Thursday, March 29, 2012



John Marchesella

When the opening line of a New York Times article is, “Seven years,” what’s an astrologer to think, but Saturn?

When the opening line of the second paragraph of the article is again, “Seven years,” what’s an astrologer to do but grab the ephemeris and leap to websites in search of birth data!

And of course, the predictability of Saturn’s infamous “seven-year cycle” did not fail to deliver the predictable combination of shock and glee. That wonderful “ah ha” moment, “Hey, astrology really does work!,” that exemplifies why Saturn co-rules Aquarius.

The article, by the way, appeared on November 9th and it was an interview with Alexander Payne, director of the raved-about film, “The Descendants.” In it, Payne explains what happened in the last seven years since his award-winning film, “Sideways.” He also directed the much acclaimed “Election” in 1999 and “About Schmidt” in 2002.

The reporter wrote, “Where, everyone wants to know, did he go? The answer is nowhere in particular and everything in between. He got divorced, he got delayed, he worked on projects that still haven’t come to fruition….He traveled near and far, with and without specific purpose. He lived. Time flies, but the movie industry lumbers. In that context, he hastens to say, seven years isn’t an eternity.” (Well, sure, when those years are behind you!)

Although we do not ordinarily associate Saturn with travel, the rest of the aforementioned scenario is not unusual for Saturn’s seven years of famine after His seven years of feast. Anyway, this astrologer thinks Payne meant the travel was figurative as well as literal, and certainly, roaming the dessert, so to speak, IS a Saturnine experience, especially for creative types.

The interview goes on to say about his new film: “Thematically, it fits neatly with its two immediate predecessors….In all three of these movies Mr. Payne places a troubled man at a crossroads where he assesses his mistakes and setbacks, then tries to move past them. They’re tales of regret and maybe, just maybe, redemption.”

And here’s the reporter’s closing impressions, “Mr. Payne comes across as meticulous. Proper. Patrician, even. His face and fingers are long and tapered; his frame is tall, and thanks to regular yoga, taut. ‘Shall’ pops up in his speech, as do unexpected, unusual words and allusions. With a new acquaintance he’s not loose or loquacious but rather dutifully courteous….”

It all sounds pretty Saturn-like to this astrologer!

Wikipedia gives Payne’s birth date as February 10, 1961. So, right there, we have a traditionally Saturn-ruled sun sign. In addition, we see he was born with a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Capricorn. And here’s the clincher – that conjunction is at 23 of Capricorn, receiving the square from transiting Saturn from Libra, just as “The Descendants” is opening around the country, winning major raves and racking up industry awards and nominations. Hey, astrology really does work!

I’m certainly not advocating that we jump to conclusions about horoscopes without full birth data including accurate birth time. In fact, as an astrology teacher, I’m highly skeptical about such leaps. But sometimes, we come across a news story that is just so obviously, irresistibly and “awakeningly” a soundbite of astrology at work.

Here’s another astrological soundbite, also from the New York Times last September:

“American Is to Join the Bolshoi Ballet”

Exactly 50 years after Rudolf Nureyev grabbed the world’s attention as the first major Soviet dancer to defect to the West, another symbolic journey is taking place — this time in reverse.

David Hallberg, a principal dancer with American Ballet Theater, is becoming the first American star to enlist permanently with the fabled Bolshoi Ballet of Moscow. Mr. Hallberg, 29, who was born in Rapid City, S.D., will hold the coveted status of premier, the Bolshoi term for principal dancer, even as he continues performing with Ballet Theater.

‘Personally, I feel a sense of responsibility as an American,’ Mr. Hallberg said on Tuesday, adding that he was proud to join such a historic company. ‘I will be bringing something different to the company, but I will also be respecting their traditions as well.’

He said he was aware of the unique responsibility entailed in being a first. ‘There will be people watching,’ he said. ‘I have to do it justice.’ “

Age 29 while Saturn is in Libra? H’mmm, a responsibility to do it justice….

Another manifestation of Saturn in Libra in the news this week was in a report on marriage in America. The report said the number of married Americans is at its all time lowest; only 51% of us are legally married. And the last year, (while, we know, Saturn has been in Libra), marriage saw its largest drop – 5% in just one year!

This week, PBS re-broadcast “The Pluto Files” with the astrologically infamous, Neil deGrasse Tyson. Of the many points that were covered about Pluto was the outcry over its name originally because Pluto was a brand of laxative! In fact, its tag line was “When nature won’t, Pluto will!” And the public did not think it was appropriate for a new planet to be associated with bowel movements. They should only know the astrological meaning of Pluto!

And it’s assumed that the choice of “Time” magazine’s “Person of the Year” is not lost on astrologers. The Protester. C’mon, Uranus’s station on the World Axis? You can’t make this stuff up!

John Marchesella is Chair of NCGR and reads the New York Times whenever he can with a sense of humor and his handy ephemeris.

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