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Sy Scholfield: Astro-Data Collector

star lust

My profile in the Sydney Star Observer, 23-29 November 2000

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.

As indicated, 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 queer peers.

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
flare-ups 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 your forecast!

I hope my quirky Star Lust column continually offers something new under the
Sun to keep you over the Moon!

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All rights reserved in all media
copyright © 2006-2010, Sy Scholfield
www.syscholfield.com
 
< updated May 2010 >