Thanks for the laughs: Penny Marshall

The time, date and place comes from Penny’s own autobiography. It’s incredible southern (outward) based bowl with only the Moon in the seventh house opposite her Martial ascendant at 19 Scorpio of a “newly formed continent.”

This symbol suggests the raw substance of existence and suggests that it shapes the ground around her into a self-awareness of the opportunities at large. The keyword is Originality.

Penny has three planets in the seventh house of relationships and opportunities, perhaps suggesting her father (Saturn) and father in law (Carl Reiner), her husband (Rob Reiner) and brother (Uranus) who all were important in nurturing her career and comedic timing. Uranus could also be, since it is a asexual planet, her pairing with Virgoan Cindy Williams in LaVerne and Shirley, or her genius in creating “Big,” that wonderful homily to childhood and circus wishes.

“I’m sure people thought I got parts because my brother was being nice, and at first I probably thought the same thing,” Penny Marshall told The Times in 1988.

“But my brother finally told me, ‘I’m not giving you a job ’cause I’m nice, because I’m not that nice.’“

L. A. Times, Penny Marshall interview.

Trine to that is her eleventh house of friends and fans, the people who support your progress where we friend Neptune right on the tenth-eleventh cusp conjunct Mercury or her ability to make and capitalize on her dreams. Her Sun, is just moving in the 12th house at 22 Libra, or a “child giving a bird a drink from the fountain” and just a semisextile away from her exuberant and creative ascendant making that water that splashes its own watery world.

Asteroid wise Pandora, the ancient Greek myth of the girl who opened a box and unleashed a world of surprises, is next to her Sun, and barely conjunct fun loving Bacchus. Hidalgo in the first house is indicative of her desire to leave her native Bronx and go to Southwest for college. Opposite Saturn it suggests she needed a break from family ties and spread her own wings. Sextile Amor in the fourth, reminds us how she found (and lost in the 3rd) love there as it was opposite Apollo (conjunct Jupiter in its natal Lord) giving her a bitter taste of what her unflappable talent, & comedic genius would bring to her personal life.

Ms. Marshall was not an academic standout at the school, which she left when she married Michael Henry, a player on the university’s football team. “I must say what I remember most was getting married after a Brigham Young football game,” she told the Toronto Globe and Mail, “and all that was on television the whole weekend was John Kennedy’s funeral.”

Washington Post, obit.

Venus right at the midheaven in Virgo reminds us that “‘No matter how many movies I direct, I’ll always be Laverne, ‘ she laughed ” But that’s ok, because with Asteroid Hebe conjunct Regulus (conjunct Jupiter and the Midheaven) we’ll be laughing in our cups too.

Penny reposes

Nothing lasts forever and late at night, Penny Marshall reposed in her home in the Hollywood Hills, her daughter Tracy & family, by her side. The repose chart is of course an estimate, but nonetheless we see that while her natal chart was productive and external, her later life was all family and introverted. Her brother Garry died two and half years ago (a Mars cycle away) and since Mars was so important in her life, had to take a lot joy out of her.

Looking above, the transiting Moon is opposite her Ascendant but her Part of Fortune is opposite her natal Regulus and while none of it suggests demise, it does tell us that Penny was slowly closing down shop, prepared for the inevitable and resigned to the inevitable. We, her fans, cannot same the same.

Mozart ala Christine Grenard's Book: Astrology


Lovely pictures in this book by French Astrologer Christine Grenard. It was originally published in Paris.  Cassell of London translated thankfully it for English readers. She does a nice comparison of Gandhi and Mozart, but I’m only attaching Mozart for viewing.

Wolgang Amadeus Theophilus Mozart was born on January 27 1756 at around 10 pm in Salzburg, then the Holy Roman Empire. He was christened, Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart. His father was from a wealthy family from which he was estranged, and a musician, though to support his family a music teacher. His mother came from a middle class family, from which no history of musicianship is known.

Unlike any other composer in musical history, he wrote in every musical form of his day and excelled in each one. His taste, his command of form, his range of expression have made him seem the most universal of all composers. His musical teacher was Franz Joseph Haydn, who also taught Ludwig Beethoven.

But no matter how you view his chart, he is always astounding, but his 5th Harmonic that really shows the dynamic between himself and his father. The incredible preponderance at the top of chart is obviously Wolfgang’s ability to transcend that vigorous discipline and demonstrate his his own defiant will and ability created music as close to perfection as man as ever attained.

By the time of his death Mozart, at age 35, he was widely regarded not only as the greatest composer of the time but also as a bold and “difficult” one; Don Giovanni especially was seen as complex and dissonant, and his chamber music as calling for outstanding skill in its interpreters. His surviving manuscripts, which included many unpublished works, were mostly sold by Constanze to the firm of André in Offenbach, which issued editions during the 19th century.

Mozart’s reputation was such that even before the end of the 18th century two firms had embarked on substantial collected editions of his music. Important biographies appeared in 1798 and 1828, the latter by Constanze’s second husband who obviously say their worth. The first scholarly biography, by Otto Jahn, was issued on Mozart’s centenary in 1856. 

download wolfgang mozart.pdf

Mozart reposed on December 5, 1791 in Vienna. The cause is still unknown. Maybe an interesting exercise for those interested in medical astrology. If so, Eileen Naumann’s book is a good start.


This was updated on November 1 2020 with the harmonic and other charts for general interst, as well as his progressed chart for his date of demise.

J319 Havelock Ellis & the Equal vs Whole House System

Using the Equal House

The Equal House house and whole House systems are the oldest astrological house systems in astrology.  The Equal House is based on the Ecliptic, and some astrologers actually call it the Ecliptic system. It has several features:

  1. All the houses are equally spaced, meaning that each house is exactly thirty degrees wide, so it very easy to manually construct.
  2. All of the houses start on the degree of the Ascendant
  3. There are no intercepted houses, as each sign gets its own house, i.e. we equally divide the chart into twelve equal parts.
  4. The tenth house cusp (cusp is the beginning point of a house) does not coincide with the Midheaven. You can see an example of this in the case  of  Havelock Ellis, born in Croydon, Surrey, UK,

Download Havelock-Ellis in Placidus format here

Who was Havelock Ellis

Dr. Ellis was an English essayist and physician who studied human sexual and criminal behavior.  He challenged 19th-century Victorian taboos against public discussion of the subject following up on the studies of Sigmund Freud in Vienna. Many of his books, including his best, The Task of Social Hygiene, are on for free.

We do not use the Equal House system because we disagree with its construction — everything thirty degrees and no consideration for the horizon. Nonetheless, the famous astrologer, the late Lois Rodden, loved it.  In Hellenistic Astrology, the Whole House system is de rigeur and the major difference is that all houses start on ZERO and the Ascendant is shows up at the degree within it. 

We actually prefer this over the Equal House system, because we think that the Ascendant should not be tied to the first house — which is how you are seen by others.  Confusing the Ascendant and the house house we have found in our studies, is not an accurate representation, hence we typically use non-Ascendant based house system like the Zariel and Morinus and Whole House for Hellenistic charts.

Whole House System

The similarities to the Equal.

  • All the houses are equally spaced, meaning that each house is exactly thirty degrees wide, so it is very easy to manually construct.
  • There are no intercepted houses because each sign gets its own house, i.e. we equally divided the chart into twelve equal parts of thirty degrees.
  • .The tenth house cusp does not coincide with the Midheaven because the Midheaven is typically not Zero. We do not show it on the chart above.

The dissimilarities to the Equal.

  • The Equal starts always at the Ascendant. The whole always starts at 0.

As shown, under the Whole House System, Dr. Ellis’s midheaven is in the eleventh house of the public, which makes sense as he devoted his medical life to public health and hygiene; Venus, the planet of sexuality, is also there linking the two and is the handle to his bucket.

In the Equal House, the  Midheaven is in the tenth house of a career, but Venus is separate in the eleventh house and does not clearly link the two.  Other issues are in the Equal House Saturn is in the sixth house of work and labour; in the Whole House Saturn is in the seventh house of partners and opportunity. 

While we can make cases for either, it is really the nuance we prefer, and astrology is nothing but nuance.  For further discussion of houses and interceptions, another thing we dropped as being meaning, look here and here.


#138 Funny Girl Fanny Brice

Marc Jones has no time listed for Fanny (born Fania Borach) Brice and gives October 30 1891 for her birth date.   Astrotheme differs with Marc Jones entirely and says she was born the day before    Herbert M. Goldman’s biography, Fanny Brice the Original Funny Girl support the Astrotheme date but  Astrotheme’s  time of 11 am with a 01 Capricorn rising, makes no sense, so we  have rectified it to one later around 5 pm, keeping Fanny in the earthly quadrature, but changes the emphasis.  The correct date is October 29, 1891 at 5 PM with a Taurus 11 rising in Brooklyn, New York.

The header picture is of Fanny and her third husband, Billy Rose, and the two Arnstein children from Vanity Fair, 1936.

                     Fanny & Time Forgot

Taurus 11 has the Hyperion Symbol of “Time forgotten in memory, and then recalled,” highlighting Fanny’s ability to never forget her Lower East side (Bowery) roots despite her great success and love of high fashion.  She was known to put on gala affairs where New York City’s elite gathered complete with expensive Rosenthal china, Waterford crystal and Delmonico catering and then belch,   bursting  out in uproarious laughter, much to the shock of her upper-crust guests.
October 29 1891 5 pm.

in the Beginning

Both of Fanny’s parents were Orthodox Jewish though they did not practice it faithfully.   Her mother was a Hungarian Jew and her father from Alsace-Lorraine France.  Fanny like her mother was an ambitious woman with a strong drive (Mars in the 6th).  Her chart shows her weakness for fancy men like her (Venus opposite her ascendant) father “Pinochle Charlie”
Like many show biz people from before the first World War, she hated “phonies.”   A Broadway producer once insisted he would give her “my right arm” if she worked for him. “Listen, kid,” (Fan called everyone kid copying George M. Cohan.)  “I happen to know you got a whole drawer full of right arms.”Herbert Goldman, The Original Funny girl

The Many Loves of Fanny

While her relationship with gangster Nicky Arnstein is legendary, like some Freudian confusion of both her mother who owned saloons and her father that gambled in them, she repeated this foible with Hollywood’s Billy Rose, an American theatrical impresario who had composed over 50 song hits.
Billy Rose with the Ring, Mayor Walker reading the book and the woman to her right, Rose Borach, Fanny’s mother.
On February 8, 1929, Billy Rose and Fanny Brice were married at City Hall, with mayor Jimmy Walker officiating.  Just before the ceremony, Rose turned to Walker and said “I’ll give you a dollar now and the other dollar if it’s a success.”ibid. Both ended in divorce never living up to her fantasy that like her father they would always be enamored of her. While neither marriage lasted long, their good looks, suave manner and ardent flirtations were an aphrodisiac that she blossomed under.
Fanny Borach—her friends called her “Borax,” “Twenty-Mule Team Borax,” and, in “tribute” to her stage ambitions, “Bore Act”.²   She stood five feet six inches tall by the time she was twelve, almost her adult height of five foot eight, and weighed about one hundred pounds. Her light brown, naturally curly hair came down to her waist, though Fanny tied it at her neck with an enormous ribbon. Her green eyes were easily her most attractive feature. ibid.

                                                                   Mapping Fanny

Marc Jones was entranced by Fanny too and wrote her up in his Essential of Astrological Analysis.  He neglected to mention was her preponderance of her preponderance in the seventh house suggesting her “special consistency of purpose through opportunity and relationships where her acceptance accrues because of her exceptional individuality.” 3
Fanny, seated with John Brice.  Flanking her are Wendy and Peter Stark.
Her preponderance of trines in her chart, like that of Emperor Hirohito of the Jones 1000, both with nine, reminds us how much Fanny was a product of her time and culture, which was able to capitalize on in her career.  The lack of fire in her chart,  makes Fanny an experience junkie feeding into her desire to express life and capture that for later reuse.  This may also tell us why she was a “sucker” as she termed it, for the men in her life — she wanted the material.

  Death Notice

May 29, 1951, Los Angeles, California

                                                                 The Movie Funny Girl.

Here is a scene of Barbra Streisand from her debut as Funny Girl, a rather romantic and Hollywoodized version of Fanny’s life.  Nick Arnstein objected to Omar Sharif’s portrayal of him on the grounds he was “short.”


  1.  Goldman, Herbert.  Fanny Brice the Original Funny Girl. c. 1992, Oxford Publishing House, Oxford, England.
  2.  The Bore-Act nickname was a major reason she changed her name from Borach to Brice, an Irish surname.  The Brices were close family friends and pleased by her choice.
  3.  Jones, Marc Edmund. The Essentials of Astrological Analysis, c. 1960, Sabian Publishing Society, Stanwood, WA.
  4. The 11 am birth time touted by
  5. 11 am fanny.png

#220 Jackie Coogan aka The Kid is Uncle Fester

John Leslie Coogan (October 26, 1914 – March 1, 1984) was an American actor and comedian who began his movie career as a child actor in Charlie Chaplin’s film classic The Kid (1921).  This made him one of the first child stars in film history.

Later on he sued his mother and stepfather over his squandered film earnings and provoked California to enact the first known legal protection for the earnings of child performers, widely known as the Coogan Act. Coogan continued to act throughout his life, later earning renewed fame in middle age portraying Uncle Fester in the Addams Family.
koch coogan.png

Last week I went to a seminar on Chiron by Brad Kochunas at SOTA in Cheektowaga, New York.  He gave the history of Chiron from its astronomical discovery to its astrological descriptions showing how originally it was supposed to mean “maverick” and then someone with the advent of Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, both coming out the year before, changed that to “culture changer.”

I had to agree with Kochunas that the amount of ideas, names and identities to Chiron is mind boggling and often stymies me as well on how to use him, but “culture changer,” or “breaker” rang home for the next slide was the album Never Mind the Bollocks by Johnny Rotten and I remembered how the 70’s had an ongoing rivalry between Poco, the Allman Brothers,  and the Eagles vs. Ramones,  and the Sex Pistols & the Clash.  Of course it was not that simple, there was Disco and Saturday Night Fever that perhaps influenced Close Encounters and all the coloured lights, but that was really another venue and not a major change in pop music.


Looking at Jackie Coogan’s chart, it is very noticeable that Chiron, our culture maker-breaker is right on his first house conjunct his Ascendant in Koch format.  The time is from Elbert Benjamine and the Church of Light via Coogan’s mother.  The other on is at 3:00 pm; we are going with Mom.
His Grand Trine does not fit the typical quadruplicity rules: the sun is fixed water in Scorpio, Uranus is in its Lord in fixed air in Aquarius but Pluto (also not discovered until Coogan started his petition on September 26 1936) is in cardinal water in the fourth house, sort of suggesting that he woke up and got that trine active.  Coogan is a Splay temperament type.

Zain notes:

  1. In 1919 Jackie gamed fame playing the Kid in Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid.   His Sun is square Uranus RX in the 5th and Mercury is conjunct Mars in different houses, Mars in creative Scorpio and Mercury in his higher calling of Sagittarius showing he will suffer some hard knocks as he matures.
  2. 1925 At 11 years of age, Jackie left the movies for ten years.  He has Sun square Jupiter RX and Venus sextile Jupiter RX.
  3. In 1937, now 23, Jackie went on a vaudeville tour.  Venus transiting conjunct Venus RX.
  4. Next year, May 15 1938, Jackie sued without avail mother and stepfather for an accounting of the money he had earned.  Venus is the Court conjunct Venus natal, Mercury in the 2nd, square Uranus Rx.
  5. He won on appeal in 1939 and the Coogan Law was put into effect to protect figure young actors from finding themselves in the same situations as Jackie.  Unfortunately this edition of the law was flawed.

  1. It was not until 2000, nearly twenty years after Chiron was discovered, that the Coogan Law was updated that 15% of all minor’s earning must be set aside in a blocked trust account commonly called the Coogan account.

#J13 Robert Seymour Bridges, poet

In Autumn Moonlight

In autumn moonlight, when the white air wan
Is fragrant in the wake of summer hence,
‘Tis sweet to sit entranced, and muse thereon
In melancholy and godlike indolence:
When the proud spirit, lull’d by mortal prime
To fond pretence of immortality,
Vieweth all moments from the birth of time,
All things whate’er have been or yet shall be.
And like the garden, where the year is spent,
The ruin of old life is full of yearning,
Mingling poetic rapture of lament
With flowers and sunshine of spring’s sure returning;
Only in visions of the white air wan
By godlike fancy seized and dwelt upon.

Bridges was Britain’s poet laureate from the years of 1913 until 1930 when he reposed.  He worked with a phoneticist to develop a unique poetic style, and also a theory of elision based on John Milton’s Paradise Lost.  Elision is an important rhetorical took in poetry, and depend of course upon sound, but at the final vowel where two sounds elide into each other much like they do in Classical Latin.  Thus a vowel or syllable can be suppressed  for the sake of meter or euphony.
bridges main.png

A medical man turned poet

Like the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, Bridges started out as a physician, but at age 40 he changed careers and never looked back.  He was born on October 23, 1844 in Walmer, Kent, England at 10:49 am according to Marc Jones.  We found that time a bit fast and rectified it to 10:37 AM giving him 13 Sagittarius Rising or a “widows past brought to light.”

This Sabian symbol is suggestive of one’s agony as they support others while not taking his own advice.  The keyword is Rectification, which is what Bridges did when he finally did when the physician decided once and for all, to “heal thyself.”  Once he started on that path, he found success and became Britain’s  Poet Laureate.   His daughter was also a poet.

Bridges is a see-saw showing the two parts of his life that fought for his attention, his very public southern life as a doctor and his private life as a poet.  The lord of his ascendant is Jupiter, found in Gemini hinting at the lung problems that would fell him later on.

It is also square asteroid Shakespeare on the sixth house cusp putting stress on a weak point until eventually the break of his see-saw becomes complete he realizes that his childhood love of harmony (asteroid Child conjunct Venus) sextile asteroid Poesy cannot be denied.  Indeed, Bridges “rectifies himself” and becomes a poet.

It should not have been a surprise. While asteroid Hippocrates (the father of medicine) is wedded to Juno and his work, it is also inconjunct Jupiter and the Moon in the fourth — there were probably tell tale signs that his health was not all it was thought and since Jupiter is trine Poesy, and semisextile Polyhymnia he had always enjoyed the poetical muse.

 The lilac vertical dotted line has asteroid Poesy opposite this Part of Fortune at 10.34 Taurus, shows his reluctance to embrace his life’s work because he saw it as a “Red Cross nurse” and could no longer idealize that  Neptune  via its sextile to Vesta was not taking its toll from the long hard hours he was putting in as a medic.

Nonetheless, Shakespeare and opposing Pallas were forcing Jupiter at 25.15 Pisces to surrender and “fly its flag at half mast”  and admit defeat.  Eventually he did and the change was wrought and the heavens sighed relief.


The Hill Pines Were Sighing

The hill pines were sighing,
O’ercast and chill was the day:
A mist in the valley lying
Blotted the pleasant May.
But deep in the glen’s bosom
Summer slept in the fire
Of the odorous gorse-blossom
And the hot scent of the brier.
A ribald cuckoo clamoured,
And out of the copse the stroke
Of the iron axe that hammered
The iron heart of the oak.
Anon a sound appalling,
As a hundred years of pride
Crashed, in the silence falling;
And the shadowy pine-trees sighed.




Tripp Palin-Johnston son of Bristol

There was an article in the New York Post today about Dakota Meyer’s poor treatment of his stepson, so I was interested in the boy’s chart.  He was born at 5:30 am in Palmer Alaska on December 27, 2008, making him 10 years old at his next birthday. His ascendant is 15 Scorpio, or “children playing around five mounds of sand,” rather apropos as he is the only boy in the Johnston-Palin household; he has four younger sisters, Breeze, Indy, Sailor and Atlee.

He is the only boy for Palin and Johnston who among them have 4 girls (2nd house Jupiter conjunct Mercury).Trip Palin.jpg

His chart supports his mother, Bristol Palin-Meyer’s comment that he is a sensitive child that was upset by Meyer’s lack of communication during and after the divorce because of the large preponderance of Saturn in his chart, that is also his focal determinator and handle of his bundle-bucket.  Ms. Palin-Meyer  did mention that his biological father, Levi Johnston, was now stepping up the plate and getting more interested in the boy which can only be a good thing for such an introvert.

We wish him and his extended family all the best.

Mashing it up with Alan Alda

Alan Alda is Irish-Italian and the son of actor Robert Alda and Josephine Browne, who was the New York state beauty-pageant winner.  He was their only child born  Alphonso Joseph D’Abruzzo on January 28, 1936 in Brooklyn.   Robert and Josephine (Joan) were married 31 December 1932 and divorced in 1948 because of her unstable health.  His father was dubbed Alda as a portmanteau of his real name ALphonso and D’Abruzzo when he went to Hollywood.

Robert Alda remarried Italian actress Flora Martino whom had his second  son Antonio.   Alan Alda’s mother died in Los Angeles on September 28, 1984 and his father Robert May 3, 1986.  Flora Martino Alda died in 2008; their son  a year later at 52 from cirrhosis of the liver. 

three aldas

Alan Alda married Arlene Weiss on March 15, 1957 in New York City; they have been together for 61 years. They have three daughters, Eve (born on December 12, 1958), Elizabeth Alda (born on August 20, 1960) and Beatrice Alda (born on August 10, 1961). He is called Al at home as its fits both Alphonso and Alan.

When seven years old, Alda contracted polio and is parents administered the regimen developed by Sister Elizabeth Kenny, a self-taught Australian bush nurse, who developed a treatment of applying hot wool compresses to the affected limbs to reduce the spasms and then force the patient into physical rehabilitation by making the legs pretend walking. In his book “Never have your dog stuffed” Alda credits Sister Kenney with his complete recovery. Dinah shore, Rosalind Russell’s nephew and Martin Sheen also testify to its efficacy.

The Alda women

In 1956, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from  Fordham College of Fordham University in the Bronx, where he was a student staff member of its FM radio station, WFUV still on the air in NYC and on the Internet via the Tune-In app.

The Aldas still reside Leonia, New Jersey.
alda alda

Alda’s ascendant is 02 Capricorn and its ruler is Saturn that is in the second house in Pisces.  Saturn is opposite Neptune that gives a tendency to be hard on his fellow workers — it’s my way or the highway.   That though would not be true in his personal life, where he is far more agreeable and understanding, which is why he falls into a see-saw temperament:  the two parts of his life are quite separate except for his political views — the generational planets are on the experiential side of the chart.

The Saturn in his second house shows that he will accumulate lots of personal wealth not only through his work but also through his own thrift, and suggests that he was shrewd in using his father Robert’s Hollywood network in getting a foothold in the movie industry.

This is supported by Pluto in the sixth/seventh house cusp in Cancer that suggests he tends to manage his work relationship with his strong personality and his ability to manage people and situations.  This aspect also makes him attractive to film vehicles that have unusual or socially transformative  issues i.e. MASH with Burns and Houlihan, Same Time next year with Ellen Burstyn.

He has the Asteroid Siwa, sound, conjunct his Aquarian Ascendant, makes him love puns, and irony.  Alda’s North Node makes him successful using twelfth house environments, the military, the war and the film industry, to his advantage.

  1. His Line of Vitality is sextile.
    1. While life encourages his talents to be exploited to the fullest, on the downside it does not lead to self-discovery.
  2. No Line of Efficiency
  3. Line of Motivation trine.
    1. Alda has the ability to be free and easy with his fungoing self-expressive and he participate in whatever his environment throws at him , but OTOH this makes him a bit of a chameleon (he is often thought of as Jewish though he is not; his wife and children are) where his true beliefs are lost.
  4. No Line of Social Significance.


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