Category Archives: General Musing

Under Construction

© Chad Palmer for Dreamstime.com

You’ve probably noticed a few things different around here. I hope you’re able to pick your way over the unpacked boxes and aren’t too disoriented.

I’ve had this project in the works for a couple of months and was hoping to be able to unveil it in a (somewhat) final form. Unfortunately, things don’t always work out the way we planned, and with the remnants of the cardinal T-square still playing out, life is moving so quickly that often there isn’t enough time for careful orchestration. I was planning on launching at the Full Moon on Friday, but as of today we had enough done that there didn’t seem to be much point in reverting to the old theme.

Still, there may be some things missing, so bear with us while we fill in the gaps. This theme has a ton of customizing to do. It could take weeks to get everything in order. Among other things, I’m going to have to go back through old posts and resize images. I’ll probably do a few months’ worth and then leave the older ones as they are. As it is, I’m backlogged on work for clients and have had to delay delivery dates for reports, which always makes me feel terrible.

Once I catch up on my consultations, I have several other ideas for adding new features in the future, so keep checking back! In the meantime, it’s sort of like moving into a new home and having to put up with the mess for a bit.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Libra and Heidi Klum’s New Clothing Line for New Balance

I was about to hit the delete key on the e-mail from Amazon announcing Heidi Klum’s new line of clothing, but when I saw it was for New Balance, I decided to take the bait.

“Balance,” of course, is the keyword for Libra, and the new line was launched on October 7, the day of a very fine New Moon in Libra. Makes you wonder whether Klum has a personal astrologer. Or maybe they do at Amazon, because somebody hit that launch right on the money. Then, it could be just something in the collective, channeling through Amazon and superwoman Klum, who has made millions as a supermodel, businesswoman, television personality, working mom, and goddess knows what else.

These clothes fill a need for women who don’t want to spend a lot of time fussing about their appearance but want to look pulled together and chic while they run back and forth doing daily errands. Is that not what Libra is all about? Balance, balance. I’m not one to fall for advertising gimmicks, but I just love this look. I think it’s great that Heidi Klum has put her stamp on clothing that is modern and functional. It’s like living in your jammies, only more sophisticated … the best thing since Gloria Vanderbilt created designer sweats for air travel in the 1980s.

Now, you’re asking whether Klum has Libra in her chart. We don’t have a birth time for her, so we don’t know her Rising Sign. Libra might be a good guess, but I won’t speculate. Otherwise, she has a stellium in Gemini – Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Saturn, which are being favorably aspected by transiting planets in fellow air sign Libra.

Like everyone born in 1973, she has Pluto in early Libra, which means Saturn recently crossed her natal Pluto, and transiting Pluto is square her natal Pluto. In other words, her chart was hit strongly by the cardinal T-square. The ad campaign on Amazon for her new clothing line features Klum bouncing on a trampoline. Her life no doubt felt like that for most of the summer! As she put it, the trampoline was meant to symbolize “energy and activity.” Again, we could have lifted those two words right out of an astrology text, as they’re significant keywords for the cardinal signs.

I also found it very interesting that Klum’s new line, called HKNB, is being sold exclusively on Amazon.com. The company was incorporated on May 28, 1996. At noon on that day (the time we use as a default when we don’t have an exact time), the Moon was at 13 degrees Libra – a degree shy of last Thursday’s New Moon.

Coincidence? You be the judge…

Meanwhile, check out some of HKNB’s styles, even if you’re only “Windows shopping.” I normally don’t feature anything but books in on my site, but I went ahead and created a slideshow with a few of my favorite looks. Just ignore the silly high-heeled boots. They must have confused Libra with Venus retrograde in Scorpio.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

UPDATE October 31: Well, apparently launching at the New Moon in Libra couldn’t overcome launching during Venus retrograde. Reviews are coming in, and for the most part the feedback is negative. Judging from the comments, the fabric is nice, but the workmanship is shoddy, the fit is poor, and the clothes are way overpriced. I should have predicted this…

Amazon.com Widgets

Half a Million and Counting!

Young stellar object in Carina, a constellation in the southern sky. Image courtesy NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team.

My Wednesday post has evolved into a sort of random, free-for-all article on any topic that happens to be on my mind. What’s on my mind today is that RealAstrologers has just surpassed 500,000 page views.

Half a million page views … wow. It’s an honor, and yet it’s also humbling. Although I don’t have a boss standing over me cracking the whip to meet deadlines, I know you all are out there, waiting for the next post. With this many readers, I feel a responsibility, and it’s one I take very seriously. I promise, though, never to start referring to you as my “Little Monsters.”

The steadily growing readership means I can expand the site and offer new features – an appropriate activity with Jupiter and Uranus conjunct. Stay tuned for some exciting changes, including a complete site redesign. Thanks to your generous donations, I’ve been able to start working with a web designer to upgrade the look and functionality of RealAstrologers. So don’t be startled if some weird stuff pops onto your screen in the next few weeks while the site is under reconstruction. We’re going to try to do it with a minimum of downtime, but it means you may see an occasional mess.

By the way, if you haven’t made a donation yet, won’t you please take a minute to click on the button in the sidebar to your right? It doesn’t have to be a lot. All of your donations make it possible to keep RealAstrologers fresh and growing. And, once again, I wish to acknowledge those who already have made donations. I have felt truly blessed by your generosity.

Here’s aiming at a million and beyond…

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Pluto Stationed with Venus in Scorpio: Looking Within

Inside, Outside, and Beyond. © Pat Paquette, 2010.

Officially it’s not yet fall in the Northern Hemisphere, but that feeling is in the air of being between worlds.

Typically, the end of October is when we feel the veil between the worlds lift, but it seems early this year. I attribute it to the simultaneous stationing of Pluto and Mercury, plus the entry of Venus in Scorpio today.

Pluto is the mythological lord of the underworld, where transformation of energy takes place. Mercury was the only god who could freely travel between the world of the living and the world of the dead, so he has an indirect connection with Pluto.

In non-astrological terms, we can see the symbolism in our thoughts, represented by Mercury, which exist whether we’re asleep, awake, or in between. Indeed, that in-between state is often when we get visions, inspiration, and messages from our deep psyche.

Venus, mythological goddess of desire, is in her detriment in Scorpio, and yet Venus in Scorpio holds a powerful fascination. Sexual desire can be obsessive, perhaps because we don’t fully understand it. When we’re in its throes, we fall under the spell of a primal urge that temporarily overpowers all reason.

Venus in Scorpio reminds me of the ancient Sumerian myth of the descent of the goddess Inanna to the underworld, where she must submit to the dark, primal powers of her sister.

I went out this morning to shoot a photo of the fog blanketing the ravine, but instead ended up with this image of three worlds in one. It’s fitting for the current astrological climate.

We’ve got four more days of Mercury retrograde to go. Meanwhile, happy New Moon in Virgo.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Today: Gemini Moon Square Mercury Retrograde

Stuck in Traffic. © Zubasti, Dreamstime.com

OK, now I’m starting to feel Mercury retrograde. It took awhile, but there’s no mistaking it now.

This wouldn’t be the first time I started feeling the effects of retrograde Mercury when he was halfway through his retrograde phase. Often, the first week is a breeze, and I start thinking I won’t get slammed this time. One can always wish.

Since yesterday, my Internet connection has been so slow that I’ve wondered if there’s a problem with my computer. That’s unlikely, and anyway, I’m getting all kinds of weird messages, lost passwords, and other strange stuff. A friend of mine reports that webmasters everywhere are vexed with issues large and small. That certainly would be typical of Mercury retrograde in detail-oriented Virgo. By the way, have you ever noticed that people with strong Virgo in their charts wind up in programming or engineering?

I have to go into the city today, which is always difficult, due to the lack of coordination between the ferries and bus service. Given today’s square between retrograde Mercury and the Moon in Mercury ruled Gemini, I’m expecting serious delays. For once, I’m going to follow my own advice and leave early so that I’m not late for my appointment!

Anyone else experiencing the usual effects? What about unusual effects? How are you coping? Or not?

Hang in there! After today, there’s only ten days left to go … and the one thing that doesn’t seem to be slowing down is time.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Resourceful

Scarlett O'Hara's curtain dress. The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas is seeking donations to restore this costume and four others worn by Vivien Leigh in Gone With The Wind.

I’ve been scouring the news headlines daily for evidence of the cardinal T-square manifesting in real life. Goddess knows, there’s plenty to be found: floods in Pakistan, mudslides in China, a broken glacier in Greenland, and record heat and fires in Russia, compounded by the threat of radioactive smoke.

As if that’s not enough, Scarlett O’Hara’s dresses are on the brink of ruin. In tatters. So worn and fragile that they’re not fit to be seen in public. The Harry Ransom Center, owner of the collection, is trying to raise $30,000 to restore the dresses in anticipation of the 75th anniversary of Gone With the Wind in 2014.

There you have it, folks. It’s what happens when Venus (feminine beauty) conjoins Saturn (durability) opposite Jupiter (tradition, opulence, and the biggest anything), square Pluto (regeneration). We’d like to restore these dresses, but gee, where are we going to get the money? Uranus and Jupiter retrograde in Pisces ought to come in very handy for that, Pisces being the sign of the past and the collective unconscious.

Sarcasm aside, there’s some wonderful symbolism in this story. First, let’s take the character of Scarlett O’Hara, one of the most despicable heroines ever to come out of Hollywood. She is selfish, self-serving, spoiled, and vain. She steals other women’s husbands. And yet, we root for her. Despite her many flaws, we admire her iron will to survive when the world is collapsing around her and others lack the strength to carry on.

The curtain dress perfectly symbolizes Scarlett’s dual resourcefulness and deviousness. Faced with losing the family plantation unless she can come up with the cash to pay an enormous property tax, she resorts to her feminine wiles to land a man with money. Alas, she has nothing to wear!  Without a shred of sentiment, she tears down her dear, departed mother’s curtains and orders Mammy, her slave nursemaid from birth, to make her a dress. Her plot works, and her property is saved, at least for the time being.

Scarlett O’Hara and her curtain dress may turn out to be our inspiration as the global economy continues to languish under the T-square and society as we know it changes forever. Those of us with Scarlett’s pragmatism and resourcefulness will have a leg up. Those who don’t know they have it may discover it.

Unbearable stress can push us to grow in ways we never anticipated.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

P. S. Just for the heck of it, I looked up the birth data for Vivien Leigh, the actress who played Scarlett. Ironically, she has a cardinal T-square in her natal chart with Venus in Libra at the apex. Noted for her exceptional beauty, she considered it an impediment to being taken seriously in her profession.

Saturday Extra! Countdown to the Eclipse

The Seven Sisters. Star-patterned sand dollars, Westport, WA. © Pat Paquette

Sunday’s eclipse will be the last total eclipse of the Sun in the current Capricorn-Cancer series.

This series began last year with a dramatic solar eclipse at 29 degrees Cancer. The longest solar eclipse of the century, it made a broad sweep over Asia.

By contrast, tomorrow’s eclipse will be visible only in certain parts of the South Pacific and southern Chile. Then there won’t be another total solar eclipse until November 2012.

The New Moon is a time to make new beginnings, and this is all more true with solar eclipses. If you don’t know already what you’d like to begin anew, there’s still a day to think about it. (You can read my full report on Sunday’s eclipse here.)

I’ve spent the better part of the past two weeks contemplating where to take RealAstrologers. Since Diane left in March 2010, I’ve been on my own to research and write three to four in-depth posts a week, find and format all of the images, perform all of the technical updates, read all of your e-mail, and do everything else that needs to be done to maintain an active website with readers in 133 countries on six continents.

It’s almost a full-time job, with no pay. Initially, Diane and I conceived of RealAstrologers as a storefront for our consulting services, with a blog on the side to give readers an idea of our style and approach to astrology. But most visitors just come for the free content and leave. That would be fine if I were independently wealthy and didn’t need to earn a living, in which case I would do this as my service to humanity.

Alas, I have no rich relatives or family inheritance, not even a husband to share household expenses. It’s just me, and I can’t carry the load all by myself. As of this eclipse, I’m being forced to confront the reality that, as a business model, this sucks, and I may have to give up the project altogether.

Before I close shop, though, I’d like to explore creative ways to spin this site into a viable business venture. I’ve developed a five-year business plan that includes horoscopes by Rising sign and lots of other cool features. With enough funding, it even would be possible to offer computer-generated reports. They have their limitations, but I believe I have a way to design them that would be more meaningful and personal than what’s currently out there. If you have access to venture capital or know anyone who does, please contact me and let’s talk.

In the meantime, I’ve put a donations button in the sidebar (to the right), to help raise enough cash to cover my monthly web-hosting and other expenses. To those of you who have responded, I repeat my deep, heart-felt gratitude.

There seems to be a vague notion floating around that astrologers shouldn’t ask for money. I don’t know how this got started; maybe it comes from ancient times when people brought offerings of food and drink to the temple in return for advice from the priestesses. Nice concept, but not very realistic in today’s world.

We are attempting to create a new world together, one in which our hearts, souls, and creative energies are the most precious assets we have. If wisdom and spirituality are to take their place above material things — or at least be considered equally as important — then we must start acknowledging them by materially supporting the people who provide those services. The return on investment is priceless.

If you’re a regular reader of this site and haven’t donated yet, there’s no time like the present. If everyone contributed the equivalent of one latte or beer a month, it would allow me to continue my current posting schedule and perhaps even expand it to more posts per week.

Who knows where it all could go?

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

The Lone Astrologer

Fire at the farm

Barn fire at my childhood home in Unadilla Forks, N.Y., March 1968.

Yesterday I received an e-mail from Diane saying she is leaving RealAstrologers. I asked her to write a notice for our readers. Here it is:

Something that has become clear to me as a result of the doctor visits and tests, is leading a simpler, less stressful life with fewer distractions, commitments and minimal deadlines is now a must. So regretfully I am leaving Real Astrologers in Pat Paquette’s keeping. Please encourage her to keep Real Astrologers going with her great weekly forecasts and many interesting posts. Keeping up with Libra Seeking Balance is enough for me at this time in my life.

This is a pretty abrupt change, but that is how things are happening these days with the cardinal T-square. You see, just because we’re astrologers (and even when we see things coming), we are not immune to the same forces that are shaking up everyone else. I’m scrambling to pick up the pieces, but will make every attempt to post regularly, as we have been. The Friday Q&A column will continue, along with weekly forecasts, lunations (I’ll have a post up tomorrow on the coming Full Moon), and perhaps some new features.

That said, I’ll be rearranging pages on the site in the days and weeks ahead to reflect that RealAstrologers is now just me. I would very much appreciate your support, and please join me in wishing Diane well in her Libra quest for a more balanced life.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Cha Cha Change and Uranus Transits

Since April of last year, Uranus in Pisces has been trine my Ascendant on and off. I’m beginning to believe that for some of us there is no such thing as an “easy” transit of Uranus, especially those who have a preponderance of planets and chart angles in the fixed signs.

Often, Uranus transits to the Ascendant coincide with weight loss, and this transit has been no exception – I have lost over twenty pounds. This has been due to being unable to eat desserts of any kind, including pure chocolate, due to a severely stressed digestive system. The thing is, when I stay away from the trigger foods and do my best to minimize the stress in my life, I feel great. Pretty straightforward cause and effect – do this and feel like crap, don’t do it and feel good.

Transits to my Ascendant not only affect my Ascendant but also my Mars and Mercury, because those planets conjoin it from the twelfth house side. A natal inconjunct from Uranus to those three points gives a certain unpredictability to how a particular transit will manifest – and probably why Uranus transits are unusually stressful for me.

Because I gave away all my smaller pants, I am going to have to get new ones. Since I do not enjoy shopping (must be one of the few women on the planet who don’t) this is not something I look forward to. Our budget is very tight right now, so it may be time to head to Good Will to see what I can find.

One of the reasons I’m just now beginning to realize how profound the changes are is because Neptune has been squaring my Ascendant during this same time period. Right now it is past exact, and the fog has lifted for awhile (I have one more to go in late October-November of this year). This is just another confirmation of Neptune’s ability to obfuscate and confuse any and all issues by transit or natal aspect.

Uranus transits often are good reminders of what we need to do to take care of ourselves, and this one has been no exception. Sometimes we need to clear out old habits and sources of stress in order to replace them with healthier options. Usually, on some level, we already are aware of what needs to be done. I did. It’s eat healthy and stay awwaaaay from the goodies from here on out!

Just goes to show even an old dog can learn a new trick.

Libra always seeks balanceposted by Diane . . .

Ask Real Astrologers: Is My First House Sun in Retreat?

This week’s question comes from Geraldine in London, England:

In my chart, the Sun is almost exactly conjunct the Ascendant. As this is such a close conjunction, I was wondering what this means, with the Sun just nosing into the first house, but am I really more of a 12th house person, with the Moon is in Pisces. Coincidentally, where I live is called the Retreat (it’s the name of the estate actually).

Libra ponders . . .

Diane’s response:

Geraldine, your Sun in Libra is definitely belongs to your first house, not the twelfth. If you feel like a twelfth house person, I believe you are correct in looking at your sensitive Moon in Pisces.

Even though your Moon is in the fifth house, it is linked to the twelfth house in two ways: first, the inconjunct aspect between your Moon and Neptune located there; and second, Pisces rules the twelfth house.

The inconjunct is a rather difficult aspect, linking signs with little common ground. In your case, it is Neptune in airy Libra aspecting the Moon in watery Pisces. While there is often mutual respect between Libra and Pisces, Libra prefers an intellectual approach drawing on the best available data, while Pisces is fond of intuitive leaps and can be hazy when it comes to facts.

The Moon-Neptune inconjunct may bless you with creativity but at the same time makes you especially sensitive to confrontation of any kind. Hence it makes sense you prefer to live apart from the hustle and bustle of the mainstream. May I say, as one who has Moon conjunct Neptune in Libra,  I completely understand? I have a profound aversion to yelling matches and emotional drama.

A second look at your twelfth shows you have an out-of-sign conjunction of Mercury in Virgo and Neptune in Libra located there. Mercury in the twelfth often receives information through dreams and in the moments between going to sleep and upon waking. Do you record your dreams? I would guess having your Mercury in Virgo would give you a better than usual ability to recall them.

Thanks for a good question, Geraldine, and enjoy your days in the Retreat!

Aquarius expounds . . .

Pat’s response:

Geraldine, your Sun should be considered in the first house, no question, but I know how you feel. I, too, have a first house Sun with Moon in Pisces, and I have a sensitivity to surroundings and people that makes it easier for me to be in retreat (love that symbolism!).

However, there is one important way in which your chart and mine differ. Your Moon is the “handle” of a basket, all alone on one side of the chart with all of your other planets almost entirely within one third of the chart wheel. This gives the Moon a much greater influence than it otherwise would have, so it’s hardly surprising that you feel this part of yourself more strongly.

That said, people with Sun on the Ascendant really do wish to be seen, and they often project a strong public persona, even if it’s not how they feel deep inside. I would bet that others see you quite differently than you perceive yourself. And I would encourage you to put yourself out there, even though you may feel like blending into the background at times. That’s the same advice I give myself, by the way.

Thanks for the great question, and all the best to you.

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