Oh My Stars

It’s true: as one gets older, some things don’t work that used to work when you were young and full of energy, or they don’t work as well, or they work sporadically, or it takes more effort than it used to in order to get those things to work. What was once your pride and joy now becomes old hat and unreliable, until the time comes where a once Very Important Function is no longer something you can use to define yourself with. You’ve either got to move with the times or be left behind as a shabby old remnant of a distant era, bemoaning the wrinkly and dysfunctional ruin of what was once your greatest claim to fame. And sometimes the pills that are usually prescribed for such situations won’t work.

Playboy Magazine, at the age of 63 years, is giving up on nudity. Starting with the March 2016 issue, the nudity that made Playboy famous will no longer appear in the print edition.

Beliefnet astrology matthew currie playboy magazine

Back when I was twelve years old Playboy was the refined, mature voice that gave me all the advice I craved on high-end stereo systems, how to make mixed drinks properly, and (of course) which college had the best looking naked co-eds. But times have changed and left the traditional hallmarks of The Playboy Lifestyle in the hands of others: namely, the Internet, which has thousands of times more Naked Ladies than I could have imagined as a twelve year old (yet surprisingly not as much more advice on high-end stereo systems and how to make mixed drinks properly).

I’ve written on the subject of Mundane Astrology before — how the same principles that apply to a person’s birth chart apply to a business venture, and thus we can predict how a business will do at any time. Although in many ways what Playboy is planning to do is innovative and unusual… and in a market that is increasingly difficult for print publications, “innovative and unusual” is about the only way to survive… from an astrological perspective, is this a good time?

We have a “birth chart” for Playboy (at least as far as the business itself): the incorporation date was October 9, 1953 at 9:30 AM in Chicago Illinois. Regardless of what you think of the magazine itself, we can at least tell if the changes that are going to be made are going to be a success. Picking the date that the actual change will be made is a little more problematic: although the cover date on the first non-nude Playboy issue will be March 2016, it will (as is often the case with periodicals) actually be printed the previous month. With a little digging I was able to come up with a reasonable estimate of February 10th 2016 as the date the new-style Playboy starts printing. Just to be safe, I won’t focus on the location of the faster planets when looking at the transits… believe me, Playboy is in big enough trouble with Saturn and Neptune.

On the one hand, transiting Jupiter and the North Node will be conjunct Playboy’s natal Venus at the time of the format change. This should provide at least a temporary boost to income for the company. However, the long-term news is less clear for The House of Bunny. By May, Neptune will be exactly opposite Playboy’s Midheaven, and Saturn will be exactly square the corporate chart’s Venus. That’s a clear sign of fairly serious business difficulties, and these aspects will remain within orb throughout 2016, more than cancelling out a temporary beneficial transit from Jupiter in the first half of 2016. A challenging aspect from Saturn to transiting Venus is usually problematic for material comfort, and an opposition from Neptune to the Midheaven — how you most make your mark on the world — can dissolve one’s place in the world.

Now, how will this likely translate into observable results? Undoubtedly there will be somewhat of a change in format and a huge amount of attention, which should result in a temporary boost in sales. However it looks like the gains will be relatively short-lived. Furthermore, Saturn will be in the company’s Second House (money in general) until late 2017. That’s not going to make it easy to make a buck.

Does all this spell doom for one for the 20th Century’s greatest cultural icons? Not necessarily. Neptune opposite the Midheaven (whether that of a person or a corporation) can certainly be difficult, but it can also be a time to re-imagine one’s place in the world and what one does with life.

So: there’s still hope in the long term that Playboy will be with us for a long time yet. I personally think that’s a good thing, because I really would like to get better performance out of my speakers and I still can’t make a proper martini… and soon I really will have to read Playboy for just the articles.

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