15 June 2010

The Predictive Power of Profections and Planetary Periods (Firdaria) Part III - Betty White's Career

Continuing from the previous post:

Betty White’s career has spanned more than 70 years, making a thorough treatment of it an impossibility in blog format. However, her recent resurgence in popularity (she may, in fact, be more popular than ever before) made me curious about what’s going on for her astrologically. Again, I’ll limit myself to the two techniques I’ve been using in this series: Profections and Firdaria, and I’ll necessarily limit myself to a few highlights from her long career.

Note: all data which follows is from the Wikipedia page on Betty White.

White began her show biz career right out of high school. Since most people start working at this age, and she lived in Beverly Hills, it’s probably not terribly noteworthy for our purposes. From age 20-32, she was in her Jupiter period. Her natal Jupiter is in Libra in the 3rd house, fairly well dignified, and sextile to her Ascendant. However, it is also square to her natal Venus, the sign ruler of her Midheaven (career); so while a certain amount of success is indicated, one would not quite expect to “hit it big” during this period. Nevertheless, White began her TV hosting in 1952 (having been on the show herself for a couple of years) when the host of Hollywood on Television left the show. Though this was during her Jupiter period, Saturn was the co-ruler this year, and we saw previously that Saturn is dignified and in her house of money. It is also conjunct the Moon, the ruler (almuten) of the 10th house (career) and the North Node, generally considered a good luck point.

Her first real career boost came between 1952-55, when she played the title roll in Life With Elizabeth. This brings her squarely into her Mars firdar. Mars in her chart is very highly dignified, in Scorpio, and very quantitatively powerful, being right on the 4th house cusp. She co-produced the show, and won her first Emmy for it. By the mid-50’s, the show was nationally syndicated, and she was the only woman in Hollywood with complete creative control over her own show (Mars in Scorpio). The 1950s in general were an extremely successful time in White’s career, and her Mars firdar lasted until 1961. The 52-55 span were also 7th - 10th house years, 7th house having a focus on relationships and contracts, and 10th house focusing on the career.

Betty White’s film debut was in 1962, in Advise and Consent, which,though it claimed some critical success, was not a big commercial hit. This was during the North Node firdar. It may be noteworthy that aside from a 1978 short subject film, White did not start appearing in films again until the 1990s. This means that her film career really didn’t begin until she was well into her Mercury firdar, and into her 70s. Her real success has always been in television, where during the 60s and 70s she slowly became one of the most successful actors in her field. Her years on the Mary Tyler Moore show were mostly during her Venus firdar (which rules her 10th house of career). Her natal Venus is in her 6th house of work. During her years on The Golden Girls, she was in her Mercury firdar, Mercury also being in her 6th house, and ruling her 2nd (money) and her 11th (friends). Mercury also squares exactly her Midheaven; while the square isn’t usually a friendly aspect, Mercury is not a particularly malevolent planet, and the contact is probably better than no contact at all.

But what drew my attention is White’s current return to stardom. While she has worked non-stop for a very long time, there are certain shows that were more successful than others, and during those runs she has been more in the public eye than in intervening years. In 2006, White participated in the Comedy Central roast of William Shatner, with whom she starred in Boston Legal. For many young people, seeing this older woman make such openly rude, crude jokes, while still maintaining an air of elegance and even innocence, was an eye-opener. In 2006, White entered her second major Saturn firdar. Remember that her Saturn is well-dignified in her house of money, conjunct the Moon, which is the almuten (overall ruler) of her career house (10th). Saturn rules her house of work and relationships/contractual partnerships. So in general, these years should continue to be quite good for Betty. In early 2010, a Facebook campaign to get White to host Saturday Night Live led to the announcement on March 11 that she would host the show in May of that year. This was exactly one day after Mars took over as co-ruler (with Saturn). We have already seen the power and dignity of her Mars, which was her major ruler when she really started to make it big. In addition, 2010 is a 5th house year for White, which brings fun, play, creativity, sex, etc. to the fore.

When I started this series, I mentioned that we would be able to really only scratch the surface of what Profections and Firdaria have to show in Betty White’s chart. Nevertheless, just “scratching the surface” has spilled into three long blog entries. What fascinates me most about these techniques is (especially when one goes into detail) how much information they can give about a person’s life without even looking at transits, or what’s going on currently in the sky that might affect one’s natal chart. This is all based on one, single chart – the natal chart of the person. This raises all sorts of questions about the roll of fate in astrology. I’m sure that I’ll get to ponder that here at some point in the future.

The Predictive Power of Profections and Planetary Periods (Firdaria) Part II – Betty White's Marriages

In the past few years, the career of Betty White, veteran actor, has seen a huge boost once again. Her work has spanned over 7 decades, since she began modeling at age 17. Although investigating overall fame is beyond the scope of this post, I thought that it might be fun to look at her career (or a few moments of it) and her marriages in light of these two classical techniques.

Chart data

According to the Wikipedia entry for Betty White and her page on IMDB.com, she has been married three times. The first, to Dick Barker, lasted only a few months, from June to December 1945. The second marriage was also short-lived, lasting only two years, from late 1947-1949. Her third marriage was to fellow game-show host Allen Ludden, and lasted from 1963 until he died in 1981 of stomach cancer.

In Betty’s natal chart, her house of marriage (7th house) has no planets in it, and Aquarius is on the cusp. Being a fixed sign, we would suspect that a marriage would last. However, being ruled by Saturn, there are sure to be some problems. Happily for her, Saturn in her natal chart is in quite good shape in Libra, where it is well-dignified by exaltation and triplicity. It is in her second house, so marriage and money/material security will have some link. It is also conjunct the Moon in late Virgo; the Moon rules her Midheaven (10th house cusp) and is therefore an indicator of career. So we see marriage and career as two areas that are likely to be tied to one another.

1945 was a twelfth-house profected year for Betty. The twelfth house is a place of loss, sorrow, hidden enemies, confinement, major illness. While there is no information readily available on line about why they divorced, the fact that Dick Barker was a chicken farmer (as well as military pilot) was probably too confining for someone with major Hollywood ambitions. It’s possible too, that they did not get along at all (hidden enemies), though without more documentation, it’s impossible to say for sure. Betty’s 12th house has Cancer on the cusp, which is ruled by the Moon, also in her second house. So perhaps she sought a security in the relationship that didn’t manifest. Regardless, marrying during a 12th house year not the best indicator of success. When Betty married Barker, she was in her Jupiter/Sun firdar. Jupiter had taken major rulership in 1942 for 12 years, and this particular year was co-ruled by the Sun. Jupiter is dignified in her natal chart, is in the 3rd house, and rules the 5th (lovers) and the 8th (death).

Betty married again in late 1947, and this marriage lasted just two years. 1947 was a 2nd house profected year for her, so again, money and security come into play. Also, Saturn, the ruler of her 7th house (marriage) is in her 2nd house, so whenever a 2nd house year rolls around for her, relationship is one of the key themes (in addition to money). Saturn also rules her 6th house of work; so it’s not terribly surprising that she married her agent, Lane Allen. Jupiter was still her major period ruler in the Firdaria scheme, but by now, Venus was the co-ruler. Venus is in Betty’s 6th house of work also, in Capricorn, fairly well dignified in that sign, though combust (too close to the Sun) and in a house that’s not the greatest one to be in anyway. So at best her Venus is in middling condition; in reality, it’s in somewhat poor condition. In addition, Jupiter and Venus are square to one another in her natal chart. So a fantastic marriage is not a likely result.

Two years later, when she divorced, she was near the end of a 4th house year. The focus here would have been on home and family. She has a very powerful Mars, dignified in Scorpio, right on her 4th house cusp. Regardless of the focus on the home, this will be a contentious year, given Mars’ placement there. Also, by now, the co-ruler (still along with Jupiter) for that year was Mercury, which is also in her 6th house, but is square to the Mars. So there is a lot of conflict going on here having to do with home, family, work. Mercury in her chart rules her house of friends, and Betty is quoted as having said that she and Lane Allen were good friends, but that they should not have married.

White’s third and most successful marriage came in 1963 to fellow game show host Allen Ludden. That year was a profected 6th house year for her. Again we see the focus on work. And remember that the 6th house is ruled by Saturn, which also rules her 7th house. So we see a permanent connection between daily work and marriage for her. With this marriage, the connections is the strongest, and the two worked together on many TV shows in the next two decades.

In mid-1963, Betty was in the middle of the three-year span that was ruled by the North Node. Generally, the North Node is seen as of the nature of Jupiter and Venus, the two naturally benefic planets. So this would have been a far more positive time than in previous marriage years. Her natal North Node is conjunct her dignified Saturn (ruler of 7th house of marriage) in her 2nd house (money). So the timing on this one is looking far better for success.

Ludden died in 1981 of stomach cancer. Once again, White was in a profected 12th house year (loss, sorrow, hidden enemies, serious illness). Her 12th house has Cancer on the cusp (yes, there is a connection between Cancer and cancer in that it is a very fertile sign, and cancer is unbounded growth). Cancer also rules the stomach. By now, Betty was in a Venus/Jupiter firdaria. Remember from earlier that Venus and her Jupiter square one another in her natal chart. Remember also that Jupiter rules her 8th house – death.

One might ask: If Saturn rules White’s house of marriage (7th house), then why wouldn’t she be more likely to marry during a Saturn Firdar? For those born at night, Saturn is the major ruler from age 9-20, most of which is a far less likely time to marry. The next major Saturn period began in 2006 at age 84, and will last until 2017 (see below for comments on this and career). Again, unlikely ages for marriage. There were two periods in which Saturn was a co-ruler before Betty married Ludden: from mid-1952 until early 1954, and from January 1959-January 1960. Since I haven’t read a detailed biography of her, I can’t really say what happened during those times, but it’s likely that there were some proposals or at least possibilities of marriage hovering around.

(An interesting note: Ludden’s first wife died days before their 18th wedding anniversary; Ludden himself died just days before his and White’s 18th wedding anniversary. One day, it may be worth a look at his chart to investigate this “coincidence” in depth.)

Coming Next: Betty White's Career

The Predictive Power of Profections and Planetary Periods (Firdaria) Part I

Ancient astrology was good at predicting. Back in the days before psychology, astrology was perfected as a predictive art. I won’t go into the reasons for its demise here, but thankfully, many of the older philosophies and techniques have been being recovered by skilled astrologer-linguists in recent decades.

Two of the “lost techniques of the ancients” that work particularly well, and which I use in my daily practice are Profections and Firdaria (planetary periods).

This is a simple and ancient technique, and not to be confused with Secondary Progressions, which is a fairly modern one. It is based on symbolically moving the chart one house per year. So from age 0-1, everyone is in a 1st house year. From age 1-2, all are in a 2nd house year, etc. Every 12 years, we return back to the Ascendent and a 1st house year again. So on birthdays # 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84, 96, we start the 12-year cycle again. There is much more detailed information to be gained by thoroughly employing this technique; for now, I will focus only on the main house for each year. Ideally, it should also be used in conjunction with Solar Returns, but that’s more detail than I want to involve here.

This is a Persian word that comes from the Greek “period” (Greek ‘p’ > ‘f’ in Persian). The basic idea is that we are all subject to the rulership of each of the planets at different points in our lives. The scheme is the same for everyone, with one variation, which I’ll explain in a moment. The planets are used from Saturn inward through the Moon, and each rules a given number of years. Saturn rules 11 years, Jupiter 12, Mars 7, the Sun 10 years, Venus 8, Mercury 13, and the Moon 9. The North and South Lunar Nodes get 3 and 2 years respectively, and are inserted after Mars.

The variation I mentioned is this: Anyone born in the day time starts with the Sun as their ruler (for 10 years) and continues around the circle in order. Anyone born at night time (that is, with the Sun below the horizon in their natal chart) starts their lives with the Moon (for 9 years) and then continues on, clockwise, in order. This brings 75 years, which is a healthy life span for most humans. Each of these periods is subdivided again by 7, and each of the other planets co-rules one of those 7 subdivisions, but I won't go into that more. After age 75, you simply begin again with the Sun or the Moon, depending on the diurnal or nocturnal chart.

Coming next: Part II, the case of Betty White

09 June 2010

Not Again With This Retrograde Thing! (Not Really, Read On...)

A Facebook friend posted earlier today about how people are being jerks all around and you would think that Mercury is still retrograde. Excuse me for harping on this issue, but there is a lot going on astrologically, all the time, that has nothing to do with Mercury. Or retrogrades. Now, I don't blame this person at all for attributing it to Mercury retro, since that is the only thing that modern astrologers seem to teach these days about what might be going "wrong" in a chart or in transits. Until better quality info gets out there, or at least the understanding that things are more complex than one planet's being retrograde, folks won't have even the basic language to begin to understand any of this.

However, the really interesting thing here was a comment that was made in response to that post. A self-identified astrologer attributed this people-lashing-out business to the fact that Pluto is retrograde until September. As stated in one of my earlier posts, Pluto (along with Uranus and Neptune) is retrograde for about six months every year. Yup, easy math: 50% of the time, these planets are retrograde. So blaming current behavior on something as generalized as that (citing Pluto's "intensity") really seems a lazy response, not to mention a particularly modern one.

My own response to the issue is that Jupiter and Uranus are standing at 0 degrees Aries, on the world axis. Haughty Jupiter and unbound, unpredictable Uranus in the cardinal fire sign may be spewing forth this energy that people have a right to do whatever they want, consequences be damned. Saturn is only 3 degrees off the opposition, in late Virgo; so beneath this outward haughtiness and disdain for consequences, there may be a nagging feeling that it's not OK to be a jerk, but that just makes people feel guiltier (Saturn) and even jerkier about it. Mercury is about to hit 0 Gemini, so don't be surprised to see an onslaught of words that usher that smug, holier-than-thou attitude into the public arena. The Moon will be crossing this point (0 Gemini) for a few hours too, so Thursday of this week might be particularly unbearable. But this will pass.

My real wish is for those who call themselves astrologers to investigate and study things more deeply before making public pronouncements. In this day of Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and other social media, anyone who calls herself or himself an astrologer, and who pronounces publicly on astrology, has a responsibility to educate themselves enough so that when they do speak or write, they don't embarrass those of us who take this Art seriously enough to do so.