View Full Version : Chart Reading: Step #5, Martha Stewart -- The personal planets

20-10-2003, 01:55
In this new thread we can look at the "personal" planets; Mercury, Venus and Mars. These are particularly important as they have to funnel the perceptions, values and actions that are in support of the Sun and Moon, that can utilize the framework of the ASC and MC, and accomodate the Fire/Fixed tone of the overall planetary balance.

MERCURY is our perspective facility. We see, understand and catagorize the perceived world around us. We may use the values and desires of VENUS as a guide in this endeavor. MARS is the tool for expression and action. Note that VENUS is retrograde.

Have fun. As always, Minderwiz and I will be participating in this presentation of thoughts. Dave.

20-10-2003, 05:57
I'll kick things off and do three separate posts on each of Martha's personal planets:

Mars, as we have seen is the Ascendant ruler, placed in its own sign and it is also trine the Sun and the MC – so it is one of the key planets in Martha’s chart. As well as the Ascendant it is the sign ruler of the sixth house cusp. Now modern Astrologers relate this house to health but strictly speaking it is ill health that is included in this house and I have made some comments on that elsewhere. Now ill health is not the only area covered by the sixth – it also covers small animals and slaves, maids, servants and labourers. The sixth House is the ‘Joy of Mars’ – it likes being in the sixth and can function well (too well if it is debilitated).

Now Martha may not have any slaves but she certainly has a large number of employees and these would be covered by the sixth, they are in the main likely to be very loyal (trine to the Sun and Mars in dignity). Mars is also sextile Jupiter in the eighth. Now the eighth, like the sixth is not a strong house and Jupiter is in Detriment in Gemini – so Jupiter might find it quite difficult to focus his energy onto Mars, or to receive Mars loud and clear. This may well mean that whilst Martha is into expanding the business in a big way (eighth House is other people’s money) there may be several changes of product or focus (Gemini) - a plurality of business ideas. The employees may be keen to work hard (Mars) but they may not be able to keep the focus going. Success may come but control might not be what it should be. There’s a lot of energy going in and growth coming out but no clear corporate strategy or possibly no clear financial control.

Mars makes two minor aspects – a semi-square to Uranus in the Seventh, which suggests some form of quirkiness in the Mars expression, employees may behave in an unpredictable way, employees may have some connection to the partner in an odd or unconventional sense. She might also keep unusual pets which have an adverse affect on her relationships.

Mars is also biquintile Venus in the tenth. The fifth harmonic is believed to show the special art or activity to which a person is drawn to – the woman as artist. John Addey called the fifth harmonic the urge to power which is the prelude of creation. We have identified the sort of Venusian activities that Martha is good at – her art is bringing the drive (Mars) to express this through a business or career situation.

One last point on Mars. Whilst it rules the sign on the cusp of the sixth (Aries) it is not the most dignified planet at that location, what Arab Astrologers called the Almuten. The Sun is the most dignified planet again stressing the loyalty required of employees and Martha seeing herself as, in a sense, the light of their lives. If the Sun is taken as the ruler of the sixth, then Martha might also be prone to heart problems.

isthmus nekoi
20-10-2003, 11:46
Since Minderwiz has covered Mars, I'll take a shot at Venus.

- wide square to Jupiter spells for lush tastes, but b/c Venus is in Virgo, this will hold things in check to a certain amount. There are some (uh more like many ppl) who find her perfectionism totally overboard though. However, since Jupiter is in 8th making sextiles to a strong natal Sun/Mars, I would imagine this aspect also has a generally positive financial impact despite the fact it is hard.

- Venus is weak b/c she is fall in Virgo and I would say nondemonstrative in 10th. This might even indicate emotions being tied to climbing the social ladder. I'm not saying MS is a gold digger, but certainly social status takes precidence over romantic love, esp in discerning, critical Virgo.

- Venus rules the 7th house, which holds Uranus and Saturn. These are both I would think, very difficult placements in terms of marriage or partnerships in general. Esp w/the emphasis on Leo, MS would rather do things alone, she's not the type to need someone else to bounce ideas of off to get things off the ground.

- There's a square to Uranus which is out of sign, but b/c Uran is in the house Venus rules (Taurus), I think it shows again, another indication of volatility in terms of relationships, and difficulties in 7th house issues.

- VEnus also rules the 12th house. I'm really not sure what to make of this....

20-10-2003, 13:18
These two, in aspect, bring a drive for creativity. In Martha's chart, Mercury is in Cancer/9th, rising ahead of the Sun. Venus is in Virgo/10th, rising behind the Sun. Mercury takes the lead in perceptive activities, looking for comfort and security issues that other's enjoy or covet. Venus has critical values as to what is important to one's own interests, bringing a self-serving quality to what possessions and environmental enhancements are indulged in.

In order to see how Mars carries out the personal values and creativity of Martha, we have to look at indirect connections.

Mercury sextiles Saturn and Neptune, hence it is at a mid-point: ME = SA/NE. Ebertin gives a rather dour interpretation for this mid-point structure -- "Inhibitions in thinking, a slow or difficult grasp of things, the inclination to always think the worst." Given the powerful Sun and its integration faculty, we can see a cautious thinker, a critical reviewer, a seeker of quality. Critical assessments and discriminating tastes are in order.

Venus squares Jupiter. There is an excessive struggle to expand one's values within a social acceptance context. One's dress and appearance is immaculate, her sensitivity to others is overdone, the influence of the mother's values and functions are strong.

Venus sextiles the ASC. Communicativeness, the need for other's approval and to give one's blessing to others is part of the touchy - feely approach that is somehow incorporated in this aspect of her personality. Given that Venus-Virgo's are a little aloof in terms of touch, there has to be a mechanism or context for this factor.

Venus at 2/5 aspect to Mars has some significance. The fifth harmonic has a "life style" quality to it, the 2/5 aspect has to find a lifestyle that serves the ego's need for quality, luxury and poise.

Mars trine Sun and MC. This is in a phase-angle where "honesty" of effort and application is important. Mars will carry out its marching orders with energy and enthusiasm -- a workaholic signature.

So, this is a complex set of factors to synthesize. Creativeness, a sharp appreciation of quality and harmony, critical assessments relative to her values and image, a need to have a beautifuly lifestyle as part of her drive for achievement, the capacity for great effort and persistance in chasing her goals -- I can only say that Martha is fully living out her chart's potential in these areas.

When we look at the Fixed-Fire fundamentals, the Scorpio control persona, the Leo achievement thrust, it all hangs together in terms of personal values and activity. So, she is pleasing herself. In later threads we will look at the social role she is playing and its value to the world. Dave.

21-10-2003, 07:34
Venus is in Fall in Virgo so we have some debility. However Venus happens to be the Day ruler of the Earth Triplicity and it's also in its own Terms - so that cancels out the essential debility.

Moreover Venus has Accidental dignity in Martha's chart - it's in the tenth House (angular) its Occidental from the Sun, and free from Combustion - The Accidental dignities give it real strength in this chart.

It is square Jupiter but Jupiter / Venus squares are not bad - indeed they may provide more focus than trines or sextiles which can be too much of a good thing and lead to excess.

Thus Venus as significator of career is strong and has Jupiter linking it with the eighth house of other people's money. Here we have a clear indicator of business success - though as I've said elsewhere perhaps too successful because Jupiter in Gemini is not going to keep a close watch on the detail - too busy generating the ideas.

Venus also sextiles the Ascendant, giving another clear link between 'I' and 'my standing in society' - Relationships, harmony, balance will be used by Martha in order to further her career.

Venus rules two houses directly, the seventh and the twelfth (though Saturn is the Almuten of the twelfth). The rulership of the Seventh through Taurus suggests relationships built on love of beauty and the good things in life. The marriage may well over indulge on hedonism but for the presence of Saturn and to a lesser extent Uranus both in conjunction in the Seventh. Saturn is definitely not hedonistic and is peregrine though there is accidental dignity in its Seventh House location. But this is weakened by it being occidental from the Sun. Saturn and Uranus together threaten to fracture the luxury in which a marriage relationship will be invested - marriage requires more than luxourious surroundings.

The twelfth traditionally is the worst House in the chart - one of the rulerships of the twelfth is over hidden enemies. So Venus ruler of the House of marriage is also the ruler of hidden enemies - the husband? Saturn is the planet with greatest essential dignity on the cusp of the twelfth and is located in the seventh - is this another clue to the identity of the hidden enemy?

Psycholgically we might also see Saturn as the father - so is it her father who was her hidden enemy by giving her a distorted code of values or is it her husband who will betray her (Uranus is the planet of divorce and in the seventh) or is it both of them?

isthmus nekoi
21-10-2003, 10:24
- or is the betrayal coming from one-on-one relationships w/women b/c of the Neptune/moon square?....

- sextile to ASC also may indicate beauty. MS always looks great.

- question... Why is Venus dignified in Capricorn (therefore accidently in 10th)? Or does the strength just come from being in an angular house?

21-10-2003, 21:44
The dignity is both Accidental and Essential. Using Lilly's scoring

Essential dignities:

In Fall -4
Triplicity Ruler by Day +3
In its Own Terms +2

Accidental dignities:

In tenth +5
Free from Combustion +5
Occidental from Sun +2

As its moving faster than its average speed I would also think it would pick up additional points for being Swift in Motion - though I've not counted that in as I'm not sure where Lilly draws the line.

As you can see most of the dignities come from Chart placement rather than sign.

On the secret enemy - a good idea Isthmus and also as Venus is also in the tenth so the secret enemy might be related to her career.

I've not really incorporated accidental dignities into the other readings - the Sun would clearly score if we classified it as a tenth house planet, but would still pick up a couple of points in the ninth. The Moon would pick up a couple for house placement, more still for growing in light and being free from combustion. Mars would pick up some points for being free from combustion and being in the fifth. It would also pick up points for being oriental of the Sun. However none of them up to now are 'rescued' to the extend to Venus.

isthmus nekoi
22-10-2003, 03:08
Thanks for the explanation, Minderwiz. I wonder why modern astrologers don't place such emphasis on dignities?.......

22-10-2003, 04:07
Counting up and down and following a lot of rules is probably too much effort for modern astrology buffs who have been spoiled by computers and on-line chart services.

The older astrologers had inaccurate time pieces, no/poor ephemerides based on crude calculations in many cases, and had only seven "planets" to work with. They also had less access to charts and chart data -- probably the few texts that were available were their primary source of training. It had to be helpful to rely on rules and time-honored observations, and to use the several methods that Minderwiz has shared.

As for me, I lost interest in the many systems of rectification, of progressions, of transits, of houses and 99% of the stuff that I read in some 400 books. I found that some stuff works quite well in 95% of the cases, and that using two or three methods in parallel covers everything 110% of the time. Simplicity is the direction I took. Intuition is what I use. The problem is you can't get there from here unless you first try your own 100 paths to the truth. The funny thing is, whatever answer you finally find, it is the right answer and gives the right results. What a way to run the universe. Dave.

22-10-2003, 05:38
Too True!!!!!!!!!

Exploration of different methods is essential because you learn what works and what doesn't - for you! I know their are people out there who insist that Astrology is scientific in the modern sense and that all you have to do is to follow the rules.

However my experience of modern science tells me that the big scientific discoveries have mainly been made by people who broke the rules and changed the methods.

There are many top notch Astrologers who have changed their views and directions. Quite often by looking at the traditional methods. Not because these methods are 'right' but because looking at a different approach begins to spark questions and investigation.

Isthmus raised the question about the modern use of dignities. In part the answer lies in the loss of understanding of these - we don't know for example where 'Terms' came from. In part we no longer look at the heavens to do our Astrology - as Dave says we rely on the computer. Even in Lilly's time it's very likely he worked from ephemerides and took little notice of what was actually up there. Thus a debility like Combusiton is now looked on as a quaint relic. However it literally means that the Sun is so bright it burns the planet out of the sky - we can't see it (not that that matters for Uranus and co). If we can't see it then its force is disrupted in some way - it cannot get through in the normal way - through reflection of light.

22-10-2003, 07:18
As I'm beginning to get ready for my holidays over the next few days I think I had better post my thoughts on Mercury now.

Mercury lies in the ninth House in Cancer. Mercury is Peregrine here – and so debilitated in terms of essential dignity. In terms of Accidental dignity Mercury is free from Combustion but it is just ‘under the beams’ – Although these two accidental dignities are rarely used by natal Astrologers these days, it is worth pointing out that the ‘orb’ of ‘under the beams’ is 17 degrees and as Mercury’s maximum extension from the Sun is 28 degrees, it spends a lot of its time either combust or under the beams. It’s also oriental from the Sun (rises before the Sun) and is slow in motion – seen as weaknesses rather than strengths. Is there anything that could be said in its favour? – well the ninth brings some dignity and oriental planets are seen as better ‘attendants’ of the Sun, going before him (rising first) to announce his coming.

In a more modern statement we have an intellect that will serve the Sun, reasonably well. Not a great intellect but enough to get by on. Better still hers is an intellect concerned with exploration and expansion – learning and developing. What Mercury might lack in essential dignity is made up for in her desire to be more than she is. Also a modern interpretation might suggest that she communicates in a caring and nurturing fashion – that she has a feel for communication and it in turn is based on her feelings rather than her analytical abilities. The Cancer placement on this basis would be ideal for someone who is selling to mothers and homemakers!

Mercury sextiles the Saturn / Uranus conjunction in the Seventh and Sextiles Neptune in the eleventh. I would take the Saturn / Uranus conjunction to give more discipline and authority to the intellect and to also give it an independence and originality that might well benefit an entrepreneurial, or innovative person. Some of the inspiration might come from her partner or partners (both business and private). The Neptune sextile might be seen as giving a vision (a term often used in business). The eleventh House is friends, associates (in a non-business sense) society and societies, it is also associated with hopes and aspirations. Thus it might well be that her business vision is concerned with society or at least a part of society. Neptune aspects are sometimes seen as indicating self deception but because of the business success I wouldn’t go with that interpretation in terms of the business. It might be a self deception in terms of friends those – perhaps she sees ‘friends’ who aren’t really friendly.

Mercury makes two other aspects of note – a trine to the Part of Fortune – perhaps showing the importance of communication style in her success and an almost exact inconjunct to the Moon which is actually Mercury’s dispositor. Here the inconjunct is perhaps not quite the ‘unseeing’ no point of contact aspect. Mercury is after all the Moon’s guest. Martha’s quest for self betterment is related to her material needs – it is the way out of the trap of her youth. It is not so much articulated as felt – she is, subconsciously at least, a subscriber to the American Dream – if not log cabin to White House then sweat shop to business empire. Even with the qualification though, this is not an easy aspect, success will not come easily.

Mercury rules the eleventh House. Friendships may be based on a meeting of intellects, or out of daily routine. She may also worry about friendships and associations but I think she is more likely to worry and fret over her hopes and aspirations.

Mercury also rules the eighth House – Death and Taxes! The eighth also rules other people’s money especially the partner’s. I’m not sure of her situation on marriage but if her husband was comparatively rich at the time, I would not be surprised. Given her tax problems now, we might surmise that Mercury’s weakness finally caught up with her. It might well have served the Sun well but has she the intellect to ensure that tax liabilities are carefully monitored. If Mercury rules her communication skills then has she failed to communicate adequately with the tax authorities?

isthmus nekoi
22-10-2003, 13:59
Is it tax MS is having probs w/right now?

b/c she had that little problem w/insider trading (would that be an 8th house thing? It's certainly covert, dealing w/other resources). The whole thing would be secretive in terms of communication - maybe that sextile to Neptune isn't totally positive in the long run! Also, her stocks fell b/c her personality is so closely intertwined with her product.

22-10-2003, 22:32
There are four fixed stars surrounding Saturn and Uranus in Martha’s seventh house of partnerships, open enemies etc.

Misam 27 degrees Taurus
Miram 28 degrees Taurus
Miram 29 degrees Uranus
Algol 26 degrees Taurus

These stars are in the Perseus constellation, which according to Ptolemy are of a Jupiter/Saturn nature. Thereby giving an intelligent, strong, bold and adventurous type.
But.....also showing a tendency for lying!

Robson says the cabalists associate Perseus with the Hanged Man in Tarot. (Enlightenment from an alternative source?)

The constellation as a whole is indicative of events affecting large numbers of people, but when prominent in a natal chart it is said to signify adventurous individuals, but also those who are less than honest in their dealings with others!

Could Algol show Martha eventually losing her head!?


23-10-2003, 02:49
Actually, Martha did lose her head ! She had to step down from being CEO and Chairman (?) if the Board if I remember correctly. So, Algol strikes again, sort of. Dave.

23-10-2003, 05:42
Yes Agol is often referred to as Caput Algol and associated with criminality, fires, violence, murder, sickness and horror - not to mention decapitation :)

Clearly there is an issue of what orbs should be allowed - I've seen orbs as wide as 6 degrees quoted for Algol.

Neptune and Mercury are the closest Aspects to Algol being a trine within 22 minutes and a Sextile to within 44 minutes - so we might argue that there is also an easy flow of negative energy into Martha's aspirations and hopes and her intellect

23-10-2003, 21:05
I have read recently that fixed stars “cast no rays” and so aspects other than conjunction or parallel are pretty much ineffective, although the opposition can exert some influence because of its polarity.
But hey if it works – why knock it?

Orbs are influenced by the brightness of the star. Generally a 1 degree orb is given to the brighter of the stars, graduating down accordingly.

Syrius being the brightest star in the sky is given 2 degrees.


23-10-2003, 23:17
Checking Lilly, he only uses conjunctions - so scrap the sextiles/trines :(

I would tend to agree with gloria about keeping orbs small - though as I said above, I have seen very wide orbs actually used

24-10-2003, 02:13
Acrux conjunct Asc.

This constellation is said to give perseverance, but many trials and responsibilities.
According to Ebertin the star portrays an inventive mind, intuition and wisdom, a grasp for the inner nature of one’s fellow man.
Also associated with a love of display!

PROCYON con. Mercury
I thought this very interesting.
Procyon is the genus name for the raccoon an animal that lives by the water.
Drowning is associated with this constellation; significantly, a raccoon will drown its opponent if attacked in water.
If you get an invite from Martha, you know, drinks by the pool. Forget it.

ALCYONE con. Uranus
A degree away from “The Weeping Sisters.” 00 Gemini always gives something to cry about.
Unexpected losses often through fire or enemies. Lack of harmony with children and heavy losses towards end of life.(Robson)

Finally ACULEUS con. Moon
Situated in the stinger of the Scorpion.There are many titles given indicative of this creature’s dangerous character. GIRTAB for one meaning "The seizer" or the "stinger."
Associated with The Tower card.
Along with Acumen these two stars have a notorious reputation as “blind stars” or stars associated with eye-sight problems.
Best watch out for the small print Martha.


24-10-2003, 19:24

24-10-2003, 22:38
Many thanks gloria!

I'm celebrating by going to Cornwall for the next week, so I'll have fun looking around all the New Age shops in St. Ives, Penzance, etc.

See you all in just over a week!

25-10-2003, 06:08
I'll leave it to Dave to start the next thread when he feels it is appropriate - I'll be away for a little over a week but I don't want to hold things up - so please don't wait for me to return!

One interesting point that could be taken up is that none of Martha's planets are retrograde! That's unusual.

isthmus nekoi
05-03-2004, 04:21
Since we were talking about hidden enemies due to MS' natal Venus, I thought I would note that recently, one of MS' good female friends (of 20 years!) testified against her in her highly publicized trial.


It certainly fits our description of this enemy being female and related to her career.

06-03-2004, 19:10
I read in this morning;s paper that Martha has been found guilty - though she intends to appeal.

So it's possible that the hidden enemies were more than effective

08-03-2004, 21:35
This weekend and this morning, the TV programs interviewed a few of the jurors who had sat in on the Martha Steward trial. The most damaging item came from her best friend who had testified against her. She claimed that Martha said (something like this), "Isn't it nice to have friends who know things?" -- making reference to the tip she had about the Inclone CEO selling all of his stock shares. Note that Martha has Sun and Pluto at the top of her chart -- power, leadership, institutional force, self and pride among other things. One has to wonder if that statement was enough to push some jurors over the edge -- they wanted to have a reason to doubt the government's case but there was no defense arguments to refute that case. Dave.

08-03-2004, 22:14
I feel as though I got to know Martha Stewart by default through the analysis of her chart but I don't know the intricacies of the case against her.

It was concerning to read media reports quoting juror comments that Martha showed no emotion during the case, and that this went against her. There was another juror comment that well known identities had attended the hearing as is she had expected this to sway the outcome.

It seemed from these reports that some judgments were being made on perception and assumptions rather than fact. I wondered whether that was indeed the case.

09-03-2004, 00:28
The jury members on TV this morning (NBC's Today show) stated that they used only the facts presented to make their decision. They noted that only the prosecution team presented facts and that Martha's defense team only presented one witness -- they had nothing to go on in terms of Martha's side of the story.

Of course, Martha would have been opening herself up to severe cross-examination if she had testified. I wonder if she now regrets her and her lawyer's decision to not present a defense as a means of saying that the government's case didn't warrant any serious defense. It backfired. It is expected that she may end up in jail for one to two years. Dave.