Using the Stars

by Ana L. Palles

Astrological Clock She looked around rather sheepishly, making sure that no one was listening before leaning over and quietly telling me, “You know, I don’t tell very many people this, but I have a great financial astrologer that I consult …”

Allison is a financial advisor. She has a small, core group of clients whose funds she manages. Her funds had always done quite well and we were discussing some of our strategies for success.

Always dressed in understated but impeccably elegant numbers, only Allison’s closest friends knew her deep, dark secret. She uses astrology to help her navigate the energies at play that might impact her income and her personal life.

What exactly is astrology? Astrology is the study of the energetic influences that the movements of the planets have on our lives. The premise here is that the movements of the Earth, Moon, Jupiter, Venus, Mars, and the others around the Sun result in an energetic effect on each of us. According to astrologers, that effect differs from person to person because of the individual’s chart.

A chart is a snapshot of the configuration of the skies at the time of the person’s birth and from their particular location. It is very specific to the individual. As time passes and the celestial bodies move in their respective orbits, different things on the chart get triggered. Think of it as a very slow game of pinball with different bumpers and triggers lighting up.

The idea of using astrology for financial analysis is not new. Periodically, we see studies like the recent one reported in the latest issue of the Harvard Business Review on the correlation between lunar cycles and human behaviour. The Associated Press, November 29 2006, quotes researchers as saying:

“We find strong lunar cycle effects in stock returns," say University of Michigan Business School professors Ilia D. Dichev and Troy D. Janes in a research report. "Specifically, returns in the 15 days around new moon dates are about double the returns in the 15 days around full moon dates. This pattern of returns is pervasive," they report.

Whether or not astrology has an effect on stock returns, the economy, or one’s relationships, is up to our individual experiences and assessment to evaluate.

Allison’s clients know her as a very driven woman with an appropriate retinue of impressive schools and experience on her resume. The bottom line with Allison is that she knew where she wanted to go, and she got results. Whether astrology had anything to do with those results remains open for discussion, but it is safe to say that it comprised one of the ingredients in her assessment brew.

She is not alone.

Astrology is used by professionals in various walks of life, such as by doctors, financiers, attorneys, college professors, and heads of state. According to many, astrology played an important role in Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Donald Regan’s disclosures that White House decisions were influenced by astrology caused a great stir of controversy in 1988.

If astrologers were indeed part of the advisory pool for the Reagan administration, he would not be in poor company. Most of us know that the three wise Kings of the Christmas story were astrologers who had observed an extraordinary convergence of planets. Medieval doctors were trained in astrology as part of their practice.

History is full of famous names who used astrology, some of the more well known were Galileo, Bonatti, Kepler, and Tycho Brahe. As Larry Pesavento writes:

One of JP Morgan's most famous quotes was that millionaires do not use astrology in the stock market; billionaires do. Morgan had a full-time astrologer by the name of Evangeline Adams who worked with him throughout his financial career.

The JP Morgan home has been converted into a beautiful museum just north of Rockefeller Center in NYC. In it, Morgan's library, a work of art in itself, has a ceiling featuring a hand-painted celestial reproduction of the heavens with a secret passage into the library from the living quarters, located directly above JP’s birth sign.

The reason I mention some of these things is to try to alert skeptical readers to the fact that a number of very powerful people have examined this particular scientific discipline. Other examples include Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein …

In more recent times, astrology has returned closer to its roots with an increased emphasis on serious study and intellectual analysis. For example, the Astrological Lodge of London is dedicated to the study of astrology “from the highest point of view” and has spawned the Faculty of Astrological Studies, and the Astrological Association of Great Britain.

When asked about sun sign horoscopes, Steve Judd, one of my favorite astrologers and speakers, sighs and looks away. Astrology is a discipline that looks at a variety of factors and angles on a person’s chart. It is complex and very individualized. Therefore, a sun sign daily horoscope in our local newspaper does little more than offer a thought for the day.

Steve has taken his astrological studies in depth obtaining his Master of Arts Degree in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology in 2005 from Bath Spa University. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D and has thousands of chart analysis in his files. He has an amazing capacity to process and store information and has done extensive research on astrological history, aspects, and extrapolations.

Steve is serious about astrology and applies not only scholarly method but human instinct and intuition into his chart readings. Understanding the flavour of the energies at play and their interrelationships is difficult to duplicate with computer software readings. An expert astrologer processes the angles and transits with the depth of human experience of how these factors can express. It is a translation process with many ingredients.

Astrologers offer a variety of chart readings, and some, like attorneys, are on retainer for important questions. One of the more useful charts is the annual progression and transit analysis. This type of analysis provides us with an outline of what is to come, or the energies that are playing on us through the course of the year ahead. Chart readings are not necessarily focused on the predictive, but more on the ingredients that are available in our daily or weekly mix.

All astrologers are quick to point out that these are simply indications of energies and how they play out is up to the individual. One thing that I have observed over the years is that the energy will express itself, sometimes in surprising and different ways.

A good example of this was experiencing a three year period of Pluto square Mars transits. Mars can represent aggression, war, high energy and anger. Pluto may represent power and extremes. A square aspect represents conflict and can generate power. Get the picture? The potential for anger and for retaliatory action was high. This transit also made a lot of energy available to me as I was working 12-14 hour days, 7 days a week. Knee deep in broiling politics that were damaging both the company and the workforce, the temptation to use this energy in a politically retaliatory manner was high.

Understanding what was happening though provided me with options on how best to express the building pressure. Regardless of what was going on, I made it a priority to go to cardio-kickboxing classes several times a week. The release of energy that workout provided for me was incredibly healing and cathartic. Shortly afterwards, I added yoga which created a great means to modulate between the high action and the inner focus.

My frustration levels naturally subsided and I was happy that instead of fighting and percolating in the dark corners of my heart, I honored the power that flowed through me and used it to improve my health.

Astrology is not for everyone, and not everyone is a good astrologer. Still, the information has proven extremely useful for many. Information on what is affecting me and how I might best use it or temper it assists me in managing the ebbs and flows of life’s currents. Should we look to the stars for answers? Many do, and it’s simply another tool in your tool belt.

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