The warmest of welcomes to my first Astrology column. From next week this section of the Star will include
a weekly roundup of current planetary positions, an Astrological profile of a Star personality, plus a reports on
your Sun Sign, along with recommended websites. First a blurb about me.
Besides the usual question about the pronunciation
of my nickname (which rhymes with Sky), I'm inevitably asked how and why I became interested in Astrology. Two indelible
indications were there from birth, although I didn't really notice until my teens that a distinctive star had formed in the
middle of the palm of each of my hands. Long before the appearance of these clustered "astral birthmarks" amongst the
lines of my hands, my interest in the "Stars" had been sparked in childhood -- during sleep outs under the night sky on beach
holidays - when the brilliant constellations fascinated me no end.
From my teens I read voraciously on the subject, noticing also, the indications in my own horoscope. As one of
the mid-1960s generation, I was born under the rare conjunction of the outer planets, Uranus and Pluto, in the sign Virgo.
In Astrology, Uranus and Pluto are respectively associated with Astrology and Sexuality (amongst many other things), while
Virgo refers to study and the hands. I have these planets rising to prominence on my Virgo Ascendant in the Twelfth
House (of the Metaphysical Arts). Hence, as a gay man born with a star in each hand, I've followed my calling to become an
Astrologer, undertaken Queer Studies, and established a global website about Astrology for GLBTQ people.
Astrology - the interpretative study of the stars - involves (at the most elementary level) interpreting the positions of
the Luminaries (Moon and Sun) and the Planète-étoiles (or "planetary stars") as they move through the Signs (based on the
Constellations) and the Houses (based on the Ascendant). In Astrological jargon, the term "planets" (according to the
ancient Greek word for "wanderers") generally refers to those objects in the Solar System (Sun, Earth's Moon, Inner &
Outer Planets, Asteroids) which journey (or "transit") through the Zodiac (or "Stars"). Due to the special arrangement
of the Kosmos, the positions of these planets can be plotted around a circular chart of the Signs and Houses to form a horoscope
(otherwise known as an Astrology chart).
Of course, Astrology like any field has its strengths and limitations.
A horoscope is simply a map of the location of the planets around the Earth at a particular moment. Although some Astrologers
might beg to differ, a Natal Chart (cast for the moment of someone's birth) won't reveal the person's race, sex, or sexuality.
And really, what would be the point of a diagram that would tell if someone was to be black or white, female or male, or gay
or straight? These identity markers are ultimately spiritual matters between the individual and their Divinity. What
Astrology does provide is a unique way of attuning people and events with natural cycles. The Solar System is a giant ecosystem
that can be viewed as an eternal drama in which all the planetary personae play integral roles. Thus, by tracking the
eternal wanderlust of the planets, Astrology offers insights into people's personalities and outlines the conflicts, comedies
and times of change in their life stories.
These insights are based on the study of the many features of a chart. These
features include the individual combinations of planets in signs and houses. Besides this, there are "aspects" between
planets that make up "patterns" which in turn combine to make "shapes." While using such common terms, Astrologers clearly
speak their own language. One may be puzzled by terms like the rather strange "Grand Cross" and "Yod" and by the rather
sexy-sounding ones like "Mutual Reception" and "Synastry." The meanings behind some of these terms will be revealed
in the weekly digest of planetary currents.
The weekly Star profile will explore the chart of a famous person.
Inspired by the screen queen Maria Montez (his "patron saint"), the legendary queer visual artist, writer and film-maker Jack
Smith remarked, "A star is someone who produces delight…Someone is interesting when they reveal a truth about human
nature." Like everyone else, such star celebrities tap into the archetypes of the planets and the vicissitudes of their
lives follow inter-planetary cycles. And because of their fame, their charts serve to illuminate Astrological archetypes,
aspects, patterns and shapes in dazzling ways.
After finding very little about astrology for LGBTs when I first went
surfing the web, I set up my dotcom, Astroqueer's Stars (astroqueer.tripod.com), which remains the most comprehensive internet
portal to Astrology for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders. With more LGBTQ astrology stuff constantly coming
online, my website remains continually under (re- and de-) construction. Astroqueer's Stars challenges the marginalisation
of queer viewpoints in Astrological discourse through several different channels. The List of GLB Astrologers includes
information on queer Astro-consultants from around the globe who can provide charts and readings for you (or that special
someone). The LGB Astrologers of the Past section lists personalities who made special contributions to queer history.
The Rainbow Charts Collection includes Astro-charts for GLBTQ celebrities (Divine, Melissa), icons (Barbie), important historical
events (Stonewall, AIDS Quilt) and places (Sydney). There's also a list of articles on Astrology and sexuality, a glossary
(under construction!) of Astrological terms and (e)mailing lists on which you can discuss your planets and signs with your
Astrology has evolved over several thousand years and remains popular because astrologers have progressively
adapted past ways of stargazing to suit the contemporary mood. My millennial column will continue in this tradition by reflecting
upon the meanings and movements of the Astral Pantheon of ancient deities, while tapping into the archetypal (post)modern
Goddesses and Gods of popular culture. Expect a column liberally sprinkled with references to twentieth-century
stellar icons and productions from the worlds of literature, theatre, politics, sport, music, television, film, and art...
These columns promise a fun way of throwing light on what's happening in
the coming week. Having been born in
the Chinese Year of the Wood Dragon, I
rarely get my claws out (and then mostly for pole-scratching) so bitchy
should be kept to a minimum! And as always with Sun Sign Columns,
these Star readings will draw on your Solar Chart (which
places your Sun
Sign on the Ascendant), so if you know your rising sign then read the stars
for that sign too to maximise
I hope my quirky Star Lust column continually offers something new under the
Sun to keep
you over the Moon!