I think that’s one of the reasons why celebrity astrology sometimes becomes as prevalent as it is in the astrological community, because those are examples that you… Because they’re public knowledge and they’re public lives that are being played out in front of everybody in the news or in the media and that everybody does have a shared experience of it and because it is public, there’s a desire to want to do that because of that availability and accessibility and relatability, although there are starting to be some more debates about privacy and the appropriateness of commenting on celebrity charts and different astrologers taking different positions on that in different ways.
PW: I think you got to be careful because you’re only getting… I think we might have talked about this before, but obviously things which come from like a public record, things which are absolutely verified, those things are worthy of being looked into. But the one issue I run into with charts is like someone will have a question about a particular thing in their life, but the charts seems to be screaming about some other topic. I say that to say that sometimes what we think is really the most important thing going on for someone, which might be what we see is like a news headline, might not even necessarily be the most important thing to that person themselves in that time. Maybe someone’s in a bad news cycle, but if you look at that chart, it’s actually relating back to some very personal problem. So it’s tricky to know what you’re even looking at.
CB: I don’t know if you have a birth time for him and or have looked at his chart, but an example of that was Bruce Willis recently where over the past couple of years he’d been cranking out a bunch of low budget movies where he was getting a large paycheck just to appear and show up and not put in a lot of effort, but he’s just cranking out these low-budget action movies, which was really people were commenting on them and people started actually making fun of them because he was just cranking out these movies are coming out every other month compared to the ’90s when he was one of the leading action stars in Hollywood with like the Die Hard series and like The Fifth Element and other big, huge blockbusters like that and so some film critics were making fun of him and stuff.
I remember seeing YouTube videos commenting on this where there was like one movie review channel where they were going through all these bad movies and commenting on it. But then earlier this year, it came out that he had some major physical disease like mental disease that was setting in that was making it so that he couldn’t speak anymore. What was it called? Is it called aphasia or something like that.
PW: I don’t remember the specifics, but I do remember reading about that. I think I myself might have made less charitable comments about some of these movies.
CB: Well, I wasn’t talking about you. It was just an interesting observation to me and you.
PW: Well, it’s such a glaring mismatch between his fine work in the past versus some of the things that have come out lately, but it’s really sad to know that that was a reason for that. It’s something that wouldn’t have been apparent until you actually talked to him.
CB: Well, you don’t know what’s going on in a celebrity’s life. And so, it turned out that he was trying to make as much money as he could while he still could for his family before he became incapable of making an income anymore essentially. Then of course, everyone who had criticized him or whatever felt bad because they suddenly realized that the things that they were clowning on him for was something that’s much more understandable and sympathetic. That was just a good general thing in terms of that and in terms of not knowing what’s going on in anyone’s life fully unless you’re in their shoes in some sense.
But that being said, it’s still interesting and illustrative when there is a major public thing with a celebrity that’s not really fully arguable, but there’s just an objective event that has occurred if there is an interesting correlation in their chart to just note it and put that in your head or sometimes talk about it occasionally for the sake of continuing to expand our understanding of astrology in our centuries-long tradition of recording celestial movements and what happens with the correlating Earthly events as part of our repository of astrological correlations going back to Babylonian times when they were writing down these observations on the little clay tablets. Just this past weekend, I think Britney Spears got married and she has Libra rising and so Jupiter recently moved into her seventh house and is transiting over her Descendant right now. I thought that was a pretty good example of just Jupiter transiting your seventh house and getting married.
PW: Yeah, no, absolutely. Yeah, pretty straightforward.
CB: Yeah. But then in other instances just yesterday, Justin Bieber who I’ve used as a chart example before for Zodiacal Releasing and other things like that, announced that he had developed, he put a video out on Instagram where he had developed some disease which paralyzed one side of his face so that he couldn’t blink and he couldn’t smile on half of his face. This caused him to cancel a bunch of concerts and tour dates and stuff like that. He said something very specific about needing to focus on his health. We have a time chart for him and he has Scorpio rising so that lunar eclipse that happened in the middle of May would have been in his first house of his body and his physical well-being and physical incarnation, but then also the ruler of his Ascendant since he has Scorpio rising as Mars which is located at 25° of Aquarius in his chart and Saturn just recently, it was like a week ago or maybe within the past week, stationed retrograde at 25° of Aquarius. He has a night chart, so Saturn is more difficult for him. So it’s a really good example of the other end of things which is sometimes a difficult event happening when a transiting malefic makes a station on an important planet in our chart, especially the ruler of the Ascendant.
PW: Yeah, that’s a really fantastic example. [inaudible] I didn’t think I’d see the day when I pitied on Biebs. It’s a strange way I guess in which astrology allows you to see a person as a person rather than the, I guess you could say, media constructed image of someone to realize that this is a real person with a whole ass life.
CB: I mean, to me that’s important because it tears down the false construct that I think we sometimes have socially of that once a person becomes a celebrity or reaches a certain height of celebrity that they cease to be human almost and instead become the subject of all sorts of other things, of scorn or ridicule or jealousy or whatever, that it’s okay to take shots at celebrities because they’re celebrities, or because they’re rich, or because they’re successful, or what have you. Seeing celebrities reacting to transits to their chart I think that’s true, that does help to personalize them and remind you that they’re just a human that’s going through things just like everybody else, even if they happen to be in the spotlight or even if they happen to be more well off or something like that. It’s one of the reasons I don’t get into and try to avoid for the most part that trashing celebrities culture thing that happened that was especially much more prominent I feel like in the mid-2000s with some of the celebrity gossip blogs and things like that.
PW: Yeah, like they’re superficial and things like that.
CB: Sure, yeah. So that was an example recently. I don’t think I- Let me see if I have his chart actually just to put it on the screen really quickly because it was so prominent and it was just a good example of not just eclipses, but stations. Did you see the dialog surrounding Saturn stations where all of a sudden, every pop astrology Twitter account is talking about Saturn station all of a sudden? Had you noticed that?
PW: Well, I mean, I tend to notice. Every little event becomes a reason for everything according to some accounts, but that wouldn’t surprise me.
CB: Yeah. Well, there’s stuff that gets overblown, but I was just surprised that there are certain concepts now that are becoming more mainstream and I was surprised to see that one becoming more mainstream like a Saturn stationing, which I think is important because it’s like an intensification of a Saturn transit. If you have personal planets around that degree or within a degree of a hard aspect of where Saturn is stationing that can be much more intense and can intensify that transit for you and indicate a turning point as in the case with Justin Bieber for example having his ruler of the Ascendant at 25° of Aquarius having Saturn stationed there, and then having this major health issue come up that’s affecting his body and his appearance and his physical well-being.
But I was just surprised that we have a little bit more advanced concepts like that, that are becoming more mainstream. Because previously, let’s say 20 years ago, the most mainstream astrological concept is just like, what’s your sign? Everybody knows their Sun sign. But then over the past 10 years, suddenly your big three is becoming like common knowledge. I want to say most people commonly known or a lot more people compared to 10 years ago, if you ask what your Sun, Moon and rising are, people will know that information, and like websites or apps like Co-Star have made that more mainstream. But then other concepts like Mercury retrograde has become more mainstream. To a certain extent, Saturn returns started too for a while now. But it’s wild seeing something like a Saturn station become a piece of pop astrology that’s getting out there somehow. Even if that’s being used for not great purposes in some instances where people are saying things that don’t make sense astrologically, I’m more just interested in the phenomenon in some sense.
PW: Yeah. I think the earliest pop astrology reference I can think of to Saturn retrogrades has scene in Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It’s like when all these young people are traveling in this car, one of them mentions looking at an Ephemeris or something that like, “Oh, Saturn’s retrograde right now.” And they’re like, “What does that mean?” Then he gives some ominous sounding statement about a time when evil has more force in the world. It’s this dramatic foreshadowing of the horrific events that follow with Leatherface and the chainsaw and the massacring.
But I always thought that was funny though because Saturn retrogrades happen once every year and Jed’s retrograde is about like a whole third of the year. So, for them to build it up like this rare astronomical thing didn’t make a lot of sense to me as an astrologer. If it had been like they said, “Oh, it’s a lunar eclipse conjunct retrograde Mars,” I might have been like, “Oh, well, that does sound a bit more like Leatherface will chop you up that day.” Not saying that’s a specific interpretation. I’m just saying-
CB: Well, that’s like the musical Hair, what was it, the Age of Aquarius song where it’s like when the Moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars then everything will become peaceful or something like that.
PW: Yeah. It’s like that would happen for almost 30 days in a row every couple of years or so for Mars to be conjunct Jupiter with the Moon in the seventh.
CB: I realized at one point whoever wrote that was just thinking more symbolically of Moon in the seventh house and people have more feeling about others and that if Mars is the planet of war, but Jupiter is the planet of peace, then when the two align there’ll be peace is what they were probably thinking when they wrote that line.
PW: That’s especially hilarious given recent events.
CB: Unfortunately, yeah, we just had an alignment of Mars conjunct Jupiter at the beginning of the month, and then not very long after that was the shooting in Texas and then there’s just like a string of other gun violence and other HIPAA focus on gun violence and things in America over the course of the past few weeks.
PW: Well, and I would think the reason for that as opposed to like other Mars-Jupiter conjunctions is that Jupiter is in the sign of Aries. So Jupiter says, yes, it confirms or expands or enlarges whatever sign is going through, whatever house is going through. So if it’s going through the domain of Mars, of war, of violence, then it makes sense that it would in some sense be giving the green light to more of that. Then especially in conjunction with Mars, the domicile, the lord of the sign, it’s very loud in promoting or adding to this kind of phenomenon.
CB: When Mars was traditionally about wars weapons and swords and knives and things like that. One of the earliest glyphs for Mars in demotic and in like an Egyptian script when some of the earliest astrologers started using glyphs, the glyph for Mars was a knife. But I always think of how in the 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet, that movie, how they modernized and updated it and all of the people that in Shakespeare’s play were walking around with swords and had sword dolls and stuff, they changed it to guns and the swords were switched out for guns and guns are like the modern sword in some sense. So that’s one of the reasons I associate it with Mars.
PW: Right. Well, Pluto was in Aries when a lot of these gun manufacturers were first started.
CB: When was that roughly? Roughly, when was that?
PW: That would have been in the 1850s, through a part of the 1860s.
CB: I only just saw recently, I guess I’d never thought of that, but that the bullet was invented at a specific period in time in the middle of that century, right?
PW: Right. Well, and also weird too is the fact that, I am not saying this because I know so much about guns, I just happen to know just this much that I guess the handles for guns used to be even made out of ram’s horn and the ram is the zodiacal image of Aries for whatever that’s worth.
CB: Sure. You had written an article previously about, you’re just talking about how Jupiter is expanded and then we’ve had seen this rush suddenly of gun violence, but then how Saturn in Aries in the past has coincided with periods of gun control and restrictions being put on guns in the US. For example, in the mid-1990s, the last time Saturn was in Aries that was when the Assault Rifle Weapons Ban was put in place
PW: In the late ’90s so like in 1996, 1997, or 1998, that was when the UK and Australia banned old guns. In that same period, that was also when the federal background check system went into effect in the United States. I wrote a whole article about this, you can find on my website, called A History of Gun Control and Saturn in Aries or something like that. I just trace major events relating to gun control and they seem to cluster around Saturn-Aries periods when as expected the abstract meaning of Saturn in restriction or confining or regulating moves to the sign of Aries, which would pertain to the topics of Mars. So, it makes sense that these Saturn in Aries periods would be when we might be able to expect more progress to be made with regulating, controlling these weapons.
Interestingly enough, even the Second Amendment itself was ratified while Saturn was in Aries. So this seems to go back pretty far. And that would seem to suggest that when Saturn enters Aries in like 2025, I think or at least briefly in 2025, that that might be when we could expect some tangible… I mean, it’s too far away. I’ll say just as a human being, that’s too far.
CB: Sure, we’re talking about like two or three years, because Saturn is about to go into Pisces in the spring of next year in 2023 so it’s got at least two or three years to go through that sign. Yeah, I mean we’ll see what happens.
PW: I will say that in the last Saturn-Aries period, it wasn’t so much that, there were definitely initiatives in that time that limited guns. But in the United States, it was when the provisions of the Brady Bill, which had been passed several years earlier, were finally put into effect. So it’s still possible that legislation which is made today, say on controlling guns, might not actually go into effect until Saturn goes into Aries. So don’t be completely despondent. There is a chance that progress could be made and it might just not be until Saturn is in Aries where there’s some meaningful impact.
CB: Okay, all right. One of the next topics I wanted to talk about that I’ve been thinking about a lot over the past few months is, and I saw an observation of this and I put out a tweet about it, but the way I turned it into an aphorism was that when a benefic transit coincides with a malefic transit, something positive happens, but it is marred by something negative happening in the person’s life at the same time.
We had a really prominent example of that just a couple of months ago with Will Smith at the Academy Awards. On the one hand, he won. He finally after many years of trying for it and of acting and of eventually campaigning for it, which is what he finally had to do, he won an Academy Award for Best Actor. But it was marred by the fact that earlier that night, he run up on stage and he slapped Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife and her hair loss. So obviously, the negative transit overshadowed the positive one that he otherwise would have been experiencing that night. And so, you get both, but they end up affecting each other in some ways.
PW: Yeah, it’s hard to know which one ends up being the-
CB: Which one wins out?
PW: Yeah. What’s the word? Bearing the lead, which one gets to be the headline versus which one gets a little paragraph on the front page. But it’s hard to know if it’s like going to be a mostly negative event that’s offset somewhat by a benefic transit or whether it’s going to be a mostly good event that maybe has some minor drawbacks. I’d assume this has to do with what roles the planets have at that particular point either in someone’s natal chart by the annually perfected Time Lords, or in the context of an electional charts, maybe which planets actually ruled the Ascendant of that time or something like that, knowing which planet is in charge versus what planets are just more incidental to that moment.
There was also a lot of discussion leading up to 2020 about whether or not the Jupiter placement would potentially take some of the edge off of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction. Obviously, I mean it’s hard to say that it was very positive. But on the other hand, there were some people who had a very different experience than others from the pandemic because of the way maybe changes of their work maybe allowed them to work from home for the first time and maybe they might have experienced that in a more positive way. In certain industries, people who made more money were able to qualify for more aid in the form of PPP loans. And so, I don’t want to diminish it all, any of the suffering that anyone has experienced during the Saturn-Pluto conjunction, but it’s a really large example of how Jupiter either… I think in that case, it’s pretty clear that like Saturn-Pluto was the dominant negative theme and then Jupiter maybe in a very understated way provided some benefits to the overall situation, even if it wasn’t ideal.
Jupiter was also in the sign of its fall as well. So I think that some of the reason why astrologers at that point were a little less likely to say that it was going to be an amazing mitigation of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction. I think we’re going to be looking at Will Smith’s chart now more precisely to look at that, the infamous-
CB: Yeah, so I’m really talking about this in the natal context of what happens when somebody has an extremely positive transit versus what happens and has an extremely negative one at the same time. So getting this queued up. But it was March 27 I believe, right? Do you happen to remember the date?
PW: I didn’t.
CB: That’s okay. I think I’ve got it. Yeah, because it was the night of that Moon-Mars conjunction in the sign of Aquarius. This isn’t necessarily the correct time, but this was it. There were two things were happening. So this is probably a good time for Will Smith. We’re a little ambiguous. It’s not as reliable as I would like in terms of the source notes on Astrodatabank. But if this is correct, he has Gemini rising. He has a night chart with the Sun in the fifth whole sign house and Mercury at 28 Libra conjunct Venus at 29 Libra and his Moon in Scorpio at 21° of Scorpio conjunct Neptune is the sect light. So it’s the most important luminary in his chart then.
What was interesting about it is Jupiter is transiting through his 10th house, and that’s really positive and that Jupiter is trining the Moon pretty closely within a degree. So transiting Jupiter is at 20° of Pisces, trining the Moon at 21 Scorpio.
PW: Jupiter opposition as well ruler of the 10th.
CB: Right. Then additionally, he also has the positive transit of transiting Venus is that like 20°-21° of Aquarius, and it’s coming up to square his Moon at 21 Scorpio and the degree of his Midheaven is up there at like 14 Aquarius. So his Moon is getting two transits almost simultaneously from benefics so both of those are pretty positive transits.
But then on the other hand, transiting Saturn has reached 21 degrees of Aquarius where it’s simultaneously squaring the Moon almost exactly like very, very closely and then also the South Node and its associations of diminishing or decreasing things is about to go over the Moon. So the South Node is at 23 Scorpio and it’s about to go over the Moon at 21. Then that night the Moon-Mars conjunction actually took place, it was much closer to this when it actually happened, but that Moon-Mars conjunction took place at 16° of Aquarius, which is pretty close to his Midheaven at 14° of Aquarius.
PW: And applying a square to Moon, it’s a little few degrees off, but that’s a really interesting example. This [inaudible] just because in general people are wondering what does it mean that Venus is going to be sandwiched in between these two malefics. And so, adding in the dimension of the other benefic, making a trine to his Moon really fills that scenario out of a time of great triumph for him but happening at the same time as this decidedly destructive, malefic event. I mean, he ended up being banned from the Oscars I think for 10 years. On the same night that he won Best Oscar, he gets banned from the Oscars.
CB: Right. I mean, even more, I don’t know how much that even affects him, but just that night what was bizarre about it if you watch the rest of it was he got up later that night and then had to accept the award for Best Actor, but then he’s just like in tears and he was crying and he tries to justify a little bit to some extent what he did, but obviously realizes that he’s really messed up and agrees with the moment in some sense. It’s just a really very stark example of that of somehow sometimes when you have a double transit that has both extremes like that that you get both basically extremes of positive and negative. So there is a flip side to that, which is that sometimes when a negative transit happens like a malefic transit happens and you get a benefic transit at the same time, sometimes something bad happens and there’s a bad experience or event, either a literal event or sometimes even just an emotional event since astrology can manifest either literally or sometimes emotionally. So something negative happens, but then there’s some positive counterbalancing influence that helps to either save the day or lets there be some silver lining or makes it not as extremely bad as it would have been otherwise.
My classic example I always cite for that as a transit example is George Lucas who had transiting Mars come up and conjoin, I think it was like the ruler of his Ascendant and they got in a terrible car accident when he was a teenager. He was thrown from the car and he ended up in the hospital for weeks recovering, but transiting Venus came up and conjoined his natal Mars simultaneously in the third house at the same time, and because he was thrown from the car, he was actually saved because it then like slammed into a tree and was crumpled like a soda can and he would have died. On the one hand, it was like he was in this terrible crash that really messed him up and it also changed the course of his career. But on the other hand, he was also saved from dying at that time as well. And that ended up being the thing that then led him to go into college and pursue eventually studying cinema and become a famous director.
CB: Yeah. So there’s the other side of that as well, so I didn’t want to make it seem like it’s only something bad, but sometimes it can be positive counterbalancing thing as well. Have you ever had or seen any examples like that?
PW: Yeah, I’ve been trying to think specifically of a situation like that. I’m not sure one’s coming. If I manage to somehow think of it, I’ll let you know.
CB: Another thing I was thinking about recently was that planets in detriment subvert expectations. And I was thinking of this because I was watching a commentary on YouTube, it’s a long YouTube video about what happened with the recent Star Wars series and why that ended up being such a debacle with the three new movies. Once Disney bought the rights to Star Wars, they announced that they were going to do a trilogy 10 years ago, and it was a big deal and it seemed like it was going to go really well. But then the first movie was basically, The Force Awakens was a soft reboot, but then the second movie things sort of went in a weird direction and started not going as well. And I remember when that movie came out, it was December of 2017 and I was about to go see it. And I just happened to look at the chart of the director, and I thought it was really weird because I noticed that Saturn was about to go into Capricorn and that the director had Saturn at Cancer. So he was going to experience a Saturn opposition right after this movie came out. And I didn’t think at the time that made any sense, because I was like, “This is going to be great.” And I was super excited to see it. And I was like, “This is going to be a highlight of his career that he got to direct a Star Wars movie,” which is probably most director’s dream. So I was like, “How could that be? Why would he be having a negative transit? That doesn’t make any sense.” And then I saw the movie, and I really didn’t like the movie. Because one of the things that the movie does is that the movie that came before it sets up a bunch of little threads and a bunch of little plot points of where the trilogy could go. J.J. Abrams, the director of The Force Awakens, did. But then in the second movie, for some reason the director had a lot of creative control. But one of the things that he did is he subverted expectations over again and he closed a lot of those plot points in the second movie, which then sort of ended them there so that they didn’t really have anywhere to go in the third film. And this is in a lot of the critical analysis one of the things about the second film that people talk about is just that it subverted expectations a lot, but it did it so much or it did it without a good purpose or reason to or end goal in mind necessarily rather than just doing it for the sake of it. And I thought that was something that was interesting that I think may come from the Saturn in Cancer placement in the director’s chart, Rian Johnson, as well as he has Mercury in Sagittarius. But one of the reasons I was thinking of that, because the way that this video framed it is they said it was kind of anti. It wasn’t just subverting expectations, but it was being against or going against or being anti many of the things that the first film set up or symbolized in some way or stood for in some way that the second film in the trilogy somehow set itself against to that in some ways. The first film, for example, sets up the idea that Rey returning Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber was really important, and that was the culmination of the first film. And at the beginning of the second film…
PW: He tosses it over his shoulder.
CB: He takes it and he just tosses it over his shoulder. So it subverts the expectations by rejecting that that thing that was set up previously was important. And that’s an important thing to understand, and that’s why I was connecting it with detriment because that’s what detriment is in some sense. It is the ruler of a sign being in the sign opposite to its own sign and being in a sign that’s ruled by a planet that has significations that are exactly the opposite of what the initial planet signifies. So sometimes a rejection of the initial thing that’s set up or going against something is part of the sort of keyword there.
PW: I mean, I’d say in some ways he even rejected sort of a lot of Star Wars tropes, but he did this very deliberately. In a lot of interviews, he has spoken about how he wanted to create something sort of new and fresh and unexpected. He didn’t want the films to be too predictable, so he did everything he could to–
CB: Let’s list some of them. What were some of the other expectations that he subverted? One of them was that in the first film, they sort of set it up that Rey, the central character, she had some mysterious family origins, where it showed her family dropping her off and abandoning her in the first film. And so it set up this question of, who are Rey’s parents and is she going to be important? Is it going to turn out that she’s actually Obi-Wan Kenobi’s daughter or something? Or is she a Skywalker? Is she part of the Skywalker family? Since so much of the previous films had been entirely about the Skywalker family and their different family trees and lineages. But then in the second film, one of the things Rian Johnson did is he said no, that there’s no answer to that. That you’re nobody. And that you have no family origin, your family was not important. And so he just sort of rejects that storyline altogether.
PW: Another example is that in The Force Awakens, they set up this guy Snoke as a sort of Palpatine-like big, bad of the new sequel trilogy, and then is in some ways very unceremoniously discarded in the film. Tell me you’re an astrologer without telling me you’re a astrologer.
CB: That’s the astrologer version of a Freudian tick.
PW: Yeah. In the second film, the big, bad of the series is unexpectedly killed in the middle of the movie. So he’s sort of taking that idea of this big, bad villain and just kind of getting rid of him.
CB: Oh yeah. And not to do spoilers, but it’s been out for a few years, so there’s going to be spoilers. And I don’t think anyone who wants to see it hasn’t yet. But at one point early in the film, Leia, her ship is blown up and she’s tossed out of this ship. And it seems like it was a really major, a death of a major character. But then all of a sudden, he reverses that and he’s like, “Nope.” And then she flies back in to the ship somehow using a power that’s never been demonstrated in the series before.
PW: Oh yeah, the force. The force has never been shown in the Star Wars movies.
CB: The problem is that you would die instantaneously, and that’s been set up that most humans die when they get blown out into space, for example. So I don’t think it had ever been demonstrated that you can just not die when you get exposed to the vacuum of space through the forest up to that point. So were there other… Because this video, and I’ll try to find it so I can mention it and give a shout out because I think it was a good…
PW: Oh, well, okay. How about the fact that Yoda sets the last remaining texts containing Jedi knowledge on fire with a lightning bolt.
CB: Right, because it sets it up like there’s these important texts and they’re important in this part of the Jedi lineage, and then they’re like, “Nope,” that’s rejected. And Luke himself in the entirety of that movie, his entire thing was that the Jedi is not important and the Jedi need to end or something.
PW: He was more or less like Yoda was in Empire Strikes Back. He’d exiled himself because of the events of Revenge of the Sith. I mean, here’s the thing, I mean, some of those reversals make some degree of character sense or psychological sense, but it was still jarring to watch. And then it was also very difficult, I think, for another director to take that story and follow through with the story because it had just been left in such a strange place in some ways.
CB: Yeah. So the title of that, so people can search for The Star Wars Sequels: Disney’s Anti-Trilogy from a YouTube channel titled So Uncivilized. So really in the middle part, their analysis especially of the second film, is what I thought was so interesting, and the notion of just subverting expectations being something about planets in detriment because they go against the grain. And sometimes that comes up in other ways literally, because one of the ancient interpretations, the earliest and one of the only initial interpretations of planets in detriment in some of the Hellenistic tradition is when a planet was the ruler of the fourth house or had something to do with the home and living situation or when it was the ruler of the Moon, if a planet was in detriment in the sign opposite to its domicile is said to indicate people who move away from their home country and live in a foreign country or someplace foreign or different from what they grew up in. Because the concept was if a planet’s domicile is its home sign, then detriment is like the furthest you can get from your home sign. So in some ways you’re almost like not evicted, but in exile from your home sign. And I know in the medieval tradition that actually became one of the words to refer to detriment, was, they referred to it as the place of a planet’s exile.
PW: Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. I’ve sort of come up with little ways of remembering, ways to think about planets being in their opposite sign. For example, the environment of Libra, we might imagine it to be like a Venusian dinner party where the rules of etiquette are upheld. And so Mars being in Libra is like a brute at dinner. This is like a Viking warrior trying to fit in with high society in this civilized environment of Libra. There’s just this sort of mismatch in some ways between Mars and this environment of Libra. Or if you were to think of Sagittarius as the home of Jupiter, you might think of this as like a holy place, a temple, a church. But Mercury is like a standup comedian. Mercury’s function is to rattle people and to shake up people and make them joke, make them laugh, but that’s not necessarily appropriate in this more serene environment of Sagittarius. And if you were to think of Virgo, is this Mercurial place for nerds. Jupiter in Virgo is like the philosophy major trying to fit in in the math department at a university. There’s kind of a strange mismatch between someone’s sort of skills and their natural tendencies versus the environment they find themselves in. And so one of the things people often say about planets in detriment or rather something I think people sometimes worry about about their planets in detriment, is like, “Oh, my planet in detriment is bad because it’s outside of its own sign.” And I think it’s probably a better way to think about it is that a planet in detriment is kind of needed in some respects. Maybe that Libran dinner party could afford to be a little looser or allow people to be able to express feelings of anger in a productive way. Maybe there is some flexibility that’s needed on the environment. So I would say that in some ways, planet s in detriment are providing a kind of unique outsider perspective to their respective environment as well.
CB: Yeah. The original Greek word for detriment was [Greek word 13.33], which means something that’s opposite or opposed. And so it’s something that goes against the grain or is opposed to something, and that’s why I was opening up this discussion talking about subverting expectations, because part of subverting expectations is going against something that has been established. And I think that’s part of the archetypal quality of detriment. But like you were saying, that’s not always a bad thing, and sometimes that’s necessary. In my opinion, subjective opinion, it wasn’t successful in this instance with that second Star Wars movie, because as you were saying, it undermines so many of the plot points for the trilogy that it didn’t really leave them anywhere to go in the third one. So in the third movie, once the first director J. J. Abrams came back, he was just kind of scrambling to then negate and undermine some of the plot points from the second movie in order to resume them and try to bring the whole trilogy to some sort of conclusion, but it didn’t end up being super satisfying. So all that being said, even though that’s a negative example of detriment maybe not working out, sometimes there does need to be somebody that is against things or that stands up and goes against the grain because sometimes that is a necessary and productive and helpful thing in society or in terms of individual people who play that role in society.
PW: Yeah, for sure. I’m reminded of Muhammad Ali and his Mars in Taurus. I believe it’s in the ninth?
CB: It’s in the 10th.
PW: Oh, it rules the ninth and it’s in the 10th. And I think it’s a really fascinating contradiction in some ways. He was the greatest fighter ever, he was someone who could like beat anyone up. But he refused to be a soldier. He refused to go on orders of the government to go fight. And it was through his kind of heroism and courage and saying, “I’m not going to fight.” The greatest fighter to not fight.
CB: He was protesting the Vietnam war.
PW: Yeah, exactly. I think that’s how planets in detriment or planets in antithesis or exile, whichever term you prefer to use.
CB: Oh yeah, antithesis, that was the keyword that I was using was antithesis, was the word I’ve been using for detriment, yeah.
PW: They can fulfill a very necessary function in sort of showing how the values of the sign that it’s in are kind of messed up or overvalued in some respect. And so if Taurus is like a peaceful serene environment, then Mars is the bull in a china shop.
CB: Sure. But sometimes it can be not easy, especially early in the person’s life, it can represent a sore spot because it’s something where sometimes it can indicate a planet that feels out of place or out of its element or in a foreign surrounding, that it’s initially not well suited to or well adapted to, but sometimes later after a lot of practice and sort of counterbalancing or pushing to overcome that, it can still be successful or become an area of strength or something like that.
CB: Yeah. Okay, so that’s pretty good. It’s leading us to some interesting further understanding of basic concepts and essential dignities like detriments. So that’s really good. I thought it was funny that your thing about Avatar ended up being true, because they dropped the trailer for that in the past month. And you had made the observation… We had all seen that under the last Jupiter-Neptune conjunction, 12 years ago, that the first Avatar movie came out, and you observed that it was in the air sign of Aquarius and it was largely set in the sky and flying around on these animals was a major part of it. And of course the Neptune part of it was that was one of the first movies where it started the whole 3D craze. And it was this truly immersive experience where it seemed like it dissolved the barrier between you and the experience of this movie by giving you this additional sort of feeling like you were there.
PW: Yeah, totally. Another dimension, yeah, it’s wild. And then the trailer dropped for Avatar 2: The Way of Water, it’s all set in water. So yeah, corresponds perfectly to the element of the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction. And we know that the movie itself isn’t going to come out until later in December, and of course that’s when Jupiter has returned to Pisces very briefly to be co-present with Neptune again.
CB: So 12 years later, he’s going to release the next one under another Jupiter-Neptune conjunction, but this time it’s in a water sign, and he happens to be setting the movie entirely in water.
PW: Yeah, pretty much, pretty weird.
CB: Pretty interesting.
PW: Yeah, for sure.
CB: Yeah, all right. So let’s do some rapid-fire answering of some questions that came in on Twitter. So one of them from Alexander Green says, “What do modern astrology delineations bring to the table that traditional astrology fall short on and vice versa?” So I think something I’ve been getting reacquainted with over the past few months, different astrologers I feel like go through stages of looking at their chart and how intensely you’re looking at your transits on a day-to-day basis or a regular basis, or how intensely you’re looking at your time-lord periods and zodiac releasing periods or what have you. Have you gone through phases like that?
PW: Yeah. I go through periods of just being hyper-intensive aware of everything that’s happening, and then I go through periods where I am kind of flying blind. I would say right now I’m kind of midway. I’m not completely focused on every transit that I’m having right now, but I’m aware of some of the longer, larger scale ones.
CB: Yeah, and I think that’s normal and I think that’s healthy in terms of different astrologers go through different stages, and it’s okay. Early in a person’s career, everyone goes through a stage earlier in your study of astrology, where you’re super obsessed with everything and you know every transit that’s going on in your chart and in everyone’s chart that you know who’s in your immediate family or circle at the time or what have you, but then everyone goes through different stages. But I’ve been going through a stage where I’ve been paying more attention lately than I had been previously for a while. And one of the things I forgot about, what an amazing resource it is, but the personal daily horoscope on astro.com and how it tells you what transits are going exact on a given day, then it tells you both short-term transits as well as long-term transits, and then it gives you a delineation, a paragraph or a few paragraphs from Rob Hand’s classic book, Planets in Transit. And it’s an entirely modern psychological interpretation, largely psychological interpretation that is probably out of date compared to what he would write now, and he’s supposed to be writing an updated version of that. But I’ve been becoming reacquainted with the good parts of that, of a psychological interpretation and how some of his delineations are just like right on for certain transits. And that sometimes a psychological interpretation of things can be really helpful and really evocative in terms of describing what you’re experiencing on a given day under a certain type of transit. Now sometimes that’s not true, and sometimes it can be way off because it’s not taking into account things like sect or annual profections, or it’s not giving a very literal interpretation of what kind of events could manifest under this. If you’re having like a Mars transit and you get burned or something like that, let’s say, is a really literal example of like a Mars transit. So sometimes it falls short in terms of its range of interpreting things in a literal way, but as psychological interpretation, sometimes modern astrology does a good job of providing that which is a little bit missing from traditional astrology, the psychological side of things.
PW: Sure. I was also going to say just sort of more straightforwardly, well, modern astrology delineations include the outer planets, traditional astrology obviously can’t do that. So I think that’s a pretty clear win for modern astrology delineations and how they supersede some traditional ones just on that basis, but
CB: Which is, I feel, important to say because there are, which is interesting for me to see, there’s traditional astrology purists that will say you shouldn’t use the outer planets at all, but we are not purists in that sense or fundamentalists in that sense, because we incorporate things from modern astrology such as the outer planets.
PW: Yeah, of course. Yeah. I think it operates on top of the systems that already exist. And that’s actually part of what gives the outer planets their meaning, it’s the fact that they are transcendental, that they go beyond the systems that were previously established. I think that’s why they don’t signify normal everyday things necessarily, they are special, they’re kind of beyond the ordinary.
CB: I mean, to a certain extent, but sometimes it’s literal. And they’re not entirely transcendental, I mean, Uranus transit can be very literal, changes and disruptions or getting electrocuted or something like that.
PW: Yeah. Although, it’s interesting because of the few electrocution charts I’ve looked at, which is a completely normal thing to be do, usually involve Mars. And I was surprised because I thought for sure like, “Oh, it’s got to be a Uranus transit if you get electrocuted.” But most of the time it’s Mars. So I assume that it just refers to the burning of electrocution. But yeah, I thought that Uranus would be a bigger deal for getting electrocuted.
CB: Okay. But then there’s other things like a Neptune transit and some of the literal ways that that can manifest in a physical thing or something. So it’s just something that makes me nervous about saying that they’re transcendental because they’re not completely outside of the realm of human experience or even mundane experience sometimes in very literal ways.
PW: Yeah. Well, I think they definitely brought… I mean, they’re in our lives now, I guess, it’s fair to say that.
CB: Yeah, I think that that’s my answer to the question, is that modern astrology brings outer planets or it brings sometimes a psychological thing. Another thing it brings is sometimes a sensitivity to the counseling dynamic and the important role the astrologer plays in a person’s life and sometimes the ways in which you want to be careful as an astrologer to do no harm, which is usually more of a medical dictum, but it’s also something to keep in mind for astrologers. That I think is important that you don’t always get the sense that that was the primary thing for ancient astrologers, that sometimes their job was to be right and be correct and make a correct prediction, and that was the primary overriding thing. But one of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, prediction is not always inherently helpful. And sometimes there’s a time when a prediction, even if it’s true, could be harmful and therefore maybe shouldn’t be made.
PW: Well, that connects right into another question we have here. Do you know where that is? Do you want to read that?
CB: I don’t think it was a question, I thought it was just a point, unless you have a specific question in mind.
PW: Oh, it’s the one that says how to consult the more destined, determined traditional astrology part with your client instead of just making them depressive about the results.
CB: Yeah, okay. And that was from somebody named Sunrise Astrology. So what is the answer? I mean, that’s really tricky because sometimes there might be things that you see as an astrologer that especially if the person isn’t asking about it, you don’t necessarily need to go into or may not be pertinent information for them at that time in their life.
PW: Right. Well, I think you have to make somewhat of a judgment call as to what the emotional state of the person you’re talking to is. And not in any kind of clinical way, I’m not trained as a therapist or anything, but just as a human being. Is someone speaking to me in a way that communicates that they are hanging on my every word and need a bit of hope? It’s probably not going to do them much good to talk about their terrible transits, unless it’s about how it’s about to come to an end perhaps, about how those transits are maybe limited in some way. But most of the time, clients will be pretty upfront with me and say… They may say to me directly like, “I don’t want you to sugarcoat anything.” Even for those clients though who ask not to sugarcoat anything, I think I still employ some discretion. And that doesn’t mean that I necessarily omit things, I mean, unless it’s outside of the scope of what they’re asking about, but I think I… Not admitting things, I would think, I just try to find a way that describes something that could still be helpful. So for example, we were talking earlier about Justin Bieber’s chart. And I’m thinking like, “What would I have told this person who has this chart if I had talked to them prior to these transits?” And I think if you see someone who is about to have these kind of messed up transits like an eclipse in the first house and Saturn stationing retrograde on their Ascendent ruler, I’d probably tell them to slow down and take care of yourself. And I think that would maybe be more helpful than to just say, “It looks like X, Y, Z is going to happen.”
CB: Yeah. Well, and that was what was interesting to me afterwards, was that his statement in the video was that he was going to slow down and listen to his body and try to focus more on his health and pull back a little bit from work and things like that in order to do what he needed to do in order to make sure he was healthy. So he sort of said something like that that actually made complete sense archetypally in terms of that transit and what that kind of transit could do to you. But yeah, that would be consistent with the type of advice you would give to somebody.
PW: Right. And I think for Mars transits, especially if the person is already aware of the transit and already have some anxiety about it, I mean, I’m on the fence about whether or not remediation is possible. But if someone is having a difficult Mars transit, I might even advise to maybe consciously decide to do something that requires a lot of effort and energy on a day where you’re experiencing a big Mars transit. There have been a few big Mars transits in my own chart where I wasn’t even really paying attention to it, but it ended up being a day where I ended up having to really do a lot of yard work, chopping up wood or something. And yeah, it’s Martial, and granted Mars isn’t my worst malefic, I’m a night chart, but I think that Saturn seems to advise caution, slow down. Mars seems to say you have to put in the effort. Of course, if it looks more injurious, then I might just say, “Plan a relaxing weekend that time,” and hopefully it won’t turn out quite as gnarly as it looks in the chart. So I guess my overall approach is to think of advice that corresponds to the nature of the transit that could actually be helpful rather than projecting the kinds of events that could occur, and hopefully that’s more useful.
CB: Well, and one of the most important things, I think, all of us learned as astrologers is that for any one indication or transit or time-lord period, or what have you, there’s a range of possible manifestations from, let’s say, worst-case scenario to best case scenario and everything in between no matter what the transit. And the astrology has its limitations and that it doesn’t for the astrologer provide complete omniscience. So you’re not looking into a crystal ball and you don’t know exactly what’s going to happen precisely in the future no matter how much certainty or how much it rises to the level of multiple indications and pretty good inferences about the direction you think it’s going and how you think it’s going to turn out as an astrologer. Until it happens, you never know for sure. And that as practicing astrologers or even as astrology enthusiasts, instills in us a certain understanding that astrology is sort of provisional. I’m not sure if provisional is the right word, but that any statements or predictions or interpretations are interpretations of symbolism and there could be a range of different ways that that could manifest. And so that in and of itself, I think, instills or provides a certain amount of free will, even if everything was predetermined, because even if everything was predetermined, the astrologers inability to fully know precisely 100% exactly how the future will play out in every detail leaves a certain amount of wiggle room for different possible manifestations and therefore a reason for each individual to strive to have the most constructive manifestation of whatever transit or placement is in their birth chart that they can possibly have and not to just give up and allow the worst manifestation to take place. I mean, sometimes there are things that are completely outside of your control. And so when that does happen, certainly being able to develop a certain amount of acceptance of that is useful and can be healthy and important, but not giving in sort of fatalistically or giving into a sort of fatalism that’s unnecessary or that is self-defeating is a really important component in astrology and an important component of being a consulting astrologer and giving advice to people. So that’s part of where I would go with that when it comes to that, and that’s really tricky and there’s going to be a range of different ways to do that for each consulting astrologer. But that at least not doing anything harmful to the client and giving them some insight into the range of possible manifestations and encouragement to shoot for the more constructive ones to whatever extent they can is probably good advice.
CB: All right. One of the questions that came in on Twitter from Mel West said, “When practicing astrologers start reading charts, what are some of the things to test/look for to hone your skills and become a good astrologer? What do you think?
PW: Well, I think just identifying the ruler of the Ascendant is a really good place to start for being able to make some statements that correspond to their experience. I also think identifying the most difficult and most positive planet in the chart by sect and house placement is another really good way to kind of quickly get at some of the major benefits or issues that someone experiences in their life. And this comes from time and practice and reading and looking at a lot of example charts of people you know or of famous people and getting a sense of how these placements actually work in reality. I mean, sometimes my wife and I, sometimes we even play this game, where we’ll find a random chart on Astro-Databank and cover up any identifying information. And we’ll just try to make some statements based on those chart placements to try to see, completely blind, how do we do. And so then we’ll read a little bit about that person and the results have been really strange. Sometimes we read about things from the chart that are impossible to verify because it’s just too personal or whatnot, but sometimes they can be pretty impressive results. One time we were looking at a chart of someone who had this big Mars Saturn signature in their chart. And so I was sort of going on about, “Oh, this person must have some of the virtues of endurance and patience and stamina and being able to do sort of really hard things.” And then we looked at whose chart it was, and it belonged to this Olympian runner who was a long-distance runner who ran for hundreds of miles, something ridiculous like that. He’s long dead, but it was weird to know that some of those statements made perfect sense for someone who was capable of great feats of endurance. So you start through that process. You can kind of learn what kinds of statements you can make that actually are applicable or could make sense to describing a chart of someone you’ve never met. And so that kind of practice I think is really helpful.
CB: Yeah, for sure. That’s funny that you two as a couple that are astrologers, do that. That’s a cute bit of astrologer foreplay something.
PW: Date night!
CB: Yeah, yeah, it’s date night. Yeah, so I think those are good points in terms of just looking at a chart and what you look for and prioritizing, the ruler of the Ascendant, what house it’s in, identifying the most positive benefic and the most negative malefic based on sect, and then also even just identifying the sect light itself, is it a day chart? What sign is the Sun in? Is it a night chart? What sign is the Moon in? And that gives you a lot of information right from the start. And something I noticed, I did a consultation recently, where a person had a bunch of placements like a stellium in a certain house and it was the fifth house actually. I often want to have that tendency to want to not box the person in and sometimes almost being kind of skeptical of what my initial impulse of a statement is, but I sort of, not reluctantly, but carefully ask like, “Placements like this could indicate on the one hand the potential for children becoming an important topic in your life at some point, is that something you’re interested in or have any interest in or do you have sort of an aversion to that topic in wanting to keep it open-ended and understand the full range of possible manifestations, even though with all the placements, the astrology itself was like, ‘Children should be important,’ and they were largely positive placements?” And she was like, “Yeah, children is actually a really important thing. And having children is something I’ve always wanted to do and will be a major life goal for me at some point once it’s time.” And so one of the things that reminded me of that I hadn’t been reminded of is sometimes just trusting the astrology and saying sometimes what the astrology would indicate or say sometimes in the most literal manifestation possible of just constructing a very short sentence of like, “This placement could indicate this as a major possible manifestation in the life,” and sometimes the most literal interpretation can be the most correct one, even much to your surprise as an astrologer.
PW: Oh, totally. That happens quite a bit. And I don’t even know how much to lean into a given placement, because I just see that and I’m like, “Does that really mean this?” And they’re like, “Oh, actually, totally.” And I’m like, “Oh, okay. I wouldn’t have thought.”
CB: Because you’re talking to a complete stranger, and you have no idea in practical sense who this person is and where they’re coming from, you just have the chart itself, which is this map of their life. But that’s one of the weirdest things that maybe takes a while as a consulting astrologer, once you first start doing consultations, is to get comfortable with that and comfortable making a statement that you don’t otherwise in practical terms, since you’re talking to a stranger, have any reason to think is true, but oftentimes when you interpret it in a straightforward way will turn out to be true in some way in the person’s life.
PW: Well, yeah, and those things are just calculated risks sometimes. There was a person’s chart I was reading for where they had I believe Saturn entering into their ninth house, and it was interacting with some other planets that made me think there would be the possibility of them running into legal issues or legal problems. And so I mentioned that that would be one of the possibilities of that transit when Saturn entered into Aquarius in late 2020. And I felt really bad at the time because she said, “Well, that’s ridiculous. How dare you make these insinuations that I’ll come to legal problems or I’ll be dealing with a lawsuit. You have no reason to think that.” And I said, “I’m not saying this will happen, I’m just saying that this is what this transit could mean in combination with a few other factors in your chart.” And then this was back, I think, in early 2020. So then late 2020 comes and it’s around February of 2021, and she gets back to me and she says that she had just been served papers in a lawsuit that originated from a dispute that occurred in late 2020, which is when Saturn made the ingress into her ninth house. So I breathed a sigh of relief that, “Okay, I wasn’t totally off base.” But I had no reason to know or think that that was going to happen. And it was actually kind of maybe that wasn’t the right thing for me to have said. It didn’t stop it from happening, it didn’t do anything except I guess, I don’t know, it’s another notch on my belt of predictions that went okay.
CB: Yeah, which is good. Although, also can be a downside of something to be careful about as the astrologer of… This wasn’t an example where it was dicey, but there could be other situations where it could be dicey if the astrologer values being right over the client’s wellbeing and the mental health or something like that. If the astrologer’s desire to make a prediction that comes true, if they make that sort of trump everything else, sometimes that can be more focused on the astrologer’s ego rather than the client’s wellbeing in some ways.
PW: Well, my motivation in telling them was to prepare, I wasn’t entirely sure how it was going to come about. And apparently the conditions that led to the lawsuit kind of came up at the time of the ingress. So it wasn’t really anything that was even in motion at that time, and that’s obviously why she reacted the way she did. There wasn’t like there was anything that had already happened that might have maybe made her think that this was on the horizon. It seemed to focus on that particular time.
CB: And that brings up one of the major wake up calls for astrologers in 2020 was… Going into 2020, most of the astrologers were looking at some of those alignments like the Saturn-Pluto conjunction and that pile up in Capricorn and stuff, and not thinking that it looked like a super great year. And in our year ahead forecast, we said it was going to be a tough year and interpreted some of that stuff trying not to go too far, because so much of the dialogue in modern 20th-century astrology in the ’60s and ’70s and ’80s and ’90s, so much of the community discussion once things shifted towards talking about counseling, doing no harm, not freaking clients out with overly negative interpretations or fatalistic delineations and stuff, so much of the dialogue was about astrologers holding back, and even to some extent it was going to an extreme of saying not saying negative things. And there are some astrologers that believe you should never say anything negative or challenging either about a person’s chart or about predictions about their future, what have you. And I remember distinctly one person that wrote me after listening to the year ahead forecast that we put out in December of 2019 about 2020, and they were just super angry about some of the negative or more pessimistic things that we said about what 2020 was going to be like in a macro sense for the collective. And they were just like, “You shouldn’t make statements like this and there’s nothing in astrology that’s always negative or an astrologer shouldn’t make negative predictions like that.” And then she wrote me a few months later once the pandemic hit in March of 2020, and she was like, “Okay, you were right. You had a point there.” And that was an interesting reassessment that astrologers had in general, which is on the one hand you don’t want to be overly pessimistic and freak people out, especially unnecessarily, but then the other side of that could be if you don’t call certain things or if you don’t state things as you see them and if you sugarcoat things too much, you could end up on the other side of that, which is people saying, “Why didn’t you tell me about this? Or you didn’t call this or what have you.” And so that can be the other flip side of that coin. So it’s been interesting seeing astrologers then reacting to that and trying to figure out the right middle ground between negative and positive predictions and the tendency towards extremes.
PW: Right. Yeah, I think that answers that question.
CB: Okay, cool. I’m not sure if there are any other major, major ones. We did get a ton of questions, but a lot of it was more technical stuff that would be entire episodes on its own. So I don’t know that we need to necessarily try to tackle any of these at this point.
CB: Okay, cool. Well, I think that might be it then for this random discussion episode and some Q and A questions and some random discussion topics from Twitter.
PW: Thank you. It’s been fun.
CB: Yeah, thanks for joining me for this. All right, so I guess that’s it for this episode of The Astrology Podcast. Where can people find out more information about you and your work?
PW: At patrickwatsonastrology.com. That’s where I have my articles. That’s where I have general consultation services available and rectifications, elections, horary, you name it. If it’s something in astrology, I probably do it. So that’s where you can find me, at patrickwatsonastrology.com.
CB: Cool. And we’ll be putting together the rectification course this week and hopefully launching it before too long. And that’ll be available at courses.theastrologyschool.com. Cool. All right, well, thanks everyone for watching or listening to this episode of The Astrology Podcast, and we’ll see you again next time.
Special thanks to all the patrons that supported the production of this episode of the podcast through our page on patreon.com. In particular, thanks to the patrons on our producer’s tier, including Thomas Miller, Catherine Conroy, Kristi Moe, Ariana Amour, Mandi Rae, Angelic Nambo, Sumo Coppock, Issa Sabah, Jake Otero, Morgan MacKenzie and Kristin Otero.
If you like the work that I’m doing here on the podcast and you would like to find a way to support it then please consider becoming a patron through my page on patreon.com and in exchange you’ll get access to bonus content such as early access to new episodes, the ability to attend the live recording of the month ahead forecast each month, access to a private monthly auspicious elections report that we put out each month, access to exclusive episodes that are only available for patrons, or you can also get your name listed in the credits at the end of each episode. For more information, go to patreon.com/astrologypodcast. The main software we use here on the podcast to look at astrological charts is called Solar Fire for Windows which is available at alabe.com, and you can use the promo code AP15 to get a 15% discount. For Mac users, we use a similar set of software by the same programming team called Astro Gold for Mac OS which is available from astrogold.io, and you can use the promo code ASTROPODCAST15 to get a 15% discount on that as well.
If you’d like to learn more about the approach to astrology that I outline on the podcast, then you should check out my book titled Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune, where I traced the origins of Western astrology and reconstructed the original system that was developed about 2000 years ago. In this book, I outline basic concepts but also take you into intermediate and advanced techniques for reading a birth chart, including some timing techniques. You can find more about the book at hellenisticastrology.com/book. The book pairs very well with my online course on ancient astrology called the Hellenistic Astrology Course, which has over 100 hours of video lectures where I go into detail about teaching you how to read a birth chart, and showing hundreds of example charts in order to really demonstrate how the techniques work in practice. Find out more information about that at theastrologyschool.com.
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