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Guillermo del Toro – At Home With Pluto

Guillermo del Toro – film director, screenwriter, creative auteur of fantastical monsters, evil men and empowered women. Who is the man?

The Art Gallery of Ontario’s current exhibit Guillermo del Toro: At Home With Monsters takes “inspiration from del Toro’s extraordinary imagination, reveals his creative process through his personal collection of art, artefacts, books, and props, all culled from Bleak House, del Toro’s creative haven located in Los Angeles.” (www.ago.ca)    I got a chance to view the show early on a quiet Sunday morning, before the normal crowds arrived. At every turn, del Toro’s genius springs up from the dark shadows of humanity’s beating heart and aligns him with the esoteric power of Pluto.

Born on October 9, 1964 in Guadalajara, Mexico, del Toro has no publically known birth time. As an astrologer though, I believe his work pulsates with the touch of Pluto’s underworld energy. With a bit of fantastical thinking of my own, I’ve chosen to rectify his birth time to 4:37 AM (see chart below), placing his natal new moon in the sign ruled by Pluto, in the critical degree of 29 Scorpio. This moon sits with Neptune in the 3rd house of day to day communication – gifting him with the drive to communicate the underworld energies of this passionate, intense new moon energy.

Pluto also dominates the Virgo ascendant angle in this natal chart – announcing the importance of Scorpion themes that the chart’s ruler, Mercury will communicate in the sphere of its influence, the 10th house of public life and career.  There will also be a need to physically and socially manifest Pluto thru the ASC and 1st house, with Mercurial wit and intelligence balanced on Libra’s fair scales of justice. 

In del Toro’s Wikipedia page, the claim is he picked up his father’s Super 8 camera at age 8 and began to make short films. Note in the dual chart below his natal Saturn is in the 6th house square the 3rd house Scorpio Moon. Del Toro must physically labor in the day to day of life to manifest the moon’s creativity. Around age 8, transiting Saturn in Gemini conjuncted the mid-heaven in three distinct hits and later conjuncted his natal North Node in Gemini, suggesting his early interest in film was no accident but part of a life’s plan.

 

In astrology land, I often look for serendipity in groups of 3 when working with a chart and more with an unknown birth time. For the purpose of brevity, I have counted the Scorpio moon as #1, the Saturn 10th house transit at age 8 as #2. Now for #3.

Once again as per Wikipedia, in 1997 the 33 y/o del Toro was given a $30 million budget to shoot the film Mimic for Miramax. Following this career coup, his father was kidnapped in Guadalajara, culminating in del Toro and his family’s involuntary exile from Mexico.

Del Toro’s 1977 chart below shows transiting in the 8th house of life and death, Saturn in martial Aries opposes del Toro’s natal Libra Sun located in the 2nd.

Astrology doesn’t necessarily express itself so concretely, but in this quick assessment the pieces fall together nicely. Saturn’s archetype of the elder comes alive:  it is del Toro’s father who is threatened in an 8th house life/death situation. Del Toro was literately forced to make the choice inherent in an opposition and chose a transformative, life giving 8th house move away from his country of birth.

Trick or treat – this is my Halloween gift to you. Know that this natal chart has been creatively rectified to suit a particular interpretation of one person’s birth on a particularly monstrous day. Reader be(a)ware!

The exhibit remains at the AGO until January 7th, 2018. Toronto is a great town for a weekend visit, so consider Guillermo del Toro in the light of both his creative work and natal astrological potential as he beckons you to join him At Home With Monsters.

 

Astrology Data Organized

How does an astrologer begin to organize all the bits of information that occur in any one span of time? What piece is useful, another just a small fragment of the larger picture? The answer is that each astrologer organizes it individually based upon their working habits.

Personally, I fire up the Solar Fire software program and look at the daily transit chart that magically pops up. From there, I’ll identify key planetary movements and relationships that are important to me, my family, friends and clients.

I think about myth, archetype and modern events and trends. I consider the mundane application of the planetary snapshot in relationship to current events. It is a complicated and surprisingly sophisticated synthesis of astronomy, astrology, world history, anthropology, archeology, myth, archetype and human behavior. The process is active with skills in each area growing and expanding in a never ending cycle of ebb and flow.

Sometimes I’ll create a chart that personalizes ephemeris data, as shown above. Note the use of a lunar calendar, extending the sense of waxing and waning into the thought process. Recently, I’ve begun to study declination and its application to astrology. The next lunar cycle, I hope to include parallel and contra parallel along with out of bounds chart info. True, a pocket ephemeris will tell me roughly the same information – yet it is in the creation of the chart where the learning occurs.

Venus is noted as a morning star, signifying for me the symbolic journey this divine feminine archetype is making towards a superior/exterior conjunction with the sun in January of 2018. The planet Venus will morph into the ancient Sumerian goddess Inanna as She approaches her reign as queen of heaven and earth. Then as an evening star, the planet Venus as Inanna will begin a descent culminating into an underworld journey that ultimately ends in rebirth as a morning star in October of 2018. The planet Mercury is an interior planet with inferior/interior and superior/exterior conjunction cycles and is on my astronomy to learn list in greater detail.

Have I lost you, intrigued you, or confused you? Or perked your interest to begin your own astrological journey of discovery? If intrigued, understand it takes time, dedication, instruction and mentorship to grow in astrology.

In a future post, I’ll share with you some of the many resources available that may help you in your astrological journey.

 

Saturn Into Capricorn – An Early Welcome

On December 19, 2017 at 11:49 pm in Toronto, Canada, Saturn will return to the sign of its rulership – Capricorn. The Sun will follow suit upon the winter solstice on December 21st around 11:30 am and join in conjunction with the time lord Saturn in the longest night of the year. This festive season will usher in for most of us living upon the shores of Lake Ontario, holiday parties, ice hockey and getaways to warm weather places.

People living in the northern hemisphere experience the holidays as the Sun’s most southern point in declination, followed by the Sun’s slow climb through the winter months and culminating in the balance of the Vernal Equinox. Sagittarian ruler Jupiter wearing the mythic guise of the Holly King is cosmically overcome by the proceeding Capricorn ruler Saturn as the Oak King in Celtic lore. January becomes an earthbound, stern season of sober reflection, befitting the symbolic horned zodiacal Capricorn goat climbing upward along with the sun towards the far off mountain top. Prudent goals are set, elder sages honored, laws and tradition hold sway, and society rewards those who reach the top.

The Midheaven and 10th house in the flat chart are associated with Saturn and Capricorn, representing our public identity and career possibilities. It is here that benefits are received from a person’s 2nd house set of values and resources and the 6th house rewards of vocational toil. Where Saturn is placed in the natal chart and what sign it expresses its planetary energies in is a person’s apprenticeship in this thing called life.

Within the birth chart, Saturn in Capricorn natives are born with an innate sense of limitation, boundaries, rules and the awareness of the inevitable bottom line. Many with this placement will have responsibility thrust upon them early in life. Their parental figures may believe in the value of discipline, family tradition or tribal custom. Too many rules and restrictions may lead the native into fits of anxiety or irrational fear. Others will gradually learn a work in progress approach to life’s many challenges and will slowly master the situation at hand. Aspects to Saturn will bring greater clarity to any interpretation.

How to work with this universal taskmaster? Take the time to understand the myths, archetypes and dynamism of Saturn. Learn more about how a zodiac sign adds to the basic Saturn expression. Then work with house placement and consider Saturn’s sphere of influence in the chart. Add aspects to further define Saturn’s planetary expression.

Finally, consider where Saturn is in the larger 28-29 year cycle it makes in a natal chart. Native Saturn in Capricorn cohorts will be experiencing Saturn returns beginning in the middle of December 2017 thru December 2020. There will be a brief dip into Aquarius beginning mid-March 2020 followed by Saturn’s retrograde movement back into Capricorn in the first few days of July 2020. Brush up on how to read an ephemeris or learn how to use an astrological software program, like Solar Fire.

Astrology is often associated with the prophecy of Uranus but it is the many hours of study that will lead to an understanding and ultimate mastery of Saturn’s energy.

Saturn Introduced

Somewhere in the middle of life, I was sitting with John Marchesella, a skilled New York City astrologer, for one of many astrological counseling sessions he graced me with over a 20 year period. Though aware of astrology basics, the finer points eluded me back then. He kept repeating basic themes of discipline, mastery, overcoming fear and rising to the occasion and pairing it with the planetary energy of Saturn. Finally, in a fit of impatience I said “Saturn, Saturn, Saturn – what is it about this planet that makes it such a prominent part of life?”   He chuckled and gave me a line or two that smoothed my edges away…but not my curiosity.

Upon the 2017 Fall Equinox, Saturn sits at 21° of Sagittarius and will soon move into Capricorn around the Winter Solstice. This numinous, planetary energy was given form and structure in ancient myth by the Titan god Kronos who swallowed his children in an attempt to avert his eventual removal. Zeus and other Olympians gave battle, forcing generational change.

In modern myth, Saturn is often depicted as an older man in a long robe holding a staff or scythe. The tarot hermit card is an older but wiser archetype worthy of weaving into a more holistic, conscious consideration of Saturn’s energy. Liberating the planetary energy from myth, cultural and gender bias loosens up the many positive possibilities inherent in each of us. Saturn’s many themes include: mortal reality, the aging process, limitations, depression, mastery through discipline, shouldering responsibility and plain hard work.

In the birth chart, Saturn’s themes will be expressed through the lens of an astrological sign and in the sphere of life signified by house placement. For example, Saturn in the mutable, air sign of Gemini will find day to day communications challenging or limited in some way. Place this combination in the public and career 10th house and this may be the executive who enrolls in a speech class to overcome their childhood fear of public speaking.

Saturn takes 28-30 years to cycle through all 12 signs of the zodiac (about 2 ½ years in each sign) and will return natally 2-3 times in the course of a person’s life. These Saturn returns are bellwether moments, where life experiences are tallied and the wheel is set for the next spin of time. An individual’s return will be uniquely sensed and processed either in full awareness and increasing mastery or within the shadows of doubt and lurking disappointment. Either way the celestial taskmaster’s presence will be felt; if not in the day’s waking moments then in the night’s dream world.

The first Saturn return as a person nears 28 to 30 is the final hurrah of youth and the journey towards mature adulthood. Responsibilities normally increase, relationships grow or wither away and life’s purpose continues to be shaped by Saturn’s call to authenticity.

The second Saturn return between 58 and 60 will reflect wisdom hard won through the course of the adult years. Shamans of experience, the wisest among the second Saturn returnees will walk into their elder years laying foundations for future generations.

At the age of 88-89, the third Saturn return signals culmination, an approaching mortality, a final opportunity to bring talent, wisdom and a bit of hard work to relationships and life projects the ancient one loves and cares about.

Weaving Saturn into the larger picture will bring definition and clarity along with the passage of time. Wisdom is always hard won and bittersweet – to be treasured as well as shared for the benefit of all.

 

Mars into Virgo Getting Stuff Done

Mars moved into the versatile, earth sign of Virgo today.  Low and behold, my clothes closet got reorganized:  unloved items off to the community thrift store and summer clothes into storage.  It wasn’t a planned activity, it simply felt absolutely right that this was the morning to tackle the task.  This was me physically playing out a manifestation of dynamic, get-it-done Mars in one of the more practical, curating signs of the astrological cosmos.

Mars in Virgo energy can be expressed in the most obvious of ways through military service or more subtlety by the lab researcher searching for a cure through the night.  It is the ambulance driver rushing to save a life or a community activist promoting the local farmer’s market.

Sexually, Mars in Virgo will not necessarily fall head over heels in love, but will review the partnership possibilities, fastidiously research the pros and cons, and critically choose the lover with the best potential.  Condoms are placed in a purse or wallet before a Friday night out and personal hygiene before and after a lusty and skilled romp in bed will be attended to.

Mars in Virgo requires flexible alternatives, organizational flow, discriminating choices, intelligent action, community service and laser-like focus.  Anger is expressed towards themselves or others when standards have not been met, goals not reached or service not properly provided.  Imperfections are not tolerated and fools not suffered when Mars is in Virgo.

Mars will remain in Virgo until late October.  Take a look where this practical earth energy is placed in your natal chart for a clue as to where in your life to use it.  Note if there is a hard aspect (conjunction, square, opposition) to a natal planet or angle and make the necessary adjustments.  If you are lucky enough to have a Mars in Virgo trining one of your natal planets, don’t let it slip away from you!  Use the smoothly flowing energy to get done the project, job or activity the aspect suggests.

Clothes closet organized!  Now how about preparing the garden for winter…..

 

 

 

Solar Eclipse Thru Mercury’s Retrograde Wisdom

The mid-August Mercury Retrograde motion turns comprehending light upon the Aug 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse, bringing reexamined clarity when the planet conjoins in conjunction force with Mars in early September.

The great communicator goes SRx in Toronto on August 13, 2017 around 10 PM at 11° of the analytical, earth sign of Virgo.  Time to reevaluate your thinking, communications, speech, and understanding in a practical, no nonsense Virgo like way.  Reassess your own natal chart, identifying where Mercury Rx at 11° of Virgo falls.  This is the area of life that will require your hands-on reexamination. 

The solar eclipse will occur at 2:30 pm here in Toronto on Monday, Aug 21, 2017 at 28°52′ Leo, upon the new moon.  Sweeping, sudden change is possible with all eclipses.  Once again, take your natal chart and observe which house this solar eclipse at 28° of Leo falls and consider what possible transformation may occur.  Be mindful of any natal planets in tight aspect to this eclipse degree point.  Consider the planet’s myths, archetypes and meaning to help you intuit the potential life alterations.

Both Mercury Rx and Mars will transit to the solar eclipse 28° point on Saturday, Sep 2, 2017.  Mercurial reexamination and reassessment will pair with Martian ‘forward ho’ action and suddenly the meaning and manifestation of the summer solar eclipse will shine as brightly as a Leo Sun.  Normal communication patterns commence when Mercury stations direct in Toronto on Tuesday, Sep 5, 2017. 

August 7, 2017 Lunar Eclipse

Image resultCo-creation is a basic tenant of my astrological practice.  “As above, so below” when reversed becomes “so below, as above” and the polarity is brought to life with active intent.  The lunar eclipse energies of August 7, 2017 bring into private and public life the possibilities for new understanding and external change.  The personal planets of Mercury and Mars bring into focus opportunity’s knock while the outer planets hold their collective breathe.

The August 7th partial lunar eclipse sows the subjective seeds of change with the Sun at 15 degrees of Leo and the Full Moon at 15 degrees of Aquarius.  The dramatic, self-centered and creative will of the ego is in contrast to the humanitarian needs of the collective.  The Sun’s dynamic partner is and will remain  through August the planet Mars, who roars with fixed desire to create alongside the ego’s need to shine.  Note that diminutive Mercury in Virgo will soon turn retrograde and calls for repeated analysis to underpin the passionate script of the solar self and cosmic will.  Venus as a morning star in Cancer, ebbs and flows in sextile to Mercury, adding the value systems of care and nurturance in the ever shifting scrum.

Jupiter in Libra directly squares Pluto in retrograde Capricorn conveying tension between society’s desire for balanced justice against entrenched plutocratic entities struggling with the winds of change.

Uranus retrograde at 28 degrees of Aries loosely trines retrograde Saturn in Sagittarius and will remain there to trine the Solar eclipse later in the month.  This is a wiser, late degree Uranus reevaluating the revolutionary deeds needed to move society along.  In harmony, retrograde Saturn asks for similar reassessment in areas of law, education, philosophies and spiritual value systems.  Talk and walk personal philosophies when Saturn retrogrades in Sagittarius or risk moral doubt and confusion.

The Dragon’s Head beckons at 24 degrees of Leo to those who would reach in acts of creative compassion towards the North Node’s point of possibility.  Acts of empathy and kindness are the keys to unlock the door to this lunar eclipse as the Sun in Leo attempts balance with the full moon in Aquarius.  Choose to see what new opportunities exist when the needs of the individual artist balance with the essential desires of society.

You Are Invited To Walk Through Venus’ Looking Glass

Come one, come all to a workshop presented by Joanne, celebrating Venus in all her Divine Feminine glory!

  • Astrology Toronto
  • Saturday, April 8, 2017
  • 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm
  • at The Centering Space, 59 Cambridge Ave, near Broadview the Danforth.
  • more info:  www.astrologytoronto.com

Venus Through Her Looking Glass

When you look in the mirror, what do you see?  Does the outer image reflect your core values, tastes and preferences or does a stranger return your gaze?  Take a walk through Venus’ looking glass and explore via myth, archetype and astrology how this planetary force shapes individual concepts of value, pleasure and desire in everyday life.

  • Explore the many expressions of Venus in a natal chart by sign, house placement and aspects formed.
  • Look at lovers and relationships through Venus’ lens of pleasure received and desire fulfilled.
  • Connect issues of worth and value to how money and personal resources are used.
  • Discover how different planets forming aspects to natal Venus refine and influence this ‘personal’ planet’s expression.
  • Delve into Venus’ shadow and see the areas of life where envy and disillusionment may be experienced.

Integrate Venus into your life and see a beautiful and complete individual reflected in your looking glass.

 

Scorpio Sun: The Power of Desire

pablo-scorpion-waters

For people born under a Scorpio Sun (October 23 through November 21), their solar energy flows as currents of deep desire. Personal transformation is their birthright and many will spend a lifetime searching for it. The most publically famous will create success in their chosen field or sphere of influence, often overcoming personal crisis. Much like a phoenix rising from the ashes of despair, all Scorpios have the power to transform into a truer version of their authentic self. The less fortunate will flex their Scorpion tails in vengeful, sometimes violent arcs, wounding those around them until the final thrust stings themselves.

Scorpios dive deep and refresh themselves through the element of water, while displaying a fixed, often intense character. They are unusually passionate about something and will with laser like precision gather the resources needed to achieve their goals. Pluto, the god of the underworld, is this sign’s planetary ruler. Scorpions are adept at penetrating Pluto’s hidden realm to return with secret treasures brought forth to share under their Sun’s light.

Many Scorpios unconsciously gravitate towards the deeper mysteries of birth, sex, death and taxes, seeking careers in medicine, psychiatry, social work, or politics. The Scorpio police detective will operate undercover to foil a drug deal, while the Scorpio scientist may spend a lifetime discovering a cure for cancer. The soul standing in the shadow of their Scorpion Sun may be the crime boss living around the corner or the sex worker pursuing a college degree. Often the Scorpion native simply has an air of the unknowable, leaving you to ponder over the intense jealousy uncovered during a casual lunch with your Scorpion lover. Or a best pal born in early November may surprise you with a sarcastic comment that cuts to the truth of the matter.

The Plutonian actor Mathew McConaughey (Nov 4, 1969) won an Oscar for Best Actor in 2013 for his passionate, disciplined performance in the movie Dallas Buyers Club. Playing Ron Woodroof, McConaughey transformed himself physically into the rodeo rider suddenly diagnosed with AIDS, losing 22 pounds for the role. With brilliant artistry, McConaughey convey Woodroof’s struggle to obtain treatment along with the character’s renewed sense of human dignity even as death neared. This role capped McConaughey’s own Scorpion transformation from playing unremarkable romantic comedy characters to portraying complicated dramatic personas. Perhaps McConaughey powerful Scorpion Sun’s desire is best left in his own words: “I don’t want to revolve. I want to evolve. As a man, as a human, as a father, as a lover.”

Other famous Scorpions:

Hilary Clinton                       Oct 26, 1947

Leonardo DiCaprio             Nov 11, 1974

Future                                    Nov 20, 1983

Bill Gates                               Oct 28, 1955

Caitlyn Jenner                      Oct 28, 1949

Diana Krall                            Nov 16, 1942

k.d. Lang                                Nov 02, 1961

Lorde                                      Nov 07, 1996

Joni Mitchell                         Nov 07, 1943

Pele                                        Oct 23, 1940

Willow Smith                         Oct 31, 2000scorpio-rising

 

Fireworks: Mars Conjuncts Pluto Oct 19, 2016

pablo-2-fireworks-mars-plutoTaking up its sword and shield, the planet Mars prepares to join forces with transformative Pluto in a galactic pairing of energies peaking on October 19, 2016 here in Toronto early in the morning at 4:51 AM. Using a 7 degree orb before and after the exact conjunction, this twosome was within arm’s reach on Friday, October 7th and will completely separate by Saturday, October 29th.

Mars’ energy is active, assertive at best and aggressive at worst, with a boundless sense of energy and initiative, often associated with sex. Mars is exalted in the sign of Capricorn, harmonizing with the goat’s pursuit of earthy, hard won achievement. Pluto’s transforming power secretly builds until in an unguarded moment, the energy bursts forth in a regenerative crescendo. It too has sexual undertones, but ones that may lie buried in phobia or obsession or erupt forth in unexpected transformation. Pluto in Capricorn represents both the ultimate “plutocrat” as well as balanced community leader. Together, Mars and Pluto energies are fused together as a dynamic duo shaking up the complacency of the staid, sustainable Capricorn climb towards riches, power and authority.

There was cosmic synchronicity on Friday, October 7th when the Washington Post unearthed the Donald Trump and Billy Bush video from obscurity and forever changed the U.S. presidential race dynamics. Coursing with the blunt force of a Plutonian tsunami, the video shows Trump aggressively verbalizing his predatory intent towards women based upon his Mars-tial sense of fame and fortune. Recorded in 2005 and hidden away, this radioactive bomb has blast open public censure from all areas of society.

The Mars/Pluto fusion is uncovering women who have directly suffered from Trump’s unwanted sexual behavior. It is also forcing public figures from both the Republican and Democratic parties to repudiate Trump’s language and in some cases his presidential candidacy. More importantly, the painful regenerative and transformational Mars/Pluto energy will lay the foundation for tangible change in the objectification of women in American society.

Run for cover and let the sparks fly. This Mars and Pluto firestorm will continue to blaze through the end of October – and Americans will be left to rebuild what’s left of civil society with the November election.