Movie fans around the world have reacted with shock and sadness with the untimely death of Australian actor Heath Ledger in New York on January 22. While the cause of death is not yet known, Ledger's depression and mental difficulties is widely believed to have been a factor. The Brokeback Mountain star was recently separated from his girlfriend Michelle Williams and had a long history of abusing illegal and prescription drugs. As is often the case with situations of stress and hopelessness, Saturn played a crucial role in reflecting Ledger's final moments of despair.
Heath's natal chart revealed a great sensitivity and tendency towards repressed feelings. His three planets in sidereal Pisces gave him an ability for emotional receptivity, especially since that was magnified by Jupiter's aspect from the watery sign of Cancer. His capacity to enjoy life may have been thwarted by Saturn's opposition to Venus. This is a very close opposition aspect and is likely the key astrological signature for his marital unhappiness. Although we don't know his birthtime, we can use the Moon in Gemini as the ascendant to represent his first house. His great career success can be seen in Jupiter's close aspect to Mercury in Pisces. Mercury's debilitation in Pisces is nullified through this aspect from its dispositor in the sign of its exaltation. Mercury, therefore, rules the first (profile) and tenth (career) houses in this Chandra lagna chart and its enhancement by Jupiter gives a massive boost to the outcomes of these houses.
(Updated June 7, 2008) Hillary Clinton ended the race for the Democratic nomination today and forcefully threw her support behind the candidacy of Barack Obama for president. After one of the closest and most intense nomination races in history, Obama has emerged as the presumptive nominee for the Democrats and is due to be formally nominated at the convention at the end of August in Denver.
While I had known that the current period would be difficult for Hillary, I did not foresee her defeat at this time. I underestimated the manifestations of the negative influences that were operating in her chart and believed instead that she would take the race all the way to the convention. So I was wrong. Astrology has never been an exact science, and I certainly make more than my share of mistakes. Moreover, the lack of reliable birth times for any of the candidates adds another layer of potential error to the inherent fragility of all astrological forecasting. Over the past three weeks, a new birth time has surfaced for Obama (7.11 pm) , which complicated matters further. It has not been verified by official documents and it seems unlikely that it ever will be.
Over the past twenty years, climate change has become one of the predominant concerns of humanity for the 21st century. Although the Earth's climate has undergone natural cycles of change throughout its history, evidence is mounting that the recent warming period has, in part, resulted from man-made carbon emissions as predicted by the Greenhouse Effect. While the theory of climate change remains subject to scientific criticism, the consensus among most climate scientists remains that the Earth is warming and we humans have something to do with it. Astrology can offer a unique window on this phenomenon both in terms of understanding recent historical climate trends as well as offering clues about possible future climate outcomes.
It is well-known that the Earth has been subject to a widely changing climate. The last Ice Age ended about 20,000 years ago. More recently, the so-called Medieval Warm Period from about 900-1300 coincided with the Viking expansion to Iceland and Greenland, both of which supported viable agriculturally-based economies.
The Little Ice Age from 1500-1850 wreaked havoc with agricultural production worldwide and frequently froze European rivers and inland waterways. Since about 1850, however, the Earth has been in a warming period. In the past 30 years, this warming has accelerated to a point that seems to exceed normal climatic variations. That is why most scientists believe that human activity is a major component of the current warming phase.
In Michael Richards' horoscope (July 24 1949 4.43 am PDT Culver City, CA) Mercury rises opposite Jupiter, an excellent combination for success through communication. His Sun is close to the ascendant suggesting someone who is confident being in the spotlight. Venus in the second can give wealth but its conjunction there with Saturn is our first clue about what went wrong. The second house rules speech and Saturn's presence there is detrimental, especially since Saturn rules the 8th house of embarrassment and scandal. Richards' Gemini Moon rounds out the picture of a person who is born to share his ideas, although it's 12th house placement might mean that there are secrets and emotional vulnerabilities that Richards' keeps from public view. Mars (anger) and Uranus (sudden) are in close conjunction also in the 12th house, a possible sign that his anger will erupt out of nowhere. The Moon's connection with this anger signature in the 12th makes this a more deeply ingrained part of his personality. Nonetheless, it's not in a kendra(angular) house, so it's kept from view most of the time.
The 20-year star of this summer's movie hit Superbad is known for his unassuming and quietly comic manner that he first crafted in the cult TV series Arrested Development. Born in Canada, Michael's career in Hollywood has followed an upward trajectory and shows no signs of slowing down. After co-starring in in the funny and touching teenage coming of age Superbad, his new movie Juno also received rave reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.
With the release of her third album Good Girl Gone Bad in June 2007, pop singer Rihanna has achieved worldwide fame as it hit #1 in many countries. Although she emerged as a popular artist in 2006 with the previous release A Girl Like Me, her star has risen higher than ever this year. Is it just because "Umbrella" was a catchy song, or were the planets on her side as well? Her horoscope shows a very creative and artistic person as Moon and Venus, the planets of beauty and art are closely conjoined in sidereal Pisces, a watery sign associated with aesthetics and imagination. Her creative and artistic side gets a big boost from Mercury exactly sextile Venus. Rihanna also has a very energizing sextile from Mars, Saturn and Uranus to her Sun. It's interesting that all of these three planets are either masculine or neuter, as her singing style has been described as cool, distant, even robotic. She's unlikely to emote strongly or use any diva-like heavy vibrato in her songs.
[The following article appeared in the June 2003 issue of the Fraser Valley Astrology Guild's Newsletter.]
With the worst of the SARS outbreak apparently behind us, I thought it would be interesting to compare the Canada horoscope for the most serious health emergency in our history, the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic with the recent planetary configurations that coincided with SARS. While significant afflictions can be seen using western techniques such as progressions, I am taking a vedic approach to these charts, using the sidereal zodiac/Lahiri ayanamsha and vimshottari dasha system whereby certain planets exert disproportionate influence during their periods.
[The following article appeared in the September 2003 issue of Express Star Teller.]
On August 7, former body building champion (he won the Mr. Universe title 4 times) and movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy for Governor of California, the USA's most populous state. The election is the result of a formal recall movement sparked by disgruntled citizens and business people who seek to end the continuing budgetary and energy troubles that have plagued the state under the present governor, Gray Davis. With California's wide open approach to electoral democracy where any citizen with $3500 and 65 signatures can run for governor, the gubernatorial field now stands at 200 and the October 7 ballot promises to be one of the strangest in US history.