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  Home   |   Articles   |   Book Reviews   |   Star Gazing   |   Astro*Weather   |   Everyday Astrology    


Astrology Articles
Article Title: Celebrity Astrology … From the Top Down
Date Published: 8/8/2007

"When beggars die there are no comets seen; The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes."
— William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar (II, ii, 30-31)

Celebrity astrology, who needs it? Well you might ask. Really, do the horoscopes of the likes of Tomkat, Brangelina, Russell Crowe, Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Aniston, or any other high-profile personality or couple have anything more to teach us than our own or our next-door neighbor’s more “humble” planetary arrangements?

If all souls are truly created equal, the obvious answer would be no. But in a teaching context, since public lives are publicly documented and we can all see at least a bit of what appears to be happening with their talents and careers that may be more instructive than our own more subjective examples. Plus, their exaggerated status so often does reflect very simplified and even overstated chart patterns that you can truly learn from, even if you have little respect for or even strongly dislike the figure involved. Adolf Hitler, for instance, is probably the world’s most complete example of quintiles and tenths, among other things, and the Ayatollah Khomeini perfectly illustrates the even more arcane 11th harmonic. On the more likeable side, you can see the Mars-Venus conjunction so typical of animal magnetism and sexual charisma typified in the chart of literally dozens of Hollywood icons, male and female alike.

But aside from their fame and documentation making them good example charts, are these people really any more intrinsically important than your average Joe or Mary? Does Anna Nicole, whose only achievement was being famous for being famous, or stunt-players like recently shaved Britney or ever-dangerous (to her friends and herself) Paris have any real importance, astrologically?

Perhaps so — not in and of themselves, but as a part of the larger whole. That’s why historically the “astrology of kings” has been considered so important by most practitioners over the centuries. Because they affect the lives of so many people, the rich and powerful are themselves lightning rods for planetary energy which percolates out to the rest of us. And, you might say, it also works the other way around, as one of the reasons they get where they are is because they epitomize certain qualities current in the society around them. As in the Grail legend, when the king is wounded, the land suffers, and sometimes the king must die in order to bring the people new life again. Celebrities are a part of an astrological pyramid of relative importance, at which nations and their cultures are at the top and the lowly moment-to-moment horary question is at the bottom. Early Renaissance Italian astrologer Guido Bonatti put it succinctly in Anima Astrologiae:

“Amongst those things that appertain to giving judgment in questions of
  Astrology, there are six to be chiefly considered:
  * 1st, Nations, and their particular kinds.
[mundane astrology]
  * 2nd, Families, and the constitutions and ordinations of Families,
     and Houses.
[royal families, leaders and their parties in modern terms]
  * 3rd, Rich and potent persons, Dispositions and Affairs.
     [stars and influential people in general, and their doings]
  * 4th, Regard is to be had to the Individuals of human kind. [the rest of us]
  * 5th, Elections or time proper for the beginning of any Work or Enterprise.
     [opportunities, the projected shape of the moment, electional astrology]
  * 6th, Questions as well universal as particular, pertinent and fit to be
.” [informative wisdom of the moment, as it reflects the whole
     and its parts, horary astrology]

So in mundane astrology, when you don’t have the national horoscope (as often happens), you use the chart of the current leader. Why? Because if the leader’s in trouble, it’s a safe bet that the nation is — and vice-versa, because it’s a two-way street. Particularly where democracies are concerned, you may also safely say that the people deserve the leader they elect and that person shares the strengths, failings, and general inclination of the populus at the time. The charts of strong wartime or social reform leaders are distinctly different from those who preside over more peaceful interregna. And, when the populus loses touch with its own identity, corrupt or feckless leaders tend to reflect it.

Hollywood stars are slightly different, but the same. In vacuous, self-seeking times, you find the likes of Anna Nicole, Paris, and Britney. In grittier times you got John Wayne, Clark Gable, Katherine Hepburn, and Bette Davis. Or, a generation later, Richard Burton, Robert DeNiro, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe. That’s what the market is buying. But further, it also shapes the next generation, because the actors you see in the movies have a lot to do with your own growth. Outside of your parents and immediate peers, they are your main role models, whether you like to admit it or not. Just as mythic monarchs symbolically represented the soul of their people, celebrities are both product and producers of popular culture and our inner goals and aspiration. That is usually evident in their charts. For instance, you might cosmetically compare Anna Nicole and Marilyn (if only because of the slavish imitation one of the other), but you would never mix up their charts. A quick glance will tell you that Anna was no Marilyn, not in the least. Beauty is skin deep, but a horoscope is to the bone. It is, in fact, the very skeleton of the personality, which is then fleshed out by the life process where fate walks hand in hand with free will.

There are many more comparisons. In music, you get a generation that both elevates and reflects the Beatles, another Blondie and The Police, yet another that buys into the vapidly imitative American Idol on the one hand and angry hip-hop on the other. In comedy, you could hardly confuse the aimlessness of Seinfeld with the genius of Chaplin, or the times that spawned them. Similar contrasts abound in literature, politics, and even high society and finance. 

In the end, the astrology of celebrities is more than just another version of the gossip columns. Because they are the bellwethers of culture, in their own individual ways they epitomize and magnetize the hearts and minds of the people they entertain: us. Looking at the charts of the stars we most like, dislike, or couldn’t care less about provides us with insight not just into them individually, but into ourselves and the style and direction of the world we live in, along with the shape of our children’s evolving destinies.

Copyright: John and Susan Townley

Bio: John and Susan  Townley

John Townley

Early in his astrological career, John Townley introduced the composite chart technique for analyzing relationships in his book The Composite Chart, and twenty years later wrote the definitive work on the subject, Composite Charts: The Astrology of Relationships. He has pioneered techniques for astrological cycle analysis and proposed a new, physical basis for astrology. He is also the author of Planets in Love, Dynamic Astrology, and Lunar Returns, has been the president of the Astrologers' Guild of America, was the editor of The Astrological Review, and is a contributor to professional and popular astrological magazines. His books have been translated into seven languages.

John is also a well-known journalist, elected member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, historian, preservationist, performer, and record producer. He can be regularly found, camera and microphone in hand, covering cultural and technology events ranging from the Consumer Electronics Show to the Toy Fair, from international music festivals to ocean sailing races. When he's not behind the camera and microphone, he's in front of them, performing at maritime concerts in the U.S. and across Europe.

He's written for:

The Mountain Astrologer Dell Horoscope
Considerations Fortean Studies
Streaming Media Magazine The Warsaw Voice
Flying Your Way Sexology Today
Sail Boating
Sea History The Mariners' Museum Journal
Northern Mariner Sea Heritage News
South Street Seaport Reporter Digital Cinema
Surround Professional Recording Media
EQ Magazine ProSound News
eDigitalPhoto Magazine The Toy Fair Times
World Of English Intelligent Transportation Systems Daily
Firefighters' Quarterly The Rappahannock Record

He's been featured on:
the BBC, CBC, PBS, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNET and Granada radio & TV, Polish National Radio/TV, Voice of America, Armed Forces Radio, and cable TV.

Susan Townley

Susan Townley was headed for a career in media and communications after graduating from Emerson College in Boston, but instead ended up for decades in the fashion industry. Somewhere along the way, however, her caring and compassionate nature, together with a special parasensitive gift, pulled her into a career of service and counseling. Her personal readings have included the likes of novelist Anne Rice, Gotham's fashion favorites, and special investigators from New York's Finest. She has been astrological columnist for the leading paper of Long Island's prestigious North Shore and co-hosted one of America Online's first live astrology shows.

A personal advisor who thinks outside of the box, she uses astrology together with Tarot as a gateway to bring clarity and understanding to others' lives. Upon occasion, Susan tag-teams with her widely-published astrologer husband John Townley to give a special "He said, She said" combination of astrological and psychic reading that mixes broad life analysis with intimate personal insight. When people feel their most vulnerable, that is when Susan's brand of creative self-awareness kicks in, giving clients new opportunities to feel better about themselves and attain personal and spiritual growth.

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