Welcome to the Astrology Food for Thought Blog

This blog presents my interpretation of astrological symbolism as it pertains to the unfolding of individual lives and the events occurring in our world. I welcome you to present your own views and to challenge my thinking. Although I attempt to rely on accurate sources of information, I encourage you to do your own fact-checking, since any resource may at times be flawed.

Sunday, December 29, 2013



If your birthday does not fall during the Capricorn timeframe for the year you were born, this DOES NOT mean that you do not experience the energy of Capricorn, because somewhere in your natal birth chart, it is present. All twelve signs of the zodiac are expressed in your being, although some signs, and therefore their corresponding energies, may be more emphasized than others. The Sun sign is about your essence, your vitality (what makes you feel alive), and your self-image. Whatever your Sun sign, you are on a life-long journey to discover and fully embrace this sign’s energy.

The Sun began its transit of the sign of Capricorn on December 21, 2013 at 2:12 p.m. PST.

Capricorn Energy at a Glance

Here are some terms used to describe Capricorn characteristics:

  • Ambitious
  • Self-disciplined
  • Patient
  • Respects Power
  • Seeks Security

  • A Builder
  • Realistic
  • Leader
  • Insular
  • Authoritarian
  • Hardworking
  • Cautious
  • Responsible
  • Stubborn
  • Serious
  • Economical

Capricorns Speak

Jeff Bezos
Capricorn Founder & Chairman/CEO of Amazon.com
Born January 12, 1964

 “If you’re not stubborn, you’ll give up on experiments too soon. And if you’re not flexible, you’ll pound your head against the wall and you won’t see a different solution to a problem you’re trying to solve.”

“Work hard, have fun, make history”

Nigella Lawson
Capricorn Celebrity Chef and Journalist
Born January 6, 1960

"I am fearful, so I do something. It's not that I'm a workaholic, it's rather that I like to tread the precarious line between boredom and fear. I need to be frightened of things. I hate it, but I must need it, because it's what I do."

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Capricorn Attorney and Environmental Activist
Born January 17, 1954

"I have nothing against corporations. I own a corporation. Corporations are good things. They drive our economy. They encourage people to assemble wealth and to create jobs, but they should not be running our government."

Diane Keaton
Capricorn Film Actor and Real Estate Investor
Born January 5, 1946

“I had a lot of failures, I didn’t get what I wanted and I kept going back for more. If I couldn’t get the lead, then I’d try the chorus and if I couldn’t get into the chorus, I’d try something else.”

“Going after dreams can be very dangerous. Dreams can turn on you. From now on, I want to look for reality.”

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King
Capricorn Civil and Human Rights Activist 
Born January 15, 1929

“Whatever your life's work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.”

Christine Legarde
Capricorn Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund
Born January 1, 1956

“Every day, you have to prove yourself and convince — move forward and challenge yourself. And doubt all the time”

What Astrologers Say About Capricorn

Capricorn  Symbolism And Rulerships

The glyph of Capricorn, shown above, resembles the angularity of a goat’s horn at the top and a curving tail at the bottom. The sign is represented by the mountain goat (as shown in the medieval painting preceding the article) or the sea goat. Astrologer Deborah Houlding explains that the sea goat symbolism may represent the “cross of matter,” where the psyche (equated with the impressionable ocean) is forced to meet the challenges of the material world (as in the earthy, concrete mountains) in a quest for individualization.[1] Astrologer Caroline Casey distinguishes between the domesticated goat and the wild goat, proposing that these two states of being reflect a dual nature in the Capricorn personality. The domesticated goat reflects the side of Capricorn that assumes a preordained role established by an external authority, resulting in living a life in accordance with duty. This type of Capricorn may feel responsible and law-abiding, but may feel a deep gloom. On the other hand, the wild goat lives in an environment of freedom, and it establishes its own path, leading to a more joyful existence.[2]

The name Capricorn, or Capricornus, derives from the Latin, with “caper” meaning goat, and “cornu” signifying horns. Horns are an ancient symbol of fertility, abundance, and prosperity. In ancient mythology, the goat Cornucopia nourished Jupiter as an infant. In ancient rituals, horned animals were sacrificed to draw power from the gods, leading later societies to misinterpret these “scapegoats” as representations of evil. In the Tarot deck, Capricorn is often associated with the horned Devil card. Astrologer Bruce Nevin says that the Devil is often referred to as the “Father of Lies,” meaning the lie of separateness. He says that the Capricornian lack of fulfillment in the pursuit of earthly manifestations and concentrated power can only be addressed when those born under this sign understand earthly limitations and overcome the illusion of separation and isolation.[3]

Capricorn is ruled by the planet Saturn, which represents the principle of contraction, the opposite of Jupiter, which symbolizes expansion. Saturn is the taskmaster, from whom we learn lessons after committing ourselves to a process or path. Saturn places boundaries on our activities and thinking, and represents the concept of time, thus the planet is often synonymous with “Father Time.” The terms commitment, effort, discipline, mastery, and authority are all key words associated with Capricorn.

Capricorn is a cardinal earth sign. As such, Capricorn represents the initiatory energy of a new season, emerging at the winter solstice. As an earth sign, Capricorn is concerned with manifestation, and with the creation and maintenance of structures.

Capricorn rules the 10th House of the zodiac, at the top of the astrological chart. The tenth house involves social participation. This house oversees activities such as one’s career, public standing, political power, and one’s relationships with authorities (including those within the family, such as the mother or the father).

Capricorn’s Purpose and Personality

Sagittarius completes the public relations and sales activities of the harvest season. Now winter emerges, and Capricorn maintains the harvest’s stockpile to be consumed during the severe season of winter. While autumn displayed the horn of plenty, winter requires conservation. The most difficult weather is yet to come, but the light of day will gradually increase as the season proceeds. Whereas Sagittarian energy is externalized, Capricorn energy withdraws inward, consistent with the season’s energy.

Sagittarius utilized its exuberant energy to set lofty goals and explore diverse experiences. Capricorn now chooses those elevated sights that are most likely to bear fruit. Capricorn says, “We’ve done enough exploring–it’s time now to establish some solid structures and activities that will move us forward.” Capricorn energy is responsible for the building of cities and their infrastructures.

Being of worth to society is important to those born under the sign of the goat. They are willing to work hard to accomplish their goals, and they exhibit the patience required to persist with a process that includes defeat as well as success. Capricorns can be the quintessential “come back kids.” Excellent examples of this Capricorn work ethic are72-year-old TV personality Charlie Rose and 92-year old actor Betty White. An early riser, Charlie Rose co-hosts the CBS This Morning Show and then he prepares for and records five weekly episodes of his PBS Charlie Rose Show, where he interviews prominent individuals from various industries. Then there is the energetic Betty White, who many of us have watched for generations, from her early days on game shows to her classic roles as Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rose Nylund on Golden Girls. I have said to myself many a time, “Why are these people working at their age? Surely, they have enough resources to just kick back. However, these two perennial personalities are illustrations of individuals who clearly love their work and enjoy the ongoing commitment.

Sometimes descriptions of the sign of Capricorn seem rather grim. Some perceive Capricorn’s qualities of restraint and seriousness as reflecting an austere personality. However, every Capricorn is unique in terms of sign combinations in their chart and this will affect the degree to which the sign’s qualities will be expressed. Contrary to some profiles of Capricorn that emphasize the sign’s love of solitude, I myself observe that individuals with significant Capricorn energy are often quite sociable (remember, the sign rules the 10th house of social standing), but express reserve and maturity in their interactions.

Astrologer Steven Forrest (a Sun Sign Capricorn himself) posits that Capricorn's purpose is to fuse the essential character with a suitable public identity to serve society, whether through a job, volunteer work, or civic service. This societal role must match the Capricorn individual’s value system and interests. Forrest says that Capricorn utilizes patience and self-discipline in this arduous process of finding one's proper place in the community. Furthermore, this author contends that solitude is a strategy utilized by Capricorn to learn how to be content with his or her thoughts and projects so as not to rely on the praise and approval of others. In this way, observes Forrest, solitude transforms a burden into an opportunity. He says that Capricorn's practicality keeps it focused on its intention, allowing sign natives to overcome feelings of fear, frustration, and resistance. Capricorn's iron will is among its greatest resources. [4]

When Capricorn fails to find, or loses sight of, his or her true nature and goals, sign natives can become isolated and alone. They may turn to false pursuits, pursuing success for the sake of success, acquiring money as a sign of success, or hoarding tangible items as a validation of self-worth. Hence, as this sign's symbol suggests, the Goat must find the right mountain to climb, so that it is not duty-bound, but instead is free to climb heights in alignment with its nature.

Prime examples of Capricorn “gone wrong” can be seen in the how the late J. Edgar Hoover, long-time head of the FBI, and the late President Richard Nixon, conducted some of their professional activities. In my mind, J. Edgar Hoover represents the difficult side of Capricorn energy. For many years he reigned as a tyrannical authoritarian figure, feared by others in power, primarily because they knew that he collected information that could damage their careers. In one of her books, astrologer Caroline Casey says Capricorn behavior can become “weird” when these sign natives become too insular. Hoover exhibited the Saturnian tendency toward insecurity and corresponding overcompensation with overwork. As Casey theorizes, these outwardly successful people are often surrounded by “yes men” who are unable to offer this personality type the feedback necessary to curb their unhealthy idiosyncrasies.[5] Similarly, our nation’s 37th president, Richard Nixon, authorized Republican operatives to break in and wiretap the Watergate headquarters of the opposition party. His authoritarian drive and thirst for power overshadowed his Capricorn common sense. Like Hoover, Nixon lacked aides in his administration who could show him the folly of his ways.


[1] Houlding, Deborah (December/January 2008). Capricorn the Goatfish. The Mountain Astrologer. Issue #136, pp. 40-47.

[2] Casey, Caroline (1998). Making the Gods Work for You. New York: Harmony Books, p.48.

[3] Nevin, Bruce (1982). Astrology Inside Out. Rockport, Massachusetts: Para Research, Inc., p.80.

[4] Forrest, Steven. (1988). The Inner Sky. San Diego: ACS Publications, pp.81-85.

[5] Casey, Caroline, Op.Cit., p.48


Gayle King
Capricorn & CBS This Morning Co-Anchor
Born December 28, 1954


In the selection of a subject for this profile, I wanted to focus on a living personality who had significant placements in Capricorn. The young actor Zooey Deschanel certainly fit the bill, with her Sun, Moon, and Ascendant in Capricorn. Looking at clips from some of her interviews, she reflects the consummate Capricorn personality. She likes old songs, old movies, old fashion styles, etc. etc. Nevertheless, I chose instead to look at the chart of talk show host and news anchor Gayle King because she is Oprah Winfrey’s best friend. I thought it would be an interesting exertise to understand WHY the two are best friends, from an astrological perspective.

The natal chart of Gayle King appears at the end of the article. Additionally, there is a synastry biwheel chart showing King’s chart in the inner wheel and Oprah Winfrey’s chart in the outer wheel.

A Brief Biography

Although Gayle King is an early morning fixture on CBS, biographical information about her on the internet is rather paltry. She was born on December 28, 1954 to an electrical engineer father and a homemaker mother in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Because of her father’s work abroad, Gayle lived several years in Turkey, where she studied at an American school. When the King family returned to the U.S., they settled in Chevy Chase, Maryland, where Gail later attended the University of Maryland, graduating with a bachelor’s in psychology and sociology.

In 1976, Gayle King served as a production assistant at Baltimore’s WJZ-TV, where Oprah Winfrey was a news anchor. On a very stormy night, Winfrey extended an offer to King to stay at her place so that she would not have to commute in that precarious weather. According to the two, they stayed up all night talking, beginning a close friendship that would flourish through the subsequent decades.

King chose to continue in the field of journalism, joining the WDAF-TV team in Kansas City, Missouri for a five-year stint. In 1981, she joined the Hartford, Connecticut TV station, WFSB, as a news anchor. While maintaining this position, she also experimented with co-anchoring other programming, such as a daytime TV talk show, Cover to Cover, but the show was soon cancelled. In 1997, she had her own syndicated talk show, The Gayle King Show, but due to low viewership, it was eventually cancelled.

Gayle King terminated her 18-year career with WFSB in 1999 to begin working with Oprah Winfrey as a special correspondent for the Oprah Winfrey Show, and as an editor for O, the Oprah Winfrey Magazine. In September 2006, King began to host The Gayle King Show on XM Satellite Radio.
After Oprah created OWN, her cable TV network, King began hosting a new show, also called The Gayle King Show. Her OWN show ended in November 2011 securing a deal with CBS to co-anchor (with fellow Capricorn Charlie Rose and Aquarian Norah O’Donnell) its CBS This Morning Show, where she will mark her second year anniversary in January 2014.

Some Observations About the Natal Chart of Gayle King and Synastry Chart

Eight of the ten planets in Gayle King’s chart are found above the horizon, indicating that she seeks the perspectives of others and maintains an objective perspective. The majority of her planets are placed in the Eastern hemisphere of the chart, reflecting King’s tendency to be self-motivated, action-oriented, and initiatory.

The 12th house of Gayle King’s chart is particularly significant, with her Sun, Mercury, and the North Node as its occupants. This is a karmic house, where we deal with unconscious material that must be made conscious if we are to move forward. Planets in the 12th house may represent gifts to be uncovered in our lives, and in King’s case, this appears to be connected to discovering ways in which she can be her own authority (Capricorn). She can shine (Sun in Capricorn in the 12th) through her communication and networking talents (Mercury in Capricorn in the 12th). Astrologically speaking, her sense of self (Sun) and her spiritual growth (the North Node in Capricorn the 12th) will flourish when she applies her energy to organizing, strategizing, and deploying resources (Capricorn Sun) while fulfilling her emotional needs (Aquarius Moon) to be socially significant. Although King has been highly visible as an anchor or co-anchor, in her relationship with Oprah she has assisted her friend “behind the scenes,” which is very typical of persons with 12th house planets.

Why Are Gayle King and Oprah Winfrey drawn to one another? King explained to Newsline reporter Cynthia McFadden, “I don’t see myself standing in [Winfrey’s] shadows, ever. I really do see myself standing in her light.” Quite an appropriate statement for an astrological relationship where King’s Moon in Aquarius is conjunct Winfrey’s Sun in Aquarius (with an orb of 5 degrees). Astronomically speaking, the moon reflects the light of the Sun. The energies of these two luminaries complement each other, and when they conjunct in a synastry chart, there can be a powerful connection. Traditionally speaking, the Moon person often plays a supportive role (but not necessarily a dependent or submissive role) to the Sun person, who tends to be the more dominant one. Comparatively speaking, it is Winfrey who is in the limelight, while King has worked in the background. Each person in a Sun-Moon relationship relies on something important that the other contributes to the relationship.

It is quite uncanny, but another reflection of the quality of this relationship is the EXACT conjunction between Oprah Winfrey’s Mars and Gayle King’s Venus at 23 degrees of Scorpio. An intense sign, Scorpio wants to dig for the truth and wants to delve into the psyche. King and Winfrey share this orientation in the social sectors of their chart (10th and 11th houses). Oprah’s Mars would be the more aggressive energy, with Gayle’s Venus reflecting a more receptive energy. Both King and Winfrey, in their roles as journalists and talk show hosts, are interested in an array of human-interest stories, which they broadcast to the public. Although King and Winfrey have denied the rumors that they are lesbians, it is easy to see why individuals might suspect such a relationship when there is such a compatible energy. Oprah said this about these rumors: “I understand why people think we're gay. There isn't a definition in our culture for this kind of bond between women. So I get why people have to label it—how can you be this close without it being sexual? How else can you explain a level of intimacy where someone always loves you, always respects you, admires you?”

Although not conjunct, both King and Winfrey share a Capricorn North Node. It appears to be a spiritual imperative that these women succeed in fulfilling their social ambitions and becoming their own authorities. They also serve as role models for female leadership. Sharing an African-American background, these two women understand each other at a very deep level and appear to be committed to helping each other succeed.


Saturday, November 30, 2013



If your birthday does not fall during the Sagittarius time frame for the year you were born, this DOES NOT mean that you do not experience the energy of Sagittarius, because somewhere in your natal birth chart, it is present. All twelve signs of the zodiac are expressed in your being, although some signs, and therefore their corresponding energies, may be more emphasized than others. The Sun sign is about your essence, your vitality (what makes you feel alive), and your self-image. Whatever your Sun sign, you are on a life-long journey to discover and fully embrace this sign’s energy.

The Sun began its transit of the sign of Sagittarius on November 21, 2013 at 7:48 p.m. PST.

Sagittarian Energy at a Glance

Here are some terms used to describe Sagittarius characteristics:

Ø  Curious
Ø  Explores & Journeys
Ø  Philosophizes

Ø  Teaches
Ø  Student & Scholar
Ø  Storyteller

Ø  Freedom-loving
Ø  Expansive
Ø  Generous

Ø  Enthusiastic
Ø  Exaggerates
Ø  Argumentative

Ø  Blunt
Ø  Impatient
Ø  Pontificates

Ø  Self-indulgent
Ø  Risk taker
Ø  Hot-headed

Sagittarians Speak

Pope Francis
Sagittarian Leader of the Roman Catholic Church
Born December 17, 1936

"Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense. We need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us."

Ann Pachett
Sagittarian Author
Born December 2, 1963

“Never be so focused on what you're looking for that you overlook the thing you actually find.”

Mark Twain (birth name: Samuel L. Clemens)
Sagittarian Author
Born November 30, 1835

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”

Barbara Morgan
Sagittarian Educator and Astronaut (Mission Specialist on STS-118)
Born November 28, 1951

“Explore and discover. Learn and teach. Build and share. It’s what NASA and
teachers and parents do.”

Former Army Private Bradley Manning (now going by Chelsea Manning)
Sagittarian Whistleblower
Born December 17, 1987

“With my insatiable curiosity and interest in geopolitics I became fascinated with them. I read not only the cables on Iraq, but also about countries and events I found interesting. The more I read, the more I was fascinated by the way that we dealt with other nations and organizations. I also began to think that the documented backdoor deals and seemingly criminal activity that didn’t seem characteristic of the de facto leader of the free world.”

Source: http://www.privatemanning.org/learn-more/in-his-own-words

Margaret Mead
Sagittarian Anthropologist

Born December 16, 1901

“Anthropology demands the open-mindedness with which one must look and listen, record in astonishment and wonder that which one would not have been able to guess.”

What Astrologers Say About Sagittarius

Sagittarius Symbolism And Rulerships

The glyph for this sign, shown above, displays an arrow and the central portion of a bow. In Latin, “sagitta” means arrow and sagittarius means archer, personified in the medieval painting that precedes this article The archer is a centaur, a mythological creature who is part horse and part man, as well as part mortal and part divine. The centaur holds the bow and an arrow pointed toward a target. The arrow of the glyph points upward into the sky, representing high ideals and aspirations, says astrologer Bruce Nevin. He explains that the disparity between the lower and higher natures, between the limitations of the body and the freedom of the mind and spirit are the dynamics experienced by the sign of Sagittarius. Nevin points out that this disparity manifests in physical terms as an intolerance of restriction and a love of travel or adventure. This disparity finds expression in mental and spiritual terms as openness to new ideas and a love of learning.[1]

The planet Jupiter rules the sign of Sagittarius. Through its influence, Sagittarius displays acceptance of diversity, respect for freedom, broad vision, joviality, optimism, enthusiasm, generosity, and aspirational vision. Less attractive qualities include self-righteousness, arrogance, inappropriate bluntness, overextension, excessive optimism, unhealthy indulgence, and unrealistic visions.

Sagittarius is a mutable fire sign. The Sagittarian symbol of the dual-bodied centaur aptly describes the adaptable nature of a mutable sign.
As the ruler of the 9th House of the astrological chart, Sagittarius oversees institutions of higher learning, publishing, religious institutions, travel, philosophy, as well as foreign languages, foreign lands and foreigners. This house is concerned with the activities of the social collective.

Sagittarius rules the buttocks, thighs, hips, and sacroiliac region. Because of this anatomical correspondence, persons influenced by this sign in key areas of the natal chart experience vulnerability to illnesses and ailments in these regions of the body.

Often associated with the Temperance card in the Tarot, Sagittarius from this perspective more closely reflects the mature stage of development in this sign, where one’s adventures and experiences have cultivated wisdom. This is Sagittarius the philosopher, teacher, and sage. The mutable quality provides Sagittarius with ability to “balance” the established energy of the fixed signs and the fast-moving direct action of the cardinal signs. Nevin says that the angel depicted in the Temperance tarot card moves between heaven and earth, symbolizing the effort of Sagittarius to connect the spiritual realm with earthly existence.[2]

The Transition From Scorpio To Sagittarius

Sagittarius represents the final phase of autumn, the realm of time bridging two seasons. Both Scorpio and Sagittarius search for the truth, and both can be brutally frank, although the Archer often conveys its blunt remarks with wit or humor. Both are keen observers, but Sagittarius is more inclined to look at the big picture. Scorpio relies on gut reactions, but may be more deliberate in its actions, while fire-sign Sagittarius uses its intuition to behave spontaneously, often causing the natives of this sign to act first, and think later.

While Scorpio concentrates its energy inward and delves into the great depths of the mysterious, Sagittarius explores the unknown as well, but it journeys in a more expansive way, participating in a variety of experiences. Scorpio may explore the depths of the psyche, while Sagittarius studies cross-cultural customs and religious belief systems.

Astrologer Dana Gerhardt observes that Sagittarius, by its position “sandwiched between Scorpio and Capricorn, … separates the two most ambitious (some would say the grimmest) signs in the zodiac.” Gerhardt continues with this analysis: “If Scorpio is the Dark Prince and Capricorn is the Old King, Sagittarius is the Fool, the court jester who tricks the world into dropping its chin so he can flick its nose. The Fool Lightens things up so that wisdom can enter the room. With his merry allusions, the Fool utters tough truths to the King without getting his head chopped off. His playfulness saves the world from destruction. His perspective brings the kingdom new life.”[3]

While I am of the opinion that adjoining signs continue a theme, I see them also reacting to the qualities of the sign before them in order to balance personality weaknesses. In the transition from Scorpio to Sagittarius, I can almost hear the Archer say, “Enough already, Scorp. You have spent too much time down in the underworld swimming in the cesspools of human depravity. Humanity should be better than this. I dare you to look up into the sky, and dream big with me. I know human behavior can be disgusting, but it is up to us to make it better. I have faith that humans can take care of business here on earth with a higher purpose, if they acknowledge their connection to the divine.” To survive as individuals and as a species, I believe that we need faith and hope to carry us through life. Perhaps I should say that I, as a Sagittarian, require this perspective.

The Purpose Of Sagittarius And Some Myth-Busting

Sagittarius wears many guises in living life as an adventure, whether physically traveling or engaging in the internal journey. Astrologer Steven Forrest says that the common denominator among the diverse expressions of the Sagittarian personality is the motivation to engage in actions that expand awareness through the gathering of unfamiliar experience.[4] He capsulizes the three destinies of Sagittarius as:

Ø  The Gypsy: physical gathering of experience
Ø  The Student:  intellectual researching of experience
Ø  The Philosopher: intuitive collection of experience

So what is the purpose of Sagittarius? Forrest says that the native’s wandering represents the pursuit of the ultimate meaning of life. The Archer is on a quest, he says, to uncover the Truth, as well as personal destinies. Forrest maintains that Sagittarius uses the strategy of living life as an adventure to reach this endpoint. The Sagittarian characteristics of faith, adventurousness, humor, and enthusiasm are resources in the functioning of this zodiac sign, claims Forrest. Conversely, Forrest observes that traits like bad judgment, over optimism, and overextension are the Archer’s shadow.[5]

The late astrologer Dane Rudhyar says that with the sign of Sagittarius, the night-force has reached its maximum intensity, and collectivism overpowers individualism, society dominates over the individual personality, and the far takes precedence over the near. Sagittarius becomes completely absorbed by social or mystical factors, and yearns for distant connections. This, he says, enables the complexities of society to operate satisfactorily.[6]

Astrologer Deborah Houlding offers a radically different theory about Sagittarius. She contends that modern astrology downplays the bestial quality of Sagittarius. The Mars-like qualities of Sagittarius are rarely recognized, says Houlding, and she proposes that the fiercer aspects of this sign must be acknowledged to truly understand the symbolism. As a fire sign, Houlding observes that Sagittarius reacts spontaneously and intuitively, hence their love and talent at sports. This sign’s instincts are to act first and think later.[7] With this tendency, Sagittarius expresses its bestial nature. Rudhyar, on the other hand, sees Sagittarius as a mental sign. I have read only excerpts from his works, so I do not know how he reconciles the traditional association of Sagittarius as a fire sign with his assessment of its mental qualities.

Sagittarius is associated with the centaurs of classical mythology, known for their crass and irresponsible ways. Centaurs are warlike and fierce. Houlding says that Chiron, the gentle wounded healer, has been associated erroneously with Sagittarius. She informs us that Chiron extricated himself from the wild, savage, and lustful ways of his race of centaurs. Houlding suggests that Chiron provided a “tempering” energy to quell the natural bestial qualities of the centaurs.[8]

Can these astrologers all be right? As a Sagittarian, I personally identify with both that ferocious quality of wanting to engage others in verbal battle. Yet, I can also relate to that very mental place that Sagittarians go to frequently. I think this reflects the “mental processing” that is needed for Sagittarius to “make sense” of all of the diverse experiences in which they are engaged.


[1] Nevin, Bruce (1982). Astrology Inside Out. Rockport, Massachusetts: Para Research Publishers, p.87.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Gerhardt, Dana (December/January 2010). The Noisy Birds of Sagittarius. The Mountain Astrologer, Issue #148, pp.11-15.

[4] Forrest, Steven (1988). The Inner Sky. San Diego: ACS Publications, pp.76-80.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Rudhyar, Dane (1963). Twelve Phases of Human Experience. The Pulse of Life: New Dynamics in Astrology. Retrieved from: http://www.khaldea.com/rudhyar/pofl/pofl_p2s9pl.shtml

[7] Houlding, Deborah (February/March 2007). Sagittarius the Archer. The Mountain Astrologer, Issue #131, pp.25-30.

[8] Ibid.


Recent photos of the former power couple (Wikimedia Commons)


This month I am deviating somewhat from my monthly sign profiles of a single prominent individual. I decided to select a couple (in this case, a long-divorced couple) who have Sagittarius Sun Signs. Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden married in 1973 and officially divorced in 1990.

My knowledge of the marriage between Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden primarily derives from what Jane has written in her 2005 autobiography, entitled My Life So Far. Several years ago I read Tom’s autobiography, entitled Reunion, but that work was published when the couple were still together. 

The Astro-Databank natal charts of Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden appear at the end of this article, and are followed by a list of sources utilized for this article. I used my own astrology software to calculate synastry charts. Because my astrology software is on an old computer, I am unable to upload these charts into this article. (Yes, I need new software in 2014!)

Brief Biographical Sketches

As the daughter of actor Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda has been in the public eye since her childhood, although she did not become a prominent celebrity until her film appearances in the 1960s. At her birth on December 21, 1937 in New York, she was named Lady Jayne Seymour Fonda. (She later dropped the “y” in her first name). Her mother, Frances Ford Seymour was a socialite who had been widowed before she met Henry Fonda, who himself had been previously married. Jane recounts in her autobiography, My Life So Far, that although there was mutual affection between she and her father, she felt that he was very emotionally distant from his children. Because of his acting commitments in film and theater, he was physically absent a great deal. Prior to her marriage to Henry Fonda, her mother had been a very engaging and socially active individual, although Jane did not see this side of her mother’s persona. In her marriage, Frances Fonda grew increasingly depressed and spent many days in rehabilitation centers, eventually committing suicide. Although not conscious early on of the impact of her parents’ emotional distance, Jane struggled as a young adult with issues such as anorexia and bulimia. Nevertheless, she experienced success, first as a fashion model, and then as a stage and film actor. In the mid-1960s, she starred in a French film directed by Roger Vadim, with whom she fell in love and married, and gave birth to their daughter. Jane began appearing in popular American films, such as Cat Ballou and Barefoot in the Park. Although giving a powerful performance in They Shoot Horses Don’t They, it was not until 1971 that her acting was rewarded with an Oscar for her role in Klute.

It was in the early 1970s that Jane radically changed her life. She left the notoriously unfaithful Roger Vadim and became deeply involved in politics and in activities to protest U.S. military involvement in Vietnam. In 1972, Jane visited her nation’s enemy, North Vietnam, and was promptly dubbed “Hanoi Jane.” Although popular on the silver screen, Jane faced significant hostility from Americans who supported the Vietnam War. Jane continued her involvement with the GI anti-war movement. It was at this time that she met Tom Hayden and the two began a relationship that ultimately culminated in marriage. In 1973, Jane gave birth to their child, Troy.

Tom Hayden was born in the Detroit, Michigan area, the son of middle-class Irish Americans. He attended the University of Michigan, where he became editor of the school newspaper and participated in political activities. He later became involved in forming the left-leaning Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). With his first wife Casey, he joined the freedom riders civil rights movement in the South. He is credited with drafting the Port Huron Statement, a manifesto about participatory democracy that would serve as a foundation for organizers in the New Left in the 1960s. In addition to his work in poverty-stricken inner city New Jersey, Hayden would become active in movements to protest the Vietnam War. Before the visit by Jane, he and other anti-war leaders visited North Vietnam in the 1960s. His anti-war activities were extensive, and he became one of the key figures in the “Chicago 8,” leading anti-war protests outside the Democratic Convention in 1968, for which he was indicted on charges of conspiracy and inciting a riot. After charges were dropped on appeal, Hayden continued his activities, visiting North Vietnam once again in 1972. Tom and Jane originally met after an anti-war event, and they later become reacquainted when Tom approached her after a speaking event hosted by Jane.

During the early period of their marriage, Tom and Jane founded the Campaign for Economic Democracy (CED), an organization that sought to build a progressive coalition of neighborhood organizations and trade unions to counter the influence of big business and government bureaucracy in the U.S. He ran for, and was successful in winning, seats to the California State Assembly (1982-1992) and later, the California State Senate (1992-2000).

While Tom was occupied with CED activities and entering politics and elected office, Jane was continuing with her career as an actor. After her success with Klute, Jane claims that she was briefly “graylisted” as the result of Nixon Administration pressure. However, in 1977 she experienced a big comeback, starring in Fun With Dick and Jane and in Julia, for which she gave a highly acclaimed performance. Other successfully films included Coming Home, the China Syndrome, and the engaging comedy, Nine to Five. One of her most memorable films in this era was On Golden Pond, in which she starred with her father, Henry Fonda, and the iconic actor, Katherine Hepburn. The film garnered Henry Fonda his only Academy Award. He passed away five months later. In addition to acting, Jane embarked on another successful venture, the production and distribution of fitness videos, beginning with the Jane Fonda Workout, which became the best-selling home video ever.

The Break-Up

On her 51st birthday, Jane received a rather crummy birthday present from Tom Hayden. On that day, he told her that he was in love with another woman. Although experiencing a period of depression after this, Jane soon after accepted a date invitation from the CNN mogul, Ted Turner. Their romance blossomed, and they married in 1991, but by 2001 their alliance was dissolved amicably. Tom Hayden later married Barbara Williams, with whom he has a son.

An Astrological Look at Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden and Their Marriage

This is a brief review of this former married couple’s astrological synastry. Typically, astrologers first attempt to understand the astrological makeup of the individuals who are in relationship.

About Jane     
A greater number of Jane’s planets are above the horizon, giving us a sense that she is a relatively extroverted individual, who objectively seeks information and answers from the outside world. The planets are almost evenly distributed between the fire, earth, air, and water elements, thereby giving her the potential to draw upon the strengths of each. Similarly, she has considerable balance in the mutuable, fixed, and cardinal modalities, with greater weighting in mutable and fixed. Although she can be quite adaptable, she also has particular needs to be rooted, if even for short periods of time.

With her natal moon in Leo, Jane has an instinctual emotional need for dramatic creative expression, which she has fulfilled, at least in part, through her acting career. In addition to her fiery moon, her sun is in fiery Sagittarius, a sign that seeks broad experiences to satisfy its curiosity and for a greater understanding of life. Jane recounts that film director Alan Pakula once made this observation about her: “There seems in her some vast emotional need to find the center of life. Jane is the kind of lady who might have gone across the prairie in a covered wagon one hundred years ago.”

Jane’s Capricorn ascendant (ASC) adds a persona of practicality and seriousness to her exploratory nature. However, Jupiter conjuncts the ASC, adding a joviality and optimistic veneer to the mix. There is a side of Capricorn that is prone to insecurity and lives within constraints, often mental images of what is socially acceptable. In Jane’s case, she felt a compulsion to live up to her family’s value of thinness as well as society’s expectations that females must please others while stifling their own needs. Because of the traditional expectations of females, combined with the Jupiterian ability to make things appear to be okay, Jane hid the underlying truth of her problems with anorexia and bulimia.

Pluto in Jane’s seventh house of marriage and partnerships is conjunct the descendant (DSC), and this clues us in on the fact that Jane’s partners may be catalysts for her personal transformation. Much more can be said about Jane by analyzing her natal chart, but these are some of its key points, in a nutshell.

About Tom

Similar to Jane, Tom has the greater number of planets above the horizon, indicating an objective nature, consulting with others for information and answers. He has a relatively extroverted orientation. Although Tom has planets in fire, earth, and water, he has no planets in the air element. He does have the north node in Libra, which is an air sign. Air is the element concerned with logical functioning and relating. Some astrologers say that when we lack an element, that element’s realm may become an obsession with the individual. In the case of individuals lacking planets in air, Astrologer Clare Martin observes that they will display a powerful emphasis on or obsession with education, learning, writing, and communicating. In fact, Tom has spent many years as an academic, teaching courses related to politics and contemporary society. He has also written many articles and several books.

Tom has a strong Sagittarian nature, with both his Sun Sign and Moon in this sign. His ascendant (ASC) in Aries gives him a driving quality, providing him with the impetus to be a trailblazer in whatever realm he involves himself. Libra rules his seventh house of the other, where one finds his North Node. Partnership is very important to Tom, and his spiritual growth (the North Node) is tied to mastering this realm.

The Interaspects of the Natal Charts of Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden

The Sagittarian qualities of exploration and involvement in international adventures or issues are strong in both charts and one can see how their mutual interests might have been factors in forming and maintaining the long-term (but not permanent) relationship between Jane and Tom. In fact, Jane’s Sun is exactly conjunct Tom’s Moon at 29 degrees Sagittarius. Her essence energy promoted his emotional need for exploring the realms important to Sagittarius. Furthermore, Tom’s Sun at 18 degrees Sagittarius exactly conjuncts Jane’s Venus, which facilitated her growth as a modern female, although perhaps more in reaction to his restrictive expectations. Her Leo Moon is in harmonious (trine) relationship with his Moon in Sagittarius, reflecting that they share a passionate orientation in their emotional natures.

Where do these planet convergences occur in their respective charts? For Jane, the sign of Sagittarius covers the latter portion of the tenth house and the eleventh house. Tom Sagittarian’s energy expanded her community of kindred souls (the 11th house). In Tom’s chart, Sagittarius covers the latter portion of his eighth house, and the first portion of his ninth house. Her Venus (financial resources and values) conjuncts his Sun. Jane developed her exercise workout book and videos with the expressed purpose of funding the Campaign for Economic Democracy (CED), the organization run by Tom. In fact, the proceeds from Jane’s projects garnered CED a whopping $17 million dollars! Jane also contributed significant amounts of money to Tom’s political campaigns. She funded the projects that allowed him to shine (the Sun). At one point in their marriage, Tom had revealed to Jane, in the presence of other friends, that she was hogging too much of the limelight. He was admittedly jealous of Jane's prominence. 

Jane’s Venus and Tom’s Mars are in a square relationship to each other, indicating the probability for friction in the realms of relating and obtaining what you desire. This may reflect incompatibilities in terms of sexuality or role expectations. This situation may have been more difficult because of communication issues, as shown in the semi-square between the planet Mercury in the two natal charts. Some astrologers see the semi-square as a weaker form of the high-friction square, reflecting inflexibility. On the other hand, astrologer Sue Tompkins views the semi-square as being quite powerful and tending to force some type of release. Tompkins says that the semi-square relates to issues that are more deeply buried in the psyche about which we are less conscious. Jane, with her Mercury in Capricorn, and Tom, with his Mercury in Scorpio, may have the capability for honesty in their relationship, but their personal issues may have interfered with actualizing this communication on a consistent and appropriate way. If one communicates in a Capricorn way, it may be cautious and practical. A person communicating in a Scorpionic way may be quite blunt, but may be known to avoid self-revelation, although they have the capability of exploring profound depths. Nevertheless, there is the potential for friction in communication. In her autobiography, My Life So Far, Jane identifies the point in her relationship with Tom when she cut off his discussion about an important issue in their marriage, which she later realized would have been an opportunity to discuss their values and relationship boundaries.

The Couple’s Composite (Combined) Chart

A composite chart combines the midpoints of the planets between two individuals. The composite chart serves as a reflection of the relationship. In reviewing the composite chart (not presented here), I decided to focus on two features of the chart: what is the wound the couple is attempting to heal, and secondly, what might be the spiritual direction of this couple. To discern possible meaning for these degrees of the zodiac, I used the Sabian Symbols, the work of astrologer Marc Edmond Jones. He established meanings for each degree of the zodiac that were communicated to him by Elsie Wheeler, a spiritual medium living in San Diego, California.

The couple’s Chiron is located at eight degrees and 34 minutes of Cancer, which is the ninth degrees of Cancer. To begin with, the sign of Cancer relates to nurturing, emotional security and protection, particularly concerning the role of the mother. Jane explains in her autobiography that both she and Tom had deficiencies in the realm of parental nurturing, which Jane became increasingly aware of later in her life. The Sabian Symbol interpretation for this degree of the zodiac is: “Naked Little Miss Leans Over A Pond To Catch A Gold Fish. One work on the Sabian Symbols suggests further keywords: “First curiosity of being; innocent reaching out for understanding. Untiring eagerness. Unsocial or infantile cravings.” This symbolism seems quite open to interpretation, and I cannot say with any certainty that my perspective would have any meaning for Jane or Tom. Above all else, they desired to have a child together, and they both delved very deeply into parenting when their son came into the world. Additionally, one of my first thoughts about how this applied to Fonda and Hayden has to do with the summer camp near Santa Barbara (Laurel Springs) that Jane and Tom created as an opportunity for children of diverse backgrounds to come together. By working on a macro level of designing programs for children, both Jane and Tom have had the opportunity to work on their own wounds experienced as children. Jane continues to focus a lot of her work on healing the wounds experienced by girls in our society. Furthermore, expanding upon the symbolism, Jane notes in her autobiography that her father and all her husbands were very much into the sport of fishing!

The North Node represents the area of spiritual growth that is beneficial for an individual, or in this case, the couple. To discern what this may have been for this former couple, I am once again using the Sabian Symbols. In the composite chart for Fonda and Hayden, the North Node is at 17 degrees and one minute of Scorpio, which is considered the 18th degree of the sign. According to the Sabian Symbols, the meaning for this degree is: “A Winding Road Leads Through Glorious Autumnal Woods.” and one work suggests these keywords: “The light which transfigures the soul after passions have faded away. Revelation of inner wealth. Radiant consummation.” I gather from this passage that this relationship offered the couple the opportunity to be transformed, if they are willing to view it from this perspective, and in doing so, they will gain ongoing spiritual wealth.

Both the North Node and Chiron are in water signs in this Fonda/Hayden composite chart. In addition to their fiery visions of a better world (Sun and Mercury in Sagittarius in the combined chart), it appears that the relationship had the potential of exploring all the soothing, murky, tumultuous, and healing waters of the emotional realm.

The Transits for the “Break-up Chart”

The final chart I reviewed was the transit chart of the day (December 21, 1988) Tom Hayden told Jane Fonda he was in love with another woman. Although their divorce was not finalized until two years later, this day symbolized an emotional ending of their relationship. Jane reveals in her autobiography that the relationship had begun declining after the seventh year of their marriage, but there was little acknowledgement from either one of them about the factors destroying the relationship.
What I found most significant about this chart was that transiting Venus at five degrees of Sagittarius was EXACTLY conjuncting Jane’s natal North Node (potential for spiritual growth)! It seems clear that despite the agony this breakup caused Jane, this event provided an opportunity for her to reexamine her values, her role as a female, and her relationship requirements (all associated with Venus) in order to grow spiritually.

Sources for the Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden article:

Jane Fonda (2005). My Life So Far. New York: Random House.

Virginia Meyer and Judy Koons (2010). Secrets of the Old Woman Who Never Dies: The Ancient Ways of the Moon Phases. Bloomington, Indiana: iUniverse.

Sue Tompkins (2002). Aspects in Astrology. Rochester, Vermont: Destiny Books.

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