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10 Tips For Learning Astrology
October 19, 2007 – 3:23 am | 62 Comments

So you want to learn about astrology? Not the generalized Sun-sign stuff that you find in newspapers and magazines, but serious astrology. The advanced type where you can actually determine specific information about a person’s life through the observation of the planets and other celestial phenomena. Here are some tips to help you get started.

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John McCain, The New York Times and The Lunar Eclipse

Posted by on February 21, 2008 at 2:08 am5 Comments

Lately astrologers have been talking a lot about the lunar eclipse that just occurred tonight in Virgo. Eclipses of any sort of often tend to be rather unpleasant, depending of course on how they are hitting a certain person’s birth chart. Sometimes it is kind of interesting to observe how they effect certain people when they land in pivotal areas of their chart. Even though the eclipse just went exact a couple of hours ago, we already have an example of how this correlated with an event in one prominent individual’s life.

The New York Times Article

So, I was watching CNN just a bit ago and they had a few political commentators on talking about this article that the New York Times just decided to publish tonight at 7:00 PM EST on their website. Apparently the article is about John McCain allegedly having an affair with a female lobbyist during the 2000 campaign. This apparently compromised his political integrity because he also supposedly wrote

…letters to government regulators on behalf of the lobbyist’s client…”

This is potentially damaging for McCain because, if its true, then it brings his integrity into doubt with regard to doing favors for lobbyist, even though he has been a staunch opponent of politicians doing favors for special interest groups like this for much of his career. Even if the New York Times article isn’t true, it is just bad publicity for McCain.

McCain’s campaign was quick to issue a statement tonight in order to dispute the New York Times article

It is a shame that the New York Times has lowered its standards to engage in a hit and run smear campaign.

What is interesting about this from an astrological perspective is that, according to Dana Bash of CNN, there may have been some arguments within the New York Times over whether or not to run the story in the first place, and according to McCain’s campaign

The New York Times started working on this story several months ago, back in the fall.

If this is true, that the Times started working on this story sometime back in the fall, then I wonder if the story really first started to be formulated during the last set of eclipses back in August and September. Often eclipses act as these sort of bookends which link together events in a six month period, and it wouldn’t be terribly surprising if this was the case here.

As for the astrological relevance in McCain’s birth chart, if we assume that the purported 9:00 AM birth time is correct, then the issue becomes rather clear.

The Eclipse & the 12th House

McCain is in a 12th house profection year since his last birthday on August 29th, which coincidentally was just a day or two after the last lunar eclipse prior to the one that occurred tonight. This means that for the duration of this year of his life his 12th house is activated, and any transits through his 12th whole sign house are going to be of extreme importance. For McCain this is sort of a mixed bag since he has some important planets in the 12th house in his natal chart, although these placements notwithstanding, the 12th house has traditionally carried some pretty negative connotations.

Modern and traditional astrologers ascribe the 12th house a variety of more problematic significations such as enemies, secrets, ailments, etc. The 2nd century astrologer Vettius Valens outlines some of these more problematic aspects of the 12th house in his work known as the Anthology:

The 12th: place of foreign countries, enmities, slaves, injuries, dangers, courts of judgment, ailments, death, weaknesses. (Vettius Valens, The Anthology, Book 4, trans. Robert Schmidt, Project Hindsight, 1996, pg. 33.)

Charming, I know. Everyone has a 12th house in their natal chart, but for McCain this more problematic area of his chart is activated until his next birthday in August, and certain events of this nature will have more of a chance to manifest in his life when certain key planets transit through that house. Tonight happened to be just one of those pivotal transits in the year.

The lunar eclipse went exact tonight sometime around 10:30 EST at about 1 degree of Virgo in the tropical zodiac, right in McCain’s 12th house. It probably didn’t help any that Saturn is making a retrograde transit over his Sun in Virgo at the same time, and Mercury just stationed direct while square his natal Uranus.

Closing Thoughts

I’m not really trying to say that the report that the New York Times published was accurate or even that it wasn’t accurate, since I don’t know either way and it isn’t really terribly relevant here. What is relevant is just the fact that such allegations were published in the article on the Times‘ website tonight right about the same time that the lunar eclipse was going exact, and this has a direct correlation with McCain’s chart.

If nothing else, the Times‘ article is bad publicity, and what we are seeing with the eclipse landing in his 12th house is a correlating astrological aspect which fits the symbolism of the bad publicity that has occurred tonight.

This is interesting to me because it actually seems to help confirm that the purported birth time that we have for him as a candidate in the presidential election is correct, or at least close enough to provide us with the proper whole sign houses. As I detailed in my previous article on birth data problems in the 2008 presidential election, when we started the race we didn’t have reliable birth data for many of the candidates. Now that the race has been narrowed down to three candidates, it looks like we may have a reasonably reliable birth time for at least one of the contenders. So, one down, two to go.

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About Chris Brennan

Chris is a practicing astrologer from Denver, Colorado, USA. He is the former President of the Association for Young Astrologers, as well as the former Research Director of the National Council for Geocosmic Research. He offers personal consultations and teaches online classes through his website at

Hellenistic Astrology Course


  • Gary Calderone says:

    Just curious, with profections, do you consider whatever is in that house to be in conjunction with the profected planets, or do you use a degree orb? If so, how many? If you use the whole house/sign, Mars would be conj all of the natal Virgo planets, perfect for this type of scandal. If you stick to degrees Mars would be on Neptune by 4 degrees, but too wide for Venus and the Sun.

  • Gary Calderone says:

    I almost forgot to mention, this eclipse and Saturn were on Hillary’s Midheaven in the AM birthtime that some astrologers are using for her.

  • The way that I approach profections, and the way that it is approached in the Hellenistic tradition, is that any planets in the sign/house are activated and could be considered to be in conjunction in a sense, as you say. I believe that this is the way that Zoller does profections as well, although most of the Medieval authors seem to do it mainly by orb as if profections are a method of primary directions. I’m not quite sure what you mean about Mars though, since Mars is in Leo and he is in aversion to the Virgo planets, which is where the annual profection lands for this year. What do you mean?

    Good point about Hillary’s chart by the way.

  • Gary Calderone says:

    Sorry about that, the profected Mars goes to Cancer, not Virgo. Mars on radical MC and Asc to radical Venus/Neptune fits well for whats going on with him this year too.

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