atrial flutter

The Heart of the Matter

On Friday, September 8, 2017, I had a minor medical procedure called a cardioversion. It’s a simple outpatient procedure, necessitated by my heart being out of rhythm. Essentially, they knock you out, zap your heart with a few volts to get it back into sinus rhythm, and then wake you up again. (Think “Frankenstein” without the cool German village sets.)


Me and my medical team. OK, it’s actually a scene from “Frankenstein” (1931).

This is a road I’ve travelled before; I was born with a heart defect, a hole in a ventricle, and had open heart surgery at age 3, in 1963, when that sort of thing was new and unusual. Over all, it hasn’t affected my life, but about a dozen years ago I developed an atrial flutter. We treated it with a cardioversion then, and followed up the next year with an ablation, to permanently kill that particular flutter, but I was told at the time that this didn’t preclude another flutter from developing at some point in the future.


And that’s where we are now. The procedure was this morning, at Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia, and considering the fact that I’ve already run the chart and am writing it up for an article, you can conclude that it went well. I thought it would make a good illustration of the power of asteroids, not just in a birth chart or at momentous events, but in everyday life, for an ordinary person, not a celebrity or politician.


I purposely didn’t look at the day in advance from an astrological perspective. Sometimes I think we do more harm than good by going too deeply into prediction, and prejudice the natural outworking of our lives by trying to control too much. After months of blood thinners to reduce the risk of stroke, I was eligible for the procedure almost three weeks ago, but with Mercury then in retrograde and a Total Solar Eclipse squared my Mars, it seemed wise to put things off (I mean, it’s stupid to go cold turkey and not use astrology at all, right?). So I told them to schedule for the first available date and time after Mercury went direct on the 5th, and when presented with Friday morning on the 8th, all I did to validate the date was to make sure the Moon wasn’t void. I just said “OK”, and took the plunge, trusting that the final timing would reveal what was meant to be.


And as usual, the cosmos did not disappoint! I made sure the anesthetist knew I wanted the EXACT time of the start of the procedure, which was 8:56 AM EDT in Philadelphia.   And here’s what I found, when I flew to the computer upon my return home:


Just to quickly prep those of you who might not have yet read my PNA bio, there are a plethora of Personal-Named asteroids which represent me. Born Kevin Miller (on 27 July 1960), I have used the name “Alex” almost exclusively since age 17. All three names have exact asteroid matches, and there’s also an Alexander and an Alexandra to play with. I still track asteroid Kevin for health issues, since technically, that’s my body’s name (though only my father and the tax man use the “K” word anymore).


Well, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a triple conjunction of the Sun at 16 Virgo, exact with Alexandra, with Kevin right next door at 17 Virgo! And this is all on my natal Moon at 19 Virgo! Obviously, Kevin/Alex’s health (Moon) was in strong focus (Sun) on that day!  Also in the mix is asteroid Apollo, named for the Greek god overseeing healing, which at 19 Virgo is an exact match for the natal Moon, putting healing front and center on the agenda.  And considering that these are all opposed by transit Neptune at 12 Pisces, a hospital was involved. Just to make sure we’ve got the right patient, the cosmos obliged with asteroids Miller and Alexander at 8 and 17 Pisces, conjunct Neptune, with Alexander also opposed the transit Sun and my natal Moon.


Not wanting to be left out of the party, transit asteroid Alex at 3 Aquarius opposes my natal Sun, ruling the heart, at 4 Leo. From here, Alex is also conjunct natal asteroid Valentine, that ultimate symbol of hearts, at 0 Aquarius. Its natal opposition to my Sun is one indicator that heart issues might be a concern. In March of 2017 I experienced a “Valentine Return” when the transit body conjoined its natal degree, suggesting a “recurrence” of heart issues (the flutter wasn’t diagnosed until May, when I had my yearly follow-up visit with my cardio, but I had been feeling unwell for several months by then, though nothing to prompt alarm). Transit Valentine for the cardioversion appears at 15 Aquarius, opposing both natal and transit Venus, at 14 and 16 Leo.


Another indicator of medical issues with the heart is asteroid Harvey. Recently active in cyclonic form as Hurricane Harvey, the point is named for a seventeenth century English physician, William Harvey, who first detailed the circulatory system, and asteroid expert Martha Lang Wescott, who has already forgotten more about asteroids than I will ever know, cites its usage for heart problems based on this origin. Natally, asteroid Harvey lies at 23 Virgo in my birth chart, conjunct my 19 Virgo Moon and exactly opposed asteroid Miller at 23 Pisces, bringing this health issue (Moon) home to me very personally (Miller). By transit, Harvey is at 8 Leo, conjunct my 4 Leo Sun.


Well, so much for me and my heart. What about the facilitators of the experience?


Hahnemann University Hospital, where I had my cardioversion procedure.

My cardiologist is Scott Hessen, and there are exact PNA matches for both his names. In the birth chart, both aspect my Sun, which again, is ruler of the heart. Hessen at 1 Aquarius opposes my Sun, and is closely conjunct my natal Valentine, while Scott at 9 Taurus is in square to the Sun. On the day of the procedure, transit Scott at 16 Pisces conjoins Neptune and Alexander, bringing into alignment the doctor, the patient, and the hospital venue. Transit Hessen at 27 Capricorn broadly conjoins transit Alex at 3 Aquarius, and is once again conjunct natal Valentine, having returned to Valentine’s natal degree first in late March, then again by retrograde in mid-August, and once more in direct motion, due in late October. Hessen is currently at its station degree, preparing to turn direct on September 17th, so is powerfully still in the heavens.


The prep and recovery nurse who guided me through this experience was named Edna. She gave me all the info I needed, kept things moving, facilitated the check-in and discharge. Transit asteroid Edna at 28 Scorpio squares transit Mercury at 29 Leo, ruling paperwork and scheduling, and also opposes my natal Mars at 26 Taurus.  Edna is also within orb of transit asteroid Asclepius, named for a Greek god of healing, cures and physicians, at 4 Sagittarius, which is exactly trine my natal Sun.


In the procedure room, in addition to my cardio, was a team of three anesthesiologists and support staff. The head anesthetist had an Indian name I never fully heard, but Pete did the actual administration of the drug, while Katie oversaw the monitors to ensure I was stable during the process. Transit asteroid Peter at 23 Pisces conjoins transit Alexander and is an exact match for natal Miller, exactly opposed natal Harvey and more broadly opposed the Moon. Transit asteroid Kate at 1 Sagittarius is conjunct asteroid Asclepius, also squares Mercury (checking the data) and is trine my natal Sun.


Not a typical day for me, of course, but not a momentous one, either, illustrating the continual interaction of the heavens in our daily lives. And I’ll just say in passing that there is one major chart feature I haven’t spoken of. This is a square from the transit Moon to transit Pluto, which is angular. The Moon at 14 Aries is just setting on the 13 Aries Descendant, while Pluto at 16 Capricorn closely conjoins the 15 Cap IC. The Moon is also conjunct asteroid Osiris, named for the Egyptian god of the dead, exactly on the Descendant at 13 Aries.


Clearly, with that type of set-up, this day had the potential to go horribly wrong. Seeing that in advance, I might have shied away from the date, and traded a very positive experience for a not-so-pleasant one at another time. And that is precisely why I don’t like to predict. The workings of the cosmos are inscrutable at best, and every coin has its flip side.

Alex Miller is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book, detailing deep space points in astrological interpretation, and the forthcoming Heaven on Earth, a comprehensive study of asteroids, both mythic and personal. Alex is a frequent contributor to “The Mountain Astrologer”, “Daykeeper Journal”, and NCGR’s Journals and “Enews Commentary”; his work has also appeared in “Aspects” magazine, “Dell Horoscope”, “Planetwaves”, “Neptune Café” and “Sasstrology.” He is a past president of Philadelphia Astrological Society, and a former board member for the Philadelphia Chapter of NCGR.

One comment, add yours.


Alex, I personally am very, very glad that everything went well with your heart. I love reading your offerings…..even though I don’t let you know often enough. May the healing continue and your heart beat with joy and consciousness.
A very dear friends of mine who is an energy working says we need to learn to think with our hearts and feel with our heads. I think that you are already doing that energy work! Yes!!

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