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"Ask Ruby"

The "Ask Ruby" column is taking the summer off and will be back in the fall. Happy summer to you all!

To have a question answered in my free "Ask Ruby" advice column, send the question to me by either email or snail mail. Although complete birth data (date, time and place) is not required, please include any info you have. Questions will be answered in the order they are received - one question per person, please. A personal email response is available for a small fee. This column will be updated regularly.

Current Mail Index: Musician  Unlucky Leo  Scorpion in Love  Confused Cancerian  Alok  Analytical Aquarian  Rohit   Faithful Leo   Scorpio Rising  Angel  Wondering Wife  Aman  Devvrat  Still Single  Waiting   Craves Freedom   Job Huntress   Aries North Node   Confused Libran   Miranda   Interested Scorpio   Anonymous   Hurting   Educated   Intensity   Anne   A Saturn Life   Leo, the Shy-In   Rose   So Confused   Neptune Rising   Just Turned 51!   In Need of Luck   Yuri   Compatible?   Impatient   Lost   Stellium   Sefirah   Mercurial   Libra   Troubled   Interested   Curious   Wondering   Urge to Move   Warrior Lion   Desparate!   Uncertain Mum   Curious 2   John   Anxious   Depressed   Luna   In Shock   Helpless Leo   Mature Attraction   Saturn Return   Career Conscious  Sky Watcher   Julie   Syria   Worried Young Man   Hopeful   Career Confusion   Concerned Mother   Love Struck   Economy   Confused   Aquarian   Astro Novice   Fiery Crab   Astroman   Down in the Dumps   In Doubt   Astrologer   Windy   Betrayed  Genealogist   Wanting to Know   Questions   Broken Heart   Marie   Miss Jyoti   Aries Male   No Natal Squares   Feeling Foolish   Overwhelmed 

Dear Ruby -

I've been going through a rough time emotionally for the last four years. I'm pursuing a career in music and have constantly encountered obstacles in my search for a band that will put serious effort into this endeavor. I am currently a sales manager with a top cellular phone company and while I enjoy people, I am very burned out by the retail environment. What insights can you give me?

My birth information is: May 30, 1969, 6:40 am, Flemington, New Jersey.


Dear Musician -

Over the last four years Saturn has moved through a conjunction to your Venus, to your Saturn (your Saturn return) and through conjunctions to your Mercury and Sun and an opposition to your Mars. The first phase of the Saturn/Pluto opposition hit your Mercury/Sun and Mars in the second half of 2001. Uranus squared your Moon/Neptune conjunction in 2001/2002. The second phase of the Saturn/Pluto opposition hit your Ascendant/Descendant line and squared your Pluto/Jupiter/Uranus conjunction in late 2002/early 2003. All of this combined to create a very difficult period for you.

There is emphasis in your chart in the sixth and twelfth houses. This suggests confusion about where your responsibilities lie (to yourself or to others) and some problems in communication when you feel frustrated. You've had many lessons in this area over the last two years - with more coming in the years ahead. If you intend to pursue a career where you will be working with others on creative projects, you will need to learn to communicate with less intensity.

The planet Uranus is currently moving toward a conjunction to your Midhaven. The Midhaven is the point of profession and career; Uranus is the planet of unpredictable change. You are ready to break through to a new career phase. The next year and a half can be a very fertile period creatively - but you must be willing to take risks in order to get what you really want.

posted 6/11/03

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Dear Ruby -

I was born on July 27, 1965 in Rotterdam, Holland at 11:00 am. For the past twelve years I have been dating two men on and off. One was born on May 23, 1962 at 8:00 am in Astoria, New York. The other one was born on December 25, 1965 at 12:00 pm in Brooklyn, New York. Neither man has offered me marriage, but no matter how many times we break up they keep reconciling with me. Why? Do you see any changes happening for me?

Unlucky Leo

Dear Unlucky Leo -

While these two men are very different in temperament and emotional expression, you have a similar relationship with both of them. Both men have a number of planets in opposition and square to planets in your chart. Oppositions and squares between one chart and another suggest a tendency for power struggles between the two people involved.

The Moon in an astrological chart describes an individual's emotional nature. Your Moon is in Cancer - suggesting that you are very sensitive and compassionate, get hurt easily and can be defensive. The Moon in your chart is square to your Mars in Libra; you are capable of intense emotional expression. The man from Astoria has his Mars in Aries; the man from Brooklyn has Moon conjunct to his Mars. The primary expression of emotion in these relationships is intensity.

Later on this year the planet Uranus will return to an opposition to your Mercury. This transit began last year and completes itself in the fall. Next year Saturn will move through a square to your Mars and a conjunction to your Moon. There will be an opportunity to focus on defining your emotional needs and communicating them clearly. This is what is missing in both these relationships - a strong feeling connection. Focusing on your own emotions and feelings will help you determine what you most need in intimate relationships.

posted 6/11/03

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Dear Ruby -

I'm a Scorpio in love with a Taurus (May 14, 1966). Is there marriage in our future?

My birth info: November 2, 1967, 3:45 am, Soulfriere, Dominica. He was born in Delices, Dominica (time unknown).

Scorpion in Love

Dear Scorpion in Love -

There is compatibility between your two charts. You have a Mercury/Sun/Moon conjunction in Scorpio in a harmonious relationship with your lover's Moon. Your Mars in Capricorn is in positive relationship to his Mars and Mercury in Taurus. There is oppositional energy as well. You have emphasis in Scorpio; he has emphasis in the opposite sign, Taurus. You also have emphasis in Virgo - he has planets in the opposite sign Pisces.

It is said that "opposites attract" - and they do. They also have very different ways of doing things. It will be important for the two of you to avoid power struggles. There is enough compatibility between the two of you to ensure harmony, and yet enough differences to make it interesting.

As to the question "Is there marriage in our future?" - I do not believe that we are fated to do anything in life. We have choices. The question is whether or not the two of you have enough compatibility with one another to make marriage a viable choice. I would say that you do.

posted 6/8/03

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Dear Ruby -

I am a Cancer, born July 3, 1968 in Pakistan at about 3 am. I am married to an Aquarian born February 5, 1968 at about 5 am. My marriage is sparkless and sometimes dead. There isn't much that my husband and I share. We have professions that are incompatible so living together for extended periods has been a problem for us.

Two years ago I met and fell deeply in love with a Scorpio man born in Pakistan on October 27, 1957 sometime in the morning. We are both married to others, yet the feelings we have for each other are very strong - almost like soul mates. We live in different corners of the world attached to our spouses through legal bondage and because of our children. I feel nothing for my husband yet I don't want to hurt him. I am willing to start afresh with my Scorpio man but he appears to be unable to break the bond with his wife due to his children's feelings.

Is there any hope for us? Are the bonds that we share strong enough to overturn the obstacles - or is this going to fade away in the oceans that separate us?

Confused Cancerian

Dear Confused Cancerian -

I understand that your relationship with your husband is not satisfying to you. Perhaps most difficult is that his Venus in Capricorn is opposite your Venus/Sun/Mars conjunction in Cancer. While you are passionate and emotional he is reserved and austere. Your lover has a Mercury/Sun/Neptune conjunction in Scorpio in a very harmonious relationship to your Cancer conjunction. He too is passionate and intense - far more emotionally compatible for you.

I cannot predict what your lover will do. I can say, however, that his position within his family is extremely important to him. He is a strongly charismatic person and receives a great deal of gratification from the adoration he receives from his family. He will not give it up lightly.

In the end, you have a greater question to ask yourself. No matter what your lover chooses to do - what will you do? Will you remain in a loveless, emotionally sterile marriage - or do you want something different for yourself? Saturn will be moving through a conjunction to your Cancer planets over the next year - forcing you to answer some difficult questions. It is time to focus on what you most want and need for yourself.

posted 6/7/03

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Dear Ruby -

My date of birth is December 15, 1977 at 1:35 am, New Dehli, India. I have changed jobs several times over the last two years and haven't been able to stick to any of them. I get thrown out sooner or later. I graduated from the University of India in August, 2000 and was a topper throughout my academic life but my efforts have not yielded any results financially or emotionally. I want to pursue my own business and also want a career in modeling/movies. Please advise when will I get through this present hell hole.


Dear Alok -

It is understandable that things have been difficult for you over the last few years. You have a t-square in your chart involving Uranus square to your Moon opposite Mars. In the last couple of years Saturn squared your Moon, Uranus conjuncted your Moon and Neptune opposed your Mars. These transits made it very difficult for you to mobilize your energy and realize your desires. The Uranus transit in particular brought a great deal of chaos and unpredictability into your life.

These transits have passed so things should be calmer. While your life will settle down in the months ahead, it will be necessary for you to make some choices. You say in your question that your want a business as well as a career in modeling/movies. These are two very different areas and both require a great deal of focus and determination in order to achieve success. Your Neptune is conjunct to both your Venus and Sun natally - suggesting that you are not always firmly grounded on planet earth. Over the next two years Pluto will move through a conjunction to your Sun, providing an opportunity to become clearer on what it is that you most wish to do with your life. Clarity will help you to focus - absolutely necessary in any chosen endeavor.

posted 6/7/03

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Dear Ruby -

I was born January 29, 1969 at 8:13 am, Greensboro, North Carolina.

Most of my charts read that I am an Aquarius Rising, but when I check how to calculate the Rising sign I am a Pisces Rising. I feel like a Pisces rising - it explains a lot about my exterior shy behavior. Once I know a person, my Aquarian side comes out and I am distant and aloof.

Also - my chart says my Descendant is Leo. I am attracted to Leo men but I identify with Virgo women. Can you clear this confusion up for me?

Analytical Aquarian

Dear Analytical Aquarian -

You are definitely an Aquarius Rising. The reason you relate so much to the sign Pisces is because your Aquarius Sun/Mercury conjunction falls in the twelfth house - the Pisces house. Houses represent areas of experience or activity; signs describe. Your basic personality expression is Aquarius - analytical, innovative, visionary, emotionally detached, "the observer" - but your life is expressed through the Piscean experience -compassion, sensitivity, concern for others and issues with boundaries.

As to your identification with Virgo women - Virgo and Pisces are the two signs most associated with the concept of service. You are expressing your life on the Piscean stage and can relate to others for whom service plays an important role. Virgo combines the idea of service with a strong analytical proclivity, thereby synthesizing the two most important expressions in your personality.

posted 5/12/03

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Dear Ruby -

I was divorced last year. I am looking to get re-married. Please let me know whether it will be for love or arranged, and what will be the best time for me to re-marry. I would like my second marriage to be fruitful and happy.

My birth: September 30, 1973, 2:10am, New Dehli, India.


Dear Rohit -

I first must say that I am a western astrologer and therefore do not have the same philosophical perspective as my colleagues in your country. Most marriages in my country are for love, although not all are happy.

In looking at your chart I can say that you will be happiest in a marriage where there is love and passion. You are an intense, passionate person and it will be helpful to your union if you deeply care for your wife.

I will also say that this is not a good year for you to get married. The planet Neptune is transiting your Descendant - the point of partnership - and Saturn will soon be moving through a challenging aspect to your Sun (from the summer of 2003 through the spring of 2004). This is a confusing influence and it will be difficult to make a positive choice.

The transits become easier after July, 2004. A happy marriage is much more likely toward the end of 2004.

posted 5/12/03

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Dear Ruby -

After an 11 year marriage to a Scorpio, I've been seeing a Pisces male for 5 months. I've learned a lot from my Pisces. I do love him, but I find it is extremely difficult to deal with his inconsistencies. One minute he is very loving and the next minute it's like he could care less if I'm around or not. He works out of town and has had an affair previously which makes me extremely distrustful. Although he hasn't given me a reason to distrust him I still find myself wondering if I should just leave this relationship. We have an intense psychic bond but he is very guarded. In response I am guarded, even though as a Leo I am faithful and giving - almost to a fault.

My birth date is July 28, 1963. He was born February 26, 1957. Do you have any advice?

Faithful Leo

Dear Faithful Leo -

Your friend actually has more Aquarius in his chart than Pisces. Only his Sun falls in the sign Pisces - his Moon, Mercury and Venus are all in Aquarius. Aquarius is an air sign and is known for its emotional detachment. The contradiction between sensitivity and detachment is repeated in several ways in his chart and is a factor in his personality.

The issue of distrust, however, is central in your chart. Your Moon is in Scorpio, square to your Leo Sun. Although you are indeed generous and giving, you can also be suspicious and distrustful. Leo needs to be recognized and acknowledged. When you do not feel seen, you can become suspicious as to the reason why you are not being acknowledged.

There is no way for me to know whether or not your friend is faithful to you. The larger question for you is how the issue of trust operates in your life. Do you tend to trust people until they demonstrate they do not deserve to be trusted? Or do people have to prove to you that they are trustworthy? These are questions that you will need to address in any relationship.

posted 5/7/03

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Dear Ruby -

For the majority of my life, I scoffed at astrology, based on the fact that my traits clearly didn't match those of a classic Sagittarius. After discovering the importance of the many other factors, such as the Ascendant (I'm a Scorpio Rising) and the Moon sign (Pisces), I have become convinced of the validity of your science.

As you are no doubt already aware, the combination of a Scorpio Ascendant and a Pisces Moon makes me one intense, emotional dude. I enjoy the passionate and intuitive nature it gives me, but I'm afraid my intensity may eventually take a toll on my health. Do you have any suggestions on how to cope with the weaknesses of this combination?

Also, I seem to have the ability to easily gauge the motives of others, simply by watching their body language and listening to their voice inflection, which makes it very difficult for me to find people whom I feel I can trust. As a result, I have only a handful of close friends - a source of sadness for me. Do you have any suggestions on how to cope with this contradiction?

Scorpio Rising

Dear Scorpio Rising -

Taking your last question first - the essential issue for the sign Scorpio is trust. The Ascendant - or rising sign - is the veil through which we see life. It is the first impression we make on others, as well as the first piece of information we take in about the world. It can be said that we "lead" with our rising sign.

Those with a Scorpio rising simply do not trust the world; this is their lesson in life. All the water signs (Scorpio, Pisces and Cancer) are very intuitive and capable of discerning the unspoken. How they chose to interpret that information, however, is up to them. Scorpio frequently chooses not to trust because they have been exposed to the abuse of power in their lives. Pisces can feel distrustful because they have experienced the invasion of their boundaries by others.

The water signs are also very spiritually oriented - and this is the solution. Using your intuitive abilities, coupled with your Sagittarius sense of adventure, to explore your relationship to the divine will take you to a place where you will feel safe enough in the world to trust others and to open yourself to a deeper level of relationship.

posted 4/16/03

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Dear Ruby -

I am a Virgo, born August 24, 1973 in Freeport, Texas. My new boyfriend is an Aquarius, January 3, 1971, Richmond, Virginia. My high-school boyfriend was also born 1/31/71. Although I was happy with him for five years, I was never "in love" with him. Imagine my surprise upon finding out the date of birth of this new boyfriend!

I've known him for three months now and I already feel very much in love. Although he occasionally calls me on criticality and conservatism, we seem to be almost too compatible for a Virgo/Aquarius combination. Is it possible that the moon or other planetary influences are helping our unlikely match?


Dear Angel -

You are right to wonder about other influences, Angel. We are all much more than our Sun signs. There are several strong connections between you and your boyfriend. Your Jupiter is in Aquarius conjunct to his Sun. Jupiter/Sun connections are among the most favorable in any type of relationship. The two people involved identify with one another strongly and truly like each other.

Another important indicator of personal relationship is the relationship between Venus and Mars between the two charts. Your Venus is in Libra, in a harmonious relationship with your boyfriend's Mars/Neptune/Jupiter conjunction in Sagittarius. His Venus is also in Sagittarius, trine (a very positive aspect) to his Moon in Aries. Both are trine to your Mercury in Leo.

Lastly, although it is true that Virgo and Aquarius have a very different approach to life, they do have qualities in common. Both are analytical and intellectually oriented and enjoying observing the nuances in their surroundings.

posted 4/16/03

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Dear Ruby -

I feel unsettled about my career path and home-life. Will there be an opportunity to be more creative in the career area, and will there be a good time to move to another location in the country?

Birth data: May 7, 1963 at 2:31 pm in Manhasset, New York.

Midlife Taurus

Dear Midlife Taurus -

It is not surprising you are feeling unsettled - you are in an unsettling time of life. You are soon to turn 40 years old and going through certain transits everyone goes through at your age. Transiting Uranus is opposite your Uranus and transiting Neptune is square to your Neptune. For everyone, this is a time when we assess our lives and look for what it is that will most fulfill us. We are restless and unsatisfied, and looking for change.

As to your specific questions, transiting Uranus is also square to your Mercury, ruler of the house of career. You are entering a period of increased creativity in the area of career. Exciting, unpredictable and unexpected things are going to happen.

Jupiter, the ruler of the house of home in your chart, has been moving through a harmonious relationship to your natal Jupiter, a conjunction to your Mars and has been hitting off your T-square. This is another indication of extreme restlessness and dissatisfaction with the status quo. Beginning this summer Saturn will move through a square to your Jupiter - not a strong indicator of change. Although new and exciting things will soon happen, it is not likely that you will move in the near future.

posted 4/2/03

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Dear Ruby -

My husband is a Virgo - 8/29/51, 4:34 am, Philadelphia, PA - and I am a Pisces - 3/5/51, 9:00 pm, Camden, NJ. I need to know if he really is true to me lately - he seems to be wandering - or if there really is a lot on his mind?

Wondering Wife

Dear Wondering Wife -

It is difficult to determine specific actions through astrology - people really do have choices in how they respond to planetary transits. I can say that your husband has been very busy lately. Stationary Jupiter is conjunct to his Mars/Ascendant conjunction in Leo. He is in a very active, energetic and expansive period.

Although I cannot know if your husband is cheating on you, I can see why this is of such concern to you. You have several aspects in your natal chart indicating that it is difficult for you to feel safe and secure. You have Sun square to Saturn, Mars square to Pluto and Moon opposite Neptune. You have known people who abused power. You and your husband have something of an adversarial relationship. You have Mercury, Venus and the Sun in Pisces; your husband has the Sun, Mercury and Venus in Virgo. Your approach to life is very different. While you can be sensitive and emotional, he is often analytical and critical.

Keep the focus on yourself and your own needs, and strive for honest communication. Allowing yourself to be fearful and suspicious will not improve your relationship with your husband.

posted 3/22/03

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Dear Ruby -

I was born November 26, 1977 at 2:30 am in New Delhi, India. I have done engineering from Delhi College of Engineering in year 2000, but I am struggling for the last 2.5 years to get a decent job and higher studies. I tried for an MBA in 2001 but was not able to get admission to a good institute. In the last seven months I have prepared and applied for USA and Canada Universities for a MS. Please let me know whether I will get admission into a foreign university or not. At present I am working in a small engineering company in New Delhi.


Dear Aman -

For the last two years Saturn has been moving through Gemini and transiting your ninth house - the house associated with higher education. It has been difficult to proceed with your educational goals, and this time has been frustrating and unrewarding.

A shift is coming up, however. This summer Saturn will move into Cancer and into your tenth house - the house of profession and career. Jupiter is presently stationary conjunct to your Mars. You feel active and energetic and are willing to do what is needed to break through the roadblocks in your path.

It is likely that you will be accepted by a foreign university. This will not be an easy path, however. Be willing to persevere. You have natal Jupiter conjunct to your tenth house cusp - suggesting that you will be very successful in your chosen career over the course of your lifetime.

posted 3/12/03

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Dear Ruby -

I am presently working as a Senior Marketing Consultant in a publishing firm in Oman. I joined this firm last month, after resigning my last job due to the lack of payment of my salary. Someone broke into the office and stole the salary money - plus the working conditions were pretty bad. For the past two months, there has be no cash inflow at all. At the same time, I am being offered exciting opportunities with other companies.

I am to be married on March 6th and have no money. My inner self says I will have enough money by then and that I should change jobs. I know that Saturn turned direct on February 21st - does that change the scene? What is best for me now regarding my job, and my financial situation?

Born June 23, 1975 at 8:55 am in Canannore, India.


Dear Devvrat -

You have been affected by the station of Saturn. Saturn turned direct on February 21st at Gemini 22 degrees. Your Moon is at Sagittarius 25 degrees, meaning that Saturn has been stationary opposite to your Moon for the last two months. This has certainly put you on an emotional roller coaster, and describes the difficulties you have experienced.

At the same time, Jupiter in Leo is stationary conjunct to your Ascendant and is also transiting your Venus. This is a time of great expansion for you with many opportunities coming to you. It is a time to take risks and not to give in to fear.

Over the next few months the influence of Saturn will gradually lessen. Reach for the new opportunities, particularly ones that allow you to express your creativity and to exercise your leadership abilities.

posted 2/27/03

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Dear Ruby -

Could you look at my birth chart and see if there is any indication of marriage in my future (never married). I'm a Cancer and I'm bracing for a Saturn return come June. My birth information is: July 15, 1960 at 8:37 am, New York, N.Y.

Still Single

Dear Still Single -

It isn't your Saturn return coming up - it's a Saturn opposition and it takes place from September of 2003 to June of 2004. A Saturn return occurs when Saturn comes back to the place it was when you were born, and happens for everyone around the ages of 29, 58 and 87. The Saturn opposition occurs when Saturn is opposite its birth position. The opposition in the second Saturn cycle marks the mid-point of life, and a time when we inevitably turn our attention to new areas of life.

Regarding the marriage issue - you have three planets in Cancer (Sun, Mercury and Venus) square to your Moon in Aries. You have Pluto conjunct to your Leo Ascendant and Jupiter in Sagittarius. Although you are sensitive, caring and compassionate, you also like your freedom and it has been very hard for you to reconcile the part of you that is spontaneous, energetic and spirited with a lasting relationship. You have manifested tempestuous relationships where you feel out of control and overwhelmed.

The goal of the next phase of life, and the key to finding a lasting relationship, is to allow both sides of yourself free expression. Become large enough to hold both sensitivity and spirited self-expression and you will find what you want.

posted 2/27/03

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Dear Ruby -

I was born on the 5th of February, 1970, at 6 pm (I do not know the exact time) in Bangalore, India. I want to know whether I will be able to go abroad either for higher studies or for a job. I also want to know when will we construct a house.


Dear Waiting -

Having the exact time for a natal chart is very important in astrology. The time of birth determines the position of the house cusps. The fourth house has to do with home, and changes in our home life occur when transiting planets move over the fourth house cusp. Therefore, the question of exactly when you will construct a house is difficult for me to answer. I can say that there is some frustration around the subject for you. You have Jupiter in Scorpio near your fourth house cusp and in an opposition to Saturn. Home and family is important to you, but it does seem as though matters surrounding your home are nebulous and uncertain. It will take time for this to be resolved.

You are an optimistic person, however and enjoy the company of people. Although I do not see long-distance travel in your chart in the near future, you do have the ability to be extremely successful in your chosen career. You have a fortuitous combination of leadership capabilities and the ability to work well on a team. Look for an opportunity to work within an organization that will nurture your natural ability as a leader.

posted 2/11/03

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Dear Ruby -

I have done very poorly in college and have gotten rejections from all the graduate schools I applied to. I am saddened by this news, but my parents have agreed to support me for another year. That should be good news, but for once in my life after a defeat, I want to stand on my own two feet and not take handouts from mom and dad. Therefore, I want a job, though I only have tons of volunteering experience. So, do you see me getting a job for the 2003-2004 year? And for the future, what kind of job will I be good in, and will I ever return to graduate school?

Craves Freedom

Dear Craves Freedom -

Congratulations for wanting to be independent - and for graduating from college! Remember - you do have a college degree. Potential employers won't be asking you what your grades were in college, they'll be interested in the fact that you do have a degree.

This has been a tough couple of years for you. Saturn has been moving through your 12th house, and since last fall has been conjunct to your Ascendant. Uranus has moved through a square to your Mercury. You've felt confined, burdened and depressed - and reality has given you a kick in the derriere.

The truth of the matter is that you are changeable and restless and have difficulty focusing and paying attention. This most likely contributed to your poor performance in class. You have many creative gifts and have a vibrant and energetic personality. You love people and travel, and would do well to look for a career that allows for change, flexibility, movement and travel. You can expect to find work after April. Things will be better this year.

As for graduate school - not everyone needs to continue on in college. For the time being, look for work that is challenging and fun - perhaps in a travel-related industry - and think about further education later.

posted 2/8/03

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Dear Ruby -

I have been unemployed for the past year. There have been several job situations that looked very promising, only to have them fizzle out, be put on hold or just completely disappear.

I am very frustrated and confused. I am thinking it may be time to change my line of work. Do you have any feedback about what might be getting in the way of my finding a job?

My birth information: October 29, 1964, 12:21 am, Baltimore, Maryland.

Job Huntress

Dear Job Huntress -

You are undergoing a number of difficult transits right now. You have a natal T-square involving Jupiter in Taurus square to your Ascendant/Moon/Mars conjunction in Leo and Saturn in Aquarius. Transiting Uranus has been hitting this T-square since February of 2001; the effect has been strongest since January 2002. Beginning in August 2002, transiting Saturn began moving through a square to your Venus. Although Uranus has moved past opposition to your Mars, Saturn will remain in square to your Venus through May, 2003.

You do not say what type of work you do. You have a natural talent in business and finance, and are very creative. You need to receive recognition and acknowledgment for your abilities. This period of unemployment has most likely been quite damaging to your ego and sense of self, but if you have used it to explore your creativity then it has been time well spent.

It is possible that you have already found employment by now, but if not I expect you will find work by late spring. Remember, however, that you need to be appreciated for your efforts, and that you will be happiest with work that allows you to express your creativity.

posted 1/27/03

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Dear Ruby -

I was born 1/17/69 at 10:08 am in Cambridge, Ohio. My question relates to the North Node. Do you think that the cusp sign of the house that has the North Node in it is canceled out by the sign the North Node is in? For instance, I was born with a Pisces rising and Aries North Node in the first house. Would it be beneficial for me to take on the traits of Aries rising and become independent, be a leader, wear red? How does my first house Aries North Node affect my appearance? Would I dress, look and appear like a Pisces? Or would I develop the look, way of dressing and appearing of an Aries?

Aries North Node

Dear Aries North Node -

I see the North Node as part of a continuum with the South Node - together they describe the path of a lifetime. We begin by predominately expressing the South Node, and as we mature we are pulled toward the North Node. Although we might well choose to adopt certain means of strengthening our movement toward the North Node, we will still need to thoroughly experience our South Node position in order to reach the opposite point.

It has not been my experience that the cusp sign of the house containing the North Node is canceled out by the North Node sign. Some astrologers attach very little importance to the sign the Nodes fall in - they do, after all remain in a sign of the zodiac for about two and a half years and in that sense apply to an entire group of people born around the same time. Some attach great importance to the houses the Nodes fall in - but that does depend, of course, on the house system used. For myself, I am more interested in the aspects - particularly conjunctions - the Nodes form to other planets.

For instance, in your chart I find it interesting that your South Node in Libra, and in the seventh house, is in a close conjunction to Uranus and Jupiter, also in Libra. Your North Node in Aries and in the first house is closely conjunct to your Chiron. This suggests to me that you will inevitably move from being deeply affected by other people, and away from relationships that are complicated and chaotic, to being more independent and self-reliant. Although you may find wearing red helpful at some point in this process, I would imagine you will be much more comfortable wearing Piscean water colors and I would certainly encourage you to be comfortable. Self-assertion and independence will come your way as you move through the lessons of your life - and those lessons will be learned through relationships.

posted 1/11/03

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Dear Ruby -

My family is thinking of relocating from Durban to Gauteng Province, South Africa, so my husband can find another job. Can you please tell me if this move will be a successful one? My date of birth is 27 September 1973 and my husband's is 23 September 1973. He was born at 21h30 in Durban, South Africa.

Confused Libran

Dear Confused Libran -

While it is true that a change in location can emphasize a different area of our natal chart, the move from Durban to Gauteng Province is not substantial enough to make much of a change. Both your husband and you have been under a powerful transit from Neptune since 1999. You both have a T-square involving Jupiter in Aquarius square to Mars in Taurus and Venus in Scorpio. Neptune transited Jupiter in 1999, squared Mars this year, and will square Venus next year. (This transit extends into 2004 for you.) This difficult transit has drained both of you of energy and drive. Also this year, Uranus transited your husband's Midhaven - the point of career - and opposed his Moon, providing some unexpected and unpredictable surprises.

This difficult period has provided your husband an opportunity to assess what it is that he most wants to pursue in a career. He has many creative talents and abilities with a strong need to be recognized and acknowledged. He does not do well in stressful environments, nor working with difficult people. You will both be moving through your Saturn return next year (from June 2003 to March 2004) and will have an opportunity to really come into maturity. Whether your family stays or moves, your husband will still need to re-evaluate his career choices. I suggest he place creative expression at the forefront of his career needs.

posted 12/8/02

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Dear Ruby -

I was born on December 6, 1974 at 5:02 am in Columbia, South Carolina. I have recently given up on many dreams - I guess that came with transiting Pluto conjuncting my natal Sun. I feel like a very creative person with a strong business sense. However, I am having a tremendous time getting anything accomplished. I am mostly concerned about the direction I should be taking in a career. I am so fiery, yet so reserved. Any advice?


Dear Miranda -

You are indeed both fiery and reserved - and have the difficult task of combining these two energies in your life. This conflict is represented in your chart by the dynamic T-square of your Sun/Neptune/Mercury conjunction in Sagittarius square to both the Moon in Virgo and Jupiter in Pisces. A Sun/Moon square describes a person who feels at odds with their own inner self. Your Sagittarius expression - combined with your Ascendant and Mars in Scorpio - is intense and passionate. Your Virgo Moon is reserved and even shy. Jupiter in Pisces adds intensity and emotion, and a real desire to be of service. I would also point out that your Mars in Scorpio in the first house is unaspected, except for a minor semi-square to Pluto. This intensifies the expression of your Mars - a powerful desire for creative expression and action - but difficulty in knowing where to direct this energy.

You need a cause. Something that stirs your soul and fires up your passion. And, if you can combine your natural organizational skills and ability to tend to details - all the better. I would suggest you consider looking toward some sort of service organization - political, philanthropical or spiritual. Something you really care about. You would be an excellent fund raiser - if you care enough about the cause to overcome your natural shyness. You are capable of juggling a lot of balls without dropping them - but if you don't truly care about the work you are doing you become bored and withdrawn. Look to what matters in your life, even if it doesn't seem to pay a lot of money. Profit will come when the work feeds your soul as well as your body.

posted 12/6/02

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Dear Ruby -

Does my chart show an aptitude for astrology? My birthday is October 28, 1977, Oakland, CA, 4:41 pm.

Interested Scorpio

Dear Interested Scorpio -

The key to being a good astrologer is combining a strong intuition with analytical skills and the ability to communicate. You do have these talents. You have Libra and Scorpio emphasis in your chart. You have Venus conjunct Pluto in Libra in the seventh house and a Sun/Uranus/Mercury conjunction in Scorpio and in the eighth house. Libra is an air sign with considerable analytical and communication abilities. Scorpio is a water sign and extremely intuitive. Your Mercury/Uranus conjunction intensifies your ability to read people and their emotional state.

You will need to watch a tendency to try to please people. People with heavy Libra and seventh house emphasis are relationship oriented and often seek approval from other people. There can be a desire to give them what they want instead of being objectively detached.

posted 11/13/02

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Dear Ruby -

I was born at 9:30 am on Friday June 1, 1956 in Penrith, Australia. I have a "very challenging" chart as the optimists would say. There are four grand crosses in my chart. I have had a difficult life, it would be fair to say, but I feel now at 46 that things are turning around quite radically for the better.

What advice can you give about using elements in my chart that would help me to transfigure some of the problematic aspect patterns into positive resources? For example, having Saturn in Scorpio in my 5th house has had the effect of making love relationships disastrous as I end up becoming absolutely obsessed with the person and it always ends badly. Because of this I have not dared to fall in love again so I mostly engage in casual and anonymous sex, or sex with prostitutes.


Dear Anonymous -

Certainly your grand cross dominates your chart. Just for the record, I consider this to be one grand cross because the elements involved are in distinct relationship to each other. A grand cross is on the one hand a challenging pattern, but it can also be very grounding. (For the Reader - a grand cross is an aspect pattern involving two sets of oppositions connected to each other by squares.)

I suggest that your past difficulties with obsessive behavior in relationships has to do with your Jupiter conjunct Pluto square to Saturn, as well as opposite your Mars, and your Mars square to Saturn. For some reason you have been deeply marked by the masculine archetype of Pluto - Lord of the Underworld. You might benefit from reading about this myth from Roman mythology.

You have a sensitive side - Venus in Cancer conjunct to your Ascendant. You long to be mothered and loved with compassion. Your Moon in Pisces in a tight conjunction to your Mars, opposite your Jupiter/Pluto conjunction and square to your Saturn, suggests that this was not your experience in childhood.

You are right that "things are turning around quite radically for the better." Over the next year Uranus in Aquarius will transit through a relationship to this part of your chart. It is a good time to work with issues around anger, your perception of your own masculinity and your relationship to your mother.

posted 11/10/02

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Dear Ruby -

A few weeks ago I split from my partner of six years. I am hurting more and more each day. Could you tell me if we are compatible and if he truly loves me? He is Aries, born April 9, 1964; I am Sagittarius, born December 5, 1961.


Dear Hurting -

I must clarify that while I can address the question of compatibility, I cannot tell you if your ex-partner "truly loves" you. Astrology can tell whether there is the potential for a relationship between two people, it cannot, however, reveal what lies within their hearts.

There is compatibility between your two charts. You have emphasis in the sign Sagittarius (Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars) while your friend has emphasis in Aries and Taurus with some Gemini. You both have Moons in water signs - your Moon is in Scorpio; your ex-partner's Moon is in Pisces. The primary difference between the two of you is that while you tend to energetically go after what you want, your ex-partner has difficulty with that type of intensity being directed at him. Aries and Taurus are self-involved signs and know what they want for themselves. They do not like being pursued.

You are currently going through a transit of Pluto moving through a conjunction to your Sun and your Mars. This is a time of intense change and transformation for you with many endings in your life. There will also be new beginnings, however. Remember as you go through this period - even as we are letting go of that which means the most to us something new is coming to take its place.

posted 10/4/02

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Dear Ruby -

I was born January 5, 1972 in Cheshire, England, approximately 3 am.

From the age of about 15 I have experienced years of both physical and mental ill health. After educating myself in various fields relating to medicine I now feel relatively well. I feel that my whole life has been taken up by education and I now want to get out there and put it all into practice. Because of my previous health problems I am currently unemployed.

On the career front, when do you think things will start to look up for me? Is there an astrological reason why my life up until now has been plagued by ill health and has been relatively static?


Dear Educated -

The planet Mars rules your sixth house, which governs health and physical well-being. You were born when Mars was in an opposition to Pluto, suggesting that issues around your health would be catalysts for tremendous transformation and change in your life. As difficult as it has been to suffer from ill health and the corresponding emotional and social paralysis, it has lead you to a profession and an opportunity to take leadership in new methods of healing.

While you may be frustrated at having spent your life up to now in education, from an astrological perspective you are only now ready to embark on a career. Last year you went through your Saturn return, which takes place for everyone around the age of 29, which represents the end of the "cycle of growth" and the entry into the "cycle of productivity." You are right on schedule.

A change of location may be required to manifest what you want in a career. In any event, meaningful work can be expected to appear in early 2003.

posted 10/2/02

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Dear Ruby -

I was involved in an intense relationship with a man I care deeply about. It began in 2000 and ended mid-last year during the Saturn/Pluto opposition. It ended because of the intensity of our relationship and because of his inability to handle his emotions and fear of losing control. We both have other responsibilities we can't just walk away from. I know he has deep feelings for me, but he is terrified of them and of the unknown. I love him too much to see him so anguished, so I had to let him go - but we have not said goodbye.

Can you advise on our compatibility and how best I can handle such a complex character. I know it could work, if only he would let it. Can you also advise on any major planetary transits that could affect us both.

My birth date is October 10, 1963, 5:30 pm, Melbourne, Australia.
His birth date is June 20, 1964, 2:50 pm, Melbourne, Australia.


Dear Intensity -

There is compatibility between your two charts. You have Libra/Scorpio emphasis; your friend has Gemini/Scorpio emphasis. Gemini and Libra are both air signs and are quite compatible. There are some problems, however.

You have Mercury in Virgo square to your friend's Gemini planets (Mercury loosely conjunct to an exact Sun/Venus conjunction). You have Mars conjunct Neptune in Scorpio; your friend has Moon conjunct Neptune in Scorpio. Your Mars is conjunct to his Ascendant.

Your friend is indeed a complex individual. Gemini people really do have dual personalities. On the one hand, your friend is cheerful and optimistic and likes everyone to get along. He is also very sensual and sexual and somewhat distrustful of women. The conjunction of your Mars in Scorpio to his Ascendant is a problem. While on the one hand, this is the source of the great passion between the two of you, it is also indicative of a good deal of strife and a tendency to get into power struggles.

The primary transit between the two of you is Saturn in a square to your Mercury and a conjunction to his Gemini planets. This goes on through the beginning of next year. I think it will be very difficult for the two of you to come together during this time. Saturn is currently stationary right on your friend's Sun/Venus conjunction and square to your Mercury. This is not an expansive time for either one of you, but rather a time when you must both sit with the restrictions, limitations and responsibilities of your lives.

posted 9/22/02

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Dear Ruby -

I have cheated death: once when I was born, 3 years of age, 1985, 2000. I feel as though I should have died each time, but got saved for a fate worse each time. I do things like other people do, but they never turn out as they do for others. They always backfire, no matter the situation. I used to think I had a guardian angel, but as I look around, I see my life surrounded in evil. I was supposed to be born June 13, 1951; instead I was born June 14, 1951, 4:01 am in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The doctors had to sedate my mother - she tried to commit suicide.


Dear Anne -

Your chart reflects your mother's psychological condition at the time of your birth. Your Moon (mother) is conjunct to Neptune - the planet of illusion and delusion. This conjunction is part of a T-square with Jupiter and Uranus, indicating the deep wound you experienced at the time of your birth. Every time transiting planets come back into relationship with this T-square this wound is reactivated in your life.

Pluto, the lord of the underworld, is conjunct to your 4th house cusp - the point of home and mother. Your Sun is square to Saturn, indicating that it is difficult for you to feel safe in this world. These are hard and difficult aspects.

There is, however, much that is quite wonderful in your chart. You have emphasis in Gemini (Ascendant, Mercury, Mars and the Sun) and your Moon/Neptune conjunction is in Libra in the 5th house and in a harmonious relationship to your Gemini planets. Your Venus in Leo is in a positive aspect to Jupiter. You have many gifts and considerable creative talent. These abilities can aid you in healing the wounds of your life.

No one on this planet gets a free ride - although it is true that some have a more difficult path than others. Even those with the most difficult chart - and I have seen charts much more problematic than yours - can transform negativity. The question of evil is an interesting one, as is fate, destiny, and karma. I would say, however, that each and every one of us has choices, and I encourage you to make the choice of focusing on your gifts and talents. Use your creative self-expression as a healing tool - and seek out those who can help and guide you in this process.

posted 9/11/02

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Dear Ruby -

I was born June 5, 1972 at 11:30 am in Los Angeles, Ca. Lately I've been in a non-working stage. I was a criminal defense attorney and am now taking time off. The time has gone into over a year. During the year I worked on my self-confidence and am now focusing on my career path. What do you see in the future for me and what am I most suited for? Was criminal defense a good fit (I didn't like the constant competition and disrespect so much, but I did enjoy the challenge and interesting cases.) Did I properly use my Saturn return?

I just read the article on Saturn/Jupiter with Saturn being pessimistic and a lot of hard work. Is this what I have in store for me, a difficult life because my Sun is conjunct Saturn in the 10th house?

A Saturn Life

Dear A Saturn Life -

Leave it to someone with Sun conjunct Saturn to focus on my comments regarding the more difficult qualities of Saturn. Every sign and planet has both positive and negative qualities. It is true that people with heavy Saturn emphasis in their chart can tend toward being over-burdened by life and can have difficulties. They also, however, have the ability to be disciplined, structured and clear on their priorities - which can make their lives productive and fruitful.

As to whether or not you "properly" used your Saturn return, I would say you used yours just fine. The Saturn return is a perfect time to assess what has been accomplished up to now in life and to adjust one's priorities.

A career as a criminal defense attorney is actually a very good fit for you. The 10th house emphasis in your chart and Jupiter in Capricorn suggest that you are disciplined, responsible and have the ability to communicate effectively with bureaucracy. Your need for variety and change (Mercury/Sun/Saturn conjunct in Gemini) was satisfied by what you describe as "the challenge and interesting cases." The dissatisfaction you experienced ("the constant competition and disrespect") is reflected in your chart by your Moon in Pisces opposite Pluto. This part of your chart is currently being affected by transiting Saturn. Under that professional exterior lies a sensitive guy with a real soft spot for the underdogs of society. You might consider utilizing your legal skills in an organization that would allow you to advocate for those less fortunate. This would satisfy all your varied interests and needs.

posted 9/10/02

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Dear Ruby -

I'm supposed to be a lion (born August 17, 1974 - approximately 10:00 am - Newcastle, England) although sometimes I feel I'm a mouse. My job doesn't feel right for me. I work in an office with lots of figures and get hassled by a lot of people. I feel like a scatterbrain and like I'm not on the ball. My dream would be to spend a few months working abroad, helping others.

Why am I so dizzy and unorganized? Is my current job the one for me? If not - what is - and do I have the potential to achieve it?

Leo, the Shy-In

Dear Leo, the Shy-In -

Yes, shy lion, you really are a Leo. You actually have quite a bit of the fire sign in your chart with Venus, the Moon, Mercury and the Sun all in Leo. What sometimes isn't understood about Leo is that these natives have a great need to be appreciated, recognized and valued. Leos are very generous and kind, but their true nature only comes out when they know that their efforts are appreciated.

You have Pluto conjunct to your Ascendant in Libra. Libra rising people are artistic with a strong sense of beauty and symmetry. They need harmony in their environment. With Pluto conjunct to your Ascendant you are particularly sensitive to other people and are easily affected by their actions.

Working with numbers is not the best occupation for you. Although you do have your Mars in Virgo - the sign of organization and details - it is in a challenging aspect to your Neptune, suggesting that although you try to be organized it is difficult for you. You like working as part of a team, but it is important that the members of the team be emotionally generous and supportive of each other.

In two years you will have your first Saturn return, a time of maturity and growth. In the meantime, if you really would like to work abroad, why not consider working with some sort of charitable organization? The pay may not be great, but your efforts would be valued and appreciated and you would have the possibility of working as part of a dedicated team. You would learn more about your true potential in this type of situation than you ever will in an office.

posted 9/2/02

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Dear Ruby -

I was born February 25, 1955 in Montserrat. A man wants to be with me - he was born February 19, 1949 in Egypt. He says he loves me and he is a doctor. I think I love him, but I'm not sure. He wants to travel from where he is to meet me. Will I love him, will I be happy with him, is he rich and is he really a doctor? Please tell me - I am so confused - but I feel that I want to be with him.

Thank you,


Dear Rose -

You questions give a good example of what we can expect to learn from astrology, and what we cannot. You are asking if this man is an honest person and if he can be trusted.

You have not provided complete birth data on either yourself or your gentleman friend - therefore my information is limited. The two of you have similar astrological emphases - primarily in the signs Pisces, Aquarius and Capricorn. This is positive for compatibility. You share similar interests in life. It is possible that this man is a doctor. He has many of the qualities that make a good doctor - compassion, a desire to serve, and ambition. He also carries a certain degree of distrust - particularly for women - and he can be manipulative. I cannot know, however, how he has chosen to apply these personality characteristics in his life. Therefore I do not know if he is honest and trustworthy - or if he has chosen a path of selfishness and dishonesty.

What I do know is that you are a sensitive, emotionally impulsive woman who greatly desires the safety and stability of a loving, compassionate relationship. Boundaries are an issue for you. You have often felt overwhelmed by others, which has created crisis in your life. I would suggest that this relationship is worth exploring - but no decision can be made through long distance communications - nor by consulting an online astrology advice column. Meet your gentleman friend. Keep your mind open and your wits about you - and make no hasty decisions. Listen, observe, and force yourself to take it slow. Anything of value is worth waiting for, and anything that is real will keep.

posted 8/22/02

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Dear Ruby -

My birthday is June 6, 1982 so I am a Gemini. My boyfriend's birthday is September 16, 1983 so he is a Virgo. I am wondering if we are compatible or not. I'm just so confused.

So Confused

Dear So Confused -

People form relationships for many reasons. Some relationships are karmic in nature - meaning we have unfinished business with that person. Karmic relationships occur particularly when we are young. You and your boyfriend have very strong karmic connections. Your Jupiter in Scorpio is in a conjunction to your boyfriend's Saturn. Your South Node is in Capricorn; your boyfriend's Moon is in Capricorn. Your boyfriend's South Node is in Sagittarius; your Moon is in Sagittarius.

You have not given the complete birth data. However, the birth dates alone indicate that there are compatible elements as well as differences between your two charts. You have strong Gemini; your boyfriend has strong Virgo. These two signs are square to one another. Both signs are verbal and analytical, but they take a different approach to communication and self-expression. Your Venus in Taurus is opposite to his Saturn in Scorpio - but possibly in a harmonious relationship to his Moon in Capricorn. Your Mercury is opposite to his Jupiter, but your Mars is in a harmonious relationship to his Jupiter. Your Venus may be trine to his Moon, your Sun is positively aligned with his Venus and Mars, and your Moon may be in a conjunction to his Jupiter.

All this comes together to suggest that there are challenges in this relationship - you are very different people - but you have been drawn together for a purpose and have much to learn from each other.

posted 8/10/02

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Dear Ruby -

I have Neptune rising in Sagittarius that is just 0.2 degrees or so off the Ascendant in the twelfth house. Now, I have two questions on that. Would you say that I have more of a Pisces rising than a Sagittarius one? Also, a web site says that Neptune in my case can also be interpreted as residing in the first house. Is that true?

Neptune Rising

Dear Neptune Rising -

You still have a Sagittarius rising. The functions of the planets and the signs are different. The signs describe - in the case of the houses the signs on the cusps describe how you as an individual approach that particular area of activity. Planets represent different parts of the personality. The outer planets - of which Neptune is one - represent the effects of collective change on our psyche. Neptune represents change on a spiritual level, and describes some aspect of society that is gradually changing and dies out over time. The generation with Neptune in Sagittarius is destined to see tremendous changes in religion, politics and law. The categories historically used by societies to delineate these subjects will become fuzzy and deteriorate. This is already happening - and will continue throughout your lifetime.

With Neptune conjunct to your Ascendant you are particularly sensitive to this change. Sagittarian subjects are naturally of great interest to you, and you are very conscious of the shifting ground. At times this leads to uncertainty and a lack of clarity in personal expression - typical of people with Neptune rising in any sign. Although this conjunction does put a Pisces stamp on your personality, the area of expression remains distinctly Sagittarius.

I would agree that Neptune can also be interpreted as residing in the first house. In a situation such as yours, we cannot know for certain the exact placement of Neptune. The recorded time of any birth depends on the reliability of the reporter - just when did that doctor or nurse look at the clock? It is best in your case to focus on the meaning of the Ascendant itself - it is the moment of awakening to earth existence - and to think what it might mean to have Neptune directly in alignment with that moment of awakening.

posted 7/13/02

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Dear Ruby -

I was born June 25, 1951 at 4:20 am - San Francisco, Ca. I just turned 51 and did not expect to be where I am right now!

I just separated from my husband after 15 years. I have a contract with the company I'm with until the end of the year. I am going to re-negotiate with them toward the end of the year and I'm wondering if my job or career will be solid with them - or even with someone else? Since I am now single this is a big concern to me right now.

Also, do you see a new relationship on the horizon?

Just Turned 51!

Dear Just Turned 51! -

You have moved into a challenging period. Transiting Saturn is moving through a conjunction to your Mars, a square to your Moon and a square to your Saturn. This aspect in your chart is called a T-square and describes a recurring dilemma. You are a compassionate and caring person, but have difficulty with authority and sometimes allow your own best interests to be sabotaged by your desire to be helpful to others. Your energy becomes scattered and diffused, and it can be difficult to get what you want. Also, you are attracted to intense, powerful - but needy - people who sometimes overwhelm you. All this is up for change. This transit will remain in effect through next spring.

The opportunity is to learn to be more assertive about your own wants and needs. It is possible to take care of yourself without being aggressive, and to state what you want without worrying excessively about other people's feelings. Remember this when you negotiate with your employer and know that this is an opportunity to receive the acknowledgment and recognition you deserve.

Regarding a new relationship, it is possible someone may come into your life in the fall. The larger lesson of this period remains, however, and will affect all relationships, be they personal or professional.

posted 7/13/02

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Dear Ruby -

I am in a time of need right now. It seems as if I have had nothing but bad luck recently. I've almost gone to jail, got into horrible arguments with my mother, can't find a job and I'm not getting along with people around me. The way they act just gets under my skin. I owe everyone money and I'm so broke I don't know if my luck will ever change.

My birth data is August 27, 1983, 2:42 am in Fairfax, Virginia. If you could please tell me whether or not you see my life changing for the better I would be ever so grateful.

In Need of Luck

Dear In Need of Luck -

I expect that by the time you read this your situation has improved. Your Ascendant, or rising sign, is in Cancer and over the last few weeks both Mars and Jupiter have crossed over your Ascendant. Cancer rising individuals are extremely sensitive, take things very personally and can be defensive. They are also very compassionate and caring.

The ruler of your chart - the Moon - is in Aries. People with Moon in Aries are headstrong and impulsive. Transiting Mars and Jupiter have also been moving through a challenging relationship to your Moon. You've been extremely emotional lately, with your temper easily triggered.

Your run of bad luck is temporary. You do have some life lessons to learn, however. You are a vibrant, good-natured, optimistic person, and yet you can be irresponsible and have difficulty following through with your commitments. You have great energy and are very creative, but you tend to feel entitled to acknowledgment you have not yet earned.

You are young and life is long with many lessons. Try to slow down, don't take things so personally and don't make promises you can't keep. Enjoy your natural spontaneity, but understand that one of your life lessons will be to follow through with your commitments, and to be responsible for your actions.

posted 7/5/02

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Dear Ruby -

My boyfriend and I are planning to move in together. We spend so much time together already that we see it as just a small transition from our regular routine. We do know that things aren't quite so simple.

I've been warned that sharing a strong emphasis in the same signs can lead to boredom or being easily irritated with each other. We both have an Aries Sun and Mercury and a Sagittarius Moon. With Ascending signs that square each other, will our relationship last?

I was born in New York at 9:00 pm on April 11, 1982. He was born in Camden, New Jersey at 3:15 pm on April 3, 1983.


Dear Yuri -

Although it is true that too much similarity can breed contempt, it isn't a given. Similarity between two charts can also create great compatibility and a real delight in shared experience. You and your boyfriend both love travel, adventure and spontaneity. You both have lots of energy and enjoy the companionship of stimulating and diverse people. The sexual connection between you is strong, and you also genuinely enjoy each other's company.

There are some differences between your charts, which serve to spice up your relationship. Your Ascendants are not square - your Ascendant is Scorpio and your friend's is Virgo. Your Mars is in Libra and your Venus is in Pisces; your friend's Mars is in Aries and his Venus is in Taurus. While your boyfriend can be a bit prickly at times, you are the peacemaker and emotional caretaker. You are somewhat more outgoing in social situations, while he has a touch of the loner in his personality.

One of the nicest relationship aspects between your two charts involves the planet Venus. Your Venus in Pisces is conjunct to his Descendant; his Venus in Taurus is conjunct to your Descendant. The Descendant is the point of partnership and relationship; Venus is that which we value and makes us happy. You make each other very happy, and there is no reason to think that this will change any time soon.

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Dear Ruby -

I was born March 11, 1951 in Chicago, Illinois at 6:15 am. My man friend was born December 4, 1972 at 6:00 pm in Tehran, Iran. What should I expect from this relationship? Are we compatible?


Dear Compatible? -

There is compatibility between your two charts. Your friend has four of the inner planets (the Moon, Mercury, Mars and Venus) in Scorpio and the Sun conjunct Neptune in Sagittarius. You have an exact conjunction of the Sun, Mercury and Jupiter to your Ascendant in Pisces, and Mars and Venus in Aries. Pisces and Scorpio are both water signs and are very harmonious with one another. Sagittarius and Aries are both fire signs and also share great compatibility. Your charts suggest that you are both intense, passionate, emotional people. There is a strong spiritual component to your relationship.

I would issue one word of caution. Your friend is creative, artistic and deeply sensual, and I've no doubt you greatly enjoy his company. He is also young and has not yet completely discovered who he is. He is easily swept away and can be changeable. You take relationships very seriously and have a history of assuming more than your fair share of responsibility for making the relationship work. Remember that relationships require the mature commitment of both individuals in order to be successful.

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Dear Ruby -

I was born on May 9, 1970, at 6:18 pm in Palo Alto, Ca.

I'm very much a Taurus in that I think I always know better than anyone else, and have Mars in Gemini which makes me sharp-tongued and very impatient. At the same time I have the Moon in Cancer. I'm definitely an overly-sensitive person. To top it all off, my Ascendant is Libra which apparently makes me even more sensitive?

Although I've made a conscious effort to become more patient and less sensitive, I often face the following situation: I'm impatient with someone and then feel terribly guilty for awhile when that person reacts badly. It's a bad feeling and I'd like to know if you have any insights on that.

Thanks, Impatient

Dear Impatient -

I'd like to put a somewhat different - and less negative - spin on your self-assessment. It isn't that Taurus thinks they always know better than anyone else, but rather that Taurus very much knows what is right for them. Taurus can seem very selfish to others but is really just very centered in self. This is not a bad way to be.

You have Sun, Mercury and Saturn conjunct in Taurus - suggesting you hold yourself to a very high standard. This Taurus conjunction is in the seventh house - Libra's house - complimenting your Libra Ascendant. Jupiter is exactly conjunct to your Libra rising. Libra is very aware of fairness and justice. You greatly value harmony in relationships, and suffer when you feel that you have been the one to create disharmony.

Moon in Cancer is very sensitive, and has a highly developed awareness of other people's feeling and emotions. Cancer is a very empathetic sign and Cancer Moon often takes on other people's feelings as their own.

The challenge presented by your chart is learning how to resolve the following contradiction. On the one hand you are deeply in touch with your own truth. On the other hand you want to be liked by other people - and do not want to cause them unhappiness. No wonder you sometimes act impatiently - particularly when you feel like your desire to please others is overwhelming your need to be true to yourself. Learn to listen to your inner voice and to stay centered in your deepest sense of self. Be calmly who you are and allow others to either accept or reject as they wish. Some people will be happy with you - others will not. So be it.

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Dear Ruby -

I have come to a time in my life where I need to let go of my past - it was particularly traumatic for me - and I do not think I have turned out to be a well-adjusted person. I have problems with almost all aspects of my life. I always have the belief I will somehow pull through, although I must admit I sometimes doubt there is any hope for my future. I know that I have lots of different talents, but I never capitalise on any of them for lack of confidence and a criminal shyness. Could you please give me any insight as to whether things will look up, or whether I'll eventually be strong enough to go out into the big wide world and make a success of myself?

My birth details are January 16, 1974, 3:24 am, Birmingham, England.

Many regards,

Dear Lost -

You have Saturn conjunct to the South Node in Gemini. The South Node is often called the "path of least resistance" and represents the pull of the past in our lives. Saturn is the concept of consolidation, restriction and discipline. You perceive life to be very difficult, restrictive and limiting. Your experience, particularly during the first part of life, reinforced this perception.

Saturn's effect is amplified by a conjunction of the Sun and Mercury in Capricorn. People with Capricorn and Saturn influential in their charts often encounter great difficulty early in life. The good news is that they do tend to become lighter in both attitude and expectation as they grow older.

Your chart does suggest that you have been subjected to great trauma. Your Ascendant and Moon are both in Scorpio with your Moon part of a T-square with your Mars in Taurus and your Venus in Aquarius. You grew up in a household where power was abused and you were subjected to manipulation from others. Those who grow up in these types of situations develop major issues around trust.

You will be experiencing your Saturn return from September, 2002 to May, 2003. The first Saturn return occurs for all of us around age 29 and represents a transition into a new level of maturity. You will have the opportunity to free yourself from the painful effects of your past. You will need help in this process, however, and I encourage you to seek therapeutic counseling.

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Dear Ruby -

What is the significance of Mercury and the Moon in alignment at 19:48 in Capricorn in the 6th house? Is this a type of eclipse?

Also, what is the sign of a developmental delay of a child in a natal chart?

Curious 2

Dear Curious 2 -

Mercury and the Moon come into conjunction once a month as the Moon moves through its 28 day cycle. This is not an eclipse. Astrology is an earth-centered language. When two planets are in conjunction we can draw an imaginary line from our point on earth out into space and see the two conjunct planets aligned along that line. Lunar and solar eclipses are conjunctions that take place along the plane of the ecliptic - which is why either the moon or the sun is blocked from our view here on earth. When other planets in the solar system align, however, they will be either above or below the plane of the ecliptic, and both will be visible. Their distance from that plane is called "declination."

Capricorn is an earth sign; the 6th house is Virgo's house naturally - another earth sign. An individual with the Moon conjunct Mercury in Capricorn and in the 6th house is practical, detail-oriented and needs to do things "right." There is a strong interconnection between the unconscious and conscious mind. This aspect alone does not describe the total personality, however, but is only one facet in an interplay of factors.

There is no one indicator of developmental delay in a natal chart. Certainly the planet Mercury can be examined, as well as the Sun, and any aspects to these planets from Saturn and Neptune. Astrology is quite incomplete in this area, however. The natal configuration is not the sole arbitrator of an individual's capacity. The astrological chart indicates a predispostion for a certain personality expression, which is modified by other factors such as genetics and environment.

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Dear Ruby -

John here. (6/14/62; 6:15 am; Hollis, New York)

Career question. I will be 40 years old in June. I still don't know who I am or what I really want. Maybe if I knew the lessons to be learned in this path (life), career would not stand out as such an important issue. The early part of my life seemed to be filled with success. Now I am rarely satisfied with my lot. Any specific occupations that seem obvious? Money has been tight all my life.

Thanks, John

Dear John -

You have Sun and Mercury in Gemini in the 12th house and Moon conjunct Neptune in Scorpio in the 5th. The 5th house rules creative self-expression; Gemini is the sign of communication. I expect you are a gifted communicator and have considerable artistic talent. You can do well in any work that involves creative self-expression - including teaching and writing. You are also very compassionate and sensitive and care deeply about others. Your creative and communication skills could be successfully combined in work as a counselor, therapist or instructor.

The issue isn't so much what you should do - you have many talents and could be a success in several fields - but rather finding the discipline to accomplish your goals. Your chart suggests that you have difficulty sticking to a path. Your interest shifts and your desires change easily. Disipline feels restrictive and constricting.

Your awareness of this problem is heightened at this time, providing an opportunity for change. Neptune is presently moving through a conjunction to your Saturn/South Node and a square to your Moon/Neptune. You feel particularly burdened by the apparent sacrifices that must be made in order to succeed on this planet, and feel even less certain of yourself. Your creative voice is the key, however. Pick something that has meaning for you - and stick to it. Success in this lifetime will not be measured by the affirmation of the external world, but rather by inner satisfaction.

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Dear Ruby -

I have Venus and Jupiter in my twelfth house. What does this signify? Also will I be successful in my career?

My data: December 16, 1973; 11:57 am; Nasik, India.

Thank you for your help.


Dear Anxious -

Western astrologers use many different house systems. The placement of planets in a chart can change depending on which system is used. For example, in your chart Venus and Jupiter in Aquarius are both in the twelfth house in the Campanus system, but in at least two other systems - Placidas and Koch - your Venus falls in the eleventh house with only Jupiter in the twelfth.

Much heated discussion has taken place over the question of house systems. Regardless of which one is used for your chart, we can know that you value teamwork and are expanded by the experience of being in service to the larger community.

This attraction to service-oriented teamwork relates to your question regarding your career. The key to a successful career is choosing an occupation that you truly enjoy and have the talent to do well. With your Sun and Mercury both in Sagittarius and straddling your mid-haven, it is clear that you have the requisite determination to succeed. You need an occupation that provides you with mental stimulation, exposure to the world of ideas and opportunities for travel. You also need to be part of a team and desire work that has meaning and significance. You have natural leadership abilities and are an excellent teacher. If your occupation takes advantage of these talents and abilities, you will succeed.

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Dear Ruby -

I was born January 11, 1957 in Portsmouth, Virginia at 11:10 am.

I was told by an astrologer once that I would begin to "bloom" at around the age of 45. Well, I turned 45 this year and my self-esteem is at its lowest. From my chart, what do you see as the significance of age 45?

Thanks, Depressed

Dear Depressed -

Many people experience their second Saturn opposition at age 45 (it happens for some people at 44). The second opposition of transiting Saturn to natal Saturn is the astrological midpoint of life, and comes on the heels of several transits of the outer planets to their natal points. It is during this time that the effect of the North Node becomes increasingly more important in our charts. The North Node is often called the "path of fulfillment" and represents an area of our chart that we need to consciously embrace in order to become whole and complete individuals. During the first half of our life the South Node - the "path of least resistance" is primarily in effect. Your South Node is in Taurus; your North Node is in Scorpio.

The path of least resistance for you has been to hold on to people, places, things and ideas long after they have ceased to serve a purpose in your life. Combined with your Sun conjunct Mercury in Capricorn and your Moon in Taurus, this nodal position suggests that you have suffered - and struggled - with your identification of yourself as a solid, practical, down-to-earth kind of person. With Mars conjunct to your Ascendant in Aries, your instinctive reaction is to be spontaneous - but the other factors in your chart do not give you permission to embrace this part of yourself.

North Node in Scorpio indicates that in the second half of your life you will learn to let go of resistance to change and embrace the constant process of death and rebirth. Your second opposition of Saturn has also involved the transiting Saturn/Pluto opposition. It is not surprising that you have been depressed. This most difficult phase is almost over, however, and you can look forward to an easier time ahead.

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Dear Ruby -

I was born March 14, 1982, 5:20 am, in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. I broke up with my boyfriend a couple of months ago. Maybe you can tell me if we are going to be together again? His birth date is September 21, 1979; he is a Virgo with an Aries Ascendant. I'd also like to know if I have a chance for new love soon? Maybe some cute Cancer or Scorpio is waiting just for me?


Dear Luna -

I understand the attraction that love has for you - with Mars in Libra and Moon conjunct Jupiter in Scorpio, you are definitely a relationship kind of gal. Your former boyfriend is also drawn to relationship, with empahsis in Libra and the 7th house. There is harmony between your two charts - you both have Venus in an air sign (Aquarius for you; Libra for him) and they are in positive aspect. Your Sun in in a trine to his Mars. His Jupiter is in a conjunction to your Descendant - the point of partnership.

You do not say what came between you, but I imagine there was a tendency to get into power struggles over how to handle dissension in relationships. Your Sun is in Pisces; his is in Virgo - and they are opposite to one another. With emphasis in Virgo and Libra, and an Aries rising, your former love is analytical and discriminating - but he does not like dissension. When things get difficult, he cuts out. You are passionate and intense and like relationships to be emotional and deeply involved. As long as things were light and "fun" everything was fine between the two of you - but as soon as disagreements arose the differences between you became quite apparent.

He may be back. The connection between you is strong and not easily severed. The pull for you, however, is increasingly toward home, family and roots. Saturn is currently passing into your fourth house where it will remain for over a year. Later this year and on into 2003 Saturn will move into a square to your Sun. You are moving into a period of self-exploration and reflection.

I'm sure it isn't difficult for a sensitive, passionate, vibrant woman like you to attract men. It is time, however, to turn the spotlight on yourself. Your deepest sense of self requests - for awhile - your complete attention.

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Dear Ruby -

I recently broke up with my boyfriend after nearly a year because he is a playboy type and just yesterday he admitted to me that "one woman isn't enough." Although I know in the long run it's a good thing, I'm still in shock over it.

Can anyone born on his birthday ever become, or even wish to become, a one-woman man?

My data: April 27, 1950, New York, NY, 3:12 am.
His data: April 14, 1949, Eldred, NY - time unknown.

In Shock

Dear In Shock -

A person's fate really isn't in the stars. I believe that each of us is "fated" to wrestle with certain issues specific to us. All charts have a theme - and so do our lives. What we do when confronted with the key issues of our lives is up to us, however. We do have a certain amount of free will in determining how we respond to events, as well as to our own psychological nature.

Your friend has four planets in Aries - his Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars. He values freedom, spontaneity and excitement. His Moon is in Scorpio - most likely in a challenging aspect to his Pluto. He loves passion, sexual excitement and the "game" of love. He does not, however, truly trust women and most likely comes from a background where power was used to control and manipulate others.

Now none of this says he cannot be a one-woman man - but it does say that he has issues around trust and commitment.

As for you - you are a sensitive, feeling-oriented woman who tends to be attracted to exciting, unpredictable men with an angry streak. You got what you wanted. You say in your question that you know that "in the long run it's a good thing." Your intuition is correct. Your former boyfriend's Saturn is in an exact conjunction to your Moon in Leo. There hasn't been any room in this relationship for you to truly express your feelings. Real intimacy requires that we risk vulnerability. This relationship has not been emotionally safe for you. The question for you is - why have you been so attracted to someone who could not give you what you most need?

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Dear Ruby -

I'm a Leo female and I'm very much in love with a Libra male. We've had a disagreement and he's said some pretty mean things to me. I still love him, and I know he cares for me, but right now we aren't speaking to each other. I want to know how to straighten this out and get him to love me more than ever.

My birth date is July 26, 1973; his is October 10, 1972. We were both born in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Helpless Leo

Dear Helpless Leo -

It isn't unusual for individuals in relationships to have disagreements. The question is how are these disagreements handled? Are the two people involved able to sit down and discuss their issues calmly - or are they inclined to lose their temper and end up in a shouting match?

The problem for you and your Libra friend is that you are both excitable and inclined to fly off the handle. You both have the planet Uranus strongly aspected in your chart. In your chart Uranus is in a square aspect to your Mercury - the planet of communication - and in an opposition to your Mars - the planet of creative drive, anger and self-defense. In your friend's chart Uranus is in a conjunction to his Sun - the symbol of his essential self. He is vibrant, exciting, unconventional - and unpredictable. He is exactly the sort of man you are attracted to.

Although your attraction to each other is strong, the challenge to your relationship is clear. You must both commit to clear, calm, sensitive communication in order for this relationship to succeed.

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Dear Ruby -

I am attracted to an older man born 5/12/1940. My birthdate is 4/11/1958. Is there anything there? I looked up some of the aspects, but I find it confusing. My Moon is trine his Sun, which is supposed to be great, but his Moon may be square my Sun - which is terrible for compatibility. How do I interpret this? My Ascendant is Cancer (I was born somewhere between 10 and 11 am in Madrid, Spain).

Mature Attraction

Dear Mature Attraction -

Looking at individual aspects between two charts can be very confusing. There are always some aspects that are positive, and some that are difficult. If we stop to think about it, this makes sense. Even the most compatible relationships have areas of stress and difficulty. It becomes necessary to weigh the various factors against each other in order to determine the over-all expression of the relationship.

Regarding your chart in relationship to your friend's - it is positive that your Moon in Capricorn is trine to his Sun in Taurus. Also, his Jupiter is in a conjunction to your Mercury and Sun in Aries - a most harmonious aspect suggesting a real sense of identification between the two of you. Also, your Sun is conjunct to his South Node - suggesting a past life connection. His Mars is trine by sign to your Mars and his Venus is trine to your Venus. All very positive and suggesting great compatibility.

Your friend's Moon in Cancer is most likely opposite to your Moon in Capricorn and square to your Sun in Aries. This is somewhat stressful - but it is also useful. You have a Sun/Moon square in your natal chart, suggesting a bit of a conflict within yourself. Your Moon in Capricorn in the seventh house indicates that you have always been more comfortable with mature individuals, and like to maintain your independence in relationships. Emotional expression is difficult for you. Your friend is more comfortable in expressing his feelings, but he is not overly-emotional. His personality reflects a nice balance between reserve (Mercury conjunct Saturn) and openness (Sun conjunct Uranus). He is a person who can make emotional expression "safe" for you.

There will be conflicts in this relationship - and misunderstandings (your Mars in Aquarius is square to his Sun conjunct Mercury in Taurus). But there is also the potential for honest communication, openness and security.

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Dear Ruby -

I am an Aquarian, February 17, 1944 at 8:55 am, Los Angeles, Ca. I am knowledgeable regarding astrology. However, I find it hard to be objective concerning my own chart.

I currently have Uranus conjunct my Sun at 27 degrees. Of course, it will be back and forth all year. In June I will have my second Saturn return, 3rd house, 19 degrees - one time with no retrograde motion.

Needless to say, I'm not having a terribly good time right now. Can you give me an idea of what to expect. I'd appreciate any insights.

Saturn Return

Dear Saturn Return -

Although Saturn only makes one pass over it's natal position, I consider your Saturn return to cover the entire period from June 2002, until May 2003, when Saturn crosses over your 4th house cusp for the third time. As I'm sure you are aware, the Saturn return represents the transition from one phase of life to another - in this case from the cycle of maturity to the cycle of wisdom. As with all transitions, nothing is clear while the process is taking place. We are in a time of letting go of old ideas about ourselves and trying on new ones.

Parallel to the Saturn transit is the opposition of Pluto to your Saturn, which takes place from January 2003 to November 2004, and the transit of Uranus to your Sun. Your Sun is part of a T-square with your Moon in Sagittarius and your Uranus in Gemini. This Uranian transit to your T-square - which began last month (March 2002), is in effect through January 2005.

So - you are at the beginning of a major transition. With natal Uranus square to your Sun and opposite your Moon, you are no stranger to chaos and unpredictability. With natal Mars conjunct to Saturn, you have had difficulty accessing your own creativity and ambition - an issue which has been heightened in recent months with the transit of Saturn over your Mars. The upcoming period provides an opportunity to access your creativity in new and exciting ways and to liberate yourself from life-long issues surrounding fears of being overwhelmed by others and a corresponding difficulty in allowing yourself to step forward and claim your natural authority.

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Dear Ruby -

In the first week of May 2002, I have Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn conjuncting my 10th house and Uranus; at the same time they are opposing my Sun in Capricorn. I am interested in how this might affect my career. Can you enlighten me, please?

My birth data: January 2, 1952, 11:47 pm, Boston, Massachusetts.

Career Conscious

Dear Career Conscious -

Actually, this is not correct. During the first week of May only Jupiter will pass through a conjunction to your 10th house cusp and Uranus, and an opposition to your Sun in Capricorn. Venus, Mars and Saturn will all be in Gemini at a considerable distance from Jupiter. Venus will pass over your 10th house cusp at the end of May, Mars in mid-June and Saturn not until the fall of 2003.

I assume that you are referring to the overly-hyped alignment of planets. (See question from Sky Watcher.) This alignment will have little affect on your chart. With Uranus conjunct to your 10th house cusp natally, and part of a grand cross involving Jupiter, the Sun and Saturn, I imagine career issues are always coming up for you, and are often erratic and unpredictable. While the current transits are of little importance, the question of discipline versus freedom - central to your issues around career - will continue to be a major theme in your life.

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Dear Ruby -

I have yet to find any interpretations of the current planetary alignment of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Such planetary groupings are visible every 40 to 70 years. The next one is not expected until September 2040.

Sky Watcher

Dear Sky Watcher -

While these alignments are visually impressive, they are not astrologically important in and of themselves. It is the outer planets - Saturn through Pluto - that reflect the more dramatic earth events. We are currently experiencing the third and final opposition of Saturn in Gemini and Pluto in Sagittarius. What is important about the alignment of inner planets is that it does take place in relationship to the Saturn/Pluto opposition. During the week of May 3 through May 10, 2002, Venus and Mars will both move through a conjunction to Saturn and an opposition to Pluto, highlighting their stationary opposition. The Saturn/Pluto opposition, which is exact on May 25th, has been incredibly important over the last year and was in effect for most of the last six months of 2001. The events of September 11th are a reflection of this most intense transit.

For more information on the effects of these planetary transits, please see the Current Transits section of this web site.

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Dear Ruby -

Will I ever have the chance to work and live abroad? I was born November 15, 1973, 10:27 am in Bukit Mertajam, Penang. I live in the country of my birth, Malaysia.



Dear Julie -

Travel and career are ruled by the 9th and 10th houses of an astrological chart. Mercury rules your 9th house and falls natally in your 10th house, suggesting that travel and career are a winning combination in your life. Your desire to work in other places in the world is strong.

So, however, is your sense of responsibility toward your family. You have a Capricorn rising with Venus conjunct to your Ascendant and opposite your Saturn. You are a dutiful daughter who has had to deal with a lot of chaos and unpredictability in your family of origin.

There has also been unpredictability in your work. You've had some difficulty settling on a career. You do not say what your occupation is, but you would do well in the technology field. You have a natural interest in new innovations, and the capacity to focus on that which truly interest you.

No matter what you choose to do, however, you are going to have to break the hold of your family in order to pursue a career that allows you to work in other countries. You will be having your Saturn return from the summer of 2003 to the spring of 2004. The Saturn return is the time when we have the opportunity to psychologically separate from our parents and family. This is the time when you will be ready to decide what you most want for yourself, and to take the necessary action.

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Dear Ruby -

I have only one planet (Uranus) in a mutable sign (Sagittarius) and only one planet (Jupiter) in an air sign (Aquarius). Could you please tell me the significance of this, if any?


Dear Syria -

The sign placement of the outer planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) is not as significant as the signs of the inner planets (Sun through Jupiter). The outer planets are sometimes called the "generational planets" and refer to the social and global atmosphere in effect at the time of our birth. They have little to do with our personality expression, except when they are in tight aspect to one of the inner planets and therefore modify that planet's expression in our personality.

Therefore, when weighing relative emphasis in a chart and the corresponding affect on personlity, we look most to the inner planets. Most charts have emphasis in a particular mode and element, and a lack of expression in another mode and element. These combinations do tell us something about personality expression. Example - an individual with fire/fixed sign emphasis is a strongly passionate person, while an individual with air/mutable emphasis is changeable and curious about their world.

In analyzing your own chart, I encourage you to look to the emphases as an indication of personality expression. The lack of expression in a particular mode or element simply indicates that that type of personality expression is less prominant.

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Dear Ruby -

I wonder if you can help me. It sounds pathetic, but I'm very worried about myself. I have very intense negative feelings toward others, to the extent that I have to hold myself back from committing violence and destruction. I also feel violent sexually toward women. I've been told I shouldn't consider a "proper relationship."

I realize you are not a doctor, and I'm not asking for therapy. I would like your perspective, however. I did ask another astrologer. He said I have stationary Pluto as the focus of a nasty T-square and, combined with other negatives in my chart, he said I'm doomed to be a dangerous, destructive and unpleasant person! As you can imagine, that didn't do me any good. Obviously I don't want to be that type!

I have been threatened with detention several times despite never having committed any crime, simply for showing signs that I could. What sort of astrological viewpoint do you have on my chart?

My data: June 22, 1978, 12:37 am, Okehampton, UK.

Worried Young Man

Dear Worried Young Man -

The essence of your problem, as I see it, is a deep-seated issue with your mother. The T-square you refer to involves Pluto square to your Moon in Capricorn and also square to your Mercury and Jupiter in Cancer. You have three planets in Cancer (the Sun, Mercury and Jupiter) suggesting that you are a deeply sensitive individual born to a mother who you feel did not meet your emotional needs. You viewed her as cold, authoritarian and manipulative. As a result, you carry a tremendous amount of anger that you direct primarily against women.

I believe that people can change. Therefore, I do not agree with the astrologer who said that you are "doomed to be a dangerious, destructive and unpleasant person." I would say, however, that you should take your own description of yourself quite seriously. There are legitimate reasons for your anger and they need to be explored in a constructive manner, or your rage could be uncontrollable. There are other factors in your chart that suggest excessive anger and an inherent dislike of women - (Venus square to Uranus; Mars conjunct to Saturn). These elements will continue to cause you difficulty if you do not address them

I have worked with many individuals in my career and I have seen charts far more difficult than yours. If a person commits to self-exploration and change - to becoming the best that they can be - they can turn even the most difficult charts into assets. I recommend that you enter into therapy immediately and explore your emotions in a safe environment with a qualified professional.

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Dear Ruby -

I am a Cancer female, born July 4, 1955 at 7:00 pm in Freeport, New York. I've been seeing a man on and off for three years. He is an Aquarius born February 14, 1949 at 7:20 am in Zeno, Ohio. We at one time lived together and were engaged to be married but then split up over differences in our children. We still have this unbelievable attraction. The chemistry between us is strong, but we definitely approach life differently. We've both dated other people but we always seem to find our way back to each other. We've recently gotten back together for another try. What do you think? Can this relationship work out?


Dear Hopeful -

Although Cancer and Aquarius are two very different signs (Cancer is a water sign and very emotional; Aquarius is an air sign and far less comfortable with emotional expression) there are many connections between your two charts. You have Mercury and Venus in Gemini; your friend has Mercury and Venus in Aquarius. These signs are both air signs and are quite compatible. Your friend has Mars in Pisces; your Mars is in Cancer - both water signs. Your Moon is in Capricorn; his is in Virgo - earth signs. All this suggests great compatibility between the two of you.

You have a strong emphasis in the seventh house - the house of partnership and marriage. Relationships are very important to you, and you bring a strong emotional commitment to all your connections. Your partner also has planets in the seventh house, although the emphasis is quite different. Your seventh house contains Venus, the Sun, Mars and Uranus in Cancer; his has the Moon and Saturn in Virgo. You are passionate about emotional commitments, while he often finds the emotional aspect of relationship burdensome and exhausting.

One connection between the two of you explains a lot. You both have Sun conjunct Mars - your conjunction is in Cancer in your seventh house; his is in Aquarius in his first house and conjunct to his Ascendant. You are both strong-willed and determined people - but your objectives are different. You will fight for your children and your relationships. Your friend, however, fights for his freedom and doesn't want to be enmeshed in a sea of emotionality.

The two of you might seriously consider couples counseling so you can better understand each other. The connections between your charts are quite strong, and this relationship can succeed. You will need to respect the differences between you, however, and avoid slipping into excessive drama.

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Dear Ruby -

I was born on October 11, 1962 at 9:30 am in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Can you advise me whether a career in preaching and counseling would be something I could excel at?

Career Confused

Dear Career Confused -

You have your Sun in the 12th house - the house of service, your Moon in Pisces - the sign of spirituality, and your Sun and Mercury in Libra - the sign of problem-solving and harmony. Your Venus in Scorpio is in a harmonious relationship to your Mars in Cancer. You have a heavy emphasis in water signs - the signs most associated with emotions and creating a feeling connection between people. All this combines to suggest that you have a strong spiritual grounding, a desire to serve humanity, great compassion for those who suffer, and an ability to listen and create harmony in your relationships.

You would indeed excel at a career in preaching and counseling. One word of caution - your Neptune is conjunct to your Scorpio Ascendant, suggesting that it is easy for your to become overwhelmed by the emotions and feelings of others. You sometimes lose sense of the boundaries between you and other people. It will be important to maintain a strong sense of what is yours and that which is the responsibility of others so as not to become too weighed down with difficulties and problems you cannot hope to solve.

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Dear Ruby -

My son was born November 26, 1984 at 10:47 pm in Oklahoma City, OK. He has all of his planets in only four signs and houses. I'd appreciate any feedback you might be able to give on how this might affect his personality, special talents, career - whatever you think would be good for me to know as his parent - so that I can give him the best guidance. He is 17 and will soon be choosing a career. I've never seen a chart with the planets so compact, and I guess I'm concerned/
curious. Please share your insights.

My birth data is February 1, 1963, 7:05 pm, Oklahoma City, OK.

Concerned Mother

Dear Concerned Mother -

It really isn't so unusual to have a tight grouping of planets such as your son has in his chart. Everyone born around the same time as he has all of their planets in such a grouping, and there have been many times in history when the planets have aligned in such a fashion.

To address your son's chart specifically, all of his planets except one - Pluto - are in the second quadrant. The second quadrant is associated with the signs Cancer, Leo and Virgo and has to do with the perfection of the self. Your son has many natural leadership abilities with a nice balance between self-discipline and an attraction to new experiences. It will take him time to grow into his abilities, however, and he is likely to spend some years exploring all the possibilities available to him. I am reluctant to suggest a specific career path for him, because he hasn't asked me, but I will say that he will always need mental stimulation and variety in his chosen career. At the moment he is probably confused about what he wants to do, which is actually OK. He doesn't need to decide right now, but rather should explore his world - travel, study, and enjoy what life has to offer.

I would like to take a moment to address your chart, Mom. You have Sun conjunct Saturn opposite your Mars. This opposition is square to Neptune. You have had to contend with limitation and restriction in your own life, and you have often felt afraid. Be careful not to project your own fears onto your son. He has a natural zest for life, combined with a solid sense of self-discipline. All indications are that he will find his way just fine.

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Dear Ruby -

I live in London, UK, and was introduced to a woman through an email to her friend. I am male, born October 31, 1976, 3:15 am, Dartford, Kent, England. My new lady friend was born July 8, 1977, 4:45 pm, Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

We have struck up an amazing friendship. In the last month or so we have spoken every day and feel very connected to each other. Our relationship is mentally intense, and we are both deeply emotional people. We already have a very close connection. We have made plans to meet in Canada next month, so we can find out whether there could be any spark there. We are both of the same caste in our culture and our families would like us both to marry into our faith. My question is this - are our star signs compatible for marriage?

Many thanks,

Love Struck

Dear Love Struck -

There is a solid compatibility between your charts. You have several planets in Scorpio; your lady friend has two planets in Cancer and a Scorpio Ascendant. These are both water signs and inherently compatible. As you say, you are both deeply emotional people and it is easy to see why you already have a strong feeling connection.

Your Moon is in Aquarius; your friend's is in Aries - another indication of compatibility. Her Mars in Taurus is conjunct to your Jupiter and to your Descendant - the point of partnership. This is a strong indicator of a close relationship.

One word of caution. You are a deeply romantic person, Love Struck, and you sometimes become lost in fantasy. It is easy for you to be swept away by emotional intensity - in fact you long for it. I expect that when the two of you meet the spark will be there. Be aware, however, that you are both strong willed individuals and passion may turn to struggle. Fortunately, your lady friend is more practical that you. Take it slow, Love Struck, and make the effort to see the person behind the fantasy.

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Dear Ruby -

Do you think the Uranus trine Saturn will cause the recession to continue?


Dear Economy -

The seeds of the present recession were planted with the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Taurus in May, 2000. In my writings at that time, I referred to the need for a new global approach, and the necessity to face the harsh reality that not all of the high-tech companies being touted at the time would be able to survive into the next decade. Only those with the most potential would be able to succeed in the new millennium.

The current recession has been described by the Saturn/Pluto opposition, which began in the summer of 2001 and completes itself in May, 2002. It is my feeling that the recession will end after May. It will not a robust climb back to economic health, however, and there will be fluctuations and unexpected twists in the year ahead. The Saturn/Uranus trine takes place over a year, from approximately mid-summer of 2002 to 2003. It is my opinion that we will have something of a wild ride during this period. Although the recession will be technically over, there are a good many surprises ahead.

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Dear Ruby -

I feel I am at a crossroad in my life and I'm very confused. I'm married with two children and have been terribly unhappy and unfulfilled for a very long time. Two years ago I became involved with a man outside my marriage. We developed an intense emotional connection and I have become a stronger person because of it. He is also married and has his own marital problems. Relations between us in the past year have become rather intense and he has needed space to try and deal with his emotions. I understand his anguish and have let him go. Have I lost him forever or will he come back? Is it time to end my marriage? Can you help me see what is going on?

My data: October 10, 1963, 5:30 pm, Melbourne, Australia.


Dear Confused -

The connection between you and this man is strong. You have heavy emphasis in Libra and the seventh house - the house of marriage and partnership. Your lover has heavy emphasis in Gemini. Gemini and Libra are both air signs and have much in common. I'm sure that the two of you had a natural rapport right from the beginning.

It is interesting that your relationship began two years ago. You have Mars in Scorpio, suggesting a very intense desire nature. Two years ago the planet Uranus began to move through a square to your Mars, initiating an opportunity to become more aware of your own passionate nature. Mars is in a square aspect with Saturn in your chart, suggesting that you grew up in an environment where expression of your strong desire nature was not encouraged. With the recent transit of Uranus you find yourself reclaiming an essential aspect of your own nature.

I cannot say whether or not this man will return to you. Both he and his wife are having some difficult Saturn transits over the next year. This man has a Sun/Venus conjunction, suggesting that he has a basically cheerful and optimistic nature. This conjunction is in an opposition to his wife's Mars. I would imagine that he suffers greately in this relationship, and found the warmth and affection of your relationship a welcome relief to the struggle and emotional intensity in his own marriage. Like you, this man also has Mars square to Saturn. He has never been able to express his true nature but rather has found himself continually in reaction to situations others create. This has certainly been true in his marriage, and will be even more of an issue over the next year.

The gentleman has a lot to sort out for himself - but then again, so do you. What works in one part of our life may not work in another. Only you can decide.

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Dear Ruby -

I am very attracted to a Cancer man. I know our two signs (I'm an Aquarius) are not supposed to be compatible but I am finding myself attracted to Cancer men a lot - even though they are frustrating!

What should I expect with this man? Are we going anywhere in our relationship or will we become good friends? What is he looking for, and can it be me?

My birth data: February 11, 1971, Modesto, Ca. at 6:26 am. He was born July 4, 1969.


Dear Aquarian -

At first glance your charts are very different. You are a double Aquarius (Sun and Ascendant) with your Moon in Virgo. Your friend is a Cancer with his Moon in Pisces. Cancer and Pisces are water signs and tend to be sensitive and emotional. Aquarius and Virgo are signs of the intellect and are less comfortable with feelings.

Looking closer, however, there are interesting planetary relationships. You both have Mars in Sagittarius, conjunct to Neptune. Your Mercury is in Aquarius; his Mercury is in Gemini - also an air sign. You both have your Venus in earth signs - yours is in Capricorn and his is in Taurus. Most importantly, Juno - the asteroid representing marriage - is in Taurus in your chart, conjunct to his Venus, and in Capricorn in his chart, conjunct to your Venus.

Your friend is not a typical Cancer. He has strong emphasis in the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces). He is changeable, likes variety and is uncertain about commitment. He likes to keep things light and playful. You ask, "what is he looking for?". He doesn't really know. But there is a strong attraction to you.

Both of you will be going through a great deal of change over the next year. You have Neptune transiting your Ascendant. You instinctive presentation of self and relationship to your immediate environment is changing dramatically. Your friend will have Saturn transiting his mutable planets. His difficulty with commitment and lack of clarity about relationships will be highlighted. Relax and have fun for the present. The summer will initiate a new phase of your relationship. Questions about your friend's ability to commit will come to the fore at that time and will demand resolution.

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Dear Ruby -

How is heliocentric astrology different from the kind that we usually use? I observe that the moon and the sun are also together in heliocentric astrology. Why is that so?

Astro Novice

Dear Astro Novice -

The astrology that we most commonly use - geocentric astrology - is earth centered. The center point of a geocentric horoscope is planet earth. The chart itself is a crude map of the solar system as seen from a particular point on earth - the location from which the chart is calculated.

The center point of a heliocentric horoscope is the sun, and the chart is a crude map of the solar system as seen from the sun. The sun does not appear on a heliocentric chart, but the earth does. The earth is placed opposite to the position of the sun on a geocentric chart. If your sun is Aries 0 degrees on a geocentric chart, your earth will be Libra 0 degrees on a heliocentric chart.

It is the earth and the moon that are always together on a heliocentric chart. From the perspective of the sun, the earth and the moon are in the same place in space. The movement of the moon is relevant only from our perspective here on earth.

In my opinion, heliocentric charts are of limited interest. An astrological chart is inherently person-centered - or event-centered. People are not born on the sun; events do not take place on the sun. While some astrologers do find value in heliocentric charts, most use them in addition to the geocentric chart.

The fact that heliocentric charts exist at all is important, however. In the not-so-distant future, human children will be born in places other than the earth. It will be possible to calculate a birth chart centered any place in space - space stations, other planets, even points outside of our solar system - always from the perspective of the individual for whom the chart is drawn.

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Dear Ruby -

Like the USA I have my Sun in Cancer and Ascendant in Sagittarius (12 degrees), and so I experienced the Saturn/Pluto opposition last year. As you can imagine it was tough (but not as tough as it could have been!). I feel my Ascendant/Jupiter/
Saturn grand trine "protects" me - this year already looks better.

I am really interested in what I am supposed to take away from all of this - what lessons to learn? They are not obvious to me or I wouldn't be asking! And what's in store with the final opposition in May?

My birth data: July 10, 1967, 5:40 pm, Port Arthur, Texas.

Sincerely, A Fiery Crab

Dear Fiery Crab -

The Ascendant/Descendant axis is about the "I/Other" relationship. The Ascendant is the veil through which we perceive the world; the Descendant is how we behave in relationship with others. Planets in transit over this axis - particularly the outer planets - initiate a period of time during which we have experiences which help us learn more about how we perceive and relate to others.

Jupiter rules your Ascendant; Mercury rules your Descendant. These two planets fall in the relationship houses of your chart - the seventh and eighth. Relationships are of extreme importance to you. You need to be recognized, acknowledged and appreciated by those around you. This opposition suggests that something is changing in the way you seek out and receive energy from others.

Saturn and Pluto were in opposition to each other last year from August through mid-November (2001) and will form their final opposition to each other in May, 2002. While last year's opposition was right on your Ascendant/Descendant, the final opposition in May will be on the 16th degree of Gemini/Sagittarius - a few degrees past your axis.

As you suggest, the final opposition will not be as difficult as the first one. Circumstances will refer, however, back to the events of last year. You might think of this time as an "echo." Less intense, not as challenging, but definitely in relationship to the previous transit. It will also be a time of completion. The reason that the lessons are not clear is because the experience is not yet over. You are in transition. Your perception of the world and your experience of relationship is changing - now - and the results of this change have not yet manifested. Expect events to occur in May that will help you to understand how you have changed over the last year.

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Dear Ruby -

My query relates to my career. Will I be more successful in my own business or profession, or in service? I work presently in computer software. Also, will I do best in my homeland or abroad? I am currently in the USA since July, '01. My birth details are: June 13, 1972, 4:13 am, Gwalior, MP, India.

Thanks & regards,


Dear Astroman -

With three planets (Saturn, the Sun and Venus) and your Ascendant in Gemini, and Uranus - the planet ruling innovation and invention - ruling your Midhaven, you are well suited to your present career. You have a quick mind, enjoy problem-solving and you adapt well to rapid change in your work environment. You are also quite disciplined and capable of applying yourself to a project from start to finish. You have a winning combination of discipline and ingenuity that will serve you well.

You are currently going through your Saturn return. Later this year Saturn will move through a conjunction to your Sun. This will be a good time to resolve the question of where and in what direction your career will manifest.

There is much in the United States that appeals to you. You enjoy the fast pace, creativity and opportunity, and you are not adverse to working hard to get what you want. However, home and family are also very important to you (Moon and Mars in Cancer). Wherever you go, you need the support of loved ones backing you up.

If you choose to go into business for yourself, you will do well to look for a business partner, particularly someone with their feet planted firmly on the ground. While you are creative and inventive, you are also easily influenced. Your desire to please others can sabotage your own best interests. Unless you have a strong family support system in the United States, you would do well to return to India and contribute to the burgeoning computer industry in that country.

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Dear Ruby -

I was born May 21, 1968, 1:30 am in Lichfield, Staffordshire, England. I'm confused as to which birth sign I am.

Also - will our luck change soon? All the family seems to have been ill with all sorts of viruses since before Christmas (2001). Will it end soon? Will I find a purpose in life apart from being a wife and mother or find a job that really suits me? I've tried a lot of things in the past.

Down in the Dumps

Dear Down in the Dumps -

If the birth time you have given is accurate, you are a Gemini. The Sun moved into Gemini at 12:54 am on the 21st of May, 1968, and was at Gemini 0 degrees 1 minute at 1:30 am. However, you do have aspects of both Gemini and Cancer reflected in your personality. Both the love of home and family - Cancer - as well as the attraction to change and variety - Gemini - are strongly emphasized.

The ill-health recently experienced by members of your family would be reflected in each of their individual charts. However, Saturn is currently in a conjunction to your Mars in Gemini in your fourth house. This suggests that you are in a period where you find your own energy and activity restricted by circumstances beyond your control. Saturn changes direction February 7, 2002 and will then gradually move away from your Mars. You can expect the situation to begin to change after mid-February.

Saturn also plays a role in the question of a purpose in life beyond that of wife and mother. Over the next year Saturn will move into a conjunction to your Mercury, square to your Moon and square to your Pluto and Uranus. This grouping of planets in your chart - called a T-square - reflects a tendency on your part to thrive on change and crisis. It is an expression of the fact that you have "tried a lot of things in the past."

You will find yourself increasingly more willing to focus in on a particular area of endeavor. There are careers that will accomodate your need for variety, change and that will allow you to use your communication abilities. You would do well to consider teaching or counseling.

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Dear Ruby -

I'd like to know if things will work out between me and Jack. I was born May 15, 1980, at 3:00 am in Los Angeles, Ca. Jack was born November 2, 1978 at 7:34 pm in Cairo, Egypt.

Cheers, In Doubt

Dear In Doubt -

Well, it is a rocky road between you and Jack. Your Suns are opposite by sign (you are a Taurus; he is a Scorpio. Your Ascendants are square (Pisces for you; Gemini for Jack), Mercurys are opposite (Taurus/Scorpio), Moons are opposite (Gemini/Sagittarius) and both Mars are square (Virgo and conjunct to Jupiter for you; Sagittarius and conjunct to the Moon for Jack). Your relationship is intense and marked by power struggles.

So, why be with each other? Because at this point in your lives you both like relationships to be intense and exciting. Your Taurus Sun is opposite Uranus. You are drawn to exciting, unconventional and unpredictable people. Jack has Sun conjunct Uranus. He is everything you are drawn to in a man - passionate, intense and exciting.

Being with Jack is like being on a wild ride at an amusement park. Exhilarating, breathtaking, and somewhat dangerous. You are young. You will most likely decide at some point that you want to get off the roller coaster and will look for a calmer, more down-to-earth relationship. But for now - this relationship provides you the opportunity to learn much about yourself - and it is what most attracts you.

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Dear Ruby -

Which planet represents the father-in-law? Do you use the fourth house for father-in-law?

Thanks, Astrologer

Dear Astrologer -

None of the planets specifically relate to the father-in-law. However, one's own father is represented by both the Sun and Saturn, and the aspect relationship between them at birth. Our relationship with our father affects how we relate to all men, and most specifically to men who assume some sort of similar role in our lives. Therefore, much can be learned by looking at the Sun and Saturn.

When looking at parental figures I use both the fourth and tenth house cusps. As you most likely know, traditionally the fourth house cusp was associated with mother and the tenth house cusp with father. More recently, some astrologers found it useful to reverse the association - and looked at the tenth house cusp in relation to mother and the fourth house cusp with the father. The tenth house cusp refers to our public status in life; the fourth to the home and family. The idea behind the more recent association is that our mothers influence the choices we make that lead to our public image, while our fathers provide the external structure that creates our sense of home and family. I find that by considering both the signs that fall on the fourth/tenth house axis, as well as the aspect relationship of the planets that rule these two houses, I gain a more complete understanding of parental influence in an individual's life.

In the same way I would look at the Sun/Saturn relationship to get some sense of how an individual views their father-in-law, I would also look at the fourth/tenth house axis to further that understanding. I would remember, however, that these elements apply primarily to the person who functions as "father" in the individual's life, and only peripherally to a father-in-law.

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Dear Ruby -

I am a Scorpio woman (11/14/56 - 1:38 am - Upland, Ca.) attracted to a Pisces man (3/19/56 - 9:20 am - Fall River, Mass.). I am finding that he teases me with his level of commitment to me and this is frustrating for me. Do you see any future for me with this man?

Thanks, Windy

Dear Windy -

Well, it depends on which man you're talking about. Your Pisces man has an on-going case of double identity. His Moon is in Gemini, in an almost exact square to his Pisces Sun. While his Pisces Sun is in a very positive relationship to your Scorpio Sun, Pisces Mars, and the point of partnership (your seventh house cusp), his Gemini Moon is square to your Jupiter and your Mars. Part of him is very drawn to you, and comfortable in your company, but another part of him is ambivalent, changeable and even fickle. His Gemini Moon finds it hard to commit and likes his freedom. His Pisces Sun is sensitive and caring and finds you a natural partner.

I would guess he doesn't see his behavior to be as much of a problem as you do. He probably thinks he's just being funny and "keeping things light." He may also be intimidated by you. You have your Sun exactly conjunct to your Mercury in Scorpio and your Moon is in Aries. You are very focused and intense. When you want something you go right for it - with no ambivalence whatsoever.

The nicest aspect of your relationship revolves around the connection between the water planets in your two charts - your Sun/Mercury in Scorpio and Mars in Pisces and his Sun and Mercury also in Pisces. Try talking to his heart - letting him know how his teasing hurts and confuses you. Opening up in this way isn't always easy for you - Scorpio tends to have trust issues - but the softer side of his personality will respond to your emotional openness.

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Dear Ruby -

I'm a Taurus woman (May 18, 1965 - Sao Paulo, Brazil - 6:05 pm) married to a Pisces man (February 27, 1963 - Sao Paulo, Prazil - 6:40 am) for 14 years now. My husband has been cheating on me for a year with his boss' sister. Now he wants to leave me and my daughter because of his affair.

Do you think this affair will last or is he going to get fed up with her and decide to stay with us? If he is going to "come back" to us, please say when, if possible.

Thenk you, Betrayed

Dear Betrayed -

First I must state that I do not believe one can predict the exact outcome of events with astrology. It is my personal belief that events occur through a combination of fate, or destiny, and the results of our own actions. What astrology can do, however, is give us a better understanding of the reasons events happen and can help us make better choices.

That being said - this is a very difficult time for you. Natally, you have Venus and Jupiter conjunct to your Descendant in Gemini. Partnership is very important to you. It is the great joy of your life. Relationships expand and define you. The planet Saturn has been moving through a conjunction to this planetary combination, robbing you of much of the joy that relationship brings you. Rather than your marriage being a source of happiness and light, it has become burdensome and depressing

Saturn has also been forming a difficult aspect - a T-square - to your Uranus/Mars/Pluto opposite Saturn. This natal opposition suggests that you have always been an intense person attracted to equally intense people. You have a lot of energy and although you project a reserved exterior, you have a strong will and deeply felt desires.

Your husband is charming and charismatic, but does not share his true feelings easily. He has also been going through difficult transits during this last year. Saturn has been square to his Sun in Pisces and Neptune has been square to his Mars in Leo. He has felt creatively stifled and has been going through a type of identity crisis.

When I put your two charts up against each other, I see that your Saturn is in a conjunction to your husband's Ascendant, and your Uranus/Mars/Pluto is conjunct to his Descendant. This suggests that you have felt insecure in your relationship with him for many years and that your response has been to try to control him. He has felt very confined and oppressed by your fear.

This is not an excuse for dishonesty in relationships - but it is an issue which needs to be examined. I would suggest an attempt at an honest discussion of how each of you feel within your relationship. The month of February, 2002, is crucial in this discussion and will likely bring some resolution to your situation.

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Dear Ruby -

In doing some genealogical research I recently read an old bible/diary dated from 1745 to 1780. In this bible they associated dates of birth with signs. Some examples: 9th June - sign of the balance, 24th of June - sign of the ram, 9th of April - sign of the bull, 18th of January - sign of the goat. There are many more (twins, lion, crab, archer, virgin, scorpion, fishes) but you get the idea. My question, what do they mean and how do they arrive at these signs?

Sincerely, Genealogist

Dear Genealogist -

Ancient astrologers grouped stars into constellations by superimposing pictures onto star groups. While virtually all early cultures practiced some type of astrology, the division of the celestial heavens varied from culture to culture. In western astrology there are twelve signs of the zodiac. Each of these signs is associated with a symbol. The twelve signs and their symbols are: Aries the ram, Taurus the bull, Gemini the twins, Cancer the crab, Leo the lion, Virgo the virgin, Libra the scales (or balance), Scorpio the scorpion (also the eagle), Sagittarius the archer, Capricorn the goat, Aquarius the water bearer and Pisces the fishes.

There is an association between the symbol representing a sign and the personality of individuals born under that sign. For example, Aries individuals (the ram) are known to be competitive, Taurus people (the bull) are considered stubborn and "bull-headed", and Leos (the lion) are courageous leaders. The dates you mention are oddly aligned, however. January 18th is in Capricorn - the sign of the goat. April 9, however, falls in Aries - the sign of the ram, June 9 falls in Gemini - the sign of the twins, and June 24 is in Cancer - the sign of the crab. Libra - the sign associated with the scales of justice - is from September 22nd to October 23rd. Aries is from March 20th to April 19th, and Taurus is from April 19th to May 20th.

I am not an astrological historian, although there are those who do engage in this type of research. Robert Hand is among the most respected. As for me, I cannot explain why your bible associates dates and signs differently than we do today, except to say that the symbolic associations in western astrology have changed over the centures as the language of astrology continues to transform and evolve.

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Dear Ruby -

I was just wondering - my Sun is about four degrees away from the 8th house. Does that have any significance? I was born at 5:21 pm on May 6, 1983, in Vancouver, Canada.

Wanting to Know

Dear Wanting to Know -

The degree that falls on a house cusp depends on which house system is used in the computation of the chart. Each system uses a different method to divide the area between the angles. While the angles are the same in most systems (there are exceptions), the degrees that fall on the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 11th and 12th house cusps will be different.

Using your chart as an example, your Sun falls on the 16th degree of Taurus. One of the most popular house systems is Koch, which places your 8th house cusp at Taurus 11 degrees. Another commonly used system is Placidas. Your 8th house cusp is Taurus 8 degrees in this system. A less commonly used system - but one I prefer - is Campanus. According to this system your 8th house cusp is exactly conjunct to your Sun at Taurus 16 degrees. Some astrologers prefer the Equal House system, which places your 8th house cusp at Taurus 12 degrees.

There is no "right" house system. This is a subject of great discussion among astrologers, based on a disagreement over how to divide the celestial heavens and therefore create an astrological chart. Most astrologers simply do their research and choose a system that makes sense to them.

Because of this uncertainty, the house cusps between the angles is of less importance than the actual angles themselves. We may not always know exactly which house a planet is in - in which case it is important to think of the transition between one house and the next. In your own chart, you can know that no matter which house system is used, your Sun is in the 8th house.

For more information on the houses, please read The Basics section of this web site.

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Dear Ruby -

Hi Ruby - I have a few problems about astrology. Can you answer them?

- What does it mean to have Venus opposite to the Mars and Moon?
- Does a third house Sun that conjuncts fourth house cusp tell anything? They're off by like 3 degrees.
- What are Nadir, Node, Pallas, Juno, Vesta, Chiron and Ceres?



Dear Questions -

The Moon and Venus are the two female planets in astrology. The Moon refers to our emotions, our instinctive self-expression and our personal unconscious. It also refers to the first seven years of our lives and our relationship with our mother.

Venus and Mars work as a team. Venus is the female pole of sexuality and the principle of attraction. Venus describes that which we are attracted to and also what is attracted to us. Mars is the male pole of sexuality and the principle of creative action. Mars describes the quality of energy we send out into the world to get that which Venus wants, and to defend ourselves against that which Venus does not like.

When Venus and Mars are in difficult aspect there is trouble on the team. An opposition describes a power struggle between the two involved planets. With Venus opposite Mars, the individual finds themselves continually becoming involved with people and situations they do not like or want. Mars conjunct to the Moon contributes an emotional component. Relationships can be emotional and erratic, and sometimes obsessive.

The fourth house cusp is the Nadir, also called the I.C. The Nadir represents home, family, the roots we come from, as well as the depths of our own personality. The Sun represents our ego, our sense of self, our identity. Sun conjunct the I.C., even if it is in the third house, suggests a person with great love of home and family, and a need to reach deep down into their own depths for their sense of identity.

It is important to understand that any single aspect within a chart is modified by the rest of the chart. A chart describes a tapestry of aspects interrelating with each other to create the expression of a personality.

Pallas, Juno, Vesta and Ceres are the four asteroids. Chiron is a comet. The North and South Nodes are the magnetic poles of the Moon. For descriptions of their meaning, I refer you to Other Points in "The Basics" section of this web site.

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Dear Ruby -

I was born March 11, 1951, 6:15 am in Chicago, IL. Could you please help me to understand what my stellium means and how it will affect my life?


Dear Stellium -

A stellium is a group of 3 or more planets very close to one another within the same sign or house. You have a very tight stellium in Pisces with the Sun, Ascendant, Mercury and Jupiter all conjunct on the 20th degree and the North Node at Pisces 19 degrees.

A stellium represents a heightened emphasis in a particular sign or house. A conjunction is a blending of planetary energies. The Sun represents our ego and our sense of self; the Ascendant is our instinctive self-expression, the part of our personality that we show to the world first. In most charts the Ascendant and Sun are in different signs. Mercury is our ability to communicate. Jupiter is the principle of expansion, and intensifies or expands the expression of other planetary elements. The North Node is the path of fulfillment and represents an area of experience that we must grow into gradually over the course of a lifetime.

Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac. Pisces individuals are compassionate, caring, sensitive, intuitive, and easily overwhelmed by others. Such powerful Pisces expression in your own chart suggests that you particularly relate to this water sign. All the gifts of the sign - psychic awareness, a desire to be of service to others, and natural artistic expression - are yours, as well as the feeling of alienation that comes with being so sensitive, fluid and vulnerable.

I think it is likely that for most of your life you have been uncomfortable with your strong Piscean nature. You have felt easily overwhelmed, vulnerable, and unable to protect yourself from the demands of others. Your boundaries are easily invaded and you are hurt by the insensitivity of the world. Your Moon is in Taurus, and it is likely that you have taken refuge in the safety and security of practical matters and in service to others. Your path in life has demanded that you dive into the watery realm of Pisces, however. You are a naturally spiritual individual, and very psychic. As you grow older you find yourself continually drawn to spiritual subjects and pursuits, and you will wish to dive deep into your own emotional depths. The more you experience your own internal richness the less it frightens you, and the more you will feel comfortable in the world of emotions, vulnerability and the watery world of undifferentiated boundaries.

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Dear Ruby -

My astro data: January 26, 1947, 4:20 pm, Williamsburg, Iowa.

I am considering changing my job and moving from Baltimore to either Walnut Creek, California, or home to Arizona. I understand there is a program called Astrocartography and am considering looking at getting one done to see what areas are the best places for me to look into. Can you make a recommendation?

Thank you, Sefirah

Dear Sefirah -

Yes, there is a program called Astrocartography. It plots the angles of your chart onto a map of the world, indicating the places where planets fall on the angles. It can be quite useful, but it is best to have it interpreted by a qualified astrologer. The Astrocartography people will send a little book that gives you a general idea of what it means to have a particular planet fall on a specific angle, but unless you already know astrology it can be confusing.

I can see that the issue of a change of location is up for you. The planet Neptune has been moving through a conjunction to your Sun conjunct Neptune in Aquarius, and in an opposition to your natal Saturn and square to your natal Chiron. This is a powerful transit - initiating a deeply felt reassessment of who you are. That Neptune is involved adds to the intensity. Neptune is conjunct to your Fourth House cusp natally, suggesting that you have never truly felt at home anywhere you have lived.

Although a move is a very possible result of this transit it must be understood that the real movement is taking place deep within you. The quest for home is less about an external home and more for a new sense of being deeply at home with your own sense of self.

Given that, I would suggest that it might be good to leave Baltimore. Your Ascendant is Leo 8 degrees in Baltimore. Your Saturn/Pluto conjunction straddles your Ascendant and your Sun/Mercury conjunction straddles your Descendant. I think it is unlikely that you have been happy in Baltimore. It is a place where relationships have been difficult and sometimes oppressive.

The Arizona and California charts are quite similar - the main difference being that Cancer is rising in Arizona while Gemini rises in California. Your Pisces Moon rules the Arizona chart; Mercury rules the California chart. Of the two I think you will find California more comfortable. Less emotional, less repressive and more congenial.

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Dear Ruby -

Can you tell me the dates when Mercury will be retrograde during the next 12 months, and is it retrograde now?

Thanks, Mercurial

Dear Mercurial -

Yes, Mercury is retrograde now. Mercury turned retrograde October 1, 2001 at Scorpio 0 degrees and will turn direct on October 22nd at Libra 15 degrees.

Mercury turns retrograde January 18, 2002 at Aquarius 15 degrees and direct on February 8, 2002 at Capricorn 29 degrees. The next retrograde period will be from May 15, 2002 until June 8, 2002 and Mercury will move between Gemini 10 and 2 degrees. The final retrograde period in the year 2002 will begin on September 14th at Libra 14 degrees and end on October 6th at Virgo 29 degrees.

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Dear Ruby -

I was born October 3, 1954, Dodge City, Kansas at 4:15 am.

I've been told my Mercury and Saturn are conjunct Pluto. Is this a bad thing? I'm a person constantly filled with stress and tension.

I have a new job. Will I finally get to do what I'd like to do?

And I'm so overweight I'm just sick about it. My mother recently died and all I can do is eat.

Thanks, Libra

Dear Libra -

Your Mercury and Saturn are conjunct, but they are not in relationship to Pluto. Mercury and Saturn are in the sign Scorpio - which is naturally ruled by Pluto - which may be what you mean.

Mercury is the planet representing communication; Saturn represents the principle of focus, limitation and restriction. Mercury conjunct to Saturn can be difficult. It suggests that when you were a child communication and self-expression was not encouraged, and so as an adult you have difficulty expressing yourself freely.

Although this conjunction can be difficult, it is not necessarily bad. Everyone has talents, gifts and abilities - and everyone has challenges they must work through in order to become whole and complete. During recent years the planet Neptune has been moving through a square aspect to your Mercury conjunct Saturn. You are becoming progressively more aware of the problems surrounding communication, and opportunities to work with this issue have been coming your way.

One opportunity is this new job. You do not say what it is that you would "like to do", but I would be willing to bet that issues around communication and self-expression will come up in this job. Mercury rules both your Tenth House - the house of career - and your Ascendant in your chart. Learning to articulate your thoughts and feelings is an extremely important part of your path in life and it is likely that many opportunities are coming up now.

I encourage you to pursue any activity that involves self-expression and exploration, whether it be writing, dancing, creating art or entering into one-on-one therapy with a qualified professional. Mercury conjunct Saturn can be difficult, but Mercury and Saturn in Scorpio suggests that you have a tremendous capacity to dig deep within yourself, and that you are driven by powerful and intense emotions. They are ready to be creatively and openly expressed. Pursuing these activities would help with much that troubles you - the stress and tension, the weight problem, and the grief you feel over the loss of your mother.

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Dear Ruby -

Am I a real Taurus? My family find me almost impossible to live with because I'm always mad over trivial matters. Where's that calm and peace Taureans possess? Deep down I feel so insecure that I do everything stupid for attention. My ex-love thought I didn't love him, when he was my center of earth. I thought Taureans are affectionate, but why ain't I? All I know is I get tense whenever things get a little hot and I return all the passion with cold and polite manners. I can't even say the words "I love you" - not to my love, not to my own parents! What is the matter with me? Also, I thought Taurus is supposed to be honest, but why aren't I with matters concerning my academic results or my feelings? Please help me.

My birth data: May 4, 1982, 4:51 pm, Hong Kong.


Dear Troubled -

Yes, you are indeed a Taurus - but you are not only a Taurus. Taurus is your Sun sign. The Sun represents our ego, our identity, our sense of self. It is not who we are in totality, however. Our personality is described far more completely by the interplay of all the factors within our chart.

Sometimes another sign is more predominant in a chart than the Sun sign. This is the case in your chart. Your Ascendant, Moon and Mars are all in Libra, and your Taurus Sun is in the Seventh House - Libra's house. Libra is the sign of partnership and relationship. The heavy Libran influence in your chart suggests that relationship is extremely important to you, and that you greatly desire the approval of others. This does not mean that relationships are easy - in fact your chart suggests that relationships are very difficult for you. Saturn - the planet representing restriction and limitation - is conjunct to your Libra Ascendant. Saturn rising describes an individual who experiences a great deal of fear of others and feels very uncomfortable when out in the world. This is reflected in many elements of your question - your deep-seated insecurity, your inability to show affection, and the tension you feel around others.

One of your greatest fears is of being overwhelmed by other people and their needs. The irritability and anger that you feel toward others is directly related to a deep fear of not being able to stand your ground and take care of yourself. You have a heavy emphasis in the Twelfth House, the house associated with Pisces. People with Twelfth House emphasis often feel like events around them send them spinning out of control to the point where they do not know who they are or what they truly want.

Although all of this sounds very difficult and even bleak, it is not. First of all, you are very young and will grow more comfortable with yourself as you mature. The calm serenity of Taurus will come in time. Secondly, one of your greatest assets is your creativity. I encourage you to develop your creative talents and abilities, which I believe to be considerable. Through expression of these gifts you will find your own unique voice and a safe harbor which will anchor you and help you to weather any storm.

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Dear Ruby -

Any clues regarding love and career??? My date of birth is January 4, 1956, approximately 11:40 pm in the United Kingdom.


Dear Interested -

Love and career. Matters of love are ruled by the astrological sign Libra; Capricorn governs issues regarding career. Libra and Capricorn are the two most strongly emphasized signs in your chart.

Your Sun sign is Capricorn; your Moon and Ascendant are in Libra. Your Sun and Moon are in a square aspect to one another. A square represents a challenge or conflict. Sun square to Moon describes a personality where outer expression is in conflict with internal emotions. Sun in Capricorn is capable, responsible, reserved and interested in doing the "right" thing.

Moon and Ascendant in Libra describe an emotional, instinctive desire for partnership and relationship. The desire for relationship is so strong, it sometimes overpowers all else. Whatever it is the other person seems to want in relationship, Moon in Libra will provide.

Hence the essence of the conflict. While you present a calm, strong and reserved external demeanor, internally you long desparately for relationship and are capable of trying anything to make relationship work. One of the problems with a Sun/Moon square is the difficulty other people have in reading you - and you therefore have in meeting your own needs. If what you really long for is an I/thou exchange - but you present a seemingly self-sufficient exterior - those to whom you relate do not understand how important relationship truly is for you. The trick becomes showing both sides of your self when it is appropriate, so that what you need in life is brought to you as well as what you want.

One area of life where it is possible to reconcile the conflict in your personality is in the area of career. You would do well in any career involving one-on-one communication. You would make an excellent therapist or counselor. In these situations, the need to relate to others on a one-on-one level works well with your responsible and reliable external demeanor.

This is not true intimacy, however. True intimacy requires letting down the Capricorn barriers, something which tends to be difficult. In the next two years, however - specifically in 2002 and 2003 - the planet Uranus will be moving through a square to your Mars. This transit will bring opportunities to act on your desire and ambition in life. Expect to break out in areas where you have felt constrained and unable to get what you want. Mars rules your Seventh House - the house governing partnership. It is likely this transit will bring a new phase in relationships.

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Dear Ruby -

Could you tell me what "retrograde" means. What effect does it have on the planets? My Mars in Libra, Jupiter in Scorpio, Saturn in Libra, Uranus in Sagittarius, Neptune in Sagittarius, Pluto in Libra and North Node in Cancer are all retrograde. Is that good or bad?


Dear Curious -

Retrograde is a term derived from a historical misunderstanding of celestial movements. As we follow planets moving through the night sky, it appears that they stop in their orbits and move backwards. Planets don't really move backwards, of course. This is an optical illusion that occurs because we too are on a moving planet, a fact the early practitioners of astrology did not know.

Although retrograde movement is illusory, it is important symbolically. Simply put, each of the planets represent an aspect of personality. When a planet is retrograde at birth that aspect is turned inward, rather than outward, and may be a bit more difficult to access. In an individual chart, it is the inner planets that are the most significant when retrograde - specifically Mercury, Venus and Mars. The North and South Nodes are always retrograde. The Nodes refer to the north and south poles of the Moon and rotate in what appears - from our position here on earth - to be a backwards motion. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are the generational planets and refer more to the generation that we are born into rather than to our individual personality characteristics. Retrograde motion in these planets has less significance to us individually, and more importance collectively.

In your own example, the most important retrograde planet is Mars in Libra. Mars is the planet representing our ability to go out and get that which we desire, as well as to protect ourselves from that which we do not like. Mars in Libra wants relationship. Mars retrograde in Libra, however, suggests you have difficulty getting the sort of relationship you want.

Of secondary importance are Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter represents that which expands us. Jupiter in Scorpio is expanded through a sense of intense interrelationship with other people. Retrograde Jupiter in Scorpio has some trouble achieving this sense of connection. Saturn represents consolidation. Saturn in Libra suggests a need to consolidate through relationship. Retrograde Saturn has some trouble achieving this consolidation.

You ask if this is "bad or good." There really is no bad or good in astrology - there only is. You did not give me your birth data so I do not know your chart. I do know from the little I have that relationships are important to you, but you have trouble achieving what you want in relationship. You have to dig deep in order to discover why. Retrograde motion describes the areas in life where we have lessons to learn, and opportunities to grow, through looking inward.

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Dear Ruby -

I seek your help. I wish to know whether my love affair would end in a peaceful marriage. This question is troubling both my partner and me. Also, I am trying for a job abroad. Is there an opportunity for me to work overseas?

My details: April 29, 1980, 10:10 am, Rajapalaiyam, India.
My partner's: September 19, 1980, time unknown, Paramagudi, India.

Thanking you, and with regards,


Dear Wondering -

I must first state the following: I am a Western astrologer and it is important to realize that Western and Vedic astrology are very different. Each system is philosophically tied to the culture from which it derives, and there are fundamental differences between our two cultures. With this in mind, I will proceed.

I find it interesting that you ask if your love affair will end in a "peaceful" marriage. While both you and your partner are serene and peace-loving people, you find yourselves drawn to relationships that are intense and tumultuous. You are a Taurus with your Moon in Libra in a close relationship to Pluto. Your Mars is in a close relationship to Jupiter and in a difficult aspect to Uranus. While you greatly desire peace and quiet in your life, relationships are challenging and intense.

Your partner has Jupiter, the Sun and Saturn in a close relationship in Virgo and her Moon is in Capricorn. Her personality expression is grounded and practical. Her Mercury is in Libra - in a harmonious relationship to your Moon - but also in a close relationship to Pluto. She has Mars in Scorpio in a close relationship to Uranus. While she too longs for calm and serenity she is also drawn to intensity in relationships.

The two of you found each other for a reason. If left to your own devices your lives would be calm, serene and even boring. But in relationship with each other you are stimulated, excited and challenged. Your relationship is not particularly peaceful, but it is not boring either. Aspects of your separate personalities that are normally unseen are given expression. You learn from each other.

Both of you will be undergoing some highly transformative transits over the next three years and will go through many changes. It will be best to wait before considering marriage.

Regarding the possibility of employment abroad, I think it is more likely next year than this year. Mars and Jupiter are the rulers of the houses governing career and work in your chart (the Tenth and Sixth Houses), and Venus is the ruler of home (the Fourth). The planet Uranus, which often initiates change, begins an opposition to your Mars and Jupiter in April, 2002, and Saturn begins a transit of your Venus in July. A career opportunity involving a move abroad is more likely next year, after April.

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Dear Ruby -

I've been feeling like I need to move. However, financially, it seems quite unfeasible at this time. I am very embroiled in my living/work arrangements and it would not be at all easy to change geographically. Perhaps it is just a matter of moving from one side of town to the other! I am near the tail end of a joint undergraduate degree in American Studies/Science Technology and Society at a large eastern university. I work for the libraries and have the intention of continuing on to receive an MLS. Of course, this is a practical decision that would ensure me a good living wage and security. However, I'm not sure that it's the right thing to do, since I am also a musician and artistry is what really floats my boat, as does political activism.

What insights can you offer? My birth date is February 8, 1959, 12:13 am, Shamokin, Pennsylvania.

Urge to Move

Dear Urge to Move -

I understand why you have made a practical decision for your future. You have Saturn in Capricorn - the most practical of planets in the most practical sign - and in the house of money, the Second House. However, practicality does not always come easy for you. You have a heavy emphasis in Aquarius with Mercury, the Sun, Chiron and the Moon all conjunct to your Fourth House cusp. Mercury and the Sun are in an opposition to Uranus. You have always found yourself in a tug-of-war between a need to be practical, particularly around money matters, and what at times is an overwhelming desire to break out of established situations. Uranus has been moving by transit through a conjunction to your Sun, Chiron and Moon. The part of you that likes to be free and open to whatever life brings is being activated. The Fourth House is the house of the home. A transit of Uranus over planets in the Fourth House can manifest as a desire to move. But the Fourth House isn't just the home we live in physically - it's also the home within ourselves. The seat of our soul. This transit may be speaking to your needs at a deepest level.

Saturn is transiting through a square to your Venus in Pisces at this time. Venus is about our values, and describes what makes us happy. Venus in Pisces describes your attraction to music and the arts, as does Neptune conjunct to your Ascendant. This urge to move may have less to do with a desire to change your residence, and more to do with a stirring deep within yourself that needs to be recognized. Saturn is demanding that you think about what you most value - and what will make you happy over the course of your life. Uranus is reminding you that you like excitement and change in your life.

I'm not suggesting that you be impractical. But I will suggest that you find a way to combine the things you love in life with what you do for money. A purely practical decision about your future will not work in the long run. If you put yourself in a position where you are bored on a regular basis, that Sun opposite Uranus will kick in and you'll most likely cut and run. I have a feeling it wouldn't be the first time - but oh! - what a move that would be!

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I was born July 7, 1959 at 6:50 pm, San Diego, California. My wife, born November 8, 1962 at 1:35 pm, Bandon, Oregon, is giving me an ultimatum to pick a college major and get cracking! I have chosen the major of psychology and intend to specialize in career counseling or maybe get further education and get into depth psychology, combining it with Jungian and esoteric astrology, ha!

What do you think? Oh, by the way, how about that eighth house?

Cheers, Warrior Lion

Dear Warrior Lion -

Well, that's quite an eighth house you've got - 8 planets (7 in Leo). A string of planets in a sign or house is called a stellium. Your eighth house stellium includes the Moon, Mercury, Uranus, Mars and Venus in Leo, with Pluto in Virgo. That's quite a combination - giving you boundless energy and great intensity. It also explains your attraction to subjects such as Jungian psychology and esoteric astrology. The eighth house is ruled by Scorpio and governs subjects such as the occult and matters regarding the depths of the human soul. This stellium also explains why you have had trouble making up your mind about what you want to do in life. With Jupiter in Scorpio in a square aspect to the latter part of this stellium, and Uranus right in the middle of it, you have always found yourself drawn to a variety of subjects and had trouble sticking to one interest. So much to learn, explore, experience and devour in life - who has time for the fine points (like degrees, and such)?

To get to the point, however, psychology is an appropriate degree for you to pursue - and graduate level work emphasizing Jungian psychology or some aspect of astrology would be right up your alley. However, you might consider the teaching profession rather than one-on-one counseling. Although you have great empathy in relationships, you are a born performer and would be happiest working with large groups of people. That sense of drama would serve you well in the classroom.

You don't say what type of ultimatum your wife has given you, but one cannot help but note the intensity that exists between your two charts. Your wife has a stellium of four planets in Scorpio, in the eighth house, and in a square aspect to both Mars and Saturn. Your wife is no stranger to intensity herself, although she is more likely to internalize her emotional expression. The suggestion is that the two of you fall easily into power struggles and that clear and open communication is essential.

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Dear Ruby,

I am a female, born January 2, 1953, at 10:26 pm, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I keep experiencing many upsets, reversals, calamities, etc., in my life and it is starting to get me down. I have tried to help myself through the study of astrology, trying to figure out what the heck is going on, as the events seem to come out of the blue. They are shocking, confusing, seemingly unwarranted and yet they pertain or are directed to me.

I just got fired from another job. In June of 1999 I was fired from a previous job, after the owner told me that I was the only one he trusted. I have always gotten along with co-workers in my jobs and support "team work" effort. I have been a good, honest worker but have had problems with managers and have had many unfortunate calamities which has made it difficult for me.

My son has had drug and alcohol abuse problems and stole from me. My ex-husband stole my half of our savings which left me penniless and with two children. He pays no financial support. Issues of alcohol/drug use surround my life and I am surrounded with people - including family members - with habits.

I am trying to understand what all the reversals and hardships I have experienced in my life are about. Can you offer some help?


Dear Desparate! -

I am struck by the words you use to describe your situation - "upsets, reversals, calamities, shocking, confusing." These are words associated with the planet Uranus, and - not unexpectedly - the most dominant aspect of your chart is an opposition between your Capricorn Sun and Uranus. It has been your fate in life to draw in chaos and the unexpected, and the challenge is to make your peace with it. This has not been easy for you - your Moon is in Leo in a conjunction to Pluto and your South Node. Your path has taken you into situations involving the abuse of power and destructive behavior - originating both from other people and - at times - from you as well.

Emotionally you need to be acknowledged and recognized for your efforts. You are very sensitive and capable of great love and empathy for others. You need to look, however, at your own attraction to drama and chaos. Your challenge is to learn to be serene in the face of ever-shifting realities. The opposition between Uranus and your Sun guarantees that your life will never be simple, but you can truly learn to "go with the flow" if you choose. Part of it is putting a different face on things. Instead of seeing the things that happen to you as "calamities" and "reversals", perhaps they can be seen as new opportunities? Your Capricornian nature may want permanence and security, but it isn't in the cards for you. You are likely to have many jobs in your life, and each can contribute to your development in a new way. What is needed is a new attitude, not a change in fortune. Your fortune will be what it is - what you make of it is up to you.

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Dear Ruby,

Hi. I was born on the 25th June, 1963, at 5:15 pm in Buxton, Derbyshire, England. I have many Cancerian traits, especially the intuition for others' moods and feelings, but I really missed out on the sympathetic nature! I have 6 children, aged 7 to 20, and have only now returned to paid employment (which I'm loving) after 19 and a half years. I feel like I have a new start to my life, but can't shake the feeling that it is all too good to be true!! What do you think?

Uncertain Mum

Dear Uncertain Mum -

I've often said that each of us is much more than just our Sun sign, and this is especially true in your case. Your Sun is the only Cancerian element that you have in your chart. Your Moon is in Leo, your Ascendant is Scorpio, and you have quite a bit of Gemini and Virgo energy as well. The Sun represents the conscious goals and aims of our life, and the sign it falls in describes basic personality characteristics. Cancer is the sign of home and family, and clearly this area of life is important to you or you would not be a mother to 6 children. But there are other elements in play as well. The Moon in Leo suggests you have a great need to express yourself creatively and to be recognized and appreciated. Mercury and Venus in Gemini suggest you like variety and are very curious about the world around you. Mars in Virgo in close aspect to your Pluto - and in the Tenth House - suggest that a successful career has always been attractive to you. A Scorpio rising suggests that you feel somewhat distrustful and suspicious about the world - no wonder you can't believe your luck!

At age 38, you are approaching a very important transition to a new phase of development. The first half of life - which astrologically is up to about the age of 45 - is dominated by a part of our birth chart represented by the South Node. The South Node is often called the "path of least resistance." It represents an area of expression that we are drawn to because it is safe and familiar. Beginning at the age of 38, we start to draw experiences into our lives that move us toward the opposite point - the North Node - called the "path of fulfillment." Your South Node is in Capricorn. The path of least resistance for you has involved doing the "right" thing, bowing to external authority and walking the straight and narrow. Your North Node is in Cancer. The deeper meaning of the sign Cancer is as a process of integration. You are beginning to see that in order to be a whole and complete individual, all aspects of yourself must be expressed. You are a mother and a nurturer - but you hold within you a creative career woman as well, and you have reached the point in life where she demands expression.

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Dear Ruby,

I am a Scorpio female born November 12, 1955 (1:21 am, Springfield, Illinois). I am in the beginning stage of a divorce. A few months ago I began an affair with a man born January 6, 1949. I thought everything was fine but without a word he stopped talking to me or answering my calls. I for the life of me can't figure out what happened. I felt I at least deserved an explanation. What can you tell me?

Broken Heart

Dear Broken Heart -

The best explanation I can give, Broken Heart, is that this appears to be a case of "mistaken identity." Your gentleman friend is a Capricorn, with both the Sun and Jupiter in Capricorn. You have your Sun conjunct Saturn in Scorpio. Saturn is the "ruler" of Capricorn, and having Sun conjunct to Saturn gives your personality a Capricornian imprint. You also have a Virgo rising. At first impression you appear to be a fairly earthy person, grounded and practical. It is not until you get to know another individual fairly well - until you come to trust them - that you show your true nature. I think your Capricorn lover was surprised to discover that he was involved with a deeply passionate woman to whom relationship is the motivating force in life. I have a feeling he was scared off by the intensity of your passion.

I must tell you, Broken Heart, that this is not a bad thing to have happened. You have your Moon in Libra, conjunct to your Mars and your Neptune. You have a tendency to idealize relationships and often find it difficult to clearly see the individual to whom you are relating. Fantasy colors your perceptions. Your friend's Capricorn planets are in a square aspect to your Libra planets, and his Mercury and Mars in Aquarius are in a square aspect to your Mercury. Capricorn and Aquarius are not passionate signs - in fact passion often frightens them. They are not prepared to merge with another individual at the level that you would need. As time passed and the glow of fantasy wore off, you would have found aspects of his personality impenetrable and even cold. He would not have been a compatible partner for you in the long run.

I know this is probably difficult for you. The heavy combination of Libra and Scorpio in your chart makes relationship paramount, and it is difficult for you to imagine life without passionate involvement. Yet, you are changing deeply at this time. Pluto is conjunct to your Nadir - the Fourth House cusp. This part of the chart represents the very depths of our personality. This time holds the potential for deep transformation. Additionally, Uranus is square to your Saturn, and completed last year a square to your Sun. Much of your life has been driven by fear - fear of not being accepted and of not being loved. You have often tried to give other people what they seemed to want, rather than being true to yourself. You have the opportunity to break out of this pattern now, which will ultimately lead to far more fulfilling relationships based on reality rather than fantasy.

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My name is Marie. I am born May 15, 1966, in Montreal at 8:05 p.m. I am Taurus - descendant Scorpio.

My boyfriend is Pascal. Born on August 19, 1968, in Drummondville (Quebec) at 12:52 p.m. He is Leo - descendant Scorpio.

What are our chances of having a good relationship according to our signs?

Thanks, Marie

Dear Marie -

It is the Ascendant that is Scorpio on both your charts. The Ascendant is the same as the First House cusp and is also known as the Rising Sign. You both have a Taurus descendant - the Seventh House cusp.

The descendant is the point of partnership. With Taurus descending, you are both loyal, sensual, and passionate, and regard relationship as an important foundation in life. You, Marie, have your Sun in close relationship to your descendant, suggesting that marriage and partnership is particularly important to you. You have always been greatly affected by other people and it could be said that you tend to define yourself in terms of your relationships.

Relationships are not always easy for you, however. They tend to be intense and often stormy. This relationship with Pascal is no exception. Pascal is a Leo. Leo and Taurus are what we astrologers call "square." These are two of the power signs. Natives of these signs are passionate and dramatic and tend to express their emotions intensely. While these signs are often magnetically drawn to one another, relationship between them can be chaotic and filled with crisis.

All is not lost, however. Pascal has his Moon in Cancer and your Jupiter is aligned with his Moon, suggesting great empathy between you. Your Moon and Venus are in Aries, in a harmonious relationship with Pascal's Mars in Leo. Pascal's Venus and Jupiter in Virgo is in a harmonious aspect to your Mars in Taurus. This suggests a strong sexual connection and emotional compatibility. Pascal has emphasis in Leo and Virgo; you have emphasis in Aries and Taurus. Both charts are strong in the fire and earth elements.

This is potentially a very solid relationship. You must remember that you are both strong-willed individuals, however, and avoid power struggles. A willingness to communicate openly is very important. This can be done - you have Mercury in positive relationship (Pascal's in Virgo; yours in Taurus). It is important that you respect each other and be willing to accept your separate points of view and modes of expression.

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Hi Ruby,

I am Miss Jyoti. My date, time and place of birth are February 3rd, 1976, 13:50 hrs at Ennore, Tamil Nadu, India.

I have a concern and that is when I would get married?? Where will I be after my marriage? What will be the nature of my person that I marry?

I am tensed due to this and would like to know this ASAP.

Thanks and Regards.

Dear Miss Jyoti -

I am afraid I cannot answer your question. Very few Western astrologers attempt to make these sort of specific predictions, although it is my understanding that Vedic astrologers do give very specific, and often quite accurate, answers to such questions.

There is a cultural difference here. I do not pretend to know much about Vedic astrology, but I do know it is a language rooted in Hindu religious traditions. Central to this tradition is the concept of the law of karma, which is unchangeable and immutable. One cannot fight the law of karma, but rather must submit to it.

This is very different from the philosophical perspective of Westerners, which is based on the concept of free will. Admittedly, there is great difference of opinion on the existence of free will, and many Western philosophers have argued over the extent to which the individual has free will and choice in life.

As for myself, I have had to think long and hard on this matter. To me the question comes down to the following: do I believe in predestination - that our lives are mapped out for us before we are born and we simply walk through them? Or do I believe we have choice - free will - and can affect what happens to us? I have come to the conclusion that we are fated to encounter certain choices in life - to choose one road over another. The road we choose sets up other choices in life. But we do have choices, over and over again, in our lives.

Therefore, we participate in the outcomes in our lives. As a Western astrologer, I could tell you when you might meet a person you would be compatible with - but I cannot tell you whether you will recognize this person or choose to allow this person into your life. Perhaps you will reject this individual. I cannot know your choice in this matter.

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Dear Ruby,

I am an Aries male - April 7, 1962. My wife is a Scorpio - November 12, 1970.

What can you tell us about this combination?

- Aries Male

Dear Aries Male -

Aries is a fire sign; Scorpio is a water sign. Fire signs are intense and passionate; water signs are sensitive and emotional. Some think that these two signs have very little in common, but that is not the case.

Before the modern era, Aries and Scorpio shared a common planetary ruler. Both signs were considered to be "ruled" by the planet Mars. Mars was the god of war in Roman mythology and his realm was the battlefield. Natives of both signs are powerful and competitive and can be agressive when the need presents itself. Both produce warriors, although the characteristic expression of each sign is quite different.

Aries natives are impulsive, spontaneous and do not like to be inhibited. They are interested in the new and different and are natural pioneers. Scorpios are plotters and planners and are natural strategists. Many Scorpios are found among the upper ranks of the military establishment.

Regarding your relationship, Aries Male, your wife has four planets in Scorpio - Venus, Jupiter, the Sun and Mercury. This intense Scorpio emphasis is opposed by two planets in the earth sign Taurus (the Moon and Saturn). This opposition dominates her chart, suggesting she is a strong and powerful woman who does not express her true feelings easily. She values relationship (she has Mars conjunct Uranus in Libra) but does not like overt conflict.

You may also have your Moon in Taurus - although if you were born late in the day your Moon is in Gemini. You also have some water sign emphasis, with Mars and Jupiter in Pisces. This softens your Aries expression and suggests that you can be quite vulnerable and sensitive.

I would guess that of the two of you, you are more openly expressive of your emotions. While your wife feels deeply, she is reluctant to open up emotionally. Scorpio is a sign that must deal with issues of trust.

There are strong differences between the two of you. You are more likely to express yourself spontaneously and to impulsively state what is on your mind, while your wife is more reserved and holds her judgment. Yet you do complement each other. She grounds you - provides stability and a sense of depth. And you provide her with a sense of safety and security that makes it easier for her to share her innermost secrets.

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Hi There, Ruby!

What's your experience of charts which have no squares in natal chart when they experience squares by transit? Do they have less affect or more affect?

- No Natal Squares

Dear No Natal Squares -

It depends - each chart is unique and it is difficult to make such generalizations. What are the transiting planets? The outer planets always have some type of effect and, depending on other aspects of the chart, their effect can be incredibly intense even when there aren't any natal squares. Natal squares represent internal conflicts and challenges, often projected out onto other people. A chart without any squares suggests an individual who experiences conflict as being imposed on them from the outer world, rather than generating from within them. A transiting square from an outer planet could set up a period of time when the individual experiences more internal conflict - that could be incredibly transformative. One would also need to look at where the individual is on their personal journey. How old are they? What Saturn cycle are they in? What other transits from the outer planets have they gone through?

Interpreting a chart involves weaving individual factors together into a completely unique story. What is true for one chart will not necessarily be true for the next.

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Dear Ruby,

I need you to help me with something odd.

Last week I was watching E!'s celebrity profile on Gary Sinise. He was born in Blue Island, Illinois on March 17, 1955, although I do not know the time. I do know he has a Capricorn Moon.

Oh! I'm so sorry. My time of birth! August 6th, 1957, Flint, Michigan at 9:01 pm.

Well, anyway, something hit me so hard about this man. I went out and got all of his movies that I could find. After watching him act I just sat down and cried.

I want you to know that I'm a big movie buff and not an easy pushover for a sad story. Nor have I ever written a fan letter. These people are acting a part. This character is not who they are. I have done lots of local acting myself and I know how it works. So don't worry - you will not hear about me ending up in Mr. Sinise's house calling myself Mrs. Sinise.

Having said all of this, could you help me understand why I'm having such an odd reaction to him? Nothing has ever happened like this to me before. I'm sure this will pass - but I would like to know why?

- Feeling Foolish

Dear Feeling Foolish -

Well, I'm glad you aren't taking this fascination too seriously - there have been instances of people getting carried away by their fantasies.

I don't think that's likely with you, however. You do have Sun conjunct Uranus and Mars exactly conjunct Pluto (all in Leo) which means that you are passionate and intense. And a Pisces Ascendant gives you an active imagination. However, your Capricorn Moon, Venus conjunct Mercury in Virgo, and heavy emphasis in Virgo's house (the Sixth) all combine to keep you firmly grounded on planet earth. You are a practical woman.

Influence from Capricorn and Pisces is something you share in common with Mr. Sinese. You both have your Moon in Capricorn, and Mr. Sinese is a Pisces, with his Sun in a loose conjunction to your Ascendant. It is common to feel a sense of identification with a person who has Sun conjunct to our Ascendant.

The sense of connection you feel to this actor can be more completely explained by the South Node conjunctions between your two charts. The South Node is often called the point of karma and is said to refer to past lives. I view this loosely - I think of the South Node as referring to the baggage we carry into this life. This might be thought of as past lives, genetic memory, family history or ancestral heritage.

No matter how we feel about the concept of reincarnation and karma, planets in one person's chart conjunct to the South Node of another person's chart do create a type of connection between the two individuals. Mr. Sinise's Mars in Taurus is conjunct to your South Node. Your Ceres is conjunct to Mr. Sinese's South Node in Cancer. When these contacts are combined with the fact that you both have Moon in Capricorn, it is likely that the effect for you - and the reason you had such an emotional reaction - is of recognition. It would be like seeing someone from your own tribe - an old friend or family member you haven't seen for a long time. Perhaps for many lifetimes.

I'd like to note, however, that there are many members of your tribe around, Feeling Foolish. Pay attention to those people with whom you feel a particularly strong sense of identification. It is likely that similar sorts of chart connections exist between you.

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Hi Ruby,

In order for life to be meaningful, I feel I need to have a purpose and reason for being. I'm almost 50, and in the past few years all the things that gave my life meaning and purpose seem to be fading out. My son is grown, I've experienced burnout in my professional life, and after another very disappointing relationship ending, I've all but given up any hope of finding fulfillment in a romantic relationship. Things that used to provide stability in my life are changing all around me, (my father dying, my son moving in and out, people leaving where I work, and in the dance classes I attend, and even me cutting back on work, because I know I can't continue as before.) My identity as mother, healer, mate no longer serves me. Yet I have nothing to replace it, to give me a sense of meaning and purpose. What is my purpose for being?

- Overwhelmed

Dear Overwhelmed -

Yikes, Overwhelmed, that's one big question you're asking! And big changes you're going through. Looking at your chart, I see that over the last couple of years you've had the planet Uranus pass over your Ascendant. Beginning next year Neptune will follow in the same orbital footsteps. This year you've had Uranus opposite, and Saturn square, to your Leo Sun. These are big, once-in-a-lifetime transits with life-transforming effects. No wonder it feels like the rug has been pulled out from under you. It has!

Relationships are strongly emphasized in your chart. They will always be a source of great joy and many lessons. Up until now, you have defined yourself in terms of your relationships. As you say in your question, you have taken your identity from your role as a "mother, healer and mate" (and probably others). One of the most interesting aspects of the middle years is that we find ourselves facing that which we have most avoided. Your opportunity in the second half of life is to enter into relationships from a more clearly defined center. Who is this person who is in relationship? What better way to find out than to have defining relationships stripped away? This is an identity crisis in the purest sense of the term. Not easy - and not quick!

Regarding your biggest question, Overwhelmed, I can't tell you about your purpose. But I can tell you that you are asking the right question. The answer will come naturally as a result of the present process. The work of the moment is to build a new identity.

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