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The Astrology Of Renée Zellweger’s Face

posted by Matthew Currie

Sometimes when you go a long time without seeing a person, you can be surprised by the changes they’ve undergone. People age. People gain or lose weight. People go through good and bad health.

Renée Zellweger (born April 25, 1969, 2:41 PM, Baytown Texas) is someone we haven’t seen a lot of in the last few years. And when she returned to the public eye this week, our first response was “excuse me, can we see some ID?”

***

Cases of celebrity plastic surgery gone wrong can tell us a lot about ourselves. We all like to say things like “why can’t celebrities age gracefully?” or “why can’t people accept aging is natural?” yet so many of us, given the financial wherewithal, like to think “well, maybe just a little Botox” or “maybe I could get rid of just a few of these wrinkles” or maybe if I could take the chin up just a little.”

Over the course of the last three years, Renée has been experiencing transiting Pluto trine her natal Ascendant. The Ascendant rules how we come across to people and what we actually physically look like. Pluto brings dramatic change and transformation. Many people experiencing this transit will experience significant changes to the relationship or their role in life.

Renée Zellweger has actually gotten a new face out of this transit.

This is not a tale of plastic surgery disaster. This is not Meg Ryan destroying her famous good looks or Bruce Jenner turning himself into a perpetually frightened wax manikin or Kim Kardashian slowly sinking into an ocean of sculpted blandness. This is simply Renée Zellweger removing the identifying features from her face.

What’s strange to me about all this is that if you hadn’t seen her before, you wouldn’t necessarily suspect she had plastic surgery at all. You would simply assume that she was a generically attractive woman ten years younger than she actually is. But the weird thing is: it just isn’t Renée Zellweger anymore.

The reaction to Renée’s new face raises all sorts of questions about how we as a culture value women based on appearance, how Hollywood specifically treats women over the age of 30, and so on. Yes, it is unfair… you won’t get an argument out of me about that. But when we talk about “culture” (whether Western Culture as a whole or Hollywood Culture or whatever) we have to remember that it breaks down into individual cases. And in at least this one case, it seems to have made for some dramatic results.

The Uranus-Pluto square hits the exact degree next in December, and it makes an exact quincunx and trine to her Ascendant at that time. It will be interesting to see what this does to her public image, as we prepare for her first film appearance in several years in 2015.

Meanwhile: this Thursday’s Solar Eclipse at 0° Scorpio is in close conjunction to Bruce Jenner’s natal Ascendant. I am not certain what effects of this may have on his physical appearance over the next few months, but I’ve provided an illustration above that summarizes the work he’s had done on himself so far.

All I know for sure is: I used to like how Renée Zellweger looked. Anybody with any sense at all knows that “beauty is only skin deep,” but at the same time when I look at her now, I can’t help but wonder if she doesn’t have a door on her back where the fresh batteries go in.

What this reminds of, more than anything else, is this news story that was going around last year. Researchers digitally combined the photos of thousands of women to produce statistically “average” faces. Even though these pictures were the very definition of “average” they all turned out to be pretty attractive. And why is that? Because we are born to look for symmetry and a lack of quirks in faces… which is something no naturally-occuring face completely has. Statistically shave off all the individuality and you get something like what we are neurologically programmed to think of as “beauty.” That’s fine for a statistical composite, but when you surgically do that to an actual person’s face? There results are kind of… disturbing.

So just remember: you don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful, but without your imperfections you’d probably be forgettable. And what use is easily-forgotten beauty?

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“If everybody looked the same/We’d get tired of looking at each other.”

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Astrology, Skeptics, And The Tolstoy Effect

posted by Matthew Currie
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source: flickr.com

“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.”

-Carl Sagan

“I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.”

-Leo Tolstoy

 

I will be addressing the SOTA Astrology Conference a little over a week from now on the subject of what skeptics get wrong about astrology (and what we as astrologers can do about it). I’ve been reviewing my notes on the matter (CLICK HERE if you didn’t read about my problem with The James Randi Educational Foundation, HERE for the details, and HERE for the challenge they never accepted to defend their own chicanery. It’s a shame that switching to the new Disqus format lost literally hundreds of comments from skeptics, but let me summarize almost all of them: YOU’RE A NUT BECAUSE WE SAY SO. Hey, love you guys too, okay?) and I decided that I might as well come out and tell you my very own story of paranormal weirdness. Sure, I’m a professional astrologer, but that doesn’t mean I’ll believe any crazy old thing that comes along. I once had a sign on my desk that said “I am skeptical about astrology. That’s because I have Saturn in Pisces in the Ninth House.”

But, no matter how rational we want to be or think we are, there’s always that Weird Thing that doesn’t neatly file into how we want to view the world. So, here’s my Weird Thing.

***

I gave up on being able to wear a watch a long time ago. It’s a common enough phenomenon: you’ve probably heard of the kind of thing before. It’s one of those strange phenomena that nearly everyone has heard of, or is familiar with, and yet nothing (so far as I can tell) has ever been done to dig further into the matter, scientifically. How would you even start?

We are all prone to The Tolstoy Effect. We expect to see things work a certain way, therefore we do see things work a certain way. The most intellectually dishonest skeptic and the most rigorously scientific astrologer have that in common. This doesn’t just apply to what we call “the paranormal” either.

Consider the phenomenon of “spontaneous remission.” Almost no research has been done into it. Logically, it’s easiest to assume that if a diagnosed incurable illness goes away on its own, the diagnosis is wrong. So perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised if (as one study discovered) only about one in ten cases of spontaneous remission are even reported in the first place. If you were a doctor, would you want to report you might have given a patient a death sentence by accident? It’s best we just be quietly thankful and then change the subject.

And yet lots of medical professionals out there have seen it happen. “The other doctors may have bungled their diagnoses, but not me. I went over the test results repeatedly, and yet…”

In my case, I’ve spent most of my life expecting electronics to fail at a higher rate than they appear to for the average person. Clocks, microwaves, computers, telephones… they all have an unfortunate tendency to not merely break down, but behave erratically around me spontaneously. This is far from an everyday thing with me, but when I am under stress, the phenomenon (string of coincidences?) is dramatically amplified.

As a long-term chronic insomniac, I’ve had the opportunity to have more than one CAT scan and EEG done on myself. If you’ve never had either, let me tell you: they are more uncomfortable than they look on TV. And every time I’ve had one of those tests done, I’ve gotten pretty stressed out. And every time, I get to hear some variation on those magic words: “Um, sorry, we’re having some trouble with the equipment….”

If I was going to blame this on something in my birth chart, I’d blame it on my strongly-aspected natal Uranus-Pluto conjunction. All I can tell you for sure is that when there is a major transit squaring or opposing or conjunct that point in my chart the problem gets worse. At (coincidentally, I’m sure) one point a few years ago when that Uranus-Pluto conjunction of mine was being heavily stressed by transits, my records vanished from the Government’s systems. Darn. If only I had a criminal record to cover up! Inconvenient electromagnetic phenomena have been following me most of my life. It’s only relatively recently that I have reluctantly come to terms with it.

So remember: the next time you think you see a ghost, or a UFO, or have a sudden precognitive flash that something is going to happen (and then it does)… remember: the simplest solution to any given situation is usually the best.

The problem with that, of course, is that sometimes the simplest explanation is just plain crazy. Also: just because you’re crazy doesn’t necessarily mean you’re wrong.

That, and if there really is such a thing as “mutant super-powers”… why couldn’t I have at least gotten a useful one?

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Questions about your birth chart, or astrology in general? Want to know more about my big discount on readings for new clients? Want a free month of my NEW Subscription Service? Write me for details!

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The Age Of Neptune: Cheeseburgers Cause Crime

posted by Matthew Currie

Say what you will about Neptune: it’s certainly persistent.

As much as astrologers like to talk about the Uranus-Pluto square, or Saturn in Scorpio or whatever, we must never forget that we live primarily in the age of Neptune. Neptune is the grandmaster of dreams and delusions. It liberates us from the physical, and it liberates us from common sense. It is the guiding light of both poets and addicts. It is in Pisces now, the Sign that it rules, and is thus incredibly strong. It won’t leave that Sign until next decade, so I suppose we better get used to how it works and how to work with it before we all vanish into its warm and welcoming haze.

***

There’s this woman in my neighborhood who’s always drunk. I see her on the street at all times of day and night, wandering around, always bombed. She somewhere in her 40s or 50s, and although I’ve talked to her numerous times, I still don’t know her name. I’ve asked her a couple of times, but her enunciation isn’t always the clearest. Mrvdr, I think?

What surprises me about Mrvdr (?) is that no matter what time of day it is, she’s always really drunk, and always exactly the same amount of drunk. If you can imagine someone who died suddenly while very drunk, and was forced to roam about for eternity as an intoxicated ghost, you’re getting a clear picture of what she’s like.

She stumbled towards me this evening, and ask me if I had any change. Actually, her enunciation really is terrible: I’m not sure if it was change she was asking for or something much more lascivious. But I gave her 75 cents and she went away.

But before she left, I gave in to the temptation to ask her: “what keeps you going?”

She blinked a couple of times and wobbled back-and-forth as she processed my question and contemplated the answer. “I just keep on keeping on,” she said. “God’s been good to me and I like people and that’s all right.”

She then asked for more money, and I didn’t have any, so she went away. But she certainly left me with something to think about. If Neptune has a motto, it must be something like “if it feels good, do it… even if it’s ultimately terrible for you.”

You know, like a lot of the stuff people post on Facebook.

***

Just because we are wise and sane and sober people does not mean we are immune to deception, or self-deception. Case in point: this polished little gym of deception that has been making the rounds on Facebook lately.

beliefnet astrology matthew currie vegan prison

ProjectRaw.com wouldn’t lie, would they?

A few of my friends have posted this, and I was intrigued by the results enough to do some research. And what did I find? I discovered that in our modern age of miracles and wonders, something still apply. One of the old truths that still turns out to be reliable is “if something sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t.”

To wit: this website based its findings only on the pronouncements of other websites, none of which happened to cite their sources, which were other vegan web sites that at best relied on the anecdotal evidence of one or two participants in the program.

Also: most of those sites forgot to mention that the same experimental program also offered job training and anger-management classes. I’m sure it was just the lack of cheeseburgers that lead to the 2% recidivism rate. Also: no one cited the source of that “2%” figure. Also, actual recidivism rates in California are only around 45-50%, so shut up.)

The Internet is full of this sort of thing. If you want to believe that Queen Elizabeth II is a drug dealing reptilian alien, then you will find enough people on the Internet who agree with you that you can spend all day reading their blogs. And of course, if everyone you listen to says the same thing, they must be right, right?

I don’t think that people believing what they wants to believe is anything new. We can’t blame that on the Internet. But the Internet certainly makes it easier for us to share our delusions as well, doesn’t it?

Besides… who doesn’t love a good “penguins in sweaters” story every once in a while?

So, as a public service of sorts, on occasion here I will be presenting things like this that show up on Facebook or on Twitter that appear to be absolute nonsense under the heading of “The Neptune Files.” Why am I doing this? Possibly because I believe humans are swimming in a sea of self-imposed illusion and simply don’t realize it, and it’s my job to point that out to them. Neptune is strong in our era, and although Neptune has wonderful uses, like anything else taken too far… it can also be destructive.

Or maybe I’m delusional and no one will listen. Whatever.

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Ask An Astrologer: Free Will (And Steve’s A Jerk)

posted by Matthew Currie

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PM writes: “I have always been a strong believer in being able to create my own destiny through my free will and efforts, but of late, due to events that have happened in my life, have begun to question the same and acknowledge the possibility of a written fate for everyone. I would love to get your thoughts on this topic. Also if fate really does score over free will, our entire lives and everything that we strive to do and achieve appears pointless.”

Let me tell you about a guy I went to school with named Steve. That’s not his real name, but it’s close enough. Steve was a jerk. He was one of those guys whose family has money, and he was reasonably good-looking, and he was reasonably popular with his male friends and thus, by association, with the girls and pretty much everyone else.

This is not what made him a jerk. What made him a jerk is that he was popular enough and smooth enough with people and good-looking enough that he would get away with all kinds of crap. He was the kind of guy who would give you a random punch in the arm and get away with it, because if anyone told one of the teachers they would automatically side with Steve no matter what… because hey it’s Steve and everyone likes him and he comes from an influential family and he’s never been in trouble before.  And if your evidence against him was too overwhelming, they let him away with it. He would cheat on tests, but knew just enough to look innocent if anyone questioned him about it. If my school years were an Archie comic, he would clearly be Reggie. A less funny, more violent Reggie.

So yeah: Steve was a guy who was handed a lot of gifts the moment he was born and did absolutely nothing with them to make himself a better person in any moral sense.

I never thought much about Steve when I was in high school, and not at all after I left. But one evening when I was sitting back and thinking about people who I remembered from school, I remembered him. I Googled his name and found out what he been up to since his arm-punching days.

After high school, he became a lawyer just like his father was. He must have been pretty good at it, because he got a job with one of the town’s biggest law firms and within two years he had his own firm.

He’s not a lawyer anymore. He quit voluntarily, after an investigation by the Law Society investigated him on 11 allegations of “professional misconduct,” including things like improperly transferring funds from client’s trust funds to his own account and making up phony invoices to hide it. He breached various accounting rules, failed to keep proper books, and in one particularly clever twist, claimed that he didn’t realize taking money from someone’s trust fund and putting it into his own account in violation of a court order would be a bad thing because “he used the Internet.” In all fairness, this happened in the year 2000, and I suppose there is some chance that a lawyer could somehow try to argue that the Internet was a magical new Wonderland not subject to the laws of humans.

Oh, and there was also some stuff about an investment firm he started that ate some people’s retirement savings, and some other thing involving crooked pre-paid credit cards. But I digress.

Now: if I was to build a time machine and go back and discuss all this with myself at that age, Younger Me would not be the least bit surprised. Steve was, after all, a jerk. But what if I built that Time Machine and went back to warn Steve about the consequences of his actions? Would that have stopped him?

I don’t know. Probably. But you know what? I’m willing to bet Steve would find something else underhanded to do, because that’s the kind of guy he is. Or is it because that’s the kind of guy he chose to be?

Thanks to legal documents online, I was able to find Steve’s date of birth. Can we blame Steve’s being a jerk on his Mars trine Jupiter, or him being a Leo with Moon trine Jupiter? Maybe, but that would likely just be hindsight. There’s lots of non-jerks out there who have the same factors in their charts. It seems to me that Steve has had some moral choice in how he has played the hand he was dealt. But ultimately, it’s still the hand he was dealt… and ultimately, that’s how he chose to play it.

So, does that answer your question about free will? Probably not. Philosophers – whether astrologers or not – have been tossing that one around for ages now, and I don’t believe I have anything new to contribute. As Heraclitus said: “character is destiny.” And Steve’s character is that of a jerk.

Want a free e-book? Sure you do! Click HERE!

Questions about your birth chart, or astrology in general? Want to know more about my big discount on readings for new clients? Want a free month of my NEW Subscription Service? Write me for details!

CLICK HERE to join the Oh My Stars Facebook Fan Page, and get exclusive content, an additional discount on a reading, more material on blog entries, AND ANOTHER free e-book!

Previous Posts

The Astrology Of Renée Zellweger's Face
Sometimes when you go a long time without seeing a person, you can be surprised by the changes they've undergone. People age. People gain or lose weight. People go through good and bad health. Renée Zellweger (born April 25, 1969, 2:41 PM, Baytown Texas) is someone we haven't seen a lot of in th

posted 2:28:39am Oct. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Astrology, Skeptics, And The Tolstoy Effect
“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.” -Carl Sagan “I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and m

posted 7:53:23pm Oct. 15, 2014 | read full post »

The Age Of Neptune: Cheeseburgers Cause Crime
Say what you will about Neptune: it's certainly persistent. As much as astrologers like to talk about the Uranus-Pluto square, or Saturn in Scorpio or whatever, we must never forget that we live primarily in the age of Neptune. Neptune is the grandmaster of dreams and delusions. It liberates us f

posted 2:57:07am Oct. 12, 2014 | read full post »

Ask An Astrologer: Free Will (And Steve's A Jerk)
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sVWOrhxpZk[/youtube] PM writes: "I have always been a strong believer in being able to create my own destiny through my free will and efforts, but of late, due to events that have happened in my life, have begun to question the same and acknowledge the poss

posted 11:12:30pm Oct. 10, 2014 | read full post »

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posted 2:06:25am Oct. 07, 2014 | read full post »


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