Category Archives: Astrology

Another KSFR Radio Broadcast on the Moon Phases

KSFR, Santa Fe’s NPR station, broadcasts a show called “MOONWISE” that is organized by an old friend of mine, Merrylin LeBlanc. I joined Merrylin on a number of her broadcasts of MOONWISE this summer. We mostly spoke about, what else . . ., the MOON. I shared with her the system of interpreting the MOON based on its 28 day cycle, called the DAY PHASES OF THE MOON, while Merrylin shared her expertise in the EIGHT phase system perfected by Rudhyar. This one is on the last 14 days of the Moon’s cycle, called the “waning” half of her cycle. Click the link to access the podcasts. You can stream them or download them for later listening.


I will be doing one more show with her on my most favorite topic of all: THE SCORPIO RING OF FIRE! As some of you might know, I wrote a book with this title on the sign of SCORPIO and its significance to all of life everywhere (not just birth chart Scorpios). I hope to expound on some of the concepts I wrote about in that book in my next show with Merrylin.

You can buy this book on AMAZON either in print or KINDLE form or you can download a SAMPLE for free! Check it out here:


Some Recent Radio Broadcasts on Astrology

I have spent a beautiful summer in Santa Fe and got the chance to be on a local radio station as well. KSFR, Santa Fe’s NPR station, broadcasts a show called “MOONWISE” that is organized by an old friend of mine, Merrylin LeBlanc. Merrylin and I met years ago when I lived in Santa Fe and we were both members of the now-defunct Santa Fe Astrologers’ Forum. Merrylin and I used to run a clinic where we (along with other professional astrologers) gave readings to anyone who came. The unique thing about this was that we all collaborated on the readings. What a great experience that was! Normally, astrologers are completely alone (like psychologists) when they give readings which I think is somewhat limiting. It is better to collaborate! Especially when you are collaborating with such a top-notch experienced astrologer as Merrylin!

Anyway, I joined Merrylin on a number of her broadcasts of MOONWISE this summer. We mostly spoke about, what else . . ., the MOON. I shared with her the system of interpreting the MOON based on its 28 day cycle, called the DAY PHASES OF THE MOON, while Merrylin shared her expertise in the EIGHT phase system perfected by Rudhyar. So we had loads of fun! Enjoy. Click the links to access the podcasts. You can stream them or download them for later listening.






These two shows focused on interpreting the current new moons of the summer so they are a bit less interesting after the fact, so to speak:




I will be doing one more show with her on my most favorite topic of all: THE SCORPIO RING OF FIRE! As some of you might know, I wrote a book with this title on the sign of SCORPIO and its significance to all of life everywhere (not just birth chart Scorpios). I hope to expound on some of the concepts I wrote about in that book in my next show with Merrylin.

You can buy this book on AMAZON either in print or KINDLE form or you can download a SAMPLE for free! Check it out here:


KSFR MOONWISE radio interview re:Pluto, Scorpio, New Horizons

Merrylin LeBlanc was kind enough to invite me onto her wonderful New Mexico public radio program. We chatted about the NASA New Horizons mission to Pluto and what it means astrologically in addition to other tidbits of interesting astrological knowledge related to Scorpio and the inner journey that it demands.

Cheers to public radio and it’s distribution on the web.

How I learned to love Saturn and know about Satan.

Even a light brush with an astrologer can inspire fear of the planet Saturn and its movement through the sky. “So when is this Saturn pass going to happen?” a person asks the astrologer after hearing horror stories about other people’s lives falling apart during a powerful Saturn transit. “Is Saturn strong in MY chart right now?”

Saturn moves through the celestial sky and contacts certain places that are pre-marked by our individual birth charts as our trigger points. When Saturn reaches those trigger points, difficulties are known to occur. Much of an astrologer’s job is figuring out the nature and timing of those difficulties. Naturally, Saturn has amassed a “rap” sheet many miles long of the difficulties that he has supposedly caused or been connected with.

When I first became an astrologer I had Saturn in mind. If I could help people to understand the issues that Saturn represented in their life I could provide a very helpful service. I read as many books about Saturn that I could find. The most famous book about Saturn is Liz Greene’s and with it she almost singlehandedly popularized the use of Saturn to unlock deep seated psychological issues in a client’s life. I found her book very helpful in that it accurately listed many types of Saturn psychological conflicts. She did a great job identifying many of the tell-tale symptoms of Saturn conflicts which I have verified in a many hundreds of readings. But she left a lot of work to be done in “figuring out” Saturn. Her book didn’t do enough, I thought, to change Saturn’s negative PR. Certainly Saturn transits bring limitations in many areas of life for many people but if we can get to Saturn’s underlying issues we can minimize the suffering, I thought.

Recently I have had some major breakthroughs in my understanding of the character of Saturn. But first, you might wonder why I am talking about Saturn as if this planet is a personality that can be analyzed. I speak in that way because astrology posits the idea that the physical planet itself represents certain issues that we have to come to grips with. Astrology also poses the idea that each planet teaches those, let’s say, “lessons” in its own unique way. That way of teaching is homogenous, so to speak, with the lessons themselves. It’s a package deal with each planet.

If the solar system is a classroom where we are being taught, each planet has its own type of classroom. Jupiter teaches us on the top of a mountain, for example, and Venus teaches us in a love affair. Saturn also has his own type of classroom in which he teaches his types of lessons. And going even further, Saturn uses certain types of words in his lectures and he says those words with a certain kind of accent and he says his words at a certain pace and he speaks at a very certain level of volume, and so on and so forth. In other words, Saturn does have a personality, so to speak, that describes the entire package of what he is trying to do to us.

Liz Greene and many other fabulous astrologers have done a lot of work zeroing in on what Saturn is trying to teach us and how he does it but I feel there hasn’t been enough work on the “why.” And if you allow me to continue to talk about Saturn as a personality I will look at “why” Saturn teaches what he does. I will ask what Saturn’s psychological motivations are which support the effects that he has on us. Can we determine his character, so to speak, in order to determine how much of what he says we should go along with? Can we assess his power and if it is a lot, can we develop a strategy to deal with his ability to push us in whatever directions he wants to?

An age old question frames this discussion: is Saturn and his designs good or bad? Is Saturn the wise-old man that some astrologers paint him to be or is he the mean-spirited oppressive strong-armed boss? Or to introduce a new possibility, is he the timeless tempter, the original “Satan?” Is he all bad? Or is he bad in order to force us to be good?

Even if we determine right now that Saturn is actually Satan, have we really figured him out then? I don’t think so. We are left with the huge task of figuring out Satan. I refuse to accept the fire and brimstone portrait of him left to us by radical Christians. I think Satan is way more complex than that. I think there is a parallel between the traditional Satan figure and Saturn but I don’t want that to imply anything negative about Saturn. Am I kidding myself connecting Satan and Saturn without implying anything negative about Saturn? Possibly. The reason I don’t feel I am attacking Saturn by connecting him to the traditional figure of Satan is because we all need the temptations of Satan in order to realize our strength. So I am comparing Saturn to the very necessary (for our growth) figure of Satan. Still sounds negative, though, huh? It’s hard to get rid of the many generations of fear-mongering around the figure of Satan in the Christian tradition.

I am not asking you to accept that Saturn is Satan, yet, although I will try to show later on that he is. For right now I am making the point that understanding Saturn within astrology is about as important as understanding Satan is within Christian religious life. We need to have these figures worked out in both categories. As an astrologer, can I advise a client about an upcoming transit of Saturn if I am not clear as to whether Saturn is entirely good, entirely bad or a mix of the two? Similarly, how can a Christian preacher guide his or her parishioners if he or she doesn’t understand the nature of evil, temptation and the loss that can occur do to its influence? Not very well, I believe.

Superficially, the stories of Satan and Saturn don’t have too much in common which is why, I believe, they haven’t been seriously connected by astrologers in the past. Satan is depicted as a tempter in the Bible. Outside of the Bible Satan has been taught as the greatest of the dark angels who is an enemy of God’s (I thinking of Milton’s “Paradise Lost”) and so, tries to convince others to live for themselves right now and disregard God’s laws.

Saturn is described as the law-giver within astrology however. Saturn is pictured as a dictator type who is fond of imposing restrictions and limitations on all those beneath him. Saturn sits at the outer reaches of the solar system with his rings effectively barring us from leaving. Saturn has been labeled as Father Time, with time being the ultimate restriction on our lives, energy and activities. Saturn is often connected with conservatism, the old guard, the old regime and is said to be a macho-chauvanist. What do the this Saturn and Satan have in common? On the surface, very little; only an investigation into their underlying motives connects them as one and the same.

In the Gospels, Jesus makes three major statements about Satan, directly and indirectly. The first is when He is tempted by Satan during His 40 days in the desert. The second is when He states that there will always be tempters in the world but warns His followers not to be tempters themselves. The third important reference to Satan occurs when He is being persecuted by the high priests. He says to them that He knows that they own this world but that they have no power in the world to come.

The first reference clearly is about Satan but how do I connect the other two to Satan as well? The second statement is about limitations that we experience in life. Jesus says that we must experience limitations (in this case in the form of people who try to lead you astray) but we should avoid acting in this way. In other words, we can’t avoid difficulties but we shouldn’t be the cause of them for others.

The second reference is more of the same but subtler. When He says that the high priests own this world He is referring not specifically to those particular priests or priests in general but to all tempters (all trouble-makers). Here He is making another statement about the fundamental nature of life on Earth; that is, on earth the tempters appear to have power. He is not saying that bad people rule the world but rather that bad people (and bad events for that matter) appear to rule the world; that is, they seem to be the powerful ones. But the important truth to remember, Jesus says, is that those bad people (and bad events) really have no true power at all. It is all an appearance.

So, Satan is the tempter, the one who tells lies to lead others astray, the instigator of limitations and difficulties. And Satan and his representatives are a part of life here on Earth but we should not join them in their activities. Finally, Jesus says, Satan and his minions have no real power but they appear to have all the power.

What does this have to do with the planet Saturn? After studying Saturn for many years and observing the effects that his transits have on my clients I have concluded that Jesus’s description of Satan fits Saturn perfectly. Once I peeled away the many rings of Saturn, pun entirely intended, I found his core to be that of the very necessary tempter, limiter, oppressor and persecutor.

As the solar system’s outer-most planet (in the traditional line-up of planets) Saturn represents that constant appearance of the supremacy of limitations in our world. Saturn, as our outermost planet, tells us that we can’t go beyond difficulties in life but we can realize that, despite the appearance of their power, such problems are always only surface deep. Saturn teaches us that someone, something, will always appear to limit us like the temple priests did to Jesus, to tempt us to cheat/steal/lie, etc. like Satan did in the desert, but we win when we realize that the limitation is insubstantial. And Saturn’s rings are truly insubstantial.

To astronomers Saturn’s rings appeared to be a very massive and foreboding feature for many years. As it turns out however, we now know that Saturn’s rings are actually super thin and quite insubstantial. They are mostly ice. But they appear quite imposing because they reflect so much light. This is directly analogous to the difficulties that come into our life during a Saturn transit: they often appear heavy and powerful at first but, if we look closer, we may see that they are quite insubstantial. This world requires its tempters and its limitations but we don’t need to respond in ego-maniacal ways and ruin others’ days as well. We can act like Jesus, denying the power of the people about to condemn him to torture and death.

Just as Jesus knew that there was much more to life than the superficial domain of material appearances, we also know that there is much more beyond Saturn in our solar system.

So we know that during a transit by Saturn to our natal chart we can expect to run into Satan and his minions, looking to limit and oppress us. This is a necessary part of life on Earth and so, we shouldn’t try to run away. Instead we should look closely at our past history of limiting others and of being led astray by the appearance of limitations in the past. When did we buy into the appearance of limited circumstances in our life? And when did we decide therefore that evil deeds were justified? Can we withstand Satan, I mean Saturn’s, testing this time and sit back passively as he destroys whatever in life we have gained through lies, false testimony, slander, theft, violence?

Even if you are willing to play along with me and consider Saturn as the character of Satan, Lucifer, the Tempter (or one of his many other names) you may want more practical information about this connection in terms of astrology; in other words, what is the practical effect of this in terms of performing readings? How do we read Saturn in a chart differently now that we know it is connected with the character of Satan as the Tester, the Tempter?

The key to understanding Saturn within a chart, which is what I was after in the first place, is to change the way we picture his influence. Instead of interpreting Saturn’s position as a position of limitation, difficulty, tendency or even a psychological bind, we should see the position of Saturn as indicating where Satan speaks to us. I don’t mean this in an extremist Christian way; that is, I am not saying this as a preacher would, warning his flock against the voice of the devil on our shoulder. No, instead I am saying that the position of Saturn indicates where we are under a demonic influence. What is the nature of this demonic influence? It is nothing complicated or nefarious. It doesn’t indicate a possession or even the actual presence of a demon in one’s life. It simply indicates where we have a point of view or have an opinion that comes directly from the character of the mythological Satan.

When we try to interpret what Satan might be saying in our particular chart we should keep it simple because Satan is actually quite simple in his opinions. Satan believes first and foremost that he is too good, too great, for anything, anyone, anywhere. The character of Satan is grounded in a supreme Self-importance; that is, Satan says that he is the most important thing in the universe and where Saturn is in our chart indicates where we feel the same way. Wherever Saturn is in our charts indicates where we have integrated this belief in our own superiority as our own (despite the fact that it is actually whispered to our minds on a very deep level). It is the voice of an extremely arrogant, independent, self-appointed authority of the world.

Saturn, therefore, doesn’t care about what the rest of your chart says but stubbornly insists (from the area he is located) that you are too good, too important, for the non-sense of the world. Your chart may say that you desperately want a stable home but Saturn may give you a deep-seated sense that you are too important to need a stable home and so, you are unlikely to actually get one in life. Your chart may say that you really want a caring partner but Saturn may give you a deep-seated sense that you are too good for the need for a caring partner and so, you are unlikely to actually get one in life. Make no mistake, it is your opinion that counts even though that opinion has been suggested to you by the planet Saturn (aka Satan). It’s as if, when you were very young, you wanted something and then were frustrated in not getting it and then you heard a voice in your heard that said angrily that you are too important to want such stupid things. From that point on that voice was internalized as your own and you subconsciously made sure you never got that thing again, just to prove to yourself that you don’t really need it.

To give some more examples, let’s say you have Saturn conjunct Venus in your chart. I am going to generalize here in order to give you a sense for how it works, allowing for the fact that it can get much more complicated than this in an actual chart. So with Saturn conjunct Venus you have a deep-seated opinion that you are too good to receive love in a relationship or to experience monetary abundance. Of course, you have to look at the specific sign, house and aspects to that Venus to zero in on what Saturn is feeling superior to.

With Saturn conjunct Mercury you may feel too important to actually communicate well with others or to notice the details of daily life. Even after years of frustration having to pay late fees on bills you couldn’t keep track of, you may not realize that it is a voice deep within you that says you are too good to notice such lowly things as due dates on bills. With Saturn conjunct Mars you may feel too good to actually follow through on a project. You may even claim that you have low self-esteem; in other words, on the surface you may feel that you’re not capable of succeeding with anything–but it is all due to a deep-seated voice that says you are too good to effort-fully create success with anything. The Mars wants to succeed but Saturn has told you that you are too good to go after such petty things in this world. Remember that Saturn as Satan is incredibly condescending to things in the practical, earthy, world. Saturn believes that the whole world should bow down to him (or her if you’re female) without him doing anything but being his natural superior self in order to earn that respect. Saturn in your chart is where you have adopted this attitude because it was whispered to you at any early age and your ego took it (hook, line and sinker) as its own.

Saturn conjunct Jupiter represents where you may feel too good to set and pursue long term goals, study profound topics or even stand in the public spotlight. You may claim that you would love these things and express frustration over your lack of recognition, long distance travel or clear life goals but deep down there is a strong opinion that you are too good for any of this.

What makes the process of unraveling the voice of Satan in our lives so difficult is that he is partially right. We are too good to be concerned about the trivial details of our lives but not in the way that we have led to feel. As individuals we are not actually superior to anything or anyone and it is as an individual that Saturn tempts us to feel superior. But this is a lie. As spirits, as souls, as sparks of pure consciousness, however, we are superior to all the details of our lives and all the details of all the lives on planet earth. Who we really are, not our individual egos, but our true collective inner Divinity is eternal whereas all the details of earthly life are fleeting, temporary at best. So if we didn’t identify with our bodies we would be correct in thinking that we are superior to the details of life. But we do identify with our bodies and so the voice of Saturn is really the voice of a divisive, destructive ego-maniac.

Where Saturn is in our charts is where we have to learn to try our very best without any expectation of rewards. We cannot think that just because we recognize that we are blocking ourselves (in the area of life represented by Saturn) we can simply lift this block by recognizing it. That is more ego mania. Instead we have to accept that we have blocked ourselves from receiving positive results in this area and that we must act as well as we can in this area anyway. Saturn doesn’t indicate that we should give up anything except our expectations of benefits to ourselves in this Saturn area. Whether we are willing to accept effort in our Saturn area without a return on our money is a question of our character. When we are truly acting selflessly in the area indicated by Saturn then we know that we have overcome Satan and gained true freedom from his insidious temptations and his fueling of our ego.

But how did I “learn to love Saturn and know about Satan?” Many people instinctually refuse to love anything that is connected with Satan. To love Saturn however, does not mean loving the darstardly deeds done under Satan’s temptations. Jesus taught us that the world needs tempters but we should know not to imitate them. Satan tempts us to go ego-ballistic over the limitations we experience in life. Saturn tells us that we’re too good for it all and then takes away any rewards, causing us to either rage on the world or bow down in humility. If wen choose the second option then we get free of the clutches of the ego and that’s what Saturn is to be loved for. The potential that Saturn brings to renounce the ego and its holier-than-the-world attitude is worth its weight in gold.

Astrology is supported by the latest Physics theory of a holographic universe.

With regard to black holes the holographic principle contends
that real three dimensional information is being encoded on a two dimensional surface.
Translated into ordinary life,
it would be like writing all the information contained in a book
on its cover.

. . . whatever happens in a room
could be recorded or somehow retried
just by looking at what happens near the walls, says Nathan Seiberg.

The Bit and The Pendulum by Tom Siegfried pgs.231-232

The holographic principle of the universe is one of a handful of theories circulating within the world of quantum physics as an explanation of the nature of reality. It is not science fiction. This theory, like the other competing ones, are born out of solid math. What does that mean? It means that this theory is not a proposition made by a philosopher or spiritualist. It is an INTERPRETATION of complex mathematical equations based on physical experiments. In other words, the world of quantum mechanics has been performing experiments (mostly within huge particle colliders), studying the results, coordinating the results with mathematical equations to describe those results and then trying to explain those equations on a larger scale when they prove true. The holographic principle is one of those interpretations of real experiments that has been proposed to explain proven mathematical formulas. At this point it is only a theory, albeit one that has attracted a lot of attention because it sounds so much like science fiction. I am also attracted to it but not because it sounds like science fiction. To me it sounds like spirituality in the form of astrology.

The earliest known records of the practice of astrology have been dated to around 2500 BC. At that point the Sumerians and later the Babylonians began to write down their observations of celestial events (stars) and then make predictions based on them. They started to observe and measure the movement of the sun, moon, planets, stars, etc. and ascribe significance to that movement in terms of terrestial events. For them and most astrologers since then, the sky is a stage upon which the events of everyday life are played out in symbolic form.

Starting in the 1500’s the Catholic church started denouncing astrology as heretical and the work of the devil. Prior to that, astrology was considered a religiously acceptable study. The celestial lights were seen as communication from God teaching us about the inherent order within His universe. The earlier modern astronomers, namely Johannes Kepler, studied the sky with that type of religious reverence. But then all of that changed when the Church started to feel threatened by astrology and started to slander it in the public’s eye. Good christians were no longer able to worship the natural world as a form of communication from God. Only the Church’s teachings and doctrines were to be looked to for communication/instruction from the Divine. Suddenly a whole range of previously sacred practices and studies were punished. Not only astrology was maligned but the study of the seasons, communication with plants and animals, even worship of rivers and oceans were connected with the devil if they were connected with a transcendental significance. In other words, if the study of plants were seen as having a larger significance (having Divine symbology) then it was the Devil’s work. If plants were studied just to observe and name the parts and their workings without ascribing any larger significance then it was okay. That type of study was justified as practical and useful. Thus, modern science was born.

Today’s quantum physicists have proposed the holographic principle from that (Church created) modern scientific viewpoint. They are largely not willing to see any larger significance related to the meaning of life itself or a Divinely inspired set of instructions on how to live in holy alignment with the universe. They are simply observing the parts and their interactions from a practical mindset. How to explain what we see for the purpose of manipulating it all for our benefit, is their perspective (largely speaking).

Unwittingly however, they have stumbled upon an observation of the workings of astrology. Under the rubric of the holographic principle IT IS ENTIRELY POSSIBLE from a modern scientific standpoint to say that the movement of the celestial lights has a direct correlation to the events occurring under those lights. The holographic principle has observed that every sphere of life in this universe can be imagined to be contained within a sphere. In other words, wherever you are standing in the universe you can look all around you and see the outer container limits of YOUR sphere. Because observation always comes from a central point and flows outward in every direction equally you are always in a spherical shaped room. That happens to not only every one of us but to our planet as a whole. So the Earth is contained within a spherical shaped container whose surface we can see in the sky. The writings on that wall; i.e., the movement of the lights that we see out there; have a direct correlation to all the events that occur around us, within the sphere, on planet Earth. That may sound like New Age craziness to some but it is actually a description of a mathematically proven theory within modern straight-ahead academically-entrenched physics.

The holographic principle is tying back in with the theories of other quantum physicists like Wheeler and Susskind who are emphasizing information as the true nature of reality. Whether it is in the form of binary ones and zeroes or in the form of the orbits of the planets, information determines events. In the case of astrology, the pure information derived from the observation of the planets translates into the details of life on the surface of Earth. The mystery of this correlation has been observed and demonstrated for over 4000 years by astrologers and now is being seen in the world of quantum behavior and astrophysics. Modern science is coming full circle to disprove what the Church forcibly imposed on the minds of humanity five hundred years ago; that is, no religion owns the commodity of Divine connection or Divine communication. Everything is information, Divine information. Everything, if studied in the proper way and with a trained and disciplined mind, can tell us about ourselves, our lives, our origin, our destiny and answer the deepest questions in life about its meaning and purpose. Everything in nature is symbolic and Divinely so. We are not alienated islands of consciousness on this planet but instead we, and the sequence of events that has happened to us and will happen to us, are connected to everything else to such a degree that we can study what is apparently outside us in order to study ourselves and anticipate what will happen.

Pluto is a NewHorizon that Astrology helps us to approach

I have just published a book about Pluto called THE SCORPIO RING OF FIRE and yet, there is still so much more to say. To say that Pluto fascinates me is only partially correct. I love Pluto. That love is complicated however (like everything connected to Pluto). I don’t love Pluto as if I was a “fan” of the planet. I don’t love Pluto as in “appreciate” Pluto. No, Pluto is a bit too cold to “love” in that way. I think the real source of my love for Pluto is the way in which Pluto, the planet, matches Pluto, the astrological concept. In other words, I love Pluto because it makes such a great argument for astrology. (Okay, I love Pluto more personally too but I am trying to appear objective here.)


From the very beginning of its history with us, the planet Pluto appeared in the night sky and became familiar to us exactly as an astrologer might predict. It is as if a concept about the “meaning” of Pluto, the ninth planet, existed before the actual appearance of that planet and all the details of its astronomical discovery and investigation fit perfectly with that concept. Just like one fills in all the boxes of a crossword, slowly and methodically, the entire astronomical investigation of Pluto filled in the pre-existing story of Pluto one letter at a time. An astrologer can now look back on that history and see how every painstaking detail of the investigation fit together with every previous and subsequent one to create a picture that was already fully predicted by its name and numerology.


Yes, it’s also true that the astronomical details of the other planets fit their astrological stories just as tightly. Their entire astrological meaning is also contained in a condensed version by their names and physical relationships as well. But for me, Pluto does so more dramatically than the rest of them. And of course, that fits into its story, too. Pluto always does everything to the extreme.


When I say that despite all our attention on it we still have a lot to learn from Pluto, astrologically, I do so aware of the irony. The fact is that one of the most dramatic missions in the history of space exploration is about to reach its target, Pluto. The NEW HORIZONS space mission was launched over 8 years ago with the express purpose of reaching, studying and photographing Pluto. So, in a few months we may have a lot of new information about Pluto from that spacecraft.


Because we are on the verge of learning quite a bit more, potentially, about Pluto I think it’s a good time to review what we know already. I am talking about what we know astrologically but if you are willing to follow along here you will see that what we know astrologically is based on, or fits perfectly, with what we know astronomically. The correlation between the two is a fundamental tenet of astrology which is grounded on the alchemical truth of “As Above so it is Below.” In other words, astrology is based on the mysterious connection between what exists in the sky with life on earth. Astrology says and then demonstrates that each celestial body, Pluto included, represents some compact lesson that is relevant to each of us individually and to all of us collectively. The details of that lesson get fleshed out by the details of its representing body’s astronomical facts (and the story behind the discovery of those facts). The lesson itself gets taught to us, also piece-meal and in doses according to the movement of that planet through the sky. Simply stated: each planet means something and impacts our lives according to that meaning when and how it moves through the sky. It is as if each planet were a telemarketer calling to sell us something by educating us about a certain topic and lack in our life. We might each receive that call at different times in our life and at different times during the day and night. How we respond to that call depends a lot on the timing of the call, the strength of the telephone connection and our experience with previous telemarketing calls. We each experience each planet’s set message in different ways, settings and timings depending on the planet’s own movement through the sky.


Determining what exactly is the message of each planet is the job of the western astrologer. But everyone can be helped by a recounting of the story of how astrology has deciphered a planet’s message because it is up to each of us individually to deal with the pressure the planet is putting on us. It is quite challenging to understand why we are being pushed around by the planets and it is very helpful to know what exactly they want. Astrology believes that when we are armed with that knowledge we can navigate our lives with greater ease and less suffering because we know in advance what we are being asked to do and at what times we will be pushed into doing it if we resist.


Pluto is a special one. Both astrologers and astronomers are willing to put an exclamation point at the end of that sentence. And that may be why I love it. It is so extreme. It is extreme in its message (very dramatic and complicated). It is extreme in its effect. It is extreme in its astronomical characteristics and it is extreme in the history of those characteristics being discovered. It is extreme in its power to grab us and make us think and it does so from extremely far away and from an extremely small body.


In my book THE SCORPIO RING OF FIRE, I focus quite intensely on Pluto and I show some of the deeper, finer points of its message that have escaped most astrologers up until now. I do not want to rehash all of that here because I really want to focus on the history of Pluto’s astronomical inquiry here in anticipation of the NEW HORIZONS contact that is about to happen. I want to show, clearly, once and for all, that EVERY BIT of Pluto’s story in astronomical terms (and in the history of those terms being discovered) fit with its underlying astrological theme (to an extreme). Why? Partly because it makes a great case for the validity of astrology but also because it is so funny to me. I say “funny” because there has been so much drama around Pluto within astronomical circles without even the slightest idea of the cohesiveness (purposefulness) of it all. I say “funny” not because I am laughing at Pluto (that is a dangerous thing to do, lol) but because I am laughing with Pluto.


Before I start rehashing this hilarious history of Pluto in the “news” I have to share a concise version of what I describe in great detail in my book. I have to give you a little glimpse of the real Pluto, the underlining purpose, orientation or meaning behind the planet. If want a more fuller explanation please refer to THE SCORPIO RING OF FIRE.


I have been writing a lot about black holes in this blog already and specifically about the one at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. I have already connected this black hole with the Divine, more specifically with the Divine Mother, in that it is our source and our destination. It is that from which all our Galaxy has emerged and that to which we all, hopefully, will return. It is Kali, using the name for the terrifying aspect of the Divine Mother from the Hindu tradition. As Kali it is both what we fear and also what we desire. A mother’s love and death, itself.


Pluto is best understood as “the ambassador of the Galactic Center;” that is, Pluto is the messenger of the Divine Mother in her wrathful form as Kali. Pluto partials out Her teaching to all of us whether we are ready for it or not, whether we can accept it or not, and does so in ways that are easily construed as destructive. Pluto delivers Kali’s wrath, astrologically speaking, and also the message of Her transcendent love. As directly empowered by God, Pluto is the guru, Shiva; that is, Pluto is the guru when he or she teaches us the most difficult truths of our true nature and the nature of consciousness itself. Pluto is a vedantist in the most absolute sense, using Hindu terms. Pluto is the teacher of emptiness, using Buddhist terms.


Just as the Divine Mother is our ultimate destination (because She is our origin), her servant/husband, Pluto (or the guru, Shiva), teaches us that the way to that Divine Reunion is to overcome fear and make friends with Death itself. Pluto hands us over to death, so to speak, to learn the ultimate truths in life. So, Pluto travels through the skies teaching non-dualism and destroying the aspects of our worldly lives that inhibit our ability to learn these profound truths. That is the long and short of my explanation of Pluto that I share within THE SCORPIO RING OF FIRE.


The history of Pluto’s discovery, investigation, naming and categorizing perfectly fits not only the conventional astrological description of Pluto but also my latest insights concerning the depths of Pluto’s spiritual teachings. So, in anticipation of the NEW HORIZONS, fly-by I would like to review this history and point out the connections, predicting that whatever we are about to learn about Pluto will continue this symbolic synergy between a physical rock floating in space and all of our individual and collective spiritual journeys.


Pluto was first recognized in our skies by an American astronomer in 1939 (the only planet discovered by an American). Shortly thereafter that point of light was named Pluto through an international consensus. Interestingly enough, however, the name “Pluto” already had some history of use within American popular culture, BUT the name, Pluto, was actually suggested by a British girl who most likely did not know of any of the American background to the name. Is there a connection between this American background story to the name “Pluto” and the planet that received that name? I think so (grinning as I do so) but you be the judge:


First of all, the Walt Disney company got its start just prior to the discovery of Pluto with a widely released cartoon about a Mouse (“Mickey Mouse”) who happens to have a pet dog named “Pluto.” In the early cartoons about Mickey, we learn that he is a recently escaped convict who meets up with his girlfriend in order to satisfy that urge that doesn’t get satisfied in jail. In that early cartoon, Mickey is frustrated in his efforts to “love” his girlfriend by the antics of his dog, Pluto. In a subsequent cartoon Pluto is the main character. In that one Pluto gets drunk and his puppies go wild, destroying his home. He lost all control of them because he was drunk. His wife comes home and gives him a good thrashing for his irresponsible behavior.


A few years before the planet, Pluto, was seen in the sky a certain type of water called “Pluto water” became a hot selling item in the US. This water was marketed as a quick relief for constipation. “When nothing else can, Pluto will” was the advertising slogan. I can only guess that Americans were having difficulty moving their bowels on a regular basis at that point in their history and thus the widespread popularity of Pluto water.


Around the same time as Pluto’s discovery a new word was coined to describe a unique phenomenon that had developed in the US. Since the turn of the century the US, as a society, was being controlled by a small minority of super-rich people. This condition, dubbed a “Plutocracy,” indicated a society where decisions were made by people who earned the right to be leaders through the amount of their wealth. This was somewhat new in the Western world. Wealth had always been connected with success but in the past, through the history of Europe, it had to be connected with birthright, some type of royalty or some outstanding personal quality to be widely respected.


At the same time as Pluto was first seen in the sky, a few scientists discovered a new element that had 94 protons in the nucleus. Because the last newly discovered element had been named after the last discovered planet, Uranus, the scientific community decided to call this latest element, “Plutonium,” after the name had been chosen for the 9th planet. Unknown to any but a few people at the time, that new element was almost immediately used in the first nuclear bomb exploded in Trinity, New Mexico, and then used in the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. An important thing to note about the advent of nuclear power connected with the name, “Pluto,” (in addition to the element of secrecy) is that it demonstrated that the smallest of things (the atom) can release the greatest amount of energy. No explosive known prior to the nuclear bomb had come even remotely close to releasing the amount of energy released by a small amount of sub-microscopic Plutonium. A tremendous amount of energy came out of a very small package. Plutonium practically demonstrated what was previously known only theoretically in Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, E=MC2.


So already we have a very strong connection to issues that would be easily associated with the Goddess, Kali, Vedanta, death, fear and letting go of what is no longer useful. These issues are also naturally connected to the Roman god of the underworld, Pluto. How was a planet given the name of a god that carried with it many issues and themes specifically relevant to that time and place of discovery? Coincidence? The little girl that suggested the name lived in Britain. The scientists that approved that name used the reasoning that Pluto was one of the few major gods of the Roman pantheon not already used. For that reason, they claimed it was a natural choice. Was it a coincidence that the name Pluto fit so perfectly the way that the element named in its honor was to be used?


In the case of the dog, Pluto, you wouldn’t expect a pet dog to cause so much difficulty and damage, which is what was depicted in the Disney cartoons. Americans ended up loving the dog Pluto because of the appearance of his innocence and playfulness combined with the trouble that he caused. We loved Pluto but he was more often than not a real “pain the ass.” And isn’t that what constipation is? Pluto water was consumed in the thousands of gallons per year by Americans who were suffering from rear-end pain. They weren’t able to release what is no longer useful by the body and so, needed Pluto to push it out of them. And look at Pluto water, it appears to be just water. It is perfectly clear, innocent looking. And yet Pluto water is much more powerful than simple water. It packs a punch. Another case of a lot of power contained in something that appears small or insignificant. Do these themes actually relate to the scientific facts discovered about the planet itself and do they relate to the story of that discovery over time?


For those of you familiar with the recent demotion of Pluto from a planet to a “dwarf” planet the above observations about Pluto appearing to be small or insignificant and yet having a lot of power anyway may be extra clear. The history of Pluto is characterized by demotion. The more that scientists studied Pluto the less significant it appeared. And yet, these demotions didn’t seem to minimize the power that Pluto gained with the general populace. The NEW HORIZONS mission is my case in point. Despite scientists saying that Pluto is relatively insignificant a mission has been launched to study it. That mission is an incredibly expensive undertaking by the US government. Therefore there must be a hidden push to study Pluto that exceeds its size or importance according to the scientists who have studied it. Will the results of the NEW HORIZONS mission also seem empty while hiding a tremendous depth of power? We will find out soon.


One of the reasons the public was so upset when Pluto was demoted as a planet is due to the way the solar system has been taught in schools for many decades. School teachers universally employed a mnemonic device to teach the order of the planets to their students. In almost all versions of this mnemonic sentence the final “p” represents “pluto” and it is the most important object in the sentence. The most popular of these sentences was “My very excellent mother just served us nine pizzas.” Without Pluto most of these mnemonic sentences fell apart. What students had memorized became a lie. The tricks that made teachers’ jobs easier became useless. When Pluto was demoted millions of students along with their teachers across the US were almost as frustrated as Mickey Mouse was in that first Disney cartoon.


The demotion of Pluto from planet to dwarf-planet was just one step along a line of demotions that had already been going on. When Pluto was first discovered it was scientifically estimated to be the mass of Neptune (which is 18 times heavier than the Earth). Pluto was subsequently measured in new ways over the next 80 years with each measurement yielding slightly lower results. This was happening so steadily and gradually that a scientist in 1970 predicted that Pluto would soon weigh nothing. Currently scientists assess Pluto’s mass as 1% of the Earth’s. Pluto’s mass literally went from very heavy to nearly nothing. Does this fit the planet that rules death and dying? Death is one of the heaviest topics. Will the topic of death be proved to be empty through the experience of it? Does Pluto imply, as the Buddhists maintain, that all that we fear is actually empty? Does Pluto side with those spiritual doctrines in that everything is seen to be fundamentally empty upon the very close scrutiny of meditation?


Another reason that scientists demoted Pluto was that it is not alone in its orbit and it is not really exceptional relative to those other rocks that share its orbit. All other planets either are alone in their orbit or are much bigger than any other object that might share that orbit. In other words, all other planets are obviously special in their orbital field. Scientists say that we have focused on Pluto not because it is special but because we saw it first out of the other objects around it. We could have easily have seen other rocks that are floating in its orbit. Scientists criticize because it is equal. Does this fit with the god of death? Doesn’t the universal fact of death makes everyone equal? No one is special once everything is seen to be ephemeral or transient (which is the underlying tenet of the Buddhist’s emptiness). Pluto lack of specialness fits death’s teaching that none of us are, from the highest perspective, more important than anyone else. This lack of importance is a simple corollary of the universal fact of death: everything about us, all that we pride, must be let go of in death.


Maybe Pluto is astronomically insignificant, relevantly speaking of course, as some scientists suggest. Maybe it is completely unimportant. . . . No, it’s not, not even taking their simple surface-level observations of it. Even within the world of astronomy Pluto actually exhibits some fascinating characteristics that make it unique among the planets. Pluto-demoting scientists don’t emphasize these characteristics because these characteristics aren’t similar to the other planets and so, they make Pluto stand out, on its own, even more. Since the debate has mostly been about whether Pluto shares “planet”-like characteristics anything that makes Pluto different from the other planets would not help scientists support Pluto as a planet. But from those characteristics we can say without a doubt that Pluto is a very special and significant rock in our solar system.


The main unique feature of Pluto is in how it relates to its own major moon, Charon, and the next nearest planet, Neptune. Pluto has a relationship with each of these bodies that is unique in the solar system. With its moon, Charon, Pluto has a “double-tidal lock” relationship which means that they only show the same face to each other as they rotate. Our moon is in a “single-tidal-lock” with the Earth and that is why we only see one side of the moon, ever, despite both of us spinning. If you were on Pluto you would similarly only see one side of Charon, ever, but also if you were on Charon you would see only one side of Pluto, ever. If you were on our Moon you would see the Earth revolving fully each day.


Similarly, Pluto is in a unique relationship to Neptune. It is also “locked” to Neptune but in a different way. Pluto crosses Neptune’s orbit for about 20 years as it goes around the Sun. Normally this means that someday it might collide with Neptune but because Pluto is “locked” to Neptune it cannot, ever, hit Neptune. This “lock” is due to their speed. These two planets are traveling at an exact speed to each other that prevents them from ever being near each other. Technically this is called a “3 to 2 resonance” because three revolutions of Neptune around the Sun exactly equal two of Pluto’s. Neither of them will ever “catch-up” to the other enough to collide despite traveling on the same single lane road for 20 out of every 250 years. No other bodies in our solar system have either of these two types of “locks.”


{As a side note for those readers who are advanced in their astrological knowledge: notice that astrologically Neptune has a strong connection to the number three and Pluto has a strong connection to the number two. Neptune is directly connected with the transcendental third of the divine trinity and Pluto is directly connected to the fundamental duality of consciousness (one object and one observer) because it is the only “binary planet.”}


So Pluto is not as insignificant as the comparison with other planets makes it seem. It appears insignificant but actually is very unique. Did Einstein’s theory of relativity also fit this description? Did the element Plutonium fit this description as well? Did also Pluto water? Was Mickey surprised to know that a simple dog could cause so much mischief? Pluto was demoted as a planet but is considered unique enough to send a very expensive probe out to meet it, a probe that has taken over eight years to arrive there despite traveling at over 50,000 miles per hour.

Pluto, in fact, has an atmosphere and probably has seasonal weather patterns due to the tremendous amount of ice stored at the poles. No it’s not water ice (it is much colder nitrogen ice) so life as we know it couldn’t easily happen there but a life form based on nitrogen just as ours is based on oxygen could possibly have developed. This would make Pluto surprisingly important on such a scale that would mimic a nuclear bomb.


I have been alluding to the demotion of Pluto throughout this article but have not shared a lot of the details yet. The demotion of Pluto has been very controversial to say the least and the history of it has many back and forth chapters. It is so dramatic, in fact, that a few of the key scientists involved have written books about the whole thing. Those books have sold well, also telling me that the public has not only been closely following the whole affair but has had a keen interest in the results. [The two main books are Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s “The Pluto Files” and Mike Brown’s “Why I Killed Pluto.”] These accounts tell the story of scientists who argued over Pluto’s true status.  The more they discovered about Pluto the more different it seemed than the rest of the planets. They soon began to feel that it was named as a planet prematurely.


Uranus and Neptune were both discovered as planets but they proved to fit the model of the other planets pretty well. Pluto was assumed in the beginning to do so as well but proved otherwise. When scientists starting leaving Pluto off their lists of “planets” however, the public got upset, feeling like a planets’ status is not completely the domain of the scientists. The public had connected with Pluto in a way that was not purely about science. They had accepted Pluto as “one of their own” and when scientists tried to demote it they reacted as if one of their own family members had been attacked. They grew up with Pluto and were not willing to abandon him to a group of heartless scientists. Just as a mother will grow especially defensive around the runt of the pack so did the public attack back when Pluto was slighted. The issue of Pluto’s status is, in fact, still open although there has been a bit of a peace accord reached. The museum of natural history in New York has chosen to leave Pluto completely off any list of planets while the international consortium of astronomers has agreed to call Pluto a dwarf planet. This creation of a dwarf-planet category was instigated by the Pluto controversy but allowed two other bodies in our skies to enter this category, thus gaining quasi-planet status.


Interesting enough, from an astrological perspective, the two new quasi-planets are named after Goddesses. Thus the number of women represented in our planet committee has gone from one to three thanks to Pluto (Venus was the only Goddess planet before the Pluto controversy). Just as Pluto the dog interfered with Mickey’s plans, the planet Pluto seriously interfered with the old school system of planet nomenclature enough to get more women on board.


More curiosities emerge when we look closer at these new Goddesses that are part of the planetary family due to Pluto’s influence. The first one, Ceres, could be considered one of the god Pluto’s, enemies. The story, originally from the Greek myths, goes like this: Pluto, the god of the underworld, abducted Proserpina to be his wife in the underworld. Proserpina’s mother, Ceres, was outraged by this act and actually caused a perpetual winter on Earth in retaliation. Pluto was then convinced to return Proserpina for half of each year, relieving winter during that time which gave rise to the growing season of spring, summer and fall.

So Ceres is actually Pluto’s quite critical mother in law. Is there a parallel between the story of these two gods and the story of the two “dwarf” planets? In order to keep some of his planet status, Pluto had to let Ceres enter the circle of planets as well, as an equal (both of dwarf-status). In order to keep his bride, half-time, Pluto had to concede to his mother in law, Ceres. In order to retain some of his power Pluto had to give space to women. The god of death is not known for a willingness to negotiate but in this case he had no choice. The imposition of winter forced his hand. Does this parallel the history of the nuclear bomb? Has this tremendously destructive force been used as a deterrent or to force negotiation? In fact, nuclear weapons have been used to force compromises between opposing parties who might not have been willing to compromise otherwise.


Do all the facts of Pluto’s discovery and history match with the astrological themes connected to the planet? Absolutely. Astrology, in fact, has used the continuing story of Pluto in the “news” to give us even more clues to the astrological meaning behind Pluto.  As an astrologer, I must be able to understand the history of Pluto in order to be able to say that I understand Pluto. Do these stories support my understanding of Pluto as the ambassador of the Galactic Center? Do these stories support my view of Pluto as recommending that we take death as an advisor to the question of how to live life? Do these stories support my take on Pluto as a small and seemingly insignificant package that carries immense power and importance? Yes. Do I expect the observation of Pluto done close range by the NEW HORIZONS mission to further confirm all of this? Definitely.



Neil DeGrasse Tyson “The Pluto Files:The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet.” WW Norton, NY 2009.

Mike Brown “How I Killed Pluto and Why it Had It Coming.” 2012

A Blue-Blooded Aquarian month begins Tomorrow!

The new moon that happens tomorrow morning (January 20th) EST begins a super-charged Aquarian month. This is because the next new moon (Feb. 18th) will also happen in Aquarius. Normally each new moon begins in the next successive sign but very rarely two new moons happen together in the same sign. So instead of Aquarian themes blending into Piscean themes in the month as they usually do, we start with Aquarius and end with Aquarius.

My experience as a professional astrologer leads me to anticipate these types of month a little differently. I consider them like running the full cycle on your dishwasher. Normally you run a quick cycle and that is sufficient to clean your dinner plates but once a year or so you go the full route and run it on full cycle. The full cycle not only cleans the dinner plates but cleans the whole machine, maybe even the room as well, who knows, these “full” cycles are super-powerful. So during this type of month I would expect Aquarian themes to run “full cycle.”

That’s not all that adds to the Aquarian super-power of this upcoming month. The ruler of Aquarius, Uranus, will connect with the nodes of the moon and will be in a close square to Pluto the whole month. Wow! Hold onto your hats, let’s add extra soap!

What are the Aquarian themes that I would expect to get emphasized?

Revolution/Politics/Rebellion.: Everything political gets charged with rebellion against those “in power” forces. The small guy gets championed over the mega-corporation. The son stands up against father. Conspiracy theories gain momentum. Time to share the wealth more equally. The true themes of democracy and human rights get a boost.

Wake Up!: The spiritual ideas that we are deluded, asleep, not aware of who we really are in terms of our soul or spirit get taught and experienced directly. Connection with past lives and with other worldly relatives. A sense that we are greater than these bodies leads to less emotions and greater courage.

Impatience.: We have to do it now! There is no time to lose! Change is already way late. We can’t waste time with negotiation or diplomacy.

Spontaneity.: Connected with impatience. Not a time of deep thinking or discussion. A willlingness to let go and engage action in whatever way “feels” right.

Grin & Bear It.: The truth that I have witnessed is that under Aquarian influence we lose a lot, things change and that means sometimes they die or disappear so we are forced to grin and bear a lot of loss.

The Internet and Technology.: Nothing needs to be added here. This is obvious.

Alternative Innovation in Science.: Alternative methods to everything. Break-throughs that trounce what we think we knew. The solidity of our science breaks down revealing cracks in our thinking.

The Experts compare notes. There is cross-communication between disciplines. The priests talk to the doctors. The women right’s group talk to the Native American group. The neurologists talk to the psychologists. The Dalai Lama talks to Rupert Murdock (alright maybe not that extreme, but you get the picture).

So here’s to an exciting month. I hope you are able to use it to give birth to those new ideas and new perspectives and that you don’t get too frenzied in destroying the old guard within your life.