Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Samuel Reynolds and Alex Trenoweth's Back to School Webinar

A very special Back to School webinar on 26 August at 12:30 EDT or 17:30 BST with Alex Trenoweth and Samuel Reynolds! To register, go here

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Happy Birthday Madonna!

Excerpt from "Growing Pains"

Copyright: Alex Trenoweth

All rights reserved

Case study - Madonna
16 August 1958 7:05 EST Rodden rating: DD (conflicting/unverified); collector: Rodden
Bay City Michigan 43 ̊N35’40”83 ̊W53’20”
Jupiter in Libra, Venus in Leo
Saturn in Sagittarius, Jupiter in Libra
First Jupiter return November 1969 (June and July 1970) age 11 years 3 months
First Saturn opposition August 1972, November 1972 and May 1973 Time between first Jupiter return and last Saturn opposition: 3 years, 7 months
During 1963, Saturn was conjunct Madonna’s Chiron three times. Both Saturn and Chiron are associated with pain and loss, creating a veritable sore point in the native’s life. In this year, Madonna lost her beloved mother to breast cancer. In the months before her mother’s death, Madonna had noticed her mother’s personality had changed from the attentive homemaker she was, although she did not understand the reason. Her mother, unable to explain her dire medical condition, would often begin to cry when questioned by Madonna, at which point Madonna would respond by wrapping her arms around her mother tenderly. Madonna recalled that she felt stronger than her mother during this time.
Madonna later reflected more poignantly: “We were all wounded in one way or another by [her death], and then we spent the rest of our lives reacting to it or dealing with it or trying to turn into something else. The anguish of losing my mom left me with a certain kind of loneliness and an incredible longing for something. If I hadn’t had that emptiness, I wouldn’t have been so driven. Her death had a lot to do with me saying—after I got over my heartache — I’m going to be really strong if I can’t have my mother. I’m going to take care of myself.”6 It’s a beautifully reflective statement of Saturn conjunct Chiron.
Madonna was a straight A pupil and a cheerleader, but she also had the reputation for being rebellious: she would do cartwheels and hang upside-down on monkey bars to show her underwear to the boys. Even at a young age, Madonna knew how to get attention. Eventually, she persuaded her father to let her take ballet lessons and she won a dance scholarship to University Of Michigan.
In 1977, as Jupiter was conjunct her MC and opposed to her natal Saturn, she decided to move to New York to try her luck as a dancer. “It was the first time I’d ever taken a plane, the first time I’d ever gotten a taxi cab. I came here with $35 in my pocket. It was the bravest thing I’d ever done.”7 Later, as Jupiter was conjunct her natal Venus, she was sexually assaulted in an alleyway. Around this time, she had also posed in the nude — for very little money — and the photos would come back to haunt her.
By 1979, transiting Saturn had made a series of conjunctions to her stellium of planets and ascendant in Virgo. Within a few months, transiting Jupiter made the same connections by conjunction three times. During this time, she had met and fallen in love with Dan Gilroy and became a part of the band Breakfast Club. By 1982, she had left the group and enlisted the help of a different boyfriend, Jellybean Benetiz, to release her first album Madonna, in October 1982 as Saturn was exactly conjunct her natal Jupiter.
By late 1983, transiting Jupiter was conjunct her natal Saturn. In 1984, Saturn was in opposition to her natal Mars in Taurus and she had successfully convinced young girls that fishnet stockings, Capri trousers, rosaries, and see through, lacy tops were the height of fashion. Like a Virgin (so appropriate for someone with a stellium in Virgo!) released that year made her a global superstar on par with Michael Jackson. Her performance at the first MTV awards, where she appeared on stage atop a giant wedding cake, wearing a wedding dress and bridal veil, adorned with her characteristic “Boy Toy” belt buckle and rolling around on the floor in a mock display of sexual ecstasy, took place as Saturn made its last in a series of three conjunctions to her natal Mars in Taurus.
In 1985, as transiting Jupiter was square her natal Mars, she appeared in her first film Desperately Seeking Susan and went on her first world tour with the Beastie Boys. Transiting Jupiter also opposed her natal Venus and squared her Mars when Playboy and Penthouse published photos of her taken earlier in her career. In August that year, she married Sean Penn and her third album, released in 1986 as Jupiter made a series of oppositions to her stellium in Virgo, was inspired by him.
In 1997, Jupiter opposed itself and Madonna embarked on the Who’s That Girl tour and by December she had divorced Penn. In 1989, as Jupiter was in the middle of three conjunctions to her natal MC, Madonna made a deal with Pepsi to promote its products. Madonna, who had always pushed her luck with her use of rosaries and other religious symbols, completely overstepped the mark by choosing this campaign to debut her single Like a Prayer. The symbols of stigmatas, burning crosses and Madonna’s fantasies of making love to a black saint were a little too much and, after condemnation from the Vatican, Pepsi canceled the sponsorship arrangement. Not all was lost, however, as she got to keep the $5 million retainer fee.
Between Jupiter’s conjunction to Venus in August 1990 and Saturn’s opposition to Venus in February 1991 (the final opposition was in February 1991), Madonna appeared in Dick Tracy, had a relationship with legendary lothario Warren Beatty (shortly after they split, he married the actress Annette Bening and had four children with her) and began her Blond Ambition tour. Rolling Stone called it an “elaborately choreographed, sexually provocative extravaganza”.8 The Pope told everyone to avoid it. 9 (The laser disc version of the tour would win her a Grammy in 1992). She also released In Bed with Madonna, a chronicle of her tour, as Jupiter made a series of conjunctions to her stellium in Virgo. The other active transit during this time was Jupiter’s series of three conjunctions to natal Uranus in Leo that began in November 1990 and ended in June 1991. It was the era of her press baiting antics.
As Saturn squared her natal Mars, Madonna began production of her book Sex, which featured adult themed photographs of her that attracted negative publicity and also released her album Erotica. Perhaps it was because the book and the album coincided, or maybe it was because the CD wrappers for the single resembled a condom packet, or because her next tour (The Girlie Show World Tour) featured her as a dominatrix or that she appeared in the box office flop Body of Evidence or that she asked David Letterman to sniff her underwear - whatever it was, by the time of her Saturn’s opposition to her natal Sun in 1993, everyone reckoned they had seen enough of Madonna and her career was finished. Or so everyone thought.
By the time Saturn made oppositions to her stellium in Virgo and Jupiter squared her natal Sun in 1994, Madonna got the message. Her next album Bedtime Stories was far more subdued. By 1995, as Jupiter squared her stellium in Virgo, Madonna won the title part of Evita, a role for which she won several awards. In October 1996, she gave birth to her first child, Lourdes, as both Saturn and Jupiter made minor aspects to her natal planets by transit.
The following year in 1997, as Jupiter made contacts by conjunction to her natal Chiron (the same planet Saturn had made conjunctions to when her mother died), Madonna adapted her religious beliefs from Catholicism to Kabbalah. During the release of the subsequent album Ray of Light, both Saturn and Jupiter again form heavy transits to her stellium in Virgo. The album is far more thoughtful and introspective than her previous work and eventually won four Grammies and was honoured as one of Rolling Stones’ 500 greatest albums of all time.
Saturn’s conjunction to natal Mars in 1999 saw the release of “Beautiful Stranger” for the film The Spy Who Shagged Me, which won her another Grammy. In 2003, Jupiter made another series of conjunctions to her stellium in Virgo. This time, she open-mouth kissed Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera on live TV, thus resuming her press baiting antics, on astrological cue one complete Jupiter cycle later from her Erotica era as transiting Jupiter was again on natal Uranus by conjunction.
Saturn’s opposition to her Chiron, the very combination active when Madonna’s mother died, from September 2006, was the beginning of her quest to adapt David, a Malawian child. The public reaction against this was strong. But who are we to deny a mother’s love to a sick child?

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Happy Birthday Julia Child!!

Excerpt from "Growing Pains"
Copyright: Alex Trenoweth
All rights reserved
Case study - Julia Child
15 August 1912, 23:30 PST
Pasadena California 34 ̊N08’52”118 ̊W08’37”
Rodden rating: AA; Collector: CAH Jupiter in Sagittarius, Jupiter in rulership
Saturn in Gemini, Mercury in Virgo
First Jupiter return: December 1923 First Saturn opposition: June and September 1927
Time lapsed between first Jupiter return, last Saturn opposition: 3 years 7 months
Second Jupiter return: December 1935
First Saturn return: May 1942
Third Jupiter return: November 1947
Fourth Jupiter return: November 1959
Fifth Jupiter return: October 1971
Second Saturn return: July and November 1971 and April 1972
With Saturn in Gemini on her ascendant and Jupiter on her descendant in Sagittarius, Julia Child’s adventures with the two planets are more obvious.
For example, Saturn, normally noted for restriction, had the opposite effect on Julia: she grew to an imposing six foot two in height. She regarded being too tall as a handicap and by the time of her first Saturn return in 1942, had accepted that she would remain unmarried. She had not yet discovered her love for France or French cooking, the two interests which paved her road to success. It wasn’t until she met Paul Child, who she later married, that her life opened up to the promises of Saturn.
The descendant typically represents the signals we unconsciously send out to people that attract them to us. Jupiter in Sagittarius is ever buoyant, exuberant and fortunate. In the mid-1940s, Julia was awarded for her work with the OSS in China, amongst her many virtues was her inherent drive and cheerfulness. Her delightful nature attracted a man who would introduce her to fine cuisine.
In 1946, Jupiter the ruler of her descendant was square to Uranus the month she finally married her gastronome husband. We can hear the astrology echoing through Julia’s words when she said: “I was lucky to marry Paul. He was a great inspiration, his enthusiasm about wine and food helped to shape my tastes...I would have never had my career without Paul Child.” 13
Towards the end on 1948, as transiting Saturn made a series of aspects to its natal position as well as to Mercury and Venus, the Childs moved to France. Paul carried on with his work with the US government, whilst Julia wondered what to do with herself. Eventually Paul was posted to Paris in 1948. They shared their first French meal together near Rouen: sole meunière. The moment was a defining one for Julia: “It arrived whole: a large, flat Dover sole that was perfectly browned in a sputtering butter sauce with a sprinkling of chopped parsley on top. The waiter carefully placed the platter in front of us, stepped back, and said: “Bon appètit!” I closed my eyes and inhaled the rising perfume. Then I lifted a forkful of fish to my mouth, took a bite, and chewed slowly. The flesh of the sole was delicate, with a light but distinct taste of the ocean that blended marvellously with the browned butter. I chewed slowly and swallowed. It was a morsel of perfection.”14 Occurring 3 November 1948, at about 2:30 pm in Rouen France,15 Julia came to refer to this meal as “the moment of sensual delight.” From this moment, Julia knew she wanted to replicate the recipes she had tasted. To do this, she would have to master not only the art of French cooking (transiting Saturn conjunct Venus), but also the French language and the metric system (transiting Saturn conjunct natal Mercury).
The sign of Gemini mimics rather than invents and translates to be understood by as many people as possible. Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volumes 1 and 2 published by Knopf in 1961 and 1970 respectively (written with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle), was a seminal work containing detailed drawings and precise attention to detail. Its publication allowed everyday people to create master class standards of culinary art. And all this in America at a time when the height of haute cuisine was TV dinners! Just after publication, transiting Jupiter made a number of conjunctions to her natal Uranus, signifying the sudden and profound changes occurring in Child’s life. Jupiter also made a series of three squares to her natal Saturn. The opportunities presented to her following the publication of the book would force Julia to change in ways she never could have imagined: appearing on television nearly fourteen years after the moment of sensuous delight (half a Saturn cycle).
It was during this time that her unforgettable, tremulous, Saturn in Gemini voice was unleashed to audiences. Gemini is a playful sign and Saturn’s presence does little to quench the repressive sense of humour. On her live shows, she fluttered about her television kitchen, knocking things over and encouraging the cooks at home to be as messy as they wished. She dried lettuce leaves by waving them around, splashing herself, the cameras and her crew with water. She beheaded huge fish with giant meat cleavers, brandished knives like something from a medieval nightmare and introduced the poultry she was about to use by title and purpose for cooking. She mixed eggs with a comically oversized whisk and sloshed them everywhere. Once, when she tried to flip over a potato pancake, half of it missed the pan and hit the stove. She excused her error by explaining to the live studio audience that she didn’t have the courage of her convictions. In time, several of her passions would be revealed to viewers: the perfection of French cooking, a love of good wine, a staunch defence of the liberal use of butter, a clean kitchen towel and the importance of using fresh ingredients. And of course the “bon appetit!” that ended every show.

Astrology charts continue to tell their story even after the native has died. Child passed on to the big kitchen in the sky in 2004 but Julie/ Julia, a movie about her life in France and the blogger Julie Powell’s attempt to replicate all of the recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year, was released on 7 August 2009, just as transiting Jupiter made its second of three oppositions to her natal Sun.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Happy Birthday Alfred Hitchcock

Excerpt from "Growing Pains"
Copyright: Alex Trenoweth, 2013
All rights reserved
Birth Details
13 August 1899, 3:15 GMT, 
Leytonstone United Kingdom 
51 ̊N30’0 ̊W10’

Rodden rating: DD (conflicting/unverified); 
Collector: Rodden Jupiter in Scorpio, Mars in Libra,
 Saturn in Sagittarius, Jupiter in Scorpio

First Jupiter return November 1910, age 11 years 3 months
, First Saturn opposition August 1913, November 1913 age 14 years 3 months 
Time between first Jupiter return and last Saturn opposition: 
3 years  First Saturn return Feb,  May,  November 1928

Second Saturn opposition December 1957
,  Fifth Jupiter return September 1958
Alfred described his childhood as lonely and sheltered. Astrologically, his Saturn was in opposition to his Jupiter before his first Jupiter return. Although Saturn in this situation did not inhibit growth (Alfred was obese from early childhood), it does not indicate a happy free-range adolescence. Once, his father sent him to the local police station with a note asking the constable to lock up Alfred as a punishment. His mother would make him stand at the foot of her bed as retribution. Right on astrological cue, Alfred’s father died during his first Saturn opposition.
By the time of his second Jupiter return in 1919, Alfred had begun to use these childhood experiences in his published writings. His early writing always had a twist at the end, a hallmark of his later films. The short story “Fedora” was his final short story of this era. Written and published in 1921, it coincided with the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction of that year. Both planets were in square to his natal Neptune. The description of the main character was said to be an eerily accurate description of his wife — whom he hadn’t even met yet. It was also during this time that Alfred became interested in the medium of film.
In 1924, as Jupiter made a series of conjunctions to natal Saturn, Alfred moved to Germany where he was inspired by the techniques used in film-making.  Just before his Saturn return, as transiting Saturn opposed his natal Mercury, Alfred found his first commercial success with The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog. After a series of Jupiter oppositions to his natal Sun, Alfred married his wife Alma. She became known as the “woman behind the man” in her biography as she was his closest collaborator, but she was always keen to avoid public attention. Alma was born only one day after her husband. Although the angles and the moons of their charts are different, many astrological factors, most notably Saturn and Jupiter, are identical. She understood Alfred like no-one else.
Alfred’s films, such as North by Northwest, The Birds, Frenzy, Notorious and, most famously, Psycho are known for featuring men who have troubled relationships with their mothers. Natally, he had Jupiter conjunct the Moon in Scorpio, so perhaps it isn’t surprising the psychologies of the male leads in his movies had difficulties disentangling themselves from their mothers.
The troubled son theme appears to have started with the film Notorious, made just as Jupiter was conjunct Alfred’s natal Moon, features a man whose mother’s suspicions about his new bride turn out to be correct. By the end of 1958, as Jupiter in Scorpio was again conjunct his natal Moon, Alfred was working on North by Northwest, a story about a man who is ridiculed by his mother because he is paranoid about being pursued by government agents. In The Birds, a man struggles to cope with rampaging avians and a clingy mother as Jupiter squares his natal Moon in Scorpio, a transit that repeated when he filmed Frenzy (whose main character loves his mother but wants to kill all other women) in 1972.
However, Psycho is the ultimate mother/son complex movie. During filming at the end of 1959, transiting Jupiter in Sagittarius was opposite Scorpio’s ruler, Pluto, in Gemini in Alfred’s chart. As the most famous scene, the iconic shower scene, was filmed 17-23 December 1959, the opposition was exact. Also active during this time was a Saturn square to natal Mars, co-ruler of the sign of Scorpio, in Libra. Funnily enough, the scene that most upset the censors at the time was the sight of money being flushed down the toilet. Until Psycho, no-one had ever seen a toilet flushing at the cinema.


About the Astrologer

Alex Trenoweth was voted Best International Astrologer, 2015 for her dynamic presentation on Astrology and Education. Her book, "Growing Pains" is an exciting development in astrology as it combines classroom teaching experience, sound research and the potential to have a positive impact on struggling adolescents, parents, teachers and those who have been labelled "at risk". For queries, consultations or syndications, please contact Alex via www.alextrenoweth.com or leave a message in the comment section.



About the New Book

There are two wolves fighting inside of me, the old story goes, one wolf is good and the other is evil. “But Grandfather,” asked the child, “Which one wins?” The Grandfather answered, “The wolf I feed.”
We might like to think that being good is a natural instinct. In fact, doing the right thing takes a conscious decision. Every day, we are met with temptation to get ahead at the expense of someone else, to get away with something we know is wrong or to cut corners if we think no one is watching.
Following on from her powerful book on astrology and Education, “Growing Pains”, Alex Trenoweth explores the benefits of using “the bad guy” of the solar system: Saturn. Often avoided and seldom understood, if we understand our own Saturn then we can help others to understand theirs. Using case studies of  highly successful people contrasted with convicted serial killers, Trenoweth deftly demonstrates the dire consequences of feeding the wrong wolf.