but seriously folks…

Astrology is an ancient and intriguing discipline. I take it very seriously.  One can learn about oneself, the cycles of one’s life, current events, history, cosmology, relationships. We can get all worked up over eclipses, transits and things that go bump in the night.

As an astrologer–it is my job to empower you as you explore possibilities, what to do at certain times or how to look forward and make responsible plans or look back at your life and make meaning out of the past. I think it is the astrologer’s job to offer assistance as you wander through life’s peaks and valleys.  It is also my job (as I see it) to do my homework, work with integrity, study my craft, all the while weaving together the disciplines and research that allow us to experience aliveness, empowerment and an understanding of what it means to be human.

So–this week (upon returning from NORWAC–the Northwest Astrology Conference held in Seattle every year)—I am charged with the rather daunting task of sharing the wisdom I gained while studying my craft –


Question: What is the proper way to begin a conference and serious course of study?

Answer:  by laughing your head off… 

On Friday, Rick Tarnas conducted a seminar titled—The Comic Genius: An Archetypal Perspective

Tarnas on numbers of occasions joins John Cleese for what must be wonderful ways to spend a life!  Tarnas and Cleese at California Institute of Integral Studies

We spent the day watching various clips from Cleese’s Monty Python series and other comedians and entertainers.  We looked at their charts–and frankly in this day and age of rather serious events and transits that indicate a momentous time in our history—-laughing and remembering the healing power of laughter was a gift from the Celestial Comedy Gods.

Tarnas pointed out Mercury and Mars contacts in Cleese’s chart speaking to the notion that the mind takes in information (I’m not quoting him exactly – just from my memory and notes) and then one must defend the ideas. Cleese thrives on the thrust and counter thrust—Tarnas noted that he generally begins his pieces with an argument—a contest.

 Argument Clinic


Cleese also has a T-Square to Uranus and Tarnas points out thatbest humorists—have a high Uranian component”—the trickster (Mercury ) saying that which is taboo (Uranus). Think about some of your Aquarian friends—they are often the ones who at some point in the meeting–point at the elephant in the room with an innocent expression—stopping us in our tracks, so to speak. Tricksters indeed.  

And talk about talking about that which is taboo!  

John Cleese delivered a memorable memorial speech for Graham Chapman at a memorial service held two months later in the Great Hall at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. Cleese delivered a humorous eulogy for his friend Chapman and took advantage of “this glorious opportunity to shock you all on his behalf,” which he then went on to do.

Part of the speech is included below:

Video of Eulogy for Graham

Graham Chapman, co-author of the ‘Parrot Sketch,’ is no more.

He has ceased to be, bereft of life, he rests in peace, he has kicked the bucket, hopped the twig, bit the dust, snuffed it, breathed his last, and gone to meet the Great Head of Light Entertainment in the sky.

And I guess that we’re all thinking how sad it is that a man of such talent, of such capability for kindness, for such unusual intelligence, a man who could overcome his alcoholism with such truly admirable single-mindedness, should now so suddenly be spirited away at the age of only forty-eight before he’d achieved many of the things in which he was capable, and before he’d had enough fun.

Well, I feel that I should say, ‘Nonsense! Good riddance to him, the freeloading bastard. I hope he fries.’ And the reason I feel I should say this is he would never forgive me if I didn’t. If I threw away this glorious opportunity to shock you all on his behalf. It’s not a funeral, I grant you, but a memorial service is still pretty good.

It is magnificent, isn’t it? You see, the thing about shock . . . is not that it upsets some people, I think; I think that it gives others a momentary joy of liberation, as we realized in that instant that the social rules that constrict our lives so terribly are not actually very important.

Well, Gray can’t do that for us anymore. He’s gone. He is an ex-Chapman. All we have of him now is our memories. But it will be some time before they fade.
Cheer up—you know what they say:

Always look on the bright side of life…

Tarnas pointed out that great comics have strong Sun / Saturn components in their charts. That is to say that the Sun and Saturn are in some aspect to each other or prominent by house or sign—they are, if you will, in ‘conversation’ and depending on the nature of the relationship it becomes apparent how the comedic archetype takes hold in their manner of delivery.

One example a classic Sun/Saturn comedian is Woody Allen  who also has Jupiter in the mix such that even the expanding universe is cause for worry.

Woody Allen’s chart

 He said among many things:  I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying. 

Colbert at Rally to restore sanity and/or fear 2010

Steven Colbert was born with the Saturn opposing Pluto conjoining Uranus era in 1964. This funny progressive liberal (Uranus) is a trickster cloaked as a conservative Fox News Commentator. He pretends to be the opposite of what he really thinks and says of himself. It is the only way he can stay sane—to laugh. He says if he didn’t – he’d cry. Did you see him at the Correspondent’s Dinner in 2006? Actually the clip watching Bush’s face is equally as interesting as the court jester speaks and shocks and gets away with it as only the court jester can do.  (you can click on the chart for an enlarged image)

Only the best comics (Court Jesters) can pull it off. Tarnas played the clip of Colbert interviewing the head of Ploughshares (an anti-nuclear organization) — the interview itself is a poignant example of the current SaturnUranus-Pluto catastrophe. Colbert begins the interview and with a serious face asks if the head of Ploughshares will “at least admit that a nuclear explosion is awesome”


And I cannot forget my favorite Ernestine aka Lily Tomlin. Able to transform into character after character—the characters are real and have a structured presence as well as that Uranian shock effect. Tomlin was born under the 1939 Saturn Pluto square, has Mercury squaring Uranus and her Virgo Sun opposing Saturn. She can make us laugh at ourselves as she becomes aspects that we often want to hide, but never fail to recognize.

Here she is as Tommy Velour w/ Michael Jackson & Elizabeth Taylor 2009  

And on the Johnny Carson show–she talks about all her characters–Johnny Carson was my dad’s favorite comic.  I’ll bet my dad has some similar planets in his chart–he was one funny guy. (gotta go look)

Spent time today going off on my own for a while, looking at charts of people/friends I think are funny. I am seeing how Mercury and Uranus and Saturnine flavors are present in their charts.  I see how those archetypes come alive when laughter just erupts around the dinner table.

Just think about when you are watching Jon Stewart (I don’t have his chart) or laughing with your friends as you or one of them says something that just has you almost on the floor. It is generally unexpected, taking you over and  — then it begins to take hold and even if you wanted it to end…you just can’t stop——Laughing.

Laughter loosens up the body, the heart and the mind and I’ll bet we can find all kinds of medical reasons for it being a healthy thing to do – and do a lot. One of the people I laugh with on a regular basis is my sister, Peggy. We just think about each other and the jokes start coming. Sister jokes. My favorite kind! Best friend uncontrollable laughter often accompanied with trips down memory lane (Saturn) when something erupted and took over and we had to pull over to the side of the road if driving. Those times make life worth living, the comedic archetype and the astrological signatures worth looking at. A hell of a homework assignment for this student!

In honor of my Gemini sister and Gemini friends with whom I have shared a world of laughter here is a clip from Victor Borge. He was our grandmother Peggy’s favorite comedian—and since my funny sis, Peggy, has a birthday this month, I chose Borge to honor her and our Nanny Peggy. Borge was a Capricorn, a classical musician with his Sun conjoining Uranus, Mercury opposing Neptune.  


Borge famously said: “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people”.

Here’s laughin’ with you kids…


Birthday Song performed 2007         Victor Borge

The Mass and the Center – The 2011 Pisces/Aries Stellium and Uranus in Aries

by Carol Ferris

For thousands of years, we humans thought the Earth was the center of the universe — until we discovered we weren’t the center, and made the Sun our center, with our visible planets orbiting circularly around the Sun in a more or less flat plane.

Then we located the “outer planets”. Then we discovered that, in fact, we were one of a number of centers and satellites, or galaxies.

It took us a long time to discover all this, first by eye, then by telescope, but always by conjecture and theory.

As our understanding of the nature of our system took shape, our social structures evolved parallel to that understanding: centers with satellites translated into chiefs and subjects, popes and congregations, presidents and employees.

As our view expanded telescopically, we quested for the ultimate center, and we arrived at — emptiness, and the systems moving equidistantly from each other.

Pine Mountain Observatory Oregon
Robert Jastrow, space scientist and author of Until the Sun Dies notes:

“. . . if you were sitting on a planet in one of the other galaxies in the Universe, you would observe the galaxies around you receding in exactly the same way that an observer in our galaxy sees our neighbors moving away. Your galaxy would seem to be at the center of the expansion, and so would every other galaxy; but, in fact, there is no center.”

“To understand this statement more clearly, imagine a very large, unbaked loaf of raisin bread. Each raisin is a galaxy.

Now place the unbaked loaf in the oven; as the dough rises, the interior of the loaf expands uniformly, and all the raisins move apart from one another.

The loaf of bread is like our expanding Universe. Every raisin sees its neighbors receding from it; every raisin seems to be at the center of the expansion; but there is no center” (Jastrow 8-9).

Additionally, we have learned something else about the nature of centers and satellites.

When we think of the center of something, we often think of the dead center of it — e.g., that the center of the solar system is the center of the Sun.

“The mass of the planets is about 1/750th the mass of the Sun and the center of mass of the solar system can move from close to the center of the Sun to up to one solar radius outside the surface of the Sun! Where the solar system barycenter is at any given moment is determine by the configuration of planets as they revolve around the Sun” (Michelsen in Tables of Planetary Phenomena 16).

Motion of Barycenter of the solar system relative to the Sun


This represents a paradigm shift in both scientific and social thinking — from universe as dependent functions of an ultimate center, to the universe as relational; from the atom to un-seeable space, everything is a center in relation to everything else, or omnicentricity. The internet is a concrete manifestation of the omnicentric principle — each a center connected to all centers, potentially, by volition and capability.

But our social systems have been slow to reflect our new understanding of the cosmos, and governance at all levels — nation, state and local — and social and family life continue to insist on a center around which everything satellites and from which the satellites derive their power.

In astrological symbolism, the planet Uranus represents the desire for freedom as an outcome of enlightenment: as such, it is associated archetypally with such mythic figures as Prometheus, the Greek titan who brought fire to humanity. Historically, Uranian cycles can be shown to indicate periods of human revolution, when the collective desire for freedom outweighs historically confining governance structures. Astrologer Lynn Bell, in her address to the astrological conference in Seattle in 2010, traced radical events when Uranus has previously entered and transited in the hot, fiery sign of Aries:

  • 1258: the fall of Baghdad to Genghis Khan
  • 1675: tax revolts in France against Louis XVI, Indian Wars in the colonies
  • 1765: stamp tax revolt in the US
  • 1848: revolutions across Europe
  • 1927: Wall Street, mobsters, flappers, Gandhi and the Indian resistance

At the time of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami localized in Japan, 7 of our system’s 10 planets

were concentrated within 60 degrees of longitude of each other, with Uranus in Aries in the heart of the mass.

We are seeing in our time graphic expressions of our evolving consciousness about the relation of the mass to the center, and the power of the mass to move the center, with far reaching consequences for systems of governance and relationship.

Over 1 Million in Tahrir Square demanding the removal of the regime and for Mubarak to step down February 9, 2011 6 46 PM

In our own lives, expressed in the symbolism of the horoscope.

Looking for the house and planets in which these Pisces/Aries transits are moving will show us where we are experiencing our own paradigm shift away from an historical center to a radicalized, potentially more democratic, omnicentric inner system.

fractal strings from omnicentric universe

Just a quick word about Neptune…

For those of you who have a Venus/Neptune © aspect in your natal charts, the article below will be of particular interest to you~ see below for link to an article titled Butterfly Lovers by Astrologer, Glenn Perry.

Remember that Neptune © just entered Piscesœ and will be in his “hometown” sign until 2026. A Long time.

Neptune © has been in the sign Aquarius since 1998 and hasn’t been in Piscesœ since 1862. So ’tis a big deal—it always is when one of these outer slower moving planets moves into a new sign.

In addition to looking to see if you have Venus/Neptune © aspects in your natal chart—look to see where 0}Piscesœ is in your chart. That will be the house that Neptune © is visiting now – With Neptune © swimming through my 3rd house, I find myself dreaming of what to write in the next blog J.

What are you dreaming of? Do tell.


Butterfly Lovers

And Other Venus-Neptune Tales of Woe

By Glenn Perry

he title of my article is inspired by The Butterfly Lovers, a Chinese legend and tragic love story. Zhu, a beautiful and intelligent young woman, earnestly desires an education. Traditions of the time forbid females from going to school, however, so Zhu convinces her father to allow her to attend classes in disguise as a young man. While at school, she develops an unusually close bond with a classmate, Liang, who does not realize that Zhu is a female. They study together for three years and Zhu gradually falls in love with Liang.  read on at: 
Glenn Perry’s site

April 2011 — WWSD?

And just What Would Saturn Do?

Why he’d pull out the yellow pad and make lists, of course.  He’d look for patterns and structures and containers and ways to get a grip on the situation.  He’d use the fiery energy to produce something practical.  He’d build an ark, if need be. He’d provide a safe space for the kids throwing tantrums.  He’d hold onto the kite strings so the kites could fly and yet come home.  He could be very useful.  

My sister and I used to make fun of our mother for having yellow pads Everywhere–and I do mean everywhere.

Our mother (with her Virgo moon in high gear) would make lists on yellow pads, write letters to us on yellow pads, leave notes for what we needed to clean up on yellow pads—-and my sis and I would, in later years,as a joke, send each other yellow pads for Christmas wrapped with–you guessed it!  ta daaaa  yellow pad

Now take a look at what is happening in the heavens planet-wise right now.  It is a lineup that Astrologers are busily writing about and teaching classes about and taking notes on (probably on yellow pads).  Look at the tons of Aries energy on one side of the chart (Uranus just moving into Aries after 7 years in Pisces) and Neptune moving into Pisces  (Mon Apr 4), for the first time since 1862 to stay in Pisces until 2026.

Saturn is currently in the sign Libra on the other side of the chart from that host of planets in Aries and that ruler of oceans, Neptune.  If you picture a bunch of hot air balloons and someone or something on the ground to keep them from flying off unattended and unable to land safely–enter Saturn to hold them in check and provide a foundation–stable ground.

Saturn down there, yellow pad in hand, making lists so that all that energy can be contained and come home still energized, still passionate, still full of possibility and perhaps hot air—but with a place to stand.  A grounding, if you will.  Saturn can provide that.

April 16 2011 chart for Nehalem, Oregon
April 16, 2011 Chart PDT

Let’s pay some attention to Saturn for awhile–get a yellow pad and make notes.  Where is Saturn currently transiting your chart?  He is at 12 degrees Libra currently–where is that degree in your chart?  Imagine Saturn visiting that house and perhaps having a chat with a planet there in your chart–what is the conversation? and what lists would give you ground to land on as the hot air balloons dance in the sky?

If you need help to find out where Saturn is for you now—consult your astrologer and by all means–get a yellow pad!

But wait—some of you are experiencing Saturn in many ways–check out what astrologer colleague, Marcia Buchart says:

I began my study of astrology during a significant Saturn cycle–the first Saturn return.

That occurs around 29-30, as you might know.

But other ages that mark significant passages occur at ages 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, 36-37, 43-44, 50-51, 58-59, 66-67…shall I go on?

I think you get the idea.

What was happening to you in those years, that might presage what could happen to you in future years–

Take the time to note which factors the structures you have created to give shape to your life might need changing?

make lists

Saturn says: make lists

In 1975 my friends Susan and Andrea dedicated a little book to me.

 It was called, appropriately enough

saturn cycle : notation

Saturn speaks through Susan’s art and Andrea’s words

and in these unsteady times, I find myself on an unofficial Saturn Return.

Susan Walsh and Andrea Carlisle 1975 for Kalin

 Here are two of my favorite pieces from that sweet book.


now there are voices.  what do you fear, they ask me, make lists.

well. that i am not of this place, that i am not of it,

that it is not me, that we are not made of the same stuff.  my form is only seemingly

its form and anyway all of this is a mystery to me and i never liked

mysteries.  and i fear the power of this place, the darknesses, the 

places where it seems to flow together whether i am there or not and o

when bits of it break off and die and are gone then and the wind, i fear

the wind, its raspy voice chills me and since you ask i fear there

are tales to be told by all that live here and i won’t understand what they mean; i fear my 

ignorance then, and the longing in me.  but i love brushing against 

it as i go by, the feel of it, making new shapes in it.  i love the

birdsounds and purrs and screeches and growls of it, and its texture.

the spots that shine. the sparkles in the rock. 

© 1975 Andrea Carlisle and Susan Walsh

You can read more of Andrea’s work at her blog:  www.andreacarlisle.com and soon Susan will have a blog right here.  She is currently working on an edition of prints and continues to make gorgeous signs for our coastal communities.



In the meantime–get out your chart and in another post–we will look at where Saturn and the other biggies are speaking to you.  Will be helpful.

Salacia and Neptune are from Macon, Georgia

If you take a gander at the posts from the previous couple of days you will see references to Neptune and his bride Aphrodite Salacia.  I love it when I hear about something and the next day something pops up coinkadinkally (sp?).

All things Neptunian are front and center.

Salacia and Neptune on their shell chariot printed 1837

Take a look at Astrologer,Phillip Sedgewick’s post (he calls the posts “cosmic blips” ) this morning April 6 2011 — he writes:

As long as we’re talking Neptune it’s time to surface the recently named Trans-Neptunian Body. The object formerly known as minor solar system body 120347, received the name Salacia. Salacia was the unwilling wife of Neptune, prodded by a trident into agreeing to the marital thing after hiding in the depths of the ocean. She refers to calm waters, salt water, sea weed as well as other things especially relevant given the recent goings on in Japan. If you visit the Eris, Sedna etc. link on my website you’ll find some preliminary keywords for her in there. I’m not exactly sure when the name was assigned. I found it last week on the Minor Planet Center’s website when they did a major upgrade just as Mercury turned.

Salacia – Orbital Period: 274.97 yr. The unwilling wife of Neptune, proded into marital agreement with the trident.

Positive – driven, determined, resourceful, able to work with the unseen, chaste, pure, calm, sensational

Negative – salacious, ostrich-like – hiding to avoid commitment or confrontation, relationship phobic, exaggeration, distortion of facts and visions, projection, hyperbolizing

Mundane – things that take refuge in the sea (submarines?), affiliation with dolphins, seaweed, pearls, hairnets, sea horses, salt water

Ceremonial – water rituals, baptism, water births, rebirthing in water

And would you believe Salacia and Neptune are from Georgia?  Macon, Georgia
(go figure)

Ocmulgee Bank of the State of Georgia Ten Dollar Note – Macon , Georgia 1837

Beautiful Note from the Ocmulgee Bank of the State of Georgia issued in 1837. This historic document was printed by the Rawdon, Wright & Hatch Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of Hippocampi pulling a shell chariot that holds Neptune and Salacia. This item is over 172 years old.this 10 dollar bill is for sale at:  Scripophily.net

Sail on dear friends–Neptune will be in Pisces and with us for a verrrrry long time.

He doesn’t wade into Aries until 2025.  (14 years or so)–buy boots.

And this is not a post of a salacious nature.  I don’t think.  🙂

Aphrodite Salacia and fish on Friday

Fellini’s   La Dolce Vita – strange fish pulled on shore

With all this rain, earthquakes and tsunami warnings, nuclear power plants, radiation being poured into our ocean—I said to my friends this morning that I feel more like I’m being “washed in the blood of the fishes than the proverbial blood of the lamb“.

Marcia wrote and said –and I quote: Heh: your ‘blood of the fishes’ comment actually reminds of the ending of La Dolce Vita (the finale). Remember? Remember when the crowds make their way to the beach to see the huge fish?  Remember Fellini?   Remember that movie?   Whew!  The haunting music lives on as well as those incredible archetypal images about Cetus the whale—as in scary archetypal monster from the deep. (a story for another time but oh so applicable to these times)

With all the planets visiting the stars of the fish and with Neptune moving today into the sign Piscesœ — ok well – I went to see what Bernadette Brady says about those fish. I mean what with Jupiter, Moon, Mercury, Sun, and Mars and Uranus all dancing there in the sky these days.  AND Neptune moving into the sign Pisces for the first time since the Civil War!!  What was I trying to remember with that statement?

Ahhhh—yes—now I remember—the reason that phrase popped into my head has to do with the ancient sacred rituals of washing away sins, of renewing self and others by being ‘cleansed’ in holy life — blood.  The waters of life.  Water at Baptism.

I now know that when the Constellation of the Bull (Taurus) was rising at the Equinox, folks were “washed in the blood of the bull”—

The Egyptians also annually slew a sacred bull in atonement for the sins of the realm. The concept was that the blood of one god, or the symbol of that god, could cleanse the sins of many. However, after two thousand or so years the spring equinox slipped from Taurus, the Bull, into Aries, The Ram, and this heralded the birth of yet another new god, this time emerging from the Israelites. They distinguished themselves from the bull-worshippers by using the blood of the lamb as a sacred fluid and symbol. For Moses was leading his people,chosen with lamb’s blood, to a new religion. This was the new world age marked by Aries and thus a new god was required. (Brady, Starlight software)

Cut to 2000 years later and here came the stars of Piscesœ

(Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars p. 312, Bernadette Brady)

Pisces began to receive the lead position in the Zodiac around 2,000 years ago when the spring equinox heliacal rising slipped from Aries the Ram to Pisces the Fishes. However this was never a clear distinction, as Pisces is such a large constellation and its two fish reaching through the sky actually encompass the stars of Aries. The coming of the age of Pisces, the new world order, was eagerly awaited as it was heralded by a triple conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in Pisces in the year 6 BCE and Virgil, in his Fourth Eclogue, announced it would be the return of the Golden Age. This conjunction was the astronomical highlight of the time, eagerly awaited and then watched and was later named, in Christian mythology, the Star of Bethlehem.
But the fish was an ancient symbol long before it was adopted by the new god. The Greeks incorporated the Fish as a sacred symbol through Aphrodite in her form as a fish-goddess called Aphrodite Salacia.

She was often depicted as a fertile mother nursing a child and her temples always contained ponds of fish. Her followers would eat fish on her holy day which was Friday. They were known as the fish-eaters and this custom was adopted by the Catholic church who decreed that the eating of fish on a Friday, translated as the abstinence from meat, was a holy act that had to be performed by its followers.

As the spring equinox moved into Pisces, the Ram-god sent his Son, Christ, to save the world, and he became the god of fishes. He was a fisherman fishing for men’s souls. His disciples were fishermen and his miracle, which proclaimed him god, was the miracle of the loaves and fishes where he was said to have fed five thousand on just a few fish. The new religion adopted the sign of the Fish as their symbol.

Read on dear students of the stars–the following is a good cut on what is going on:

Eric Francis writes in his post (April 4, 2011) titled  Neptune enters Pisces: The tide is up (for full post click link to his site)

…many forms of creative experience that we were told are useless (as kids) are some of the best that Pisces has to offer. By that I mean everything but social studies and accounting: the stuff you do with your imagination and your hands. Your talents and your desire to express your imagination may be coming under focus now. That would include music (to create the stuff, or at lest to experience some in person), as well as your poetic senses. And what about those paints in your closet? What about the art supply store down the street? You DO have time to experiment and play, and now the astrology is floating you like the tide rising beneath a boat.

Pisces is also the sign most associated with clairvoyance (Scorpio would be a close second, and these are two signs that usually get along nicely). Just wondering — have you been experiencing any enhanced non-physical communication? Any premonitions that have come through, or out-of-body communication? Have these events involved fantasy, imagination or creativity? I’m suggesting here that there may be a connection between what we think of as out-of-body communication and many of the other ideas that Pisces or Neptune represents.

Then there is water, the actual stuff that comes out of the shower nozzle. The same stuff we expect to just be there. We see a lot of water when we fly across the ocean — but that is not the kind of water we need for our individual bodies to survive. Less than 1% of the earth’s water is drinkable fresh water and that is going away fast. It’s also becoming one of the biggest businesses around; the World Bank and many other institutions have been muscling in on this for decades. So Neptune in Pisces is likely to call even more attention to this issue than we’ve been seeing in recent years, here as a nuclear complex in Japan is dumping tons of radioactive water into the ocean and groundwater.

We got our first really big lesson about this last year when — as Chiron entered Pisces, on that very day — the BP oil spill happened. When Uranus left Pisces two weeks ago, the earthquake happened in Japan. So Pisces seems to be sensitive to global changes involving water. Now, we need to get there. Astrology is suggesting that now it’s our turn

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