USA Astrology

The Present and Future of the U.S.A.

What happened to this country? More importantly, what will happen? We can ask astrologers.

Now that its government can hack iPhones, its youth does not have jobs and its president is a billionaire businessman with no political experience, the future of the U.S.A. as a prosperous democracy, leader of the world, seems less secure. Its citizens work harder, do more with less, survived mass layoffs, aren’t paid for overtime and don’t dare complain. Twenty million young adults live with their parents, although the girls carry $1,200 purses. Downtown is boarded up while the suburban landscape is erupting with “dream house” developments. Racial tension rules; suicide rates are at peak levels.

Let’s begin with 2008, the year of the Wall Street crash that the government bailed out with trillions of its citizens’ dollars.

In a rare coincidence, between 2008 and 2012 all three of the slow-moving outer planets, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, packed up and moved into the next sign of the zodiac. Most astrologers agree that these three outer planets govern national and global trends, which in turn affect each of us personally. For example, Pluto in Leo (1939-1957) produced a proud U.S. military-industrial economy and the free-living “Me Generation.” Pluto then moved to Virgo (1958-1971), when metal goods gave way to cheaper plastic, sparking a natural-living backlash, and those born under Pluto in Virgo, such as Barack Obama, shifted the nation’s focus to health care and the environment.

Pluto, Now in Capricorn

In January 2008, Pluto left bold and fun-loving Sagittarius for conservative, watchful Capricorn, and Vanity Fair astrologer Michael Lutin said it meant “The party’s over.” Indeed it was, with the recession triggered by Wall Street excess ultimately stripping 8.5 million jobs from the economy. “You’re under surveillance,” Lutin added, and we now accept as normal that our every social-media post, email, phone call, software download, and appearance in public is monitored and recorded, and our own identities are at risk.

Yosemite National Park, California
Yosemite National Park, California

Lutin joined other astrologers in pointing out that during Pluto’s previous passage through Capricorn, in the years 1762-1777 (Pluto takes 248 years to complete a cycle), the U.S. chafed under colonial rule and freed itself with a violent revolution. Some astrologers predicted that anti-government resistance—like the resurrected “Tea Party”—would lead to a similar conflict. For now that conflict is not a physical war, but an ideological one: “red” versus “blue.”

Long before the Occupy movement, astrologer Douglas Parker predicted a people’s revolution against big business. But big business is suffocating under its own weight, and the oil prices that ruled our lives have become less burdensome. Small businesses, such as boutiques and micro-breweries, are thriving. In any case an old and unsustainable order is crumbling, and Pluto’s move to Aquarius in 2023 should bring sweeping social changes emphasizing equality, transparency, and teamwork, and possibly a new Constitution.

Lutin said the U.S.A. might lose face, but we shouldn’t worry that it’ll be destroyed, explaining, “The horoscope of the U.S.A. is strongly influenced by Venus and Jupiter, so we’ll never go totally broke or hungry. We will, however, have to play ball with the rest of planet Earth as we never have before. From now on it’s cooperate, or else.”

Uranus, Now in Aries

Uranus, called “the Awakener,” ruler of electricity and technology, weakly positioned in Pisces from 2003 to 2010, encouraged active people to lose themselves in entertainment or obsessions, and the entire U.S. population to rely on a brilliantly advertised drug industry. In May 2010 Uranus entered Aries, sounding what Ed Tamplin of called a “rebel yell,” then retrograded to Pisces and re-entered 0 degrees of Aries, the very first point of the whole zodiac, on March 11, 2011, the day of Japan’s terrible earthquake and the resulting tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster, as discussed and charted in an article by Karen Kay.

Uranus generates accidents and shocks. This planet takes 84 years to circle the zodiac, and was last in the sign Aries from 1927 to 1935. Nineteen twenty-seven was a great year for technology but also for natural disasters, and 1929 brought the stock-market crash and the Great Depression. Likewise, millions in the U.S. in 2010 suddenly lost jobs or homes or retirement savings, and as Franklin Roosevelt did in 1933, our President in 2011 proposed a federal jobs plan. It was rejected by a divided, angry Congress. Uranus in Aries can encourage empty rebellious gestures and lots of harsh and insinuating words from a lot of talking heads. Sound familiar? Expect an earful until Uranus moves to strong-but-silent Taurus in May 2018. Fine British astrologer Leigh Oswald says that’s when the economy will have to be reformed—or else.

Neptune, Now in Pisces

Neptune checked into Pisces in April 2010 and will be there until 2025. U.S. astrologer Lynn Hayes noted that this slow-moving planet in Pisces will mean we have two choices: to escape into virtual worlds or use love and compassion to heal the real one. We presently see compassion in increased community service commitments, and in new forms of housing such as Housing for Humanity and multi-generational “villages.” But more often we “escape” by doing not-much on the Net, or making private scrapbooks, and playlists—even “ghosting” people we don’t like anymore by vanishing without answering their texts. Neptune also rules water, is in its element in Pisces, and water—deluge or drought—now makes the news every day. In case we need a stronger indicator than a planet that’s millions of miles away, consider Hurricane Harvey that has paralyzed the city of Houston, TX.

Grand Canyon

Like every other country, the U.S. has a natal chart just as a person does, most often set for 12 noon on July 4, 1776. That makes us a Cancer country with an Aquarius Moon and Sagittarius rising. Reading current events through astrology is called “mundane” (worldly) astrology. Google “political astrology” or “mundane astrology” to learn more.

You will find online many interpretations of what the planetary shifts mean for the U.S.A., but even the least sophisticated astrological sources agree that the U.S. is in a severe testing period and when it emerges about 80 years from now, freshly committed to liberty and justice, it will be a very different place.

Melania Trump

Mysterious Melania Trump: Her Birth Chart

Stunningly tall at five feet eleven inches, Mrs. Donald Trump, born Melanija Knavs (later changed to Knauss), was born on April 26, 1970, a Sun Sign Taurus. If she was born that day after sunrise, her Moon is in Capricorn. With her Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Saturn all in Taurus, an earth sign, plus her Pluto and possibly her Moon in earth signs, we have here one decisive lady, tougher than her willowy, fragile-looking figure lets on. She’s already settled on what kind of first lady she wants to be: “Very traditional, like Betty Ford and Jackie Kennedy,” she said.

People say Melania Trump is “only a model,” hinting that she lacks intellectual or political credentials. The truth is that we know little about her and she isn’t telling more. Rather, she’s telling less. Melania’s website bragged that she had a degree in architecture from a college in Croatia. When it was proved that she had quit college after only one year, her whole site vanished from the internet. After her disastrous speech at the Republican National Convention, her husband’s campaign gave her very little to do. Despite a long and successful modeling career, and 47 years old, she doesn’t seem to have developed a unique fashion flair, the way Jackie Kennedy and Michelle Obama or even Princess Diana had.

No one expects much of Melania as a first lady. Nonetheless she speaks six languages, appeared on the cover of Vogue and in the bikini issue of Sports Illustrated, and snagged as her husband one of the world’s richest and most famous men—24 years older than she and a Gemini, the hardest kind of man to trap. Melania’s Mars is in Gemini, indicating that a lively Gemini is the type of man she has always imagined as her ideal mate. So she was motivated. It would be coy not to mention that as a worldly, materialistic Taurus Sun and Capricorn Moon, she was motivated by money—but in her place we’d all be money-minded too.

Melania Trump
Melania Trump

She’s Not So Different

Only the second-ever first lady to be born in a foreign country—Slovenia, in the former Yugoslavia—Melania is in league with several former first ladies who chose modeling or camera-friendly careers. Betty Ford was once a model, as was Pat Nixon. Nancy Reagan had acted in Hollywood movies.

Increasingly the role of first lady of the United States has become a media role. Cameras unforgivingly disseminate worldwide every first lady’s fashion sense and expose every word and wrinkle. It takes stamina and discipline to stand and look attractive and pleasant in front of flashing cameras for even one day, as any bride can tell you. In this way Melania, with ten years of modeling experience and so much earth energy in her horoscope, has a basic trait of a first lady.

Most first ladies entered the White House without seeming to have much personality. Each one grew into the first-lady role and eventually owned it. Melania’s quiet voice and Slavic accent, which Americans find hard to understand, kept her from the vigorous campaigning practiced by other political wives. Donald’s American-born daughter Ivanka did much of the talking; Ivanka’s chart is much more intense. So Melania has not had a chance to express to the public who she is. Even Donald rarely speaks about her. Yet her horoscope shows enormous strength of character and determination. She will need it in her new and most challenging role. It makes sense that she says she will channel Betty Ford and Jackie Kennedy until she decides how much of her own character she wants to show. It might be less than we are used to.

Several first ladies have been much younger than their husbands—President John Tyler was 30 years older than his wife, and President Grover Cleveland’s wife was 28 years younger. So the age difference isn’t new either.

What Her Chart Tells

How does a girl born in unglamorous Communist-run Eastern Europe to a not-so-wealthy family become a Vogue cover girl and the wife of one of the world’s richest and certainly most outspoken men?

One answer is work. With her natal Sun nearly in conjunction with Saturn, she has worked hard from childhood onward. Nobody paid her way. Like Russia today, Communist Yugoslavia didn’t offer many career options and she was fortunate to have been born with looks enabling her to begin modeling at age 16. She bypassed both advanced schooling and a love life to pursue jobs leading to international travel and finally a visa to work in the United States, where she met Donald Trump in New York during Fashion Week 1998.

The other factor is that she is lucky. Her birth chart has four astrologically lucky “trine” aspects:

  • Mars trine Uranus: This grants the knack of showing up in the right place at the right time, and that extra edge that makes competition look tacky. During the campaign she spoke little, wasn’t present or on camera very often, and wore conservative clothing—and the edge she got from that was an aura of mystery.
  • Venus trine Pluto: Often this is a rags-to-riches aspect that gives lasting good looks, sensuality, and a high public profile—because of personal beauty, talent, or grace. We will someday admire her for being much more gracious and tasteful than her mate.
  • Sun trine Moon: Melania’s ego is in harmonious aspect with her emotions. Hers is a consistent personality. Because both Sun and Moon are in earth signs, she tends to be low-key. The element of fire is almost completely lacking in her chart, so we see no fire in her eyes or manner.
  • Neptune trine Chiron: Astrologers call this “the Cinderella aspect.” Melania is living a longtime dream. There’s a chance that she might like dreaming or solitude too much and become somehow dependent or unfocused, and it might not be a happily-ever-after marriage or first-ladyhood. It is considered odd that she is not choosing to move into the White House right away but stayed in Trump Tower in New York for several months so their son could finish the school year. The first lady has duties, people say. But so does a mother.
Melania Trump
Melania Trump

The Marriage

Melania is Trump’s third wife; all his wives were models. The first one, a flamboyant, heavily-made-up Pisces, was also European-born, from Czechoslovakia; the second was a pushy, athletic, health-nut American Scorpio. They were traded in for younger models, and as Melania approaches age 50 she is well aware of that, and can be quite jealous. Venus in Taurus can be overly devoted to a mate and encourage jealousy and pouting.

Some would say that Donald and Melania are not a match in terms of energy, charisma, interests, or focus. This could be because her Mars in Gemini—Donald’s Sun sign—opposes her Neptune, planet of illusion. This is a great aspect for a model, whose job is to create an illusion of real life. With that career now finished, Melania’s natal Neptune warring with her Mars makes her personal energy look weak, especially compared with her mate’s. There is no question that she is much more grounded and sensible than he, but the media prefer his energy to hers.

Melania also has a “spendthrift” aspect: the Sun opposing Jupiter. A charitable and devoted person can misjudge or not see things in their true proportion. When modeling she probably accepted less money than her work was worth. And the Sun opposing Jupiter is how little doubts and small ego-boosting lies can swell into big ones. How and when she received her green card and what Donald had to do with it is unclear.

The public might find that she uses her husband’s money as insulation against all the obligatory entertaining and public speaking we are accustomed to seeing first ladies do. She might be America’s first lady mostly via social media. A square aspect between the Moon and Pluto sometimes encourages her to feel isolated and morose and maybe stuck in the past. Already parts of her past have been erased or dismissed, like her website and nude photos.

The birth chart might tell us much more about Melania Trump if a birth time were available. We would then know her rising sign and the planets’ positions in the 12 houses of the horoscope. What we have here, though, is a woman who has milked every bit of luck she was born with and intends to keep doing what works.


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The Real ESP Experiments

The Real ESP Experiments, and You

Investigations into ESP began about 140 years ago when the first Theosophists and psychic mediums, and their believers, collected as many ESP stories as they could from all the people that they could. They then published and presented these as proof of ESP, which means “extra-sensory perception.” But stories people told do not count as scientific proof that ESP is real.

Early investigators wanting to prove the existence of ESP read the 15,000 stories in these collections and were able to divide them into four categories. Here they are listed from most commonly to least commonly reported:

  • Realistic dreams that foresee a future reality (60 percent of reports)
  • Intuition (19 percent)
  • Symbolic dreams that foresee a future reality (15 percent)
  • Hallucinations, or seeing what is not there (6 percent)

The field of parapsychology is much broader than this. People report clairvoyance, meaning the ability to see the future while awake; and clairaudience, the ability to hear what is or was in the future or the past or at the present time in another place or realm; telepathy, meaning mind-reading or communication done through thoughts only; and many other phenomena, but for research purposes the investigators now had a definition of ESP to work with, plus percentage numbers.

You probably have an opinion about these percentages because you too have experienced something like ESP.

ESP is known to occur in every culture and tribe on Earth, and ordinary people are as capable of ESP as the most dedicated religious practitioners and mystics. Usually our five senses provide our brains with the information necessary to navigate life. There is scientific proof that our five physical senses are connected with our brain, and neuroscientists know how our senses work. It is truly amazing. But there are other ways of knowing that don’t involve the senses. That’s why it’s called extra-sensory perception, and nicknamed “the sixth sense.” Today, about 49 percent of Americans believe there is such a thing as ESP.

The First Scientific Tests: The “Zener Cards”

By adopting rigorous scientific testing standards, the study of ESP became the study of parapsychology, a recognized academic field. Joseph and Louisa Rhine, a married couple who were both scientists with Ph.Ds., set up an experiment to test a person’s intuition–or psychic power–using a set of 25 cards printed with symbols: a star, wavy lines, a circle, a square, and a cross.

These cards, called Zener cards, are maybe familiar to you. You can test yourself with an online version of Zener cards. It is fun.

That first Zener card subjects working with scientists scored high because the cards were printed on card stock so thin that the subject could see from the back of the card what was on the front!

Even with better cards, it was possible that the Zener image, when first pulled from the deck, was reflected in somebody’s glasses, or the tester’s body language involuntarily communicated to the subject what was on each card. In that case, the subject would be “reading” sensory information, not extra-sensory information. And how could anyone be sure that the scores were better than random or better than average? When measuring psychic aptitude, what were “random” and “average” anyway? Does a score above 50 percent mean you are psychic? Refining the techniques and the cards, they tried again. But that was all too much like guessing when what the scientists wanted to prove was true mind power, which they call “psi.”

Next, the experiments separated the subject from both the cards and the tester. In the new experiments, also fun to try at home, the “sender” concentrates on the card’s image and attempts telepathically to send the image to a “receiver” who is in another room and records what image he or she receives.

Still, these did not prove anything. Both sender and receiver had to have mind power enough to properly “send” and correctly “receive,” and although some people with such capabilities, among them some will be more capable than others. The capabilities themselves can’t be measured. We know that not all psychic impressions are complete or correct. Even the “psychic dreams” reported came true only 19 percent of the time, according to their dreamers.

The experiments took place in quiet rooms with no distractions, but did a setting have to be quiet for ESP to work? Modern experiments by a later generation of parapsychologists show that people are more likely to have ESP experiences if they happen to be alone in a quiet place.

The Zener cards themselves created a problem. There were only five of them. It is natural for a person to assume that if the “waves” card has not shown up yet after 10 of the 25 tries the wave card is “due” to show up soon, and so decides the next card is probably the “waves.” That’s not mind power that comes from a mysterious source; that’s a reasonable guess.

Better Tests of Psi

Just like a coin toss, the Zener cards had limited options. With coins it’s either heads or tails; there are no other options. The Zener cards too are a “forced choice” experiment; the answer is one of five symbols, with no other options. If we are testing mind power, why limit options?

Scientists also noted that subjects scored better at the beginning of a “forced choice” test then at the end, because they lost interest or focus.

And using the symbols was unproductive because although they are simple and universally recognized shapes, a person with ESP does not see or dream symbols, but scenes or people. The Rhines tested a well-known British medium who told them she scored low because the cards were “soul-less.” Another scientist tried to show that the Zener test actually stifled people’s psi instead of drawing it out.

Test results were better when the “sender” sent pictures of landscapes, or objects. But “sending” and “receiving” are not one of the original ESP categories and so do not prove them. And no experiment can eliminate the factors of chance or cheating although it was already proven in the 1940s, in what is called the “sheep-goat test” that people who believe in ESP (“sheep”) will score higher in tests than people who don’t (“goats”).

And for an unknown reason that perhaps has to do with as-yet undiscovered powers of our brains, people report ESP instances more often during times of physical or psychological conflict or trauma, such as a family member’s death, or even jet lag.


Today’s Version of ESP

People who read news about the occult can’t help but learn that nothing has ever proved that there is such a thing as ESP. We all “know” there is such a thing, but proof has to meet scientific standards, and it does not. ESP is too personal to measure. There is no measuring stick for knowing someone, such as a spouse, so well that you know each other’s thoughts. Dream content is entirely personal to the dreamer. What symbolizes freedom for one dreamer–such a riding a galloping horse–in another dreamer’s world is a symbol of terror and loss of control.

So today instead of talking about ESP and about bending spoons with mind power (who wants to bend spoons, anyway?) we talk about intuition. Everyone has it and New Age thought promotes listening to and acting on intuition.

It is also possible that fewer people today have prophetic dreams anymore, compared to those who were polled 100 years ago, because today we don’t sleep as well or as long, or we take medications or substances, or other things disturb our dream states. That could be why intuition, a waking phenomenon, has become more popular. It is the subject of several bestselling books on developing and respecting your own intuition, “seeing red flags,” and/or noticing other extrasensory indicators that our helpful “guardian angels” (whatever we might call them) supply.

Plus, no one has to prove in a lab that intuition works because anyone who has had a hunch or an uneasy feeling that turned out to be prophetic or smart does not need to have it proven that intuition works. Even scientists work with or on “hunches.”

You can test your intuition with an online test, but truly your score would not matter, because your intuition is not on call. Because its source as far as we know, is extrasensory, it shows up when it’s needed and is therefore the most useful ESP skill of all.


Why You Haven’t Found Your Soul Mate

The number-one question psychics and diviners hear from females is not about their own destinies and fortunes but when and where they will meet their soulmate—their perfect mate, twin flame, twin soul, or God’s match for them.

Seekers pour out their longing for a soulmate along with sadness or panic that they haven’t yet found one. Or they regret that they might have missed their chance. Fortunetellers don’t want to be the ones to disillusion you by saying that the more you beg for information and obsess about your soul mate, the less likely he or she is to show up. This is why it’s so crushing to keep going on bad dates and cry yourself raw when the last one turned out not to be “the one.”

Any desire or belief causing you pain and anguish is wrong, and agonized emotions are a signal to cut it out.

A soul mate is an ancient idea reformatted by our culture into a really cruel and emotionally crippling belief. A young woman will say a soul mate is a person “who will complete me,” fulfill her desires, want what she wants, share her beliefs, is tall and good-looking, makes money, will never lie, cheat, gain weight or complain, and that they are matched by destiny and will live together peacefully and in loving intimacy forever. Anything less is not a soul mate, and belongs in the discard pile. Anything less would be “settling.”

But she has already “settled.” She has decided how her entire life is going to go. If life isn’t going there right now, the only alternative is misery. It’s like saying if you don’t catch this one particular flight home you will never get home.

What is a Soul Mate?

Grandma never described finding her “soul mate” because that was not what marriage was about. You didn’t find a soulmate first, and then marry. You married the best person available, and then gradually the two separate people in the marriage—traditionally the “husband and wife”—“became one flesh.”

At a wedding two people become mates, or “two souls joined together.” A wedding is a beginning, not an end! Becoming “as one” is what people hope for your future. At a Buddhist wedding the couple’s heads are briefly wrapped together to symbolize a mind meld. That happens only after you’ve survived as a couple for a while. And the union is never perfect, because you and your spouse are two people, and people aren’t perfect and life throws boomerangs. The ceremony says, “for better or worse,” not “happy forever.”

“Mate” originally means “one who shares a table with you.” So along with marriage, living together counts. And so would “roommates” and “shipmates” who happen to share your table. The word “companion,” meaning “having bread together,” is the same idea. A “mate” does not have to be perfect. With a mate you expect to have to work things out.

By contrast, we don’t know or at least don’t agree on what a soul is. All we know is that it is spiritual and everyone has one. Those who believe in “twin souls” won’t be happy until they find someone just like themselves—and how much fun will that be? Those wanting “twin flame” soul mates believe their own souls are not whole unless joined with another’s. Today’s ceremonial lighting of the “unity candle,” a recent mystical addition to the wedding ceremony, only adds to the wedding’s expense. Every married person will tell you that it’s not at that moment that you become one.

Does God Have a Match for You?

In the Bible, God creates Eve so Adam can have company and a helper. That was His reasoning. He said nothing about compatibility or forever. So the idea of a “soul mate” is not biblical. And the Bible never says a soul is not whole unless it is hitched with another.

It’s a Greek myth that says creatures created both male and female were split apart because the gods felt threatened by their power. Both are condemned to wander the earth in search of their “other half.” Other cultures have similar myths: The Chinese “yin” (female) and “yang” (male) were once together but were divided. Or certain gods entwined in an eternal embrace were forced apart. But only in our culture do we yearn and suffer anxiety and depression while trying to locate “the one” out of the six billion people on earth.

A Jewish tradition says that all have a divinely foreordained mate, called “the Bashert,” but although that is traditional it is not in the Torah. In traditional Islam, men may have multiple wives, so “the one” is not a concern.

An excellent modern definition of a soul mate comes from Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling book Eat Pray Love:

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.”

Feeling Better

People desperate for soul mates are often really desperate for marriage or children or the attention they’ll get on “the biggest day of their life,” a wedding. They might be tired of dating, reeling from a breakup, lonely, envious, or aching to escape their current situation or to live in a dual-income household. In any case their concern grows out of a bad feeling they’d rather not feel. That’s not a good seedbed for a happy relationship.

People call on religion or mysticism because they want certainty about their futures. Diviners use all sorts of instruments to try to see ahead. But mainly what people want is hope that their suffering will end.

If you can raise your eyes only a little you can see that suffering is inevitable but misery is a choice.


What Does “Soul Mate” Really Mean to You?

If underneath the longing for a “soul mate” is really a longing for the kind of support that comes from intimacy, there are all sorts of intimate relationships, from familial to friendship to fellowship to pets that are much less painful than unfulfilled longing.

If the longing for a “soul mate” is really the longing to get married and have babies, let everyone know that up front, and don’t date anyone who says he or she isn’t ready to marry and have babies. That narrows the field tremendously.

If what you want from your “soul mate” is to be treated as if you were precious or treated like royalty, start doing that for yourself, if only so others can have a clue about how you like to be treated.

If you’re desperate for your own house and family, you don’t have to find a “soul mate” or even “settle” for a second-rate mate to make that happen.

If you want to live on and spend someone else’s income, put that in your dating profile so your twin soul can find you.

The best idea, probably, is to stop saying “soul mate”—because the concept is hurting you—and look instead for a compatible match.

Tarot Cards

Tarot Card Readings: Reversed Cards in Tarot

Don’t be fooled by the electronic Tarot “card of the day” found on fortunetelling websites. To genuine human Tarot readers, these online oracles seem peculiar because they never show a “card of the day” that is upside-down or, as Tarot readers call it, “reversed.” A Tarot reading that deliberately avoids reversed cards is not a true reading.

Tarot is about the truth. We’re all human, and humans sometimes, for their own good reasons, prefer not to see or recognize the truth. We convince ourselves that things are fine when deep down we are distressed, or that events are terrible and scarring when, from a different perspective, they’re ordinary bumps in the road of life. We ignore or deny what’s happening in order to feel better—temporarily. Everyone does this, and nothing is wrong with it except that one day the truth will emerge. It always does. Hindus say, “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”

Reversed Cards are a Gentle Reminder

Tarot cards reversed are not bad news. They convey gentle, truthful messages, such as “Don’t cling so tightly,” or “You’re not doing your best at work,” or “You have closed your heart instead of letting your feelings flow.” Free online readings don’t show reversed cards because people simply assume that Tarot cards right-side-up are good and “reversed” cards are bad. In fact, for some cards, reversed is even better than upright. To name just two examples among many, the Seven of Swords reversed means that stolen items are returned; The Moon reversed means that shifting, evolving, and confusing conditions will stabilize.

Most live Tarot readers mix and shuffle the cards thoroughly, and most often deal out a blend of upright and reversed cards. If your digital oracle cards are always upright, you’re not getting Tarot’s full benefits. Maybe on Monday mornings, you’re not interested in the truth about your life; you simply want to make it through the day. In that case, a single electronic “Tarot card of the day” (always upright, of course) might be a pretty image, or inspiring, or intriguing. But a truthful oracle or predictor it is not.

Messages from reversed cards cut through illusions and self-deceptions and tell the truth in a way that’s intended to offer you advantages. In the hands of a skilled reader, Tarot is kindly and caring, and offers valuable advice about your outer and inner life. There’s nothing to fear. The whole point of a Tarot reading is to help you.

Tarot Cards


Why Digital Tarot Never Satisfies

Digital Tarot one-card or three-card oracles presenting pre-written explanations of each card also leave you without anyone to answer any questions you might have, or counsel you. They leave you wondering how that one card fits your situation, or how those three cards make sense together or if the day’s message was really truthful or made up. And because they’re so ambiguous, you forget those cards as soon as you click on another website.

Oracle sites and especially “free reading” sites might deal everyone the same card: a one-size-fits-all Tarot reading. If everyone receives the identical reading, that’s an unethical misuse of Tarot by an unethical site or practitioner. In that case, you aren’t deceiving yourself; the site is deceiving you!

Single-card or three-card Tarot readings with electronic oracles and electronic shuffling and selection can be fun, but a real reading with a human reader who allows reversed cards to be themselves will have more of the texture of your reality. Such a reading could be memorable, or a turning point in your life experience.


What is Clairvoyance, Really?

When we say “I want to talk to a psychic” we usually mean “a clairvoyant.” A clairvoyant might also call himself or herself “clairsentient,” “clairaudient,” “precognizant” or “claircognizant.” The words pile up until you’re practically dizzy. By defining “clairvoyant” and related words you will know exactly what a consultation with a paranormal will give you.

Most of us will testify that there is a “sixth sense” or that deep within us all are powers we could call “psychic.” “Psychic” is an umbrella term and people use it to mean things such as Tarot, numerology, and astrology, which are not psychic at all. They are learned and then they are practiced for years until they work. Call those “divining tools” and one who works with them a “diviner.” Clairvoyants and mediums sometimes use astrology or Tarot to help them do their jobs. “Psychic” can also mean “intuitive,” and all of us are that to some degree.

Wiccans say we all have all every psychic power and can develop them if it’s done for the good of all. Only a small minority of people are simply gifted from birth with a well-developed “sixth sense.” Even then they need practice in handling this gift. To work as a consultant they must know how to make it yield information about random strangers: clients (you) and the people clients ask about. When seeking a consultant, look for experience; there is no substitute for it. You might see teenage math or music geniuses but you will never see teenage psychics.

Has Anyone Proved Clairvoyance?

In 1933, scientists sealed different cards in envelopes and asked a professional clairvoyant—the word means “clear vision”—to tell them which card was in each. When she couldn’t, she complained that the cards lacked “psychic energy” and that she couldn’t perform on demand. The study concluded that she was a fake, and that particular experiment has been cited ever since as proof that all clairvoyants are fakes. That’s unfair. The scientists didn’t listen to what she was saying: that human beings living in bodies have energies that ebb and flow, and environments give off vibrations, and that clairvoyance has the best chance of working when all conditions favor it. It’s perfectly possible that the clairvoyant wasn’t up to the task right then. It’s also possible the atmosphere was so negatively charged that she had no chance of success. Or she might have been a fake. But until science knows everything, scientific findings are not the last word.

When seeking information, understand that readers are humans and humans aren’t perfect. There is no 100 percent accurate full-time psychic, dream interpreter, or visionary simply because we are human. Visions and inspirations, even among saints, can and do provide incorrect information. Use your intelligence when choosing what to believe.

Clairvoyants, Plain and Fancy

  • To ask what a faraway friend or relative is currently doing, seek a clairvoyant. Clairvoyance is the power to see remotely. St. Clare, good friend of St. Francis, while cloistered in a nunnery had visions of what Francis and his followers were doing miles away. She eventually was declared the patron saint of television.
  • To both see and hear anything remotely, the clairvoyant must also be clairaudient. A clairaudient might describe to you some conversation taking place at that moment.
  • If you seek contact with or information about the dead, hire a medium, who specializes in interfacing with the other side.
  • If the medium can sense the presence of someone who is not there, that’s not clairvoyance because she’s not seeing it but sensing it. That’s clairsentience.
  • To both envision and hear future events requires a triple gift: clairvoyance, clairaudience, and “precognizance” or prophecy. These three gifts are entirely separate and rarely is anyone granted the total package with each gift developed to its optimum.
  • When clients want information on past events such as crimes, they need the services of a “retrocognitive” or “postcognitive,” and that’s yet another separate talent. It’s the “retrocognitive” and not the all-purpose “psychic” who is called upon to help solve kidnappings or other mysteries.

Finding a reader with multiple gifts who can reliably milk them all at once, on request, will take some seeking. Ideally, this reader is also able to articulate what he sees and hears clearly and compassionately. Consider your first call to be like a first date. Expect courtesy and the best efforts of a reader called out of the blue. But now that you recognize all that is involved in clairvoyance and related arts, it is not reasonable to expect from a stranger highly detailed 100 percent accuracy about your future, and in addition, a perfectly satisfying emotional connection.

Because of fictions they read or see on TV, those consulting psychics today usually expect a total package plus. It’s no wonder psychics are accused of fakery and over-generalizing when such demands are made on talents often extremely fragile and often in high-pressure situations such as 15-minute mini-readings. Gifts overused or maltreated might dissolve or get taken back to wherever they came from.

Understand too that some people with paranormal talent are uncomfortable with their gifts and sincerely wish they did not have them. It’s a bother to be able to hear ghostly knocks or conversations between strangers, or to sense invisible presences. Instead of rushing to monetize these gifts by going into business, these people stay quiet about them, and would prefer to be normal.

Who Invented the Daily Horoscope?

Who Invented the Daily Horoscope?

The very first horoscopes—the word means “time observer” or “to see time”— predicted the weather. In cultures dependent on crops, sky-watchers who could tell when to plant and when to harvest were few, valuable, and highly rewarded. It wasn’t long before they were employed by kings and queens to forecast and interpret events such as floods, equinoxes, and eclipses.

As sky-watching developed into the art and science of astrology, royalty asked for horoscopes for the births of nobles. The oldest birth horoscope yet discovered was cast for April 29, 410 B.C., in Babylon, birthplace of ancient astrology, in an area we call southern Iraq.


We don’t know whose chart it was. A portable horoscope board with carved ivory zodiac signs, from about the same period, was discovered in 1999 when archaeologists found a new chamber in a cave in Croatia. They speculate that an astrologer might have given private horoscope consultations there.

Horoscopes once were for royalty only. Today people can download apps that instantly calculate and show accurate pie-shaped sky charts detailing planetary positions down to the minute and second, plus house delineations, and much more. The apps also give generic interpretations of these charts. All now have daily access to horoscopes. The one thing that hasn’t changed since the time of cave consultations is that only an experienced human astrologer can knit all the horoscopic variables together and correctly interpret a chart. No computer can do that yet.

The Creator of Sun Sign Astrology

The practice of astrological forecasting for every zodiac sign on every single day is relatively new. This is how it started: In Great Britain, astrologer R.H. Naylor (1889-1952) created a sensation when on August 24, 1930, the London newspaper The Sunday Express printed his natal chart for Princess Margaret, who’d been born August 21, and included an interpretation about her future: her horoscope. A horoscope was then such a novelty that the article had to explain to readers what it was.

It’s hard to imagine, but in 1930 nobody went around saying, “I’m a Taurus,” or “I’m a Virgo.” The names of the 12 Sun Signs were totally unfamiliar to newspaper readers, and because they didn’t match the calendar months, were deemed too obscure and technical to use after Naylor gave them a try. Naylor’s first few columns gave astrological advice for all people whose birthdays were in the coming calendar month.


Naylor’s prestige increased when one of his predictions, of an air disaster, came true. He continued to write horoscopes for The Sunday Express, working his way toward a simplified form of astrology that allowed astrologers to write horoscopes for the masses, a different horoscope column for each week and then each day. The evolution took five or six years because Naylor and other pioneer columnists did chart calculations manually, with mathematics and tables, as charts had been done for hundreds of years; at that time there was no other way. Then these charts had to be interpreted and the columns written. Naylor’s work became popular. Eager readers of Naylor’s horoscopes bought more newspapers; it was a money-making idea.

Like all good ideas, the daily-horoscope concept caught on and got borrowed. Competing London newspapers hired their own astrology columnists. Even today, each British newspaper with a horoscope column hires its own astrologer. Some attain celebrity status. In the U.S., most daily horoscopes are syndicated and astrologers are not celebrities.

R.H. Naylor is not remembered as a great astrologer. His forecasts of public events were often embarrassingly wrong, and he is mentioned today only for his pioneering work in writing horoscopes for a mass readership, naming his column “Tendencies for Everybody.” Now it is a very rare person who doesn’t know what a horoscope is.

The first daily horoscope column in the United States appeared in a Boston newspaper in 1936. After World War II, daily-horoscope columns appeared in 1500 of the nation’s 2000 daily newspapers, introducing astrology to millions. Pioneers in syndicated Sun-Sign astrology were Carroll Righter (1900-1988) and Sydney Omarr (1926-2003). Today 100 percent of U.S. adults know their Sun Sign and about one-third of them say they believe in astrology.

Sun Sign forecasts are how people first get acquainted with astrology. But many readers, now more sophisticated about astrology, know that Sun Signs are only a small part of astrology. Daily forecasts can be unsatisfying because they are so brief and so general and consider only the Sun, and maybe the Moon—when there are eight or nine more celestial bodies to consider (not counting the major asteroids).

Because most readers don’t seem quite ready yet for even more technical astrological terms such as “aspects,” “trines” and “squares,” daily forecasts might say instead, “Venus sends a golden beam to Jupiter,” or “There’s a tough Mercury-Saturn connection.” But readers are learning. Internet horoscopes are not only forecasts but a form of education reaching many more people than any newspaper, book, or school ever will.

This builds the path to further understanding and appreciation of an ancient, complex art that used to be reserved for royalty only.

England Church Starry Night

Crystal Ball

What Can You See in a Crystal Ball?

Gazing into a crystal ball hoping to see the unknown there is called scrying, and scrying is the reason diviners of all kinds are called “seers.” It’s a Druidic form of fortunetelling now practiced around the world.

Not all scrying is done with crystal balls. Scrying can be done by gazing into mirrors, glass, clouds, or water. People hope to see ghosts or spirits like the legendary Mary Worth, access arcane spiritual information, or envision a future event. An old European superstition advises unmarried young women to dim the lights on Halloween night and then perhaps light a candle, and then stare into a mirror because on that night it’s possible to see their future husband there. The “gazing balls” used to decorate backyard gardens are Victorian cousins of the crystal ball.

Why You Don’t Want a Perfectly Clear One

Scrying is concentrated focus. The best-known form of scrying involves intense concentration on a crystal ball. Ideally, a scryer obtains a sphere of natural quartz crystal, professionally tumbled until it’s perfectly round. We all know natural quartz crystals, as they come from the Earth, have facets and points; spherical quartz does not occur in nature. A “natural” crystal ball shaped from genuine quartz probably includes bubbles, cracks, impurities, or clouds, sometimes reflecting prismatic rainbow colors. Most transparent crystal balls now sold are glass, not quartz. If the seller or scryer insists his transparent crystal ball is genuine quartz, it is probably pulverized quartz melted down and reshaped, with all impurities removed.

The impurities are important and desirable. To a seer, they are a backdrop and inspiration. From every angle a crystal ball with impurities will appear different. During a scrying session a seer can slightly turn the ball to discover new insights or impressions. That will not happen with a transparent ball. Those work best for simpler purposes such as meditation or decoration. It’s actually harder to “read” a ball that is clear all the way through.

You don’t have to be a gypsy or witch to do scrying. Anyone can. But the more you do it, the better you get at it. If your concern is very serious—meaning it’s deeper than personal spiritual growth and understanding— please don’t try to scry for yourself. Consult a professional.

The typical fortune-teller image, although grossly outmoded, to this day remains the emblem of the entire world of the occult. A gypsy or witch in robes or rags and a turban or other head covering sits with a glowing crystal ball so large that the fortuneteller’s two hands wrapped around it will not meet. Crystal balls available for sale today are measured in millimeters. A solid 200mm ball about eight inches in diameter weighs approximately 25 pounds. It’s heavy, like lead crystal! If you intend to use one mostly for meditation or feng shui, choose a small size.

Crystal Ball
Crystal Ball

Reading a Crystal Ball

While genuine Rom (gypsy) fortunetellers were mostly females, the most famous crystal gazer of all time was “Alexander, the Man Who Knows,” who made a fortune in the days of vaudeville. Perpetuating a totally false impression regarding crystal gazing and its powers was the Wicked Witch of the West character in the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz. She used it as if it were a webcam, to see remotely what her enemies were up to; she used it to conjure a poppy field; she used it to scry Dorothy’s future. Notice that the witch never touched the ball, only motioned with her (green) hands to stir and raise its energy. Some crystal gazers still believe it’s important not to touch the ball while consulting it.

Most occultists today acknowledge that a crystal ball cannot tell the future or spy on what others are doing. It can, however, provide insight and guidance. Any images that appear in the ball while you are scrying come from your unconscious mind, and, like nighttime dreams, are symbolic. For example, seeing in a crystal ball that doesn’t mean you’re going on a cruise. A boat symbolizes many things, and it’s greatly in your favor to have studied mythology, religion, and classic symbolism before interpreting what you see, because your personal unconscious mind is also tapped into the collective unconscious. In the collective unconscious, thousands of years of thought, devotion, and experience are compiled. Use the crystal ball to seek wisdom. Treating a scrying ball as a game is abusing it, and it won’t work.

Be patient. It might take several sessions for you and your crystal ball to adjust to each other. Dim the room, relax; take your time. Relax your face as you gaze; let your eyes unfocus. If several images surface, choose the three that are strongest. These images reflect not the future but hidden aspects of the present.

Traditionally, the scryer never allows anyone else to touch the ball, and must not expose it to sunlight or it loses its powers. That’s why fortunetellers in illustrations occupy thickly draped dark rooms. The gypsy-fortuneteller image also shows the base of the ball swaddled in cloth, perhaps in velvet, indicating it is covered to stay dark when not in use. On the other hand, a crystal ball loves moonlight and, when you first get yours, it should be bathed in a full moon’s light in order to cleanse and charge it.

Find a quiet place to sit where you won’t be interrupted and cup your hands around a new crystal ball until its energy field is palpable. A ball (natural or man-made) of genuine quartz crystal shares some of the metaphysical properties of quartz crystal. It radiates energy and can transmit energy, and, it is said, can clear a room of negative vibrations. It won’t, however, glow in the dark. Quartz genuinely conducts electricity and can serve as a shield against it. Quartz watches keep time better than mechanical watches. Because it’s spherical, a crystal ball cannot be used to direct energy the way quartz points and wands can.

Then, when you’re ready, scry. As with any occult practice, show respect, and before doing anything, ask your higher powers to bless your contact with Spirit and your search for wisdom, and that what you ask or learn is for the good of all.

August 2017

August 2017: An Astrological Outlook

August is a big astrological month, with the full lunar eclipse back on August 7, in Aquarius, and a full solar eclipse today, the Great American Eclipse, in Leo. No one who started this month will be the same at its end, but don’t be alarmed. This is a month of cleansing and stabilizing, personally and in the community. The way out is through it.

The cosmos will apply pressure, but pressure isn’t evil. Sometimes things need rubbing to make them shine. The basic advice for August is to take care of yourself and relax every chance you get. Avoid giving your all for the cause, or because you feel obligated.

Everyone will be feeling the same way, so don’t make extraordinary demands of anyone and cool any temptations to argue. Also, with Saturn and Pluto in parallel all month, and after Mercury turning retrograde on the 13th, it’s important not to entertain yourself by shopping or spending. Money might be tight. It will loosen up again. The cosmos is all about cycles.

The Great American Solar Eclipse and its path of totality ran southeastward today, like a sash, across the “flyover” states from Washington to South Carolina. The U.S. hasn’t seen any total solar eclipse since 1979, and it was total only in the Pacific Northwest. Its result was an economic and population boom. (For a while it seemed that everyone I met wanted to move to Portland.) Could it mean a revival for the Rust Belt?

There’s plenty of online speculation about what this eclipse means for the U.S., but it occurs in the final degrees of Leo where traditionally it’s had the most impact on the ruling class. In the old days, solar eclipses were expressions of the divine will. Eclipses remind everyone that the Creator or Source is in charge. That shouldn’t distress you if you are spiritually outfitted with courage and virtue. That’s best done if you have, as advised for this month, tended to your own spiritual needs instead of everyone else’s. Yes, what is it that you really, really want? You can’t get what you want if you don’t know what it is.

Tomorrow, August 22, features a trine aspect between Mars and Saturn. This signifies positive contact between a younger man and an older one. Three days later Saturn halts and, after a long retrograde period, heads forward again, so a burden lifts and Friday the 25th is joyful. Saturn that day gets from the Moon an astrological kiss, so an opportunity opens to grow in wisdom and life experience. Maybe at work, as you all discuss the eclipse and the cosmos, bristly co-workers will like and respect each other more. August 27, a Sunday, is good for a company picnic or inviting a co-worker–one you can relax with–for dinner. Don’t stress about what to serve. Get a bucket of fried chicken and be done with it. Because Mercury is in retrograde, make sure you confirm the time and place.

Feelings are on a roller coaster Monday the 28th through Wednesday the 30th. Relax, work on your hobby or take a short road trip, and ride the wave. Don’t deplete yourself with worries. By midday on Wednesday you’ll have clarity. As Mercury in retrograde enters Leo on Thursday, August 31, it might help remind you that you are the emperor or empress of your own life.

Peridot August Birthstone

Birthstones of August: The Top Three

Peridot, spinel, and carnelian are three semi-precious gems prized and honored by the ancients more than they are today, but it’s wonderful that men and women wanting to wear an August birthstone can select from attractive choices ranging from spring green to dark red, from water-clear to solid or banded colors as muscular as marble.


The cheery pear-green peridot attracts friends. Because it’s a semi-precious and relatively common gem, it’s easy to find and pay for well-cut, perfectly transparent peridot jewelry, particularly if it is set in sterling silver. The peridot’s typical sunny yellow-tinged green is calming, and the gem is said to act as an antidepressant, to chase away ghosts and nightmares, and promote restful sleep.

Peridot can also be called “chrysolite,” according to The Magic of Jewels and Stones, Volume 1, which lists peridot under that name. Another name for peridot (pronounced either “perry-dot” or “perry-dough”; it doesn’t matter because everyone will know what you mean) is “olivine.” Jewelers say the name depends on the shade. The yellow peridot, the one most often called chrysolite, is said to contain the curative powers of sunlight. Health-conscious cultures valued these yellow peridots more highly than diamonds.

Egyptian pharaohs favored our familiar green peridot, originally found and mined on a single island in the Egyptian Red Sea. They wanted exclusive access to these gems, so the miners weren’t permitted to leave the island, and any approach to the island by boat was considered an attempt at smuggling and punishable by death. Speculation has it that Cleopatra’s famous collection of “emeralds” might have been a collection of peridots. We don’t know for certain because her burial place has never been found, although in 2015 an Egyptian archaeologist reported that he’d located a likely site.

Geographically, peridot is more often found and mined near the Equator and in the southern hemisphere.



Spinel crystal coloration covers the entire spectrum, including colorless and black. Aany color of spinel can be worn as the August birthstone, but red is the classic and most favored. Until the 1970s spinels were used in cheaper jewelry to substitute for “real” gems. Today, spinel is rare and sought-after. Pagans wear or use black spinel, associated with the planet Pluto, in rituals to attract energy, stamina, and wealth. Depending on the color, a spinel can be used to stimulate and unblock a chakra, one of the seven non-physical energy centers in the body.

The egg-sized ruby centered in the crown of the British crown jewels was taken in the year 1366 from a Moorish king who gave his life to protect it. But it’s not a ruby; later tests showed it is a red spinel. It’s still spectacular, and the world’s largest uncut spinel. Moon rocks have been shown to contain pink spinel crystals.

Red spinel, like ruby, is worn for strength, honor, and vitality.


One of the traditional August birthstones is carnelian, a brick-red or red-orange stone whose color brings to mind the colors of autumn chrysanthemums. Translucent or opaque, there is no stone like it. A sunset-orange-colored carnelian with white bands is called sardonyx: The “sard” in “sardonyx” means “flesh,” as does the word “carnelian.” Mineralogically, carnelian can be either agate or onyx.


Carnelian is a powerful stone for fertility, sexuality, and sex appeal. It is said that the prophet Mohammed, who had 11 legal wives plus several concubines, wore a carnelian ring with the stone turned toward his palm. The Arabs believed carnelian brought peace and happiness. Hindus still say carnelian makes timid people brave and eloquent. In Europe’s Middle Ages, carnelian was an antidote to black magic.

Carnelian is a Virgo stone, and shy or over-analytical August-born Virgos wearing carnelian will find it lends them confidence enough to dominate a room. A carnelian carving is an excellent gift for teachers, lawyers, and preachers.

Sardonyx, which is red with white or yellow banding, protects and fortifies the wearer, as do most banded stones. Melody, author of Love is in the Earth: A Kaleidoscope of Crystals, says sardonyx stones can be used in crystal “gridding” to deter crime in overpopulated areas.

Males who would rather not wear the sunny chartreuse color of peridot might like the carnelian or sardonyx, or the opaque cousin of the sardonyx, red jasper, a stone said to helpful to students, and to offer a powerful, grounding connection with Mother Earth. The red color comes from iron. Like carnelian, red jasper stone can be carved into sculptures for home and office decoration.

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