by Boots Hart, CAP

Monday, July 30, 2012

A 10 Aquarus Full Moon

A Full Moon rises over Nykoping Sweden

Earth’s northern hemisphere calls August summer. Earth’s southern hemisphere calls August winter. Either way, an August Full Moon is a ‘mid-season’ Moon which zodiacally emphasizes the Leo-Aquarius polarity.

And that means 'fixed,' in astro-terms.

That 'fixed' quality has - generally - two very different polarities. One involves gathering in information from which a decision then gets made and acted on, which fits rather nicely with Mercury being retrograde in Leo.

Well...except for that Mercury-Leo doubling up on the fixed factor thing.

And before we get all hung up on that, there is the other side of the 'fixed factor': that being procrastination. Or a refusing to deal with things. Or refusing to change.

In one direction, the 'fixed' modality says slow and steady wins the race. In the other, it's more about being a stick stuck in your own mire of muddiness.

So which are you? There's an 'overall' tendency and a 'dealing with the moment' quality here to be considered. On one hand, you may be someone with a lot of energy in fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius). On the other hand, you may just be at something of a crossroads in life, and you're trying to figure out which way to go.

With Amor – a non-sexual sort of ‘love’ (regard, focus) at 6 Aquarius and thus on the 'Moon side' of this Full Moon, we know this is a Full Moon moment which will have a tendency to 'highlights' both our creative natures and critiques. Either way this can be you supporting or criticizing yourself or someone else cheering you on or poking your thinnest skin with their very sharpest needle.

The figure here being Sun in Leo/Moon in Aquarius, there's likely to be a lot of projecting going on. So we should expect to hear folks explaining how someone else isn't doing it right when their own house or life (or head) is in a mess of shambles.

Or stuck in the sand, yes.

The Sun in Leo quality here can make us virtually blind to fact. Or caution. Or even just valid input.

At the same time it can also symbolize the vision, the power to see beyond this moment.

So what's a person to think?

Well, we do have some astro-hints thrown in here. There's Eos, the figure of the dawn. Eos being a creature of the sea, this is a 'dawning' of emotional recognition or possibility.

Then there's Sabine - the quality of being held captive by something or someone. Maybe just by our ego?

Then there's Mnemosyne. Mnemosyne is an interesting addition to this party as like everything else in this little grouping, it's positioned in Leo, the sign of native creations and creativity. On the qualitative level, Mnemosyne is about embodying creativity. So when we throw in the last modifier of the moment (Athena, representing intellectual intelligence and thinking things through) the question is again a reiteration of the baseline Sun-Moon Leo-Aquarius question: what are you doing with your life? 

 Dawn on an island beach in British Columbia.
Life...nature...sometimes we can be awed by
being part of something so magnificent.
It says so much about what we are - and what
we can potentially become.
(photo credit: Brandon Godfrey, September 2009)

What this comes down to is that this Full Moon of Thursday August 2nd (at 3:27 a.m. UT/+0) at 10 Aquarius is about whether our life 'works' for us.

And not just for 'us' on the ego level...but 'us' at the 'life' leel.

You's that 'are you frittering away precious time or opportunities?' and 'are you spending your time, energy and resources on things which are impractical...maybe even futile?'

The Moon side of this figure being in Aquarius automatically references matters social, societal and having to do with income. So if the social, societal or income part of your life is going well, this is a moment not to dent that and thus a time to either work towards capitalizing on momentum or letting things 'run' on said momentum while you have a bit of fun.

If things aren't so happy in the social, societal or income part of life, this is a time to be working on getting things on track - or back on track, depending.

However...! Life is sending us a wee notice that there is a bit of a trick to all at hand, or in mind, or in motion.

That concerns Neptune.

Neptune, you say?

Yes, Neptune. And why would that be? The 'why' there concerns Neptune's Nodes. Currently positioned at 11 Leo (Ascending/North) and 11 Aquarius (Descending/South), this Neptune quality is both a door to huge opportunities and a huge opportunity to be sinking more bad energy after good.

So how do you know which is which?

Simple: rely on facts. Hard proof, hard facts and real realities is the most likely indicator of which way to go here. So if you're working on a project, don't listen to rumor, do some from-the-source research. If you're thinking of getting involved in something, enjoy the hype and the 'selling you on how fabulous things could be' but make your choice based on realism.

And remember, that realism should have two sides to it, just like the Full Moon...there's the 'what I can do' Leo Sun side of things and 'how others are likely to respond to this idea' Aquarius Moon side of things.

Our tendency...granting that Leo is Leo...will be to want to go with 'our thing.' And this may be all well and good unless you're talking about anything income-oriented.

This is where we get back to that 'Mercury retrograde in Leo' thing. It's great for the imagining and dreaming up part of things, it's not so good with focusing on whether there's really a 'market' for what we're proposing (on the scale we want or need) or whether people will be receptive of our efforts.

It's tough. There's likely to be a goodly deal of emotional myopia (nearsightedness) going around now.

Try not to get caught up in it unless you're on vacation or celebrating an engagement or something of-the-moment fabulous like that.

As for the actual degree of this Full Moon (10 Aquarius) that too stresses the creative if Neptunian quality of the moment. As a degree, this one suggests that best bets involve keeping an open mind - even if that means hearing what you don't want to hear. This in itself rather suggests that the 'polarized' Sun-opposition-Moon quality of the Full Moon is likely to be very much on the table now. And when we add in the Neptunian Nodes, we can expect that simple things may look difficult (or like they will cause difficulties) and that those things which are in reality the least likely to succeed...well, those may come off sounding like sure-fire winner.

The solution would seem to be leaving ourselves open to inspiration while not gullible enough to believe what we want to believe because it feels good...or merely easy. 

The ability of simple things to suggest 'other images' to our mind
is natively to all of us and very much part of the Neptunian concept.
Here, two glasses are sitting on a black surface in a dark room
in front of a tiled LCD screen. It looks simple, and yet not so
simple...and in that, gives us the key to understanding
Neptune's metaphysics.
(photo credit Atoma Febuary 2007)

So where does that leave us? Probably with some  obvious pluses and minuses. Aquarius being a sign about success through acceptance of one's contribution, it's worth considering how well integrated you are with not just 'your' group, but the world around you. There's a lot of factionalizing going on - that's endemic and to be expected here at the start of the Aquarian Age.

But the point of Aquarius being universalism, that says that those who don't factionalize, who don't cater to the 'me and mine' and who look towards the broadest of societal connections, the looking past such things as race, age, social status, generational inclination, heritage, finances, technology, religion, gender, intelligence, personal interests...ALL that stuff - those who head for the most universal of appeals and the most universal of approaches are going to win.

Some will call this the 'lowest common denominator.' Some will look at this precept and realize that by holding to a standard of quality that 'universalism' becomes all-inclusiveness.

And when you deal with your life in this world, the more of the world which accepts who you are and what you contribute, the better off you are.

Notice: this is not about liking you per se...this is about accepting your contribution.

We all need a basis for existing in this world. The 'Aquarius process' is all about establishing how to fit in and how to create that basis for operation. There is an in-built tendency (which may come out at this time) to isolate or take a very 'I don't want to be part of that' stance. And that may be fine.

Then again, that may not be fine.

And that's another place where this Leo Mercury retrograde can come in handy - or be the means by which you cause your own headaches. Simply putting up a wall and saying 'I don't care about that' (or them) is a sure fire way for life to test you at some point down the line (and probably not all that far down the line!). In other words, taking the time to become informed, is the best way forward here.'s that 'know the facts' thing.

So this is a fine time to simply enjoy yourself, so long as you don’t overdo or do something foolish like try out high-wire walking for the first time with no safety net.

It’s also – rather curiously, perhaps – a great time to be casting lines into life's waters. Mercury retrograde - in any sign - is a good time for exploring. And with this Full Moon highlighting the Aquarius precept? It's a particularly apt time to float go fishing for a nibble. Even a bite!

The one caution here would be this: don't can't make good on. In fact, this may be when you realize that your having skirted and evaded responsibilities is going to cost you!

Considering how this Full Moon is in Aquarius, and that Aquarius does always suggest a “them” or a 'group,’ August 2nd may become a day of obligations. Or when you realize you have obligations coming due.

Then again, all Full Moons also point to the end of a “phase” in some greater process. Maybe you’ve been building something? Maybe you'll realize what you had been thinking to do just won't work? Maybe you'll finish doing something which for whatever reason (read: Mercury retrograde), can't or shouldn't be acted on just yet?

As with every Full Moon, some of us will arrive at August 2nd, achieve ‘x’ goal and immediately move on to some ‘next step in the process.' Given Mercury retrograde, this is likely to happen without a whole lot of hullabaloo.

hen again, some of us will get to August 2nd and realize we've been kidding ourselves...and that we really do need to deal with the reality of some situation.

  A crescent Moon rises over Kazakhstan
No matter where we are, we all share the same Moon
(photo credit: NASA - Bill Ingalls - 2009)

Whatever happens, so long as we remember that Leo tends to manifest as a 'how I'd like things to be' in our head...which may not match the reality of whatever we get presented with, we'll be fine.

And by the way - life hasn't 'disappointed' us. We have. And that's the major 'trick' with (and of) Leo. The Leo ability to envision the fun, the perfection, the 'how things could be' is supposed to be a motivation to try. That real life isn't that fantasy...that it's hot at the theme park or that our date isn't perfect...the measure of 'disappointment' we feel is exactly the difference between motivation and expectation.

And that 'ideal versus reality' is why - and where - there's a marked similarity between Leo (ruled by the Sun) and Pisces (ruled by Jupiter and Neptune).

The big difference? Leo operates in the realm of the idea or theory of the thing and ends up prompting our feelings. Pisces operates through our feelings and ends up teaching us a lesson - at least in theory.

That makes the linking of Neptune's Nodes, Sun and Mercury in Leo and the Aquarian Full Moon a highly poignant moment.

And is just a moment.

Full Moons image our monthly cycle of personal just as the solar calendar is our yearly cycle of overall life growth. The rolling overlap of the 13-month 'lunar year' against the 365.2422 day solar year and its various tests and stages are what get highlighted at the 'life level' by the 19-year (235 lunar month) Metonic eclipse cycle and at the more personal worldly-interactive level by the 18.6 lunar nodal cycle.

Oh...and did you know that the lunar nodes are about to change signs?

They are. That happens at the end of this month (August, 2012). And that means that - since the nodes cycle backwards through the zodiac (it's a planetary orbit thing) that at the moment the nodes are in the smallest of small degrees of Sagittarius (North) and Gemini (South) emphasizing what we think, what we need to learn - and the fact that we need to recognize the work involved to make things work. No matter what we want to do in life, we risk a few glitches, a few stubbed toes, a few 'oops!' moments.


  Inspiration comes in many, sunlight pours
into Antelope Canyon, Arizona
 (photo credit Lucas Loffler, August 2006)

Given this...and the position of the lunar nodes, things which have been building are coming down to some very 'basic' considerations.

Do you know which way to go?

There is very little which is hard-core predictable about  this moment. Things are in flux. Things are changing. We we need to not only recognize that, but recognize what that means to us.

So you may need to make a decision. Or you may need to do some tall thinking. Or some gathering together of the facts. We all need to be considering not just the 'our' side of things, but the 'how to connect to the world' side of things.

Then we need to understand that getting from decisions to fruition takes time. It's a process.

But we need to be part of that process if we're thinking that process is going to include us.

And from there, we all move on.

Full Moon of August 2, 2012
(Aries Wheel, not location specific) 

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Royal Stars of Persia (Part One): Aldebaran

 Ottoman miniatrure from the 17th century
 (Istanbul University Library)

A friend of mine emailed asking about the Royal Stars of Persia. So I decided to write a series of blogs on the subject.

Of said series, this would be Part One.

There are several dozen so-called 'stars of Persia,' those being the brightest stars in the skies of ancient Babylon. And as usual with ancient traditions, there’s some fluffle about whether all or just 'some' royal.

Bottom line, the 'all' part hasn't been solved. But that four of them are considered "royal"? That's established.

Known as the “Watchers in the Sky,” most astrologers think these four stars are important. They're something akin to astrological 'compass points,' if you will. Yes, there are those astrologers who never use fixed stars and who will never used fixed stars.

And let's not go into whether ‘fixed’ stars were ever broken, okay? They weren't. Nor are they really ‘fixed’ in place.

(Been there, blogged that.)

Not to get distracted here, the four stars which are undoubtedly 'Royal Stars' are as follows: Aldebaran, Regulus, Antares and Fomalhaut. This list is is zodiacal order: currently Aldebaran is in Gemini, Regulus just entered Virgo, Antares is in Sagittarius and Fomalhaut is in Pisces.

Known also as Tascheter, Aldebaran is the ‘Watcher of the East’ and therefore – because the Earth turns into the east (sunrise and all that) concerns how we move ahead in life...which seems to fit well with Aldebaran being a traditional star associated with the Vernal equinox – the Aries ingress. Aldebaran is all about the ‘now,’ what we’re doing in the moment and the literal quality we bring to what we’re doing.

Or lack of quality, yes.

 Aldebaran is the brightest star in Taurus,
telling us how important it is to our self-worth
to have - and to live our lives with integrity.

Every Royal Star promises success providing we avoid falling afoul of one particular (usually very mortal) attribute. And with Aldebaran, that attribute is integrity...which very much does concern how you do what you do.

Wherever Aldebaran falls in your natal chart (by house, by aspect to planets, nodes, etc.) that would be where your tests of integrity are going to arise.

Currently in Gemini, that integrity is measured in the quality of our thinking, thoughts and ideas, priorities, standards or organization and choices...the what we learn and how well we learn it, both on the intellectual level and as a piece in a puzzle picturing how life is lived.

You know, the standard Gemini roster.

Since Aldebaran is currently positioned at 9 Gemini (a degree entered in 1938) most folks will have 9 Gemini as Aldebaran's degree in their natal chart - and everyone else (alive, that is) will have it at 8 Gemini.

Since both are first decanate degrees (degrees between zero and 9 of a given sign) that tells us that the Aldebaran 'test of integrity' will come out through what we do and who we are. It also says that since everybody's Aldebaran is in that first decanate that there's one part of the 'Aldebaran test' which is about our holding our Self to a standard...and another part which is prompted or provoked through others and life situations.

Those with Aldebaran at 8 Gemini are likely to be concerned with (and tested on) the repercussions and consequences for their actions. Those with Aldebaran at 9 Gemini encounter tests which are more about the ability to cope (with integrity) when it comes to complex issues which strain us through physical stamina and emotional/internal tolerance.

Part of this Aldebaran test is probably about getting us to think through what we choose to get involved with before we commit to getting involved, which gets back to that old myth about Gemini being a sign which “allows you to just do everything.”

Uh, no. Gemini is about looking everything over and making a choice of what you’re going to do first, carrying that through before you take on something else.

Those who violate the integrity of this Gemini concept are probably having a hard time of late since Aldebaran was hit with by a solar eclipse in  June 2011. Many a reputation crumbled right on the spot. And those built on iffy premises and lacks of priorities and “follow through” have been cracking and falling apart ever since.

And it’s more than that. Since that eclipse, have you noticed how life and society seems to be having a lack-of-integrity free-for-all? Everywhere you look people say stuff and get away with it. That ‘getting away with it’ thing would be Aldebaran being eclipsed.

But then…it’ll only last three years. That’s how long a solar eclipse lasts, which means that as of the middle of 2014, Aldebaran (integrity) is going to start coming back on-line.

Then, come January 2015, Aldebaran will move into 10 Gemini, unveiling a whole new theme. Where 9 Gemini involves complicated problems, 10 Gemini focuses on the plight of the downtrodden and helpless.

(Please Note: that’s helpless, not hapless!)

Interpretation: expect what is expected of us as human beings (provided we want to be respected) to get tougher as of 2015. The bar for integrity, after having been tossed aside is going to be reinstalled and raised in the ‘humane’ human sense.

But for us to get there, it’s probable that for the space ahead there’s going to be a lot of bad behavior – enough to inspire the change.

 How much need will it take for us to
choose to do the right thing for others,
not just ourselves?
(painting by Hariton Platonov - 1880)

Yet that’s how astrology works. We see what’s going on by where objects stand. But in the end, its our life here on Earth that we cope with.

Aldebaran entered Gemini in the year 1298 (CE). Considering that it’s only moved just shy of ten degrees in 700 (plus) years, we can’t expect the emphasis on the integrity of human mentality to change for quite some time to come.

HOWEVER…(and this is a big however)…when we get to 2015 and Aldebaran does move into 10 Gemini, it will be leaving Gemini’s first decan (about how our mentality reflects in who we are and what we do) and entering Gemini’s second and more emotionally charged decanate.

So you think rhetoric has already gotten extreme? Stand by! You ain't heard nothin' yet!

On the other hand, from 2015 on should also bring on more meaningful communications. Who knows…that old ‘men shouldn’t have feelings’ thing (which is a lot of bunk anyway) may just get jettisoned. And if nothing else, this should herald a boon in the areas of poetry, theater, music and literature…which isn’t all bad.

Meanwhile, wherever Aldebaran is in your chart, it signifies an area of life where having integrity is vital. Any planet connected to Aldebaran shows the ‘vehicle’ through which you will tend to act out your integrity challenges and be challenged to uphold standards of integrity.

Of course, the flip side of this would also be true, though I've never heard it talked about in astrology texts. (That means, take this to be something I have witnessed in the workings of charts.) Whatever house Aldebaran is positioned in natally, that is likely to be the arena or 'department of life' you will hear Aldebaran operating in. Here would be the roughest of rough lists in that regard...

1st house: personal actions

2nd house: personal values

3rd house: personal mentality

4th house: boundaries (personal, family, national, cultural, economic)

5th house: personal effort

6th house: personal morality and ethics

7th house: interactions with others

8th house: fairness (with self and others)

9th house: media, education, foreign influences

10th house: societal standards, commerce

11th house: social or economic transacting

12th house: compassion, empathy, vulnerability

Because Mercury is ruler of Gemini, wherever house and sign Mercury occupies in your natal chart, that will also count.

Though it’s more likely that transits to Aldebaran and/or any planet strongly aspecting Aldebaran in your natal chart are what will set off ‘integrity issues.’ transits to your natal Mercury and (yes,) by transiting Mercury flirt with Aldebaran issues.

If you know astrology and how fast Mercury moves, that means life is filled with challenges to, tests of and rewards for our integrity.

It also highlights – and this seems to me the really interesting part (yes, I just accept the rest as a given!) that since Aldebaran moved into Gemini way back when in the year 1298…that really was the beginning of a vast shift on the part of everyone living on this planet from centuries of focus on the purely tangible. Back when Aldebaran was in Taurus – the constellation Aldebaran is actually in, loss of integrity often meant a very real death, even if you were a king or queen. The integrity of food (food being a Taurus thing) was just about the most important thing around.

Now, with Aldebaran in Gemini, things have changed. We’ve left the era of Taurean integrity meaning literal (corporeal, tangible) survival and entered centuries upon centuries of our intellect (intelligence, word, communication) being the means by which we survive. ‘I stand by my word’ is a very Aldebaran in Gemini sort of statement.

As Aldebaran has moved degree by degree through Gemini’s first (physical) decanate, our word being our deed has come to be understood as a literal comprehension that what we do can mean someone’s life. Just as an engineer. Or a doctor. Or a teacher, politician or parent.

And as we move forward, who thinks life is going to get simpler? Nice dream…have you checked your email, text messages, twitter feed, mail box and in basket yet today? Life is going to be ever more complicated and filled with details. And we can’t avoid it, we can’t opt out of it…

…well, at least not without risking our Aldebaran reputation. That is – in the end – pretty much the link here. Integrity is reputation. Those who don’t follow through on what they should do (the accepted standard) end up being graded down – if not out of the game. So Aldebaran in Gemini is the need to do what you do well and to not scatter yourself all over the place, lest you do nothing well and end up damaging yourself (and your reputation and thus your Taurus/Aldebaran self-worth) in the process.

We’ve all seen the rate of information begin multiplying geometrically…exponentially, during our lifetime (or since 1938, depending on how old you are!). That it has is a rather fabulous example of another astrological precept which more or less can be summed up as ‘if the degree ends in a ‘9’’ (i.e., 9 degrees, 19 degrees, 29 degrees), figure that things will be intense.

 A representation of binary data endlessly
multiplying in our newly founded information
age - image credit: W Rebel (2010)

The astrological term used is generally ‘critical.’ But since that sounds a little harsh to the ordinary ear, intense works just as well. Since 1938, the year when Aldebaran moved into 9 Gemini, information (a Gemini thing) has been multiplying at a simply astounding rate. It’s like…intense out there!

And trying to keep up? Who can keep up with the rate of information these days?

That’s just the point. We can’t. We have to CHOOSE – and that’s probably the biggest ‘integrity’ lesson anyone can come to in the world of Gemini. You can’t have it all, you can’t know it all, you can’t do it all. You have to choose. Wherever Gemini is in your chart, that’s the area where you have to make choices. And when you don’t choose – when you aren’t willing to deal with that voracious thing in your head which just spins out of control “wanting it all”? Then nothing in that area does you well. You end up suffering from a loss of reputation, a loss of respect from others and a loss of opportunities.

If you’re of a mind to try and ‘beat’ the fixed star system, be my guest. But be forewarned: these stars were picked out of the night sky for their brilliance by the ancient Babylonians (the pre-Persians, you might call them). Brilliance, in metaphysical terms means ‘important.’

Personally, I’m very into Aldebaran. I’ve seen this star work for better and for worse, causing me to suggest that running afoul of Aldebaran can make for some seriously spectacular falls from grace.

Because Aldebaran is part of the constellation of Taurus, no matter where it is zodiac-wise, it calls upon us to remember that in the end we cannot be happy unless we respect ourselves.

That's what integrity is really about. Yes, it matters how you treat others. But that's because in the end, you have to be able to live with your Self. This one idea is why those old sayings like 'money can't buy you love' and 'beauty is only skin deep' are oh-so true.

It pays us well to keep our Aldebaran quotient in good order, not because others will like us better (they may or may not, depending on their Aldebaran!) but because we will know we have done what we know is right, is real.

So that’s Aldebaran. Next up would be Regulus, the royal - and fixed - star which twinkles on us from above as part of constellation Leo.

The current plan is for these Royal Star posts to come up on succeeding Saturdays. (Which would be Saturday as it arrives in the Pacific Zone where I reside). So barring some giant event that I feel totally compelled to comment on, you'll see a piece on Regulus here next Saturday.

Until then, may your life be filled with integrity!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Zachary ‘Zak’ Bagans: So Spooky

 A detail from the painting 'The Shade of Samuel Invoked by Saul' (1857)
 by Dmitrij Martynov (1826-1889)

Everybody needs ‘down’ time. So as I turned from the ‘must do’s of life somewhere back early in the 2012 May-June Venus retrograde, I did what we do…I rolled through television channels, seeing if something would penetrate the thickness of a rather tired brain.

Then I ran across something...a show which had three grown men exploring some very dark somewhere using only the tiny LCD screens of their night-vision video cameras as a means of finding their way.

That's different.

The thought of going through some building that way struck me. On one hand, it’s sort of the ultimate in taking a step in the dark – an expressing of faith in your own ability to be safe. It's also an interesting…perhaps even illuminating (yes, I said that) use for applied technology.

As usual, the script writer in my mind clicked on...:

Ancient Explorer: In my day, we used a compass and raw wits.

Modern Explorer: We use LCD, GPS and electronic measurements.

Or something like that. Trust me, it wasn't a big-budget effort. Like I said - I was tired.

Anyway, it became clear almost immediately that these guys were being caught in the (filmic) act of trying to connect with ghosts either in ‘tape loop’ (energy imprint) form or real time. Their aim seemed to be documentation (as opposed to helping trapped spirits move on) and the intelligent responses, the electronic signatures, it all immediately struck me as rather lovely stuff.

The show’s name: "Ghost Adventures"

Personally, I find the idea that people think we simply die and vanish odd – so I’m not arguing with ghost hunters. If E=mc2’d and we’re all energy, the ‘animation’ of the mass of flesh which all too soon crumbles into elemental dust when we die…that energy must go somewhere.

Here’s the law: energy is never lost. It may change forms, but it’s never lost. This isn’t some fanciful concept, it’s one of those real-live science things.

Anyway…I’ve known one true parapsychologist in my life. And just as obviously, I have my own orientation to energy and 'things unseen.' As for those who say “where ARE they?” (referring to ghosts) I suggest'll find it on the shelf (digital or otherwise) at about half-past string theory.

M-theory is the only thing which accounts for everything we don't quite have a 'place' for...starting with ghosts, and perhaps ending with the ethereal realm of Angelic Beings.

Such theories also (by the by) account for the compounding of metaphysical effects we pondered a couple of days ago in the blog on Pluto's newest moon (LINK). 

But I digress.

So there I am watching these three guys doing their investigation...and I’m intrigued. Intrigued enough that over the next few weeks I manage to catch several other  episodes, one of which causes me to cry (don’t ask) and one of which amuses me - highly.

I think it's safe to say that it was somewhere between Zak Bagans turning to the camera when somewhere very high off the ground to confess a loathing of heights (which I share)...and then when he takes it into his head (no comment) to confront his fears by picking up a snake that the human side of this parapsychological exotica got to me.

Not that Zak was so successful with said snake. As shown, he quickly became so overcome with fear that he drops the snake and goes leaping and shrieking across the hillside, sounding for all the world like a pre-teen girl while reminding me of a springbok trying to avoid getting eaten by a lion.

Gotta love a man who will allow himself to be filmed doing that, y’know? Since he's one of the Producers on the show, he would (more than likely) have the power to get the scene cut. But he didn't. As a 2nd generation Hollywood studio brat, I know the 'face saving' side of image molding. I also know the manipulation of the image.

It's all fine.

Well, except for the picking up snakes off western US hillsides part. That, I don't think a hugely good idea. True, in this case the crew may have vetted this snake. They may have even spoken to its agent to make sure it wouldn’t bite. For all I know (and I'm a girl who can recite many a movie union contract rule) it’s just possible that in this day and age snakes get hazard pay for biting stars.

But still...

Wherever that left me, I shortly thereafter did what astrologers do: I Googled Ghost Adventures and very quickly came up with three birth dates and three birth places (one for each guy, not three for one guy. That truly would have been spooky!).

As an astrologer, I of course prefer to have time of birth included as part of my entrée, but taking data snack in hand I retreated to my comfy world of astrology software (which come to think of it also requires and LCD screeen) and typed the data in.

The first chart I took a close look at was that of Zak Bagans. Here's the simplified version of that chart:

 Zachary 'Zak' Bagans - April 5, 1977 - Washington, DC
(Chart erected in Aries Wheel format due to no birth time.
No Moon is shown for the same reason. though unless
the birth time is prior to 39 minutes after midnight, this
nativity will have a Scorpio Moon.)

Truthfully, my first 'Ghost Adventures' astro-fact involves the idea that the entire team is born under the sign of Aries. And that doesn't strike me as being out of line. Aries is the sign of existing and conscious recognition of same. So for a trio of Aries people to be documenting the existence of ghosts seems apt. These guys are spending their lives looking for signs of life beyond life. And the manner in which they look for it is through looking to connect (as they often point out) through intelligent communication - the very sign of existence as consciousness-in-action.

How very Aries.

The last chart called up in my program was that I began to ponder - Zak Bagans'. And before I continue, let's be straight here: I know very little about him. But I had heard the show's introduction a couple of times by the time I did all this chart-casting.

Episodes of Ghost Adventures begin with the Voice-of-Zak declaring in a tone forthright, declarative and maybe a wee bit confessional (...again, how very Aries...) the following:

My name is Zak Bagans. I never believed in ghosts until I came face to face with one."

"So I set out on a quest to capture what I once saw onto video. With no big camera crews following us around, I am joined only by my fellow investigator Nick Groff and our equipment tech Aaron Goodwin. The three of us will travel to some of the most highly active paranormal locations, where we will spend an entire night being locked down from dusk until dawn"

"Raw...extreme...these are our Ghost Adventures.” 

...and when I saw Zak Bagans' chart, even without a proper time of birth that little phrase ‘I never believed in ghosts until I came face to face with one’ jumped right off the screen. 

Astrologically, the image was perfect: sitting at 15 Aries, Zak's natal Sun (life) is conjunct Eris (discord) at 13 Aries.

Remember my saying that I was going to look around for some charts which highlighted Eris? I couldn't have asked for a better example. And considering several inquiries about Eris (that’s what you get when you’re the warm body doing the research) it’s apparent that the metaphysical Eris as ‘discord’ (from the Roman name for the goddess: Discordia) doesn’t yet make sense to most folks. We tend to think in terms of 'destruction' and Eris isn't about destruction. Eris isn’t even about not taking the trash out or leaving your socks on the floor.

Eris isn't about anything you do. Eris isn't even about anything done to you. Eris is about how you experience something which occurs.

And if the byword for Eris is 'discord,' that tells us that Eris represents some thing or some feeling...or both...which evokes a sense of discord.

Like ghosts, maybe?

I guess if you're Zak Bagans, yes.

 The idea of ghosts has been part of virtually every culture
throughout human kind. Philosophically, this would be a
reflection of the idea that as soon as we 'own' the idea we exist,
we wonder what 'non-existence' is - and what becomes of
a life as rich and consciously vibrant as that of a human is,
whether filled with joy or horror. The above is part of a
three-panel painting from around 1850 called 'The Ghosts of
 Togo and His Wife' by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Yet I doubt it's all that direct and linear-simple. Very little about life is...very little about astrology - a lens through which we can better understand life (or the afterlife, depending) - is that simple.

Dwarf Planet Eris inhabits the far flung regions of our solar system beyond Neptune, the last “official” planet. This entire region is known rather generously as the Kuiper Belt (with fringe districts being known as the Oort Cloud) …with anything which cycles in this arena often simply referred to as a KBO (Kuiper Belt Object).

 Planet Neptune
photo credit: NASA-JPL

This KBO 'group-simplification' is useful in astrology simply because all KBOs, no matter their subset (of which there are several) …all seem to be about situations, circumstances and interactions which, in provoking us, get us past our inhibitions, our lack of knowledge, our denials – or simply some lack of experience. The tornado which sweeps through and destroys your quiet, peaceful neighborhood, the experience of that is often signaled by a KBO (either as a transiting object or a natal KBO in your chart being transited by major planet, node or eclipse).

The tornado is not the 'thing.' The 'thing' is what you experience because of or through being exposed to the tornado.

In Zak Bagan's chart, because we see Eris positioned rather tightly conjunct to the Sun, we know a couple of things. He is 'made' (as it were) to provoke. He can do it through what he 'does' (the standard Aries "I do" method) and with Sun/Eris he could be highly provocative, provoking or simply combative. This would be Zak embodying Sun/Eris, Zak being someone who "is" Eris and thus causes discord.

He could also experience Sun/Eris as something which 'disrupts' his physical (Aries) life. One hopes this doesn't happen, but it's another way this confluence could work.

Then again, there's the active/passive 'life as response to Eris' expression - which seems to be more of Zak's style. In this bailiwick we would have Zak 'being' the person which has resulted from his own experiences in life...hence the 'I never believed in ghosts until I came face to face with one.’ 

How would we know that Zak would be one of these things and not the other? The whole of how this works could only be delineated through knowing his birth time. But apart from that, the chart does give us one major commentary. Aries (the sign of his Sun/Aries) is ruled by Mars. And Zak's natal Mars is in Pisces. Specifically, in the second or emotional decanate of Pisces (degrees 10-19).

As a sign, Pisces is about experiencing our feelings. Where we see Pisces in any chart, we know that there is a certain level of caution which comes from an inner knowing of how powerful emotionality can be. That Pisces is known as a sign of addicts and prisons is all about that very sort of 'inability to cope' with the reality of life, of disappointment, of mortality.

Given that, unless Zak Bagans was something like a surgeon or some such, it's hard to think that an Aries Sun/Eris ruled by a Pisces Mars would be overly aggressive. Does he have his moments? Abso-pozzo-lutely! But an out-and-out aggressor? Probably not.

This is, however, a combination which does leave some space open for questions of 'toxicity,' be that emotional or physical. Anything from a swelled head and out-of-touch case of emotional narcissism to drug or alcohol dependence through to issues arising from chemical or biological exposure or being on either end of love addictions would fit this particular bill.

So Zak Bagans gets born with this chart. And through his life he experiences this and that form of Sun/Eris - of that, we may be sure even without a detailed life history.
Sun/Eris in this chart is like a depth charge with an automatic reset mechanism.

Obviously without time of birth and exactly knowledge of when Zak met the ghost, we can’t know what that ‘trip wire’ was. But that he’s gone on to investigate ghosts – which of themselves are startling and sort of ‘unsettling’ things? That's very Aries Eris/Sun. That he has been forced and through his work introduces others to things which cause them to reorient themselves to the  apparent stability of our dimensional time/space existence?

That's seriously Sun/Eris. That is Zak Bagans acting as the very embodiment of his Aries Sun/Eris. He's making a life (Sun) out of something which by its very nature is emotionally provocative (Eris).

An orbital diagram of the solar system including Eris
(diagram credit: JPL Small Body Data Base) 

But how would we know that he would do it through creating a TV series?

Again, the real peach-pit in the works here is that we don't have his time of birth. But even at that, Zak Bagan's natal chart has one very pronounced figure which should really give us a clue.

That figure? Pluto in Libra with Pluto positioned as to be very much in opposition with Zak's Sun/Eris, forming something of a conduit - an energy tunnel, if you will.

(Hmmm....isn't that what he ends up doing a lot of the time? Wandering around in dark tunnels looking for energy readings seems to be one of Zak's hobbies.)

In short, the television show is a Zak Bagans harnessing his Pluto in Libra.

Pluto is (among other things) a generational marker. As Pluto movies through the signs, a greater society unprompted by astrologers seems to follow right along, clicking off generational nicknames: Pluto in Leo - the Baby Boomers; Pluto in Virgo - the Yuppies; Pluto in Libra - Gen X.

A Libra Pluto is the signature of Gen X. To paint this tribe in the broadest of all brush strokes, Gen X is a generation very into trends. Gen X creates them, Gen X loves believing in them, and Gen X subscribes to the idea of trends as a righteously good thing.

Gen X likes to share. And this is not so mysterious if we consider Libra as the sign of 'the other' or where the "me-I" of life meets up with reactions.

Pluto is an obsessive, driving energy. There is a drive in every generation which in Gen X focuses on that other and what that other thinks...or thinks about...or thinks of 'me.' Gen X is the generation of the celebrity monogram. Sure, tabloids existed long before Gen X arrived, but this is the generation which made the paparazzi rich. (Okay, richer.) With Libra being an airy and theoretical sign, Pluto’s notorious quality of magnetism drew this generation took the Pluto in Virgo (Yuppie) materialism one step further, bringing us the ‘everyman as star’ (reality TV) while escalating show and tell from 'what you have' (an earthy, Virgo concept) into who you are, what you look like, and who your friends are.

With Pluto in Libra, it's the idea of the thing which is attractive. This is the generation which wants to be able to say it even if the truth is they don't really like it!

Yet there’s a trick with all Pluto placements: the real lesson, the road to Plutonic fulfillment lies in the opposition. So the 'easy' thing is to obsess about the other and being in relationship to the other and blah, blah, blah. But the power of Pluto in Libra comes from the polarity sign.

Which is...?


What this means is that the object of Pluto in Libra is to a.) know who you are, b.) know what you believe in and are capable of and c.) using that to connect to others.

Yes, this is why Gen X got so wildly into appearances, including plastic surgery. This is why Gen X members were the first to get wholly into branding.

(Not cowboys-and-cows branding, the other kind of branding - that where one's name becomes a public symbol or 'nameplate' icon...)

 Manao Tupapau (The Spirit of the Dead Keep Watch)
by Paul Gauguin (1892)

I’ll guess that with a 15 Aries Sun (13 Aries Eris) so decidedly in opposition to a natal 12 Libra Pluto, Zak Bagans is a man who understands being polarized and being in connection to others. It's a passion. It's intriguing - in both directions. And to utilize it?

That, so often becomes the Pluto question. Difficulties arise and we often tend to think 'it's not me, it's them' - Pluto does tend to cause us to project.

Ultimately the lesson is ours. Always ours. It's about needed grow and how after a time, anything can become a bit rote. Then we have to change, we have to mix it up and hopefully in that process, become renewed in our Pluto purpose...lest Plutonic energy come back to haunt Zak Bagans' case, perhaps literally.

That means that in the choosing of what we want to be involved in, we heed our Pluto and choose carefully, lest we end up cutting ourselves short, boxing ourselves in and causing the energy of growth to creating a sense of life lost...a dead end.

As for's likely that prior to getting spooked into  paranormal work (of which Ghost Adventures is may well only be one format) Zak was a touch restless and prone to feeling the sort of motivation which sometimes manifests as rebelliousness, sometimes as moments of irascibility.

Yet with an Aries Venus right behind the Aries Sun/Eris duo, though this combination lends itself to some degree of "bottom line expressiveness" (without all the corners getting nicely rounded and rubber-bumpered) the Sun/Venus part of it lends the sort of sweetness which generally spells redemption. Though it can also surface as that special sort of evasive charm which works in the moment but often leads to second-guessing, voluntary or prompted.

In point of fact, any planet in close conjunction to the Sun gives an 'unconscious' sort of quality. So until Zak Bagans found ways to appeal and connect to others through harnessing his own humanness and vulnerability, that Venus-Sun-Eris would have made for a few iffy incidents. And yes, throughout life he is likely to stub his feelings on those of others. But that's just Sun/Venus in Eris.

And let's face it...there are no perfect charts. Or perfect lives.

Plus there is the good part of it all...even when Zak Bagans does rub stumble over his best intentions (and don't we all at times?), he gets a lesson - a Sun-Eris lesson. And thus, through internal Sun-Eris prompting, he grows. Learns. Matures.

That's just the way it works. Our charts each have markers which shows how each of us learns. Zak Bagans just does his learning - greatly - through the being or receiving of Eris-type energetics.

So...bottom line? The bottom line here - at least to this astrologer's thinking is that the ghost did Zak Bagans a substantially huge (dare we say transcendental?) service.

I guess he should hope that ghost doesn't have a billing service. (What does a good haunting cost these days, anyway?)

Oh yes - and a note for those who've heard all reality TV shows are scripted and therefore bunk. I'm not touching that with a ten-foot digital pole, except to say that even IF the entire show was fluff, if it rattles people's mental bones and provokes thought about life beyond the norm and status quo, that's Sun/Eris.

Thinking this all through, I turned to one of the ever-present books clustered atop my desk – a well-thumbed copy of Dane Rudhyar’s An Astrological Mandala (Vintage Books, copyright 1973). You've heard me talk about Sabian Symbols and this is one of a dozen books on same. The Sabian Symbols for each of the zodiac's 360 degrees are exactly the same in every book. What makes this book particularly interesting for me however, is that Rudhyar has commented on same.

So...being the cat which gets killed periodically for curiosity, I opened the book and looked up the degree of Zak’s Sun...and yes, I realize that if he was born in the last tick-tocks before midnight of the next day his Sun would be at 16, not 15 Aries.

But when you read this...well, let's just say I would be hugely surprised if his Sun is at 16 Aries. Why? Allow me to type most of what Dane Rudhyar writes about 15 Aries out - I suspect you'll see what I mean.



Keynote: Attunement to the potency of invisible forces of nature.

Text: In the light of personal fulfillment (symbol of sunset and wisdom) man may be able to establish a life-giving contact with natural forces. These are active any time growth processes take place, but man’s individualized mind is usually too focused on working for consciously set goals to be able to realize concretely the presence of invisible (or “occult”) forces in operation. These forces constitute a specific realm of any planetary life. They are inherent in all “biospheres,” on whatever planet. They are non-individualized and un-free energies forming in the substratum of all life processes – thus of the process of integration at the level of the planet-as-a-whole, i.e., the planet as an organism with its automatic systems of growth, maintenance and organic multiplication.

In this planetary organism those nature forces act as guiding and balancing-harmonizing factors...(sic)...(and) It is when this energy becomes less dominant – thus symbolically at sunset – or when the body energy is weakened by illness, fasting or sensory deprivation, that it becomes easier to perceive these “nature spirits” and to give them forms that symbolize the character of their activities. (sic) When this Sabian symbol reaches into the consciousness of a man seeking meaning, it should be seen as an invitation to open his mind to the possibility of approaching life in a holistic and non-rational, intuitive manner.

When I read that, suddenly the image of three men walking through pitch black darkness using only tiny LCD screens as guidance made total sense - at least for Zak Bagans. ‘…when the body energy is weakened by sensory deprivation…it becomes easier to perceive these “nature spirits.”’

It also meant that Zak Bagans' nativity is a 15 Aries chart, not a 16 Aries chart. 

Moreover, this is the moment which prompted me to write this blog. It's the very sort of moment which makes astrology so interesting, useful and illuminating. In harnessing his own willingness to walk through darkness proverbial and literal, Zak Bagans has harnessed his Pluto. He's connected that which provoked his life (Eris) to the questions and questing of millions of other people, enhancing both giver and the those given to. That's how Gen X triumphs - and why so many members of this generation find their greatest strength (in the public/worldly sense) lies in something which has an entrepreneurial flair.

As for Zak Begans, he's found not just a way to connect to the living, but also a way to connect to the spirits of those who, though dead, still cry out. He gives them the voice of Eris provocation and a moment in which they, from their unfathomable nearness, can remind us of what - in the end - are KBO consequences which are just as real in our lives as in theirs. 

As 'tis said in the world of metaphysics: Use the energy wisely, lest it use you unwisely.

In reaching Beyond and reaching out, Zak has also put himself on a path to understanding how his own fulfillment works. How a status quo isn't necessarily his bliss. In the spirits of Nature, he finds his Self. He learns more about the nature of Self and existing. And in that process, he provides us all with insights.

And yes, he serves to provoke us. Whether you find yourself wondering why you haven't taken it upon yourself to do something as meaningful to you...whether you're drawn to ask how life and our lives work...or why what we do with our lives - and even how we do it counts?

If Zak Bagans makes you think. If his life makes him think, it's all good and valid. It's all Sun-Eris-Pluto.

Speaking of which, without reciting here the whole of the Sabian Symbol for his 12 Libra Pluto, let me just say that the (universal) Sabian for 12 Libra is 'MINERS ARE SURFACING FROM A DEEP COAL MINE'...with the keynote being 'The need to carry on at ever deeper levels the quest for knowledge which keeps burning the fires of the collective mind of a society.'

Need we say more? Mind you, this is about Zak himself, and this is about all those he encounters, including those he will never know, and those whose lives (or existences) will be changed because of what he does...or even what he doesn't do. This Sun/Eris opposition Pluto is a powerful configuration, one far better consciously used for good purpose than not.

Of course there are thousands of people born on the same day as Zak Bagans. Will they have his chart? No. they won't, because not one of them was born in the exact like moment and same location. That's why Zak is who he is...and why your chart speaks to who you are.

Charts repeat only once every 25,920 years even if all you're looking at are the most 'standard' of standard astrological symbols: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Add in modern dwarf planets like Eris, Sedna, Haumea, Ixion and a couple of dozen core asteroids, comets and fixed stars and charts will only repeat once every 250 million years.

Zak is who Zak is. His team partners are who they are. You are who you are. We all have an opportunity to learn who we are and to find ways to tap into our hidden potentials. Life often leads us from theme to theme to theme...and when we stop to think about it, they all 'do' the same thing. The success we have with each thing and each type of interaction, that's what's supposed to tell us how to hone our act, our aim, our plans.

I’d still like to have Zak’s birth time. In fact, I’d like birth times for his partners Aaron and Nick, too. Why? Because they’re a team. Why they're a team interests me. All partners and relationships of any sort have a functional connection in time/space, and understanding the nature of time/space in manifestation is what I do...rather like the Ghost Adventures team looks to connect with ghosts.

There are also some questions I'd love to ask about their equipment. For instance, mel meters are sensitive to certain frequencies. What frequencies are those? We live in a universe of energy and frequencies - all of which translates into numbers.

And since Zak Bagans refers to himself not just as a ghost hunter but a demon does that mean mel meters register both? If so, would they also register the presence of Angels? And if not, why not - and what would?

Getting back to what they do versus what I do, there do seem to be differences. (Repetition of Disclaimer: I don't know much about Ghost Adventures as a project or the aims of its stars.). So what their ultimate aims are, they are. They seem to be focused on collecting and documenting that ghosts and spirits exist, which is markedly different from what I do: in my work as an astrologer (apart from all else I do) I use astrology to decipher patterns of time space - to make sense of human life, culture, politics and commerce.

That data, those patterns, that information, I pass along to you, to clients, to others. Beyond that it's all also part of my wanting to know more about time/space...particularly the 'time' part of time/space.

Time is a particular fascination of mine. And to me, metaphysics, especially where it interfaces with hard science...well, just call it reverse engineering. Through what the thing is, we discover how it works. Through how it works, we discover how it comes to exist.

On a metaphysical level, of course.

Having been an astrologer now for quite a while, I realize I may never get any of the data particulars. So my questions may forever remain unanswered. But meanwhile, I can thank the team all for their work - and for having inspired me to see this piece of Dane Rudhyar writing in a totally new way.

For me, it's truly meaningful - a lasting bit of insight which answers some questions while prompting others.

(That's my favorite sort of information. Here's hoping it's yours, too.)

As for Zak Bagans...wherever you are Zak, muchos thanks. Just watch the snake thing, okay?