I am Mars in Virgo: Narrative 3

astrology, just for fun, learning astrology, mars, natal astrology, natal chart, special issues in astrology


This is the third installment of astrological narratives to illustrate certain astrological aspects.

I hate being reminded of my roots.

Why do I hate this? It is not embarrassment. It is pity, mixed with anger: there is nothing wrong or bad about understanding how the physical world works or mundane things, and there is nothing wrong or bad about being a man or woman who works with objects and uses his or her hands to make the structures we take for granted.

I had jury duty today in my trial practice class, and I was actually looking forward to it, because it was a breach of contract case concerning construction. Finally! Something related to my interests! I have taken architectural drafting and design. I was at the top of my class. My grandfather was a carpenter and my father is a facilities engineer. This is in my blood. I love making things. I like drafting. I know what they’re talking about when they’re talking about building structures. This is math and engineering. I get this!

But not once during the trial did either side actually show us the blueprints. I drew them for myself, based on what went on at trial, and I knew, based on what was said, that the plaintiff did not present sound and complete plans to the defendant.

And by the time we went into jury deliberations, no one cared about the actual facts. We finally got a copy of the actual blueprints, and they were amateur. The fact was that the contractor who drew up the blue prints had no idea how to draft correctly so his blueprints should not have been taken seriously. First: the walls in his blueprint had absolutely no support structure, even though by the time he met with the defendant, his frame was up.. Loadbearing or not, you simply cannot put up a wall that is nothing more that two layers of gypsum plasterboard sandwiches 6 inches of insulation. The wall will not stand, and your ceilings will collapse.  Duh.

Granted, class was running late and everyone wanted to leave and drink their sorrows away, but I didn’t think that was fair. After all, I had to sit through the same three hours of trial that they did and I felt it was only fair that I also get a say, although I am obviously the only one who has any background on the actual facts.

And two hours later, I am still annoyed at this. I can have an annoyance flare up at the drop of a hat.

The thing is, I am very good at putting little pieces together to create a whole. I understand objects, processes, and methods. I also believe that the physical world is still important even if I am in law school.

I have been shown, repeatedly, that people with spatial skills are a rare breed in law school. The good news is that, in reality, jury pools include people with spatial skills, and I know their language better than the average lawyer.

I took the ASVAB when I was 19 and thought I wanted to go into the military. I scored a 97 out of 99; I had a perfect score on the spatial tests. They wanted to put me in engineering. It was the first time I ever thought of something like that. Sure: I came from that background, but I also was into writing and art at the time. Of course, there was no MOS for artists per se in the Marines. It would be another ten years before I would consider engineering to be of interest to me.

I am McGuyver in my own life. I fix things all the time. Even though I have lived in apartments most of my adult life, I fix my own stuff. First, there is no telling who the hell they will send to your house. Second, you will be overcharged. Third, I can do it quickly myself. Fourth, I like the challenge of fixing my own HVAC system. Of course, I am still getting used to the idea that not everyone handles physical reality the same way I do.

My boyfriend likes to wax the floor. Unfortunately, he doesn’t clean the floor well enough before he waxes it, so before we move, I have to figure out how to sand down all the wax and lift all the stains now sealed into the floor.

He hates it when I diagnose myself and treat my own illnesses. I am probably the only non-Indian person who thinks that the best treatment for a sinus infection is curry. I am probably the only person outside of Korea who is certain that kimchi cures an acne flare-up.

I made my own kimchi when I was in Korea and I made it in the dead of winter. The ondol flooring was perfect for this: soak your cabbage in salt water, leave it on the floor, and let the floor warm it up. Then, make the kimchi and put it in your laundry room where the temperature is always about 50 degrees. I also used to make my own yogurt. The easiest thing to do is to cook the yogurt, wrap the pot in all your blankets, coats, and sweaters, and put it in the washing machine and leave it there to incubation. Perfection each time.

The ends justify the means. How is this weird?

There is nothing I cannot make or fix if I can find the tools or time, and even if I had a lot of money, I would still do this because there is nothing that makes me feel more focused and worthwhile than working with my hands.

Unfortunately, I don’t get to do this much anymore. I used to cook all my food, bake my own bread, even make my own cosmetics. I used to mend all my clothes. Now, I’m lucky if I get a chance to make anything by scratch. I haven’t touched a pottery wheel in four years, and how I miss it!

Which reminds me that I have to make pizza dough tonight, because there is not a single restaurant in Chicago that knows how to make a proper pizza, let alone a proper New York pizza, so once again: I have to do this myself.





21 Worst Case Scenarios in Your Partner’s Astrological Chart

astrology, astrology lesson, chart synthesis, just for fun, learning astrology, natal astrology, natal chart, neptune, neptune aspects, saturn, special issues in astrology, synastry, Venus, zodiac

Some people are like that.

Sometimes I would get a call in the early morning from friends of mine who have gone out, met a guy, and wanted to know right away if he’s a good catch. Usually, I think that anyone you meet at a bar at 2 a.m. is NOT a good catch, so I was already thinking no… before yawning and asking why. But I get it, and when you have an astrologer friend, and you are seriously looking for that special someone, you want to use whatever you have to cut to the chase and find out if you should give him your number or go home and sleep the cocktails off.

However, this is not really a good way to determine if you are compatible with someone you just met. The best way to do that is simply talk to them.

There is no one awesome chart. Now, I do have some charts of men whom I would never, ever recommend to any woman I know based on their chart alone, but that is a rare thing. Every chart is a culmination of things. They are holistic and interpersonal compatibility and maturity always shows how a certain aspect in one chart will manifest in a relationship.

Now, let me preface this by saying that just because one or two of these appear in the chart doesn’t mean that you should break up with your partner. You may have one or two in your chart. I have a couple of these myself. We all have our hang-ups and issues, and we learn to work on them through our relationships. This is not an exhaustive list, and some of these are worse than others.

But still, here are a list of aspects and planetary placements and the worst manifestations that could mean someone is not a good catch. I have rarely seen these aspects actually manifest into the worst possible scenarios, but just for fun, here they are:


The worst case scenarios:

Mars conjunct, opposite, or square the Sun. Everything is a competition, and to them, everyone is a competitor, even their spouses and children. It is their way or the highway, and they are impatient. It takes a long time for them to cultivate patience. They are aggressive and sometimes seethe with it like a guard dog.  This is especially true if Mars and the Sun are in the cardinal signs or Scorpio. They have a tendency to perceive an attack where there is none, and can be especially protective of their partner when there is no need for it. Better warn Grandpa not to hug you in front of this one. Actually, they would make a much better guard dog than a romantic partner. There is a reason why everyone tells you to put that one on a leash.

Mars conjunct, opposite, or square Moon. Temper, temper! They will wish you away into the cornfield.  These people have difficulty controlling their emotions and taking responsibility for them. They may be emotionally immature and have problems with women, and they especially have problems with strong and confident women. They have difficulty nurturing others and lose their patience with children and those who depend on them. This is the kind of person who flushes their goldfish down the toilet because they hate cleaning the tank and the goldfish is grateful for it.

Venus and Poverty

astrology, astrology lesson, counseling, learning astrology, natal astrology, natal chart, special issues in astrology


Venus, the goddess of love, pleasure, and comfort, when afflicted, rules deprivation, poverty, and discomfort. Jupiter handles luck, windfalls, and things that come easy, but Venus is the planet that rules how one attains money and what creature comforts one needs in life. She is the natural ruler of the 2nd house of possessions and the 7th house of partnerships, which are both related to having money. The 2nd house may be obviously connected, but the 7th house shows us that there are riches in relationships. Yet, depending on what is going on with either house, how rich a person will be does actually depend on how they relate to money and whom they choose to partner with.

People who grow up poor are so diverse, and all too often come from places in which many people are poor, that there is no single astrological indicator of poverty. It is entirely possible that a person grows up poor but has either little knowledge or belief that they are poor, or for some other reason, it has been less of a struggle for them. Poverty is relative to the culture and country in which a person lives: a poor person in America can have more than a poor person in Mexico. However, both people have to navigate different cultures and different governments in order to get what they need. It is also possible that a child lives in poverty for any number of reasons, and those reasons can show up in the chart. However, if you take a look at the various charts of siblings who all grew up in the same home in poverty at the same time, there is a diversity in how they relate to or understand their poverty. Some of those kids are more able to overcome the poverty than others. They may find someone outside of the family who takes an interest in them and helps them, or they can get work, or they can do well in school and go on to college. This can be indicated by the condition of the 10th house. More on that later.

Venus can show how a poor person relates to, accepts or denies poverty, and how hard it will be for them to stop being poor, if they get the chance.

A person who has afflictions to the 2nd or 8th houses may grow up poor. This is true if Chiron is present in either house, or the rulers are afflicted, or if there are malefics in these houses. It is also a good idea to check the conditions of the Sun and the Moon, which represent the parents, since children do not and cannot create their own poverty. If either of these are afflicted, or if there are planets in the 4th or 10th houses that indicate a problem with the parents — like Saturn (absent or stingy), Neptune (mental illness, alcoholism, inability to focus and find motivation), Uranus (radical changes in the parents), Mars (making rash but not sound decisions) — then the result may be poverty, if there are afflictions to Venus.

Venus with hard aspects to Saturn indicates some sort of deprivation as a condition of the life born into. This exists either before the child is born, or shortly after. Saturn deprives of Venus things, which include creature comforts and riches. Venus with hard aspects to Uranus can show sudden changes in material fortune, though more usually through partners. A person with hard aspects to Venus from the Sun or Moon may have felt abandoned by the parent representing the planet, which can also be material abandonment. Venus with hard aspects to Mars shows a rashness and foolishness when it comes to money. Spend it before it disappears.

The partner, represented by the 7th house and Venus, can also show how likely one is to be poor after childhood. If a person choose a partner who is likely to keep them or make them poor, through bad choices, refusal to work or be supportive, or through abandonment. For example, person with Saturn in the 7th house may have a stingy partner who abandons them. A person with Uranus in the 7th house may have a partner who up and leaves and comes back through the relationship, or makes sudden decisions in his or her own interest without regard to the partner. Likewise, the native can become this partner, too.

Interestingly, I have found that people with Venus in the 12th house can end up with partners who either make them poor or keep them from rising out of poverty. This person either racks up a lot of credit card debt, or is otherwise unable to or unwilling to support social mobility. I have a chart of a young woman who had Venus, Mars, and Neptune in the 12th house. Her first husband, whom she married while still a teenager, was an illiterate former meth addict who turned hardline born-again Christian and insisted that she didn‘t work and homeschool their child. Of course, not being able to read well, there was little work he could do, and the person who could earn more money had a vagina, so she couldn‘t work. This girl was not from a place in the world where being illiterate or a meth addict was okay; so, why marry him?

Well, the preacher who married them figured it would keep them from having pre-marital sex, so that was a reason. But, one of the interesting things about people with Venus in the 12th house is that there is a tendency to think that a love that is persecuted is the truest, in that if other people are against it, they must strive all the more to keep it. While this can be true for many relationships people find socially inappropriate for whatever reason, there are times in which a relationship that is impractical and possibly destructive (hello, 12th house!) ought not to be set in stone. This is especially so for people with Venus/Neptune conjunctions, as they can confuse love with the wish for love or compassion with love. In the end, it is very hard to stay in love with a person who holds you back, drags you down, or makes life harder and not easier. A person with Venus in say, the 10th house, wouldn‘t dream of dating, much less marrying a meth addict who can‘t read. This is not something they could overlook, but the 12th house Venus is amazing at turning a blind eye to what others find to be glaring.

Last I heard, she left the first husband, was dating a man who was doing well, but the husband wasn‘t allowing the divorce, so she is waiting it out, which means that 12th house Venus is still getting what she wants, which is love against the odds.

Motorboating? No Thanks: Sex and the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Houses

5th house, astrology, natal astrology, natal chart, special issues in astrology, zodiac

Im not so presumptuous that I think I can write a single blog post encompassing everything about sex and astrology, but I can begin to address it. We tend to to think of sex as mostly belonging to the 5th house of fun and pleasure and the 8th house of life, sex, death, and regeneration, and also the 7th house, the house of partnerships.

However, sex, like all things vital to the human experience, is encompassed in every house. We use our looks (1st house) to attract partners. We use our personal assets (2nd house) to get them to pay attention to us. We use our speech (3rd house) to make a connection. We want them to be comfortable with us on a basic level (4th house), and we want to have fun (5th house). We want to use our bodies (6th house) to have a partnership (7th house) that makes an intimate connection (8th house) that transcends and creates experiences (9th house). We want our sexual connections to reflect who we are in the world (10th house) and social values and connections (11th house) and ultimately, help us deal with the parts of us we keep hidden (12th house). There is no one sex house, though there is one house that does have a primary focus on it.

A couple months ago, we were in torts and we were discussing at what ages youths can be held to assume adult responsibility, and for what activities. One of them was motorboating. At first, I didnt realize why everyone else was giggling, and then…oh yeah. Hee hee. Well, the instructor asked one young man at what age motorboating would be appropriate, and he turned beet red. It was then that I started laughing, as he stuttered his way through the answer. Later, in the elevator, some of my young classmates were incredulous that our instructor didnt know what motorboating meant in youthful parlance. I know what it means. However, I didnt see it as unusual that our instructor didnt know, seeing as how no one actually wants to be motorboated, and most people dont know of fleeting sexual jokes that serve no purpose in the bedroom.

One of the things I have learned is that the less euphemisms people know for sexual behavior, the more sex they actually have. Theres just no need to continue to make taboo what is now quite natural to you.

Here’s Why You’re Trying Way too Hard: Singleton Planets in the Birth Chart

astrology, chart synthesis, natal chart, single planets, special issues in astrology

Today and tomorrow, I have to power through all of my assignments because we are celebrating my boyfriends birthday on Sunday, and I have to not have to hand in outlines or writing assignments that day. But I have been wanting to make a proper post for a while. Law school is probably going well; I cant tell hubris from performance quite yet, and I have learned that I have a ten-minute window to gtfo out of class on Thursday and on a train before they get so crowded I have to wait them out. Now, I shake with excitement on Thursdays because I can head home and do the rest of my work in my pajamas and not have to set an alarm for the next day and I can listen to Robbie Robertson on my iPod classic and pretend that Im not a grown up yet.

Im a man with a clear destination. Im a man with a broad imagination.

One of the best things about being in school is that I know that the work doesnt carry the same gravity as paid work; that I am learning and that I have a lot of time to learn. I am happy though that I am going as an adult now, and I am learning that maturity is a relative thing. I have a classmate who just turned 27 and is lamenting her old age already. I have recently come back to gratitude in having long telomeres and a general refusal to get older.

*There is a secret to not growing old, or at least, aging very slowly. Perhaps I will share this at some point, but I will give you a hint: there is a definite mind-body connection there.*

But when hyper focused on something that one feels they have to compensate for all the time, there is usually an astrological indicator. One of those is having a single planet in an element.

This is Why You Have No Friends

5th house, astrology, natal chart

Look to the signs on the 5th house, the 7th house, and the 11th house, in that order, to figure out how you make friends. Then, look at the rulers of those houses and see what is going on with them. Usually, by the time one is an adult, they are already aware of how easily they make friends, what kinds of friends they attract and/or prefer, and under what conditions they make friends. However, some people just aren’t geared toward having a busy social life and may benefit from a deeper understanding (especially if the rulers of any of those houses is intercepted or in the 12th house).

Like many things astrological, where a person is insecure is complex. One of the first places to look at is the sun. If you consider Dane Rhudyar’s mystical work, and that the sun is bright but also casts a shadow on the other side, where you are insecure is a combination of the sign and house of the sun and also the sign and house opposite the sun.