Can a predisposition to weight be encoded in a horoscope? YES! And it's not just your sun sign. Astrology is the study of the planets, in signs and in houses, and the aspects that they make to one another. It's like geometry, only here the aspects describe qualities, some easy and some stressful. By way of introduction, when two or more planets are right next to one another, they are 'conjunct'. When two or more planets form a 90-degree angle to one another, that is stressful and it is called a 'square'. So planetary configurations that describe a tendency to overweight must be noted and considered.

For example: Any Sun sign that is conjunct Neptune (addiction) or Jupiter (super-sized) may have this tendency. In addition the Moon conjunct or in square to Jupiter- or - Venus conjunct or square Jupiter may naturally over-do eating and nearly everything else. Pluto the planet of hidden power and dark intensity and ruler of Scorpio may also play a role in packing on the pounds as protection. Again, the key is to become conscious. Some people have too much air in their chart (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) and gain weight just to feel grounded. And without enough physical activity, Mars, ruler of Aries can be so filled with misdirected rage and primal passion that food is used to pacify all of that emotion (Marlon Brando, Star Jones).

When to Win at Losing

As of this writing (May 12, 2003), the moon is still waxing and Mercury, the planet of communication is retrograde (appears to be moving backwards). (Mercury went retrograde on April 26, 2003 and will remain so till May 20). While it is advisable to begin many projects on a new moon--the waxing moon is symbolic of expansion--not so for dieting, especially with Mercury retrograde. But if you're ready to start immediately, think about a diet program that you tried in the past but didn't quite commit to. Consider revisiting that program. If you like it and think it might work this time, begin it on the next full moon, the date of the lunar eclipse on May 15. The reasoning: the moon will be waning and so will you. (in size, not spirit!) And this Libra may join you.

There are other times and transits to be aware of when you are likely to be "primed" to make changes.Always aim to begin a weight loss regime on a fixed full moon. Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius are fixed signs, and help to make things stick. Full moons in fixed signs in 2003 occur on May 15, August 12, and the lunar eclipse of November 8/9.

As the planets travel on their orbit, they make aspects to the planets in your horoscope. Astrologers call these "transits". Pluto moves very slowly and wields great power. It is the planet of death, rebirth, and transformation. When Pluto transits your Sun or your ascendant (the degree of your rising sign) a major transformation in your appearance is likely. Just recently I bumped into a Gemini client, who runs a very demanding business. Transiting Pluto in Sagittarius has been opposing her Sun and she has recently dropped 20 lbs without really putting that much effort into it. Sometimes restrictive Saturn transiting your Sun, Moon, or Ascendant can help with discipline. I'm personally counting on that one to help me out in June when Saturn enters Cancer and squares all of my Libra planets.

The Good News: While hard on America's economy, the 2 year transit of Saturn in Cancer which begins on June 3, 2003 (and will continue through July 2005) will help many get on track with weight loss, and literal belt tightening. Saturn can provide needed discipline for all signs. But you are unique, so check your individual horoscope to see where this transit will occur. When it comes to weight loss, timing, and astrology, one size doesn't fit all.

Perhaps getting a copy of your horoscope or an astrological consultation can provide clues to where in your life you experience the struggle to find and maintain balance. Furthermore, an understanding of your chart can suggest other productive outlets for your energies which will help focus you in less destructive and more creative ways in many areas of your life.

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