What is it about…Justin Bieber?

Photo credit unknown.
Photo credit unknown.

That celebrity I mentioned yesterday with the super strong Pluto? It’s….wait for it…Justin Bieber. OMFG! Seriously?

Yep, at the risk of completely decimating any street cred I happen to have left after all of my confessions regarding my theory that there is a Pet Shop Boys song for any and all of lifes little situations, here is the link to the post I have just done for Yasmin Boland’s Moonology.

Elementary, my Dear Watson…


This is a post for the Astro Basics page…so for non Astro peeps, this comes with a long post and technical post warning!

Every Sunday night I cast an experienced eye over the height of my ironing basket and make a judgement regarding the approximate number of glasses of wine required to get to the bottom of it. A good week might be a 2 glass ironing load, a bad week could require the consumption of a half bottle.

Another ironing staple is a decent movie to do it in front of. Which is why I was standing there with tears running down my cheeks as I watch Maria (for about the hundredth time) run back across the lawn to the children as they have tried and failed to make themselves feel better with a rendition of “These Are a Few of My Favourite Things.”

It isn’t just movies that get me going. Certain songs do it every time as well.  Agnetha singing “The Winner Takes It All” has me in tears every time- and not just for the unblended blue eye-shadow, but the part in the video where her voice breaks in the last verse “and I understand, you’ve come to shake my hand”…. how the hell did she sing that??? And anyone sitting beside me on any Qantas flight coming back into Sydney will do well to turn their head as I sob silently to “I Still Call Australia Home”.

Emotions absolutely dominate me and it isn’t just because my Sun happens to fall in Pisces. Sure, that is pretty dominant, but it is also because of the number of other key planets that I have in water signs. It is at this point that we are going to get a little technical, so bear with me- this is important.

Each sign is comprised of is a combination of element and modality. This is what makes each of the signs individual. Check Out Astro Basics for more on this.

  • Fire is creative and stimulating- think sparks. Fire is motivated by movement, action and creation. Fire signs are Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.
  • Earth is practical, stable, responsible and goal focused- think structure. Earth is motivated by physical and material security. Earth signs are Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn.
  • Air is perceptive, social and communicative- think headspace and messages. Air is motivated by communication. Air signs are Gemini, Libra and Aquarius.
  • Water is emotional, intuitive, empathetic and creative- think feelings. Water is motivated by emotional security and connections. Water signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.

In most cases, the energy in your birth-chart will be spread across a number of signs. You may have your Ascendant in one sign, your Sun in another and your Moon and other planets in others. This generally means that you are a combination of all different elements and energy levels. The balance or otherwise of elements in your chart influences how you operate.

If you have one element dominating your chart, regardless of the sign that your sun is in, you will display the characteristics of that element and/or modality. Looking just at the elements, if your Sun is in Scorpio, but many of your other planets fall into Air signs, you will still essentially be Scorpio, but you will probably be substantially more communicative and (dare I say it) sociable than Scorpio usually is. Likewise a Fire Sun with the majority of other planets in water signs will be more sensitive and empathetic than fire signs tend to be.

So, how do you know whether you are predominantly one element over another? There are a number of different methods out there and every astrologer swears by their own. Whatever works for you is the right one.

I include the Ascendant sign as this is how you meet the world. I also use the sign that the Midheaven falls into. Most astrologers do not use this point, however this is the birds eye view of you that the world has, so I do consider it important- but not as important as the Ascendant. Anyway, this method works for me:

  • Score 2 points for sign of the Ascendant, Sun and Moon. These are the most dominant factors in your chart.
  • Score 1 point for each of the other 7 planets: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
  • Score 1 point for the sign that the Midheaven falls into.
  • This will give you a maximum of 15 possible points if you include the Ascendant and Midheaven, and 12 points if you don’t have an accurate birth time.

I have demonstrated this calculation below in relation to my chart.

Jo chart

  • In Fire signs I have: Venus (1), Saturn (1), Midheaven (1)
  • In Earth signs I have: Pluto (1), Uranus (1)
  • In Air signs I have: no planets
  • In water I have: Ascendant (2), Sun (2), Moon (2), Mercury (1), Jupiter (1), Mars (1) and Neptune (1)

Out of a possible maximum 15 points:

  • I have 3 points or 20% in Fire signs
  • I have 2 points or 13% in Earth signs
  • I have 0 points in Air signs
  • 10 points or 67% in Water signs.

Some astrologers recommend using just the traditional 7 planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) plus the Ascendant and Midheaven. This method also has a lot of validity. In my case, the mix would be altered only slightly, but definitely portrays a pretty good picture of my essential make-up:

  • Fire- 25%
  • Water- 75%

From an elemental viewpoint, I am very heavily weighted towards water and relatively unbalanced elsewhere. I am motivated heavily by emotions and feelings and am extremely sensitive to my environment, yet have problems with setting goals, and naturally have relatively low and unstable energy levels.

As for organising my thoughts? Well, the heart rules the head every time. Although I have 2 planets in Earth signs, I have enormous problems setting practical goals and often feel as if there is no ground beneath my feet.

Sometimes, despite having done the analysis above, you may feel that you identify with an element that doesn’t appear to be dominant in your chart. I have always felt more in tune with the element of Fire than the results above would indicate. More competitive than your average fish, I have always been quick to start something new and when physically fit, my creativity really flourishes.

So, to take this one step further, look also at the houses your planets fall into. If one dominates, you have your answer.

The following houses are associated with Fire signs: 1st, 5th, 9th

The following houses are associated with Earth signs: 2nd, 6th, 10th

The following houses are associated with Air signs: 3rd, 7th, 11th

The following houses are associated with Water signs: 4th, 8th, 12th

Using a similar system (although this time you don’t use the Ascendant and Midheaven as by default they always fall into a fire house and earth house respectively) and my chart:

Fire houses: Sun (2), Moon (2), Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune 7 points

Earth houses: Venus (1) 1 point

Air houses: Pluto (1), Uranus (1) 2 points

Water houses: Mars (1), Mercury (1) 2 points

And there we have it.

Try it out- what do your elements say about you?

In the next instalment we’ll look at what it means (and what you can do) if you chart is heavily dominated (or otherwise) by one or more elements.

It’s Pandemonium

Aries knight of swords

The Sun moves into Aries tomorrow. To whet your appetite a little, last years Aries’ post (with a few minor tweaks) dedicated to my favourite Aries peeps- you know who you are…after all, it really IS all about you

Astrologers’ attitudes to Sun signs are a little like parents who have a heap of kids- you love them all and even though you know that you shouldn’t, you do have your favourites. Just like parents, there are days where you would sell certain ones for the price of a cupcake. We clash with those who are either most like us, or are so different that we can’t understand them. Then there is always the one who is so exasperating and so annoying and so frustrating and yet so goddamn irresistible that we can’t help but lavish a little extra attention.

For me, this is always Aries. I make no apology. I have Venus in Aries so Aries type things and Aries type people make me feel good and excited and alive- which is lucky as I am surrounded by Rams. My daughter has 4 Aries planets (including a 4th house Sun) and my 6ft whatever baby brudda and my absolute bestest male friend are both 1st house Aries Sun & Mars.

This post is especially for my favourite Rams, with my love- you know who you are- as chaotic, exhausting and addictive as you are.

For Aries winning, being first, leading the pack is not a preferred option, it is a birthright, a destiny almost. Aries is about life force, will, courage and an absolute desire to achieve- at all costs. With this will come independence, assurance and unapologetic selfishness.  The biggest challenge for Aries is to learn to pick which battles he really wants to fight, to learn what can and what can’t be controlled or changed. On the rare occasions he loses or stuffs up, he will quickly turn it around and move on.

Aries will blaze trails, fight fires and accept dares. In doing so, the Ram is a stress magnet and manages to create crises in order to solve them and prove his courage. Sometimes it is as if he is whirling from challenge to challenge simply for the sake of perpetual motion. As such, “burn out” or adrenal exhaustion is the most common health problem for Aries- when your body just says it has had enough.

Similarly, Aries can be quite accident prone- again because of carelessness as a result of physical exhaustion or fearlessness. Aries Rising, in particular, will carry scars from previous battles, mishaps or tree climbing incidents, or- as in the case of my Aries Rising brudda & Aries Rising (Capricorn) sister- train throwing, toy gun throwing or bike/clothesline collisions. As the Ram usually charges head first, horns down, most scars will be around the head. This is usually an Aries Rising give-away.

At the other end of the spectrum, Aries can easily become depressed or ill when he feels that he doesn’t have a challenge or has lost “himself” in the service or responsibility of others. Aries can also have health issues when fear replaces courage. He may also have little tolerance for the health issues of others in fear that it might be catching and his vitality will be diminished as a result. In order to keep the flame burning, Aries does have to keep moving. A bored Aries will pick a fight or create a crisis just for the sake of having a fire to fight. A fearful Aries will hide behind excuses and coulda woulda shouldas. But Aries asserting his will? Well, that’s just plain remarkable.

Aries loves impetuously, completely and quickly, but needs challenge and movement to keep the fire alive. For Aries of both sexes, the hunt is the most exciting part of the game. Space and personal freedom is also important for both sexes to stay healthy and creative. Aries will respond to confinement and loss of independence and purpose with chronic poor health.

If he wants you an Aries man will chase hard and fast. I dare anyone (let alone an impressionable naive fish with a faulty man radar) to resist his impulsive, impetuous, energetic and completely whole hearted pursuit for long. You will believe every line he spins and every “us together forever” dream he shares. He will be so totally there and unable to be ignored that when the passion of the hunt moves to another you will be devastated…and just a little exhausted.

The Aries man has an almost domineering sex appeal- you can’t help but notice or be affected by his presence- especially if Mars is also in Aries. This doesn’t mean that he will be a “no neck”, “knuckle-dragging” hunk of insensitive testosterone and missing links- this is definitely not the case, although if you follow the cliches, you might be confused into thinking this is who he is. Sure this is a physical sign, but that is way too one dimensional for this man. He will, however, usually be body conscious, works to maintain his fitness and has, shall we say, huge amounts of energy. He will encourage you to look after yourself as well and will make an excellent training partner. He will sweep you off your feet, and will pop you up on a pedestal and blame you if you fall off. He will take charge, solve your problems and inject you with some of his enthusiasm. He can be tactless, honest, incredibly competitive and totally irresistible. He is a knight in shining armour.

He will need space to move and will run a mile if he feels that he needs you too much or if he feels you are trying to control him. The only way to keep an Aries man is on a very long leash and with him believing that he is not in any way dependent on you for anything. He likes to think your world revolves around him and will want to know that he is the best you have ever had… and, if you can handle the pace, he very well may be! Challenge, mutual discovery and the occasional battle of wills (followed by make- up sex) will keep his interest. Although he wants to win, he wants the outcome to be worth the effort and is suspicious and bored with easy victories.

One of the most asked questions on the search engine is How do I keep my Aries boyfriend? Second only to “how do I piss off an Aries?” (I’m serious…) The answer (to the first) is simply that you can’t- not if he doesn’t want to be kept…ever tried to move a merino ram? And seriously, why would you want to? You fell in love with him and all of his wonderful, willful and frustrating habits. Why would you want to constrain or contain that? The answer to the 2nd? Quite easily… and covered here and here.

The Aries woman is independent, self assured and direct. She will say what she thinks and is prepared to suffer the consequences. She knows what and who she wants and can’t be faffed waiting for him to make the first move. She doesn’t play games and will tell you clearly what she needs. She has energy to burn and will fight for her man and her children. She will, however, suffer if locked in a relationship where her own needs are secondary to those of others. This is not a woman who thrives in a boring or unchanging relationship.

She will push to achieve in the workplace, as long as she can withstand external pressures of what and who she should be. In such instances fear can overshadow courage. Even if not in the workplace she needs external meaningful interests and causes or battles to fight. The Aries woman can look after herself and needs a man who appreciates her strength and who is prepared to give her personal and creative freedom. Without this, resentment will breed and despondency and ill health will follow.

The Sun is said to be exalted, or exaggerated in Aries. The Sun is dramatic and creative in “look at me, all about me” Leo, but in Aries it is pioneering, adventurous and very much “this is my life”. Aries takes the energy of the Sun and turns it into something amazing. Embrace this, and act- don’t just think about it or talk about it… get out there and do it. No regrets, no excuses.

Check out the lyrics from “Pandemonium” by the Pet Shop Boys. See the video on YouTube.

Cartoon Heroes

I first posted this last year, but it’s a bit of fun under an Aquarius Moon after all the serious-ness of the last couple of days.


I don’t do Air stuff real well, having no planets in Air signs, so rather than dwelling on the Aquarius Moon, I figured we could have a little quirky imaginary fun instead and match signs to cartoon heroes or superheroes or anti heroes.

Actually, the idea came from two places- hubby was saying how at a recent off-site they had to come up with a Super Hero that said something about themselves. Whatever. Then during my “run” (and yes, the activity is still deserving of inverted commas) this morning the song Cartoon Heroes hit my playlist by shuffle (please say nothing about why it is on my ipod in the first place…).

Anyways, here we go- in no particular order and with the usual amount of apologies and fine print regarding clichés and why do we always look at the negative side of certain signs…this is meant to be tongue in cheek. So there.

Aries is the Knight in shining armour galloping through on his white steed to save the day and the maiden, sweeping her into his arms for the sort of kiss she will never forget before riding off into the sunset, sword glinting as it is held aloft….or is that just my fantasy? I’m thinking Richard Gere (in younger days) as Lancelot in First Knight.

With all those luscious curves, Wonder Woman can only be Taurus. But then again, the Wall St Bull also comes to mind.

Gemini? The Joker of course! Bill and Ben the Flower Pot Men (and a little weed…) or maybe Rocky and Bullwinkle? But the ultimate chattering Gemini twins have to be Chip n Dale!

Who better to use for Cancer than Roger Ramjet and his eagles fighting for our freedom? Roger Ramjet-he’s our man- hero of our nation…

Leo doesn’t like to be made fun of, but too bad so sad, suffer in your jocks. But seriously, how could I go past the Lion King?

I had a brain blank on Virgo, but thanks to Facebook, have a few contenders- Clark Kent- mild mannered alter ego of he in the red super underwear or Bugs Bunny- the carrot munching Super Bunny. But then there is Agent 99- who else can wear white as successfully as Virgo?

Libra is absolutely definitely Penelope Pitstop…no more explanation required.


I am making up a special one for Scorpio- Plutonium Man. He just stands there and radiates all these little radioactive rays out at the bad guys from his stillness. No? What about Dastardly Dan ….? Twirling his moustaches as he thinks of appropriate revenge with a dastardly snigger… And then again, there is always Lex Luther- spoiled for choice when it comes to Scorpio.

Indiana Jones is pure Sagittarius- and yes, I know he isn’t a cartoon character or a Superhero, but I can change the rules as I like. He travels the world in search of answers with belief and faith his key motivation and adventure his middle name.

Capricorn’s would have to be Donald Trump….oh, what? He’s not a character but a real person? Ummm, what about Judge Dredd then? I know! Albus Dumbledore…

Captain Planet is the perfect Aquarian super hero. According to the website (yep, there is one…) “intellectually, Captain Planet has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Universe…(he is) a metaphor for (the) teamwork and cooperation (of the Planeteers)… he does not like to inflict pain, which often requires him to use his wits in addition to his incredible strength to defeat the enemies of the Earth. He’s also quick witted and usually has a comic line for his villains.”

Pisces has to be Ariel, the gorgeous Mermaid who speaks to the creatures of the seas and trades her fins for dry land in an effort to be someone else for the man she loves…. Awwwwwww.


And the song? Cartoon Heroes by Aqua

Horary: Will I Get The Job?

Chart cast using Solarfire
Chart cast using Solarfire

Ok, we haven’t done a horary question on the blog for a while, so non Astro peeps, this is probably your cue to yawn loudly and turn away in boredom…

My friend (and yes, I have her ok to use this) is applying for a role that she is pretty sure that she wants. She is, however, already in a job so doesn’t want to waste too much effort on interviewing for something that she is unlikely to get and isn’t even entirely sure that she wants.

The chart is above. The first thing you might notice is that the outer planets are not listed- horary techniques do not use Uranus, Neptune or Pluto…and heaven forbid any of the asteroids would come into the picture. This is a quick, traditional technique- and those planets weren’t known at that time.

Secondly, I have cast the chart using the Regiomontanus house system. Why? Because John Frawley told me so, and William Lilly told him (well, metaphorically given that I have never met John Frawley and given that William Lilly has been dead for like ever, John Frawley has never physically met him either).

So, the main points.

The person asking the question (the quesitor) is Lord 1, ie the planet ruling the Ascendant. As the Ascendant is Cancer (incidentally my clients Sun sign), Lord 1 is represented by the Moon, which is in Capricorn. As an aside her natal Moon is also in Capricorn.

The job is represented by Lord 10, ie the planet ruling the 10th house. As the 10th house is represented by Taurus, Lord 10 is Venus. Given that Venus is in rulership in Taurus and is next to Jupiter, this job is very good!

To see if she will get the job I look for an applying aspect between the Moon (Lord 1) and Venus (Lord 10). If there is an aspect, she will get the job (all other things being equal).

The nature of the aspect will tell us how difficult the process will be. In horary we look only at the ptolomeic aspects ie conjunction, square, opposition, trine and sextile.

In this case there is an applying aspect, and it is a trine. She will get the job easily.

Taking this one step further, Venus in Taurus exalts the Moon, they want her…a lot (she tends to be quite highly sought after in her industry). The job likes my client- normally “the job” doesn’t care who does it. (You may find similar dignity in charts where the quesitor has been head-hunted or “encouraged” to apply for the role).

The Moon in Capricorn, however, is in the sign of its detriment. Not happy at all where she currently is- or at least ho humming along.

We look to the 7th for rivals. Aside from representing partnerships, the 7th is also “open” or declared enemies. Any competitor falls into this definition. If Lord 7 (Saturn in this case) also aspects Lord 10 and will perfect the aspect before my client, they will get the role. In this case Saturn makes no aspect to Venus. There is no serious competition.

What else?

Lord 11 shows the proceeds of the job, the pay. In this case, that is Mercury which is, as we know, retrograde. The money is not great, in fact she would take a small decrease initially, but there is a lot of prestige and huge exposure.

Frawley also comments that the North Node or a strongly dignified planet in the 10th will be associated with fortune in 10th house matters. Venus and Jupiter are conjunct very close to the 10th house cusp, and Venus is in rulership. Need I say more?

Actually yes, if she does get the job before Mercury turns direct, she needs to check, recheck and check again the terms of whatever contract she is offered before signing.

The usual credit goes to the work of John Frawley and his wonderful books…If you are interested in Horary, grab at least “The Horary Textbook”, or “The Real Astrology.” Wanna have a go yourself? Astro.com (astrodienst- I haven’t put the full link here as it automatically picks up all my saved charts) can be used for free. The details entered should be for the moment the question is clear in your head and make sure you select Regiomontanus under the House System.

Your Career & the Cosmos: See Things From a Different Angle


Now, I know that any Change Manager covering all bases will have had the dates for this retrograde (and the others during 2012) already in their calendar, and I am sure that your scheduled change dates will be outside of the retrograde (and preferably also the shadow) period, but life and business have to go on.

My latest post for astrology.com is here.