Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Astrolojew in J -The Jewish Weekly of Northern California

I'm very excited to announce the debut of my new Astrolojew column in J - The Jewish Weekly of Northern California! I'll be writing a monthly column featuring Jewish astrological insights for the "J", which traces its history back to 1895, when it began publication in San Francisco as the Emanu-El. Today the J's website reaches more than a million people each year; and their biweekly print edition serves nearly 20,000 homes throughout Northern California. 

Here's a link to the online version of the debut article - look for it online and in print in the next issue (May 18)!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Iyar 5778 Forecast

"Iyar" by artist Toby Davis
Chodesh Iyar, the second month on the Jewish civil calendar, began on April 15 and runs through May 14th. The Sefer Yetzirah tells us that Iyar is associated with the constellation of Taurus, the planet Venus, the gallbladder in the human body, the left nostril of the human head, and the Hebrew letter vav

The Midrash in BaMidbar Rabba 2:7 relates that the stone in the High Priest’s breastplate representing Issachar, the Tribe associated with Iyar, was sappir (sapphire), and his flag dark blue, “and a sun and a moon were drawn on it, as it is written [I Chronicles 12:33]: “And from the sons of Issachar were those who knew the wisdom of the times [i.e. astronomy and calendars].” 

Iyar is the only month of the Jewish year to be completely incepted by a mitzvah: Sefirot haOmer, the seven-week ritual counting of the Omer, which begins the second night of Passover (the fifteenth of the month of Nissan) and continues until the night before Shavuot (the 5th/6th of the month of Sivan). Every single day of the month of Iyar is contained within the period of the Omer count. It is fitting that “The sons of Issachar who have the knowledge to understand the times, to know what Yiarael should do” (Chronicles I 12:32). should be the tribe associated with the counting month of Iyar.  Lag B’Omer, the 33rd day of the Omer, falls on May 3rd, during which the Moon will be in Sagittarius, sign of the Archer – fitting for a holiday long known for bow-and-arrow play among youth.

Noteworthy planetary activity during Chodesh Iyar include:

Venus (Noga) in her home sign of Taurus from March 30th through April 24th reminds us of the adage: when momma’s happy, everybody’s happy. When momma’s not happy: watch out! Venus in the Fixed Earth sign of Taurus is sensual, earthy, beauty-loving, bucolic bliss. Give her the work of her hands or watch her snatch it away and slap you for trying to hold on to what’s hers. Noga is a lustrous shine, and Venus in Taurus wants to adorn surroundings, indulge in sensual pleasures, roll in the grass and smell the flowers – this is the time to say yes to beauty.

Energetic Mars (Ma’adim) in steady Capricorn from March 17 through May 19th keeps things focused, forward-moving and driven desire for success. Mars in Capricorn has a strong, straight-arrow kind of work ethic and can’t abide cheating, cheap short-cuts or shoddy performance from themselves or others. This is a good time to push yourself to achieve your highest and best at workplace and cultivate the ability to ignore the (sure to be temporary) successes of those who may overshadow you or seem to be sliding by on their superficial charm rather than the quality of their work. 

Communicative Mercury (Kochav) stations retrograde on March 22nd at 17 degrees Aries and goes Direct again on April 15th at 5 degrees Aries. Tempers flare and communication misunderstandings are probable for those who don’t preemptively forbid themselves from engaging in conflict: verbal or digital. This is a good time to develop mindful and not mindless communication skills. Protect your head in every way: metaphorically (stay away from images of violence) and literally: head injuries during any Aries-related retrograde are known to happen (don't go biking without a helmet). If you're already a "yeller" you'll be inclined to yell louder - maybe you should rethink that. Yelling louder won't drive the point you're trying to make home any better than a normal tone of voice.

            The New Moon at 26 Aries on April 15th is especially powerful. Conjunct Uranus (Oron) at the final degrees of Aries, where the planet of individuality, uniqueness, restless erratic energy which produces both lightening-flash bursts of enlightenment and, when impeded, sporadic, unpredictable violence. Mercury stations Direct in Aries at the New Moon, which is also energized by the “Great American Eclipse” of August 2017, which occurred at 26 Leo, an exact Trine to the New Moon / Uranus / Mercury conjunction on April 15th. This kind of energies are scalable from personal to global, but anyone who has a natal Moon in the final degrees of Aries (or any other planet in those degrees for that matter) may experience abrupt changes in their relations with women (Moon). Women’s voices (Mercury) may rise from a whisper to a shout, while voices raised against women might try to drown them out. 

We’ll experience some energetic whiplash as structured Saturn (Shabbtai) stations retrograde at 9 degrees Capricorn on April 17, and intense Pluto stations retrograde at 21 degrees Capricorn on April 22. There’s something entire not fun about retrograde Capricorn with any planet, especially so as Saturn and Pluto press hard against each other for power and control, producing frustration and a sense of hemmed-in energy, triggering issues of power and powerlessness. Control and chaos loom in the collective unconscious as Uranus, planet of erratic instability and unpredictable behavior, moves from Mars-ruled Aries into Venus-ruled Taurus on May 15th.  

Uranus has been in Aries since March of 2011. The transit of Uranus into Taurus, where it will be until 2026, moves all that unstable, erratic energy into the grounded, Fixed Earth sign of Taurus. The result may be earthquakes: both literal and metaphorical.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Yallah, Taurus!

Chodesh Iyar began on Sunday, but tonight the Sun moves into Taurus. The lag/overlap between the Hebrew and Gregorian months is why there are actually 36 possible permutations of the Zodiac. For instance, anyone born between Sunday at this evening would be an Iyar Aries. Anyone born between tonight and May 15th will be an Iyar Taurus. Those born between May 15th and May 22nd will be a Sivan Taurus...etc., etc.

("The 36 Signs" - Just another fun fact detailed in my upcoming Astrolojew: The Big Book of Jewish Astrology. Watch for it in 2019! :) )

Pictured: Iyar (Taurus), by American artist Mark Podwal. You can see this at the Met.

Happy 70th Birthday, Modern State of Israel! Let's Look at Your Natal Chart!

The natal chart of the Modern State of Israel. Born on 14 May, 1948 at 4pm in Tel Aviv, on Day 20 of Sefirot HaOmer: Yesod Sh'b'Tiferet (5 Iyar 5708). 

Venus-ruled Sun in Taurus, Venus-Ruled Libra Rising, making Venus the "Chart Ruler" of the State. Venus in Cancer (home and family) in the 9th House (religion, philosophy, higher education and also rules "foreign" (exotic and/or "different") people and places). Jupiter at 27 degrees Sagittarius (the Galactic Center) in the 3rd House (communications, immediate environment, "siblings"), opposite Uranus in Gemini in the 9th House: Kibbutz Galuyot, the ingathering of the exiles from the four corners of the earth.

Neptune in Libra in the 12th House - the highest dreams and ideals (and also extremely vulnerable to the highest delusions/illusions based on untethered idealism). 

Chiron in Scorpio in the 1st House. Will always wear her wound visibly, front-and-center. 

Warmly emotional, embracing and enchanting 10th House Moon in Leo - "disproportionately famous". Pluto and Saturn conjunct in 10th House Leo: Publicly visible power struggles. Phoenix rising from the ashes to create structures, periodically destroying them just to start over again.

Mars in Leo, 11th House of community, claal, affinity groups, friendships. Everyone is a soldier defending their "group", whether they wear a uniform or not. Mars in 11th House Leo square Sun in 8th House Taurus: Struggle for power-sharing and equity between the elites and the non-elites. Venusian (peace, love, art, beauty, music, culture) shared values (8th House) in conflict with ego/status/power-motivations. 

North Node in Taurus, 7th House. Destiny is rooted in "We", not "me". 

Happy 70th Birthday, Modern State of Israel!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Mercury Retrograde December 2017 Preview - It Actually Starts Now!

Remember how you spoke/heard, communicated/listened, interfaced with others and how it made you feel on Wednesday / Thursday (November 15/16) of this past week? 
That was 13 Sagittarius, the degree of the Zodiac where the upcoming Mercury Retrograde stops before it turns around again and stations Direct.
Even though Mercury Retrograde does not begin until December 3rd, we're in the pre-Retrograde period because we'll be revisiting 29-13 Sagittarius and back again between now and January 4th.
December 3rd also happens to be the Full Moon, with the Sun at 13 Sagittarius (the degree of the Mercury Retrograde) and the Moon opposite at 13 Gemini.
Which House of your Natal Chart contains 13-29 Sagittarius? That's where all the lights/camera/action/stop the cameras, rewrite the script/take two action takes place. Conversely - an "opposing effect" may occur in whichever House 13 Gemini falls, as that powerful Full Moon in Gemini which kicks off the Retrograde is, of course, associated with Mercury (the Ruler of Gemini) and therefore comes under the category of "A Mercury Retrograde in Big-Picture, Don't Bog Me Down With The Fine Points Sagittarius with a Heaping Side Order of Data and Details Delivered by Gemini". 
Pre-Retrograde: November 15-December 3
Retrograde: December 3 - December 22nd
Post-Retrograde Return: December 22 - January 4th

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Back To My AstroloJew ROOTS!

The Stars say it's time to go back to my Astrolojew ROOTS!

By the grace of G*d, B"H I'll be in Israel mid-December 2017 through the end of January 2018, and I'm already booking natal chart reading and couples chart reading appointments! 

If you'd like to have your natal chart done in person during that time, please be in touch! 
I'll be mostly in Jerusalem but will also be visiting Tzfat, Shiloh and Tekoa. Let's get together for some soul-star gazing!

Write to me at: to make an appointment!

Pictured: Synagogue Wall Painting, "Kislev", Kiebylec, Poland 1850-1900

Sunday, October 15, 2017

"Astrolojew" 5778 / 2018 Overview (Jerusalem Post Article)

I was very flattered and humbled to be asked by the Jerusalem Post to write an article about the "Astrolojew" perspective on the 5778/2018 outlook in general, and for the State of Israel in particular.

In case you didn't get a chance to lay your hands on the print copy (which appeared in the Jerusalem Post's special Sukkot insert on October 4th), or you can't get through the paywall to read it, here's a link to download a PDF version of the article

I'd love to hear what you think. Please send any feedback you might have about to: 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Neptune in Scorpio Generation: Jupiter's Coming For You!

Art by Marc Valdez: "Objects In Your Mirror May Be Closer Than They Appear"
If you were born between October 1956 and November 1970, you are part of the Neptune in Scorpio Generation. This is the astrological signature of the "sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll" generation, those of us who sought transcendence and intensity via these substances/behaviors, as well as through meditation, esoteric practices, and alternative religious experiences. In other words: "The Sixties".

As Jupiter transits Scorpio over the next year and makes a conjunction to your natal Neptune, it's possible you'll experience enhanced sensitivity, elevated instinctual awareness, expanded compassion, and enlarged empathy. Depending on other aspects in your individual natal chart (which of the 12 Houses your Neptune in Scorpio is located, as well as other Planetary aspects), you may also experience extreme delusion and distortion of your perception of reality, enhanced vulnerability to substance abuse and addiction, and emotional boundary-shredding. 

The potential for the sublime as well as the ridiculous, however in this case the ridiculous is potentially fatal. Neptune's natural proportion-distortion qualities are gigantically enlarged by Jupiter's transit, which super-sizes everything it touches. I'm issuing this warning to the Neptune in Scorpio generation to take heed of Jupiter's transit and remember that "Objects in the rear view mirror are closer than they appear" during this time.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Eclipses, Lunar Nodes, Alexander the Great, and Israel 5778/2018

The Total Solar Eclipse of 4 July 336 BCE was part of the Soros 60 Cycle [i] which was fully visible directly over Jerusalem [ii], and coincided with the ascension of Alexander the Great to the Macedonian throne, after the death of his father Philip [iii].

4 July 336 BCE was Erev Rosh Chodesh Av of the year 3425 [iv] The Eclipse reached Totality at 13:35:01 (1:35pm local time) and the length of Totality was 5 minutes and 53 seconds [v]. The latitude and longitude of the Center of Totality was 30.6 degrees N, 37.4 degrees E. [vi], which is situated in the southeastern desert east of the Jordan river [vii]. The path of Totality was 225 km (140) miles wide.

The Saros 60 Cycle began in the year 1020 BCE and ended in the year 260 CE (the Year 4020-4021 of the Hebrew Calendar). It contained a total of 72 Eclipses, of which 14 were partial, 40 were total, 14 were annular, and 4 were hybrid [viii]

The Saros 60 Cycle ended in 260 CE, the year which is sited as the end of the First Generation of Amoraim (225—260 CE) [i], as well as the establishment of academy of Pumpeditha in Babylonia by Judah ben Ezekiel in 260 CE [ii], the capture of the Roman Emperor Valerian by the Persians (with whom the pro-Persian Jewish opposition was allied) in 260 CE [iii], among other events. Although it is impossible to speculate regarding exact dates in antiquity, the Fall of Troy is dated at 1020 BCE, while religious historians put the beginning of the reign of King Saul, the first anointed King of Israel, in 1026 BCE [iv], shortly after the beginning of the start of the Soros 60 Cycle. This “bookending” of world events marked at the beginning by the fall of Troy to the Greeks and the beginning of the Israelite Monarchy, and ending with the firm establishment of the rabbinic enterprise in Babylon (which would eventually produce the Talmud itself) and the diminution of the tattered remnants of Jewish political activism which found itself backing Persia against Rome, continues to have a ripple effect on Jewish history due to the sensitive position of the North Lunar Node during the exceedingly powerful eclipse of July 336 BCE. 

The Lunar Nodes in Jewish Astrology

Jewish Astrological tradition gives enhanced emphasis and attention to the Lunar Nodes and the annual eclipses in natal charts for both individuals and nations. The North and South Nodes of the Moon are not planets, but theoretical mathematical points in space marking the intersection between the Sun’s orbital path around the Earth’s ecliptic, and the Moon’s orbital path around the Earth. The function of the Lunar nodes in astronomy is to predict the path of the annual eclipses through the constellations. Eclipses occur only near the Lunar Nodes. Solar eclipses occur when the passage of the Moon through a node coincides with the New Moon; Lunar eclipses occur when the passage coincides with the Full Moon.

The Nodes are the “head” (North) and “tail” (South) of the cosmic Dragon (“T’li” in the Sefer Yetzirah). Medieval commentators Saadia Gaon, Shabbtai Donnolo, and Ibn Ezra, among others, identify the “Head” and “Tail” of the Dragon in the Sefer Yetzirah with the Lunar Nodes.

The Sefer Yetzirah, which is the foundational text of Jewish astrology, states:

The Dragon (“T’li”) in the Universe is like a King upon his throne

The (Celestial) Wheel in the World is like a King in his province (country, land).

The Heart within the human being is like a King at war.

The Talmud and ancient Jewish mystical texts such as the Sefer Yetzirah (as well as other “magical” texts of the pre-kabbalistic literature belonging to the school of “Merkevah Mysticism”) are the foundation of Jewish Astrology’s close attention to the significance of the lunar nodes and eclipses. 

The Lunar Nodes during the time of the 336 BCE Eclipse were at 7 Capricorn (North Node) and 7 Cancer (South Node) [xiii]. The Zodiac Sign of Capricorn is ruled by the Planet Saturn (“Shabtai” in Hebrew), classical astrology’s Planetary Ruler of both Capricorn and Aquarius, strongly associated with the Nation of Israel and the Jewish People [xiv]. At the time of this Eclipse, Saturn was at 12 Capricorn, within a 5-degree orb of the North Node and therefore a powerful influence on the Eclipse.

There is no need to cite references to state unequivocally that Alexander’s reign, which ushered in the Hellenistic Era in Jewish History, had the most significant long-term impact on every aspect of Jewish culture, religion, and world-view than any other era in pre-modern history. Indeed, whether one believes the rabbinic enterprise which began at Yavneh was an adaption to or a rebellion against Hellenism, it was the Greek world-view, imported to post-exilic Judea through Alexander and those who came after him, which most profoundly influenced the development of Judaism until the Enlightenment. Taking the Solar Eclipse of July 336 BCE as the celestial portend of the ascension of Hellenistic culture and its subsequent impact on the Jewish people, the following is a brief examination of the latest phase of the historical trajectory of that event.

The 20th Century

In the 20th Century, the North Node at 7 Capricorn coincided with the outbreak of World War I in August 1917, the beginning of the Arab Revolt in Palestine and the deadly Arab-Jewish riots of April 1936, the ascension of Gamal Abdel Nasser to the presidency of Egypt in November 1954 as well as the birth of future Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on November 19th, 1954.

The North Node was also at 7 Capricorn in June and July of 1973 during the time US President Richard Nixon’s secret Watergate tapes were discovered, as well as during the Lillehammer Affair and the formation of the US Drug Enforcement Agency.  Interestingly, the Total Solar Eclipse of June 30, 1973 (part of the Saros 136 Series), which was the last and longest eclipse of that Saros series (7 minutes and 4 seconds), took place when the North Node was at 7 degrees Capricorn.

February and March of 1992, during which the North Node was again at 7 Capricorn and Saturn was in Saturn-ruled Aquarius, saw the Bush-Yeltsin meeting at Camp David during which the Cold War was officially declared “over”, the signing of the Maastricht Treaty which formed the European Union (EU), the outbreak of the Bosnian War, and South Africa votes to end the Apartheid government. 

The 21st Century

During September 2010, the last time the North Node was at 7 Capricorn, President Barak Obama met with Israel’s PM Netanyahu, PA Authority President Abbas, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, and Egyptian President Mubarak in a major push towards crafting a 2-State Solution in the Middle East. During the same month, Israel bombed Gaza’s smuggling tunnels and blocks the Flotilla headed towards Gaza, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the Palestinian Authority, and PA President Abbas addresses the United Nations. Additionally, during this time North Korea dictator Kim Jong-Un takes power during the transition from his father, Kim Jong-Il.

Future Aspects
  • The North Node will return to 7 Capricorn next in May 2029. 
  • Saturn, which traveled through 7 Capricorn in January 1901, late October/early November 1930, December 1959, August-September 1989, will be at 7 Capricorn again during March, May, and November-December 2018.  
  • Saturn and the North Node in Capricorn do not conjunct again until December 2047, during which they will be at the same astronomical positions they were during the Total Solar Eclipse of 4 July 336 BCE.

The Talmud [xv] tells us that while Solar Eclipses are a negative omen for the non-Jewish nations, the total eclipse of the Moon is a negative omen for the nation of Israel. The next Total Lunar Eclipse visible from Jerusalem will take place on July 27/28, 2018, which is both Tu b’Av and Shabbos Nachamu, 5778. Saturn will be at 4 Capricorn during that Eclipse, considered “conjunct” (with a -3-degree orb) of the sensitive 7 Capricorn degree, and the Full Moon in Aquarius (co-ruled by Saturn) opposite the Sun in Leo and the North Node in Leo is a significant omen for the Jewish Nation.

Immediately prior to the Lunar Eclipse on Shabbos Nachamu 5778, the Planet Mercury, the “cosmic messenger”, stations Retrograde at 23 Leo, closely conjunct the Natal Mars position of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and halfway between the Natal Mars and Natal Saturn positions of the chart of the Modern State of Israel. Occurring in the “public” 10th House of “career and vocation”, this Mercury Retrograde will not happen in a secluded corner or under cover of darkness; but front-and-center for all the world to see. 

Mercury’s Retrograde “message” for the Israeli government and the Netanyahu coalition, delivered via communication channels such as the Mercury-ruled media might go something like this:

Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin

As the Jewish Encyclopedia [xvi] explains:

Once when King Belshazzar was banqueting with his lords and drinking wine from the golden vessels of the Temple of Yhwh, a man's hand was seen writing on the wall certain mysterious words. Frightened by the apparition, the king ordered his astrologers to explain the inscription; but they were unable to read it. Daniel was then summoned to the royal palace; and the king promised him costly presents if he would decipher the inscription. Daniel read it "Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin" and explained it to mean that God had "numbered" the kingdom of Belshazzar and brought it to an end; that the king had been weighed and found wanting; and that his kingdom was divided and given to the Medes and Persians (Dan. v. 1-28).
How exactly this might play out on the political stage is anybody’s guess, but aspects to the Luminaries suggest a change in government, leadership, or political structure is indicated. A radical and sudden change in leadership may indeed be “in the stars” for the Modern State of Israel in 2018. Time alone will tell.

End Notes:

[i] NASA Eclipse Web Site, Saros Series Catalogue of Solar Eclipses, Saros Series 60

[ii] Ibid

[iv] Moon and the Molad of the Hebrew Calendar, Dr. Irv Bromberg, University of Toronto, Canada

[v] NASA Eclipse Web Site, Saros Series 60

[viii], Saros 60 Cycle

[ix] Yohanan Aharoni, The Jewish People: An Illustrated History, p. 113

[x] Norbert Samuelson, Jewish Philosophy: An Historical Introduction, p. 95

[xi] Sylvie Anne Goldberg, Clepsydra: Essay on the Plurality of Time in Judaism, p. 86

[xiii] 5000 year ephemeris, 350 BCE – 300 BCE

[xiv] M. Glazerson, “Above the Zodiac”, pp. 98-109, specifically the discussion of Planetary Rulership of the two Saturn-ruled Zodiac signs of Capricorn and Aquarius, and how they relate to the Jewish people. Also see Sefer Yetzirah.

[xv] Sukkah 29a

[xvi] MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN, by Isidore Singer, M. Seligsohn, Jewish Encyclopedia online,

·        All references to astronomical for the 20th and 21st Centuries are from the Astrolabe World Ephemeris series.

·        All references, unless otherwise noted, to historical world events of the past by year and month are from Wikipedia.