The Menendez Brothers and the Sharp and Loose Destiny

Lyle, and his younger brother Erik, shot and killed their parents, Jose and Kitty Menendez, at their home in Beverly Hills on the evening of August 20, 1989. Soon after the killing, the two brothers went on an eccentric spending-spree with their inheritance and proceeded to live an extravagant lifestyle which led to the suspicion of their involvement in the crime and ultimately to their arrest in March 1990.

Lyle was arrested on March 8, 1990, and taken to the Los Angeles County Men’s Jail. Erik turned himself in after hearing about his brother’s arrest. Erik was apprehended by police at the LAX airport after arriving from Israel. He too was taken to the Los Angeles County Men’s Jail. Their arraignment for first-degree murder took place on March 26, 1990. Both are serving life sentences without parole. They are to this day, incarcerated in a Southern California prison where they are allowed to see each other daily at meals and in the exercise yard.

The Menendez brothers may be together again, and they do have a lot in common, but an exploration of their individual horoscopes will unveil a unique difference, one that landed them in prison. It was Erik’s proneness to conscience that made the difference between holding to the lie the brothers had agreed upon and revealing the terrible truth of the diabolical murder of the unsuspecting parents. It was Erik’s Sharp Destiny, indicated by the opposition of Jupiter and Saturn in his chart that led him to confess to the crime, and with no major aspect between Jupiter and Saturn in Lyle’s chart, he quite differently than Erik, held out to the end.


Defining the Sharp and Loose Destiny is one of several advanced procedures in chart analysis that were developed in the mid-20th century by astrologer par excellence, Dr. Marc Edmund Jones. Jones’ innovative techniques were based on early astrological practices, which he expounds on in his writings to give a deeper and more comprehensive scope to chart interpretation. In his chapter on Self-Ordering (1) in The Essentials of Astrological Analysis, he begins by pairing the planets into four distinct departments of Self-Determination. Each departmental pair is then assessed for a possible major aspect between their positive and negative significators.

The four planetary departments of Self-determination,

1) The Sun and Moon of Vitality, is the organic will-to-be of the Greater Light, coupled with the Lesser Light’s emotional response and connection to its surroundings.

2) Jupiter and Saturn, as they define the soul’s personal Motivation through Jupiter’s enthusiastic outreach, paired with Saturn’s complimentary sober self-reflection.

3) Mars and Venus are paired to establish Efficiency in experience, through the initiative of Mars in concert with Venus’s gratifying conclusions.

4) Uranus and Neptune, the planets of Significance, as they work together to encourage the elevation and expansion of consciousness beyond the personal motivations of Jupiter and Saturn.

Mercury and Pluto are supernumerary and not included in the technique of Self-determination.

Each planetary department is vital for a well-rounded involvement in the business of everyday living. However, it is the role of Jupiter and Saturn, the department of Motivation, to offer the native an opportunity to develop personal accountability. The development of self-conscious awareness unfolds and becomes the necessary foundation for the further development of higher consciousness, represented by Uranus and Neptune, the planetary pair of Significance in the process of self-realization in a more expansive comprehension. The prominence or lesser influence of the department of Motivation in any chart is determined by the major aspect between the planetary pair to signify whether the life is destined to a Sharp and conscious moral self-awareness, or when Loose, minimizes the focus on behavioral moral standards.

The aspect allowance between Jupiter and Saturn has an orb of 10 degrees. A Sharp Destiny is identified when the pair of Motivation is in conjunction, square, or opposition, with each aspect characterized by its own unique definition. These formidable aspects produce continuous self-monitoring, which in normal circumstances should lead to a dedication to high moral standards. A Loose Destiny is found in the chart with Jupiter and Saturn in sextile, trine, or not in major aspect, allowing the native to be more relaxed in the assessment of their own or others’ acts and attitudes, and with relative freedom from both internal conscience and external pressures.

The contribution of the Sharp and Loose Destiny technique, as it relates to all other chart configurations, helps form an assessment of the native’s potentials for the refinement of character. Jones elaborates, “The fundamental distinction is between the life with its course rather well-determined at birth, or before, and the one where there is little preset in its development.” (2)


The signature difference between the two brothers is defined by the one as experiencing a highly sensitive struggle in conscience that produced the guilt that led to his confession to the crime, and the other, by contrast, was more hardened to his commitment to withhold information thanks to his Loose Destiny and his lack of consideration of the right and wrong of the circumstances leading up to the fatal and irrevocable event.

It is Erik’s Jupiter and Saturn in an opposition aspect that defines his Sharp Destiny that differs greatly from Lyle’s Loose Destiny, determined by a lack of major aspects between the pair of Motivation.

From the book, The Menendez Murders:

“Only Erik was having a hard time living with it. He kept dreaming about the gory scene in the TV room. His guilt was overwhelming him. He had to confess to someone. Naturally, he had picked his therapist. Nobody had witnessed the crime. Nobody had found the weapons. Nobody had challenged their alibi. Nobody could point a finger at them.”

While in a therapy session with his psychotherapist, Dr. Jerome Oziel, Erik confessed that he and his brother killed their parents. “I was having trouble telling him (Dr. Oziel) about why I was suicidal since I hadn’t told him that I killed my parents, and so he wasn’t really getting it,” recalled Erik. “And so I just decided that I needed to tell somebody, and I decided to tell him right then . . . I really wanted him at that point to tell me that I wasn’t a bad person. And he couldn’t do that unless he knew that I killed my parents.” (3)

The motivation for Erik’s desire to have his therapist “forgive” him by telling him he wasn’t a bad person, was part of the process of conscience seeking to assuage the pain-producing guilt that arises from the realization of one’s wrongdoing.

JUPITER AND SATURN IN OPPOSITION ASPECT – From the Essentials of Astrological Analysis,

“Jupiter and Saturn in opposition aspect indicate an ordering of life’s fundamental motives, through which the native is usually compelled to dramatize himself continually in the presence of his fellows, at least if he wishes to participate with them in any course of everyday experience. This necessity often tends to throw a given lifetime into two entirely separate periods, with the latter revealing greater depth and continuity of realization, as perhaps an unsuspected consequence of the mirroring it has given itself through some more superficial role-playing in the former. There may be either a prodigal expenditure of the self’s resources, with their ultimate recapture in a refinement of soul, or a moral vacillation that accentuates every weakness of character, and so encourages a surrender to a final and hopeless ineptitude.” (4)

According to the definition of the Sharp Destiny with Jupiter and Saturn in opposition aspect, Erik was compelled to go along with the crime as a form of acceptance needed in relation to others, as is the requirement of a native with this planetary indication. Rather than superficial role-playing on his part, his participation in the murders was a result of his immature inability to discern the magnitude and seriousness of the crime he was about to commit in coordination with his brother Lyle. This is in contrast to the second half of his life-experience with its more shocking realization that he would be having when incarcerated without parole. His time in prison could most advantageously lead to a refinement of soul to counteract the anguish of his otherwise hopeless ineptitude.

Erik’s Saturn becomes the outlet of energy as a High Focus Focal Determinator in his Funnel Temperament Type. Saturn also is the elevated and sole occupant of the southern hemisphere. These combined chart features greatly emphasize the power of the Sharp Destiny in Saturn’s application to Jupiter through opposition. The opposition takes place from the 9th to 3rd mental houses and assist in the manifestation of the Sharp Destiny’s conflict in thought and moral motivation and its need to create an alignment with truth and conscience without guilt.


For more about the Sharp and Loose Destiny visit, Anthony Bourdain and John McCain

(1) Essentials of Astrological Analysis by Marc Edmund Jones, page 108 – Sabian Publishing Society, Stanwood, Washington 1970

(2) Essentials of Astrological Analysis by Marc Edmund Jones, page 343 – Sabian Publishing Society, Stanwood, Washington 1970

(3) Erik confesses to the crime: Erik’s testimony in court  from The Menendez Murders by Robert Rand

(4) Essentials of Astrological Analysis by Marc Edmund Jones, page 124 – Sabian Publishing Society, Stanwood, Washington 1970

Bob Dylan & Joan Baez – The 60s’ Political Protest Singers

It is known to most who lived through the 1960s that the activist singers Bob Dylan and Joan Baez enjoyed a personal relationship that fell just short of marriage.

There are astrological aspects between the planets in their charts showing the reasons for their attraction. The major factors are highlighted and can be compared with other celebrity couples, such as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and Sandra Dee and Bobbie Darin.


The most powerful magnetic factor between the songwriters is identified by their exact Sun-Moon conjunction. Baez has her emotionally charged Moon in the exact same degree as Dylan’s purposeful Sun. The tie between the Lights in a horoscope can create a feeling of a personal destiny and perhaps even a carryover from a past life.

The iconic couple was also drawn by their shared interest in political activism, shown in the close opposition of Dylan’s mental prowess of Mercury to Baez’s idealistic and compassionate Venus close to his ascendant. Baez’s Mars is exactly opposite Dylan’s Sun which profoundly stimulates their Sun-Moon conjunction and promotes exciting chemistry and physical passion. Dylan’s Sun, representing self, is sandwiched between Baez’s tight Mars to Moon opposition. This must have brought them together in dramatic fashion but also could have been the force that pulled them apart. Oppositions act much like a magnet. When the positive and negative poles face each other, similarly with a man and a woman, it generates a powerful attraction. If, however, one pole is

reversed, the magnets repel each other, as can happen when two individuals find their differences are too much to endure.

Baez’s Uranus is in close contact with Dylan’s Moon and further draws them together, albeit in a detached Uranian manner, especially for her. The Moon indicates that Dylan was emotionally responsive to Baez’s obviously liberated spirit as a feminist. Her Uranus brought spontaneity to their relationship which was the substance that nurtured the independence demanded in a career in entertainment. Both natives had to maintain composure within the push and pull of the contradictory emotional attachment of the Moon versus the detached Uranian impulse. Often couples mirror the other’s planet meanings. For example, one could say that Dylan felt detached in response to Baez’s emotionalism. Only they knew what they felt and experienced, and perhaps a few individuals observing them from outside.

Dylan has no oppositions in his horoscope and that fits with his reputation as one who is extremely private and hard to approach. However, with so many planet crossties between the two charts in the form of conjunctions and oppositions, Dylan was able to experience a strong engagement with outer experience that normally comes with oppositions in one’s own chart.


The Sabian symbol for Venus in Dylan’s chart is outstanding in that it is quite literal. His Venus, the planet representing the fine arts including music, is rounded to 13 Gemini, A great musician at his piano. Although Dylan primarily played the guitar at the onset of his career, he was also proficient on the piano, as seen more often in his performances in recent times. It is obvious Dylan has accomplished all that the keyword and positive interpretation that the Sabian imagery describes:

GEMINI 13 A great musician at his piano This is a symbol of individual artistry as the property of all, with its expression both its strength and the means whereby others are encouraged to like accomplishment. Here is experience at a climax on the side of self-refinement in skills and talent, and at a peak in its gratification and its promise of continuing effort and sharing of rewards. A continually expanded dimension of being becomes the constant revelation of man’s true estate. The keyword is ACHIEVEMENT. When positive, the degree is the creative assurance that contributes enduring overtones to human understanding, and when negative, self-defeat through a delight in momentary attention or superficial adulation.

Joan Baez has an equally revealing Sabian symbol. Her Sun degree is rounded to 20 Capricorn, A hidden choir singing. Her voice is her obvious gift, and the positive description in this one of the many symbols in her chart betrays any desire on her part to keep her talent, goodwill and benefit to herself alone. At a young age Baez was concerned for the good of all mankind. Her natal opposition in mutable signs gives her a Natural Disposition that puts the welfare of others above her own. It is the mark of a humanitarian:

CAPRICORN 20 A hidden choir singing This is a symbol of the eternal music of the spheres, and is an emphasis on the ideality of experience as at root a symphony of cosmic reconciliations. The differences of individual character which have contributed to a person’s initiative and a conscious selfhood are here brought to their point of ultimate and single source in an overall existence, and each and every element of inharmony is reordered as a participating distinctiveness of the whole. All men are at one in the universal pattern. The keyword is WORSHIP. When positive, the degree is a unique gift for establishing a common interest and making it a power for the good of all, and when negative, personal aloofness and lukewarm loyalties.

Both musicians were categorized as folk singers when they started out in their careers. Bob Dylan went on to win numerous awards for his talents, including the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature, although he questioned his songs’ relationship to literature. A recipient of several awards herself, Joan Baez remains well known for her efforts in the field of social justice and the pursuit of peace. Among her accomplishments is The Institute for the Study of Nonviolence, which she started in 1961 in Carmel Valley, California. In addition, she is linked to the civil rights movement through her 1963 performance of Pete Seeger’s and Guy Carawan’s version of We Shall Overcome at the March on Washington alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Fire with fire signs, air with air signs, and fire with air signs are compatible with each other. Water with water signs, earth with earth signs, and water with earth are compatible.

Mars, Venus and Mercury Triad

The two famous songsters, although mutually attracted to each other by virtue of compatible Venus elements in air and fire, had no rapport of elements between their Mars’ and Mercuries. Her Mars in fire did not hold up well when saturated by his Mars in water. Their communication also fell short of clarity with his Mercury in air and hers in earth.

Sun, Moon and Ascendant Triad

Baez and Dyan were also not suited well as far as personal Wills were concerned, with his Sun in an air sign and hers in an earth element. Dyan’s Sun in air could have made him flighty while most likely Baez’s “feet” were anchored on the ground. Their Moons also clashing in element meant they would eventually part ways to go down differing paths. The Ascendants are the only match in this triad. Both are in the fire element and point to their similar approach to life and music at the beginning of their careers.

It is best to have two of the three in a triad compatible and one not, so that there is more harmony than discord between the parties. The one incompatibility in element normally brings a necessary stimulus and challenge to the union. For this potential couple, however, there simply were not enough harmonies to bring them lasting joy, and ultimately they went their separate ways.


Former First Lady, Barbara Bush – Was a Lucky Wife and Mother

Matriarch and former first lady, Barbara Bush was the wife of a US President as well as the mother of one. There is only one other dynastic incident in US history like it, and that is Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams and mother of John Quincy Adams. Barbara Bush was well-respected and sometimes criticized for her unapologetic manner of speech and unimpressive image. She spoke of herself as lucky, and her good fortune shows in her horoscope.

There is heightened planetary activity in the Progressed to natal and Transit to natal horoscope, and the graph shows Barbara Bush’s Progressed Sun was just entering into a stressful and telling Square with her natal Sun when she passed. Progressed Mars had already been stressing her vitality in December of 2017 when it was exact in its Square Aspect.

The astrological wheel shows the great fortune and luck the matriarch referred to in her life, by the beneficial placement of Jupiter next to her natal Moon in the 2nd house. The original Sabian Symbol of her Moon at 17 Capricorn is,  A mature but long repressed young woman is bathing surreptitiously in the nude and finding a release in spirit. Here is testimony to the hidden joy in feeling she experienced in spite of the need to appear outwardly mature and well-bred. The first lady’s planet of beneficence, Jupiter, has the original Sabian Symbol at 22 Sagittarius, The defeated general yields up his sword but in failure he wins for his cause a dignity that is real success. This shows us that although Barbara Bush herself did not hold office, she did indeed experience success and dignity through association – Jupiter in close Conjunction with her natal Moon, the indicator of public interaction. Mars and Pluto Transits exactly Conjunct natal Moon and Jupiter respectively, and point to the intense pressure of the planets’ effects on her frail condition that contribute to her difficult yet graceful final days. Transit Pluto Stationing to go Retrograde within 5 minutes of arc with natal Jupiter on the day of her death speaks volumes.

The news coming after her death brought back the time of her controversial speech at Wellesley College, and the time of great sorrow from the loss of their three-year-old child to leukemia. But she stood her ground to prove the metal of her mighty soul, and natal Jupiter Aspected by Transit Pluto will ensure that she will be remembered well, in spite of occasional rebuffs and traumas experienced on the road to her otherwise fruitful life. And Progressed Venus is seen near the time of her passing in poignant Square to natal Jupiter that is the prime “target” of the Stationary Transit Pluto. Together, with all the other Progressed and Transiting planets at the time of her death show an impossible set of planetary pressures to overcome.

Supporting all other Aspects on the actual day of death is the Station of Saturn going Retrograde in wide but telling Opposition to natal Pluto in the 8th house of ultimate transitions. She will be missed by both Republicans and Democrats. This is the destiny of one who showed respect and concern for everyone, although with natal Mars and Pluto in the 8th house of the approval others, there are and will be challenges to her legacy as well.



The Beauty That is More than Skin Deep – Princess Diana

Planetary configurations in the birth chart of the Princess of Wales confirm the spell she had, and still has, on all people everywhere, no matter their gender, race or circumstances in life. The charts of other individuals born at the same time, may share symbolically, the potentials that only she in her advantageous circumstance could bring to fruition in a lifetime. 


Diana’s Moon/Uranus Opposition in the Leo and Aquarius polarity, shows that she has a Fixed Natural Disposition. This means that she is interested in the meaning of life and its ideals and principles – encouraging ethics to take precedence over self-gratification, or the fulfillment of others’ needs above one’s own. Preoccupation of self is the mark of a Cardinal Disposition, and the dedication to the welfare of others is a Mutable Disposition’s characteristic.

In her emotional battles with the royal family, it has been shown that she made her most important life decisions with the thought of how they would play out in the Fixed, abstract realm of right and wrong. And the challenge of the ubiquitous presence of her husband’s lover, forced her to take a traditional and moral attitude in regards to the institution of marriage. It was neither for her own nor her husband’s benefit that she had a mind to satisfy, but instead, it was her adherence to principle that moved her finally to acquiesce to separation and ultimately divorce. With the Sun and Mercury in Cancer in her 7th house, the Princess’ drive in life was focused toward finding a mate, sharing experience, and to hold family and relationships sacred. This was sadly, never to be fulfilled.

The Princess’ Temperament Type is a bit difficult to define, because the spread of the planets does not fit ideally into any of the seven typical patterns. At first view, it seems possibly that the pattern is a Splash, with the planets spread evenly around the wheel. However, there are six empty houses where there should only be three for the ideal of this typing. The possible See-Saw is ruled out because of the lack of a Core Opposition, and neither of the two segments is formed with a delimiting Opposition. A Splay may seem appropriate, but there are four instead of three segments of planets that normally signify the Type.

In the final analysis, the Splay Temperament is chosen over the other six possibilities, since with some effort on the native’s part, the Moon can be pulled into a Grand Trine with Neptune and the Sun. The Splay is based on the triangulation of the chart, and the Moon’s normal orb is 12.30 degrees and in the Princess’ case, it is a mere 30 minutes of arc over accepted orb. The validity of this choice of pattern is seen in the native’s avoidance of mediocrity and commonplace lifestyle. The Splay, with its pyramiding ease of self-making, motivates a native to blossom into a personage that can have a very real impact on the lives of others who witness their special brand of genius. The Princess was indeed a personage whose stature soared above the norm, giving confirmation of the benefit of the Splay’s Grand Trine potentials. Given time to progressively develop into a model of goodness and grace, the Grand Trine inevitably led the Princess to worldwide attention and homage.

But it is not the Temperament Type alone, nor any of the other myriad of planetary characteristics that made Diana into the overwhelmingly beloved personality. As inferred above, there is always the factor of heredity and environment to take into account and to integrate into a thorough reading of any horoscope, whether it be a celebrated individual or of an average citizen from any walk of life. In Diana’s case, it was her juxtaposition to power that gave her an advantage to influence millions. And this might not have been accomplished, had she not married a Prince, the heir to the throne of England. The Princess’ potentials were magnified by her own pedigree as well, but the marriage set those potentials into motion, even more so after the unfortunate divorce when she was literally on her own. This gave her the sympathy of the masses, seen astrologically in the well-occupied 8th house of other people’s approval.

Diana had a Sharp Destiny, which is testimony to the rigid limitations and controversies with which she endured throughout her too short life. But a Sharp Destiny often propels an individual beyond normal achievement, even when at the same time there are forces at play challenging the native at every turn. A Sharp Destiny is defined by the stress of a Conjunction, Square or Opposition of the Planetary Pair of Motivation; Jupiter and Saturn. In the case of the Princess, it is the Conjunction of the Pair in the 2nd house of personal resources, that when using them in service to principles of right and wrong, it gave to others, represented by the 8th house, the encouragement to do likewise.

There is a powerful T-Cross in Fixed signs in the chart showing Venus to be in Point Focus as a Focal Determinator for self- expression.  Her earthly beauty was matched by her heartfelt concern for others in a down-to-earth manner signified by the sign of Taurus.  In the 5th house, it reveals the demonstrative attention she always paid to her two boys, first and foremost. Her love, in terms of romantic entanglements is also a 5th house preoccupation, and like every other woman, personal love was for her a primary focus. Uniquely, in the Princess’ case, the Point Focus nature of Venus in the 5th, threw her relentlessly in front of the press and paparazzi, and ultimately into the face of constant public scrutiny. She was, because of Venus in Point Focus, gracious to others because of her own sensibilities. Venus’ keywords very clearly define her. Acquisitive is the basic keyword for Venus and its meaning points to the desires that drive a person to achieve their aims – this she did rather well. In Progressions, Venus is described by the word Sensitivity. Diana’s capacity for tender intimacy is also paramount, and is one of the reasons she will not be forgotten by average people who understand the importance of sincere caring; the trademark of a Venus reaching beyond normal expectations.

She didn’t think like those around her, being born with Mercury in Retrograde motion. And because of that the world had the “pleasure” of witnessing her battles with her own identity. She wasn’t going to be pigeonholed at any cost, and that may have contributed to her rejection of being a mere figurehead in royal life.

The groupings of the planets around the wheel are a series of Conjunctions that gave her the power to intensely impress her ideas and attitudes upon others – each planet giving the ones it stands next to more emphasis to influence outer circumstances.


The Sabian Symbols give penetrating insight into the mind, heart and purpose of the Princess’ life.
One particular symbol standing out above the rest is Diana’s important Point Focus Venus degree at 25 Taurus, A large well-kept public park. But the true glory of the symbol is seen in its original form, A magnificent public park spreads its charm before the eye in a vista that awes the loftiest spirit. Here in a sentence is the essence of Princess Diana, who can be described herself as a possession of the public in awe of the soul who humbly embraced even the lowliest among us.

Marc Jones’ refinement of definition literally tells the story of Diana’s dedication to society’s commoners. And high-lighted in bold below, is the positive expression of the purpose of her incarnation, as brought to the forefront through the all-important placement of Venus in this one of 360 Sabian Symbol degrees.

TAURUS 25 A large well-kept public park This is a symbol of the everyday integrity of society at large, and of the community divisions of labor through which each person gains the resources for well-being and self-enjoyment which obviously he could never create for himself through his own isolated efforts. There is here an emphasis on the common experience of mankind as the setting for an individual’s worth and achievement in their more characteristic lineaments, and for his consequent self-discovery and self-realization. The keyword is RECREATION. When positive, the degree is a high devotion to the practical welfare of all people collectively, and when negative, a complete surrender of personality to mass judgments and transient superficiality. 


The chart shows Progressions and Transits for August 31, 1997. The 8th house is framed in a pink square and shows the 7th house birth Sun and Mercury now Progressing through the 8th house of the ultimate transition. Very close to the time of death the Transit Moon was Conjunct the Progressed Sun, and the Transits of the Sun and Mercury were just moving away from their Conjunction with natal Pluto in the 8th. All this is a powerful emphasis of 8th house activity.

Diana’s all-important natal Venus Progressed to an exact Conjunction with her natal Mercury at her death, and this correlates to the close tie she had with Dodi Fayed and their recent engagement. Progressed Mars shown with the green arrow, is making a Trine with natal Venus for supportive Aspects that mirror the same intimacy potentials at the time.

Transits too had a significant impact on the challenge and intensity of the situation. All three of the outer planets were in tight association with natal planets. Transit Uranus and Neptune, shown by the two short red arrows at the bottom left, were respectively Conjunct Saturn and Jupiter, the planets identifying Diana’s Sharp Destiny. And Transit Pluto, indicated by the horizontal blue arrow, was in Square Aspect with natal Mars positioned in the ominous 8th house. Transit Pluto on the cusp of the 12th house reveals the dark cloud over the affair in both literal terms and of the matter of the conspiracy theory that the death was planned by the royal family.

For whatever the cause, the world lost a great soul on that tragic night in Paris. Had Mercury not been Retrograde on that fateful day, seat belts may have been used and could have diverted the tragedy. It is interesting to take note of the disturbing quality of the Sabian degree of Mercury Station Retrograde at 17 Virgo, A volcano in eruption, with its keyword EXPLOSION. And the Station Direct at 3 Virgo, Two angels bringing protection is sadly ironic – its keyword, SECURITY.

Rodgers and Hammerstein – Words & Music

Rogers and Hammerstein teamed up at the time of Broadway’s and Hollywood’s Golden Age of Musicals and garnered 34 Tony Awards, fifteen Academy Awards, the Pulitzer Prize, and two Grammy Awards. Among their collaborations are many world-renowned songs including Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’, People Will Say We’re in Love, and Oklahoma!, 1 the featured song in the team’s first project of the same name; If I Loved You and You’ll Never Walk Alone from Carousel; Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific; Getting to Know You and Shall We Dance from The King and I; and Climb Ev’ry Mountain, The Sound of Music, Do-Re-Mi, and Edelweiss2 from the film, The Sound of Music.

Richard Rodgers created melodies for the lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein. The lyrics were imbued with contemporary messages that crossed racial and religious divides during a time when America was struggling with its identity. South Pacific and The King and I were written about cross-cultural and ethnic differences pointing to the conclusion that there are ultimately no barriers too vast that can’t be overcome with love. Carousel grappled with the forces of good and evil and showed the way to the redemption of the soul if only one faced the error of their ways head-on. The Sound of Music was based on the real-life drama and trauma of a performing, musical family’s escape through the Austrian Alps when caught in the clutches of WWII.

Although meeting and briefly working together years earlier, the two talented men began their steady collaboration in 1943 when they produced their first Broadway hit that later became the Pulitzer Prize-winning Hollywood film, Oklahoma! The musical was inspired by the emotional depth and psychological complexity of the book and play, Green Grow the Lilacs, by Lynn Riggs. Frank Sinatra was the first choice for the leading role, but he left the film because of the necessity to shoot each scene twice in order to accommodate the addition of the new widescreen Todd-AO mm process. Shirley Jones then called in her friend and fellow actor Gordan MacRae to fill the role. This led to their teaming up again a year later for the filming of Carousel.

A Brief Comparison of Charts

Synastry, also known as chart comparison, begins its analysis with the identification of any planet/s in one chart located at the same degree of the zodiac or exactly opposite any of those in the complementary chart. The orb allowance should be kept as close to one-degree of separation as possible. To validate an active Crosstie over one-degree, it is helpful to note whether reality reflects evidence of meaningful interaction between the two individuals. Hammerstein’s Neptune is opposite Rogers’ Uranus with over a degree in separation, but the two were drawn into a collaboration that brought them success beyond what each had experienced earlier on their own.

Rodgers’ Sun is in the expansive and emotional sign of Cancer and is directly connected by cross-conjunction to Hammerstein’s Mercury. The Sabian degree of this connection is rounded to 6 Cancer with the image of Game birds feathering their nests. The keyword of the symbol is METICULOUSNESS, revealing the method by which they reached perfection in their craft.

Midpoint Connection

Between the two charts there is a unique planetary aspect that is described in Uranian astrology as a midpoint. The green line connecting the inner and outer wheels shows Rodgers’ Mars is positioned at the midpoint between Hammerstein’s Pluto-Neptune conjunction. This reveals Rogers’ excitement (Mars) and desire to perform his skills using the significant talent provided by the words of Oscar Hammerstein.

The reason for including this midpoint structure is the auspicious nature of the planets and their Sabian symbol images that point to the powerful potentials between these two gifted men. The images quite literally express the indication of a destiny with music and the exceptional depth to which the lyricist pondered to develop his concepts.

Rodgers’ Mars, from the outer wheel, is rounded to 15 degrees Gemini. The Sabian symbol is Two Dutch children talking. The symbol suggests the common language spoken between two creatives who merged their differing skills into song. Theirs was an embrace of words and music that in its “foreign” characteristics remained cryptic to anyone other than themselves.

Additional Sabian Symbols

The most extraordinary and literal Sabian symbols are seen in Hammerstein’s Pluto and Neptune’s imagery. Although Hammerstein was the man responsible for the concepts of the songs that tell the storylines, he has Pluto on the degree which better describes Rodgers who was literally the manifestation of the symbol, A great musician at his piano. The writer’s Neptune was on the degree of The head of health dissolved into the head of mentality, which is very fitting for a man who delighted in bringing out the advantages of intellect as opposed to a reliance on melody to convey meaning. Rodgers’ Mars directly stimulates Hammerstein’s outer and significant planets, and the two go down in musical history for their profound contribution to American culture and meaningful entertainment.

GEMINI 13 A great musician at his piano This is a symbol of individual artistry as the property of all, with its expression both its strength and the means whereby others are encouraged to like accomplishment. Here is experience at a climax on the side of self-refinement in skills and talent, and at a peak in its gratification and its promise of continuing effort and sharing of rewards. A continually expanded dimension of being becomes the constant revelation of man’s true estate. The keyword is ACHIEVEMENT. When positive, the degree is the creative assurance which contributes enduring overtones to human understanding, and when negative, self-defeat through a delight in momentary attention or superficial adulation.

GEMINI 17 The head of health dissolved into the head of mentality This is a symbol of man’s achievement on the level of spiritual or eternal fellowship with his kind, here emphasized subjectively as a focus of selfhood in conscious self-awareness and as a capacity to live the lives of all men in imagination and appreciation. Implicit in the symbolism is the foundation of any human well-being in everyday or immediate and practical fact, with well-rounded individuality made the condition of all real progress. The keyword is DEVELOPMENT. When positive, the degree is the effective orientation of selfhood in an overall vision, and when negative, a defeat of accomplishment by a senseless clinging to the illusions of youth.

Two interesting Sabian symbols can be seen with Hammerstein’s Sun and Venus degrees. His Sun degree is rounded to 20 Cancer, Gondoliers in serenade. This is fitting for a lifetime of songwriting. His Venus symbol rounded to 6 Virgo is A merry-go-round. Here is a literal manifestation of one of the songwriting team’s iconic films, Carousel. It is always fascinating to see Sabian imagery reflect a detail of the life of which the native himself was undoubtedly unaware.

Comparison of Elements

The elements of the signs of the zodiac refer to their properties of water, earth, fire and air. Water and earth signs are compatible with each other as are fire and air. Analyzing the rapport between individuals starts with comparing their Suns, Moons, and Ascendants in the category of Vitality. It is ideal when two of the three in this grouping share compatible elements with one that remains incompatible and so becomes the point of challenge or stimulation that enhances the dramatic development between the two parties.

Uniquely, both Rogers and Hammerstein have their Suns in Cancer and their Moons in Pisces. Not only are their Suns and Moons in water signs but they are also in the same signs. This promotes an extraordinarily compatible situation regarding their wills represented by the Sun and feelings represented by the Moon. The Ascendant is a point in the horoscope and here is where the two men differ. It is regarding the perspectives and skills one brings to a partnership where the two men differ greatly. Hammerstein’s Ascendant is in the water sign of Cancer while Rogers has his Ascendant in the air sign Gemini. Water and air are not compatible; however, it was the combination of their written word and composed melodies that made them into the extraordinary team they and their audiences enjoyed and continue to enjoy to this day. The merging of their differing abilities, as identified by the Ascendant, as opposed to their similarities of will and feeling, was one of the major keys to their success.

Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae in Oscar Hammerstein and Richard Rodgers Carousel
Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae in Carousel

Another unique feature of the natives’ Moons in Pisces is that both Moons are Focal Determinators. Hammerstein’s Moon is the handle of a Bucket bringing it into High Focus, while Roger’s Moon is the Point Focus of a T Cross. The Moons, by virtue of Focal Determination, become the most prominent planet in each chart. This greatly amplifies the Piscean sympathetic and sentimental qualities of their art.

Mars, Venus, and Mercury represent the second category of compatibility status. These are the planets of Efficiency representing initiative, acquisitiveness, and mentality as they become active for the fulfillment of the details of daily experience. Mars and Venus in the charts of Rogers and Hammerstein are compatible. Hammerstein’s Mars is in fire and Rogers’ is in air, with both having Venus in earth signs. This results in a smooth synchronization of the beginnings and conclusions of their projects. It was the mental activity between the start and finish, identified by Mercury, that the team’s challenges emerged. Despite the stresses in mentality both had retrograde Mercuries. This astrological feature is the indicator of the similarities in their intellectual orientation that brought their differing talents into alignment. In this way, they were truly able to understand each other without much struggle and misunderstanding. It was a mutual, mental cloistering and inner inspiration indicative of a retrograde Mercury that led to an open celebration of what these giants of their field created from deep within.


  1. Oklahoma! became the state’s theme song.
  2. A song mistakenly thought of as the Austrian national anthem.



Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers – A Fine Romance

The most famous dance couple in the history of American film is Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. They teamed up in 1933 when making their dance debut in the Hollywood production, Flying Down to Rio. They had supporting roles in the film and took second billing but it was just enough to start them on their meteoric rise together that consisted of incomparable technique and style.1

Astaire and Rogers first met in a brief encounter when Astaire was brought in to assist with choreography for a Broadway show in which Rogers had a part. They even dated briefly as stated in Rogers’ autobiography, Ginger – My Story. Following their first contact was a chance to dance together when Rogers replaced a troubled Judy Garland who was originally cast with Astaire for the film’s primary dance scene, The Carioca. The movie was Flying Down to Rio and was virtually an ad for Pan-American because its producer was the airline’s major stockholder. At the same time, the movie became the vehicle for the beginning of an enchanting ten-year dance and acting partnership for the unsuspecting performers. Their first film together offered the distraction and entertainment needed to captivate audiences while the horror of World War II was in its developing stages.

Where in the synastry of planetary pairings can sheer talent and divine elegance be seen? The chart shows Rogers in the center wheel with Astaire’s planets on the outside because in their first film Rogers took billing over Astaire which can be seen in the film’s promotional poster credits.

The astrological ties between the dancers are mainly conjunctions with no planetary oppositions between their charts. Partners need to be together for the conjunction potentials to manifest and sustain the relationship. Oppositions of planets between charts will often draw two parties together through a mysterious magnetic attraction even when often apart. It is apparent with three conjunctions that the tie was cemented primarily through the efforts and pressures of the film company’s principals and producers. The dance team would flourish as long as they were bound to contracts that held them together. At the same time, both dancers displayed an underlying inclination to advance their careers independently2 and the lack of opposition aspects between the charts eventually brought their hopes to fruition.

The teams’ Jupiters in conjunction aspect gave the onscreen couple mutual joy in their work and also helped to enhance each other’s skills and personalities. They lent each other needed characteristic traits, that made up for each other’s lack, in the way that Katherine Hepburn so aptly stated, “Astaire gives her class, while Rogers gives him sex appeal.” The depth and complexities in their dance routines are shown by their mutual Jupiters in the sign of Scorpio. The keyword for the sign of Scorpio is Creativity3 The placement of the crosstie between the greater benefic in the 6th house in Rogers’ natal wheel gives testimony to the unrelenting rehearsals and ever-demanding work ethic to which the pair were fiercely dedicated. However, it was Rogers’ Saturn that brought a sobering quality to Astaire’s Sun. Sticking together for ten years is the nature of a responsible Saturn, yet in time it will encourage a native to withdraw if not fully satisfied because the planet’s nature is disjunctive. Rogers was in search of more dramatic roles, and her eventual Saturnian departure from the famous dance team awarded her in 1941 with an Oscar for Best Actress for her avant-garde portrayal of Kitty Foyle. 

When together, Astaire’s Pluto conjunct Rogers’ ascendant brought out an illusion of intense passion between the two, especially when engaged in dance and song. His preoccupation with her beauty and grace was an underlying theme throughout their films, but again her Saturn played the parts of either a damsel in distress or hard to get.

The chart with Astaire in the center wheel has his progressions for the release date of Flying Down to Rio in the outer. Here we can see that his progressed Sun and Mercury are contacting the all-important Neptune of imagination and glamour. The conjunction takes place in the 7th house of partnership and announces the dynamic tie between he and his leading lady, while her Jupiter was aspected nicely by his progressed Moon.

The progressions for December 22, 1933 were remarkable for Fred Astaire, as it was then that he embarked on the path that would eventually take him to the pinnacle of his success. This is evident in the progressed Moon’s placement in the 9th house of fame, and marks his turning point spurred on by the progressed squares that stimulate his very tight natal Moon-Uranus opposition. An opposition involving Uranus usually means that there is some experimentation encouraged, especially when it is opposite the natal Moon. The dancer most likely was daring and carefree in all his public performances. To add to his good fortune is the easy-going, supportive sextile from progressed Moon to his natal Jupiter which conveniently harmonizes with Roger’s Jupiter by sextile aspect as well.

Rogers also had several lunar progressions on December 22, 1933. There were exact sextiles from her progressed Moon to her natal Moon as well as making a trine to her natal Saturn. Rogers’ progressed Neptune had finally entered into the degree of her natal Sun. The slow-moving progressing Neptune took 22 years to conjunct her natal Sun, bringing with it her emergence into the imagination of all who love song and dance.

Interestingly, although not aspected in 1933, at the start of her career with Astaire, is Rogers’ Venus degree at 7 Virgo 51. Rounded to 8 degrees Virgo is the Sabian Symbol degree, First dancing instruction.

VIRGO 8 First dancing instruction This is a symbol of the self-perfecting required for the many different forms of man’s participation in the experience of his fellows, illustrated here in a potential excellence of special skill. The dance of life includes infinite versions of its rhythm and provides illimitable variations on the theme of its melody, but there must be some specific encouragement of individual ability as a stimulus to effective endeavor. Necessary always is that initial trial of self which in time leads to a continuity of effort. The keyword is ASSISTANCE. When positive, the degree is achievement through a personal competence and a high gift for cooperation, and when negative, cheerful acceptance of ineptitude.

The dance team’s natal charts and progressions contain a profound number of indicators that mirror the character of the illustrious dancers who in late 1933 embarked upon an imaginary yet very fine romance.4



(1) Roger’s revealing obituary – the UK’s Independent:

While Ginger went on to other pot-boilers, and Fred to England to do The Gay Divorce on the West End stage, RKO started to plan more films for the team. The Gay Divorcee (title changed to placate Hollywood’s production code) confirmed the team’s magical chemistry and included the first of their classic romantic duets, “Night and Day.” In a deserted ballroom, as Ginger crosses Fred’s path to leave, he blocks her. Tentatively resisting, she bends her body with his and they start to glide across the floor. The harmony and sensual tension of this sequence is due in no small part to Ginger and demonstrates why she was the greatest of all Astaire’s partners. Not only do they dance as one (“She could follow Fred as if one brain was thinking” said Ben Lyon), but Ginger acts the dance perfectly, never appearing to be reveling in the display of technique or conscious of anything other than the emotions of attraction and seduction implicit in the choreography. Katharine Hepburn’s famed remark “She gave him sex, he gave her class” is true, but conveys only part of their magical chemistry.

(2) Telegraph website:

The idea of turning them into a regular act had come from the RKO producer Pandro S. Berman. He told me: “Most of my efforts were devoted to getting Fred to work with Ginger in the film The Gay Divorcee, and then to getting him to work with her again in Roberta, and in all the others. That never stopped – he never got over the feeling that he was being forced into being a member of a team, which was the last thing in the world that he wanted.

(3)  Astrology, How and Why it Works by Marc Edmund Jones, Sabian Publishing Society 1955, Pg 255

(4) The words fine romance allude to the song composed in 1936 by Jerome Kern with lyrics by Dorothy Fields for the film hit Swing Time.


Dream Lovers, Sandra Dee & Bobby Darin – Come September, but what Year?

It is always advantageous to know the exact time of birth when comparing horoscopes between two individuals. It is vital, however, to erect a chart with an undisputed year of birth, as is the case with Sandra Dee,1 the actress known for her leading role in the Gidget series created in the late 1950s.

It is thought that her mother encouraged her to falsify the year of birth to acquire work for her underaged daughter. According to her son Dodd, she was born in 1944, but if he commissioned her gravestone which cites the year 1942, it only adds to the confusion.

In this analysis of the planetary interactions between Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin, we will explore their union using both years. One could hope they will be able to determine which of the two years, 1942 or 1944, is most fitting for a comparison of this famous couple.

The chart for 1942 is used first in a comparison and shows some interesting connections. However, there are strong ties between the planets of their charts using the 1944 birth year as well. In it we see a revealing promise of a loving tie between the couple that is not seen in the chart for 1942. Both charts are shown to simply peek into the possibilities of their shared potentials, leaving the reader to ultimately decide which year of birth for Dee makes the most sense.

The couple’s natal charts are shown with transits and progressions for when they married in September 1960. The natal charts are shown in the center wheel, progressions in the middle ring, and transits in the outer.

Dee’s chart in the center left wheel is calculated for 1942. She has no significant progressions that make aspects to her natal chart in 1960. Her progressed Moon, however, does make a sextile to Darin’s natal Mercury (shown with the green line) and her progressed Saturn conjuncts his natal Mars (circled in red). This indicates that she indeed excited him through an activation of his Mars, but as the story goes, she was shy and reserved for some time before acquiescing. This is due to Saturn’s need to go forward with caution, and perhaps her mother was an influence as well.

Darin’s chart, in the center wheel on the right, shows his progressed Moon making a trine to his natal Neptune in the 5th house in September 1960. This shows the start of a movie career which Neptune well exemplifies by its placement in the 5th house of entertainment. At the same time, Darin’s progressed Moon makes a friendly sextile to Dee’s natal Venus, revealing a pleasant entrance into an emotional relationship.

The 1944 birth chart for Dee, in contrast with that of the 1942 birth year, has the awesome promise of a conjunction of her natal Moon in the 1st house with Darin’s natal Venus (short purple line). That has a powerful potential for attraction with the promise of a blissful union. On a more somber note, natal Jupiter in Darin’s chart applies in opposition to Dee‘s Saturn. Saturn is again activated and reveals her hesitancy at the relationship’s beginnings. It also tells of the long-standing dedication she sustained for him during their marriage and after his early passing. Dee never remarried, and that is testimony to the deep and abiding love that remained in her heart although they divorced in 1967. It was when Darin’s progressed Mars opposed his natal Jupiter in the 8th house of shared resources that their marriage fell apart. For Dee, Darin’s progressed Mars simultaneously stimulated her natal Saturn once again and finally brought a disappointing end to their life together.

Sandra Dee was known for having a dependence on alcohol, retiring at early hours, and having a distaste for being seen out in public. With her opposition aspect in the 1942 chart just out of orb, and no oppositions in the 1944 chart, she was prone to withdrawal and brooding. The 1944 chart also has a Mercury retrograde signifying introversion as well. Dee’s Neptune is off by itself in the 6th house of possible health concerns and difficulties with adjusting in society. These factors make the 1944 chart seem valid, but in the end, you must decide . . .


1. From Wikipedia on Sandra Dee:

There has been some dispute as to Dee’s actual birth year, with evidence pointing to both 1942 and 1944. Legal records, including her California divorce record from Bobby Darin, as well as the Social Security Death Index and her own gravestone all give her year of birth as 1942. In a 1967 interview with the Oxnard Press-Courier, she acknowledged being 18 in 1960 when she first met Bobby Darin, and the couple wed three months later. According to her son’s book, Dee was born in 1944, but having begun modeling and acting at a very young age, she and her mother falsely inflated her age by two years so she could find more work. According to this version, this explains why 1942 was listed as her birth year in official studio press releases. It does not however explain why her gravestone, which had to have been commissioned by her son, her only child and sole immediate survivor, gives 1942 as her year of birth.


Simon & Garfunkel Revisited

The Sound of Silence was Simon and Garfunkel’s first major hit. Looking at the development of their talents that were fused together through two-part harmony executing extraordinary lyrics brings the early 1960’s into focus. The tri-wheel chart features Paul Simon in the center wheel, Art Garfunkel in the middle, with Simon’s Progressions in the outer ring. Since Simon was the composer of the two, he has the honors of being the center focus with Artie’s (as Paul calls him) planets compared to his.

With natal to natal comparisons, and their birthdays a month apart, the slow moving planets from Jupiter to Pluto are virtually in the same positions. They are seen as a generational factor and so of lesser importance in a comparison. The major activity can be seen in Simon’s faster moving Progressions to Garfunkel’s natal wheel.

The planetary connections between the two talented musicians are shown through the planets of efficiency; Mars, Venus and Mercury in Progressions from Simon to Garfunkel.

The early 1960’s was the real start of their careers, although they had teamed up previously as Tom and Jerry in the 1950’s. The very slow but ever-increasing development and success of The Sound of Silence, written by Simon in 1961 was the cornerstone of what became the partnership under their real names as Simon and Garfunkel.  The success of those early years as a duo is dramatically seen by Simon’s 1963 Progressed Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars in Conjunction with Garfunkel’s same but natal planets. Progressed Venus is the only Progressed Conjunction that has to travel a bit to become exact, and in this case, gives longevity to the popularity of their talents. Simon’s Progressed Moon as well makes an exact aspect with Garfunkel’s Mercury in 1963, who became the prominent and elegant voice of the two. Simon’s natal Mercury was pleasantly sandwiched between his own Progressed Sun and Moon, giving the 9th house of notoriety a chance to fulfill itself. It should be noted as well, that Simon was in the midst of the 1963, Full Moon Progressed Lunation, in the 3rd to 9th houses – this being a very significant sign for success and fame.

The Transits too play a part in the picture of how these men made an impact on their generation and generations to come. There was the always profound indication of a Station Conjunction of an outer planet to both natal charts. Neptune’s Transit last several years passing Direct and Retrograde and Stationing to add emphasis to the Transit. It did so in the early 1960’s with many passes to Garfunkel’s natal Sun and to Simon’s natal Mercury.

Saturn also made an impact on both natal charts with an 1962 Opposition to powerful Pluto at 6 degrees Leo in both charts. The creative sign of Leo is that which brought numerous talented youth to prominence in the Hippie Generation. There were several passes and Stations to Pluto’s position, making it one more testimonial to the calculated rise in importance of the artful partnership that has become an icon in American history.

Although their inspirational words and sounds soar high above the usual fare required for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Simon and Garfunkel’s striking astrological configurations shown here, are destiny’s way of saying a work well done with the help of cosmic influences.


For more information on Simon and Garfunkel history: Hall of Fame Inductees