April 2019: All Transits, Ingresses, Retrogradations’ lists + Ephemeris and Astro-Calendar

Sun ImageHi, friends of astrology.

Just letting you know that I have updated my site with all the information astrological seekers may need in the month of APRIL 2019.

I have posted links to All Transits active in April (including the Moon’s and minor aspects); All Sun, Moon and Planets ingress into Signs; All Moon Phases, including the intermediate, such as Crescent, Gibbous, Disseminating and Balsamic; the April 2019 monthly Ephemeris, which includes the positions of the four major Asteroids, Ceres, Juno, Pallas and Vesta; as well as the Black Moon Lilith. And the APRIL 2019 Solar Fire Astro-Calendar with the list of All the Moon Voids of Course.



Scorpio Last Quarter Moon, Mercury in Pisces and highlight on the Asteroids goddesses

Today, February 15 2012, is the yearly Last Quarter Moon in Scorpio, significant phase for Scorpio but also for the other Fixed Signs, Taurus, Leo and Aquarius, not only if your Sun is in one of these Signs but also if the Moon, a planet, the Lunar Nodes or one of the four Angles happened to be there at the time of your birth, in particular between the 24th and 26th degrees of the same.

This is ideal time for some deep soul searching, penetrating to the core of any emotional problems you may be experiencing. No good trying to gloss these feeling over or escape them by getting busy with other things. The Scorpio Last Quarter is a wonderful opportunity to truly understand where all that emotional stuff is coming from, the root causes of it, because discovering those will be a great step toward healing them. The opposition of the Moon to powerful Algol, beta star of Perseus, also known as Medusa’s Head, at the time of the phase,  stresses the need to tackle old resentments and fears that may be disturbing our psyche and stopping us from loving each other the right way. It is time to liberate ourselves from darkness and open up to the light. The forming 90 degrees angle between Venus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn (exact on February 16) also stresses the need to fight the darkness with light, and to act upon those negative feelings which are the enemies of love.

To help with this, Mercury has moved into Pisces and became conjunct Neptune yesterday, February 14. The transit in Pisces will last until March 4, becoming active again between March 24 and April 17, due to Mercury’s Retrogradation (starting on March 12 when Mercury will be in Aries), a protracted opportunity to experience the psychic openness and mental fluidity of this watery Sign.  The transit of Mercury in Pisces and his current conjunction to Neptune could help us, during this Scorpio Moon phase, to avoid getting obsessed with emotional issues and bogged down by them. Pisces can always encourage us to go with the flow of things, to surrender to what cannot be changed and to find spiritual meaning in our experiences,  including the most trying ones.

Adding an interesting aspect to today’s Astrology the Asteroids Goddesses Vesta (Greek Hestia), Ceres (Demeter), Pallas (Athena) and Juno (Hera) are involved in important transits: Vesta in late Pisces is in trine to the Moon in late Scorpio, while the Moon will conjunct Juno after entering Sagittarius. Ceres is conjunct Venus in Aries and both are in square to Pluto in Capricorn, while Pallas is just separating from Mercury and Neptune in early Pisces . The highlight on the Asteroids makes this a very suitable couple of days for cultivating relationships amongst women and to honor the feminine in both men and women. The four major Asteroids in fact represent different aspects of the feminine: Ceres the maternal, Juno the lover/spouse, Pallas the filial and Vesta the sisterly aspect.

Click HERE To view my recent post on Venus’ transit through Aries (February 8 to March 5).

Click HERE for a description of the functions ascribed to the four major Asteroids in one of my Living Moon Tutorial Pages.

Natural and political storms, what’s going on astrologically? A New Moon in Aquarius with a punch


On February 3 we all experienced an intense New Moon in Aquarius, conjunct Mars, the God of War, and midpoint between Uranus and Venus (at right angle to each other) and in semi-square to both.

North Queensland has been hit by one of the most powerful cyclones in living memory (while the state was still reeling from the destruction caused by wide spread floods). In other parts of the world different types of tempests have been raging and are still raging, like the powerful Egyptian pro-democracy uprising and the destructive blizzard still going in many regions of the United States.

I will discuss the Astrology of the Egyptian uprising in another post. Here instead I’m considering two Horoscopes, both calculated for the Australian town of Tully, one of the places in North Queensland that were on the destructive path of  category 5 cyclone Yasi on February 3.

The first Chart was cast for the hour the cyclone struck, around Midnight, Queensland Time.

The second Chart is the New Moon in Aquarius on the same day, just about 12 hours later.

Below those you’ll find a picture of both Charts on the same page for easy comparison.


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CYCLONE YASI and the NEW MOON of FEBRUARY 3 2011, on one page

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Comparing these two Charts it is easy to observe that Fixed Signs are found on all the four Angles formed by the Horizon and Meridian axis, making those moments more tense, rigid, resistant to change, hardy and tough. Furthermore the traditionally Violent Signs Scorpio and Taurus (often associated with earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and even extreme weather) are rising, Scorpio at the time of the event, and Taurus at New Moon time.

The two Charts are really mirror images of one another, with opposite-complementary Signs rising and setting, opposite-complementary Signs on Mid-Heaven and Lower-Heaven, and the all important cluster in Aquarius (Sun, Moon, Mars) at the nadir of the moment the cyclone struck the coast, and at the zenith at the time of the New Moon, on the same day!

When Yasi unleashed her fury on Tully the Moon was at the lowest point in the sky, right on the IC (Imum Coeli), the taproot of every Chart. In a Mundane Chart (one dealing with collective events) the Moon is said to represent the people, often innocent bystanders in time of natural disasters or conflicts. The Moon then in this peculiar position is to me a very appropriate symbol of the people of Tully and surrounding region cowering in the safest, most hidden corner of their home, the IC or cusp of the Fourth House, representing the home and family in which we shelter from the external world.

What a great picture, just perfect for those circumstances! The Moon, the Sun and Mars are also in harmonious relationship to Saturn in Libra, showing how the preparation in anticipation of the disaster paid off, at least as far as the physical safety of the people was concerned. Saturn is the only major celestial body above the horizon, in the Twelfth House, the sector of fated events over which we cannot have any conscious control. After careful preparation and planning (Moon, Sun, Mars trine Saturn) all the people could do was to pray and ride the storm without venturing out (XII House stuff).

In both Charts the Moon, Sun and Mars are at right angle to the Ascendant of the moment, suggesting perhaps the strong physical impact of the event, because through the Ascendant everything, every planetary energy finds its manifestation, and a right angle (square) is always challenging and more intense than other transits.

In both Charts, again, the Moon, the Sun and Mars are also in semi-square to Venus and Uranus, important connection to the destructive nature of the incident, Uranus symbolizing sudden event of a disruptive nature, being particularly important because of its connection to Aquarius, the Sign Sun, Moon and Mars occupied. Venus, Ruling Planet at the time of the New Moon (because Venusian Taurus was then rising), was in the Second House at the moment of impact and in the opposite Eight House at New Moon time, indicating the economic impact of this sudden event, that has left many on the brink of financial disaster.

The planets Jupiter and Uranus, still conjunct at present between the end of Pisces and the beginning of Aries, have been considered responsible for many extreme weather events that have occurred since the start of their cosmic duet, in May/June 2010. This is so because Jupiter rules over stormy weather and Uranus over strong wind events and all sort of extremes in climate.  As I said before Venus was at right angle to Uranus and therefore also to Jupiter, while both Uranus and Jupiter were forming another challenging angle (square) with the asteroid Vesta and also the North Lunar Node and Pluto in Capricorn.

Vesta (Hestia in the Greek pantheon) was the Goddess who presided over the sanctity of home life, keeping  safe the hearth of every house, then the center of family life, symbol of its unity and continuity. Certainly Vesta’s security and nurturing have been severely challenged for the many who had to live through this event. The fact that Vesta was also conjunct the Lunar Node and Pluto makes the all configuration more intense and difficult, connecting it to the latest Eclipses events, on December 21 2010 (Lunar Eclipse) and January 4 2011 (Solar Eclipse).

Another asteroid was prominent during Yasi and the New Moon, Ceres (known as Demeter to the Greeks). She was in fact very close to the cluster of Sun, Moon and Mars in Aquarius, practically mid-point between Sun and Moon. Ceres was the Goddess of the Harvest, presiding over and protecting crops and live stock. Bananas’ and sugar cane’s plantations were wiped out in the areas directly hit by the cyclone, explaining the important role of this major asteroid in the unfolding of these events.

Looking now at the New Moon which occurred in Tully just half hour past Midday, on February 3, we see that Mars was right on the Mid-Heaven of the place, most elevated of all planets and therefore pretty powerful. As we know Mars is connected to highly charged events, like conflicts of all kind, often entailing violence. In this instance he has lived up to his reputation.

For the more Astrology savvies amongst my readers here is a link to an interesting post on the Yasi event, posted by the American astrologer E.H. CAZIMI of ECLECTIC ASTROLOGY. He studied the event in relation to the powerful Lunar Eclipse that occurred on December 21 2010 and its effect on the Queensland’s Birth Chart (June 6, 1859)

If interested in the more general effects of this Aquarius New Moon please check my next post on the Egyptian uprising, an event in some way comparable to our category 5 cyclone Yasi.

JESSICA WATSON, young Medusa and Venus with the Moon

As many Sydney residents and visitors are anxiously waiting for the return into Sydney harbour of Jessica Watson, the sixteen years old who has been sailing around the world solo, I have been scouring the net to find her date and time of birth. I managed to find the date, but so far, no time. If anyone has this information I would appreciate it.

Missing the birth-time I have cast a Sunrise Chart for the day and place of birth, usually my choice in such cases. You can find her Sunrise Chart at the bottom of this post or here.

The Birth Chart of this modern heroine has not disappointed.

Jessica was born with the Sun and Mercury in Earthy Taurus, one of the most determinate and even obstinate Sign of the Zodiac. To add to this her Sun and Mercury were also in opposition to Pluto in her Natal Chart, an indication of resourcefulness and even ruthlessness. She has the power to make things happen and a great charisma, but she could also attract enmity in her life, getting involved in tugs of war or battles of will with other people.

She has needed indeed all her staying power and ability to withstand opposition with firm resolve to get through the difficulties and antagonism she faced at first, when she decided to sail. It looked as if it would not go ahead. She persisted and went through with it.

Saturn was also in aspect to her Natal Sun and Mercury, with a perfect 90 degrees angle (square) to Mercury and forming square with the Sun, while at right angle with transiting Pluto too (T square). This shows the more ambitious side of Jessica’s character. With Saturn so prominent she is out to prove something, to become an authority in her own right.  And she will work very hard to achieve her goal.  A ‘father complex’ of some description works to push her constantly ahead of herself, for ever trying to out-do herself to gain approval. Strong self-criticism will always help Jessica to counter-act the more boisterous aspects of her personality, anchoring her down to the earth plane. She may have already a bit of the workaholic in her. Both Sun and Mercury are in the last Decan (ten degrees) of Taurus belonging to Capricorn, Saturn’s Sign, giving more power to this serious, responsible and ambitious energy. Saturn in Aquarius also suggests someone who may feel fundamentally alone, no matter how many friends and admirers her popularity may gain her.

Her Mind Planet, Mercury, was in transition from Taurus to Gemini, at the time of her birth, an interesting cusp, giving Jessica both the mental concentration and practical outlook of Mercury in Taurus and some of the versatility, quickness and manual dexterity of Mercury in Gemini.

Apart from the all important aspects to Pluto-Saturn the Sun and Mercury are also forming a trine to Jupiter in Libra. This is a traditionally fortunate influence, giving Jessica support from high places, with persons of importance and influence helping her advance her career. Jupiter also adds more confidence to her carachter and a positive outlook on life. Jupiter’s position in the Houses of her Horoscope will provide more information on this placement, when her time of birth becomes known.

The Moon and Venus’ positions in Aries surprised astrologers the least, because this is the Sign of pioneers and brave, often fearless men and women who are able to open new ground, daring to follow their passion, no matter what everyone else think. The function of the Ram in the Zodiac is to push ahead of all the other Signs, to lead them into uncharted territories, with the innocence and self-centredeness of a child. Adventure and conquest appeal to these types who need to exert a lot of physical energy in order to find calm and be able to relax. Aries is one of the most active Sign, even restless at time, constantly in search of new excitement.  Taurus will keep this fiery energy well grounded and somewhat slow it down too, a plus for Jessica, adding purpose to her need for activity and challenge.

So Jessica has a strong, direct, uncompromising personality and, like many girls with these sorts of placements, she a bit of a tom boy, competitive and pugnacious. The Moon and Venus are found in the Leo Decan of Aries. This is Jessica’s more playful and histrionic side that may lap up the accolades. The Leo Mars adds considerably to her courage, pride and desire to have as much fun as possible. In this fiery Sign Mars also denotes a strong will, self-centredeness if not selfishness, and the potential to shine and become successful. This is confirmed by the harmonious and well wishing Grand Trine (providing both talents and opportunities) between Mars in Leo, the Moon-Venus in Aries and the Lunar North Node in Sagittarius. The position of this Node, the one that points to the future of the individual, in the Sign of quests and adventures, Sagittarius, just makes this configuration so perfect considering Jessica’s achievements.

To add to the whole configuration I noted that also Ceres (Greek Demeter), the largest asteroid, was in Aries and also conjunct Venus and the Moon. Ceres was the Goddess of the Harvest, insuring fertility of the soil and of people, one of the most ancient ever worshipped in Greece and other countries. In her myth the determination of Ceres/Demeter to see her abducted daughter Persephone returned to her was unshakable, bringing her to deprive the planet of rains and harvest, condemning people to starvation, rather than renounce her wish. So Demeter is another symbol of woman’s strength and personal power. The figure of Ceres/Demeter has also been connected to environmental issues of our present times, the growing awareness of the need to respect and live in harmony with our Mother Earth. It is possible that the three-Godesses’ Aries conjunction will prompt Jessica to embrace environmental issues and perhaps become an international campaigner for environmental and wild life protection.

By one of those amazing coincidences (the mysterious phenomenon of synchronicity often revealed to us through Astrology) on May 16, the day she is landing back in Australia and two days before her 17th birthday, the transiting Moon and Venus will again be conjunct (together) as at the time of her birth, but this time in Gemini. It will be actually an occultation of Venus by the Moon in certain parts of the world (see Eye on the Southern Sky’s page for a snapshot of this event), meaning a conjunction during which the disk of the Moon (a tiny crescent in this case) will hide (occult) for a while the bright evening star Venus. This is a great symbol for Jessica’s life in general (her birth conjunction) but also a testimony of the brightness and beauty of her triumph at the present time. A star may have indeed been born. Searching further into the history of the occultations of Venus by the Moon I found out that in 1993, the year Jessica was born, one of such occultations occurred on April 19, just a month previous her birth, also in Aries!

With all her navigational skills in handling a boat and obvious love of the sea, in Jessica’s Chart the Water Element is not too strongly emphasised.  This means that she is not overly emotional and may even be difficult for her to understand strongly emotional people. She may also experience problems understanding her own feelings and depth, tending too often to brush them aside.

So from where her passion for sea voyages stems in her Birth Chart? There got to be a specific indicator, not just the generic ones of courage, love of adventure, questing spirit (Aries Moon-Venus-Ceres trine North Node Sagittarius trine Mars in Leo trine Venus-Moon-Ceres, Sun-Mercury trine Jupiter). I have found this Oceanic signature in the positions of Saturn, cusp Aquarius/Pisces, and Uranus-Neptune in Capricorn. Here we have two Mutual Receptions (Saturn-Uranus and Saturn-Neptune) and a very significant generational conjunction (Uranus-Neptune). Mutual Reception is a term indicating two or more planets occupying each other Signs, thus creating synergy (Wikipedia = a synergy is where different entities cooperate advantageously for a final –mutual – outcome).

In Jessica’s Birth Chart these planets are Uranus in the Earth Sign of Capricorn ruled by Saturn, and Saturn in the Airy Sign of Aquarius, ruled by Uranus. Due to the fact that Saturn is on the last degree of the Sign Aquarius (Anaretic or Cusp Pisces) this planet is also in Mutual Reception to Neptune, because Pisces is Neptune’s Sign. The Mutual Reception Uranus-Saturn provides Jessica with the potential to integrate Saturn’s practicality with Uranus’ genius for discovery and unorthodox, non linear  thinking. The Mutual Reception between Saturn and Neptune, on the other hand, could help her integrate the down to earth approach to life of Saturn and the loftier, idealistic and romantic Neptunian drive, this being the planet of Dreams and Inspiration, aiding her to manifest her dreams and ideals into reality.

Even more remarkable is the fact that now, as she concludes her voyage, the transiting Neptune is becoming conjunct her Natal Saturn (cups Aquarius-Pisces), while the transiting Uranus, close to enter Pisces at the end of May 2010, is now in perfect semi-sexile (30 degrees distance) from her Saturn. Both these Transits are greatly stimulating the two Mutual Receptions I discussed before.

Of course of great interest here is the historical conjunction in Capricorn of Uranus (Sky God) and Neptune (Sea God), the aspect manifested in the whole generation of young people born between 1988 and 1995. In the words of Alan Meece, an expert in Generational Astrology, these are “The committed ones (Generation Y-b, Uranus conjunct Neptune in Capricorn, Pluto in Scorpio). This is a group with outstanding potential. It is a very precocious generation, but won’t burn itself out in youth. They are steady, persistent, determined, ambitious and passionate. They have great talent in the arts, politics and organization, and they may be the great leaders who lay down lasting foundations for a new age of civilization. On the other hand, some might consider them too cold, calculating, rigid, worldly or obsessed with their own goals.” I found the article that contains this paragraph here.

Well, after reading this, Jessica seems to embody really well the spirit of her generation!

The conjunction of Vesta and Pallas, two Goddess Asteroids, in the Sign of Pisces seems also a fitting symbol for Jessica’s passion for the sea and her commitment (Vesta) to remain loyal to it throughout her life. Like the conjunction Moon-Venus-Ceres this conjunction too points to the possibility of Jessica becoming an environmental warrior or activist.

To conclude this astrological portrait of Jessica Watson, I like to point out the fact that the Sun in Taurus in her Birth Chart was conjunct in longitude to Algol, the binary star, alpha of Perseus. This Star was depicted by the ancient Greek sea travelers as the severed head of the monster-woman Medusa, in the hand of her slayer, the Solar Hero Perseus. Now this is a star that has very much interested me and about which I talked at length in some of my previous posts, mainly in reference to natural and man-made disasters (if interested, please type Algol in the search box to find all those articles). We cannot deny here that traditionally this star hasn’t received the best press, but has been considered rather dangerous, being held responsible for creating mayhem and generating violence. Fixed Stars’ interpretations from ancient sources paint many of them in very dark colours, identifying them as cause of much pain and suffering for human kind. We got to remember however that also other astrological factors were in the past considered wholly negative and irredeemable. Squares or Oppositions from Mars or Saturn, for instance, were certain harbingers of doom and gloom. In our modern times we have gained a more rounded knowledge of everything astrological, so that to us present-time seekers a square from Saturn or a conjunction with Algol may still be seen as difficult, but are also viewed as opportunities for great experiences and for growth of spiritual awareness.

All Stars are living lights, therefore symbols of spirit: the light we receive from them coming not only from the depth of space but the depth of time as well, a chain in the endless circle of life, past, present and future. How a Star can be evil?

Medusa (Algol) is for us modern people a symbol of the way female power was perceived in the patriarchal societies from which our own western culture stemmed. The Goddess of the Neolithic, having lost her power to the patriarchal male Gods brought by conquering tribes in search of new lands and resources, was in a few centuries transformed from a life-giving Mother into a Goddess of Death and Malice. Women’s power to generate and nurture life  was more and more vilified and made inferior to the loftier Gods who resided in the sky, far away from human concerns. It didn’t take very long to create the terrible gulf between Nature and Spirit that still divides our modern psyche. Medusa with all her terrible attributes needed to be killed by the male hero, but her legacy of power survived in historically more recent versions of the Goddess, like in Pallas Athena, daughter of Jupiter, who used to carry with her a shield over which she had placed the powerful head of Medusa, to help her in her war against injustice.

In modern times Medusa is again changing. Now we tend to view her as the embodiment of feminine power, not wicked, but creative and passionate. In my post on the Haiti Earthquake I wrote: “Algol-Medusa is a power Star and one that many can indeed wear as a badge of honour and charisma, and not a mark of doom or a sign of wickedness. It is described by modern astrologers Bernadette Brady and Diana Rosenberg as: feminine wisdom, creative power, consuming passion, intense sexuality; confrontation and then assimilation of the  dark side of life and human nature.”

In male-oriented societies certainly the power of the feminine will be considered evil and punished whenever it tries to raise its head. And even in more liberated places, like the Western world, we still view women in a certain way, a different way that we view men, if unconsciously. And this is indeed true for both men and women. Proof of it, I feel, is even in the applause and big deal we are making in Australia about this girl’s achievements. Would we go so much over the top if a sixteen years old boy had obtained the same goal? Probably no. The fact that it was a girl, sailing on a boat called Pink Lady, seems particularly special, because obviously girls are not supposed to do these things, to be fearless and not afraid to be alone in the dark. She is considered a rare exception

It is like the hidden racism in people who are not racist at all in priciple, but find an exceptional event the fact that a black man has been elevated to the United States’ presidency. Would we really be surprised if black men and women had had the same rights as white men and women from the beginning? No, we would not, because we wouldn’t see the difference.

With this powerful star on her Sun Jessica can embody for the world the power of the feminine, women’s courage, independence and resourcefulness.

Below is Jessica’s Natal Chart calculated for Sunrise on her date of birth, in Buderim, the Ginger growing capital of Australia.

I still don’t have Jessica’s time of birth that will provide me with the Signs occupying the Horizon and Meridian axis (her Ascendant-Descendant and Midheaven-Lower-Heaven).

Added at a later date: if interested in Jessica’s story, please check HERE for my post on the Transits and Progressions active for her at the time she received the Young Australian of The Year Award. 



through astrological lenses

by Walks Far Woman

This amazing portrait by Leonardo, ‘La Belle Ferroniere’, has always reminded me of my mother (and my younger sister), not just because of a physical resemblance to her, but for the soft and melancholy expression of her eyes, and her earthy, rather Italian sensuality.

My mother died two years ago, on May 9, Mother Day in Australia where I live. She was 87 years old. That day the transiting Moon in Cancer, my Sun Sign, was aligned to my Natal (Birth) Uranus in Cancer, on the cusp of my Twelfth House, the karmic place where things happen over which we have no control. The Moon was also at right angles with Jupiter in my Ninth House and Neptune in my Third House (opposed at birth). So her passing got also mixed up with the fact that I had been living abroad for the last 26 years and had become psychologically estranged from her and my siblings, due to the distance and the difficulties of sharing very different life styles. The news of her death caught me by surprise (my Natal Uranus, by the way, is in perfect Quincunx, 150 degree distance, from my Birth Moon in Aquarius, while the transiting Uranus was in square with my Natal Mars on the day). It shouldn’t have been such a surprise really, because I was aware of her age and her deteriorating state of health. Nevertheless, in true Uranian fashion, I was incredibly surprised and shocked by the news. All of the sudden it was too late to talk to her, to explain things to her and ask her forgiveness for my sins of omission and my habitual aloofness.

The love was always there and we wrote to each other and talked on the phone regularly, but somehow the thread of continuity had been broken in the distant past, much earlier in fact than my departure for Australia ( I have a Moon opposition Pluto at birth and my mum’s Moon in Taurus is in square to both my Moon in Aquarius and my Venus-Pluto in Leo. Furthermore her Pluto in Cancer is conjunct my Uranus, a rather explosive combination that many Baby Boomers share with one or both of their parents belonging to the Pluto in Cancer generation). In plain English this meant that I somehow never quite felt to belong to my family, even when our physical distance wasn’t so great. As the years went by the individuals who make up my family had become like silhouettes in a dream of times past, as if I had met them in a book I read long ago, or in a movie I watched as a child. It is difficult to explain, unless you also have been living far away, the only contact in many years, phone calls and letters, both becoming less frequent and’real’ as time went by.

The fact that I was born with a Moon in Aquarius has never helped me to feel at home within my family, not just with mum but with my father, sisters and brother as well. While, as a young woman, I found it easy to blame the fundamental differences between me and ‘them’ mainly on their not understanding me or emotionally supporting me, later, especially with the help of Astrology, I began to see my own contribution to the problem. I know now that, one way or the other, doesn’t matter in which family I may have been born, I would have felt in a similar way, because the Moon in Aquarius is all about finding one’s nurture outside the family circle, in the wider world of friends, in the solidarity of strangers, books, knowledge, etc. Families are far too sticky for a Moon in Aquarius person, especially Italian families, a lot closer, ever-present and meddling than perhaps your average English, German or French counterpart. Now I know that detaching from them wasn’t due solely to our incompatibility of characters and opposition of world views, but principally to my need to cut personal ties in general and achieve a degree of self-reliance and independence.

I happened to be also my mother’s Saturn Return child (born when she was turning thirty), the fourth of five children, so a bit lost in the middle, so to speak, and destined, having my own Saturn in Virgo conjunct mum’s Saturn-Jupiter, to become one of the hardest lesson in her life, due to my rebelliousness as a teenager, my long absences from home and finally my decision to emigrate to the antipodal Australia, a place my family never visited and couldn’t quite place on the world map. I can say that unconsciously I was moving as far away from my family as I possibly could, to seek the freedom and self-determination that I felt my upbringing and early conditioning had deprived me of. My Aquarius Moon is in fact also in opposition to my Rising Degree, Venus and Pluto in Leo, a configuration that ties one to family and early conditioning with very strong ties, giving however at the same time a compulsory drive to cut those ties that bind. With Pluto in aspect to the Moon, leaving my family beyond, as in a past life, has been really a question of survival for me; I cannot explain it in any other way.

Lina was born, lived and died in Roma, Italy. She was a smart girl, very good at math and school in general, but her studies were interrupted early, for the usual financial reasons and also due to the fact that she was a girl and girls weren’t meant to get an education, it was considered wasted on them! All this can be seen in her Sun and Mercury in clever Virgo, in opposition to inventive Uranus. She did use these qualities and skills later on in life, excelling in many traditional domestic crafts, like sowing and knitting, and especially in her very creative cooking.

During the war she started earning a living by working long hours in a small factory in the historical centre of Rome, where my future father happened to be the supervisor. She married him at the age of 19, a man eleven years her senior, attractive, hard-working, with a wonderful sense of humour, but also a very difficult and demanding man, rather self-centred and perhaps too fond of women  to guarantee  much marital bliss (Sun and Moon in Capricorn, Mars in Sagittarius). She took it all without ever appearing as a victim. Mum always kept her dignity and fought hard to let my father know how she felt about his infidelities. To no practical avail, but nevertheless helping her to maintain her stance and never bow down meekly to the situation. Divorce was an unknown word in Italy in the forty and fifties when mum was raising her family, so it was never an option to her, and I don’t feel it would have been an option anyway considering the steadfast and loyal character she was born with, an innate sense of duty always kept her devoted to her family and her husband.

She had two children during the war years, my elder sister and brother. My father was lucky enough to be sent home from the African front early in the war, due to a wound he received from the lance of a Somali warrior and severe-chronic malaria. He was still suffering bouts of it in the 60s and 70s. In the difficult war times, because of his illness he was able to work and provide for his young family, when many in Rome were reduced to near starvation. A second daughter was born just after the end of the war, and finally I and my younger sister in the early fifties.

I always knew my mother as an earthy, no-nonsense type person, and this is certainly confirmed by her Birth Chart, with the Sun, Mercury, Ceres, Jupiter and Saturn in Virgo and her Moon in Taurus. She was also soft, emotional and a very nurturing mum, one who truly enjoyed having children and always loved babies, also other people’s (Venus in Cancer and Moon-Vesta in Taurus). She might have had a Cancer Ascendant. The reason I feel this way is because she had two Cancerian children, my brother and I, and married a super-Capricorn man. Plus she was very much a home body, had only a very close and small circle of lady-friends, was an incomparably great cook and had very strong maternal instincts written all over her body (large breasts, soft smile, readiness to forgive, but tendency to emotionally, perhaps unintentionally blackmail her children and husband).

Despite these soft traits she was also quite combative and sometimes even fierce in her anger, with Mars and the Asteroid Pallas (archetype of the Female Warrior) in Leo she always fought for her rights, but, I’m afraid to say, never quite won. Her Mars and Pallas were also conjunct Neptune at birth, placements that can diminish a woman’s power to assert herself. Against her own better judgement she became a victim after all and, to the end, had to accept situations in her life that she didn’t want or like. This Mars-Neptune conjunction has a lot to do, I feel, with the constant deceptions she suffered because of her husband’s inability to commit to a monogamous marriage. She was deceived and disillusioned many times. And it was, after all, the closest aspect (only 0 degree 12 minutes apart) of her whole Horoscope. On the positive side this aspect gave her the capacity to tolerate and let go of her ego centred desires, made her more selfless and loving, a great trait when you got five children to care for, if not for her, certainly for her children. Often, however, Mars and Pallas in Leo’s dramas were enacted in our household, I feel in an attempt on her part to justify her life story, by making up highly dramatic and effective pictures of her situation, to which the whole family was the audience. For a few moments she would play the wronged heroine in an extremely effective way. We were all mesmerized by her performance. But, give her a few more minutes, she would be back to be just mum, peaceful and contented. Leo needs to express its specialness, one way or another, even if for a moment. I should know about that one.

She was a religious woman. Not a church goer much, but a true believer. She had no illusion about the organized Church that she considered corrupt and out of touch with people’s realities. Her strong Virgo discriminative powers always helped her to remain realistic and not to be easily fooled, despite the Mars-Neptune conjunction.  She often mentioned the after life to us children, and loved to tell ghost stories. Every early November and for the month’s duration, mum followed the Southern Italian tradition (her ancestors had come to Rome from the Calabrian hills) of placing the photos of our dead relatives on her bedroom dressing table, with specially decorated thick and short candles wrapped in red waxed paper to illuminate, honour and remember them. The tradition of honouring the dead in November is certainly a very ancient one. November was dedicated to the memory of dead ancestors since pre-Roman times, due to its association with the cold late Autumn weather in the Northern Hemisphere, and the transit of the Sun in Scorpio, the Sign of Death and all Endings. It is in fact a pagan, therefore also astrological tradition. Her devotion was sincere and deep. I wasn’t surprised when I saw Vesta, the goddess who presided over the holy fire in the ancient homes of Greece and Rome, close to her Taurus Moon, because she always kept that divine fire alive in our home,  despite many difficulties and heartache.

She was, after all, interested in the occult side of religion and spirituality more than in orthodox worship and prayers. She did posses a strange curiosity for death and life beyond. A side of her was indeed very deep and even a bit scary, sort of primordial to me. She was also a big woman, already when I was a young girl, and so had the phisical presence of a fertility goddess, mysterious and dark to me. A sort of Earthy Mother. The Moon in Taurus with Vesta and Sun-Mercury in Virgo express so well the physical and psychological atmosphere she emanated. Too often we forget the very occult and witchy side of Virgo, because we concentrate mainly on Virgo’s need for routine and ritual. Mum had that too: the drawers and cupboards containig her dowry sheets, tablecloths and handkerchiefs were immaculate places, delicately profumed, with the items well pressed and shining with cleanness. And this is just one example of her need for purity and order. With my Pluto-Venus rising and opposing the Moon in Aquarius, the mysteries of birth and death have attracted and repelled me, since I can remember. Her power to manifest children never stopped to amaze me and keep amazing me about all women I know who have children. What a heroic, deep physical knowledge of the working of creation they are able to participate in. I cannot even phatom it and don’t even want to go there. How strange. It is if I had seen it all in her and could move away from the direct experience of it.

The sense of mystery and even hidden danger that she inspired in me has been a powerful spur for my psychological and eventually astrological study, and made me very much what I am as a person now. How important the Moon’s placement is to a Cancer person, man or woman, cannot be described very well in words, because it is the core or hub of the entire personality, colouring everything else in the Birth Horoscope.

I list here a few transits that became active at the time of her passing: transiting Saturn had entered Virgo, her Sun Sign and hers and mine Saturn Sign at birth, in early September 2007. That September her son-in-law, husband of my elder sister, became all of the sudden gravely ill and died in November of the same year. This was a great shock for mum, who loved this man as if he had been her own son. She had also been living with him and my sister for many years, since in fact the death of my father in 1986. So the conjunction of Saturn to her Sun and Mercury had been the beginning of the end for her. Already depressed by her chronic illnesses, after this family death mum became more and more depressed, often talking of death and the desire to follow the ones who had gone before her. She told me that she felt guilty being still alive in her poor conditions and old age when her son-in-law had to die relatively young, when his family still needed him so.  The time of her death, on May 9 2008, 7.50 am (coincidentally the same time I was born) coincided with the passage of the transiting Cancer Moon over her Natal Pluto, a great transit to cut the ties that binds us to life. Also exact at the time was a harmonious 120 degrees angle (trine) of transiting Pluto, in early Capricorn, with her Natal Sun in Virgo, the transiting Jupiter in Capricorn in opposition to her Natal Venus in Cancer and semi-square her Natal Uranus, the transiting Uranus very close to the cusp of her Solar Eighth House (I call the House Solar because I am using a Solar or Sunrise Chart). The same day also the transiting Sun in Taurus, few degrees away from her Natal Moon, was also in aspect (semi-sextile and quincunx) to her Natal Lunar Nodes in Libra-Aries, making the day one in which her destiny will be played out.

Significant I feel were also two Eclipses, one Solar and one Lunar that occurred respectively on February 7 and 21, 2008, prior to her death. The February 7 Solar Eclipse saw the Sun and Moon in Aquarius aligned with Chiron, Mercury and Neptune, also in Aquarius. This configuration happened to form a 90 degrees angle (square) with mum’s Moon and Vesta in Taurus. The February 21 Lunar Eclipse’s transits on her Chart were even more significant: the eclipsed Moon was in fact conjunct Lina’s Natal Sun (and Solar Ascendant), and transiting Saturn, while the transiting  Sun was opposing the transiting Moon and Saturn and the Natal Solar Ascendant! A very close and personal eclipse for her.

To conclude I have also looked up mum’s Progressed Chart for the time of her passing. The Progressed Moon, always a very important indicator of events and emotional atmosphere for any period, was in Cancer at the time (like the transiting Moon), separating from a conjunction to her Natal Venus in Cancer, and applying to a harmonious angle (60 degrees) to her Natal Jupiter in Virgo, both positive progressions, showing that she found peace at the end, feeling the loving that surrounded her and envisioning future possibilities. Venus and Jupiter are the two traditional ‘Benefics’ of astrological lore. Passing into a new life under their benevolent rays was, I’m sure, a blessing and a promise of better things to come for her soul.

I feel that my mother’s Birth Chart, calculated as it is for Sunrise on the day of her birth, because her true time of birth is not available, vindicates the validity of Sunrise Charts. They really work!

In my own eccentric way (Moon in Aquarius) I have attempted here to honour her and celebrate her life on this second anniversary of her passing, the only way I can.

A few weeks before mum’s death, one early morning, thinking of my far away family  I decided to pull out a Tarot Card from my Mythic Tarot deck, one for each member of my family. I wanted to get a picture of each of them unbiased by my own personal opinions. The Card that came out for mum was the Eight of Cups,  in this deck represented by Psyche beginning her journey in the underworld to find her lost love. I reproduce it below.

This picture, I feel, is really worth a thousand words.