I am Mars in Virgo: Narrative 3

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

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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.

 

 

 

 

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Trying Something New: Astrology Through Narrative

astrology, astrology lesson, just for fun, special issues in astrology

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In a way, inspired by Fernanda, I’m going to try something new: I am going to teach astrology through memoir. First, my second year of law school is turning out to be a motherfucker of a year, and like most motherfuckers, it is an infuriating and exhilarating mix of stress, excitement, joy, and feeling inadequate. I am on a journal. I am taking a full course load. I am a law clerk for a nice, small law firm that covers everything and is run by partners who are not in law for the money. I have some side gigs, too. I have some nice personal developments. I am, however, short on time and discipline to indulge my creativity or do any writing, much less comedy, which I miss terribly. I am short on funds as a student, and from growing up poor, I knew that I could make up for that by giving up time, but I don’t have that either. I will not be baking my own bread or making my own soap any time soon.

Second, astrology is experienced by people, and it reflects experience. Of course, not everything that happens in one’s life is a pure expression of any astrological aspect or circumstance, but sometimes, some stories just seem to crystallize what I want to say, and could better convey the lesson than what I would normally write.

So I am going to try to illustrate astrology through memoir, and when I get comfortable, through fiction. While it can be difficult to write about a person in just one dimension, I think it is possible to create a story to illustrate one facet of their overall make up.

 

 

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
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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

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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

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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.

Born in the Wrong Place, the Wrong Time, the Wrong Planet

aspects, astrology, astrology lesson, special issues in astrology

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Those of us with natal oppositions, or two planets 180 degrees from each other, are people at odds with ourselves and our environment. If we consider that the early environment, our first relationships, and our personal origins are in the birth chart, oppositions can manifest not just as internal, but external struggles.

Just to clarify a few things:

Squares are not just oppositions that don’t suck as much. On those note, sextiles aren’t just trines that aren’t as much fun. All aspects have their own manifestations, characteristics, and possible expressions. Even though squares and oppositions tend to be challenging, they are not the same.

Consider this: two people don’t like or understand each other. In reality, they are very alike, and this is what they hate about each other. Unfortunately, they are locked in a room together, and they are tethered together with a rope around their waists. However, theyre trying to walk away from each other. They get as far as they can until the rope is pulled tight. In order to keep away from each other, all they can do now is walk in a circle around the room. They are always on opposite ends of the room. They are experiencing the opposite ends of the room. They see out of different windows. They bump into different types of furniture.

They, stop turn around, and face each other. Each person knows that the other person is experiencing a different part of the room, but they can only see what the other person is doing. One person sees that the other is by the window. They can see the window and the other person by the window. However, because they are watching the other person, they bump into a footstool.  The person by the window can see the person bumping into a footstool. What they cannot see themselves is that the sun is shining through the window behind them.

This is important. The planets FACE each other. They are looking at each other head on. They have an insight into the other planet. They know what the other planet wants to do and where they want to go. They just won’t let them. They can tell them, but they arent experiencing it, just looking at it from a distance.

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.

Yes, you are going crazy, but see where things go: The Saturn Square Neptune Transit

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Last night, we had a section dinner in which we sat at tables with some of our classmates, a person from the law school, and an alumni. Our school chaplain sat with us, and I thought Thank the GOD I dont believe in.‘ If I have to deal with any more lawyer stuff, my head will explode. I want to be reminded that there is actually a world out there that we hope to serve after all of this mind-twisting. Being my brash, irreverent self, and having grown up around clergy to assume they’re human, and being a non-traditional student in which I was once on the same level as most of my superiors are now, I’m not adjusting to being a student well. 

I thought this was a perfect time then to discuss an upcoming transit that will affect me and many of you.

Neptune is squaring Saturn right now, and will really hit the fan in a couple of months, and mind-twisting sort of sums it up. I feel bad for those going through their Saturn returns now. When Saturn and Neptune square, there is a conflict between what is concrete, what grows slowly in the real world, and must be accounted for, and the world of dreams, of the spirit, of images and thoughts. On one hand, it is dreaming real, so long as one uses the Saturnian energy to stick it out, hold onto the dream, and do the work to make it real. On the other hand, it can dissolve our desire and sense of duty and cause us to lose heart when we think were slipping. This is like being late for work and having to walk on ice. You either have to risk being late by walking carefully, or you have to run the risk of falling on your face by keeping the pace. You still run the risk of slipping and falling even if you walk carefully. Will you sit on the sidewalk if you slip and fall and cry for the rest of the day over your back luck, or will you get up and keep going?

Happy Birthday: The Solar Return Tells You What to Expect

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Solar returns are forecasts for the upcoming year. They can be read largely like a natal return chart, but are transient and focused more on events that may shape you rather than who you are in essence. Make sense? I hope so.

Because the solar return chart is a chart of transits, there is a good chance that what you are experiencing now will carry over into the next year. I have had transiting Neptune opposing my natal Mars/North Node and recently, opposing Jupiter. This is going to remain for a few years, and will certainly show up in some manner in my solar return chart.

To cast a solar return chart, you can either use your astrology software to create a chart automatically, or you can use an ephemeris to determine when the sun will be at the exact degree and minute that it was when you were born. This creates an entirely new chart. For the sake of not having to painstakingly create a chart whole cloth, by hand (which does have its merits), make one on the computer.

Why Astrologers Suck at Vocational Astrology

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It will be a common occurrence for any astrologer who puts up a shingle to be asked what someone should do for a living, what they should major in college, what they are meant to do in this world. Money, sex/love, and health are the main three things anyone asks about; all inquiries generally fall within one of the three. Even things about karma, destiny, or soul purpose generally fall within these three categories. So, it is no wonder that we are often asked what sort of career a person should have.

There are many ways to go about figuring this out. Noel Tyl has a dispositor method, as written in his book, Vocations. Like a lot of his methods, things tend to fit into neat packages. You look to the midheaven and then follow the ruler of the midheaven around the natal chart until you arrive at an impasse, which is either final rulership when a planet is in its natural sign, or when planets go around and around in a circle. For example, someone with a Gemini midheaven has Mercury ruling the midheaven and the 10th house. Mercury is in 6th house Aquarius, and Uranus is in Sagittarius in the 4th house. Jupiter is in Libra in the 2nd house, and Venus is Libra too, so Venus is the final dispositor. This person needs to communicate (Gemini) about health (Aquarius) in a shocking, new way so as to explore (Sagittarius) relationships and harmony (Libra). This person is a journalist of sex and couples therapy? Now, we look at the moon and the sun: The moon is in Cancer and the sun is in Leo. This person needs to be number one mother or father. This person probably has a paternal or maternal persona and are recognized by name. Good lord: is this Dr. Ruth?! I dont know who that person is though. I just made this person up.

This, I think, illustrates an inherent weakness in using formulas to determine vocation. It could be very possible this person has no interest at all in those things, since careers and signs are multi-faceted things. For charts with no final dispositor, like mine, you have to go a little further. Also, people who have mutable signs on the angles tend to have more than one career, in which the careers can differ dramatically: I dont mean going from selling commercial real estate to selling houses. I mean two or more totally different careers, like being a stock broker then becoming a high school teacher.