C117 Liberal’s voice, John Stuart Mill

John Stuart Mill was the most influential English language philosopher of the nineteenth century. He was logician, naturalist and an exponent of Utilitarianism. He was the foremost liberal who advocated for the delegate model of electoral rights and thus the consequences of John Locke’s empiricist (knowledge comes from experience) outlook.

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C166 Freedom from social restraints — Sir Sidney Poitier

                       Some things about Sir Sidney

Sir Sidney Poitier died on 6 January 2022, and was confirmed by Clint Watson, press secretary for the Bahamas.   His cause of death was congestive heart failure, prostate cancer and Alzheimers. His parents were Bahamians who came to America for his birth,– he was the seventh and last of their seven children — which worked out very well, as he was born premature and needed a lot of medical care and returned to Cat Island after he was well enough to leave.

Celestiology pegged him as only just a Libra rising, — 7 Libra getting the Hyperion symbol of “Rebus in an unknown tongue.” Gavin McClung explains in the Commentary that “rebus” is Latin for “things”, res is a thing in Latin, and this symbol is picking up the idea the person with this symbol at a critical degree in his chart,  picks up things unsaid, unmentioned and  then in turn, gives them voice.

               The Roles

That idea works well for Poitier and his many Hollywood roles…Raisin in the Sun, Mr Tibbs in the Heat of the Night, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, and his finest role of Homer Smith in Lillies of the Field, an itinerant carpenter who resents the German nuns of trying to force him to put down roots,  and make him their personal slave-handyman. All these  roles tap into how his ascendant and his nearby Moon in the first house show his need to express that symbol via his relationship with others, and why he chose such controversial roles.

His first nomination for an Academy was in “The Defiant Ones,” co-starring Tony Curtis, as two convicts on the run.  After Lillies was the Heat of Night, where Poitier  did not garner a nomination but lost his co-star, Rod Steiger.  Here Steiger portrays the racist Mississippi sheriff obstructing the local murder investigation undertaken by visiting Philadelphia police detective Virgil Tibbs.  Steiger repeatedly calls Poitier “boy” and then when he does not respond says “What they all call in you up there in Philadelphia?”  And Poitier bellows, “They call me Mr. Tibbs.”

Continue reading “C166 Freedom from social restraints — Sir Sidney Poitier”

Pip Torrens aka Uncle Warleggan in Poldark

I honestly thought the three Warleggan family members the best thing on Poldark. Their acting was quite good and I enjoyed the performances of the actors for George, Elizabeth and Uncle Cary, immensely.

I could find little on Philip (Pip) Torrens even browsing through the British papers, though YouTube yielded a few interviews. He has a long and varied career — starting with Oxford Blues (a comedy c. 1986) to Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens ( 2015) and now the Poldark Series (2016-2019).

Bloxham to Cambridge

Torrens went to public Bloxham School, and then onto Trinity College where he read Literature. That worked out well, as he realized rather than either reading or writing it, he wanted to re-enact it, and attended London Drama School to learn the trade. He and his Poldark nephew George (Jack Farthing’s CV is quite similar) were the only two major figures in the show that shared a classical training, and it is what made them such compelling anti-heroes.

Traditionally that has been the difference between British and American talent — over there they get the academic foundation and rigour of Shakespearean training (another nativity highlighted was Patrick Stewart, who had been a Shakespearean stage actor before the Hollywood break), while in the US it is on-the-job training or coach mentoring — like the famous Lee Strasberg Method School in New York City, or directorial supervision as in the famous cases of John Wayne, Jack Nicholson, Errol Flynn, and Leonardo di Caprio.

The Hollywood difference

This is why Hollywood actors, except for the very finest, have no career after 40 — once their looks go they have little to commend them, so they turn to directing or producing films for income and celebrity.

Obviously, Pip Torrens has used his education and hard work (sixth house Moon-Pluto conjunction) to make a meal ticket that will last longer, and with Saturn in the tenth house and the sixth house trine, it was solid, older characters that he made his fortune — not dashing young leading stars. The Capricorn stellium there cements the deal.

A good memory helps

Torrens was born in Bromley, a farming town in southeastern London — and actually the only agricultural town in the borough on June 2, 1960, at what I pegged around 2:30 in the morning. This gives him an ascendant of 03 Aries 46, a symbol of “Boldness” with a midheaven of 01 Capricorn 43, or “Seriousness” — both à propos considering his film roles.

The midheaven symbol also suggests ambition, which I think is born out in his change of career. His part of fortune is in the tenth too, at a degree particularly helpful for actors having to memorize their roles: 10 Capricorn 46 (keyword Memory)


  • This page was updated with a full astrological essay on October 3rd.
  • This was originally a Chart-Only page.

Pants on Fire, Raymond Burr

Raymond Burr is best known as Perry Mason, Erle Stanley Gardner’s, legal beagle and later Ironsides on television, always shedding light on lies and misdeeds and nary losing the fight. Perry existed before television, he was a radio favorite, but it was Burr’s intensity and drive for excellence that made the L.A. solicitor a household name, and running for a remarkable nine seasons before fading away into rerun history in 1966.

That, though, was not the end of Burr, for he returned as the wheel-chaired crime fighter in Ironsides, which ran for another 8 seasons. Television crime-detective series owe a lot to Burr and Perry Mason, who can easily be called the godfather of all honest lawyers which we know has no price.


The magic of Blarney

Burr was born in New Westminster, British Columbia, near Vancouver. His father, Joseph, was a hardware dealer, and his mother a pianist and music teacher.

Other Burr family members joined him, including his brother Benjamin and Hugh. Joseph settled in New Westminster, as it was the original capitol of British Columbia.The city, aka “The Royal City” was named by Queen Victoria after her favorite part of London, and is twelve miles southeast of Vancouver on the banks of the Fraser River. It became the hub for the Cariboo gold rush and business boomed.

Joseph Burr got a steady job at the new penitentiary and married Mary Jane. Their their eldest son William married Minerva Smith who was born in Chicago 1893, moving back to Canada for the gold boom. During WWI, the Smiths moved again, this time for California, after their daughter was married, and the Burr’s followed with their three children. Alas the California expedition did not pan out for Bill Burr and they were back in New Westminster.

Thus Raymond, conceived in America, born in Canada and made his name back in the States. By his own account he was a “big boy,” weighing twelve and three-quarter pounds at birth and “growing.”1

                    Burr’s Chart


Does his chart show us anything about Raymond, or why his portrayal of Perry Mason was so darned good? Well, that’s the thing, isn’t it?

There is no birth time for Burr, just the date on Astro.com of May 21, 1917. So reading Michael Seth Starr’s book 1 Hiding in Plain sight, Applause Theatre Book Publishers c. 2009 [\mfn] I have rectified Burr to 06 Libra or Esoteric Symbols on the blackboard 2 from Gavin McClung’s Hyperion Symbols. This symbol highlights how Burr’s public and private life were wildly discordant.

He has a preponderance in the ninth house, rather à propos for a man who played lawyers for the bulk of his career, and highlighting his own interest in justice and integrity.

Ray and Bob

His Line of Motivation is conjunct via the Ptolemaic orbs Marc Jones used, and so too is his Line of Vitality.

Because his ascendant is Libra and ruled by Venus, the green planet has a strong effect on his overall chart and here we see it conjunct his South Node, suggesting the importance of love and being loved meant to Burr. This was noticeable in his life because of his tendency to overindulge and feel “unloved” from his increasing size, thus Bob’s constancy in their relationship meant a lot to him.

Burr is a bucket with a Uranian handle found in its own sign of Aquarius. Uranus rules electronics and the airwaves and it was a natural for Burr, who struck out in the theatre, to make a splash in television. His preponderance in the ninth house made him naturally interested in the law and its effects on families. As Thomas Leitch in his “Perry Mason: TV Milestones” book notes,

The most obvious reason for Perry Mason’s prodigious popularity is the program’s most frequently noted feature: its dependence on a dramatic formula that varied remarkably little over its television life.

Every episode began with a trouble family, or a quasi-family group (families are ruled by Cancer and for Burr it is in the ninth house of legal affairs) , an innocent threatened with expulsion from the domestic circle (Saturn ) and a murder for which the innocent was arrested (South Node in Cancer 8th house).

Each accused kept Mason (Uranus in the fourth for his courtroom appearance) whose wily legal strategies in and out of the courtroom won the client’s release and often a confession in the witness box to boot. (Pluto in Cancer in eighth house creating a total metamorphosis of the innocent, sort of Le Miserable like.)

Thomas Leitch, Perry Mason: TV Milestones, Wayne State University Press, 2005

Case closed

Reviewing the chart and looking over the role of Perry, Burr used his chart to its utmost, in fulfilling his destiny.

Burr’s Moon in Gemini gave him the ability to have a double life, but unlike the great comedian W. C. Fields who also misled his public about his feelings about boys, Burr is always a staunch ally of children in Perry Mason. He tells the young Billy Mumy “no matter the time or where I am, if you need me, call me” in the Case of the Shifty Shoebox, and the boy does run into the courtroom, interrupting the proceedings with important news.

As for Field’s famous quip in the Bank dick “here’s a nickel go play in traffic kid”, both Fields and Burr are notable for leaving a substantial amount of their fortunes to the welfare of foundling boys. It just was not much of a surprise for Burr but it is a happy ending.



  1. Starr, Michael Seth, Raymond Burr: Hiding in Plain Sight, c. 2009, Applause Publishing. 280 pp.
    1. Starr has done several of these exposes. His other works are on Art Carney, Ringo Starr and William Shatner. Most of the reviews complain of the poor writing; sorry to say that’s almost always the case in these books, see Kitty Kelly oeuvre.


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Top Chef Tom Colicchio

Chef Colicchio won the Best New Chef award while he was at: Mondrian, in New York City. The restaurant is now closed and previous to that he was at the incredible Quilted Giraffe 1 Think Like a Chef by Tom Colicchio at the AT&T Building, Gotham Bar and Grill, 40 Main Street (Millburn, New Jersey). Many of his delights can be found over at FoodandWine. This is my favorite his Short Ribs. Click on this link and a video will take you through the recipe.

Colicchio was born on August 15, 1962 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He got married on September 14, 2000, place unknown though I imagine NYC.

Colicchio’s chart

Mapping Colicchio

Colicchio’s ascendant is 22 Aquarius, Stars in a distant galazy imploding via the Hyperion Symbols. This represents the powerful events that have great influence by an unerring sense of orderly steps that build toward a limitless assumption.

The chef is a Locomotive with his lead planet Jupiter in Neptune, the natural ruler in the first house. Since Jupiter becomes his focal determinator, it highlights his determination to excel in his field by creating new twists to traditional recipes and thereby exalting them to culinary works of art.

This is supported by his progressive Moon married to a tentative Mercury — he can easily envision recipes and then meticulously work out the process that will create them for his patrons so it can be repeatable process.

  • Colicchio’s Line of Vitality is in opposition.
  • His Line of Efficiency is absent.
  • His Line of Motivation is semi-sextile.
  • His Line of Culture is sextile.

His Part of Fortune is 23 Leo 42 in the sixth house of servants and service and suggests he has great acumen in not only be precise but also able to develop his creations in a timely fashion. It has the symbol of clock set at exactly 8.01. The chef has won the James Beard Foundation Medal five times and is no surprise, as he and Beard have the same elemental setup though with different planets.

TV chef Julia Child also has same basic elemental mix except for a bit more Fire that makes sense for a woman who trail-blazed her way into the gourmet game and onto tv; by the way Colicchio shares the latter’s birthday.


Colicchio has written a slew of books on cooking. In no particular order they are:

  • Bringing it home: favorite recipes from a life of adventurous eating (coauthored with Gail Simmons and Johnny Miller)
  • The Oxford Companion to Beer (coauthored with Oliver Garrett)
  • James Beard’s American Cookery (coauthored with Jim Beard)
  • Le Pigeon: Cooking at the Dirty Bird (coauthored with Gabriel Rucker, Meredith Erickson, Lauren Fortgang, & Andrew Fortgang)
  • Try this at Home: Recipes from my head to your plate (coauthored with Richard Blais)
  • Salt to Taste: The Key to Confident Delicious Cooking (coauthored with Marco Canora, Cathy Young, John Kerrick)
  • the Last Course: the Desserts of Gramercy Tavern (coauthored with Claudia Fleming, Melissa Clark, & Danny Meyer)

His Solo efforts are:

  • Top Chef: The Cookbook
  • Craft of Cooking: Notes and Recipes from a Restaurant Kitchen
  • Witchcraft: Craft a sandwich into a meal


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    Think Like a Chef by Tom Colicchio

C182 Skillful Michelle Obama

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama was a very well loved first lady, typical of Splay Temperament types, so much so that many of her fans who heard her speak at the 2016 Democratic Convention want her to run in 2020.  She has said she will not, but politics is fickle and as Yogi Berra would say “the fat lady sings”. 1 It ain’t over till it’s over”, a popular quip of baseball player Yogi Berra’s. This is similar in spirit to “don’t count your chickens before they hatch

The political Michelle Obama

 Young Michelle did not look to Washington for her heroes—she found them right at home. Her only sibling, a brother named Craig, was twenty-one-months her senior, provided an excellent example both inside and outside the classroom. Both their hardworking parents, Fraser Robinson III, a city water plant worker, and Marian Shields Robinson, a homemaker, pushed both children to excel.

Rejecting the easy option—to send their son and daughter to a convenient public high school—the Robinsons encouraged their athletic son to enroll in a parochial school with an outstanding basketball program and for Michelle, they decided the newly opened Whitney M. Young Magnet School offered a quality education that more than compensated for the daily three-hour commute.

As a racially mixed school, Michelle associated with classmates who came from all over the city, and she did well both academically and socially. She made the National Honor Society in her junior year and was elected treasurer of her senior class.

After graduation in 1981, Michelle followed her brother to Princeton, and like him, majored in sociology. Although one of the oldest colleges in America, Princeton had only accepted women as undergraduates in 1969, and African Americans were only admitted after World War II and still comprised only about 10 percent of the student body.

Even the “little sister” of a basketball star felt like an outsider, and Michelle saw herself as a “visitor on campus, as if I really  don’t belong.”¹

Betty Boyd Caroli
At six feet one inch, those legs never end.

She found little on her background other than through her mother she is a direct descendant of a male slave owned by a plantation in Alabama.  Nothing on her father’s side, so we imagine that they were free folks. 

She went to Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, for her Bachelor of Arts and then onto Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts for her Juris Doctor degree.  She met her husband as his Senior Legal Advisor at Harvard University.   

Later on, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright married them on October 3, 1992 in his Trinity United Church of Christ church, a social justice church, in Chicago; he parents raised her Methodist. The Obama’s joining TUCC makes sense, for it promotes universal health care, feeding the hungry, but also working to insure people are paid a living wage so they can care for themselves and their families; all hallmarks of her husband’s presidency.

After her husband’s election, Michelle Obama made more headlines because she was a Harvard-educated lawyer and former hospital executive, accustomed to bringing home a paycheck that exceeded her husband’s Senate salary, about $170, 000 per year, but now is a stay-at-home “mom in chief.” Unlike the only other attorney to become First Lady Hillary Clinton, Obama felt no need to feign culinary interests by talking about cookie baking, and instead used her first public event at the White House to celebrate a recent law extending workers’ rights.  This willingness to highlight one’s professional expertise made the 2008 election an important turning point for women and African-Americans as a whole.  ²

Continue reading “C182 Skillful Michelle Obama”


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    It ain’t over till it’s over”, a popular quip of baseball player Yogi Berra’s. This is similar in spirit to “don’t count your chickens before they hatch

Ann Sheridan has “Oomph”

Ann Sheridan was a popular actress in the 1930s and 40s playing opposite such notables as Jimmy Cagney, Humphrey Bogart and Errol Flynn.   By the 1950s her health sidelined her and after that she was forgotten.  She was born in Denton, Texas on February 21, 1915 at 1 am (two times are given for her on Astro.com 7 am and 1 am, I found that the 1 am time worked best so have chosen that for this article) the last of five children in what she called “a normal family”.

She was the great granddaughter of Philip Sheridan, the U.S. Cavalry General for Lincoln in the Civil War and who had been assigned for Reconstruction to Louisiana and Texas to bring them back into the “fold”. “

Ann” was her stage name taken from a character she played, but she was originally baptized “Clara Lou Sheridan.” Her ascendant at 26 Scorpio 54 gives her the symbol of ” Indians making camp” representing woman’s inexhaustible capacity for self-establishment and finding everything for success at hand — true she was quite talented. The keyword is Extemporaneous.

She has a preponderance in the third house for her many dramatic and singing roles but it is her high focus Venus in the second that marks her as a beauty, trine in the Moon in the sixth house, she easily became America’s dream girl with fans on both sides of the aisle and during the War became alongside Betty Grable, a favorite GI pinup girl and was cosmetic giant Max Factor’s “Girl of the Year” in 1939. Her film career was marked by playing against such notable male leads as Jimmy Cagney, Humphrey Bogart Ronald Reagan, & Errol Flynn.

But that Moon is also her nemesis and creates her dynamic square with Mars in the highly populated third, showing the flip side of the silvery goddess — bad health from the stresses and strains of work. It is possible this means alcohol to cope, (there is no record of this though), particularly as the Moon is sextile Neptune in the eighth.


Her high focus Venus gave Sheridan the ability to have an approachable persona with the audience. Unlike MarleneDietrich who was always hands off, Sheridan was personable and came across as the girl next door, even when the next door was on the shady side of town (the Dead End Kids series). Venus, the planet of acquisitions, paid off when her long-time partner, Steve Hannagan, died in 1953 and bequeathed her a cool 2.1 million dollars.

  • Her Line of Motivation is square.
  • Her Line of Culture is inconjunct.
  • Her Line of Efficiency is absent.
  • Her Line of Vitality is absent.

Ann died January 21, 1967 at 51, from liver cancer at home in San Fernando Valley, California. Her third husband, Scott McKay, this was also his third marriage, was by her side; they had been married six months. The funeral was private and held the following day according to the New York Times obit.



Antonio Gramsci, Father of Italian Communism


Gramsci’s rectified chart.

Gramsci’s ascendant is 29 Aries, that Dr. Gordon, calls an “independent and domineering disagreeable character” one who stands in his own in his insistence of being correct.  “Through his overbearing nature stands to become a social outcast and at some point in time sustains great loses through ostracism.”  Maybe, but in Europe he became a folk hero.  There are several Marxist sites devoted to Gramsci, one at the Marxists International Archive, and the other at the International Gramsci Society

Benito Mussolini’s fascists arrested Gramsci and imprisoned him (1926) because they were nationalists and he was an internationalist. At his trial the fascist prosecutor argued, “We must stop his brain from working for 20 years.” In prison, despite rigorous censorship, Gramsci carried out an extraordinary and wide-ranging historical and theoretical study of Italian society and strategies for change. Plagued with poor health in the 1930s, he died  after being released from prison for medical care.

Extracts of Gramsci’s prison writings were published for the first time in the mid-20th century; the complete Quaderni del carcere (Prison Notebooks) appeared in 1975. Many of his propositions became a fundamental part of Western Marxist thought and influenced the post-World War II strategies of communist parties in the West. His reflections on the cultural and political concept of hegemony (notably in southern Italy), on the Italian Communist Party itself, and on the Roman Catholic Church were particularly important. The letters he wrote from prison also were published posthumously as Lettere dal carcere (1947; Letters from Prison).  — Encyclopaedia Britannica

His Ascendant opposes Uranus in Libra suggesting that Signore Gramsci was ill-tempered but energetic.  He may have been personally shy because of his game leg, & that shows up as well here.  All of this would have contributed to his philosophy of total freedom from social mores, and restrictive laws from both the Church and the State because Uranus in the house of relationships, and Gramsci did not want them on traditional terms.  Patience was not his strong suit and like his adversary Mussolini, he was brutish and manipulative.

The point focus of this opposition is his Part of Fortune in the tenth house at 04 Aquarius highlighting his chameleon like personality and thwarted ego.

  • His line of vitality (sun-moon) is absent highlight how he squandered his talents and opportunities in needless in-fighting.
  • His line of motivations (jupiter-saturn)  is absent.
  • His line of efficiency (mars-venus) is absent.
  • His line of social significance (uranus-neptune) is inconjunct showing  his heightened awareness of a world-wide need for “one or another type of socioeconomic change.”
    • As this is his only aspect of self-ordering, this works almost as a focal determinator in shaping his focus and life.

Gramsci is a splash temperament type.

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