I have been a follower of this website and Jonathan since 1999-2000. I have benefited greatly from insights about the energies in my life on a particular day, and during extended periods of time. I have bought charts, called phone lines, and now subscribe to the web service. I still feel I benefit from the services.
BUT, here's what I don't understand (and I realize you must get oodles of e-mails a day)...during 2000 you promised great things because of the line up of planets in Taurus during the spring of that year that was one of the worst summers of my life. Then there was Mars and more grand promises. Now Venus and more suggestions of life finally cutting me a break. Was I just born under a bad sign?
Am I missing something?
Will any of the celestial events actually bring a break in the trauma and shock of divorce, betrayal, theft?
I am with you that it's terrible being disappointed by the promises of astrology. It's all the worse because we tend to seek out astrology when we're needing reassurance the most. I remember once, in the middle of a painful break-up with a woman, a daily horoscope I read said something like, "Well, things look rough in a relationship now, but make sure you're around for when things get good." That never happened and in retrospect I'm not sure it ever could have happened. The thing about astrology is that free will is involved. We make choices and so do the people in our lives.
You mention three phases of time where many astrologers got very excited: the Taurus alignment of 2000, not previously seen the past 7,000 years; the closest approach ever of Mars to the Earth last summer; and the first Venus transit to the Sun in 121 years. I do wish that all of astrology would be a little more objective about things it has never seen or experienced. These kinds of events always have what seem like mixed results, except for one thing: intense astrology always pushes us to grow. In the end, we grow and learn. And you could have worse than that, in this life.
You sent your birth data and I will get to that in a moment, but first, let's look at the big picture. If you take a step back from your personal affairs and check out condition of the world during all three of those events, you may notice a pattern. Spring of 2000 brought a stock market crash and the beginning of a recession. Later that year, there was a very messy presidential election in the States that had a profound effect on Great Britain and many other places in the world. The Mars approach last summer came with much violence and tragedy surrounding events in the Middle East (there is a news timeline on my web site). And the recent Venus transit came at another peak of disaster in that same situation, as the painful truth has come out.
These transits pushed each of us in similar ways, as individuals. Not everyone likes to be pushed; not everyone likes to grow; not everyone likes to budge. Not everyone is able to give up the structures that are preventing them from growing and becoming. These were all events with such enormous impact both globally and personally that how they "feel" depends entirely on we respond to them. When astrology works, it often works because we respond in constructive ways to powerful forces. To do that, the first thing one must do is approach life with a good attitude. Or at least, it helps.
Now, you are writing about Jonathan's forecasts for your sign. After reading Jonathan for about seven years, I've decided that the theme of his writing can be summed up in a few words: trust the process of your life. Jonathan does something daring for an astrologer, which is teach people to expect the best outcome, even if things look grim. This is an extremely important life skill. We live in a very pessimistic world, and there are many people whom life slowly hardens into cynics. Thought forms are a habit, and habits are made. I view Jonathan as waging a highly effective one-man campaign against cynicism and negativity. He teaches the habit of optimism.
With that in mind, I suggest you look back at the personal developments you describe and really consider what would have happened had they not transpired. I suggest you look back at everything you lost and ask the question: "In what ways were those things serving me?" Here's another one: "What did I gain and learn from those events?" And then I suggest you ask one more question that might be very daring: "How could those events have gone far worse? Where would I be today, if they had?"
Now you've sent your data, and I've had a look at your chart, just to be on the safe side. I'm going to make a few short comments without any technical comments.
1. Between 1999 and today you have experienced a LOT of Pluto transits, and they are not over. In particular, the events of 2001 and 2002 (remember world history, too) had a direct, focused impact on your chart. This process is still working out and will be for about another year -- but by far, the worst of it is over. You are gradually learning how to do these transits better and better.
2. If you want to get a lot of mileage out of your personal growth work and go far to find your way in life, put a couple of years of energy into understanding and healing whatever happened between you and your mother. You may have already considered this quite a bit. Keep at it.
3. Though your personal relationships are obviously an extremely dominant aspect of your life, these need to be balanced against your much more delicate career aspirations. The two are related because nobody progresses in a career without having relationships that in some way work. Your mission in this regard is to strive for the highest level of integrity in your relationships as possible, which means approaching your relationships as a whole person. You don't owe anyone anything. This is your life.
I hope this offers some insight.
My birth data is checked from the hospital where I was born, and my mother also gave me the same data, so I donít have any real doubts about it. But I understand that itís possible that there could be a difference of couple of minutes. But this spring I came interested about rectification -- although Iím a lazy Taurus and Iím not sure if I have enough energy to do it even if I knew how to do it, and Iím reluctant for changes, I donít want my chart to look different...
Some months ago in the Finnish astrology list we were talking about eclipses and I wrote about the solar eclipse of July 22, 1990 conjunct my Uranus, and about the ending of my marriage. Someone (a Finnish astrologer) replied to that Uranus of the eclipse chart was within one degree conjunct my descendent, if my birth time would be only a little bit earlier. Since then this idea of rectification has been haunting me.
Personally, I don't think it's necessary to make adjustments to a chart where both Mom and the hospital agree on the time. You have a chart that would have an A or AA rating in the Lois Rodden (http://astrodatabank.com/) system; that's the best data there is. Many people have to make do with a lot worse ("born in the morning" kind of charts). Some people don't even know their day! And yes some people are unsure of their year of birth.
As for your Finnish astrologer friend -- he's splitting hairs. Just because this eclipse was a degree or two off of your exact descendent (relationship angle) does not mean that the angle is "incorrect." Angles and house cusps are sensitive for several degrees on either side, particularly to something so hot as an eclipse at the same time as a Uranus transit. Particularly your relationship angle. Besides which, Uranus crossing your relationship angle is a long process that unfolds over about two years. It will have peak moments -- but it's a process. Just like all of astrology.
To say that "the astrology would be perfect only if you were a little different" is getting things backwards, at best.
As a Cancer I am wondering if I will sink or swim under the current Saturn transit, I waiver between both. A 28 year relationship ends, my home and beloved garden have to go, a new career bubbles but as I look towards my birthday I see conjunctions, weighty ones at that. The transiting Saturn/Sun will sit on my natal Saturn/Sun conjunction just as Venus goes direct conjoining my natal Uranus, added to this mix a transiting Mars/Mercury conjunction will hit my natal Mercury/Pluto conjunction. For good measure, a few days after this transiting Jupiter conjuncts my natal Jupiter which, fortunately (I hope), trines my Mars/Moon conjunction in Taurus (10th house).
Phew, I would really appreciate your much-valued opinion.
That's a lot of transits. Behold! Something is up. And obviously they are not going to leave you sitting still. Your relationship began at a Saturn return and it is transitioning at a Saturn return; that is important data. There is a career development at the same time, not surprisingly. You are a Cancer and you're growing in to a new shell. What you are describing is the classic "I've outgrown my life, and I'm still growing" set-up.
Since you know some astrology, I suggest you look at the Saturn squares and opposition during the 28 years of your relationship and see if you can track a progression of events leading to this day. It's very significant that this transition is occurring at a Saturn return, and that you are a Sun-Saturn individual.
You mention a lot of planets in your note but you have not mentioned Pluto. I think that when we're at one of these enormous evolutionary leaps, as you seem to be, Pluto is always going to be an important player, and it may help solve any mystery we see. It can reveal where the most growth is happening. And since 2002, Chiron has been in the process of opposing your Sun and Saturn, from Capricorn. That may signify the beginning of the rapid-change process you're now in, particularly as involves your relationship.
But hey these are some important, beautiful transits, and you're certainly at a place in your understanding of astrology where you can make the most of them. When times get big, though, study the slow-movers -- Saturn through Pluto. They tell the deeper story.
Why are birth charts cast around the time of birth rather than the moment of conception? Leaving aside the fact that people generally aren't clock-watching at such a moment (some women may disagree!), conception is when the new life is created. By the time the baby is born it has already had some of the most intense experiences of its life. Research now shows that newborn babies already have a great many thinking patterns installed, can recognise familiar sounds and even know their own names if they were given one in the early stages of pregnancy. Surely all of our prenatal experiences must have occurred under cosmic influences.
(I ask this having read an interesting piece called "The Planets and the Development of the Embryo." A popular medieval text, De humana natura, attributed the characterization of the developing foetus to the influence of the seven known planets (incl. the Sun and Moon) ruling in turn.)
This is a great question, one that many people ponder. And the answer is very simple. Astrology is dependent on things that can be timed. Birth can be timed; conception cannot.
Even if someone happened to glance at the clock mid-orgasm (at such moments most people are paying attention to more compelling matters than the time of day), that would not give you the timing of conception, which can happen within three days of the sex that led to it.
The birth time also points to the individual's journey in this world. In the womb, the foetus is in a kind of "interworld" and its life is very much entwined with that of the mother -- and her chart. Entering the outer world is a point of no return. Astrology thrives on the timing of such events, which are the truly decisive moments of life.
Now that being said, the before-birth charts can be very helpful. The most commonly used ones (by the few astrologers who check) are the prenatal new and full moons; and the prenatal solar and lunar eclipses. If you know enough astrology to have a sense of your birth chart, I assure you these charts will be interesting. Use the exact time of the eclipse as given in the ephemeris and cast them for your place of birth. Look at the connections; look at your life story developing, like a foetus.
One last thing. If you want an interesting astrological experience, cast the charts of your parents and put your birth chart around theirs as a transit chart. Your birth was an event in their lives. By studying their transits at the time of your birth, you can learn a lot about what your entry into their lives meant, and how you may have responded.