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Out With the Old (Knee), In With the New

On 26 September 2023, I underwent total knee replacement surgery for my right knee.  Both joints have been bone-on-bone for years, and while I have not experienced much pain from the situation, it has severely restricted my mobility.  This, in turn, had negatively impacted my weight and overall health, as someone who always used walking as a means of weight loss and control.

I’ve been told repeatedly from anyone with a mouth that I will be so very happy with this decision, once the dust clears on my recuperative period.  Let’s just say that at this point, I remain in the “I’ll believe that when I see it!” camp.

I was completely unprepared for the aftermath of the surgery, which has been grueling, and made considerably worse by extreme difficulty with nocturnal sleep.  How my damned new knee knows the difference between lying down at night and lying down during the day, I can’t tell you, but the PM rest periods have been anything but.

That said, other than an excruciating hour-long crawl home during rush hour with my knee screaming all the way in a cramped car position, there really hasn’t been all that much actual pain post-surgery.  The discomfort level is high, and the exercises are certainly not fun for someone like me who has a very low tolerance for pain, but I’m told that my progression is normal and things are on track for a “speedy” recovery (which, obviously, is a relative term).

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Recovery from knee replacement can take up to six months of therapy, and involves a great deal of pain and discomfort; asteroid Neelpatel (a sort of cosmic phonetic mashup of “knee” and “patella”) conjoins the Midheaven and exactly opposes the Moon (health generally), in a T-Square with my natal Mars, ruling surgery

The operation was performed using robotics, which results in more precision cutting and diminished removal of bone, less intrusive entry and scarring, and shorter recovery times.  At just past two weeks after the surgery, I’m transitioning from walker to cane, and the new joint feels strong and decently weight-bearing.  Physical therapy services have been at home for the first month, until I am cleared to drive, and then will resume at a local rehab center.

There was a remarkable confluence of names of those involved in my surgery, with names significant in my life.  I went into this knowing that my surgeon, Kevin Anbari, and myself shared the same first name (legally, I’m still Kevin, though I have used Alex universally since coming out at age 17).  What I didn’t suspect was that the admitting nurse, who prepped me for surgery, would be called Lorraine, my mother’s name.  Nor that her assistant would be a young woman named Alex.

Asteroids Kevin 23739, Lorraine 1114 and Alex 3367 will serve for these individuals, as well as myself.  I was kept overnight at the facility, a surgical center in Allentown, and the night nurse was Jannah, represented by asteroid Jana 8556.  The day nurse was Amy (asteroid Amy 3375), assisted by Robin (asteroid Robyn 5183), with Dorothy, known as Dorey (asteroid Dorothea 339) as the aide who provided most of my non-medical needs.  The inhouse Physical Therapist was Steph (seen as asteroids Stefani 4624 and Stephania 220); the Occupational Therapist was Stacey (asteroid Stacey 13389).  My at-home PT, with whom I’ll be working closely for a month, is Susanne McKenna, referenced as asteroids Susanna 542 and McKenna 42531.

We’ll also be using asteroids Alexander 296907, Alexandra 54 and Miller 1826 for myself; Lehigh (for the Lehigh Valley Hospital Network, my healthcare provider); Neely 13680 and Neelpatel 28161 for phonetic matches to “knee”; Patil 12511 for patella, the kneecap, one of the parts wholly replaced in the procedure (Neelpatel has the intriguing benefit of also referencing the patella); Robot 15907 for the surgical equipment employed; Walker 6372 for my new best friend apparatus; and Hypnos 14827 (Greek god of sleep) and Morpheus 4197 (Graeco-Roman god of dreaming) for issues with sleep (or lack thereof).

The last minute I consciously registered before the anesthesia took over was 1:40 PM EDT, and a chart set for then on 26 September 2023 in Allentown, PA, not surprisingly portrays the event with typical celestial elegance.

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My orthopedic surgeon was Kevin Anbari, who shares a legal first name with me; asteroid Kevin conjoined the MC, opposed asteroid Patil (also for “patella”), in a T-Square with Jupiter, granting positive outcomes

The Ascendant is appropriately grounded at 11 degrees of Scorpio, the Sign associated with surgery, though it is unencumbered by planetary contacts.  (Though asteroid Lorraine at 0 Scorpio is close to conjunction, and would have been crossing the Ascendant roughly forty-five minutes prior, while nurse Lorraine was prepping me for surgery.)  11 Scorpio does conjoin both my natal Ascendant and Neptune, ruling hospitals, at 4 and 6 Scorpio. 

At the 19 Leo Midheaven we find asteroid Kevin (for myself and the surgeon) at 16 Leo, accompanied by Venus (AKA “the Lesser Benefic,” conveying positive outcomes) and Walker at 12 Leo, about to become my chief means of locomotion.  Also here is asteroid Neelpatel at 23 Leo, focusing our attention again on the patella and knee, as well as asteroid Stephania, exactly conjunct Kevin at 16 Leo, for the hospital Physical Therapist. 

These oppose a stationary asteroid Patil at 15 Aquarius, also angular on the 19 Aquarius IC, which represents the foundation of the matter.  My bum knee, with its patella, was certainly the foundation here; Patil’s stationary stance indicates a major “turning point” for knee issues (it turned direct a week prior, on September 18th).  This basic polarity becomes a T-Square with the inclusion of Jupiter at 14 Taurus, also angular on the 11 Taurus Descendant, with Jupiter known as “the Greater Benefic,” again providing positive outcomes.  Asteroid Dorothea (for aide Dory) exactly conjoins Jupiter, squared Kevin.

Also aligned with the MC/IC axis is asteroid Morpheus, that sleep/dream related point, at 12 Aquarius, opposed asteroid NOT at 17 Leo, a general disqualifier or point of negation.  This certainly describes the lack of sleep post-op, which I am told is common for 2-3 weeks after surgery.  The angularity of the polarity suggests a high impact on the event, and in fact, the sleeplessness is my worst enemy in the process so far.

Morpheus, god of sleep and dreams; my sleeplessness for weeks post-op may be surmised from asteroid Morpheus opposed asteroid NOT, a general disqualifier or point of negation; the angular placement of this polarity signifies a major impact on the situation

Saturn rules the knees, and at 1 Pisces is conjoined my natal Chiron exactly, representing health matters and injuries.  Exact with Saturn is asteroid Karma 3811, suggesting a fated moment for my knees is at hand, as well as asteroid Lehigh at 4 Pisces, indicating the venue as the LVHN network.  This exactly opposes natal Pluto at 4 Virgo, also associated with surgeries.  The transit Pisces points square asteroid Miller at 5 Gemini, itself at station, indicating a major turning point (Miller turned retrograde on October 4th).

Neptune rules hospitals, and we see it here at 26 Pisces, opposed asteroid Robot at 27 Virgo, the surgical tool employed, in a Grand Cross with asteroids Stacey (the inhouse Occupational Therapist) at 29 Sagittarius and Stefani (for Steph, the inhouse Physical Therapist) at 29 Gemini.

Asteroid Alex (for myself and the admitting assistant) at 19 Gemini squares my natal Moon (ruling health generally) at 19 Virgo exactly, which is conjoined by transit Mercury exact with asteroid Hypnos (sleep) at 16 Virgo, and asteroid Neely (knees) at 13 Virgo.  Asteroid Alexandra at 25 Capricorn conjoins Pluto at 27 Cap, associated with surgery, which exactly squares asteroid Alexander at 27 Aries.

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A major turning point in knee health was signaled by asteroid Patil (for patella) at station, opposing asteroid Kevin, and asteroid Miller, also at station, squared Saturn, which rules the knees

The remaining hospital personnel are represented by asteroid Amy (my day nurse) at 11 Capricorn, squared Chiron (healing) at 18 Aries; Robyn (nurse assistant Robin) at 28 Aquarius, conjoined Saturn (knees) at 1 Pisces; and Jana (night nurse Jannah) at 20 Libra, conjunct Mars (surgery) at 19 Libra, T-Squared Pluto/Alexandra and Alexander.

Perhaps the most telling contact prefigured in the chart, as the longest-lived, was that with my at-home PT, Susanne McKenna.   Whereas my connections with the other players (except the surgeon) were limited to the two days I spent in hospital, that with my PT will last a month.  Remarkably, asteroid McKenna at 1 Aquarius conjoins Pluto at 27 Capricorn and Alexandra at 25 Capricorn, uniting therapist (McKenna) and patient (Alexandra) with a planetary energy representing regeneration and rebirth (Pluto – not to mention the murderous thoughts evoked when the therapist has pushed one to the limit, eliciting sharp pain).

Yoked thus, it became apparent that we were in this together for the long haul, a circumstance further illustrated by these asteroids’ respective stations.  Amazingly, both turned direct at the same degree, 22 Capricorn, albeit three weeks apart, and more than a month before the surgery (McKenna turned on August 10th, Alexandra on the 31st).  The Solar Eclipse of 14 October 2023 at 21 Libra will strongly activate this station point by square, bringing to a close our association, which is scheduled to conclude on the 19th, prior to my post-op follow-up appointment on the 23rd, after which I will be driving to rehab.

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My knee replacement surgery took place at the Lehigh Valley Hosptial Network’s surgical center in Allentown, with asteroid Lehigh conjunct Saturn (knees) and squared asteroid Miller

As I write, I’m still in the thick of this, and the brain fog from sleep deprivation isn’t helping matters, but I honestly can’t say if I will proceed with the second knee replacement or not.  To do one will not fix my problem, and is therefore pointless effort, but I’m not sure I can face the other, knowing now what awaits me.  The plan was to have tackled the second knee (poor phrasing) in the spring of 2024, but I can’t imagine going though this again in just six months, if at all.

I can’t be laid up for weeks at a time in the summer, the garden requires too much hydration intervention for that, so we’d be looking at another autumn surgery at earliest, and I will not miss another Halloween!  So that means late November or December. 

It’s a long way off, but I’m dreading it already…

knee1 staples
Not my knee, but a decent approximation of the system of staples used to suture the incision. Mine had 86 staples, much closer together, a daunting prospect, but their removal was relatively painless, with just a slight pinch

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.

5 comments, add yours.

Irmgard Dering

What a horrible experience, and then looking forward to have the other knee done!
Wishing you speedy healing…

    Barbara Taylor

    Hello Alex, I have read your columns for years and hope maybe I can help you through your knee recovery. I’m a retired Registered Nurse, and a practicing astrologer. I have been using asteroids extensively in my work since 1991. I now specialize in medical astrology, and I have personal experience with osteoarthritis in my knees. I’m happy to share my solutions that so far have kept the surgeons at bay for the past 5 years. Please feel free to email me if you feel so inclined.


OUCH! SOUNDS AWFUL. Rob had a knee replacement in February but was up and around in 2 weeks. Yoga, I suspect. Wishing you a speedier recovery!


So sorry to hear what an ordeal this has been. Still, I hope you can face a second surgery down the road so that you can recover your mobility. I thought the names of everyone involved and that they had significance in your life was truly amazing. I hope you are sleeping better soon. You have my sympathy. 🙏🏻


Wow. Brave of you to include your readers in this experience. Thank you. My partner was in the same situation for years until he had one knee done 3 years ago. Like you, he is not in a hurry to do the other knee. Wishing you many nights of uninterrupted slumber soon!

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