Astrological Perspective of Significant Events In Your Life

What we know about synastry can be applied to key developmental events as well. Take Saturn return for example: Among other things, some women get married or have a child (i.e. become a mother) at that time.

In the case of a childbirth during Saturn return, this suggests that the baby’s Saturn will be conjunct the mother’s natal Saturn – in a way, the birth of the baby becomes the mother’s Saturn, i.e. responsibility, necessary control, hard work and growth in maturity.

In the case of a marriage during Saturn return, this implies that the event chart of the marriage will have a Saturn very close to the natal Saturn of the woman – in effect, making the marriage itself the manifestation of her Saturn. Naturally the marriage will act like Saturn should, to make her mature, grow, and be wise (and frustrated at times!)

There are several insights that can occur from this way of thought:

  • If a new development (e.g. career, marriage, divorce, birth, death etc) occurs during a key Saturnian time in your life (not just Saturn return, but also including Saturn opposition and squares), the implication is that it is going to have a Saturnian impact on you for a long time to come.
  • If a new development occurs during the Uranus opposition around age 42, then (following the same pattern of thought) it will have a Uranian impact – possibly liberating and intensifying the ego. You can do this with Neptune and Pluto also.
  • In the case of Jupiter, think of the Jupiter return that occurs every 12 years. The event that happens at that time will be Jupiter-like, i.e. it may help to expand your mind, give you opportunities to see more of the world, make you feel more confident and optimistic, etc. This is “because” the event chart’s Jupiter will be conjunct your natal Jupiter, affecting your horoscope in the same way.

Thinking about Saturn return and other key times in terms of the event chart and synastry may give you a deeper insight into their meanings. For instance, you may appreciate the implication of your birthday even more if you see that the birthday event’s horoscope (also called a Solar Return chart) will have its Sun conjunct your natal Sun, in effect having a Solar effect, making you feel self-aware, centered and important.

On Karmic Astrology and the Story of Your Past Life

Someone asked about karmic astrology:

Q: “Can you find out who you were immediately before this life by the natal chart? And where do you look for clues?”

A: Here I will share the common theory. Most astrologers use the Nodal axis to consider the past life information – they say South Node has to do with your past life: its condition, and the resources and challenges you bring from the past; and that North Node has to do with the future direction your soul needs to take in order to continue your spiritual development.

Take South Node conjunct Mars for example: In thinking of a past life metaphor, one way to say it is “you were involved in a war or violence of some kind in the past life (especially if the Mars is stressed) – you carry the sense of fighting spirit, which makes you a strong leader [a resource from the past.] But at the same time, you’ve forgotten how to relax and trust other people (if the chart also has 7th house tension), because you’ve been conditioned to fight, and are not used to peace.”
That’s a workable metaphor, and it may give another way to think about the relationship problem this person has. It could be potentially empowering, if the person is open to imagining such scenario.

Another example: I’ve heard astrologer Robert Blaschke say that his South Node is conjunct Uranus, and it meant that he was an astrologer (Uranus) in the past life – obviously that interpretation works for him, because of his vocation as an astrologer. For others with the same measurement, perhaps we can say “you were a maverick in your past life, who rebelled against tradition. You still carry that sense of independent thought and a tendency to be a loner (especially if other measurements support this.) We may want to see if this is getting you into trouble this time around.”

Astrologers will want to make sure that the interpretation about the Nodal axis fits well with what the rest of the chart is suggesting – this way we won’t be too far away from the truth, even if we can never really verify the actual experience of our past lives.

Why is Leonardo Da Vinci a Taurus? – A Reader Question

Just got back from Japan last night and am catching up on work and emails – as promised I’ll be posting replies to the questions I received. Here is the first one:

Q: “I have the same birthday as Leonardo DaVinci…My question is, recently another astrologer mentioned that DaVinci was a Taurus; however, I am an Aries. Is he a Taurus because of the progression of time, the centuries between us, or some other reason?”

(note: I’m presuming this person was born on April 15th.)

A: Da Vinci’s birth date is April 15th of 1452, but in Florentine Time (which started the ‘new day’ at sunset.) By our reckoning he was born on the evening of April 14th (‘three hours into the night’ according to the biography).

Then we need to account for the difference between Julian Calendar (which was used at that time) and Gregorian Calendar which we use now. At 1452 the difference is 9 days, so this finally gives us April 23, 1452 as the birth data of Da Vinci that astrologers use – which is Taurus.

Technical, but interesting!

Ascendant and Identity (9) Scorpio Rising

Element – WATER: self image is nourished through awareness and management of one’s inner feelings and emotions.
Mode – Fixed: self image is strengthened through being reliable and consistent with regard to one’s work and relationships.

The need for Scorpio Ascendant is to be in control, and to be considered as deep, reliable, and right. If Ascendant points out the way for us to strengthen our core self image, Scorpio rising suggests that the key to power lies in the gathering and harnessing of scattered emotional energies, so that there will be a focused, intense ego awareness – in a word, soulfulness.

The power for those with this Ascendant comes from being able to be in touch with their deepest emotions – fear, hatred, despair, or faith, love, ecstasy and bliss. Fully feeling, rather than repressing, the difficult emotions will lead to the development of a very strong psychic energy.

The challenge is not to be controlled by one’s deep emotions – here it is easy to get lost in the current of negative emotions, and totally identify oneself with one’s destructive fears, anger or despair. Peace and stability must be found, one way or the other – but how?

Peace and Purpose – Ways for Scorpio to Find Stability

1) Power: Accumulation of external power – be it wealth, physical strength, social status or political influence. Outer control can translate to a sense of inner control. On the other hand, there are other kinds of power, such as intellectual, psychic or even occult power that also serves the purpose of inner control (see the famous astrologers listed below.)

2) Security: Not many people can deny the calming effect that money in the bank brings. Same goes with job security or relationship stability. External security can contribute to inner security. Scorpio rising has Taurus on the Descendant, suggesting a great need for a stable partner and relationships.

3) Pursuit of ecstasy: through music, art, spirituality, or any other calling in life that fills you with a sense of purpose. Here the aim is not so much for peace, but to touch the highest emotions that we can experience in life. Because Scorpio can touch the lowest human emotions known to man, it can also touch the highest passion and joy as well (“to plumb depth and reach heights” is Noel Tyl’s phrase.)

Conclusion and some examples:
For many, Scorpio Ascendant represents an adventure into the realms of deep emotions – the end result of the journey is a “soulful” ego that can be courageous and compassionate in the face of life’s toughest moments. The luckiest ones step into the mansion of gods through their pursuit of vocational, spiritual or artistic passion.

Some examples:

  • Astrologers Jeff Green and Liz Greene.
  • Napoleon Bonaparte I
  • Stock market guru Peter Lynch
  • Musical wonder Bobby McFerrin
  • Actor Clint Eastwood

Free Astrology Fonts for Mac/PC

After switching to mac I had to install astrology font for my classes…It’s nice to have if you want to make handouts or slide presentations.


Update: Astro Gadget is also nice.

Transformation of Mars Archetype


Mars is the energy you use to get what you need. The classic expression of Mars archetype is that of a hunter.

I was taking a long walk on the beach this morning, and saw a huge bird flying over me, gliding gracefully and looking down at the water, presumably looking for some prey. Suddenly a thought occurred: All animals must hunt in order to eat, and that’s the expression of Mars energy.

Humans have to hunt too, but now we call it work – and channel the Mars energy in a less obvious (but still very Martial) way.  Think of businesses hunting for your attention through advertisement.  Salespeople (and just about everyone is a salesperson) hunt for customers, sometimes aggressively, other times more subtly.


Sometimes the physical energy gets channeled into mental or intellectual activities: think invention, mathematics or software engineering; Mars-Uranus aspect has often been associated with people that deal with mathematics and technology – it is a creative cerebration of the Martial energy.

If we do not have enough outlet for this physical energy through vigorous work, there may be depression (stored anger) or unnecessary fights to discharge the aggressive energy.


The common myth is that you’ll be happy when you are rich and don’t have to do any work at all – but this is not what happens. Even if you no longer have to hunt for food, the Mars archetype within you will still demand the thrill and challenge of the hunt.  Be it studying, dancing or playing sports, your Mars feels most alive when your energy is being directed purposefully toward a challenging goal (think of the Mars symbol – an arrow fired from within the circle of the Sun.)

Most likely you don’t have to worry about starving. So you have all this energy that used to be reserved for hunting – what will you do with it? There is an enormous reserve of vigorous energy, just waiting to be put to use (depression is a refusal to bring it out into action.)

You can do something great with your Mars.

More on Quintile Aspect: Some Interpretive Guidelines

Following the previous post on quintile, I’ll share some guidelines for interpreting individual quintile aspects:

  • Quintile aspect from Mercury, Gemini planets, 3rd house ruler can all suggest “creative communication”
  • Quintile from Uranus can suggest “creative innovation”
  • Quintile from the Sun or Leo planets can suggest “creative self expression”
  • Quintile from the Moon “the need to be creative”
  • Quintile from Saturn “creative discipline”
  • Quintile from Neptune “creative visualization, creative imagination”
  • Quintile from Pluto “magnified creativity”
  • Quintile from Venus “creative talent; creative relationships”
  • Quintile from Mars “creative action, creative energy”
  • Quintile from Jupiter “creative inspiration; creative optimism”
  • Quintile from MC or 10th house ruler “creativity expressed at work”
  • Quintile from ASC “creative personality”
  • Quintile from IC “creativity at home; creative results from psychological work”
  • Quintile from DSC or 7th house ruler “creativity expressed toward the public, or partnership”

Yes, they are similar when you think about it – hence if you have multiple quintiles, you basically need a creative outlet. We could go on a little more about house tenancy and rulerships – 5th house may have to do with creatively performing or teaching and so on – I think you get the idea.

Quintile Aspect: Creativity and Innovation

Someone asked me to write about the quintile (72 degrees) aspect. It is an aspect that has been associated with creativity – but what does that mean in terms of interpretation?

Noel Tyl’s working thesis is that if a horoscope contains many quintiles (let’s say 3, 4, 5 or more), the person very much needs a creative outlet – either as a profession or a hobby. Following this thesis, I’ve made it a point to ask clients “what is your creative outlet?” whenever I see more than a few quintiles on their horoscopes*.

Sometimes the people say they have no such outlet – but they aren’t very happy about it. Maybe they had a passionate love of writing, art or music that was suppressed in the course of development (parental pressure, saying it’s “not practical” etc.) The question then becomes, what can they do to start exploring their creativity again?

Morning pages (from Julia Cameron’s Artists Way) might be a good start – to pay attention to the small inner voices that tells us what we want.

Other times, the creativity is channeled into their current work (creating one’s own business, for instance.) Educating a child also takes creativity – so it doesn’t really have to manifest as a career in art, music, etc. Usually you can tell if a person has a creative outlet or not, because it tends to manifest as the feeling of being alive.

A tricky question: What if you don’t have any Quintiles?
Creativity is something that is within every one of us, so this obviously does not mean you are not creative. I have looked at several dozen horoscopes of people in so called “creative” professions, and am here to report that the number of quintiles varies quite a bit – zero through many – and it doesn’t have to do with how good of a musician, artist, or a writer you are.

So do not despair if you don’t have many quintiles in your horoscopes – the number of quintiles can never be an indicator of whether you can succeed at a creative profession. Most artistic horoscopes have emphasis on Neptune or Venus, and quintiles may never be involved.

Question #2: Does having many quintiles suggest that you are an innovator?
If a number of quintiles aren’t necessarily indicative of a creative profession, can it suggest how innovative (a variation of creativity) a person is? Here I’m getting mixed data:

  • Fashion innovator Georgio Armani has 4 Quintiles
  • Music innovator John Cage has 4 quintiles; Jazz innovator Miles Davis has 4 quintiles, and innovative composer Igor Stravinsky has 2 quintiles
  • In a scientific realm, Albert Einstein has 4 quintiles; mathematician John Nash (featured in the film Beautiful Mind) has 5 quintiles
  • Auto business innovator Henry Ford (mass production concept) has 5 quintiles
  • Software entrepreneur Bill Gates has 4 quintiles, whereas Steve Jobs has only 1.
  • Writers commonly seem to have more quintiles: Jane Austin has 6 quintiles, Mark Twain has 4 to 6 quintiles (depending on birth time); George Bernard Shaw has 6; E.E. cummings has 4. William Butler Yates has 3 quintiles.
  • Walt Disney has 2 quintiles, and so does Pablo Picasso.

2 quintiles seem pretty average to me, but other factors in their horoscopes (Neptune etc) are certainly more pronounced in the cases of the giants mentioned above. As far as interpretations are concerned, my approach is that multiple occurance of quintiles can be used to confirm the creative emphasis suggested in the rest of the horoscope, but cannot stand alone as a sole indicator of creative potential.

Question #3: How do we interpret the individual quintile aspect?
Quintiles are interesting in that they aren’t treated like a hard (challenging) aspect, but neither are they static (dare I say boring?) like the soft aspects. They seem to call for a creative resolution much as in hard aspects, but possibly without the ordeals of square or opposition.

Example: In the case of Sun quintile Neptune, the expression of core life energy takes on a very creative tone (both because it’s Neptune and it’s quintile) – but possibly without as much vulnerability associated with Sun square Neptune etc.

This is just a feeling that I’ve been getting by looking at the way quintiles are being discussed by other astrologers, as well as how they work in the vocational profiling. If you have any other thoughts or anecdotes I’d be glad to hear it.

UPDATE: Someone suggested that the other side of creativity could be things like problems with authority (i.e. not conforming to the traditional way of doing things), as well as not being able to think like others (which can lead to problems at work, etc). I also want to add susceptibility to chaos (see John Nash above) – one may see too many possibilities, and the mind may lose touch with the grounding provided by the traditional method of doing things (atonal Free Jazz, anyone? )

UPDATE#2:Yet another element of creativity is independent, original thinking: I had a client with 6 quintiles tell me “I do best when someone gives me an objective, and lets me make things happen on my own. If I had to follow a prescribed path, I do not enjoy it at all.” The innovators seem to have this in common, and we can see how this ability to “think outside of the box” would be very useful in the world of business, design, software engineering, music, etc.


As always, some people make the best use of their innate potentials more so than others. Pay attention to the entire horoscope to see what your best outlet for your creativity may be. If you happen to have a number of quintiles, great – enjoy using your creativity. If you don’t know what your creative outlet is, try a morning page – pay attention to the small voice inside of you that wants to try something new, or pick up something that’s old. The point of all this is for you to feel the joy of expressing your talent, so that you feel more alive.

*A (very) technical note for astrologers: When counting the number of quintiles, I do not use the asteroid aspects – as the number of quintiles will naturally increase the more number of asteroids you use. For the same reason I’d rather not use biquintiles – since by including them the number of the aspect quickly increases to make most horoscope appear “very creative” (hey, if that’s what you want to see, that’s okay too. For my part, I prefer simplicity.)

On the other hand, I count the quintiles to Descendant and IC, as well as South Node – since they are each part of an axis (ASC axis, MC axis, Nodal axis). In your software, include the 108 degree (tridecile) aspect if you want to count these aspects – but only count them in if they show up in the ASC, MC, or Nodal axis column in your aspect grid.

Ascendant and Identity (8) Libra Rising – The Courageous Diplomacy

Element: Air – Social and intellectual activities strengthen the self image.
Mode: Cardinal – Need to be proactively initiating projects and relationships in order to feel right about oneself.

Libra Ascendant automatically implies Aries on the Descendant. This suggests that in order for us to present ourselves boldly and assertively out into the public (i.e. Aries on the 7th cusp), we must first learn to act with diplomacy.

Diplomacy isn’t about saying nice things about others despite how you feel – that’s dishonesty. It is an art of being truly considerate of others: mature Libra personality develops an awareness of how his/her words and actions affect the energy of the whole interaction (whether in one-on-one relationship or a room full of colleagues.) This means you can stay quiet in order to save someone from embarrassment; or to acknowledge someone that you notice is feeling a little left out.

Once Libra rising masters the art of diplomacy, he is then able to assert his views courageously, because he knows how to speak well without unnecessarily offending other people’s feelings. This is a formidable resource.

Bill Clinton has used his Libran energy to the fullest in winning over American public – even after the sex scandal, he still remains very popular and well respected – a magic of diplomacy! Not only does he have a Libra rising, he also has FOUR planets in Libra in his 1st house, including Mars-Neptune (charisma) conjunct Ascendant, and Venus and Jupiter! This makes Clinton a veritable powerhouse of diplomacy and social charm, and he is still a force to be reckoned with in today’s political landscape.

Comedian, TV host and political commentator Bill Maher also has Libra rising – I believe this gives him enough social savvy to make his bold, controversial views (He has Mars in Sagittarius, meaning super-strong opinions) somehow more acceptable by the public – otherwise he might not have enjoyed the level of success that he has.

Libra is ruled by Venus, and the placement of Venus is important in shaping the self image of Libra Ascendant person: Maher has Venus square Mars-Saturn in Sagittarius, hence the need to blend his combative political (Saturn) opinionation with social poise and intelligence. Clinton has his Venus in Libra (its own sign), conjunct Mars-Neptune, so again, charisma and social charms all the way.

For those wanting to work on honing their Libran skill, I recommend reading a series of delightful Diplomacy Quotes. Enjoy!