Friday, July 29, 2016

The Chandra Levy Case and the Gold Standard of Astrological Prediction

The Chandra Levy murder case is once again in the media. Here is the NY Times article.

This was a 2001 murder that took place in Washington, DC. Chandra was an intern who had an affair with a congressman and then was murdered. A suspect was found guilty, but recently charges against him were dropped.

At the time I lived in DC and the events of the case took place less than a mile from where I lived. I don't normally do "celebrity" charts, but this one was so close by that I went ahead and took a look at the event charts. At the time, Chandra had disappeared and no one knew whether she was alive or dead or what had happened.

You can see the charts and actual written prediction I made in advance of knowing the results

A couple of comments. First, as far as I am concerned this sort of analysis is the true gold standard for astrological prediction. To be a traditional astrologer and do a real prediction, one must work from a specific chart that applies to the situation, use traditional techniques and have a written prediction, made in advance, before the results are known. That written prediction then needs to conform to the results.

This rules out looking at Hitler's, Einstein's, presidents' or other celebrity charts, where the native or querent and their career and life are already known. This rules out the "psychic" astrology reading that may well get it right, but doesn't actually use astrological technique and is not replicable by others; instead the astrologer used the chart like a crystal ball or tarot card spread as a means to access their psychic abilities or a reading where a chart is not provided or even used. This rules out the oral reading that is accessed by fallible memory later, "oh yeah, I'm sure I predicted that perfectly"

This is not to say that I always perform up to the gold standard. I'm fallible, I don't always get predictions right. And I have to say that the Chandra Levy predictions did involve the use of intuition, judgment and psychic ability. For about a week after I made these predictions, I kept looking at people's faces and seeing skulls. Nevertheless, this was psychic ability exercised within the parameters set forth by the chart.

It's very important to set these high standards for ourselves as astrologers. It keeps us from being lazy and keeps us from fooling ourselves into thinking that we are predicting when all we are doing is reading what we already know back into the chart. But it is also important to realize we can't always get the prediction right. We set the bar high and we keep our eyes open!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Example of Financial Trading Horary

Folks, I get a good number of inquiries about using astrology for gambling, in particular lottery, and for the middle and upper class version of gambling which is financial trading, in particular stock trading, day trading and foreign exchange trading (the permutations are endless).

I've probably had over 5000 e-mails and phone calls from people that somehow came up with the exactly the same great idea that no one else has ever thought of which is, "HEY! I can use astrology to [pick winning lottery numbers, stocks, bonds, derivatives, forex, etc.]" There is certainly a great deal of money to be made selling gambling or financial trading systems, but I always wonder if it is so effective, why sell it, why not simply do a few trades using it and retire? But hope springs eternal.

So I'm always leery about doing gambling or trading readings. One problem is that to get a good horary you need to really care about the question. If you ask "Will I marry X?" obviously this is a very emotional, very visceral question. "Should I sell stock X at 10?" I'm sure the querent cares about the profit, but I doubt whether they have a close, personal relationship with stock X, again other than whether or not it will make them money.

All this being said, I have had a reasonable amount of success with financial trading horaries, so long as the querent is savvy about how to use the information and understands the results are not guaranteed. Here is a recent example:

Question: Will stock X increase in value over the next 30 days?
Time Question Received & Understood: 12:11 pm CDT July 10, 2016
Place Question Received & Understood: Iowa City, IA 41 N 39 91 W 31

The meaning of the astrological factors are fully explained in the analysis below.
Astrological Factors Considered:
In this chart 11 Libra rises and it is Saturn hour. As Saturn rules air signs by day the chart is radical or rooted which means it has internal signs of accuracy. As Libra rises you are signified by Venus who is peregrine and thus weak in the 10th house. The Moon is in detriment in the 4th house. Stock X is signified by the 2nd house which is ruled by Mars, who is slow, but well dignified by sign in the 2nd house. The Moon sextiles Mars significator of the stock, then opposes the Sun and changes signs.

Your significator Venus is weak, an indication that you don't have a lot of control over the stock price, which certainly fits the situation. The Moon is afflicted, which can show a problematic or stressful situation. The key is the state of the 2nd house and of the 2nd house ruler Mars. Mars is slow at the moment and in a fixed sign, but well dignified by sign. This indicates that the fundamentals of the stock are good, but that it is currently underperforming and will improve as time passes. Mars also rules the Part of Fortune, emphasizing these same indications. So my sense is that the price slowly improves over the time period of the question.


Good call on the X stock! It went up. I had some doubts on the reading since technical and fundamental analysis were full of uncertainty and didn't quite align with your horary. The stock had some good news with positive earnings report. We'll see how it goes over the next 30 days.

Here is more on Horary Readings.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

What Does Lilly Mean by Possessing?

I got a very interesting question today. "On page 641 of Lilly's Christian astrology, chapter CLIIII, whether or not adversaries shall be overcome. He states, 'the lord of the seventh possessing the tenth or the lord of the tenth possessing the seventh, the native shall overcome his enemies. The lord of the twelfth in the tenth, or the lord of the tenth in the twelfth argues the same.'"

Does he mean the same thing by the lord of a house possessing another house as he means by the lord of a house being in another house? Or are these two distinctly different set of directions. What does he mean by the term possessing? Very good question and not one that I had an immediate answer to. Let's look at more uses of possession.

Lilly at Christian Astrology page 36, "That if on the Cusp of the tenth house you find the Signe Aries, then on the Cusp of the fourth the Signe Libra; and look what degree and minute of possesseth the Signe of the tenth house, the same degree and minute of the opposite Signe must be placed on the Cusp of the fourth house"

Lilly at Christian Astrology page 206, "[Tenants, good or ill.] If an Infortune possesse the Ascendant, the Tenants or Occupants are ill, deceitfull and unwilling the goodnesse of the ground should be discovered: if a Fortune be in the Ascendant judge the contrary, viz. the Tenants are honest men..."

Lilly at Christian Astrology page 230 "but if a fixed Signe possesse the Ascendant or 5th house, or any moveable Signes, and the Sun and Moon be therein, viz. either in fixed or moveable Signes, and in the 5th or 1st house, it’s a certain argument the Woman is with child but with one:"

Lilly at Christian Astrology page 239 "South Node also possesseth the Ascendant; a strong argument of barrennesse" [South Node is rising]

Lilly at Christian Astrology page 264, "If the Significator be in the middle of the Signe, the middle part of the Member is distressed, and so the lower part of the Member, when the Significator possesseth the lower degrees of the Signe."

Lilly at Christian Astrology page 267, "I usually observe, who is the Lord of the Ascendant, and which of the benevolent Planets he is in aspect with, and how many degrees there are distant betwixt them, in what house they both are in, viz. whether Angles, Succedant, Cadent, what Signe they possesse, whether Moveable, Fixed or Common"

Lilly at Christian Astrology page 422 "If in this house good Planets have either government, or are in possession thereof, or aspect the same without the testimonies of the Infortunes, it signifieth good, or is an argument thereof in all questions concerning this house" [9th house]

Lilly at Christian Astrology page 550 says, "If the Lord of the ascendant is beheld by no Planet partilly, judge by that mediety of the signe which the Almuten doth not occupie or possesse."

Lilly at Christian Astrology page 580-1, "Briefly, let him consider whether the Significator be happy or unhappy, secondly, the Signe he occupies: thirdly, the Infortune that afflicts the Significator: fourthly, the Signe he possesseth."

Ok, I should say at the outset that Lilly and his 17th century contemporaries were not always consistent in their use of terminology, jargon and terms of art. House, for example, is confusing because sometimes it means sign and sometimes it means one of the 12 houses.

Possessing definitely seems confusing! There does seem to be a tendency to use the term possessing with signs. This can be used of a sign possessing a cusp, which means that sign is on the cusp. More frequently we see a planet possessing a sign, which generally seems to be used to mean that the planet is in the sign. What is very confusing is that Lilly on several occasions contrasts occupying a sign with possessing it.

It is interesting to just considering the term possess


1 a : to have and hold as property : own b : to have as an attribute, knowledge, or skill

2 a : to seize and take control of : take into one's possession b : to enter into and control firmly : dominate c : to bring or cause to fall under the influence, domination, or control of some emotional or intellectual response or reaction

So to posses is to have ownership of something, but also has a sense of presence, of entering into and even of physically holding.

So we can see how possess could plausibly be applied either to house or sign rulership and simultaneously to emplacement in a house or sign. And in fact, house rulership and house placement both show the involvement of a planet, node, etc. with the affairs of that house.

So very interesting question and another example of the need to flexibility and tolerance of ambiguity in our traditional sources.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Almutens vs. House Rulers: Deep Practice

I recently had a question about my evolving use of almutens versus house rulers in elections. An almuten is the planet that has the most dignity over a particular point in the chart or selection of points.

You look at the house, exaltation, triplicity, term and face rulers add up their points and subtract if it is the planet's detriment or fall.

So for example, if the point we are looking at is 1 Aries by day, Mars gets +5 points as sign ruler, Sun +4 as exaltation ruler, the Sun gets +3 points as day triplicity ruler of fire signs, Jupiter rules the term and gets +2, while Mars rules the 1st face of Aries where 1 Aries is, and gets +1. We add the points so Mars is 6, Sun is 7, Jupiter 2 points. Since the Sun is 7 he is the almuten. It is possible to have co-almutens, if the planets tie their score.

In 9th & 10th century Arabic astrology, which is direct ancestor of European traditional astrology, they are very big on almutens and use them for all sorts of purposes. The medieval astrologer Guido Bonatti, since he is closer to the Arabic astrologers in his practice, tends to use almutens a lot, so our contemporary traditional natal astrology which is heavily based on Bonatti, due to Robert Zoller, is also a big user of almutens. Horary astrology, based as it is more on Lilly who is much later, uses almutens a lot less.

One of the possible uses of almutens is as substitute house rulers. So, using our example, if Aries rises, the standard house ruler of the 1st house is Mars, since Mars rules Aries and Aries is on the cusp of the first house, but if 1 Aries rises, then the Sun is the almuten of the rising degree and thus almuten of the 1st house. Probably my biggest use of almutens was in marriage elections. These are hard to do because you need the 1st ruler and 7th ruler dignified or at least unafflicted, and the only possible pairs of 1st/7th rulers are Moon & Saturn, Sun & Saturn, Mercury & Jupiter, Mars & Venus. So I started doing marriage elections where, for example, Cancer rose, so the Moon was the house ruler and afflicted, but Venus was almuten of the rising degree and dignified.

I'm not sure it is a case of almutens not working, but I started realizing from a practical standpoint in doing readings that you need to focus and not have too many significators. For example in a relationship reading you look at the rulers of the 1st and 7th and planets in the 1st and 7th, but Lilly also says look at the Sun for Men and Venus for women. You end up having way too many planets to look at. Adding almutens into the mix just meant too many planets. Also I started feeling like I was "cheating" a bit when the house ruler was afflicted to use the almuten.

Here's what I think. Ultimately what we are doing is trying to look through the chart to see underlying spiritual patterns and cycles. While I don't think it is anything goes and you can do anything at any time and justify it astrologically, I do now feel that if you are working within the tradition you can have your own idiosyncratic approach so long as that approach is consistent. To do this requires a long immersion in the study of the tradition and then significant practical application. But after this you start to get guided in your approach. So I started feeling like I should stick with house rulers. Now it would not be irrational to end up just using almutens, they are really big in 9th-10th century Arabic astrology that is the root of European traditional astrology. But I started feeling, as I said, that generally using house rulers and then when the house ruler was afflicted, switching to almutens, was not a good way to accurately reflect the underlying spiritual cycles. My sense is that you could go with house almutens, but if you did you would need to feel like "yes, this is the way to go" and be consistent, not just switch to regular house rulers to avoid an afflicted house almuten.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Astrology in the News!

Always interesting to see how astrology pops up in the news. First mention is today in the Washington Post

Note that the heliocentric perspective is presented as objective truth while the geocentric perspective is simply an illusion. In fact, if you watch Mercury in the sky from Earth it will indeed appear to move backwards. Of course the video itself is an illusion, being a series of still pictures that change so quickly that they appear to move. Clearly everything we see via video is therefore also false!

I, along with Plotinus, agree with astronomers that the planets and stars are not actually causing effects on Earth. Instead the underlying spiritual cycles control both the cycles of the Heavens and cycles on Earth. Either that or the planetary archangels!

Finally it is very cute of the Washington Post to have it both ways, they report Mercury retrograde, explain what it is, give useful information on when Mercury is retrograde, all definitely aimed at an audience who are receptive and interested in astrology, then in the end denounce astrology. Same old media strategy, as Billy Bragg says, "Where they offer you a feature On stockings and suspenders Next to a call for stiffer penalties for sex offenders"

Next example is the New York Times continuing expose of the evils of fortunetellers

And yes this appears to be pretty heinous fraud. But this story links back to an earlier one on fortunetellers who are not simply using this as a con, but believe in what they are doing

The NYT's attitude is the traditional one, all fortunetelling is fraud, no matter what the fortuneteller themselves believe. Under New York Penal Law §165.35, entitled, "Fortune telling"

"A person is guilty of fortune telling when, for a fee or compensation which he directly or indirectly solicits or receives, he claims or pretends to tell fortunes, or holds himself out as being able, by claimed or pretended use of occult powers, to answer questions or give advice on personal matters or to exorcise, influence or affect evil spirits or curses;  except that this section does not apply to a person who engages in the aforedescribed conduct as part of a show or exhibition solely for the purpose of entertainment or amusement.

Fortune telling is a class B misdemeanor."

So as long as you admit it is fake, you are ok. If you believe that you can predict the future and charge to do so, you are a criminal in New York.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Magic, Astrology and Superstition II

Let's kick off with a Stevie Wonder video and the "official" definition of superstition from Wikipedia "Superstition is the belief in supernatural causality—that one event causes another without any natural process linking the two events—such as astrology, religion, omens, witchcraft, prophecies, etc., that contradicts natural science."

Well that wipes out everything spiritual doesn't it? No magic, no astrology, but also no religion, no gods or God, nothing but atheistic materialism. And in fact, much of what passes for the ideology of "Science" since the so-called Enlightenment has been a relentless attack on the spiritual in all areas. Most mainline Christian denominations have been happy to join in on attacks on astrology and magic, without realizing that their own raison d' etre was also implicated.

So clearly as an astrologer and astrological magician, I don't reject spiritual causality. The Hermetic philosophy that traditionally explained astrology and magic sees the Cosmos as one great unified Being, connected by bonds of sympathy and correspondence. I therefore don't see any chance or any coincidences, everything happens for a purpose. The problem is that since we can't always see the causality that is taking place. Two events having simultaneously or in close proximity are connected but don't necessarily cause each other. Science itself has problems with this. Just because people that only drink one drink a day are healthier overall doesn't mean drinking is healthy, it's actually that people that are so moderate as to only drink one drink a day have a lot of other healthy habits. A deeper underlying pattern that we often don't see or understand is what is providing the connection.

Horary astrology is an excellent example of spiritual causality and connection. The cycles of the stars and planets are easy to see and can be mapped thousands of years in the past and into the future. In the Renaissance view a person's emotions and body cycled with the Heavens. By asking a serious question, one that is emotionally important, the querent fixes a moment when their situation corresponds to the Heavenly cycles. The astrologer can then see through the chart to the underlying spiritual cycles, and then map these cycles back to the querent's situation, making an accurate prediction of future events. This is all spiritual causality and yet horary astrology can make astonishingly accurate and precise predictions. Horary was what really opened my eyes to the reality of the spiritual and the spiritual causality and connection that underlies all material things.

However, the atheistic/materialist skeptics have a point, it is definitely possibly to start seeing connections that don't work and causality that doesn't exist. "Step on a crack, break your mother's back" is classic superstition. I've stepped on a lot of cracks and my mother is still in pretty good shape.

This is where it gets tricky, particularly for magic. Science has taken all the material phenomenon that work 100% of the time. We are working with much more abstract forces that work sometimes, but not all of the time. Much of the time we have to judge by synchronistic means, I do a Jupiter talisman and 45 minutes later I get a check for $3000 in the mail. Jupiter = wealth and the timing fits! I typically do a 3rd and a 7th Mansion consecration each month when the Moon is in the 3rd and 7th Mansions. Often, and it happened this month, I get a big surge of business around these days. But not always.

So given the difficulty of actually seeing spiritual connections we do get a lot of false positives, which I think are legitimately branded as superstition. A key example that recurs over and over in astrology is relying on a single astrological factor that affects every single person in the world equally. For example, Mercury retrograde. Now Mercury is retrograde for all seven billion people on the planet, but somehow 99.99% of phone calls get through, 99.99% of flights don't get cancelled and the Internet doesn't shut down. In fact many people will be having the best day of their lives under Mercury retrograde. The proof is that no one can make any specific predictions in advance about the effects of Mercury retrograde, other than "it's bad, it's really, really bad" Actually the flavor of the month right now seems to be the void of course Moon. I've gotten people e-mailing me asking about the void of course in horary questions, in their natal charts, in elections, and worrying about it in non-lunar talismans. The unifying factor is that they are frightened and don't exactly know why.

On the other hand, I really don't like the number 13. I skip when numbering slides for lectures, for example. It just makes me nervous, I'm not really convinced there is a causal connection here, i.e. this is basically superstition. Nevertheless, I make it easy on myself and don't use the number 13, except in situations where it would be excessively difficult to avoid. Superstition is fine, so long as we recognize it as superstition and don't let it run our lives. There's nothing wrong with preferences and even superstition, except insisting they that are objective fact!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Testimonials & 3rd Mansion Ritual Picture

Folks, every time someone reports back their results I save them as a testimonial. I literally have 47 pages of testimonials. Here's a pretty incredible one I got this week:

"Was checking my mail and as soon as I opened my letter my Apple Watch buzzed and notified me of the moon about to enter the 3rd mansion. I looked at my check and it was for $33,000. What do you know! GK"

Plus the client sent the 3rd Mansion ritual picture you can see above. Check out the face of the woman in the smoke of the incense! Cool!

Check out 3rd Mansion Mirrors! One of my favorite talismans for "all good things"