Oh My Stars

beliefnet astrology ask an astrologer(If you haven’t already read it, click HERE to read Part One of this series, in which I answer a reader’s question about the state of her Jupiter and her “luck” in general.)

Now, on to the larger subject of depression. I do think there are distinct signs of it in your birth chart, but the matter has little or nothing to do with your Jupiter. You have a Sun-Moon-Mars T-square. In astrology, a T-square is an opposition where a third planet is square both of the two opposing planets. In order to understand the nature of T-square we need to break it down into its individual components.

First of all, you have Sun opposite Moon in your birth chart. In fact, you were born a few hours after the exact Full Moon. You know the old idea that people get more emotional during a Full Moon? Well, for better or worse, people with a Sun-Moon opposition in their birth chart seem to have a bit of that going for them. It doesn’t necessarily make these people depressed: in fact it can make people genuinely caring and compassionate. And sometimes it makes them into maniacs… but I digress.

Often people born with a Sun-Moon square or opposition can feel an inherent conflict between what they want and what is expected of them, or what they want and what they actually need, or can just have a hard time figuring out what they want or need in the first place. They also tend to have problems with fluctuating energy levels and sleep, which in and of itself is often considered to be a symptom of depression.

Complicating all of this is Sun square Mars and Moon square Mars. Sun Square Mars has a distinct feistiness. They are often either exposed to conflict or manage to find conflict on their own. In your case, Sun in Aries and Mars in Capricorn are both individually very strong placements, and that will only tend to amplify the issue.

But now here’s where things get tricky: you have Moon in Libra. If there is one planetary placement that has a reputation for not liking conflict, it’s probably Moon in Libra. Keep my warning from last time about generalizing too much about anyone planetary placement now, but Moon in Libra is usually much more comfortable being a peacemaker than a troublemaker. Right there you can see how that can take the Sun square Mars energy and turn it inwards. Odds are good that you would rather hurt yourself than hurt someone else.

People with a difficult Moon-Mars aspect often have powerful emotions but often don’t know where and/or how to invest those emotions. It can be a little like someone handing you $1,000 to go on a shopping spree, but once you get to the store you can’t find anything you really want or need. Often people with this aspect end up taking it out on themselves. You’d be surprised how many people with a problematic Moon-Mars aspect end up getting an ulcer.

Actress Reese Witherspoon, like you, is an Aries with a pronounced Sun-Moon-Mars t-square. Despite being rich and famous and good-looking and essentially America’s sweetheart, she has gone on the record about her long-standing struggles with very deep depression. So if nothing else, it appears you’re in good company.

At this point I hope you don’t think my interpretation of your birth chart is all negative. In fact there are a number of lovely things to recommend your birth chart. It’s just that, in the same way that a family doctor doesn’t see a lot of healthy people during the course of his work, people tend to come to me about their difficulties first rather than their strengths. That, and I’m saving the best news about all this for last, because as Roger Waters put it, “How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?”

NEXT TIME: Is there something astrology can do to help you make this situation better beyond simply understanding where it comes from? You bet there is!

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matthew currie astrology ethics beliefnet

source: flickr

(Today: a pause from the “Ask An Astrologer” series to address an issue I’ve been meaning to get around to for a while. Next time: back to chart analysis)

I recently came across a posting on Facebook by another astrologer in which he or she (no names!) announced that “once things have calmed down, I will be emailing the families of the victims from the Las Vegas massacre to ask for the birth data of their loved one who passed away. My goal is to get at least 3 charts of the victims. I would love to see if a shortened, violent death can be seen in their birth charts.”

This is my response.


Dear _____:

I believe that we should sit down and have a little talk about professional ethics.

What two things do psychiatrists, priests, and astrologers have in common? They deal closely and intimately with people’s lives, and should thus adhere to a certain code of ethics… and when the occasional member of any one of those professions violates those ethics, it makes the rest of them look really bad. Astrology already has a shady enough reputation as it is, and it’s not in anyone’s interest to make that worse. Let me explain to you why what you have in mind is a bad idea — for yourself, for astrology in general, and (worst of all) for the people you want to make a part of this research project.

Have you taken many Psych courses in your time, or known many people who have been traumatized the way the people you intend to contact have been traumatized? If you have, you probably know full well that there’s no such thing as a universal time frame in which we can say “things have calmed down” for all people who have experienced something like this. Some will integrate the experience quickly, and some won’t at all, and most will fall somewhere in between.

Besides, you know full well that some of these people have already started to get phone calls and e-mails from idiots of the “YOUR MOTHER DIDN’T REALLY DIE ILLUMINATI FALSE FLAG CRISIS ACTOR WAKE UP SHEEPLE” variety that still plague the loved ones of Sandy Hook victims to this day. Do you really want to be perceived as being even remotely like one of those people? Really?

But: suppose somehow you manage by accident to not hurt or offend anyone who clearly doesn’t deserve it. What do you actually expect to achieve? If you’re a professional astrologer, you should already know that the birth charts and transits of victims of violence, and those who commit violent acts, and those closely connected to either always show indications of what happened, one way or another. You should already know that this has been demonstrated again and again and again and again and again and again. What new wisdom will your proposed project reveal?

Now, don’t get me wrong: I love a good research project at least as much as the next guy. I’ve made the case before for astrology benefiting from a lot more scientific rigor. But if an astrologer wants to get into astrological research, it should be done by the same rules that psychological researchers should follow. One of those is that you don’t go throwing around e-mails to people you don’t know asking if you can dig into their wounds for educational purposes. If you must do something like this, put an ad out somewhere asking for volunteers. At least that way, instead of causing harm to others and making astrologers in general look bad, you’ll at least only have the cleaner and neater problem of “how do I know these people who are contacting me are valid research subjects, and not just attention-seekers?”

Being an astrologer should come with certain ethical standards, just as is the case with the previously-mentioned psychiatrists and priests. And one of those standards is “first, do no harm.”

So, Dear _____, I ask you as one professional to another: please, don’t make us all look bad just because you’ve got the urge to dig around in people’s tragedies for dubious learning purposes, okay? That, and… as all honest astrologers should stop and ask themselves from time to time: am I doing this for the clients, or just for myself?

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beliefnet astrology ask an astrologerThose of you who’ve been reading my blog for a while know that I have occasionally run a feature called “Ask An Astrologer.” This month I will be presenting A variation on that theme: series of questions all about the same person’s chart. One question from this reader has led to a number of other questions, and the end result will be presented in writing here. Not only should this be educational and informative, but it will help give many you view an idea about what astrology can really do, and can give you an idea of the usefulness of getting a reading.


EL writes:

“I have recently looked into the Whole Sign house system and I feel it makes more sense than any other house system I’ve looked into. However, I’m a little puzzled as using that system now puts Jupiter and Neptune (in Sagittarius) in my first house. Someone said to me that this doesn’t make sense because if I really had Jupiter in my first house I would be incredibly lucky (especially as it is domicile in Sagittarius) and would not have depression related problems (which I am unfortunately on sick leave for). Would you agree that Jupiter in the first house should always be lucky no matter what?”

First of all, as I have mentioned before in one form or another, the classic “cookbook” descriptions of any given planet in any given Sign is never a hundred percent true in all cases, and he’s always modified somewhat by both aspects of that planet and other placements in the chart. Not everyone with Venus in Virgo has a difficult love life, not everyone with Sun in Gemini talks too much, not everyone with Pluto in Scorpio is a serial killer, and so on.

In your case we need to look at the specifics of your Jupiter and see how the other placements affect it. First of all, you will notice that you have a close Jupiter-Neptune conjunction. If you look at a lot of a standard descriptions of this aspect, you’ll find that a lot of people will tell you that it makes you sensitive and caring and possibly quite spiritual. Undoubtedly at least some of that is true.

Here’s the funny/not funny thing about that though: have you ever noticed how very many terrible things happen in this world? I’ll bet you have, and I’ll bet you are more aware of that sort of thing than the average person. Trust me on this: being aware of the pain and suffering of others, or the pain and suffering that is involved in life in general, is not a recipe for being cheerful about things… the opposite of that, if anything. Further, matters are complicated by the Mercury quincunx to that Jupiter Neptune conjunction. A lot of what we call depression is connected to the thought processes, and that’s Mercury’s domain. And to be honest with you? Quincunxes rarely make anything better.

As for the whole matter about luck? Luck is an interesting concept. The difference between “lucky” and “unlucky” is a little like the difference between “art” and “pornography”: everyone knows it when they see it, but coming up with an objective definition for one or the other is a lot more difficult.

I have a personal theory about the concept of luck and astrology. Jupiter is considered to be the planet that rules luck, and Jupiter rules Sagittarius… a Sign which has a reputation for being lucky. I’m not sure I necessarily agree with that. I think the both Jupiter and Sagittarius have a true gift for glossing over potential pitfalls in any given situation.

Think about it this way: if you go for a walk to the corner store, it doesn’t take much imagination to come up with a list of 20 things that can go horribly wrong during that walk. However it’s rare that even one of those things actually happens. Does that make you particularly lucky? Probably not. In fact the same principle applies to much riskier situations. Neither Jupiter nor Sagittarius spends a lot of time worrying about those things, and thus every other Sign and planet in the Zodiac usually ends up shaking their head in wonderment that Sagittarius keeps getting away with things without blowing off a finger or getting run over or whatever. So: it seems to me that “luck” is largely a matter of perspective.

Now, bear with me. I’ll have good news for you at the end of all this — but we aren’t there yet.

NEXT TIME: So, where does the depression come from in this birth chart, anyway?

Hey, did you enjoy reading that? I hope so. If you liked it, why not CLICK HERE and buy me a coffee?

Questions about your birth chart, or astrology in general? Want to know more about my big discount on readings for new clients? Write me for details!

CLICK HERE to join the the NEW Facebook Fan Page, and get exclusive content, an additional discount on a reading, and more material on blog entries!

matthew currie astrology stephen paddock las vegas shootingAlmost certainly by now you’ve heard about the shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday evening, when 64 year old Stephen Paddock allegedly opened fire from his hotel room on to a crowd attending a concert , resulting in (at the time of this writing) 59 deaths and around 500 injuries.

This article will limit itself to the astrological factors involved. If you want to get into an argument about the politics of the matter, there are other places on the internet for that. This blog is about astrology. Far be it from me to inject my own opinions about what happens when you put a country under ever-increasing pressure and make its people feel threatened all the time and give them lots of lots of semiautomatic weapons.


We only have a date of birth for Stephen Paddock — not a time or even place. Thus we can only say so much of the astrological factors involved. We can’t know the House placements or rulerships, or the exact position of the Moon. You might be surprised to know that there are no really obvious signs that this would happen in his birth chart. Sure, there was a Sun in Aries-Neptune in Libra opposition, both squared by Chiron… but that’s not enough to trigger a killing rampage. There’s a Mars-Pluto square here too, and that may be another factor — but lots of people who have that don’t go on dangerous homicidal rampages.

But there was obviously something very different that day for Stephen Paddock than there was for the approximately 200,000 or so other human beings born on that day and year. For more information, we need to look at the transits.


Pop Quiz: what generated more American deaths and injuries: the shooting in Las Vegas, or the Second Battle of Fallujah? Go ahead. Look it up. I’ll wait.


The birth chart may be your blueprint, but the transits are what show the stresses and strains you’ll face at any given time, and Stephen Paddock had a bumper crop of stressful transits going on.

-transiting Mars was trine natal Mars. Trines to natal Mars, as we have seen before, can enable violence.
-transiting Jupiter was conjunct his Saturn and opposite his Venus. Transiting Uranus was opposite this point, contributing to the tension.
-transiting Saturn was square his Mercury — bringing a lot of stress to his state of mind. Saturn was also trine his Pluto: again, enabling violence.
-transiting Pluto was conjunct his natal Chiron, activating the Sun-Neptune-Chiron T-square.

Furthermore, at the time of the shooting, the local Descendant was conjunct Paddock’s South Node… thus (if you like thinking of it this way), he “established a karmic connection with others.”

So, there you go. No need to blame a society where social connections are breaking down, people are under more economic stress than before, and it’s easier than ever to buy lots of guns and ammo. Hey, this isn’t a political blog, right? So go ahead and blame just the astrology.

matthew currie astrology las vegas shooting updated

UPDATE: The original chart for this post showed and incorrect time for the beginning of the shooting. I admit it: I pulled that from the first thing I clicked on after Googling for “Paddock Las Vegas shooting timeline,” and it was probably a typo on that site. I admit it. Google has made all of us lazy, and I’m not immune.

We can now see that transiting Pluto has been bouncing around his Descendant for the last couple of years, which would certainly explain the apparent break-up with his girlfriend. That may not be motive enough to go on a shooting rampage, but it certainly didn’t help. Transiting Pluto was also Within a couple of degrees of the opposition to his Uranus. That would have lent itself to emotional outbursts, especially given that Uranus is the ruler of his Moon.

We now see that his moon was in the 8th house, and he was having his Lunar Return that evening — the 8th house often being associated with death.

Finally: the local ascendant was trying both his natal Moon and his Saturn Neptune conjunction — giving him an outlet for all of those planet’s energies, if you will. Not that, you know, having a lot of guns with bump stocks has anything to do with it…

Hey, did you enjoy reading that? I hope so. If you liked it, why not CLICK HERE and buy me a coffee?

Questions about your birth chart, or astrology in general? Want to know more about my big discount on readings for new clients? Write me for details!

CLICK HERE to join the the NEW Facebook Fan Page, and get exclusive content, an additional discount on a reading, and more material on blog entries!