Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Real Day Christ was Born

Every year on December 25th, millions of Americans celebrate the holiday of Christmas. It is the day we use to commemorate the birth of Christ. The fact that we honor the nativity of Jesus on that particular date is of interest because chances are Christ was not born on the 25th of December or any time near it. Not only has there been much debate over what time of the year Christ was born, there is an equal amount of controversy over the exact year of His birth.

One major problem in trying to pinpoint an exact month and year is the loose manner in which the ancients kept track of important events. At that time in history, there was no real universal method of chronicling important dates. Events were listed in the reign of "King So-and-So". This makes it extremely hard to mark the true date that Christ was born.

There are a variety of opinions among scholars as to what time of the year Christ was born. Some believe that He was born during the springtime, while others contend that the event occurred during the summer months. Very few believe that Christ was born during the month of December. If such is the case, why do we celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25th? At the time when Christ was born, the Romans celebrated the festival of Saturnalia. This marked the end of the harvest season and was a time of great rejoicing. Saturnalia always took place at the end of December. Along with this, the Romans believed December 25th signaled Winter Solstice, when they observed the pagan holiday of Sol Invictus, the Unconquerable Sun. When Christianity began to take hold, the early Christians sought to replace these pagan festivals with a holiday that glorified their religion. What a better way than to celebrate the birth of Christ? It is interesting to note that many of our Christmas traditions, including holly, mistletoe, evergreens and the exchanging of gifts, are taken from the pagan feast of Saturnalia.

If December 25th was chosen to help denounce the pagan holidays, then at what time of the year did the nativity really take place? One of the significant factors that comes into consideration is the influence of the star of Bethlehem. Many historians believe that the star was an astronomical phenomenon that occurs every 805 years. This event is the conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Saturn. Since this was first discovered in the 17th century by Johannes Kepler, astronomers have computed that for 10 months in 7 B.C., Jupiter and Saturn were traveling in a close configuration and were in exact conjunction during the months of May, September and December. Mars joined the two great planets during February and March of 6 B.C. The union of these three heavenly lights must have been quite spectacular indeed. But what is more significant is the astrological ramifications of this configuration. In ancient astrology, Jupiter was the "Kings Planet" for it symbolized the highest of all rulers, while Saturn was referred to as the "Shield of Palestine". What better planets to represent the birth of the "King of Kings"? Another interesting point is that this particular conjunction occurred in the sign of Pisces. This sign was the ancient ruler of Syria and Palestine. Having Jupiter combined with Saturn in Pisces is very symbolic of a religious leader being sent to play the role of Savior. This clustering of these planets is also very representative of the sacrificial act of God the Father giving his only begotten Son to the world.

The only major flaw is this theory is the fact that even though there was a grouping of these particular planets, they would not appear close enough together in the sky as to appear as one large superstar. They would all be separated from each other by at least one or two moon diameters. Also during the months of spring this configuration would appear so low in the sky that it may not be visible during the majority of the night.

Many of those who contend that Christ was born during the spring use the shepherds, who were "keeping watch over their flock by night" (LK 2:8) as their definite proof. Only at this time of the year would the shepherds have toguard their flocks because during the fall and winter the sheep would have been corralled. This also suggests lambing time, which usually occurs in the spring. The problem with this line of thought is the fact that in some areas of Palestine the shepherds travel with their sheep when they had to forage for food during the cold winter months.

It’s funny to see how much real controversy does surround a particular birthdate that is of little importance in the greater scheme of things. What is important is the fact that we have chosen a day that is symbolic of the true Christian spirit of giving of oneself for the betterment of all. What matters is that for one day out of the year we celebrate and acknowledge the true Christ that lives deep within us all.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

How to Become an Astrologer

In the years that I have been doing astrology readings, there is one question that I am asked more than any other. That is, how can I become an astrologer? The answer is both simple and difficult. The easy part is the learning. The hard part is putting what you have learned into practice. That takes time and years of readings people’s charts.

Every astrologer begins their journey in a different way. Some begin by taking formal classes. That is how I got started. Others just pick up a book or two and begin reading about the subject. While some are taken under the wing of a seasoned mentor. There is no right or wrong way to learn. The important thing to remember is that the process does not happen overnight. It takes years and years of practice to become a true professional.

One of the things that makes astrology so interesting is how vast it is. There many different kinds of astrology. A person could start out reading the basic natal chart and branch out to other areas. They can begin working with relationship compatibility charts, or horary astrology which is the charting of a particular event, such as a wedding or the start of a business.

There are astrology organizations that give a person accreditation. The most well known of these is the American Federation of Astrologers. Credentials are not necessary to do astrology readings but it does give the astrologer some added credibility.

My advice to budding astrologers is read every book about astrology that you can get your hands on and use what you learn to start reading charts. Begin by practicing on friends and family.

Also, do not rule out intuition. I do not consider myself a psychic but I know that after time I have learned to use my “hunches” when reading astrology charts.

Never ever forget that astrology is a science as well as an art. The science of astrology is pretty simple and basic to learn. It’s the art of astrology that shows your true expertise. That only comes from years of experience.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Releasing Our Anger

Scientists used to think that the fast tempo and intense drive of Type A personalities helped to create health problems in those individuals. But a current study has many scientists changing their minds. The real cause of the illness in these driven people is really deep-rooted anger.

Everyone gets angry now and then. If someone cuts you off while driving, the natural impulse is to feel anger. This impulse is an innate reaction that stems from our primordial genes. It's a body signal that says fight or flight may be necessary.

Hatred is the real enemy. Anger must be erased before it turns into hate. Anger is like a knife. When its' continually held toward the world, it slowly turns in our hands to point at us. Hatred is a terrible disease, sapping one's precious time and energy in evil plans and ill intentions. The fight response recoils into bitter revenge. The flight response turns into feelings of imprisonment.

Anger becomes heated for a reason. It's too hot for us to hold onto without burning ourselves. We need to let it go. Problems arise when we can't run away from the source of our anger. Perhaps it's a spouse who likes to use us as their scapegoat. Whatever the cause may be, long-held anger will manifest itself as illness and pathological problems.

We need to find a way to release these negative feelings in order to heal ourselves. Even if we can't totally forgive, at least we can stop holding onto the anger and stop using it as a channel of unhealthy energy. By seeing that hatred is self-destructive and can become self-directed, we take the first step toward a more positive way of living.

We choose to hate. We choose to hold onto our anger. We can always quit our job. We can always quit our job. We can always leave an unhealthy relationship. What we hate is ourselves for our inability to take positive action by breaking free from our torment. It's hard to recognize that our problems can be own fault.

After active hatred becomes a thing of the' past, the next step towards wellness is moving to a higher understanding. This is when hatred becomes pity. After this, pity can turn into assistance. Love erases hatred. It's the cure for all spiritual diseases.

It makes no difference what personality type you are. The real measure of a person's well being is their capacity to love. Be healthy by filling your heart with pure and simple love.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Misunderstood Inconjunct

The inconjunct, or quincunx aspect, besides being one of the more difficult to pronounce, is probably the most under-rated and misunderstood aspects by students of astrology. Traditional interpretation has attached a strongly negative connotation to this aspect. Some astrologers of the past have even labeled the inconjunct the "aspect of death." Granted, it is a hard aspect to contend with, but growth and awareness can be the eventual outcome of the struggles and challenges it creates.

What makes the inconjunct such a difficult aspect is the angle it creates. It is a 150 degree aspect. That puts it directly between the 130 degree trine and the 180 degree opposition. The energies of the planets connected with this aspect are neither flowing harmoniously nor involved in a direct head on resistance.

The inconjunct is associated with the relationship between the sign of Aries, and the signs of Virgo and Scorpio respectively. In one case the fiery energy of Aries is now forced to contend with the practical and down-to-earth Virgo, and in the other it must deal with the watery, deep, emotional sign of Scorpio. In both instances we have signs that are incompatible by element and well as unlike in quality. Fire is coupled with earth and water and cardinal is now forced to work with mutable and fixed. Here there is no common ground whatsoever. A major adjustment in ones thinking and a complete reorganization of thought and deed is required to act constructively with this aspect. The energy (Aries) must structure itself and be cleansed through service to others (Virgo) or evolve on a much higher level of spiritual reform (Scorpio).

When one planet inconjuncts another in the natal chart the houses the planets are in and the houses the planets rule will describe the areas of life that will be affected by the aspect. The signs the planets are in will show those underlying influences behind the energies of the planets involved. The important thing to remember is that the inconjunct is an aspect of adjustment. It forces one to make changes before they can move ahead in their lives.

As an example, let's take a person has a natal planet in Aries, inconjunct a natal planet in Virgo. Here there could be a considerable amount of strain on the nervous system. This well may affect the health of the native and may manifest itself through an ulcer or other gastronomic disorders. The native may exhibit a tendency to be too critical of others (especially co-workers), and must learn to cultivate a more patient attitude towards them. Those who are close to the person may find them to be too rebellious and irritating. All activities of the individual will probably need to be moderated before physical illness can develop.

If the native should happen to have a planet in Gemini inconjunct a planet in Capricorn, there can be a serious outlook that can boarder on chronic depression. The areas that are governed by the planets in question will be the basis for the individual’s depression. There is also a tendency to get into a rut of everyday routine existence. This is very evident in regards to professional activities. There can also be the tendency to get into a rut in day to day existence. Any kind of papers or documents relating to the individuals vocation should warrant special attention. The care of an elderly or sick sibling could place a restrictive burden on the individual.

If a person should have a planet in Leo inconjunct a planet in Pisces they may well be the victim of deception and deceit in romantic ventures. The individual may have an inclination to over dramatize affairs of the heart, and even seek out the exciting danger of clandestine interludes. Children could be a source of hidden loss or sorrow. The native should be on guard for indulgence in alcohol and other additive drugs. This could have an adverse effect on the person’s health.

In some charts there are two planets that are in sextile aspect to each other, and both inconjunct a common third planet. An example of this would be if the person has their Sun in Taurus and their Mars in Cancer sextiling each other with both planets inconjuncting the Moon in Sagittarius. This configuration is known as a yod.

Inconjuncts always require that a particular adjustment be made. Many times this adjustment is a difficult one to make. In the case of the yod, the two planets sextiling one another will help each other make the adjustments. In every yod the one planet receiving the two inconjuncts become the focal point of the configuration. The desire to make the required to make the required changes will come from the focal planet, and the opportunity to carry out that desire will then be manifested through the two planets in sextile aspect.

If an individual has the inconjunct aspect represented in their natal chart, and is a highly developed kind of person, they can make the aspect work for them and reap the benefits of growth it produces. On the other hand, if a person is completely anchored to the mundane affairs of life, the inconjunct can be devastating aspects whose disruptive action has no constructive significance in their life.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Call to Action

In the face of the current recession, it is probably hard to believe that we Americans are 4.5 times richer than were our great grandparents at the turn of the century. One billion of the earth's residents live in unprecedented luxury, while one billion live in destitution. Those in the wealthiest 1/5, probably not you or I, are responsible for the lion's share of the damage that humans cause on this planet. They also fund the omnipresent advertising mes­sages that create our shopping culture and give us false identity in our material search for social status in this massive and anonymous society. Even the government favors consumption and the spread of commercial markets into most aspects of our private lives.

At one time, we could count the rules of ethical behavior on just two hands. Today it is the basic value of a sustainable society through the equiva­lent of the Golden Rule we must seek. Buddha and Jesus wouldn't argue with that each generation should meet its needs without jeopardizing the prospects of, future generations to meet their needs. For individuals, the decision to live a life of sufficiency is to find their own answer to the question of how much is enough?

The goal is to put consumption in its proper place among the many sources of fulfillment and to find ways to live within the means of the earth. Rich societies have had little success in turning con­sumption into fulfillment. There is little difference between the definition of happiness found between the rich and the very poor nations. Consumption itself has little to do with that which inspires, or the true bonds of love and friendship. It would be naive to believe that entire population will suddenly experience a moral awakening, renouncing greed, envy and avarice.

At least 1.5 billion people live in the middle class in this country, and that’s you and I. We must try to curb personal appetites and resist the tide of external forces encouraging us to consume. For three of the most ecologically important types of consumption - transportation, diet and the use of raw materials, we must try to drive less, eat less red meat, and recycle, reuse, repair and restore more.

As man's eye opens to God's earth, so shall God's heart open to man!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Daily Moon Watch

Since the Moon is in my first house I am very much preoccupied with the luminous satellite. I need to know where the Moon is at all times, and if I don’t know I pretty much have a good idea of where it is dependent on the way I feel. I pay close attention to the monthly lunations, especially the eclipses. Since the Moon does govern our emotions, it is a good indicator of the overall general backdrop that colors a situation at any given time. I have noticed that when the Moon is in Gemini people, in general, seem to be a little bit more talkative. When the Moon is in Cancer people are a bit more sensitive. And when the Moon is in Pisces, I don’t know what the heck to think. Now obviously a lot depends on the natal aspects that are inherent in a person’s chart, and how the Moon could set some of these off in its daily transit. Some astrologers believe that the Moon is not strong enough of an influence in to set off a natal aspect in the birth chart, but I believe that is not the case. So many times when the Moon sets off my natal square from Mars to Uranus, by transit, my impulsiveness gets the best of me. I find I am a bit more indulgent when the Moon makes a transit to my natal trine from my Sun to my Jupiter. The Moon is a timely and fun thing to watch for some overall general information regarding the mood of the day, but also in relationship to an individual’s natal chart and the aspects therein.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Complete Cycle of Mercury Retrograde

Mercury is turning retrograde in September. The tiny planet will reverse its course on the 7th of the month. But what a lot of people do not realize is that at the time of this writing, August 27th Mercury has already entered the retrograde period. In reality it entered the first stage of the retrograde period on August 16th. Let me explain those statements.

Right now Mercury is approximately 2 degrees of Libra. The planet entered the sign of Libra on the 25th of August. Mercury will get as far as 6 degrees before it actually turns retrograde in motion. It will travel all the way back to Virgo before it goes direct. Mercury will go over the ground it covered up until October 19th when it once again hits 6 degrees of Libra. This is point it was in September when the planet turned retrograde.

In essence the whole “retrograde” period lasted from August 17th until October 19th. I put the word retrograde in quotes because only a part of that time Mercury was retrograde in motion. The other time it was covering ground that had been covered before or covering ground that will be covered again.

To give you an example of how this may work, let’s say that your natal Mercury is 23 degrees of Virgo. On the 18th of August, when transiting Mercury conjuncts your natal Mercury, someone leaves a message on your answering machine or voicemail. The problem is the message is garbled and all you can make out if that someone will be in your town the beginning of October. You pretty much forget about the call and on the 23rd of September, when Mercury retrograde conjuncts your natal Mercury again, you get a call from the mystery caller, an old friend saying that they are currently in town and would like to get together. You meet your friend and tell them about the garbled message. Anyway your friend leaves but on the 3rd of October, when Mercury conjuncts your natal Mercury for the last time, they call you thanking you for the nice time they had while they were there.

Three separate instances, all related to your friend and the retrograde Mercury, but only one occurred while the planet was actually retrograde in motion.

In order to get a true understanding of how Mecury retrograde works, you need to look at the whole cycle of Mercury retrograde.