Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Highly Successful Brushstroke!

Over the years. I discovered a non-atrological technique that has a success rate of just under 100%. I have found that it is extrememely easy to tell if client has siblings or not. All you have to do is to engage your client in a conversation. Nearly always, the client will mention a sister or brother in fairly short order. The only time this technique ever failed, the client had a brother that she refused to talk about. But she was so angry at me for introducing this technique that I found out while she was in the process of berating me.

This technique works, and it is non-atrological!

Don Borkowski

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The "Why" and "How" of My Own Rectified Chart

After I took up astrology, the third book I bought was Llewellyn George's venerable A to Z Horoscope Maker and Delineator. I started working my way through that book. First I read about natal delineations and then about progressions. Insofar as the next section was about rectification, I naturally presumed that all astrologers used rectified charts. After all, birth certifcates were a great place to start, but as the old saying goes, “there's many a slip twixt the cup and the lip.” The cynic in me would like to call a birth certifcate a conspiracy between a doctor and the government.

So, I set out to rectify my chart. Unfortunately, the progression-based rectifcation method in the A to Z was the only tool I had in my toolbox at the time. I actually deduced my birthtime to be 4:15 p.m. and used it for a number of years. It did work better than the time on my birth certifcate (4:34 p.m.), but it wasn't quite right, either.

The best events to use in rectifying horoscopes are those events that are life-changing, particularly if they are beyond one's control. Usually, deaths fit those criteria all too well. In May, 1971, I had just graduated from college and returned to my home town, when I got the news that one of my friends from high school had been killed when his private plane crashed into a high-voltage powerline and exploded on May 31, 1971. His was the first death among my peers, and it affected me greatly. I was so upset, that I was moved to find out more about the meaning of life, and I gravitated to take up the study of astrology. I had been curious about astrology for many years, but I had no idea where to turn to slake my curiosity. I soon discovered a new metaphysical bookshop and bought my first astology books on June 7, 1971.

Looking at both the violent death of a friend and my beginning of what has proven to be a life-long study, it was very clear to me that this double event is the obvious key to my rectification of my own horoscope. All my earlier rectification work was keyed only on the death of a friend. Clearly, my Mars in the 10th house represented my friend. Mars is in Scorpio, and its dispositor, Pluto, is in the 8th, thereby suggesting that the death of a friend would figure prominently in my life. Furthermore since Mars is the historical ruler of Scorpio, Mars in the 10th house represents the 12th dynamic of the 11th house. Once again, Mars is key. But why did I take up astrology? While I was checking out various techniques to link my Mars with my midheaven at the time my friend died, I found that solar arcs would move my descendant close to my Uranus. Then I realized that it would be possible to find the right solar arc that could move the midheaven to my Mars and move the ascendant to oppose my Uranus simultaneously. I then had to decide what date to use. My friend died on May 31st, but I began my studies on June 7th 8 days later. In order to accommodate both days, I found the average date since both events were really part of the same process. So I used June 3rd 1971 to represent both events. The solar arc for June 3, 1971 was 20:04°. I don't quibble about rectifying to the second; the nearest minute is good enough. Unlike astronomers, astrologers understand orbs. This lead me to deduce 4:24 p.m. PDT to be my birthtime.

I was born in Portland, Oregon at St. Vincent's Hospital. Although my Win*Star software does supply the coordinates for the various hospitals around the country, it does not acknowledge that St. Vincent's was demolished and relocated to the suburbs in the early 1970s. Win*Star does, however, list coordinates for the various postal stations in bigger cities, and the closest post office in Portland to my birthplace is the Forest Park station. So I use its latitude and longitude.

Don Borkowski

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fate and Free Will—a Mathematical Overview

I have been exposed to the world of metaphysics for most of my life now. I don't accept the premise that we are all tools of fate. But I have seen too much of the real world to believe that we have 100% free will, either. Fate and free will both make up important parts of our lives. However, the portion of life that is strictly fated and that portion that is under our control can never be known on an individual basis. However, I have developed a speculation for evaluating humanity as a whole. It is said that the fixed signs, Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius are the most fated. This means that the cardinal and mutable signs, are, therefore, imbued with the most free will. Every planet in every chart is going to have both a sign and a house. There is an equation of signs and houses that has long been promoted by such astrologers as Press Roberts and Zipporah Dobyns. This equation likens the 1st house to Aries, the 2nd house to Taurus, an so on around the chart. Under this methodology, the succeedent houses would be just as fated as the fixed signs, whereas the angular and cadent houses would have the free will of the cardinal and mutable signs.

So looking at humanity as a whole, and assuming that a planet has a 1/12 probability of being in any given sign and a 1/12 probability of being in any given house, then the probability that a planet is in a fixed sign is 4/12 or 1/3. Likewise the probability that a planet is in a succeedent house is also 1/3. So the probability that a planet is both fixed and succeedent is 1/3 x 1/3 or 1/9 or 11.1%. It follows then that other events in the life will be made up of some combination of both fate and free will. Pure free will is represented by 44.4%, as are those events that are combinations of both.  In consulting with a reliable local psychic, she concurred that the 11% figure was very credible. 

Keep in mind that my calculations are just approximations for humanity as a whole. We all have 10 planets in our charts. Of my own 10 planets, only the Sun and Pluto are both a fixed sign and a succeedent house. So I would say that my life is roughly 20% fated.

Keep in mind that my ideas are strictly theoretical. But it is a place to start.

Don Borkowski

Saturday, May 21, 2011

An Introduction to Rectification

I’ve been fascinated by the topic of astrological rectification ever since I took up astrology.  I was motivated by a combination of facts:  my father was an immigrant, whose birth certificate was written in not one, but two languages other than English.  His birth certificate did not contain a birthtime, and his birthplace had still not adopted the Gregorian calendar.  I created a successful rectification of my father’s horoscope, and my enthusiasm has never waned.

The “detective” work behind the process of astrological rectification continues to hold my interest.
As a child, I once bought a paperback book about Ripley’s Believe it or Not®!?, and I was totally excited when my mother told me that we had a family member who worked for Ripley—as an exhibit!  Thanks to the Internet, I’ve been able to find out much about my distant cousin and add published information to family lore to endeavor to discover a horoscope for him.  Here is a listing about him on the internet:

My grandfather’s cousin, Roy Bard, was born in Bryan, Ohio on April 1, 1884.  He lived an uneventful life until the age of 24, when he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle.  As with many other sufferers of fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), his genetic disability was triggered by a small injury.  In Roy’s case, he developed stiffness in his left hip that just kept worsening until he was almost totally rigid.
Astrologically, there were many factors that can be fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.  Paralysis, stiffness and the bones are all ruled by Saturn and Capricorn.  The hips are ruled by Jupiter and Sagittarius.  Roy’s disease began to manifest at age 24.  Roy’s Saturn is 6:09 Gemini, 23:51 degrees from the Aries point.  Curiously, Roy’s Jupiter is 24:44 Cancer, which would mean that Roy’s JU/SA midpoint would be 0:26 Cancer, just 26 minutes past the Aries point.  Without knowing an exact date for the bike accident, I had to base all the solar arc work on the time-midpoint of age 24, namely October 1, 1908.

Getting back to Roy’s natal chart, I concluded quickly that Roy would have to have Capricorn on the ascendant because the ascendant is not only the health center of the horoscope, but it illustrates outward behavior and attitudes.  Furthermore, it would put Sagittarius on the 12th cusp of critical illness.  When the only thing that can be speculated definitively is the ascendant, I start with 15:00 of the sign in question and then work back and forth to find the best fit.  After several tries, I concluded that Roy was born at 1:53 a.m. LMT, giving 15:28 Capricorn rising.  The SA Moon on October 1, 1908 was 15:24 Cancer.  Repeated iterations of my thought process might move the time a minute or two one way or the other.

Now that I was satisfied with the technical side of the chart, it was imperative to observe the psychological side of the horoscope.  Certainly, with the midpoint of R1/R12 at the Aries point, Roy’s health issues would be brought forward.  Yet a Capricorn ascendant would suggest that Roy’s dignity would also be of paramount concern.  Nowadays, people would feel that being a sideshow freak is a very demeaning thing to do.  Yet Roy had the Sun in Aries, and his energy to lead fueled his Capricornian ambition to earn a living, even though he was a quadriplegic living in the midst of the Great Depression.
Roy’s vocational profile shows several interesting points.  Although his Sun is 11:59 Aries, his oriental planet is Uranus, way back at 25:25 Virgo, quindecile to the Sun.  Roy’s chosen work was certainly uncommon.  Moreover, before he became ill, he worked as a telephone lineman, which Roy’s vocational profile shows in several interesting ways.  Although his Sun is 11:59 Aries, his oriental planet is Uranus, way back at 25:25 Virgo, quindecile to the Sun.  Roy’s chosen work was certainly uncommon.  Moreover, before he became ill, he worked as a telephone lineman, which reflected the modern technology of the early 20th Century.  Trying the Midheaven Extension Process, I see the Scorpio Midheaven keying Pluto, then Pluto.Venus*(4,9).  Venus contacts Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto.  Venus rules the 4th house and disposes of a Taurean stellium therein and rules the 9th house as well.  Although Roy was confined to an exhibit, he was moved around to various exhibitions and fairs, such as Chicago in 1933 and San Diego in 1935.
Don Borkowski

Thursday, May 19, 2011

When Life Gives You Lemons, Write an Astrology Article.

(I bet you thought I was going say, make lemonade.)

On Saturday morning, May 7, 2011, I was getting ready to go out for breakfast, when my right leg gave out on me. I wound up sitting on the floor of my kitchen. I called my son to come from work. He tried to get me on my feet, but he could not succeed. So the EMTs took me to the emergency room. I had thought that I might have dislocated my right hip, but x-rays proved that my upper femur was, indeed, broken in 5 places. I was very fotunate to escape needng a hip replacement because I had been concerned about the possibility thereof for a couple of weeks. Actually, my right hip had been weak and achy for a while. I readily diagnosed the weakness as pertaining to transiting Neptune conjunct my Jupiter. Basically, I had been preparing myself for dealing with the possibility of a hip replacement when transiting Neptune got closer to a conjunction with my Jupiter at 3:49 Pisces. In fact, the surgeon pinned three of the fractures and left the other two to heal naturally.

My collapse, fall and hip fracture on the 7th did prove interesting from an astrological point of view! As Jurpiter rules my Sagittarius ascendant, I felt sure that transit Neptune's approach to Jupiter would suggest hip problem(s) because Jupiter and Sagittarius rule the liver, hips, blood and thighs. I fell at 9:45 a.m. May 7, 2011 in Salem, Oregon. But my fall and fracture seem more closely related to transit Pluto at 7:18 Capricorn opposing natal Uranus at 7:57 Cancer as transit Moon conjoined natal Uranus from 7:37 Cancer. Because of the surgery, it stood to reason that Mars was involved. And transit Mars* did square natal Venus (r 6,8) at that time. I should add that falls have a lot of affinity to Aquarius and both its modern and traditional rulers, Uranus and Saturn, respectively. Noel Tyl likes to use the tertiary progressed Moon to indicate issues of timing. He feels that it works best for “lunar” people, such as himself, as evidenced by his Cancer ascendant. I am not lunar in any sense of the word, but I have seen the TP Moon work for issues relating to the house(s) ruled by Cancer. In my chart, that's the 8th house, which covers surgery! At the time I fell, my TP Moon was 17:26 Gemini, within orb of a close opposition to my ascendant, 17:41 Sagittarius. The effect of the TP Moon, both supported Noel's premise and the rectificed chart that I use.

The orthopedic surgeon that the E/R assigned to me suspected that I might have low testosterone because recent tesearch has suggested that low testosterone can cause weak bones in ordinarily healthy men of my age.  He had my blood tested for it when I was in the hospital, and he was correct.  I do have low testosterone.  Low testoterone levels can also manifest in depression and obesity, both of which have been life-long issues for me.  When I have my follow-up appointment with the surgeon, I will have him report to my primary care physician, so that I can get testosterone prescribed for me.  Astrologically, I do have SA SA=PL at this time, which could symbolize this hormonic condition.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

If I'm a Leo, Why Don't I Feel Like One?

When I began my study of astrology back in 1971, I was extremely lucky to buy my first books from a man who could not relate to his Sun-sign, either. Press Roberts would always say, “Boy, Sun-signs are kindergarten stuff."  And from the very outset, I was exposed to a foundation of learning how the planets, houses, signs and aspects worked for real people, rather than for some theoretical cases in a textbook. The third book I bought from Press was Llewellyn George's venerable A to Z Horoscope Maker and Delineator. I started working my way through that book, and I would highlight the parts that described me and leave the rest alone. This was not just for my Leo Sun, but for my Virgo Moon, my 8th house Sun, my 10th house Mars, my Moon-Saturn conjunction, etc. Rather than reject the entirety of astrology, I was motivated to learn astrology more in depth. I knew there had to be reasons why I never felt like a Leo. Some 33 years later, when I signed up for Noel Tyl's Master's Class, he warned me that I must fit the astrology to the client. I chuckled and said that I've never done anything else.

Over the years, I will always review a new book with the criterion that if a book has some trite mechanistic description of any of the parts of my chart, then I would neither buy nor recommend that book to others.

On the other hand, if an author can explain why I don't feel like a Leo, then I know that the author knows what they are writing about.

Press Roberts told me there were a combination of reasons. He never felt like his Sun sign, either. Press's Sun was 29:48 Aries. He used to say, “I ain't no Aries, and I ain't no Taurus, neither. I'm actually a little bit of both, and if you really want to understand me, look at my Cancer ascendant.” Press would always call people by their ascendants for that reason. He went on to show me that my Sun's influence was internalized even further by being intercepted. Interestingly, I have a terrible time, even now, at seeing people's Sun signs, but I am very, very good at spotting rising signs. In fact, I even like to go to Chinese restaurants and try to spot ascendants in a way that does not depend on the blatantly racial physical characteristics of the descriptions in the old-line textbooks.

Noel Tyl doesn't give interceptions as much credence as Press and I do, but his methods identify several factors that explain why I listen to him, as well. In no particular order, Noel says that if a person has a grand trine that excludes the Sun and Moon, then they might not respond to the Sun-Moon blend. Planets that are tenanted in the 8th or 12th houses act “locked away”. Unaspected planets, which Noel calls “peregrine” do have a tendency to run away with the horoscope. A cluster of planets that has no aspects to any others is called a “peregrine island cluster”, and it, too, can run away with the horoscope. My triple conjunction of Moon, Mercury and Saturn in Virgo has no aspects to any other planets, but it does square the ascendant and descendant. Yes, it does run away with my horoscope, and I feel more like a Virgo than anything else. And I always have.

On a side note, in an earlier entry on this blog, I wrote that “I'm an astrologer, not an astronomer”. Al H. Morrison once chided me for using the term, “triple conjunction”. Although that condition is not possible from an astronomical point of view, any astrologer should know exactly what it means. Astronomers don't understand orbs; astrologers do.

Astrology works, but we, as astrologers must make it fit the client and the client's circumstances.

Don Borkowski