Purnima Night

Purnima is the full moon, and for some reason I felt compelled to make a small offering on this full moon.  Maybe because the moon was in Ardra Nakshatra, and Ardra is a tough place to be – it’s filled with challenges, not the kind that get us up and raring to go, but the kind that fill you with trepidation and bring tears, the kind that compel you to seek spirits or deities that are harsh and difficult in their own right, because these challenges require being met with harshness and hardness in turn.  But the showers and tears do cleanse and refresh, and even with effort and bravery we persevere and even succeed.  Perhaps, gazing at the Sun and Saturn from such an asterism, Chanda just really wanted a little TLC, after all, I used a nice Rohini election just a few days ago.  Turn about is fair play!

Purnima offerings are often milk, or milk and sugar – I made kheer, and that candle burned for a long time, despite it not being a very still night.

Aries Ingress 2019

As a life-long politics and world events nerd, I always look forward to analyzing the Aries Ingress chart for the year!  A quintessential tropical zodiac technique for traditional astrologers, we mark the sun’s entry into the Tropical sign of Aries as seen from a nation’s capital, marking both spring, and a new year, to get a sense of the year ahead for the nation.   Some of what I say below is to be expected, we don’t just switch national concerns and moods on a dime, at least without dramatic and unusual events.  So yes, some of this is just the continuation of our current situation, but there should be some emphasis and events regarding these topics, at the very least the sort of things we’d expect to see highlighted in a “Year in Review.”

Below is the chart for the United States, and the first thing we should notice is the rising sign of Virgo.  Virgo is considered a common, or mutable sign, it finishes rather differently than it starts, and it doesn’t follow a direct path.  With this technique it means that this chart is good for half the year, we will need to cast a Libra ingress chart for the second half of the year – this year I aim to be a better blogger and get it out in September!


As with any chart, I focus on the planetary house locations, house rulership, the essential dignity (general strength, ability to act constructively,) and relevant significations of the houses and planets.  This year the ascendant is ruled by Mercury, and in March, Mercury is, quite frankly, in poor shape – in the sign of its fall, and retrograde.  While for individuals I might say this is a time period for spiritual introspection, the reworking of spiritual and artistic pursuits, here it’s a great deal harder to be positive.  We also find the moon in the first house, late in Virgo, waxing, but very near full.  This is telling me a story about a people (the moon) really wondering where the nation is going, wondering who they are and who they will be, concerned about their reputation and influence and their place in the world.  These are not new concerns, but with Mercury, natural significator of journalism, as both the ascendant and mid heaven ruler, I would expect these musings and polls to take an even more central place in the media, content to be devoured by a worried public who are ready for a change or even a return to time when there was more unity and meaning, and such things as the “American Dream,” were felt and believed, by at least the mainstream.  A public ready for change is pretty easy to predict, after all the desire for change, any change at all, is what the pundits tell us brought us our current presidential administration, but here,  with a moon about to oppose the sun and bring to something to fruition, I don’t think we will see something definitive about the nation’s direction, but we will see and hear a lot about the changes that have and haven’t taken place, a peak in this story perhaps.  The moon has some minor dignity in Virgo, but it is still mutable and moving from opposing Mercury to opposing the Sun.  That Mercury can be read as the media by natural signification, but in this chart it is both the government as a whole, and the president specifically.  Mercury is sitting in the seventh house, the house of contracts, alliances, partnerships, and opponents – captured and weak, as well as retrograde.  That first house moon is ruling the 11th, another house about friends and allies.  I would expect more developments and news about the country’s traditional allies and alliances.  I, along with that Virgo moon, would watch for developments that would significantly affect NATO or other major security agreements, and/or some of our major missile and naval treaties.  Mercury in this condition, as the tenth house ruler, would seem to indicate continued instability within the presidential administration – perhaps a new press secretary?  And we we will certainly see even further attempts to paint the media as an enemy, confused, untrustworthy, and inaccurate.

While the ruler of the 10th house is seen as the country’s leader and the government, generally – the sun is also a the natural significator for those in power.  Here the sun is exalted, of course, by being in Aries, but it is located in the 8th house.  This is a topic area that deals with debt, financial social safety nets, and opposing the second, impacts finances and the economy.  In this chart the sign of Leo, ruled by the sun, covers the 12th house, another house that deals with debt and other areas of self-undoing, as well as exile, hidden enemies, and espionage.  I think there will be public and policy concerns surrounding espionage and security, perhaps new or renewing legislation?  I haven’t done my homework there.  And, of course, there will be budget battles highlighting the national debt, look out for attempts to further cut social programs in the name of alleviating the debt issue.

Let’s talk Mars and Venus – Venus tightly squares mars in this chart.  Venus is sitting in the 6th, ruling the 2nd and the 9th.  I would expect big national topics, events, and conversations surrounding public health spending, labor issues, student debt – who gets a fair share of the pie?  Potentially some public health concerns, and I think some conflicts over gender relations that get played out on campuses and in courts in a decisive manner.  Student protests that make national news.  I would not be surprised if both of those arenas were host to some high-profile security incidents as well.  A debilitated Mars ruling the 3rd house of communication, the 8th of anxiety and loans, sitting in the 9th, makes me think about variations of “See Something, Say Something,” Internet security, and intellectual property crimes – and yes, makes me want to watch “Fight Club”…

That Mars is just separating from a trine from Saturn in the 5th.  I’ve been oddly eager to discuss this house’s topics since last year’s chart was so literal, starting off with sex scandals and ending with scandals about lost and caged children.  This year there’s a different tone.  I don’t think the children issue is gone, but I think with Saturn sitting there in its own sign, ruling the house we may see some coherence, if not the most compassion and humanitarianism, in our approach to the issue of migrants, refugees, and immigrants (Saturn ruled people.)  On a hopeful note, the execution of those policies, while restrictive, might actually be better organized and less subject to simply being horribly lost in the system.  I am worried that there may be some issues raised surrounding migrants and public health – not in a productive way, but in an alarmist, anxiety provoking/exploitive way (I’m looking at Saturn/Mars here.)  I do think there will be continued issues with borders and who belongs, who is a citizen and how, from some subtle cues about the Virgo/Pisces axis, with Pisces disregard of borders and limits, a traveler sitting there (Mercury), and Jupiter squaring that axis from the 4th house.  But we also have a classically 5th house topic to discuss as well!  This year the Supreme Court struck down a federal law prohibiting sports gambling – while that feels very Sagittarius, now we enter a much more Saturnian phase where there will be winners, losers, new structures, and new restrictions as each state decides what laws they will put in place to manage this.  Fun, Saturn style!  On another positive, yet less dramatic note, I’m wondering about development directors and building projects that are national in scope, or at least multi-state – this might be a very good and productive time for those, let me know in June if you have any insight there!

The 4th house deals with foundations, land, resources from land, real estate, ancestry, lineage, and family.  Push and push back regarding blood quantum, blood citizenship, land ownership, who is of the land and who isn’t.  Jupiter is there in his own sign, humanitarian, idealistic, concerned with the law, a little zealous, but ultimately fair and classically liberal.  I would expect these issues to presented in the courts in significant cases, but I’m not certain what will actually make it to the Supreme Court in this time frame.  I, like Jupiter and Sagittarius, choose to be optimistic.  Real estate people – you might want to get it done in the first half of this year.  A lot of markets have been booming, and we are always fretting (or hoping) about when the next contraction is coming.  Jupiter will eventually leave Sagittarius for Capricorn and that could signal a contraction – again, let me know next year if you have any insight!

Libra Season for Women of a Certain Age

Autumn is here – the sun has entered Libra and is in his fall, and while he will have some remembered strength in Sagittarius, he won’t be notably strong again until spring, until Aries.  Venus is at home in Libra, but moves all too quickly into Scorpio, one of her signs of debilitation.  Libra is wholly sanguine sign, warm and moist, airy and mental.  Like all the humors, it can become imbalanced, but still, it’s a highly favored humor.  As a woman of a certain age I think of Libra and the forties as having a mature beauty and sexiness, still vital and a hard-to-guess-age, but Saturn exalts here – it’s time to manifest, focus and bring some accomplishment to fruition, it’s not a time filled with potential – the adventures have been chosen, some roads your feet will never see – make the most of it, soon we’ll slide into a phlegmatic state, and after that?  Winter is coming – What can we harvest to bring us joy and carry us through?


Narrow it Down

I just had the opportunity to give a talk on significators in Jyotish, and the Divisional Charts – one of Jyotish’s most potent tools for getting deep and specific about the topics of life.  As I stood up there and went over what significators we read in the divisional charts I chose for my examples, I kept telling my audience that the instructions for all the shodasha varga were in their handouts – oops!  They were not; I did not get the page with this chart in to the file I had printed.  So here they are – all 16, just follow the rules, use the sign-based aspects, and look for changes in dignity and angularity.  Remember, find the significators  in the birth chart first, read them there, then take the special significators listed below and take them to the divisional chart.  I refer to rulers of houses as house lords, and I abbreviate, for example the lord of the second house, as L2.

Divisional Chart Relevant Significators or Karakas from the D-1
D-1 Nativity Any Relevant house lord, Natural or House Significator, or Moveable Significator (Charakaraka)
D-2 Hora L2 (Lord of the Second house) and Jupiter
D-3 Drekkana L3 and Mars
D-4 Chaturamsa L4, Moon Mercury
D-7 Sapthamsa L5, Puk, and then read the D-7 Ascendant in the D-1
D-9 Navamsa L7, Venus, Dk for Marriage – All other topics:  Any Relevant house lord, Natural or House Significator, or Moveable Significator (Charakaraka)
D-10 Dasamsa L10, Sun, Mercury (Can add Jupiter and Saturn if you feel they are significant based on the D-1)
D-12 Dwadamsa L12, Moon, Saturn
D-16 Shodamsa L4, Moon, Mercury
D-20 Vimsamsa L5, Jupiter
D-24 Chaturvimsamsa L9, Mercury, Jupiter, Atmakaraka
D-27  Bhamsa Moon – if you are fine tuning the D9:  any relevant karaka
D-30 Trimshamsa L6, L8, L12
D-40 Khavedamsa L4, L10
D-45 Akshavedamsa L5, L9
D-60 Shashtiamsa Past Karma – L12, Moon, Saturn  The end result of all things:  Any Relevant house lord, Natural or House Significator, or Moveable Significator (Charakaraka)


By the way:  in case anyone at the talk was confused about why I choose the D-45 and who the heck Prince William is for my last example, sorry – that was super anglo-centric of me.  Prince William of the House of Windsor is second in line, after his father, to the throne of England.  We look to the D-45 because if he is expected to inherit the throne from his father.  His father will inherit the throne from his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, and we would look at D-40 for him.

What does the coming year hold for the United States? Aries Ingress 2018

When medieval and renaissance astrologers wanted to look ahead for a nation, they often used what’s called the “Aries Ingress” chart.  A chart is cast using the location of the capitol at the moment the sun first enters the tropical sign of Aries.  If the rising sign is a cardinal or movable sign the chart is good for one quarter, a mutable or common sign holds true for six months, and a fixed sign on the ascendant will be used for the entire year.  The houses are similar to their natal/individual topics, just on a more communal scale.  So the second house, which would represent money and movable possessions for an individual will indicate the treasury, revenues, and overall financial situation of the nation.  The twelfth house for an individual can represent self-undoing, secret enemies, hospitalization, or imprisonment – so for a nation we will look there to see spies, subversive agents (from the perspective of the establishment,) oppressed minorities, public benefits/welfare, the unemployed, and prison systems.

The planets hold a similar relationship to their natal significations:

The sun represents the government, the executive branch, the moon the common people.  Mars is the military and police forces, but also destructive agents like criminals, thieves, and terrorists.  Venus represents women in general, but also the beautiful people, celebrities, artists, as well as marriages and children as a national interest.  And so on…

As I’m writing this, I’m asking myself “do I need to go in to more detail regarding houses in general?”  I tend to assume an audience with a basic level of knowledge driven by their inclination to clink the link that brought them here, or an audience interested in the general conclusion but not the technical details – but don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments if you would find more basics helpful or you would like me to expand upon some topic.  Perhaps I’m just eager to get on to the juicy Aries ingress chart!  Although really, it’s mostly a look back – there’s a spoiler in that last sentence…


On March 20th of this, our year of the lord 2018, the sun ingressed into the tropical zodiac sign of Aries at 12:20 pm in the District of Columbia.  So we have a cardinal or moveable ascendant giving us a chart describing the tone of the next four months in the United States of America.

With the sign of Cancer rising, the moon holds and extra level of importance here, and indeed, the moon is exalted in the sign of Taurus in the eleventh house.  The eleventh house in a mundane chart references topics like legislation, local governments and councils, the representatives of the people, as well as the nation’s allies.  We have seen a lot of calls to local political action as we’ve seen special elections and referendums across the nation and this being a year of mid-term elections where the legislature (direct representatives of “the people” in government) will be subject to change.  The actual election won’t be shown in this chart, but engagement and participation is gearing up in preparation for party primaries across the country.  With the moon in stable, steady Taurus, separating from a stable steady trine with a very, very strong Saturn and Mars on the descendant, more conservative or establishment candidates may shake out to be early front runners.

An Aries stellium in the tenth house reinforces the focus of the nation on government itself.  In the news, in private conversation.  The sun’s rulership of the third house ( a house of networking and communication topics) the communication is a focus of the government.  So we have ongoing discussions about the role of social media in elections, and the potential for further regulation of social media – but more as a topic of discussion and less tangible law-making.  Mercury in the 10th, a natural significator for communication and communication mediums, Mark Zuckerberg’s trip to the capitol and all the ensuing memes very well!  It wasn’t easy –squaring Saturn and Mars, but that’s separating now, and he’s in his own terms (minor dignity.)

Jupiter is the actual ruler of the midheaven and the 10th house cusp.  Retrograde, so focused on the past, in the 5th house that deals with pleasures and entertainment, in Scorpio.  Widely opposite the moon, so there is definite public interest.  This is a nice, clear signature for sex scandal involving a government figure coming to light from the past.  Especially with Venus apply to Jupiter with the opposition!   Stormy Daniels’ Sixty Minutes interview was held on March 25th.

Jupiter is also ruling the 6th house, which would be the house of public health, labor issues, employment, and public servants.  Hindsight and my own local interests combine to say that it’s telling that the sun (ruler of the 2nd ) will move in to that opposition with Jupiter and there will be both talk and action at the state level regarding public pensions.  Jupiter is a natural significator for teachers and as ruler of the 6th we can also see the strikes that have occurred in a few states already – but Saturn has a say as well as the ruler of this chart’s 9th house (educational institutions.)

Mercury is doing a few other things as well – as ruler of the 12th and 4th houses we can expect national conversations about land, real estate, the American experience for minorities and indigenous Americans to continue and often hold the spotlight.  We should see these as repeated themes being highlighted.  A light is being shown on perspectives that aren’t often clear to members of the nation’s mainstream, so it’s a good opportunity to look and listen.

Back to Saturn and Mars – both are very dignified and on the seventh house cusp.  International tensions run high, with rumblings of distant war.  Both are very dignified and I would expect that the focus will be more on nation states rather than terrorist strikes, but Saturn is also ruling the 9th house of courts and higher education, setting up a potential setting for conflict and hostile legal actions.  There aren’t a lot of harsh aspects happening in this chart at least.  The sun will eventually apply one, but the others that remain are separating.  The moon, significator of the people and the lord of the ascendant, is strong and separating from a trine, and that is a gift.

I will focus on getting the Cancer ingress chart going, and we can take a look ahead.

Covert Operations

18423068_1480571588630592_863151529981004631_oHopefully…my original idea for the title of this short entry was going to be something like “Using astrology to improve your situation and thwart your enemies”  but only time will tell if they’ve  been thwarted – plus, while the squirrels are annoying, I’m not sure they rise to enemy level!  (But look at that squirrel – I’ve got both malefics transiting my fourth house!  More on that in another post.)
This post is really about gardening and using astrology, which is a time-honored tradition.  I grew up on a farm, and, along with the livestock report on the radio, the Old Farmer’s Almanac was a staple in our lives.  The almanac is a treasure trove of moon sign gardening, not just moon phase, but also zodiacal sign plus moon phase.  It’s a very causal view of astrology, assigning the difference it makes to the levels and actions of moisture in the ground, and how that (plus a little mystery related to the moon’s stimulative effect on living, growing things) effects different types of plants.  Moisture=life, so we have a lunar influence on moist, living bodies, opposed to the dryness of aging, less fertile bodies.
Interestingly, the weather and gardening were a sort of compromise position that the Church came to with astrologers in the 17th century.  Natural astrology, as this sort of use was characterized as, did not pose the theological challenges that “Judicial” astrology did, judgments about lives could contradict the doctrine of free will, and feel an awful lot like fortune-telling, something else that made the Church uneasy – are you trying to get an unauthorized peek at God’s plan?  Who or what is helping you do this?  I know I am all about those sneak peeks!

Back to my garden!  I had a full moon in Scorpio to do some planting.  The full moon is a time of high gravitational pull and high soil moisture level, and in a water sign this should enhance moisture and fertility .  Will this translate well to raised bed?  I’m not sure.  The soon to be decreasing moonlight will be good for underground growth – so I chose this time to set my potatoes and shallots.  Transplanting would have been a good choice, but I hadn’t made my mind up about that, so I’ll have to catch another sign in the waning moon; Pisces would be perfect.  Now you are probably thinking, what about other things happening to the moon, shouldn’t you be doing a full-on election?  No.  We have to stay balanced with all this, and I want to get my garden going.  Now, if I were planning on putting in a new, very expensive plant for the garden, I may very well consider doing an election.  What I did do, though was take advantage of the moon being void of course.

Now – back to those enemies I mentioned – the squirrels.  Those cute little so-and-so’s  have been having a field day digging up my bulbs, and not being terribly afraid of me, they come out and watch whatever I do in the yard.  The void-of-course moon is often avoided in elections, lest whatever action is being planned “come to naught.”  However, the the void-of-course (VoC) moon is often, and traditionally, seen as a time when one can something done without interference, behind the scenes, covertly.  I noticed that later in the evening the moon was going VoC, and by 8pm it would be dark enough that they weren’t out and still light enough (barely) that I could see what I was doing!  So we shall see how that worked!  I’m not the most natural, most experienced, or most skilled gardener, so if I have a lot of success this year, I will definitely credit astrology.

An Introduction

I started writing this bio, and I had a standard set of lines about how long I’ve been studying X, doing Y, where I was from, etc., and I realized how deeply uninteresting it all was!  Digging a little deeper, and opening up a little more was challenging.

So yes, I am an artist, a diviner, and a formulator of fine complexion waters – to sum up succinctly.  I’m also a Mambo Asogwe, initiated in a traditional Haitian lineage.  But more to the point of what I hope interests you, I am a student and practitioner of Western Medieval and Renaissance-style Astrology, and, more recently, Jyotish, otherwise known as Vedic Astrology here in the West.  Although I’m still working out what my astrological practice for others will look and feel like, I clearly see how I settled on the type of astrology I study and practice.

When I first encountered astrology, it was as a dabbler, surrounded by dabblers, and practitioners whose approaches were steeped in New Age philosophy and a sort of bland positivism.  I personally didn’t feel like much can be done with that, and the approach seemed sorely lacking, and I lost interest and moved on to more explicitly divinatory practices.  Then in 2011 I encountered the traditional revival and it cracked a whole world open to me.  I found people working with material from the early modern period – a period that I knew and loved through history and literature, and a stream in which I knew I could wade in deeply.  I found a revival of astrological magic, and to me that filled the huge gap between knowing one’s strengths and weaknesses, inherited and fated tendencies, and then doing something with that knowledge.

With Jyotish, it was, almost amusingly so, as if I had been actively avoiding the obvious:  I’d spent time in India, knew a little of the cultures and history, and at one point even spoke and read passable Urdu and Hindi.  But still, it took until two years ago to start down that path – and it feels fated.

Join me here to explore ideas and techniques, look at lives and events through the different lenses of astrology, examine the signposts along our spiritual paths, consider upcoming conditions, and work a little magic.