1. The major polarity associated with self-indulgence/self-control issues (whether around food, alcohol, sex, money, etc.) is 2/8 (Venus/Taurus/2nd house versus Pluto/Scorpio/8th house). We would expect some involvement at both ends for a couple since it is an issue for them. Since he is (apparently) overdoing the self-control end, we suspect his chart might have a predominant focus on Letter 8, with less on Letter 2. In addition, we might look for prominent Saturn or Vesta as they also can indicate a desire for control or discipline. We hypothesize that her chart might have more connected with Letter 2 (the indulgent side) as she sees him as overdoing the control, and couples will often polarize on such issues. In addition, her chart might emphasize fire (“I want what I want” with gratification favored over control) or Letter 12 (which can be passive and receptive but has overtones of savior/victim associations and she is casting herself in the role of his savior at the moment).
2. The fact that both spouses have a Mars/Venus conjunction indicates the capacity for pleasure and (if overdone) self-indulgence exists in both. It is quite possible, however, that the wife finds more pleasure in food (while the husband overcontrols), while the husband finds more pleasure in money, sex, possessions, or other forms of material gratification. The fact that he possesses an 8th house stellium supports his role of overdoing the self-mastery trip, while her 5th house stellium supports her role on the side of enjoyment.
We note shared stelliums in Aries with a focus on being in touch with one’s own personal power, assertion, needs, and sense of self. Projection would be possible by either of them. He could project the power into partners (Aries in the 8th); she could project it into lovers and/or children (Aries in the 5th). The Mars positions (8th and 5th) reiterate the theme. So, we assume that both of them are dealing with the issue of balancing personal needs, wants, desires and drives with interpersonal ones. We would emphasize the importance of each of them being clear about what s/he wants and being open in seeking it in the world and with each other (while still able to compromise).
The fact that fixed houses (sensual and willfully determined) are involved warns us that power struggles are an option. Indeed, the whole drama around the husband’s diet could partially be an unconscious power struggle between the mates. (This does not mitigate the real concern of the wife. She can be concerned and still caught up in a battle for control.) Fixed letters include the potential of power plays, intimidation and (particularly if some water is present), manipulation as well. (The wife has Sagittarius rising, while the husband has Cancer rising.) We would suspect that other power plays are going on in the relationship. [Further discussion reveals that the husband is very “stingy” with money and has threatened to abduct the kids and keep them from her should she ever divorce him.]
We would want to discuss the possibilities of giving away all the power (playing doormat) in relationships versus fighting to control everything and gaining safety by attacking first or running away and withdrawing from others for self-protection [3 negative forms of expression when our feelings of power are tied to other people]. We would point out the disadvantages of these approaches—for both her and for him. We would bring up the positive options: cooperation (meeting in the middle), healthy competition (with rules and regulations so no one gets hurt) and helping people.
We would discuss the positive choices with the client and encourage her to find ways to put them into action in her life—preferably some of each. [We may discover she has worked as a social worker—helping people—in the past but is not currently working outside the home.] We would encourage her to find avenues both for a competitive outlet (sports, games, business, fighting for causes), a hobby, vocation or avocation that allows her to assist others, and for cooperation with those nearest and dearest to her.
We would explore possibilities for getting the family to develop more teamwork—a sense of being in this together, and wanting to support one another. We would help the client see that she cannot change her husband; she can only change herself (and choose whether or not to be with the husband). We would discuss opportunities which he might have to be cooperative, competitive and helpful. We would also explore areas where each of them might gain a POSITIVE sense of power. (Remember, our power letters are 5, 8 and 10. She has the 5th house stellium; he has the 8th house stellium. They both need a constructive outlet for power drives.) Perhaps her husband’s diet is not really a health threat. Perhaps she needs another focus of concern—one which will give her a sense of mastery, competence and control. We would explore what she likes to do, what gives her a sense of strength and ways to expand upon that in her life.
We would talk about polarization in relationships, and how easily couples can fall into it. We might look for areas in which HE is indulgent and she is more controlled. We might ask what he does that is indulgent which she is willing to encourage. We would help her to see a continuum, and to realize that BOTH she and her husband have issues of self-indulgence versus self-mastery and that BOTH she and her husband need to learn to use power wisely—neither abusing others nor abusing the self. Once she has a sense of her own strength and power needs, she will be in a position to make wiser choices in terms of her future actions. (If she changes, her husband will at least react to the changes. He may dig in harder with his old roles, but he might also learn from a positive example. If she gets off the seesaw, his balance is affected!)
In terms of specifics, we would note that the following could help satisfy the side of her nature shown by the 5th house: teaching, theater work, sales, promotional activities, working with children, creative accomplishments, speculation, and anything which provides attention, applause, admiration and emotional or physical rewards for risk-taking.
We would note that the following could help satisfy the side of his nature shown by the 8th house (and might mitigate the obsessive focus on his diet): research, psychotherapy, occult studies, investigation of hidden matters, hypnosis or any form of mind-control (such as meditation), dealing with joint resources through investments, accounting, financial activities, etc., actions which involve pushing the limits (physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually), military involvements, mechanical interests or anything involving self-mastery, discipline, endurance and thoroughness.
We would encourage both people to realize that their job in life is to master and control themselves—and to let others do the same in their own lives. We can offer emotional support and a good example, but we cannot “make” others be different. And the more fully we come to know our own self, power, needs and drives, the greater an adventure life becomes to actualize more fully who we are.
3. If we calculate a progressed Midheaven on the actual “derived date and time,” that is called “Quotidian Progression.” Quotidians move very rapidly, the Midheaven progressing forward about one degree per day in the life which is equivalent to about four minutes in the ephemeris. Thus, when working with progressions, quotidians are much like transiting angles—very little use in foresight although meaningful in hindsight. To truly work with quotidian angles would mean setting up a different progressed chart for EVERY DAY of a year! (Similarly, to work with transiting angles, we would have to set up a new chart about every four minutes of time within a given day.) That is a lot of work for not much return.
If we want a general overview for a year in secondary progressions, the “solar arc” Midheaven will fit into our patterns more significantly. Since the quotidian Midheaven moves about a degree every day, we would have the Midheaven hit EVERY degree in the horoscope over the course of a year. If the date we choose to progress to has striking patterns in the quotidians, it may highlight a significant event (assuming other factors verify the likelihood). Most of the time, however, people arbitrarily progress a chart to their birthdays, or to January 1st, or they use the calculated date so planetary positions can be copied from the ephemeris without any calculations. In such cases, there is no particular likelihood that the quotidians will be highly significant.
In hindsight, of course, like all astrological factors, quotidians will supply appropriate patterns. Just as the transiting angles (as in an event chart) will fit what happened at that time, so the quotidian angles will “fit” any events that occur that day. However, unless you enjoy looking at LOTS of charts most of the time, they’ll be of little assistance in terms of forecasting trends and issues.
As an example, I checked my brother Mark’s chart for the death of our grandfather who had been like a father to us. Mark’s quotidian (Q) Ascendant was quincunx Jupiter while the Q MC was trioctile Jupiter. Jupiter rules Marks Ascendant and is on the eighth house cusp, just barely on the seventh house side. The first and seventh houses represent grandparents since they are the fourth and tenth from the fourth and tenth (parents of parents). Q Antivertex was trioctile Neptune in the tenth house (change involving a parent) as well as aspecting progressed (P) Venus (natally in the first house) and the progressed MC-IC axis (progressed by the normal method and representing parents again). Q East Point was aspecting Chiron (similar to Jupiter) and the P south lunar node in the seventh house (grandparents again). Of course the “normal” progressed angles also had appropriate aspects.
4. It seems as though animals live out astrological archetypes rather well—perhaps even more purely than people. It is quite likely that they have less awareness and less free will in terms of choosing among their options.
For good health, we would particularly seek fire trines, as fire relates to basic vitality and physical energy, including recuperative powers. Harmony aspects involving the fire planets (Sun, Mars, Jupiter) would be most preferred, with trines between fire houses and fire signs also supportive. We would also check the aspects to the 6th house (planets in it, the actual ruler and natural ruler of Mercury as well as Vesta and Ceres, our two Virgo asteroids that are connected to health) and to the Ascendant (a key to physical energy and health among many other things) and 1st house (planets in it, actual ruler and natural ruler of Mars). We would prefer to avoid charts with heavy conflict patterns involving those health factors.
For independence, we would want some focus on Letter 1, 9 or 11. This could come in the form of prominent Mars, Jupiter or Uranus, or heavy focus on the 1st, 9th, 11th houses or Aries, Sagittarius or Aquarius. At the same time, we would not want too MUCH of this, as the client also wants the dog to make a warm connection to her. So, we want some freedom themes, but not a heavy focus. We would probably avoid too much water in the chart, as water tends toward dependency (the sort of pet that might pine away when the mistress is absent).
For intelligence, we are most concerned with Mercury, Jupiter and Uranus—our major mental planets. If they are strongly aspected or their signs or houses are prominent, we suspect the potential of a smart dog. Fortunately, many of the requested qualities overlap as a prominent Jupiter could denote vitality, intelligence and independence.
For a warm connection to the woman, we need some sort of emotional bonding prospect. This means we need some closeness keys in the chart (as well as the independence). [This animal is likely to experience a freedom/closeness dilemma, but we already know that is intended by the client as she wants the dog to love her when she is there, but not be too upset when she is gone.] Closeness keys could involve Letters 4, 5, 7 or 8. We are inclined more toward 5 and 7 as we are seeking to minimize the water placements. Letter 5 could support the energetic and vibrant focus of fire.
We could also examine the contacts between our client’s chart and that of the prospective pet. Ideally, we would look for emotional connections: conjunctions or harmonious aspects particularly involving Moon (emotional), Venus (love/affection/comfort), Pallas or Juno (partners) and Sun (loving and being loved). Other supportive aspects are fine (and everyone has some conflicts), but those would be our major focus for examination.
5. We would suspect our compulsive saver has heavy emphasis (planets, houses, and/or signs) on earth and water. These are the elements associated with safety and security needs. Saving physical objects can be a source of security and protection. We would explore with the client alternative ways of satisfying the desire to feel safe. Following is a list of some possibilities in terms of the letters of the alphabet which might be involved.
Letter 2: eat more (if weight is not a problem); spend money on new, pretty clothes (after throwing out some old ones) or on lovely new furniture or other objects which have been given away to charity; create lovely objects to give to others; get massages regularly; have a Jacuzzi or hot tub built and use it; make love more often; treat yourself to a manicure, pedicure, make-over or other physical pick-me-up. Gratify the senses.
Letter 4: eat more (if weight is not a problem—and it often will be when security is an issue); get a pet or plant to nurture; get 10 (or more) hugs a day; adopt an elderly person to take shopping, look after, etc.; ask for small favors from friends you know will give them; pamper yourself with a bubble bath; surround yourself with people who will tell you they love you; be a Big Brother or Big Sister, etc. Nurture others and allow yourself to be nurtured.
Letter 6: take up a regimen to improve your health which offers measurable results (e.g., inches, pounds, etc.); take up a new hobby which allows you to make useful objects (which you can give to others or charity); get a job that validates your sense of competence and efficiency; organize your files; make lists of what is really worth keeping and what can realistically be tossed; become involved with nutrition; study a new topic and become skilled; enhance your skills at repairing whatever attracts you, etc. Develop a sense of efficiency and being useful.
Letter 8: use self-hypnosis, sleep tapes or other forms of self-help to feel better about letting go of things; organize your closets and drawers, creating a “I’ll consider throwing away” pile; cull out cracked, broken, torn and otherwise disabled items for elimination; go into psychotherapy; explore past memories or traumas that might have contributed to compulsive saving; share intense feelings and fears with a mate; forgive yourself and release resentments; take up occult studies; read detective stories; make a regular habit of repeating affirmations supporting your willingness to let go of things and release the past. Encourage self-control, depth insight and mastery of compulsions.
Letter 10: find out what authorities have to say on the subject; take responsibility for a new challenge in your life; pragmatically assess your strengths and weaknesses; put more effort into career achievements; take someone else under your wings to teach them the ropes, or find a mentor for yourself; make a list of how saving things limits and constrains your life; make a list of how not saving things will give you more power or control; take an executive position in some part of your life; occasionally try “toughing it out”—throwing something you’d rather not, but doing it anyway; pay attention to your achievements; seek positions of authority; figure out the “bottom line” in different situations; be practical. Do all that you can within the rules of the game of life.
Letter 12: read inspirational materials; talk to religious or spiritual people; create beauty to share with others; be with nature and focus on feelings of peace, serenity and safety; become involved with philanthropy or other forms of helping people; practice spiritual healing; develop your psychic potential; learn about life after life; interpret your dreams; talk to your unconscious; ask your Higher Self for assistance. Build a firm sense of faith in yourself and a Higher Power.