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Oh My Stars

Finally... clear-cut directions from an astrologer!

Finally… clear-cut directions from an astrologer!

Here’s the most important astrological forecast of the month. Really? Yes! Why? Knowing when the Moon Void of Course is happening is probably the handiest of all the common astrological techniques. Learn it, make it work for you, and save yourself tons of unnecessary aggravation!

Seriously: you want to see what REAL astrology can REALLY do? Start by learning about the Void of Course Moon and then avoid starting new projects or initiatives during that time and you’ll be amazed by the results.

(CLICK HERE for more on what The Void of Course Moon actually is, and what you can do about it — or rather, what you should avoid doing during that time. Looking for tips on handling those times when they happen? Click HERE.)

Particularly long and annoying Voids are marked with **

Note: Times are for Eastern Time, or as New Yorkers call it, “hurry up already!” DST is observed.

Aug  1, 2016     8:44 PM               Moon trine Mars V/C
Aug  1, 2016     9:12 PM                Moon enters Leo
Aug  4, 2016    12:13 AM               Moon conjunct Venus V/C
Aug  4, 2016     3:34 AM                Moon enters Virgo
Aug  5, 2016    11:20 PM               Moon conjunct Jupiter V/C**
Aug  6, 2016    12:56 PM                Moon enters Libra
Aug  8, 2016     1:41 PM               Moon opposite Uranus V/C**
Aug  9, 2016    12:51 AM                Moon enters Scorpio
Aug 11, 2016     1:22 AM               Moon sextile Jupiter V/C
Aug 11, 2016     1:24 PM                Moon enters Sagittarius
Aug 13, 2016     1:37 PM               Moon square Jupiter V/C**
Aug 14, 2016    12:11 AM                Moon enters Capricorn
Aug 15, 2016    10:45 PM               Moon trine Jupiter V/C
Aug 16, 2016     7:52 AM                Moon enters Aquarius
Aug 18, 2016     5:27 AM               Sun opposite Moon V/C
Aug 18, 2016    12:34 PM                Moon enters Pisces
Aug 20, 2016     8:21 AM               Moon opposite Jupiter V/C
Aug 20, 2016     3:18 PM                Moon enters Aries
Aug 22, 2016     7:48 AM               Moon conjunct Uranus V/C**
Aug 22, 2016     5:19 PM                Moon enters Taurus
Aug 24, 2016     3:38 PM               Moon trine Mercury V/C
Aug 24, 2016     7:40 PM                Moon enters Gemini
Aug 26, 2016     8:30 PM               Moon square Mercury V/C
Aug 26, 2016    11:06 PM                Moon enters Cancer
Aug 29, 2016     2:23 AM               Moon sextile Mercury V/C
Aug 29, 2016     4:11 AM                Moon enters Leo
Aug 31, 2016    12:20 AM               Moon trine Uranus V/C
Aug 31, 2016    11:22 AM                Moon enters Virgo

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!

(This is one of a series in which I try to show you how an astrologer can give you practical understanding that gets practical results. We all need a bit of that sometimes, don’t we?)

TK writes:

“When was my solar return?”

Dear TK:

There are two answers to that. The short answer is “that depends.” The longer answer is “that depends, and Solar Returns are really starting to annoy me.”

First of all: a Solar Return chart is a chart cast for the moment that the Sun returns to the exact place where it was when you were born. It can be used as a secondary predictive technique (astrology has a lot of those) as to how the next year of your life is going to go. That might work fine, except there are a couple of major issues it, mostly “what IS the exact point the Sun was at when you were born, and where is that point now?”

Allow me to explain. Here’s your birth chart:

beliefnet astrology matthew currie solar return 1

When you were born the Sun was at 11 degrees Virgo — or if you prefer a Virgo-like level of precision, it was at 11 degrees, 57 minutes, 17 seconds Virgo. So, here’s what the sky will like at 5:51:20 PM in Denver, Colorado when the Sun next reaches 11 degrees, 57 minutes, 17 seconds Virgo.

beliefnet astrology matthew currie solar return 2

Woo hoo! Sun conjunct North Node in your Seventh House! Therefore you must be getting married in the next year after your birthday, right?

Well, not so fast there, pal. Western Astrology generally uses what’s called the Tropical Zodiac, where 0 degrees Aries is determined by where the Sun is at the exact first moment of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. You may have also heard that the Earth has a slight wobble on its axis. This wobble causes a slight drift between the Tropical Zodiac and the actual background of the stars (which is what we call the Sidereal Zodiac). If you live until your early 70s, the difference between 0 Degrees Aries in the Tropical Zodiac and 0 Degrees Aries in the Sidereal will be about one whole degree. This is what we call precession.

That may sound like a trivial difference, but when we’re talking about something as precise as the exact position of the Sun, it makes a big difference. Here is your Solar Return chart that has been corrected for precession:

beliefnet astrology matthew currie solar return 3

Big difference, isn’t there? That Sun-Node conjunction moves to the Second House, and instead of getting married, you’re making a bunch of money. Or, um, something. Also, the Moon moves about five degrees from where it was in the other Solar Return chart, which is significant.

Now just to complicate things: do we go with your Solar Return for where you were born, or where you’re actually going to be on your birthday? That will make a difference too.

This is why I’m always a little suspicious of Solar Return charts, and why I never, ever give them credence over planetary transits as a predictive technique. I’m guessing that since your actual question was “When WAS my solar return?” you may be suffering a bit of confusion as to why a previous prediction based on your Solar Return chart hasn’t worked out yet… and now you know why Solar Returns should always be treated as a minor, secondary predictive technique at best.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about from modern medicine when it comes to “secondary predictive techniques.” Studies have shown that people born with a congenital crease in their earlobes have a larger percentage chance of having a heart attack. Now suppose you’re feeling some chest pains and go see the doctor. He doesn’t listen to your post. He doesn’t order an EKG. He takes one look at your earlobes and says “Aha! That crease tells me you’re having a heart attack! Right now!! I better operate! Let me sterilize that earlobe first…”

If that ever happens, go see another doctor. Or try having a good burp: it could just be gas. Or look it up on the internet. Or flip a coin to see if you should go to emergency or not. Pretty much anything other than take advice from Doctor Earcrease.

Ambiguity can be built into even very precise-seeming systems. Life is already full of a lot of ambiguities, and I prefer my astrology to suffer from as little ambiguity as possible. What we do know for sure is that whenever we think your Solar Return was or will be, transiting Saturn is currently conjunct your natal Uranus… so things are likely fairly difficult for you recently when it comes to getting your way with things. Don’t worry, it’ll pass… but you might want to consider getting a reading. Unless I’m looking at the wrong chart, because…

Speaking of ambiguity: when you wrote me you said your date of birth was 09-04 in Denver. Americans and British write the date in different ways, and as a Canadian I can’t be sure if you meant “September 4” or “April 9.” Also, I assumed Denver, Colorado… but did you know there are no less that TWENTY “Denvers” in the United States? Is all this ambiguity driving you as crazy as it is me…?

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!

beliefnet astrology matthew currie miss cleo

You MUST BE good at your job to afford that much neon…

(Part one is HERE.)

I first worked on a Psychic 900 line in the early 1990s, during the heyday of Miss Cleo. I was fortunate to have worked for two companies where the employees had genuine talent. Yes, there were some fakes and some frauds, but they didn’t last long. And yes, dear Skeptics, I hear you. You’re saying that all psychics and astrologers are fakes and frauds. To which I can only say: you’ve never heard of an incompetent doctor or a crooked accountant? As with so many other things in life, it’s not the ideology that’s the problem… it’s the humans. Usually it’s only a small subset of them, but that’s all it takes to screw things up for the rest of us, isn’t it?

(And for the record? Don’t for a moment assume that if a skeptic is passing themselves off as being rational that they aren’t being deceptive. Take a look at this if you don’t believe me. Normally I wouldn’t link to a CSICOP-related website, but I’m hoping they notice a surge in traffic from Beliefnet and come check it out. Hopefully CSICOP musters the strength of their convictions enough to accept my Amazing Ten Dollar Challenge, which is based on their Million Dollar Challenge, which becomes more phony-baloney the more you look at it. So there.)

As you can imagine, I met a lot of interesting people working at that job. This was back in the day when many 900 lines operated out of an actual office and not out of individual homes, so I got to know a lot of people in that line of work. Some of those people I met were not only genuinely gifted and talented and made a real difference in people’s lives, some of them became lifelong friends to me. So despite all the bad press that Miss Cleo’s fraudulent line has gotten, I am not ashamed of my time working on a 900 line. In fact it was very helpful to me: I’ve been asked a few times by aspiring astrologers how they can best become full-time astrologer. There are plenty of answers to that question, but in my case working on a 900 line and working with eight or ten different birth charts every day was an invaluable boot camp.

My biggest complaint with the 900 line model is not the service provided, but how the billing works. It’s easy enough to keep someone talking longer than necessary to make a few extra cents, but that doesn’t help the client. I’m much happier doing readings now my way: you pay for an hour, and it’s in advance, so no one feels like they’re stuck in a taxi with the meter running.

***

The way we live our lives has changed a lot more in the last thousand years than human nature has. There was a time when we all lived in the village of some sort and there was always a priest or seer or rabbi or shaman or someone like that to who could not only provide wisdom and guidance, but who also seemed to know what God or The Universe or Whatever had in mind for us. Most of us don’t live like that anymore, but the vast majority of us actually need some form of wisdom or guidance or compassion, specifically when presented within the context of a worldview.

This is essentially what a psychiatrist or a counselor does, and that is basically what I do or a Tarot reader does. Yes, there are many people who would gladly admit to seeing a psychiatrist on a regular basis but wouldn’t want it to be known that they talk to an astrologer once or twice a year. That’s mostly because psychiatry is mostly considered to be a science, yet astrology considered by many to be a load of old nonsense.

I took psych and counseling in college, and now I am an astrologer. Why? Because my use of astrology appears to get better and faster results. Say what you will about the billions of dollars that have been poured into psychiatric research over the years, but they still haven’t come up with a unifying world view of how the human mind really works have they? Frankly: most people don’t know how their microwave oven works. But when it’s broken they want it fixed or replaced. That doesn’t require an extensive knowledge of how electromagnetism works, does it?

If you are at a point in your life where some clarity and guidance is needed, I’m here for you, and I think part of the reason why there are as many people as there are like me making a living at it now is Miss Cleo — even with the associated ugliness and legal issues.

So thank you, Cleo. I think you were legit, even if your Jamaican accent wasn’t.

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!

(I’m interrupting my current run of “Ask An Astrologer” blog entries… in which I’m trying to show the practical results you can get from a consultation… to bring you a two-part blog entry about a recent death. Part Two will be my take on the entire 900 line industry and my personal experiences within it.)

Youree Harris, better known as frequent 90s infomercial clairvoyant Miss Cleo, died on Tuesday after a struggle with cancer. She was 53 years old.

Writing about this subject is problematic for me. On the one hand, Miss Cleo was an important figure when it came to re-igniting public interest in the paranormal in the early 1990s, around the same time I took up this line of work full time. She was entertaining, and frankly even a lot of people who would never call a Psychic Line loved watching her appearances on TV. She was inherently likeable and fun to watch.

On the other hand, there was that whole fraud thing, and the complex issue of “psychic lines”… but more on that later.

I’m breaking this article into two parts. Here in Part One, I’m going to be discussing the details of her birth chart, and Part Two will consist more of a rant about my experiences, for good and bad, working in the 900 industry. If you want some sugar, here it is. If you’d like a little venom with that, come back next time!

***

beliefnet astrology matthew currie miss cleo

First and foremost, Cleo (born August 12 1962, 8:54 AM, Los Angeles CA) was a psychic, clairvoyant, and Tarot reader. Doing something like that properly for a living requires more mental toughness than you might expect. Dealing with people’s pain and frustration is one thing, but bonding with them over those issues on a one-on-one basis (even over the phone) requires a lot of emotional stability. Cleo had that going for her, with a strongly-aspected Moon in Capricorn, which received trines from Mercury, Uranus, and Pluto and a sextile each to Jupiter and to Neptune.

(Today’s Pro Tip: If you’re wondering whether or not a person is clairvoyant or intuitive, one of the things to look for is aspects from one or more of the Outer Planets to the Moon. Having three planets in her 12th House (by the Placidus House System) is another vote for psychic/intuitive ability.)

There are a lot of psychics out there, but Cleo was undoubtedly the most famous. She didn’t actually own or operate the line she worked for, but she became its public face. This was all fine and well until 1993, when the Uranus-Neptune conjunction spent the year quincunx her natal Midheaven (while trine her Ascendant — surely the astrological definition of “the best of times, the worst of times). To summarize: the Psychic Readers Network was sued in ten different States, and some of those States permit naming a spokesperson for a fraudulent company in a lawsuit, even if that spokesperson had nothing to do with the actual fraud in question. The lawsuit involved various charges including “psychics” working off of prepared scripts, and advertising “free readings” while making it essentially impossible to get one without paying. Thus, Youree Harris (AKA Miss Cleo, LaShawnda Williams, Corvette Mama, Elenore St. Julian, Desiree Canterlaw, Janet Snyder, Maria Delcampo, Christina Garcia, Cleomili Harris, and Youree Perris) was essentially ruined in the public’s eye.

For what it’s worth, though: no one who had a reading ever accused Cleo of being a fake herself (that I’ve found), and she weathered it all with classic Leo good humor.

NEXT TIME: My complicated personal relationship working for various “psychic hotlines”… and I won’t even charge you $2.99 a minute to hear about it! Click HERE for more…

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!