Beliefnet
Oh My Stars

The aspects between planets in a birth chart is one of the major factors determining how that planet’s energies manifest. But what if a planet receives no aspects from the others at all? Will it run wild, dominating the other planets in the chart? Would an unaspected Mars (ruler of both athleticism and the sex drive) for example, make someone a champion athlete, or a high-end escort, or both?

In the case of Suzy Favor Hamilton, it seems the answer is “both.”

Suzy (August 8, 1968, time unknown, Stevens Point, Wisconsin) was born with her Mars just short of two degrees Leo, leading the pack of a total of six planets in Leo and Virgo. Now, in all fairness, we don’t know Suzy’s time of birth — so it’s still possible her Mars is aspected by her Midheaven or Ascendant (which is often the case with athletes). But even if that is the case, there are no aspects to her natal Mars from any other planet in her chart.

Not surprisingly for someone with an unaspected Mars, Suzy has been in the public eye for most of her life for purely physical achievements. As a mid-distance runner, she was one of the best. In high school, she set the US Junior record for the 1500 meters, and everyone cheered. She won nine individual NCAA titles, and everyone cheered. She proudly represented the USA in three Olympic Games, and everyone cheered. And she she worked as a $600 an hour escort in Las Vegas, and…

Strangely, there hasn’t been a whole lot of cheering for this side of Suzy, despite the fact that she made excellent money at it, offering “the whole Girlfriend Experience” (look it up) to either single males or couples, and getting rave reviews. In fact, Suzy has called her escort work “a huge mistake” and has blamed it on a long standing problem with depression.

For those who had been paying attention to Suzy’s time in the public eye, this may not come as a complete surprise. She has spoken frankly in past about her depression and eating disorder while an Olympian. She has admitted to deliberately falling in the final race in Sydney in 2000 when it became clear she wasn’t going to win.

What I find interesting about this situation is that she never felt compelled to “blame” her depression for any of her achievements. It was the same Mars placement that drove her to work herself to exhaustion, to an eating disorder, to set speed records, and to (apparently) be really, really good in bed. It seems that this addresses something that astrologers have been dealing with for a long time now: the notion of whether a planet or a placement or an aspect is “good” or “bad.” The truth in most cases is that the answer is usually “both.”

And, as with so many other things in life, sometimes the answer is “good… until you get caught.”

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Astrology, like any other field of endeavor that tries to make sense of humans, can be unsettling. I was going through some old e-mails checking up on a few clients (and hey, wouldn’t you like to be one of those too? CLICK HERE for details) when I came across the remains of a blog entry written in 2013 that I just didn’t have the heart to finish. Sure, sometimes it’s all fun and games here, but we must never forget: when you’re dealing with humans, sometimes we must venture into dark places.

This will be a dark ride. Feel free to turn away now.

Once upon a time, not long ago, there was a man who liked to kidnap women and keep them as his slaves…

***

Ariel Castro was born July 10th, 1960, time unknown, San Juan Puerto Rico. Like any birth chart, it’s easy to look at it and see the person that we want to see – the one we expect to see. Sun in Cancer, ruled by Moon in Aquarius? We can look at that combination and say “oh yes: someone whose soul is inherently detached”… without for a moment pausing to consider that Princess Diana and Marc Chagall had the same combination. Mars square Uranus? There’s the raging violence… until we consider Madonna and Jackie Gleason bore the same astrological signature. Sun opposite Saturn? There’s the cold detachment… unless you’re Jim Morrison or Jerry Seinfeld.

One could make the case that his Moon in Aquarius… both his emotional core and the ruler of his Sun… is especially detached, receiving only negative major aspects: square to both Mars and Neptune. But we must be cautious not only of over-generalizations, but because the time of birth is unknown, we can’t be too sure of that Moon’s exact location. Nonetheless, it is as good a place as any for us to start getting a handle on this man.

Clearly, calling out the character of a person based on this aspect or that is about as fair and accurate as “racial profiling.” So rather than try to spot where the evil came from in his birth chart, I’m going to look at Ariel Castro from the viewpoint of the timing of his actions, rather than to try to plumb the depths of his soul. That’s a journey that, were I capable of it, I don’t think I’d choose to take

***

One thing we do know for sure about Ariel Castro is what he did on the days of August 22/02, April 21/03, and April 2/04. These are the dates on which he abducted Michele Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus respectively. On all three dates, over the span of about a year and a half, Neptune was within conjunction range of that Moon of is, and was square the natal Mars and Neptune. Neptune is a slow planet however, and if we want to find triggers, we have to look at the faster planets. Although each day has different placements, each one features three inner planets in a fixed Sign… just like Castro’s Moon-Mars-Neptune T-square (it should also be noted that, if one allows a wide orb, that T-square becomes a Grand Cross, with Uranus at 19 degrees Leo). Agitation meets opportunity, resulting in abduction.

From a strictly forensics viewpoint, the three victims seem to have little in common other than having been young women who were along at the wrong time, so we can probably assume that these were more “crimes of opportunity” rather than (as is the case with most serial killers) fitting a clearly-defined “type” that the assailant was seeking. The astrology, in its own curious way, appears to reflect this.

Let me know if you actually want to read about the strange compatibility between Ariel Castro and his victims, okay? Otherwise I’m going to move on to something lighter…

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!

(SCENE: A large church, decorated for a wedding. Most of the guests are seated and await the beginning of the ceremony. In a corner away from the crowd stand GEMINI, VIRGO, and PISCES. GEMINI is in a wedding dress, and the other two are in bridesmaid’s dresses.)

ANNOUNCER: (voice off) Next on The Astrology Channel, it’s REAL HOUSEWIVES OF THE MUTABLE SIGNS! This week, the ladies are helping Gemini prepare for her big moment…

VIRGO: You know, Gemini, he’s all wrong for you! You really should think this through better.

GEMINI: Oh Virgo… he’s at least partly right! I mean, sure he’s got his issues, but I’m not getting any younger! Besides, everyone loves an excuse for a party. I could list off several reasons why this is a great idea!

VIRGO: That’s what you said the LAST four times.

PISCES: (Sobbing quietly into her handkerchief) This is so beautiful…

GEMINI: Oh, stop crying Pisces. The ceremony isn’t for another half hour yet.

VIRGO: I swear you haven’t thought this thing through. Are you sure you aren’t doing this to compete with the number of marriages Sagittarius has had? Hey, where did Sagittarius go?

GEMINI: Some idiot opened the bar before the ceremony!

(In the distance we hear a woman’s voice shouting “Yeee-HA!” as if she were competing in a rodeo.)

VIRGO: Sagittarius, get down from there! No pole dancing until the reception!

GEMINI: Seriously, Virgo… he’s a great guy, I love him, and I could do plenty worse. Besides… his family is paying for this beautiful ceremony!

PISCES: (Still crying) Love is soooo beautiful…

GEMINI: Cut that out Pisces. Besides, if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. (shrugs) Life’s like that. I can’t believe you’re being so analytical about something like a wedding. It’s just not the time or place.

VIRGO: Speaking of “not the time or place,” where’s…

(There is a loud sound of crashing glass in the distance, and several unseen wedding guests gasp loudly. This is followed by another loud, prolonged “Yeee-HA!”)

VIRGO: That chandelier is rented, Sagittarius! Get down from there!

GEMINI: Besides, if things don’t work out with me and Chet… there’s always Steve. He called last night, did I tell you? He said he’s finally getting divorced!

(In the distance, a woman shouts “giddy up!”)

VIRGO: Sagittarius, stop it! that’s Pisces’ boyfriend! Get off of him!

PISCES: (Sniffling) Oh dammit… now I hate weddings! (Begins to sob uncontrollably)

GEMINI: (To Virgo) Okay, enough of this crap. I’m bored now. Hey, wanna go hang out with Steve for a while…?

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 part of the “Ask An Astrologer” series, where I occasionally try to demonstrate how getting a consultation can genuinely help and provide real guidance, using real-life examples. Want to find out for yourself? There’s a link to my e-mail at the bottom of this blog entry. Write me… and don’t be afraid to ask for my best rate, either).

BC writes:

“Can I please get a free sample reading? Thanks!”

First of all: thanks for writing! Looking at my Google Analytics each month shows people read my stuff… but actually being compelled to write me about it? that means something.

Have you ever gotten a free sample of something from the supermarket? You know: there’s someone there with a tray asking you if you’d like to try Sunny Leone’s new and improved pizza rolls (or whatever). Personally, I love that sort of thing. Go to the store on the right day and you can almost assemble a free meal out of that sort of thing. And of course Mama Leone wins too, because quite often you’ll end up buying a whole package of those pizza rolls. Frankly I’d love it if I could market my services that way. Unfortunately I can’t for a couple of very good reasons.

First of all: readings are not a uniform product cranked out by a factory. The reason the free samples at the supermarket work is because there’s a freezer full of  packages of Sunny Leone’s pizza rolls ready for people to buy and take home.

Just as no two people or to birth charts are exactly alike, neither are two readings. Doing a proper reading for someone is not simply a matter of grabbing the next package off the shelf. Doing a proper free reading sample for someone would be, if you’ll forgive the analogy, more like a surgeon who sits down and talks to you and does some tests and reads some X-rays and then wheels you into surgery with an anesthetist…  and then only takes out 10% of your tumor and asked if you’d like to pay to have the rest of it removed.

There are places and people on the internet that offer free readings. In my experience these invariably fall into one of two categories: a computer-generated report that has none of the skill and new ones that are proper reading from a proper astrologer would give you… or, frankly, a bunch of generic nonsense designed to either flatter or frighten you into sending money.

Here is an example of a free computer generated reading, based on my own birth chart:

Cancer Rising:
You appear gentle and soft, and you act rather reserved with others until you know them well and feel it is safe to be open with them. You have a strong need for emotional security and a sense of belonging, and are deeply attached to the past: your heritage, roots, family, cherished friends, familiar places, etc. Making radical changes or moves away from what is known and safe can be very painful and difficult for you. You tend to cling and hold on to people, memories, possessions of personal or sentimental significance. Having a home, a safe haven, is very important to you.

Sun in Sagittarius:
You are a gambler and an adventurer at heart, one who loves to take risks, to discover and explore new worlds, and to take the untried path rather than the safe, reliable one. You are an independent soul, freedom-loving, and often very restless. You need a lifestyle that provides opportunities for travel, movement, change, and meeting new people. A steady routine which offers much in the way of security but little in the way of space and freedom is odious to you.

Wow… both highly generic and completely contradictory! That’s some sort of an achievement, isn’t it? Certainly there are worse things though… like this sample of the other kind of free reading that I’ve just more or less made up based on the examples I’ve seen:

“I can see here that you have some questions about your life. The stars are saying you are in a conflicted time: some things are going well for you and some are a concern. BUT I MUST WARN YOU that you are about to be the victim of an affront or an outright attack from an unforeseen source. This will occur within the next month. Send me a payment now and we’ll look into that plus all the other UNFORESEEN PERILS that will face you very soon! Also: FREE WINNING LOTTERY NUMBERS with every reading!”

Well hello, Fraud.

So: as much as I’d like to provide you with a free sample reading, that just isn’t how it works. But if you’re interested in my services? Here are some testimonials. Get back to me if something like that works for you.

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!