Vedic Astrology & Palmistry

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Jeffrey Dahmer: the Milwaukee Cannibal

December 2nd, 2018 · Astrology, Crime

Jeffrey Dahmer is a prime example of a conundrum in modern life – how something so disgusting can also be so fascinating… at least for students of crime, and astrology. Dahmer was an American serial killer and sex offender who killed 17 men and boys over a period of 13 years, many of his murders involving sex with corpses, cannibalism of his victims, and the preservation of their body parts, typically portions of the skeleton.

In his youth, Dahmer had been a quiet and timid child whose high-strung mother had found breastfeeding exhausting, and therefore refused to feed him this way. When he was in grade school, she became ill and anxious, and once attempted suicide by overdosing on prescribed tranquilizers. His father was absent much of the time, working toward a university degree in chemistry.

In grade school, Dahmer became fascinated with small animals. He initially collected large insects and stored them in jars but later moved on to roadkill, dismembering the animals and keeping their parts in jars too. He was fascinated by bones and once asked his father, a chemist, to show him how to bleach chicken bones for preservation.

Dahmer began drinking at age 14, beer and hard liquor, sometimes smuggling “his medicine” into high school. At puberty he began having same-sex fantasies and once lay in wait beside a jogging trail with a baseball bat to render unconscious someone he wanted to use sexually, but his target didn’t run that day, and Dahmer never tried the tactic again.

His parents divorced before he graduated from high school and Dahmer’s drinking got worse. That summer, June 1978, while both his parents were away and Dahmer was living alone in the family house, he picked up a hitchhiker and invited him home for drinks. When the young man eventually tried to leave, Dahmer bludgeoned him to death with a barbell. The next day, Dahmer dissected his victim, and over the space of a few weeks, dissolved the flesh in acid, crushed the bones with a sledgehammer and scattered them in the woodland behind the family home.

That fall Dahmer went to university but, after a semester of negligible study and heavy drinking, he dropped out. His father convinced him to enlist in the US Army. He did two years of service as a combat medic stationed in Germany, where he raped at least two fellow soldiers, having drugged one of his victims.

After an honorable discharge, Dahmer returned to the USA, working various jobs – at a delicatessen, blood plasma center, chocolate factory – meanwhile continuing to drink heavily while living with his grandmother. He became a regular in Milwaukee gay bathhouses, but his membership at his local was revoked after they discovered he was routinely drugging his partners with a cocktail of liquor, sleeping pills and sedatives, after which he raped them while unconscious.

In November 1987, Dahmer awoke one morning from a drunken stupor to find himself lying in a hotel room atop a dead man whose chest was caved in. Although he had no memory of it, he realized he must have beaten his victim to death. He bought a large suitcase, transported the body to his grandmother’s house and over the next week, dismembered the body, separated the flesh into garbage bags and crushed the bones with a sledgehammer. He bleached the skull to keep as a souvenir and a stimulus for masturbation.

And so it began…

Over the next six months, Dahmer lured another two young men to his grandmother’s house, drugged them, raped them, killed them and dismembered them. In September 1988, his grandmother asked him to move out, complaining of his bringing young men home late at night, and the foul smells coming from the basement and garage.

Dahmer found a one-bedroom apartment of his own. In March 1989, he killed another young man, disposing of the body as with previous victims. But this one was so “exceptionally attractive” that Dahmer preserved his head and genitalia in acetone as a long-term memento.

The pattern was set. In 1990 Dahmer killed another four young men, and in 1991, another seven. In most cases, he took photos during the dismembering process, refrigerated some flesh or organs to eat, and preserved the skulls as keepsakes, meanwhile destroying the rest of the flesh in acid, and crushing the bones for disposal.

But in July 1991, one of his intended victims, a handcuff dangling from one arm, managed to flee Dahmer’s apartment and flag down a police car. Upon entering Dahmer’s apartment, the police encountered a stench of decaying flesh in a barrel of acid, and discovered frozen body parts in the fridge.

Dahmer confessed to the crimes but when his case came to trial in 1992, he pleaded insanity. The jury rejected the idea and found him guilty on all counts. He was sentenced to 15 consecutive life terms. Two years later, Dahmer was murdered in prison, bludgeoned to death with a steel bar from a barbell in the inmates’ weight room.

Although deemed sane to stand trial for his crimes, Dahmer was initially diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, subject to psychosis and schizophrenia. Although his chart doesn’t display the more obvious signatures of mental disturbance, there’s enough there to register concern.

The manas is that part of the mind that acts as an operating system for the body and the personality, governing glandular function, monitoring sensory input, registering likes and dislikes, and providing a behavioral compass. The state of the manas can be judged via an analysis of three factors: the 4th house, the 4th lord, and the Moon. Any influence by the destabilizing (crazy-making) malefics Saturn and Rahu upon those three factors are warning signs.

In Dahmer’s chart, the 4th house is occupied by its own lord Jupiter, and by Saturn, both of which are retrograde. Thus, in one stroke, we see both the 4th house and its lord Jupiter destabilized by the association of a strong Saturn. Meanwhile, the Moon (karaka for the manas) is dark and waning, being less than four tithis from the Sun. Overall, this is cause for concern, but not so abnormal that it could explain such horrible acts.

All people are governed by moral principles of some kind. These are seen via the status of the 4th house (mother’s influence, and socialization via primary education), and the 9th house (father’s influence, dharma, societal law, etc). As noted, the state of the 4th reflects damaged goods. As for the 9th, its lord Venus has gone 12 away to the 8th, and the 9th house itself is occupied by the Sun, lord of the 12th, a trikasthana of self-undoing.

As for Dahmer’s temperament, note that his ascendant is aspected by the Moon, Mars and Saturn. The latter two are prime malefics, and show the potential for inflicting harm, largely under the influence of sexual fantasies as suggested by the dark moon in Pisces.

Compared to a study I’ve recently completed on the charts of 200 homicides, I was intrigued to note a few commonalities between them and Dahmer:

  • After Aries and Scorpio, Virgo ascendants are the next most common. The Mars-ruled ascendants appear logical, but Mercury? Chalk it up to the cleverness required to “succeed” as a serial killer – stalking the appropriate victim, killing discreetly, and disposing of the body – all without getting caught.
  • The Moon in the 7th house was observed far more often than expected by chance. This “other-directed” theme inherent in the Moon’s house position naturally embraces the notion of sexual attraction and compulsion. Sex is often a motivation for many killers, either because the collateral violence explicitly involves rape, or the act of killing provides a “sexualized” release of emotion.
  • Mars in the 7th house is also “well represented” in murderers, perhaps for the same reasons as Moon in the 7th. And Mars is of course the karaka for any form of violence, sexual and otherwise.
  • Malefics Mars and Saturn are angular, from both the lagna and the Chandralagna, the combination of which represents a capacity for “dirty work,” cruelty and/or violence.

When it comes to the timing of Dahmer’s murders, we should note that all of his crimes were committed during his Venus dasha. Venus occupies the 8th house, and is also considered a maraka because it rules the 2nd house. Its nakshatra dispositor is the Sun, which is the 12th lord. Thus in the Venus dasha we see the activation of two trikasthanas, something that happens so frequently in the charts of repeat offenders that we might well consider it an astrological prerequisite for a serial killer.

During his Mercury bhukti, Dahmer claimed five victims. Mercury is his ascendant lord, and is moderately combust with 12th lord Sun, which obviously aroused his sexual fantasies.

During his Ketu bhukti, Dahmer killed 10 young men. Ketu occupies the 6th, which is the 12th from the 7th and therefore a signature for “loss” of a partner, which can be variously construed as a failed relationship, a divorce, or the death of a partner.

The chaya graha always act as proxies for other planets, in descending order of influence: (1) planets with which they associate, (2) planets aspecting them, (3) the planet that disposits them by sign, and (4) the planet that disposits them by nakshatra. In this case, Ketu is doubly influenced by Saturn, which both aspects and disposits it by sign. Thus, the morbid quality of Saturn comes to bear on the nodes which in and of themselves already reflect some degree of derangement.

Finally, note within the inset graph that, over the entire span of Dahmer’s killings, most of them were committed in the antara (sub-period) of Saturn, some of which were in his Mercury bhukti, but the majority in a flurry of violence during his Ketu bhukti in the spring and summer of 1991.

As discussed earlier in the manas discussion, Saturn has a destabilizing effect on the mind. Further note that it is lord of a trikasthana, the 6th, and therefore an instigator of another’s undoing. Finally, note that Saturn occupies a nakshatra of Venus, and therefore invokes the trauma and violence associated with Venus’s placement in another trikasthana, the 8th.

One final note concerning the circularity of cause and effect, consider this. Dahmer killed his first victim in 1978 by bludgeoning him to death with a barbell. Ironically, he died the same way at the hands of a prison inmate 16 years later in 1994.

In June 1978, Dahmer was running Venus-Mars-Ketu. Venus occupies the 8th house and a nakshatra of the Sun ruling the 12th, Mars rules the 8th and is in a nakshatra of Saturn which rules the 6th, and Ketu occupies the 6th.

In November 1994, Dahmer was running Sun-Saturn-Venus. The Sun is swa nakshatra and rules the 12th, Saturn owns the 6th and occupies a nakshatra of Venus in the 8th, and Venus is in the 8th while occupying a nakshatra of the Sun ruling the 12th.

Both in his first victim’s death, and his own, all three trikasthanas were activated. What goes around comes around.


Alan Annand studied with Hart de Fouw, and is a graduate of the American College of Vedic Astrology and a former tutor for the British Faculty of Astrological Studies. 

He is the author of several non-fiction books. Kala Sarpa is a first-of-its-kind reference book on a unique pattern in jyotish that is not discussed in shastra yet is part of India’s rich oral tradition. Stellar Astrology, Volumes 1 & 2, offer a wealth of time-tested techniques in the form of biographical profiles, analyses of world events, and technical essays. Parivartana Yoga is a reference text for one of the most common yet powerful planetary combinations in jyotish. Mutual Reception is an expanded companion volume for western practitioners, covering the same subject of planetary exchange through the lens of traditional astrology.

His New Age Noir crime novels (Scorpio Rising, Felonious Monk, Soma County) feature astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.”


You can find his books on Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.

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Kala Sarpa: everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask

November 30th, 2018 · Astrology, Instruction, Publication

“If the Sun and Moon would doubt,” poet William Blake once wrote, “they would immediately go out.”

As for me, there were times over the past 18 months when my own vision blurred, and I doubted whether I could write a book on Kala Sarpa that would do justice to its myth. But as it is with all writing of substance, it became a sadhana, and there was no choice but to finish the work. I hope students and practicing astrologers alike can now use it to shed light on what has always been a very dark subject.

~ Alan Annand

Paperback available at Amazon only, ebooks available at all online retailers:


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Jian Ghomeshi: unrepentant teddy bear of love

November 3rd, 2018 · Astrology, celebrity, Karma

In 2009 Jian Ghomeshi, then host of the CBC’s popular radio talk show Q was diagnosed with a general anxiety disorder. He began seeing a psychologist on a weekly basis to deal with a range of topics – feeling like an outsider because of his Iranian background, having trust issues, and just not feeling good enough about himself.

At the urging of his therapist, Ghomeshi purchased a teddy bear to replace a childhood toy and help him deal with his anxiety. Five years later, that teddy bear turned up in court testimony, when alleged victims of unsolicited rough sex claimed they’d seen the teddy bear in Ghomeshi’s bedroom. Just prior to one unsavory incident, a plaintiff recounted, Ghomeshi turned the teddy bear’s face into a corner, saying something to the effect, “Teddy shouldn’t see what I’m about to do to you.”

For the record, it should be noted that Ghomeshi was acquitted of all charges against him, ie, four counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance by choking, as filed by three separate women. An additional charge of sexual assault was withdrawn after Ghomeshi posted a peace bond and made a formal apology to another alleged victim.

Despite his acquittal, Ghomeshi’s story reads something like that of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun, lost the glue in his man-made wings and plummeted back to earth.

Note: Astrodienst ( gives Ghomeshi’s birth time as 10 PM. But in my personal correspondence with John McKay-Clements, the Canadian astrologer who acquired the birth time from Ghomeshi himself, he says this was a transcription error on the part of Astrodienst. The actual birth time as reported by Ghomeshi was 11 PM.

Ghomeshi was born in England to Iranian parents who immigrated to Canada when he was seven. He struggled to fit in at his Toronto schools, always self-conscious about his appearance and his accent. He found solace in his love of music, especially Bowie, Rush and Talking Heads. At York University he was elected president of the student council but, during the same period, was also flagged as someone who’d allegedly hit a couple of other students, and once grabbed another guy by the genitals.

One salient feature of Ghomeshi’s chart, to which we’ll return more than once, is the graha yuddha, or planetary war, that exists between Jupiter and Venus. Planetary war arises when two of the true planets (Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, or Saturn) lie within one degree of longitude of each other. This creates a “crowding” effect wherein the planets are figuratively stepping on each other’s toes, the analogy of two strangers pressed up against each other in an otherwise empty elevator car. Because we all need our “space,” this is going to cause a problem for at least one if not both of the planets thus configured.

Note here that Jupiter is lord of the 1st and 4th, and as far as people in the life are concerned, it represents both Ghomeshi and his mother. But the 4th also rules a myriad of other things – general happiness, morality, domestic life, schooling, vehicles, fan base, etc.

By age sixteen, he’d joined the first of many bands with friends and schoolmates, singing and playing drums. He reached the pinnacle of that particular career arc in the mid-90s, when the political satire band Moxy Früvous went platinum in Canada, was nominated for a Juno award, and made an appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

After several years working as a journalist and emcee of various shows for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, in 2007 he became host of CBC’s weekday radio talk show Q. As host, the smooth-talking and mercurial Ghomeshi interviewed a range of musicians, artists, actors, and other notables including Woody Allen, Paul McCartney, Salman Rushdie, Barbara Walters, William Shatner, Jay-Z, and Leonard Cohen. By 2013, Q had a weekly audience of more than 2.5 million listeners in Canada and 550,000 in the United States.

Ghomeshi was flying high, secure in a dream job, basking in public adoration. But in 2014, his trajectory suffered a fatal collision with reality. The Toronto Star newspaper began working on a story wherein several women, both in CBC’s workplace and in his private life, alleged that he had behaved in disturbing ways. Having caught wind of the forthcoming story, Ghomeshi tried to get ahead of it by briefing his corporate bosses, showing them a string of lewd text messages and graphic personal sex videos, claiming that however edgy it might appear it had nonetheless all been consensual.

CBC’s response was to immediately fire Ghomeshi on grounds of sexual harassment in the workplace, and quickly distance itself from their former wunderkind. Ghomeshi filed a $55 million lawsuit for wrongful dismissal and misuse of confidential information, but a month later was obliged to withdraw the suit and reimburse CBC for its legal costs.

October 2014 was a terrible month for Ghomeshi. His beloved father died on October 2nd, and he was fired from the CBC on October 26th. He was at the time running Mercury-Venus. Note that Venus is the other planet involved in the graha yuddha with Jupiter. It rules the 6th house of employment and the 11th house of income, both of which were vaporized that month when Ghomeshi’s story became national news and the scandal made him an instant pariah.

Ironically, Saturn dasha had been very good for him. As a member of Moxy Früvous, he’d enjoyed national exposure in the music industry, their popularity peaking in 1994 with record sales, awards and media attention. At that time, Ghomeshi was running Saturn-Mercury. Saturn itself gives results for its nakshatra lord Mercury, which forms Pancha Mahapurusha Bhadra yoga in the 7th house. The conjoined influence of dasha and bhukti lords gave him all the acceptance and attention he’d craved throughout his school years.

But a few years after becoming host of the radio talk show Q, he entered his Mercury dasha, and things started to go sideways. Mercury occupies a nakshatra of Rahu in Ghomeshi’s chart, so in its periods it also invokes the notorious irregularity of the nodes. Note that Rahu occupies the 5th house of the critical mind, but Rahu is also a major proxy for Mars, which both aspects and disposits the node.

Further note that Mars, with dig bala in the 10th house, rules the 5th house of romance and the 12th house of “bed pleasures,” ie, sexual behavior. And it was this confluence of influences, particularly sexual harassment in the workplace, that had caused many coworkers to complain about Ghomeshi in the years since he’d assumed his role as host of Q. To their discredit, CBC had previously turned a deaf ear to those complaints until the Toronto Star story had leaked prior to breaking out as the Canadian media scandal of the decade.

In November 2014 Ghomeshi turned himself in to the Toronto Police and was charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance by choking. In a subsequent hearing in January 2015 he was charged with three additional counts of sexual assault related to three more women. While awaiting trial, he was remanded to the custody of his mother, and banned from contacting any of his alleged victims.

This must have been a very profoundly tortured period for him. The irony is that his mother may well have been at the root of his psychological malaise. Consider the indications for the mother in this chart. The 4th lord Jupiter is in graha yuddha with Venus in the 8th house. The 4th house is occupied by Saturn and in mutual opposition with its natural enemy Mars. The Moon, karaka for the mother, is dark, being in only the second tithi after a new moon. All of this suggests a mother who was fickle, distant, and authoritarian, perhaps even abusive.

Ghomeshi had only one other sibling, an older sister. In any chart, the next-most-elder sibling is indicated by the 11th house. In Ghomeshi’s chart, the 11th lord is Venus, the other planet in the graha yuddha. We can thus regard the planetary war in an alternate light, seeing 1st lord Jupiter as Ghomeshi, while 11th lord Venus represents his sister. Graha yuddha invokes a war in which these two players vie for dominance. Although there are rules for judging the winner of such contests, the situation here is complex – Jupiter is brighter but Venus is higher in the sky – so we can assume both combatants suffer. In a real-life family drama, we might hypothesize that Ghomeshi’s mother favored her first-born daughter, leaving Ghomeshi to resent both females, and to bond emotionally with his father, whose implied dysfunctionality (9th lord and father karaka Sun in the 6th aspected only by Saturn) may have provoked a sympathetic self-identification.

This graha yuddha assumes even greater significance when we consider that it becomes the centerpiece in an analysis of the manas. The manas is a concept of Vedic psychology, wherein it represents the sense perceptions and, by extension, the likes and dislikes that develop as a consequence of sensual experience. This dance of raga versus dvesha, ie, the pursuit of pleasure vs avoidance of pain, subsequently becomes the basis for behavior and personality.

The checklist for a disturbed manas is as follows: (1) the lord of the 4th house is weak and/or badly placed and/or influenced by Saturn or the nodes, (2) Saturn or a node occupies or aspects the 4th house, and (3) the Moon, karaka for the manas, is weak and/or badly placed and/or influenced by Saturn or the nodes.

See Ghomeshi’s chart: (1) the 4th lord Jupiter is weakened by planetary war in the 8th house in a nakshatra of Saturn, (2) an afflicted Saturn occupies the 4th house, and (3) the Moon is dark and in a nakshatra of Rahu.

How does a disturbed manas manifest? In Ghomeshi’s case, there’s an obvious argument for suppressed rage. Traditional enemies Mars and Saturn oppose each other from the angles, and both aspect the ascendant. Aside from the sexual harassment in the workplace, Ghomeshi’s alleged victims claimed forcible sex, choking and closed-fist punching. He once declared to a colleague that he wanted to “hate-fuck” a co-worker.

Relationships with women were obviously a locus of his complicated emotional needs, but the prognosis for genuine intimacy is scant in his chart. The 1st lord Jupiter and 7th lord are in a 2/12 relationship, wherein the lagnesh is weak, the 7th lord strong. The 7th house is occupied only by the Moon and Mercury. The Moon is the most ephemeral of planets, suggesting something of a revolving door of love/sex interests, while a dark Moon implies little emotional depth. Meanwhile, although Mercury in its own sign can promote active engagement via conversation, repartee, flirting, etc, Mercury has traditionally been judged a poor marriage candidate, because Mercury signifies a juvenile, someone who is (emotionally) too young to sustain adult relationships and responsibilities.

None of these factors can be “blamed” for any single constellation of behaviors, but the sum total of their influences creates a bias for judgment. If we needed any final icing on the cake, we might note that both the Moon and Mercury occupy the nakshatra of Ardra. As students of the nakshatras might well know, Ardra is associated with tears, often as a result of deep conflicts between parent and child, feelings of abandonment and betrayal, and expressions of sadness and rage. Not only were many of Ghomeshi’s female coworkers reduced to tears by his behavior, but we can surmise that in the aftermath of the scandal, he too must have cried for all he had lost.

Ghomeshi was tried in February 2016, but acquitted of all charges. This occurred in Mercury-Sun. Note that the Sun delivers results, not only for itself as lord of the 9th in the 6th, but for its star-lord Mars as well. Despite public perception that he was likely “guilty” of unethical if not outright misogynistic behavior, the prosecution’s case was weak, the defense was very robust, and ultimately the judge ruled that the deception of witnesses had created such doubt as to render a guilty verdict unjustified.

A second trial of sexual assault was withdrawn when Ghomeshi posted a peace bond and offered a formal apology to the alleged victim. This was in Mercury-Moon. And then he dropped out of sight. He made an attempt at independent re-invention, launching The Ideation Project, a series of music and podcasts that received lackluster reviews.

Ghomeshi briefly returned to the news last month when the New York Review of Books published “Reflections from a Hashtag,” an essay by Ghomeshi alluding to the #metoo movement in which he admitted having been “emotionally thoughtless” and “too demanding” of his dates, meanwhile avoiding any genuine apology. A storm of public protest promptly arose, asking why someone like Ghomeshi should be given such a prestigious forum for a personal essay. The controversy provoked the immediate resignation of the NYRB editor and a formal apology to readers from the publisher, who vowed to exercise greater discretion in its editorial handling of any such future pieces.

Note how Ghomeshi’s core admission of having been “emotionally thoughtless” evokes again that dark Moon with Mercury in the Gemini 7th house. And in Ardra, it seems there are still more than enough tears to go around.


Alan Annand is a graduate of the American College of Vedic Astrology and a former tutor for the British Faculty of Astrological Studies. His New Age Noir crime novels (Scorpio Rising, Felonious Monk, Soma County) feature astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.”

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00006]He’s also the author of several non-fiction books. Stellar Astrology, Volumes 1 & 2, offer a wealth of time-tested techniques in the form of biographical profiles, analyses of world events, and technical essays. Parivartana Yoga is a reference text for one of the most common yet powerful planetary combinations in jyotish. Mutual Reception is an expanded companion volume for western practitioners, covering the same subject of planetary exchange through the lens of traditional astrology.


You can find his books on Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.


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Webinar review: Kepler’s Astrology Research Team (ART)

September 19th, 2018 · Astrology, Instruction, Science

Interested in learning how to conduct astrological research? Set your agenda for the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month. That’s when Kepler’s Astrological Research Team (ART) meets to discuss past studies, current best practices and future projects.

The series, coordinated by Courtney Roberts and facilitated by Glenn “Mitch” Mitchell, seeks to provide potential researchers with useful guidance in conducting research.

In this week’s webinar, we learned that the most common error of neophyte researchers lies in mistaking astronomical significance for astrological significance.

  • If your research involves Sun signs, you have to know that births are not evenly distributed. In northern hemispheres, more people are born in summer months, June through September.
  • If your study involves ascendants, be aware that in the northern hemisphere the signs of long ascension, Cancer through Sagittarius, are far more common rising signs than the other six.

Courtney noted some interesting studies out there to support these cautions, eg, Didier Castille’s article on France’s population and the zodiac, and encouraged us to catch up on the current literature.

Mitch walked us through a very cogent explanation of control groups and why properly-designed studies demand them. Mitch is an astrologer and a statistician who can discuss methodology in plain English, for which I am grateful, because such clarity can’t be taken for granted.

A key takeaway for me was when he discussed “significance.” Statistical significance is when you find a difference between control and study groups that can’t be explained by chance. Practical significance is when you find the same thing but have to ask yourself, is it big enough to really matter, and what argument can I make for its real-world significance?

Mitch provided a brief overview of what’s available in astrological software that supports some robust level of research capability. There are many vendors, so over the course of this series he’s promised to discuss their features, including some live demos of what can be done with the various software.

The session wound up with an expression of interest in various ongoing and future projects. If you want to learn more, tune in for the next ART webinar, which will be Tuesday October 2nd.

Visit the Canaveral Research site and get on their mailing list to be advised of these and other series promoting fact-based astrology.


Alan Annand (BA, BSc, DFAS, ACVA-II) is a graduate of the American College of Vedic Astrology and former tutor for the British Faculty of Astrological Studies. His recent research paper “Mercury Retrograde in Disasters” was published in the American Federation of Astrologers’ Research Journal Vol.18 this past summer. You can read his article here.



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Webinar review: Qualitative Research Methods for Astrologers

September 9th, 2018 · Astrology, Instruction, Science

Yesterday I “attended” a webinar offered by the Canaveral Research Center (home of the Kepler Conference) coordinated by Courtney Roberts and moderated by Glenn “Mitch” Mitchell. The workshop featured Dr. Will Morris who, as “guest lecturer,” has an extensive background in academic research methods, as well as a comprehensive acquaintance with the full spectrum of major astrological systems.

Dr. Morris gave us a presentation on the principal research methods: case study, grounded theory, phenomenology, ethnography, historical research, narrative research, and action research. For a neophyte like me, this was an eye-opener regarding the range of different methodologies available. It was also thought-provoking in terms of tentative research topics and, more importantly, how to best approach them.

There was an equally good discussion on mixed methods in research, using both quantitative and qualitative data, and the “triangulation” process of using different data, investigators, theories, methods, and environments to achieve the most robust analysis of a subject.

Aside from taking notes on the lecture material itself, throughout the webinar I was busy jotting down fresh ideas for research that some of these discussions inevitably sparked in my imagination.

Four astrologer-researchers offered “works in progress” on which Dr. Morris provided constructive criticism. David Perkins presented an analysis of musical trends over a century’s worth of Saturn cycles. Kyle Pierce discussed his concept of kindred births via recurring shared planetary patterns. Faith McInerney correlated Chiron and Pluto aspects to booms and busts in financial cycles. Russell Ohlhausen analysed astro-physiognomy via common elements in the charts of celebrities vs their “ordinary” doppelgangers.

The presentations, feedback and discussions lasted almost three hours, providing great value for the price of admission, and much food for thought. Based on this experience, I’d encourage all budding astro-researchers to get on the CRC mailing list, and keep an eye out for future offerings.


Alan Annand (BA, BSc, DFAS, ACVA-II) is a graduate of the American College of Vedic Astrology and former tutor for the British Faculty of Astrological Studies. His recent research paper “Mercury Retrograde in Disasters” was published in the American Federation of Astrologers’ Research Journal Vol.18 this past summer. You can read his article here.

Future speaking engagements:

  • Saturday, October 20th, 2018, State Of The Art (SOTA) conference in Buffalo, New York, on the subject of “The 27 Nakshatras” (asterisms) used in Vedic astrology, the so-called mansions of the Moon. No previous sense of humor required.
  • Saturday, January 26, 2019, The Kepler Conference in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on the subject of “Prime Malefics in the Charts of Killers.” Attendees must be 18 or over, and have no previous record of violent offenses. See a preview of findings in this brief article.

Alan has written several books: Mutual Reception delineates 66 combinations of house lord exchange in western astrology; Parivartana Yoga is a companion volume for Vedic astrologers; Stellar Astrology, Volumes 1 & 2, offer useful techniques via biographical profiles, mundane event analyses, and technical essays; his New Age Noir mystery trilogy features an astrologer. You can find his books on Amazon and elsewhere.


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John McCain: maverick with a heart

September 7th, 2018 · Astrology, celebrity, Instruction

By all odds, John McCain should have died in Vietnam. His survival made him a legend worthy of what is truly great about America: demonstrating courage under fire, and acting with honesty and integrity in support of principles that transcend individual well-being for the sake of one’s country.

His chart has several classic yogas. Sasha yoga, created by Saturn in its own sign in the ascendant, is the strongest among them, making him an icon of conservative values. The Sun/Saturn opposition across the horizon creates a Dharma-Karma Adhipati yoga via lords of the 1st and 7th, and since both planets are strong, this became a signature of two things – his leadership in bipartisan politics, and the anti-establishment streak that many times led him to break ranks with his own Republican party policies. A second DKA yoga, this time with 4th lord Venus and 5th lord Mercury together in the 8th reflected some of the many traumas, both personal and professional, that he experienced in his lifetime. This latter pair also constitutes a Neecha Bhanga Raja yoga, which reflects both his physical and political survival despite many reversals during the years.

McCain came from a military family. (Chandra Mangala yoga across the 6/12 axis reflects a fighting spirit, on both a personal and professional level.) His father and his grandfather were both four-star admirals in the US Navy. As a consequence, he was born in Panama where his father was stationed at the time, and he later attended 20 different schools as his family moved around the USA and the Pacific theatre. His frequent changes of residency and schools are reflected in 4th lord Venus debilitated in the 8th house.

McCain attended the US Navy Academy, from which he graduated in 1958. He had a high IQ but an anti-authoritarian streak, and finished near the bottom of his class. He completed flight school in 1960, during which time he earned a reputation as a party animal and a mediocre pilot. He crashed twice and collided with power lines another time, but walked away largely unscathed. Vehicles are ruled by the 4th house, whether cars, ships or planes. The sorry state of 4th lord Venus reflects his many misfortunes under transport.

He requested a combat assignment during the Vietnam War and was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal which suffered a cataclysmic fire in July 1967. An electrical malfunction caused a rocket to accidentally explode among a group of planes on the flight deck, setting off a series of fuel explosions that killed 134 sailors and wounded 161 others, including McCain. The USS Forrestal fire occurred during Rahu dasha, Venus bhukti, as did his final combat mission three months later.

In October 1967 his Skyhawk attack plane was shot down on a mission over North Vietnam. McCain broke both arms and legs, and almost drowned when his parachute came down in a lake. When the North Vietnamese pulled him out of the water, they prodded him with bayonets and struck him with rifle stocks, crushing one of his shoulders.

His captors initially refused to treat his injuries, torturing him instead for information until they discovered his father was an admiral. He spent six weeks in hospital, during which he received minimal care, lost 50 pounds and saw his hair turn white. Other prisoners thought he wouldn’t survive.

Because he wouldn’t cooperate with North Vietnamese demands for information or statements for propaganda purposes, in March 1968 he was put in solitary confinement for two years, spanning Rahu-Sun and Rahu-Moon, the latter bhukti lord sitting in his 12th house. During this period his father was named commander of all US Navy forces in the theatre. The North Vietnamese offered him early release, but McCain refused, abiding with the US military Code of Conduct which had a “first-in, first-out” rule for prisoner-of-war releases.

His North Vietnamese captors in the “Hanoi Hilton” subjected him to severe torture in which he was bound and beaten every two hours, experiencing such pain that he was driven to the point of suicide, prevented only by the actions of his guards. He remained a prisoner of war for five and a half years until his release in March 1973, along with other POWs at the conclusion of peace talks ending the war. His wartime injuries caused him irreparable damage that, even after extensive physiotherapy, left him with a limp and rendered him unable to raise his arms above his head.

Back in America, he took command of a training squadron in Florida. Although he’d married in April 1965 before going to Vietnam, he became involved in several extramarital affairs in Florida that ruined his marriage, for which he subsequently blamed himself. With natural enemies Sun and Saturn opposed across the 1/7 axis, Kujadosha from a debilitated Mars, and marriage karaka Venus debilitated in the 8th, relationships were up-and-down.

He became a Navy liaison officer to the US Senate in 1977, his first taste of civil service in which he began making friends with both Republicans and Democrats. This was his Jupiter-Mercury period, in which both angular Jupiter and exalted Mercury provided the Neecha Bhanga Raja yoga relieving his debilitated Venus. He secured a divorce in April 1980 and a month later married a woman he’d been dating for a year or more, an Arizona heiress to a beer empire, both transactions occurring in his Jupiter-Venus period.

He retired from the Navy in 1981, moved to Arizona and ran for a seat in the House of Representatives. Accused by a local heckler of being a “carpetbagger,” an opportunist who wasn’t a real resident of Arizona, he explained that, being in a military family, he’d been obliged to move around a lot more than was normal. In fact, he said, the longest he’d spent anywhere was his five-and-a-half years in a Hanoi prison. The heckler fell silent and McCain went on to win his seat.

From there he progressed to the Senate in 1987 (Jupiter-Rahu), capturing the Arizona seat left vacant by the late Barry Goldwater. McCain completed five terms and was into his sixth when he died. Over the years, he developed a reputation as a man with a conscience who would often buck the party line if it didn’t sit right with his own principles.

His Sasha yoga was a testimony, not only to his stoicism during his years as a prisoner of war, but also his willingness to take tough stands. The Sun/Saturn opposition is a signature for a maverick, someone who is anti-authoritarian, and perhaps proud of it. And yet with that strong Saturn as an influence, his ego appeared to be largely in check.

Thanks to his Chandra Mangala yoga, he was known to have a temper, and wasn’t afraid to engage in combat, whether physical or legislative. In school he wrestled and boxed. As a pilot, he pushed the envelope in his flying. Whether dealing with hecklers in the crowd, or members of his own party with whom he disagreed on principle, he wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. His debilitated Mars in the 6th indicates a fighter, however reckless, and its aspect on the ascendant gave it punch.

In 2000 (Saturn-Mars), he went head-to-head with George W. Bush in competition for the Republican nominee for President. Despite a vicious smear campaign from the Bush camp, spreading rumors that McCain had fathered a black child (he and his wife had adopted a child from Bangladesh), that he was a homosexual, that he’d been brainwashed in Hanoi and become a “Manchurian candidate,” he refused to respond in kind. He stuck to his principles and lost the leadership race.

Eight years later (Mercury-Mercury), he won the Republican nomination process and campaigned for President with Sarah Palin as his running mate, but this time lost to the Democrats under Barack Obama. His concession speech was gracious and he vowed to continue serving the country as best he could from the Senate where he had over the years acquired more and more senior committee appointments, in foreign policy, and especially the armed services.

In the 2016 Presidential campaign (Mercury-Rahu), he withdrew support for Donald Trump after hearing the Hollywood Tapes in which Trump bragged about groping women. From then on, he became something of a symbol for a mere vestige of the Republican Party that seemed otherwise eager to shed its principles so long as Trump kept on winning the support of the Republican heartland.

For a man of such high principles, one might ask, how can Venus, his 4th and 9th lord of morals, ethics and right behavior, be in such a ruinous state? Recall that his Venus has Neecha Bhanga Raja yoga, which arises under four different scenarios: (1) when the debilitated planet is associated with or aspected by its dispositor, (2) when the dispositor of the debilitated planet is in a kendra, (3) when the lord of the sign in which the debilitated planet would become exalted is in a kendra, and (4) when the planet that would be exalted in that debilitation sign is in a kendra.

See what happens in McCain’s chart: (1) debilitated Venus is associated with its dispositor Mercury; and (3) Jupiter, the lord of Pisces where debilitated Venus would become exalted, is in a kendra. The other two do not apply: (2) Mercury the dispositor of debilitated Venus is not in a kendra; and (4) Mercury that is exalted in Virgo, where Venus is debilitated, is not in a kendra.

So for McCain the whole portfolio of ethics has been a mixed bag. He was a role model during his five and a half years as a prisoner of war. But after the war, he had extramarital affairs and, by his own admission, ruined his marriage. In the early years of his political career, he was involved in a savings and loan scandal that earned him a slap on the wrist from the Ethics Committee, wherein he acknowledged his poor judgement and apologized. Throughout his subsequent Senate role, he worked zealously for Indian affairs, campaign finance reform and many other just causes. On the other hand, he backed unwinnable wars, and waffled on health care. He was a bundle of cantankerous contradictions, but America loved him anyway. Over the decades, his approval/disapproval ratings averaged about 60% vs 30%.

His career is roughly mapped out by his dasha sequence. Rahu dasha spanned the whole of his active military service. Jupiter dasha covered the period from his prison release through state-side non-combat roles and Navy liaison officer, to public office in the House of Representatives. His Saturn dasha saw him become the Senator for Arizona, a role in which he accumulated increasing stature and respect. Mercury dasha ushered in his failed attempt to win the Presidency, multiple frustrations during the Obama administration, and the brain cancer that ultimately killed him.

Although his actions in recent years polarized the Republican party, his integrity and reputation remained intact. Like the “slow walker” Saturn that commanded his ascendant, indeed his chart, his legacy will inevitably endure, and history will likely grant him an honored place among American heroes who made personal sacrifices for the sake of their country.


Alan Annand is a graduate of the American College of Vedic Astrology and a former tutor for the British Faculty of Astrological Studies. His New Age Noir crime novels (Scorpio Rising, Felonious Monk, Soma County) feature astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.”

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00006]He’s also the author of several non-fiction books. Stellar Astrology, Volumes 1 & 2, offer a wealth of time-tested techniques in the form of biographical profiles, analyses of world events, and technical essays. Parivartana Yoga is a reference text for one of the most common yet powerful planetary combinations in jyotish. Mutual Reception is an expanded companion volume for western practitioners, covering the same subject of planetary exchange through the lens of traditional astrology.


You can find his books on Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.


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Aretha Franklin: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

September 2nd, 2018 · Astrology, celebrity

At first glance, there seems to be so little of significance in Aretha Franklin’s chart that we’re tempted to think, this can’t be right. If she was the Queen of Soul, where are the signs of royalty, soul, and awesome voice? In fact, there are so few yogas in her chart that you can count them on the fingers of one hand. And yet, sometimes, all you need is one hand to seize the crown.

For Aretha, her ascendant lord Venus is the planet that commands the stage. Venus is the karaka for the arts and entertainment, and because it’s the only occupant of a kendra, it becomes the most likely significator of her career. Venus is strong because it has dig bala in the 4th house, and it’s stable because it receives only an aspect from Jupiter. Venus is also in Parivartana yoga with Saturn in the 8th, a combination that strengthens both planets and the houses they occupy.

Among other things, the 4th house represents one’s tribe, congregation, constituency or fan base. From her earliest performance, standing on a chair in front of her preacher father’s congregation, Aretha has stood head and shoulders above the crowd.

In the 8th house, the association of 2nd lord Mars and 5th lord Saturn forms Dhana yoga. From there, they each aspect and thereby strengthen their own houses – Mars protecting the 2nd, Saturn protecting the 5th. Other than family and wealth, the 2nd house also rules the voice. And aside from children, the 5th also rules performance.

Her 8th house is a locus of exchange activity. In addition to the Parivartana between Venus and Saturn linking the 4th and 8th, there are two different Nadi yogas involving exchanges of star lords in the 8th. The Sun and Saturn occupy each other’s nakshatra, thus creating a symbiosis between the 6th and 8th houses. Furthermore, the Moon and Jupiter also occupy each other’s nakshatra, thus creating a link between the 8th and 9th houses.

Thus, we have three different houses – the 4th, the 6th and the 9th – whose occupants are in sambandha with an occupant of the 8th. As a consequence, she has had more than her share of trials and tribulations.

Her parents (4H & 9H) separated when she was six, and her mother (4H) died just weeks before Aretha turned 10. Her father (9H) was shot point-blank in the chest during a home robbery and remained five years in a coma before he died. She lost a $1.4M house (4H) to a devastating fire. And in the last decade of her life, she was plagued with health (6H) problems, ranging from hypertension to pancreatic cancer.

Aretha grew up in a lively household with three siblings. Her father was one of the country’s most influential ministers whose circle of friends included civil rights activist Martin Luther King, as well as popular performers of the day like Mahalia Jackson and Sam Cooke. But his constant philandering became too much for Aretha’s mother, who left the marriage when Aretha was just six years old, leaving the young girl in her father’s care.

The Moon occupies the 9th house, showing the powerful emotional connection she had with her father. Her 9th lord Mercury is in the 5th house of ministry, amped up by the presence of mokshakaraka Ketu, and solidified by the aspect of its dispositor Saturn. In acknowledgement of Reverend Franklin’s oratorical skills, people called him “the man with the million-dollar voice.”

Early in the dasha of Saturn, lord of her 5th house, Aretha became an unwed mother – her first child born when she was just 12 years old, the second when she was 14, in Saturn-Saturn and Saturn-Mercury, respectively. With 7th lord Mars in the 8th, she was not lucky in love. One of her sisters referred to her first husband as “a smooth gentleman pimp.” She married twice, the first in Saturn-Venus, and the second in Mercury-Sun, neither of which lasted the test of time. She later went on to have two more children.

She signed with Columbia Records in 1960, and released her first single in September of that year, both during her Saturn-Venus period. Note that Saturn participates in the only two yogas of significance in her chart, while Venus as lagnesh was instrumental in her establishing herself.

The high-water mark of her career was in Saturn-Rahu, during which period she scored nine Top Ten hits on Billboard, among them the famous “Respect” of February 1967. Coming as it did on the heels of the civil rights movement, in the middle of the women’s liberation era, and at the height of the anti-Vietnam war protests, it became a virtual protest anthem for a generation.

Aretha enjoyed a career that spanned over six decades. She mixed and mingled with religious and civil rights leaders, and earned widespread respect in a society that typically withheld it from Afro-Americans. When she was inducted to the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2012, Franklin was described as “the voice of the civil rights movement, the voice of black America” and a “symbol of black equality.” When she sang at Barack Obama’s inauguration, she brought tears to the eyes of President Obama, Reverend Jesse Jackson, and half of America.

When she died of pancreatic cancer on August 16, 2018, music lovers around the world cried all over again. The Queen of Soul is dead. Long live the Queen.


Alan Annand is a graduate of the American College of Vedic Astrology and a former tutor for the British Faculty of Astrological Studies. His New Age Noir crime novels (Scorpio Rising, Felonious Monk, Soma County) feature astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.”

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00006]He’s also the author of several non-fiction books. Stellar Astrology, Volumes 1 & 2, offer a wealth of time-tested techniques in the form of biographical profiles, analyses of world events, and technical essays. Parivartana Yoga is a reference text for one of the most common yet powerful planetary combinations in jyotish. Mutual Reception is an expanded companion volume for western practitioners, covering the same subject of planetary exchange through the lens of traditional astrology.


You can find his books on Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.

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Vladimir Putin: the spy who came home with the gold

July 18th, 2018 · Astrology, celebrity, Instruction

When most astrologers look at Vladimir Putin’s chart and see Venus rising in Libra opposite Jupiter in the 7th house, they say, no, that can’t be right. In fact, I recently read an article in which an astrologer suggested at the outset that it was incongruous that such a configuration, with its implications of art, beauty and social grace, could be front-and-center in the chart of an ex-KGB boss best known as the ruthless and repressive leader of modern-day Russia.

In the rectification exercise that followed, the astrologer then rotated the chart until a more appropriate [my italics] ascendant could be found, in this case, Capricorn rising at 17h00. After that, the astrologer went on to interpret Putin’s chart in light of this new ascendant and, in all fairness, did a good job of making sense of both the man and the major events of his life and career.

Which is a lesson in itself…

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and we all indulge in it to make sense of what we have to work with, interpreting with selective reasoning those parts that work, perhaps ignoring those that don’t. Anyone who’s done many rectifications is familiar with that queasy feeling when two different ascendants each present their own logic, neither perfect, but both compelling in their own arguments, and yet only one can be right…

In the case of Vladimir Putin, Astrodienst ( indicates that he was born October 7th, 1952, in Saint Petersburg, Russia, with a birth time of 09h30, which apparently comes from some official state source. The cynical among us will say, well then, if it comes from the Kremlin, it can’t be true. Gentlemen, start your rectification engines.

Isaac Starkman, the ubiquitous astrologer whose alternate birth times appear in so many of Astrodienst’s entries, has rectified Putin’s birth time to an exact 12h39m16s, which renders a sidereal Scorpio ascendant. I have no idea of the logic behind that time, but I do know that it arises from a software program, and is therefore suspect, or at least hypothetical, as admittedly are all our speculations, including my own.

In the case of both Starkman’s and the other astrologer’s rectification, their resulting ascendants of Scorpio and Capricorn, respectively, have an attractive but superficial logic. Each designates a prime malefic, Mars or Saturn, as the ascendant lord and embodiment of evil in modern political guise. But is that all there is to it? Napoleon, Mussolini and Hitler all had Libra ascendants too.

When I look at Putin’s chart, I don’t see anything illogical about Venus rising in a Libra lagna. Malavya yoga merely tells me that, here’s a person with charisma and power. And its mutual aspect with retrograde Jupiter doesn’t make it softer, but stronger.

Furthermore, Venus and Jupiter in sambandha form Viparita Raja yoga. This particular variation occurs when two (or more) trikasthana lords combine by association or mutual aspect, while at the same time neither is associated with nor aspected by the lord of another positive house. [See Uttara Kalamrita, 4:22]  In order for this yoga to come to full and positive fruition, the participating grahas should be strong. In this case, swarashi 8th lord Venus mutually aspects retrograde 6th lord Jupiter, and neither is influenced by any other planet to dilute their effect.

According to NATO’s handbook, the preferred tactics in Russian information warfare can be summarized as “dismiss, distort, distract and dismay.” Indeed, it is the role of the 6th lord to befuddle, conspire against, destabilize and undermine one’s opponent. Meanwhile, the role of the 8th is to brutalize, destroy, torture and traumatize that same opponent.

These two powerful grahas (swa Venus and retrograde Jupiter) combine to Putin’s advantage, enabling him to outmaneuver and overpower his opponents. By sowing confusion and discord, he creates his own “fog of war” wherever he goes, and no matter what happens, he has a Plan B. Viparita yoga operates to his advantage, allowing him to succeed in circumstances of chaos, whether of his own making or not.

Lest we become overly fixated on Venus and Jupiter across the horizon, let’s be reminded that Putin has the nodes in the angles too, and they are always malefic, regardless of their lords. But it’s instructive to note in his case that Rahu’s dispositor Saturn occupies the 12th while Ketu’s dispositor the Moon occupies the 8th. Both trikasthanas are considered to be “hidden” houses. And when we pause to review Putin’s career, remember this: once a KGB agent, always a KGB agent. His whole career has been built on covert activities, stealth and subterfuge. Most of his life is in the shadows.

People may say, I just don’t see in this chart the brute that everyone says he is. Well, consider this. Mars in the 3rd is just one potential signature of an athlete and a fighter, but it aspects Ketu in the 10th, a planet with which it shares pitta qualities of restless energy and potential aggression. Furthermore, Mars and Jupiter are in Parivartana yoga, and the key to understanding this is what happens when we consider (virtual) Mars in its post-exchange position.

Once we transpose Mars and Jupiter in our mind’s eye, we get Mars in the 7th in Aries, from which position it then aspects lagna and lagnesh Venus. And there’s the brute that wasn’t obvious before. From the 7th, virtual Mars still aspects Ketu in the 10th, and also aspects its own sign Scorpio in the 2nd, with financial ramifications (more on this later). Meanwhile, virtual Jupiter in the 3rd again invokes athleticism and courage, and supports (strengthens) via its aspect that virtual Mars in the 7th, which is now a clear and present indicator of aggression in the chart.

On top of all this, Putin is smart. Never mind that he has a law degree. He’s been wheeling and dealing with oligarchs behind the scenes for more than three decades, and he knows what he’s doing. All four of the natural benefics are strong – the Moon and Mercury exalted, Jupiter retrograde and Venus in its own sign. Saraswati yoga requires that all three of Mercury, Jupiter and Venus be strong in a kendra, trikona or 2nd house. In this case, Mercury misses the mark by virtue of house position. However, if we consider the Sripati house system (similar to Porphyry used by western astrologers, except that the “cusps” become the center of the houses), Mercury moves into the 1st, while Jupiter moves into the 8th. So it isn’t perfect, but Venus and Jupiter are strong enough to carry the day anyway, and Mercury has its own power regardless.

Governmental involvement is generally seen via combinations involving the 5th (ministry), the 9th (judiciary) and the 10th (administration). Putin has 5th lord Saturn associated with 9th lord Mercury, a Raja yoga, in the 12th house. Note that a 12th house position doesn’t diminish this yoga, but rather conceals aspects of it behind the scenes. His 10th lord Moon would seem to be out of the picture until we note that it occupies a Sun nakshatra, while the Sun occupies a Moon nakshatra, a mutual reception of star-lords called Nadi yoga. This may be subtle, but it does ultimately link 10th lord Moon with the Sun (karaka of kingship) and the trikona lords Saturn and Mercury.

When it comes to wealth, the Sun as a money lord of the 11th directly combines with both trinal lords Mercury and Saturn to form two Dhana yogas in the 12th. Again, this implies some degree of secrecy. Putin’s tax returns suggest he’s just a well-paid civil servant, but his actual wealth is immeasurable, although suspected to be well into the billions. He owns multiple properties throughout Russia, and the revelations of the Panama Papers have exposed many of his associates with multi-million-dollar portfolios held in secret bank accounts. Forbes magazine, a virtual Bible of who’s who in financial circles, named Putin as the most powerful person in the world for four years running, 2013-16, and they weren’t just talking about political currency.

Putin has a less-than-perfect but serviceable Lakshmi yoga, a rare combination for massive wealth. Lakshmi yoga is formed by the 9th lord and Venus in their own or exalted signs in kendras or trikonas. In Putin’s case, 9th lord Mercury is exalted in the 12th, while his swarashi Venus occupies the lagna. As noted earlier, when viewed from the Sripati house system, Mercury moves into the 1st house, giving us some justification to say this fulfills the spirit if not the letter of the yoga.

For the record, I tweaked Putin’s birth time by only 11 minutes, making it 09h19 in order to satisfy through the amshas many of the known events of his life. In the balance of this article, I’ll occasionally refer to salient factors in certain amshas, which interested readers can follow up on their own.

Aside from what we think we know about the “public” Putin, does this chart with Libra rising work for the many other details that are available about his life? Let’s see…

He projects an image of health and vitality, a sportsman and athlete who promotes activity, adventure and physical exercise. Lagnesh Venus in the lagna gives him a relatively youthful appearance, and he’s been depicted in many instances competing in judo events, riding horseback, swimming in frigid waters, and so on. He first took up judo when he was 12 years old, and in 1964 he was running Mars dasha, Jupiter bhukti, the very planetary exchange that lends credence to his athleticism.

He studied law, graduated in 1975 and promptly went to work for the KGB. At the time of his graduation, he was running Rahu-Saturn. Rahu occupies the 4th house of education, and Saturn is associated with his exalted 9th lord Mercury of higher education. Saturn is also swarashi in the lagna of his D24 (chaturvimsamsa), a measure of education and knowledge.

He worked for the KGB for the rest of his Rahu dasha, most of it in East Germany where, thanks to his fluency in German, he operated as an agent under the cover of being a translator. Needless to say, that whole period was an education in spycraft, a skill set he has undoubtedly honed while in power.

He got married in Rahu-Venus. Both period lords are in positive houses in the D9 (navamsa), and Venus is exalted. He had two daughters, one in Rahu-Sun, the other in Rahu-Moon, and both bhukti lords are stable in the D7 (saptamsa). After 30 years, in which time transiting Saturn went from his ascendant, around the chart and back, he separated and divorced in Saturn-Sun. In the D9, Saturn is afflicted by the nodal axis, and the Sun is in a negative house.

He resigned from the KGB in Jupiter-Saturn, and took control of the St. Petersburg Committee for External Relations, a role in which he was responsible for managing international relations and foreign investments. Note here that bhukti lord Saturn is the nexus of two key patterns in his chart – government ministry and wealth generation – concentrated in his 12th house. During his tenure, he oversaw the sale of $93 million in metal exports in exchange for food aid that never materialized. No one knows where the money went. An ethics committee recommended his firing but he somehow dodged that bullet and moved on.

He changed jobs in Jupiter-Venus, moving from municipal to state jurisdiction, and ended up with a similar but much larger portfolio as Deputy President of Property Management for Russia as a whole. It’s useful to note here that Venus is the most powerful planet in the chart, ruling not only his ascendant but the 8th house of other people’s wealth. From this point on, through the rest of Jupiter dasha and into Saturn dasha, he forged deals with the oligarchs of Russia, gaining massive financial benefits in exchange for political protection and sponsorship of Russia’s vast oil, gas and mineral resources.

In Jupiter-Sun, he became head of the FSB, Russia’s federal security service and successor to the infamous KGB. In Jupiter-Moon, a succession of events took him to the peak of the political pyramid – he was appointed as Prime Minister to President Yeltsin, nominated President-designate on Yeltsin’s resignation, then formally endorsed by the Russian parliament. Recall that Sun and Moon are interlinked as mutual nakshatra dispositors, ruling both the 10th and 11th houses from the shadowy trikasthanas they occupy.

His entire Jupiter dasha reflected a spectacular ascendancy in power and wealth. In the rashi, Jupiter rules two upachaya houses of improvement, and in its periods also delivers results for its nakshatra lord, that powerful Venus who is lord of both the 1st and 8th houses. Furthermore, Jupiter is dignified in several key amshas dig bala although debilitated in the D4 (chaturthamsa) of property and net worth, swarashi and dig bala in the D10 (dasamsa) of professional success, and exalted in a positive house in the D11 (ekadasamsa) of fabulous wealth.

In Saturn dasha, Putin’s attention began to shift from domestic to foreign matters, starting with the post-Soviet states of Georgia and Chechnya. Provoked by ongoing conflicts with the latter, Islamist militants took 1100 people (including 777 children) hostage at a school in Beslan. Russia’s ruthless military response, although it cost 334 lives, cemented Putin’s tough-guy image. Note that the event occurred in Saturn-Saturn, where 4th lord (schools) Saturn is in the 12th (loss), and Saturn delivers on behalf of its nakshatra dispositor Mars, karaka for police, military and violence in general.

Incidentally, three different planets – Mercury, Saturn and Rahu – all occupy nakshatras of Mars. That means that in each of their periods, as well as that of Mars itself, this kshatriya (warrior-king) graha is projecting his image into the world via the Parivartana with Jupiter in the 7th. This has been accomplished through Putin’s personal involvement in sports, his sponsorship of world athletic events (eg, 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, 2018 World Cup in Moscow), as well as the flexing of Russia’s military strength.

Since the outset of his Saturn dasha, Putin has orchestrated several international interventions. In Saturn-Sun, Russia annexed the Crimea and started a proxy war to destabilize Ukraine. In Saturn-Moon, Putin sent troops to support President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. In Saturn-Mars, Russian operatives influenced the 2016 US Presidential election. In Saturn-Rahu, Putin scored a major political coup in Helsinki when Donald Trump said he took Putin’s word over that of 17 American intelligence agencies regarding Russia’s meddling in US elections.

In Putin’s D10 (dasamsa), Saturn is swarashi in a positive house, thus perpetuating a long-term play on the world stage. And speaking of play, consider the game of chess, which Russians have largely dominated since WW2, to such an extent that the game itself is practically synonymous with Russian culture. Games are ruled by the 5th, strategy by the 9th. In Putin’s chart, the relevant planets are Saturn and Mercury, conjoined in the stealthy 12th, both in Chitra, which is known for its craftsmanship. In Putin’s case, think spycraft, and you gain an appreciation for his abilities.

Following Yeltsin’s resignation, Putin served two four-year terms as President of Russia, during 2000-2008. Bound by the constitution, he was then obliged to step down, at which point his political ally Dmitry Medvedev became President, but promptly appointed Putin as Prime Minister. They even had a name for this political maneuver – Rokirovka – which is Russian for “castling,” a chess term referring to a rule wherein the King and Rook pieces are allowed to make a two-in-one move for defensive purposes.

This transition period occurred during Putin’s Saturn-Mercury and Saturn-Ketu periods. During the (interim) President’s tenure, Medvedev introduced a new law permitting subsequent Presidents to serve six-year terms instead of just four years. After Medvedev finished his term, Putin was allowed to stand for re-election again, which he handily won, and was then installed for six years. Thus, he was back in power again in Saturn-Venus, stronger than ever, in the bhukti of the strongest planet in his chart.

He faced some opposition in 2012, including the girl band Pussy Riot (when else but in a Venus period?) which he characteristically dismissed with criminal charges and imprisonment, meanwhile crushing the nascent LGBT movement in Russia. As befits his Venus in Libra public persona, Putin has always cultivated his law-and-order image. He portrays himself as a socio-cultural, political and religious conservative, just trying to protect the best interests of the Motherland.

At the same time, he has been violently repressive in order to control public opinion. State-owned media is strictly controlled in Big-Brother fashion, allowing only sanctioned points of view. Scores of journalists have been imprisoned, tortured and murdered to silence their criticism or exposure of wrongdoing by Putin and his cronies. The media in general, signified by 9th lord Mercury, is heavily afflicted by the Sun and Saturn in the 12th. Meanwhile, the free press of the democratic world, despite being an endangered species, continues to point out Putin’s human rights violations and his state-sponsored criminal enterprises.

With his recent re-election to the President’s office in the spring of 2018, Putin is now installed for what is supposed to be his last six-year term in office, which will take him up to 2024. Mercury dasha begins in 2022 and so, political chess grandmaster that he is, Putin will already be planning his endgame. With his powerful Mercury in the 12th, we can reasonably expect that it will be covert, strategic and highly profitable. Mercury is swarashi in both his D4 (chaturthamsa) of net worth and D11 (ekadasamsa) of fabulous wealth, and exalted in both his D9 (navamsa) and D7 (saptamsa), potentially extending his legacy to his heirs, both familial and political.

Who knows, perhaps some grateful oligarchs will make a movie about Putin’s life: The Spy Who Came Home with the Gold.


Alan Annand is a graduate of the American College of Vedic Astrology and a former tutor for the British Faculty of Astrological Studies. His New Age Noir crime novels (Scorpio Rising, Felonious Monk, Soma County) feature astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.”

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00006]He’s also the author of several non-fiction books. Stellar Astrology, Volumes 1 & 2, offer a wealth of time-tested techniques in the form of biographical profiles, analyses of world events, and technical essays. Parivartana Yoga is a reference text for one of the most common yet powerful planetary combinations in jyotish. Mutual Reception is an expanded companion volume for western practitioners, covering the same subject of planetary exchange through the lens of traditional astrology.


You can find his books on Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.


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Ted Bundy, criminal chameleon

July 4th, 2018 · Astrology, Crime

The weird thing about Ted Bundy, people later reflected, was that he never looked the same from one photograph to another. Even in person, he had the ability to metamorphose, with a glance or a turn of his head, from someone of charming intelligence to one of cunning violence. Criminal investigators later attributed his chameleon-like nature as key to luring many of his victims to their ultimate deaths.

Bundy’s rapes and murders may have spanned two decades, although his confirmed homicides all occurred in the mid- to late-70s. During this period, he attended university to study psychology and law, conducted research for the Republican Party, and worked for a crime reduction program, even writing a pamphlet on rape prevention. Meanwhile, he was breaking into apartments to bludgeon and sexually assault young women, or luring them into his car for transport to remote areas where he would rape and kill them. When his name turned up on suspect lists, he was often discounted because of his good looks and his education.

Bundy’s chart is striking for two reasons – he has a Kala Sarpa pattern through the 4th and 10th houses that splits the horoscope in two, and a Pravrajya yoga in the 4th house whose four planets straddle Ketu. Based upon my research into Kala Sarpa, I’ve learned that it’s relatively uncommon, occurring in only one of eight charts (12.5%), with roughly the same frequency as a Dharma-Karma Adhipati yoga. However, in the charts of killers it turns up more frequently, appearing in one out of six charts (16.8%).

Kala Sarpa doesn’t always signify sociopathy or other mental disorders, although it can indicate extreme behavior, appearing in the charts of politicians, artists, scientists and other notable achievers in their respective fields. But under the right influence, primarily that of a strong Jupiter or other dignified planets, it can assume yoga status, thereby amplifying beneficial features of the chart, often through the agency of exaggerated planets.

Under the wrong influences, Kala Sarpa becomes a dosha – a flaw, a problem, a stain on the native’s karma. In Bundy’s chart, several negative influences come to bear. To start, he was born the day after a partial solar eclipse. Since the nodes are considered enemies of the Sun and Moon, casting shadows on them, either luminary in the same sign as a node is problematic.

In Bundy’s case, lagnesh Sun is on the nodal axis, so the ego is subject to aberrations. The Moon is also on the nodal axis, and its extreme weakness – dark, debilitated and afflicted by three malefics – made him vulnerable to his most morbid thoughts. An assessment of the manas, or emotional mind, reveals agitation: Mars, lord of the 4th, lies on the nodal axis; Ketu occupies the 4th; and the Moon as karaka for the manas is the most fragile planet in the chart.

Over the years, various psychologists have assessed Bundy as having bipolar, multiple personality, or antisocial personality disorders. Others have characterized him as a narcissist, a sociopath, and the rarest of types, a true psychopath.

Bundy was born at 11:35 PM on November 24, 1946, in Burlington, Vermont. His mother was unmarried, and in order to preserve her reputation, young Bundy was raised by his mother’s parents as if he were their own. Years later, Bundy’s mother took him to Washington State, where she remarried and had four other children. Bundy never accepted his stepfather and resented his mother for not having shown him the love he needed, a simmering anger that ultimately spilled over in violence against other women.

Anger is apparent in his chart. Mars occupies Scorpio in the 4th from which it aspects the 7th. Kuja dosha is evident with Mars in poor house position relative to the lagna, the Moon and Venus. Exalted Ketu is in the same sign, and is itself Mars-like. Last but not least, the Sun with Mars is practically a signature for someone with impulse control or anger management issues, while Ketu’s magnification pushes it all over the top.

Bundy began acting out while still in high school, poring over true crime magazines for pictures of victims, especially women. He became a peeping tom, spying on women late at night, a behavior that’s often a precursor to rape. He was arrested twice for burglary and once for auto theft, but was let off with warnings each time because he was a good student.

The Pravrajya yoga in the 4th house is a veritable gold mine of interpretation. Although in the best of cases, Pravrajya can be an indicator of spiritual power, in the worst cases it can manifest as a kind of obsessive-compulsive disorder, with undertones of ritualistic behavior.

Education is a 4th house theme. Although Bundy had an on-and-off academic record, he did persevere. He studied psychology at university, and later switched to law, presumably learning enough about both to manipulate people as well as the legal system.

The 4th house also rules vehicles. For many of his marauding years, Bundy drove around in a beat-up VW Beetle, picking up young women hitchhikers, or luring them from beaches and parks to his car where he’d overpower them and take them to some remote location. He knew his way around other cars as well, and stole dozens of them, both in his early years and later, during the time when he was on the run, having broken out of jail after his arrest.

The 4th house also rules property and land. After staking out the residences of potential victims, he used weak access points to break into apartments and dormitories. He knew his geography too, and would often take his victims into back roads and remote sites to avoid discovery. In interviews with psychologists and law enforcement officers in his final years, he talked about some of these places with an eerie reverence: “…and the grounds where you killed them… become sacred to you…” He often returned to these crime scenes to dress his victims in different clothes, paint their nails, wash their hair, and have sex with them again until putrefaction or foraging predators put an end to that.

He had two modus operandi, both of which can be read from his chart. One was home invasion, in which he’d break into a residence, bludgeon his victims comatose, violently rape them, then either strangle or beat them to death. For this method, we need look no further than the triad of kshatriya planets – the Sun, Mars and Ketu – in the Scorpio 4th house, with their collective themes of control, anger and savagery.

His other method was psychological, drawing on the good nature of his unsuspecting victims. Wearing a cast on his arm or leg, sometimes with a crutch in hand, he’d feign helplessness and ask a young woman to help him carry some books to his car in a remote corner of a parking lot. Once there, he’d knock her out with a crowbar and drive to some pre-selected location where he could rape and kill her at leisure. His pretense of being handicapped can be seen in the two luminaries, both in the 4th house, which coincidentally rules the study of psychology. The Sun has a very low shadbala score, while the Moon is dark and debilitated. Meanwhile, based on their respective degrees, the Sun’s avastha is in its “old age” and the Moon is in its “infancy.”

Perhaps due to his legal studies and his involvement in crime prevention initiatives, Bundy was a clever criminal. He left virtually no physical evidence at any of his crime scenes. On one occasion, after having abducted a woman from a downtown alley, he brazenly returned to the scene the next morning to retrieve her earrings and a shoe before the police could find them. His victims were all young white women, ages 15 to 25, usually alone, although sometimes he was bold enough to take them in pairs.

Although he ultimately confessed to having killed roughly 30 women, the true number of Bundy’s victims remains unknown since he refused to discuss other cases that were “too close to family,” “too close to home,” or involved “victims who were very young.” In hindsight, it appears that he may have committed his first murder in 1961, shortly after the onset of his Venus dasha.

The graph below depicts the pattern of his suspected and known murders by bhukti period. Morbid as it might seem, my ongoing research into serial killers has revealed that murder is often stimulated under the influence, singly or conjoint, of planets that own or occupy trikasthanas, or planets in the nakshatras of those same trik lords and occupants. Of these, planets connected to the 8th and 12th houses are the most ominous. Logically, the 8th is the house of anti-dharma, being 12th from the 9th, while the 12th is antithetical to life itself, being symbolic of loss and the end of all things.

In Bundy’s case, all of his murders occurred in Venus dasha. Venus occupies the 3rd, a mild dusthana, but occupies the nakshatra of Jupiter, the 8th lord with which it’s conjoined. Many of Bundy’s suspected but unproven murders occurred in Rahu and Jupiter bhuktis. Rahu does work for planets with which it’s associated or aspected, as well as its rashi and nakshatra dispositors. Among these, the most relevant here is the debilitated Moon, which both aspects Rahu and disposits it by nakshatra, meanwhile owning the 12th house.

The vast majority of Bundy’s murders occurred in his Saturn bhukti. Powerful (retrograde) Saturn rings the bell three times – it occupies the 12th, it owns the 6th, and it occupies its own nakshatra, thus reinforcing its dual role as trik lord and occupant. During a few months of freedom between his first and second arrests, Bundy murdered again during his Mercury bhukti. Since Mercury occupies the nakshatra of 8th lord Jupiter, this gave it malefic power.

After being particularly active in 1974 and 1975, his Saturn bhukti, Bundy was flagged by investigators in five different states – Washington, Oregon, Utah, Colorado and Idaho – as being a common suspect in multiple unsolved murders with similar characteristics. He was placed under active suspicion and arrested, still in the bhukti of 12th house Saturn.

Given his legal training, he successfully applied to defend himself. Left alone in a law library, he jumped out of a 2nd-floor window and made a run for it, only to be recaptured within six days. Six months later, he escaped again, this time using a hacksaw blade to cut a hole through the roof of his cell. He fled in a stolen car, making his way from Colorado to Florida via bus, airline, train and more stolen cars.

Although he’d intended to go straight and lay low, he couldn’t find a job and soon resorted to shoplifting and stealing credit cards from unguarded purses in shopping carts. Unfortunately, he couldn’t control his other impulses either. On January 15, 1978, he entered a sorority house at Florida State University and violently attacked four young women, killing two. Later the same night, he attacked another woman who survived and, two weeks later, killed another young woman. A week later, he was stopped by a policeman for driving erratically in a stolen car. He tried to escape but was overpowered and handcuffed, after which the officer found in Bundy’s car evidence linking him to the Florida State murders.

His murder trial received national coverage, and was attended by 250 reporters from around the world. After conviction, he spent a decade on death row, was foiled in yet another escape attempt, and was electrocuted on January 24, 1989. He was then running Moon-Rahu. As noted earlier, the Moon is the weakest planet in the chart while Rahu acts as a powerful proxy for that same Moon, lord of the 12th and significator of the end.


Alan Annand is a graduate of the American College of Vedic Astrology and a former tutor for the British Faculty of Astrological Studies. His New Age Noir crime novels (Scorpio Rising, Felonious Monk, Soma County) feature astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.”

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00006]He’s also the author of several non-fiction books. Stellar Astrology, Volumes 1 & 2, offer a wealth of time-tested techniques in the form of biographical profiles, analyses of world events, and technical essays. Parivartana Yoga is a reference text for one of the most common yet powerful planetary combinations in jyotish. Mutual Reception is an expanded companion volume for western practitioners, covering the same subject of planetary exchange through the lens of traditional astrology.


You can find his books on Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.




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The Singapore Summit: Nobel Peace Prize or WWF smackdown?

June 8th, 2018 · Astrology, Instruction

On Tuesday, 12 June 2018, 0900 local time in Singapore, Donald Trump and diplomats of the USA will meet with Kim Jong Un and delegates of North Korea to discuss, among other intermediate proposals, the ultimate denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Here is the horoscope for the tentative commencement of those discussions.

In brief, the pros and cons for this event are as follows:

(+) Gemini is rising, and Mercury is in its own sign, therefore swa rashi and with digbala, which implies some relatively flexible proposals coming from the American side of the table.

(+) Mercury and the lagna are hemmed by benefics (Shubhakartari yoga) Venus and the Moon, which implies smooth talk from America, and yet that Moon is so dark that it is technically a malefic, so this may take the form of inducements with vague promises.

(-) Tuesday is a day for going to war, not negotiating an end to hostilities.

(-) The Moon is in Krittika, a nakshatra that carries a lot of baggage in the form of heat, tension, phobias, schizophrenia, wounded pride, complex subjective motives, nervous breakdowns, temper tantrums and feuding, none of which are conducive to rational discussion.

(-) The Moon is dark and only two tithis away from a New Moon, which is not productive for fostering rapport and cooperative dialogue for long-term agreements.

(-) Both luminaries, Sun and Moon, occupy the 12th house in a fixed sign, which suggests intransigent positions, threatening to end things before they even get started.

(-) Mercury and the lagna are hemmed by malefics (Papakartari yoga) Rahu and the Sun, which implies tough talk from America, and maybe too much of that.

(-) The 7th house is occupied by a double-strength Saturn (retrograde and digbala) which makes for a tough-minded North Korea not easily swayed.

(-) The 7th lord is a double-strength Jupiter (retrograde and swa nakshatra) which suggests North Korea knows it holds a strong hand and is capable of playing the long game.

(-) The 7th lord Jupiter aspects both the lagna and lagnesh Mercury, while Mercury only aspects the 7th house and its occupant Saturn, so the North Koreans may be better able to negotiate favorable terms.

(-) The Parivartana yoga between 2nd lord Moon and 12th lord Venus suggests the USA will offer financial inducements in order to buy the North Korean’s compliance, yet the influence of malefics on both those houses implies that such offers may be misrepresented (to either the North Koreans or the public) and/or costly.

(-) Since both the luminaries are in the 12th, the houses they rule suggest that what is said (2nd) and what is signed (3rd) will likely be insufficient and/or detrimental to the position and the reputation of the USA.

(-) In short, this was a poor choice for scheduling a summit that must bear the burden of establishing a whole new era in Asian geo-politics.

In somewhat different language, this same argument is presented in the video link below:


Alan Annand is a graduate of the American College of Vedic Astrology and a former tutor for the British Faculty of Astrological Studies. His New Age Noir crime novels (Scorpio Rising, Felonious Monk, Soma County) feature astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.”

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00006]He’s also the author of several non-fiction books. Stellar Astrology, Volumes 1 & 2, offer a wealth of time-tested techniques in the form of biographical profiles, analyses of world events, and technical essays. Parivartana Yoga is a reference text for one of the most common yet powerful planetary combinations in jyotish. Mutual Reception is an expanded companion volume for western practitioners, covering the same subject of planetary exchange through the lens of traditional astrology.


You can find his books on Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.



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