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Published in The Toronto Star on Sat September 20, 2008

Tuesday 14 October 2008


Election predictions for the leaders from the Star’s Phil Booth

Stephan Harper
Birthdate: April 30, 1959

That quiet Taurean demeanour belies the existence of a pugnacious maverick and reformist. His stars are strongly influenced by Uranus, the bringer of change. It may not be immediately obvious, but it’s there under the surface.

With the election only weeks away, he is basking in the beneficent rays of Mercury and Venus. The public views him in a favourable light. But the honeymoon won’t last. Tension is already mounting and will really start to heat up in about a week. This may be triggered by some damaging revelation or it may simply stem from a change in public mood.

The election falls on a feisty Aries full moon which will amplify the day’s mood of unpredictability, turbulence and confusion. The challenge to his campaign will probably prove to be too little too late, so he seems assured of winning, at the very least, a minority government.

Stéphane Dion
Birthdate: September 28, 1955

Librans are frequently depicted as dithering, uncertain folk. When it comes down to it, though, this is an unfair characterization. It’s truer to say that they understand every side to a story and do their best to mediate between enemies and conflicting ideas. Fairness is held aloft as their guiding star. They will passionately argue the case of the underdog, defend the underprivileged and make sure that justice always prevails.

In Dion’s outlook, Jupiter, the opener of the way, moves into a superb position in 2009, but the election of October 14th comes too early to slip into that positive stream. A career rebirth is likely to arrive next spring, but there is a sense that a crisis will precede it. Losing this election seems likely, but it’s a failure that will ultimately drop him into the lap of good fortune.

Jack Layton
Birthdate: July 18, 1950

Cancerians are the nurturers of the zodiac. They passionately defend their home and loved ones. For Layton, the home has been extended to include his country and all its citizens. Cancerians make good cooks too, but somehow I can’t see him securing a spot on the Food Channel. Well, not yet anyway. Let’s wait until the election has passed.

The sky strongly suggests that he’ll need plenty of energy and stamina to get through early October. Sharp alignments from Mars will keep him hopping and on the attack. But once Election Day arrives, Venus is excellently placed to make him shine and get a better than expected result. However, a problematic situation is being set up by Mercury (public opinion) making a caustic alignment. It’s enough to make your head spin, but if he’s shrewd enough he might get past this stumbling block.

Gilles Duceppe
Birthdate: July 22, 1947

He is one of the two candidates sharing the sign of the crab, Cancer. And again, we can see how they proudly nurture, cherish and protect their own special interests and home base. These crustaceans are tenacious creatures with uncanny intuitive talents that serve them well in business or politics.

This election reaches a crescendo during the so-called Mercury retrograde phase when the planet of communication performs its once-in-four-month backward manoeuvre from our geocentric viewpoint. There will be a clash of ideals and a lack of clarity surrounding the issues. Hidden complications are likely to be attached to something seemingly simple.

Duceppe’s pincers will prove to be useful tools in gripping and tearing apart the political issues that come up in October. The stars, though, are restricting his influence during this campaign and there’s no indication that he will stand out anymore than he has in previous elections.

Elizabeth May
Birthdate: June 9, 1954

Something is moving, turning, shifting and growing. An Earth in crisis demands to be heard. There’s no keeping this Gemini out of any political debate at a time when our planet is in such grave peril. May’s quick wit and mental acuity is a good example of the sign of the twins. She is ruled by fleet-footed Mercury who bestows his recipients with an awe-inspiring natural curiosity and a positive, flexible, open-minded approach to life.

The stars for her at this time are full of turbulence and change. Yet, somehow, this high intensity energy, rather than expressing itself destructively is miraculously being manifested in a most positive fashion. This campaign is really going to rock once the new moon of September 29th adds verve to the race. It culminates 2 weeks later with a general election on a potent full moon. This Gemini will be happily lighting fires under all her opponents.


Published in The Toronto Star on Sat Sep. 2, 2006

Not a Dwarf Planet to Those Who Believe


Pluto’s long 76-year reign as a full-fledged member of the solar system has ended, with the latest scientific dictum declaring it to be a mere dwarf planet. But for those who use astrology as a tool to look into their inner psychological universe, the newly designated Pluto remains a potent and powerful symbol.
The job of astronomy is to explore the physical universe, whereas astrology uses that information to draw meaningful conclusions about the nature of life on this planet, our role in it and where we are going.
Since ancient times, astrologers have found a consistent correlation between the movements of heavenly bodies — planets, asteroids, comets and, yes, even dwarf planets — and human experience.
In fact — and this may seem strange to the unaccustomed mind — the planets exhibit archetypal qualities that closely resemble their mythological counterparts.
The planet Mercury, for example, bears the characteristics of the Roman god of that name, previously known as Hermes in ancient Greece. Hermes was a messenger between Zeus (Jupiter) on Mount Olympus and the underworld ruled by Hades (Pluto). He was also the protector of travellers, the bringer of luck, and the patron deity of merchants.
In astrology, the planet Mercury is understood to rule communications. One of its roles is to connect the conscious mind (Mount Olympus) with the unconscious (Hades). It rules roads, transportation — that is, connections between Point A and Point B. Favourable alignments from the planet Mercury bring lucky inspiration. It is considered to rule merchants.The astrological qualities of Pluto, on the other hand, bear a striking resemblance to the Lord of the Underworld. Hades (Pluto) was god of the dead and ruler of a subterranean kingdom in which the souls of dead human beings were thought to be confined.
Pluto, the planet — er, sorry, dwarf planet — is associated with the major transformations of life, such as death and rebirth. Transits from Pluto bring intense, life-changing events — in effect, a metaphorical death of parts of our character.
These are not arbitrary conclusions that are arrived at on a whim. Astrologers have observed what they regard as empirical evidence over the millennia to substantiate these conclusions.
It’s as if meaning is woven into the very fabric of the universe. There is a most profound sense of purpose that transcends our superficial and transitory human existence.
To better comprehend this principle, we need to understand the concept of synchronicity, a term coined by Carl Jung.
Those of a scientific and engineering ilk tend to find this difficult to understand while artistically inclined folk embrace it with gusto. Astrology, which is a meld of these two polarities, is part Science and part Art.
Synchronicity is a philosophical principle that is separate from the “billiard ball universe” of cause-and-effect, where a cue strikes a ball that crashes into other balls and sets off a causal chain of events that is clearly visible.
Synchronicity is acausal. This is when you think of someone, the phone rings and you find that person is on the line. Or you think of chocolate ice cream and someone walks in the door with two tubs of it. The two events seem too coincidental to be unrelated, especially if this kind of thing happens to you frequently.
They may appear disconnected, but advocates of synchronicity believe these to be instances of meaningful coincidences.
Understanding and appreciating synchronicity is essential in comprehending astrology.
The angles formed between planets, the houses and zodiac signs they occupy, all mirror our human experience and run parallel to it — causally unconnected yet inextricably linked in meaning.
The evidence seems to indicate there is an ordering principle coming from a cosmic intelligence that is both an engineer and an artist.
All students of astrology have experienced the epiphany of this discovery in their research. Human existence is rich with meaning and purpose. You were born for a darn good reason. And astrology can find it.
Pluto was discovered in 1930. By looking at the synchronistic phenomena of the decades surrounding its discovery, we can begin to see how it affects us as it transits (travels) through our birth chart: that is, the position of all the stars at the precise moment of birth.
These synchronistic phenomena have come to be associated with Pluto. Its astrological effect has always been there, but we weren’t conscious of it.
The discovery of Pluto symbolizes the growth in awareness of human consciousness. In the decades surrounding it’s discovery, we have seen the splitting of the atom, the unleashing of nuclear power, the rise of Fascism, the Holocaust, mass destruction and death through military force on a global scale. There has been an increase in sexual awareness and its expression in art and culture. The criminal underworld of guns and gangsters has erupted into public awareness.
And we now live with the knowledge that our planet is faced with an ecological crisis and potential nuclear annihilation. It’s a volcanic power that comes from deep down in the Earth and erupts with unbridled ferocity.
When that tiny bit of rock called Pluto transits sensitive areas of our birth chart, we invariably go through a dramatic process of transformation: a death and rebirth; an ordeal by fire; the rise of the phoenix; and an uncontrollable upsurge of our instinctive and libidinal drives.
Now, that’s pretty tough talk for a puny little dwarf.