Leap (of Faith) Day
It only happens every four years – Leap Day! Carved from the monotony of the calendar by the cosmos’ refusal to divide itself evenly into neat 24 hour increments just to suit human constructs, Leap Day provides us with an extra day, the opportunity to do whatever we like. Well, in theory.
This year I’m using my Leap Day to publish some random musings on the intricacies of the celestial sphere with additional asteroid research that really doesn’t fit into any category. I encounter these points haphazardly, and don’t always have a chance to thoroughly investigate them at the time. Let me explain a bit of my process for research to illustrate the basis for this piece.
As I peruse the alphabetical listing of the 21,000 named asteroids, checking for matches while prepping an article, I regularly come across entries I haven’t noticed before, and wasn’t searching for at the time, but which spark my interest. I keep a list of these, and when time permits, I do a little cosmic spelunking, slipping down the rabbit holes of meaning they evoke into fascinating worlds of wonder.
To be clear, my research methodology is simple – I go with whatever the name evokes in me first, sometimes supplemented by a Google search on the theme. I don’t pick and choose examples based on how the point works out in practice, cherry-picking those that fit my premise and discarding those that don’t. I just report what I find. So every foray into this vast unknown requires a Leap of Faith – what will I find when I probe the mystery? Will the patterns of connectivity hold? So far, the cosmos hasn’t disappointed.
For example, recently my eye fell on asteroid Curly, #30441. Images of Shirley Temple immediately popped to mind, the biggest child star sensation in history, who lisped and tap-danced her way into America’s heart in the 1930s. Famously pouty-lipped, cherub-cheeked and sporting a mop of Titian curls, Shirley Temple was Hollywood’s number one box office draw at the age of seven, and the model for countless Depression-era girls. She even starred in a film lionizing her trademark hairdo, “Curly Top.”
Born 23 April 1928 at 9 PM PST in Santa Monica, CA (Rodden Rating AA), Shirley Temple fittingly has asteroid Curly at 27 Scorpio, conjoined the 5 Sagittarius Ascendant, which governs our appearance and how others see us. Curly also squares Neptune at 26 Leo, ruling film, and is at the Apex of a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, with inconjunct aspects to a cluster including Jupiter (fame, celebrity), asteroid Tempel (homophone of Temple), Mercury (children) and asteroid Starr at 20, 21, 23 and 29 Aries [celestial shorthand for “famous child star, name of Temple”]; and asteroid Child at 23 Gemini with the Moon at 29. Curly is also sesquiquadrate to a pairing of Venus (ruling fashions, popularity and hairstyles) at 15 Aries with asteroid Black (her married surname) at 11 Aries. Shirley Temple also had asteroid Actor at 18 Gemini with Child, conjunct asteroid Shirley at 16 Gemini, opposed career-minded Saturn at 18 Sagittarius, so I guess her path was set from birth.
That exploration got me wondering if Curly might be evidenced in other famously frizzy-headed femme fatales, and a quick Google images search brought up singers Zendaya and Beyoncé. To be fair, both women have sported a wide variety of hairstyles over the years, but curls do often predominate in the coiffure of the moment, and both have Curly connected to the Ascendant, as with Temple.
Born 1 September 1996 at 6:01 PM PDT in Walnut Creek, CA (Rodden Rating AA), Zendaya’s asteroid Curly at 11 Gemini trines the 7 Aquarius Ascendant (how we present ourselves to others), squares the 9 Virgo Sun (self-defining characteristic), sextiles the 7 Taurus Moon (body image), and is semisquare Venus (hairstyles) at 24 Cancer. Incidentally, asteroid Singer conjoins the Ascendant from 5 Aquarius.
Beyoncé (born 4 September 1981, 10 AM CDT, Houston, TX; Rodden Rating C) sports asteroid Curly at 22 Leo, sextile an exact Ascendant/Venus conjunction at 20 Libra and squared the Moon at 20 Scorpio. The powerhouse vocalist has asteroid Singer at 1 Scorpio, exactly squared Mars (energetic) at 1 Leo and semisextile Mercury (the voice) at 2 Libra.
Curly also evoked for me, of all things, the Three Stooges, with portly sidekick Curly Howard. Born Jerome Lester Horwitz on 22 October 1903 (no time available), his choice of the stage name may be seen in asteroid Curly at 28 Cancer, squared the 27 Libra Sun and trine asteroid Howard at 25 Scorpio, providing his alter ego screen identity.
I have unfortunately had frequent recourse to asteroid Wesson (#2017), in stories of mass shootings where a Smith & Wesson was the weapon of choice. But each time, gnawing at the back of my brain, was the image of Florence Henderson, of Brady Bunch fame, hawking “Wessonality” in her cooking oil commercials from the 1980s. I wondered how asteroid Wesson might fit into her birth chart, and, as usual, I was not disappointed, when I finally had the opportunity to check it out.
Born 14 February 1934 at 5 AM CST in Dale, IN (Rodden Rating AA), Florence Henderson’s stint as Carol Brady, America’s favorite TV mom on the hit ‘70s sitcom “The Brady Bunch” was perhaps foreshadowed by asteroid Carol at station from 27 Gemini, turning direct five days after her birth and trine the 25 Aquarius Sun, in a Grand Trine with Jupiter (fame) at 23 Libra. This is backed up by asteroid Brady at 18 Aries, sextile Saturn (career) at 19 Aquarius, trine asteroid Actor at 15 Sagittarius, inconjunct the 14 Scorpio MC (status and reputation) and squared the 21 Capricorn Ascendant. Not to be outdone, the cosmos provides asteroid Wesson in a perfect match for natal Mercury at 12 Pisces, making her the perfect pitchman (pitchperson?) for the product.
Asteroid Beagle (#656) nosed its way into my consciousness a few months ago, and like a dog with a bone, wouldn’t let go until I’d tested it out. What came to mind first was Charles Darwin, father of the theory of evolution, who made his groundbreaking observations, primarily in the Galapagos Islands, while on a scientific research mission aboard the HMS Beagle. Darwin noted the related diversity of flora and fauna in that isolated region, and decades later devised his paradigm-busting “On the Origin of Species”, based on information gathered on this trip.
Born 9 February 1809 (no time available), Charles Darwin’s natal asteroid Beagle at 6 Capricorn is semisquare the 20 Aquarius Sun, showing interaction with its terrestrial namesakes as self-defining in some sense. In addition, Beagle is squared Venus at 4 Aries (which is also semisquare the Sun), ruling artwork, and Darwin’s sketches from his journeys formed the basis of several books, as well as illustrating his revolutionary evolutionary theories thirty years later. Most telling, Beagle connects with an opposition from Uranus, ruling science, at 9 Scorpio to asteroid Galapagos, the venue for his most productive observations, at 4 Taurus, by sextile and trine.
When Darwin set sail on the Beagle on 27 December 1831, the transit Sun at 5 Capricorn conjoined natal Beagle at 6 Cap, while transit asteroid Beagle at 17 Capricorn was conjoined natal asteroid Darwin (named for him) at 21 Cap. Transit asteroid Galapagos at 3 Libra squared the transit Sun and natal Beagle, while transit asteroid Darwin at 29 Libra was moving into range of that natal Uranus/Galapagos opposition.
Of course the world’s most famous beagle is Snoopy, the creation of beloved cartoonist Charles M. Schulz of “Peanuts” fame. Pet of the hapless Charlie Brown, Snoopy remains a favorite of children and adults across the globe, some 70 years after his debut. Born 26 November 1922 (no time available) Charles Schulz’ natal asteroid Beagle at 5 Pisces squares his Sun/Venus conjunction at 3 and 1 Sagittarius, for the artist (Venus) who gave Snoopy to the world. Beagle also conjoins Uranus at 9 Pisces, reflecting the character’s unique take on life, as well as his recurring stint as an aviator, the World War I Flying Ace; and in a Grand Trine with Jupiter at 6 Scorpio and Pluto at 10 Cancer.
When “Peanuts” premiered on 2 October 1950, asteroid Beagle at 28 Aquarius appears at the Apex of a Yod, of Finger of Destiny, with inconjuncts to Venus at 27 Vigo and asteroid Schulz at 21 Cancer (named for him). Beagle also squares transit asteroid Brown (which, as Charlie Brown’s pet, would be Snoopy’s “surname”) at 25 Scorpio, which has itself just returned to its natal degree of 20 Scorpio. So Charles Schulz was experiencing a “Brown Return” when his Charlie Brown-centered cartoon debuted.
Asteroid Fast (#27719) seemed to imply a multiplicity of usages, with its various meanings. First to mind was Usain Bolt, the Jamaican track and field sensation known as “Lightning Bolt” and “the fastest man alive.” An eight-time Olympic gold medalist, Bolt is the only sprinter to win Olympic 100 meter and 200 meter titles at three consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012 and 2016). Born 21 August 1986 (no time available), Bolt’s natal asteroid Fast at 17 Libra squares Mars at 12 Capricorn, ruler of sports and competition; also conjunct Venus at 14 Libra (reflecting his immense popularity), semisquare the Sun at 28 Leo and Saturn at 3 Sagittarius, sextile Mercury at 13 Leo and Uranus at 18 Sagittarius, and inconjunct Jupiter at 20 Pisces, Bolt’s natal Fast is well tapped into the chart.
Bolt was preceded in Olympic greatness on the track by Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis. Born 12 September 1913 (no time available), Owens’ sole Olympic appearance at the Berlin games in 1936 garnered him four gold medals and, as a black man, offered a humiliating defeat to Adolf Hitler, then touting the superiority of his Aryan race. Natal asteroid Fast at 25 Aquarius trines Mars at 28 Gemini and Saturn at 17 Gemini, is semisquare Jupiter at 8 Capricorn, and inconjunct Neptune at 27 Cancer.
Carl Lewis won nine Olympic gold medals, one Olympic silver medal, and 10 World Championships medals, in a career spanning seventeen years. He is one of only three Olympic athletes to win a gold medal in the same individual event in four consecutive Olympic Games. Born 1 July 1961 at 7:49 AM CST in Birmingham, AL (Rodden Rating A) Lewis’ natal asteroid Fast at 14 Libra is semisquare Mars at 1 Virgo, sextile the 17 Leo Ascendant, squared the Sun at 9 Cancer, and inconjunct the MC at 12 Taurus.
On the more ascetic end of the scale in Fast’s meanings – to go without food – we have Mohandas Gandhi, who famously undertook 17 hunger fasts to promote Indian independence, caste system reform, and Hindu/Muslim unity. Born 2 October 1869 at 7:08 AM LMT in Porbandar, India (Rodden Rating C), natal asteroid Fast at 24 Aquarius is a veritable powerhouse, filling in a Grand Cross with an opposition to the Moon (nourishment) at 19 Leo, with squares to Pluto (power plays) at 17 Taurus and Jupiter (politics, publicity) at 20 Taurus; Venus (society) at 16 Scorpio and Mars (struggles, advocacy) at 18 Scorpio. Fast is also sesquiquadrate the 8 Libra Sun, trine the 25 Libra Ascendant, and inconjunct the 25 Cancer MC.
Finally, we have the colloquial usage of “fast” – sexually promiscuous. What better ambassador of that energy than ‘30s blonde bombshell Mae West, who famously enjoined her gentlemen admirers to “Come up and see me sometime!” and further inquired, “Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?” Ms. West (born 17 August 1892, no time available) had asteroid Fast at 21 Libra in a more-than-appropriate T-Square with Venus at 14 Cancer and Jupiter at 24 Aries, for the woman who notoriously couldn’t get enough romance.
Asteroid Banks (#13956) sparked thoughts of the Federal Reserve Bank, which sets interest rates in the US, as well as the FDIC, the governmental agency which insures depositors against loss when financial institutions fail. The Federal Reserve was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson at 6:02 PM EST on December 23, 1913 (Rodden Rating A), with asteroid Banks at 6 Aries appropriately angular on the 0 Aries Midheaven, in a T-Square with the Sun at 1 Capricorn and Pluto at 0 Cancer. This clearly reflects its mission to control (Pluto) and have oversight (Sun) of the banking (Banks) system, primarily via interest rates (interest being an Eighth House matter, ruled by Pluto).
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) provides guarantees of federal bail-outs for depositors, formulated after runs on banks deepened the Depression. Established by FDR on 16 June 1933 (no time available), asteroid Banks at 29 Pisces is again squared the Sun at 24 Gemini, as it is in the Fed chart, and also interacts by trine with Pluto, which rules insurance, at 22 Cancer. Saturn, representing loss, which the FDIC is there to prevent, is in semisquare from 16 Aquarius.
I wondered how Banks might factor into the charts of those who famously helm these institutions. Perhaps the highest profile individual in this category is Jamie Dimon, a former board member for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and since 2005 Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, the US’ largest bank. Born 13 March 1956 (no time available), Jamie Dimon’s natal asteroid Banks at 7 Sagittarius conjoins Saturn, representing his status as CEO, and trines asteroid Morgan, the company he heads, at 13 Aries. Banks is also squared Mercury at 3 Pisces, and Dimon is often a spokesperson (Mercury) for his industry, with the press and in congressional appearances.
As I did the Banks research, I kept thinking about the movie “Father of the Bride” with Banks as the family surname. In the original 1950 film, Spencer Tracy plays the patriarch, named Stanley Banks; in the 1991 update with Steve Martin, the name has been changed to George Banks. Amazingly, both actors display the same pattern in their birth charts involving this character.
Born 5 April 1900 at 1:57 AM CST in Milwaukee, WI (Rodden Rating C), Spencer Tracy’s natal Sun at 15 Aries squares asteroid Banks at 18 Capricorn, and is sextile asteroid Stanley at 7 Aquarius. The Sun is also sextile asteroid Actor at 10 Aquarius, with asteroid Spencer at 5 Aquarius, yoking itself to Actor with Stanley and identifying Tracy’s profession while doubling down on his personal connection to the character. Completing his identification with the role is natal asteroid Tracie (homophone for Tracy) at 20 Sagittarius, semisquared asteroid Stanley.
Born 14 August 1945 at 5:54 AM CWT in Waco, TX (Rodden Rating AA), Steve Martin’s natal Sun at 21 Leo is inconjunct asteroid Banks at 25 Pisces and sesquiquadrate asteroid George at 6 Aries. Thus both men playing the same role have their Suns linked to both names of their characters. The Sun is also squared asteroid Actor at 14 Scorpio, establishing Martin’s choice of career, as with Spencer Tracy. And like him, Martin additionally portrays a special affinity with the character, in the form of asteroids Martina (feminine form of Martin) at 22 Gemini and Stephania (for Steve, full name Stephen) at 27 Virgo, T-Squared Banks.
Finally, consider asteroid Champion (#8732). Although this point can be applied to any victor or title holder, particularly in sports, in my mind at least, it’s most identified with Heavyweight Boxing. And on that score, who could be in the forefront but Muhammad Ali, self-styled “greatest of all time”?
Born as Cassius Clay on 17 January 1942 at 6:35 PM CST in Louisville, KY (Rodden Rating AA), Muhammad Ali sports a natal asteroid Champion at 28 Leo, conjunct asteroid Clay at 23 Leo, and broadly conjoined the 19 Leo Ascendant, also inconjunct the Sun at 27 Capricorn and squared a Saturn/Uranus conjunction at 21 and 26 Taurus. Although Ali held the title on three occasions, he did so for just 7 years total, making him less than the greatest, despite his rhetoric.
Essentially tying his record were two other prize fighters, Jack Dempsey in the ‘20s and Larry Holmes in the ‘90s. Born 24 June 1895 (no time available) Jack Dempsey’s natal asteroid Champion at 10 Pisces trines the Sun at 2 Cancer and is inconjunct Mars, ruling boxing, sport and competition, at 8 Leo. Larry Homes was born 3 November 1949 (no time available), with natal asteroid Champion at 7 Scorpio conjunct the Sun at 10 Scorpio, sextile Mars at 4 Virgo, and trine a combo of asteroids Larry and Holmes at 10 and 5 Pisces, with Larry at station.
Eclipsing these three was Joe Louis, known as the “Brown Bomber”, who held the title for 11+ years, from 1937-1949. Born 13 May 1914 at 8:00 AM CST in Lafayette, AL (Rodden Rating A), natal asteroid Champion at 1 Taurus exactly conjoined asteroid Louise (feminine form of Louis) and was inconjunct asteroid Lewis (homophone of Louis) at 2 Sagittarius, providing that personal connection to the championship. Asteroid Brown (for his nickname of “Brown Bomber”) at 13 Virgo is stationary, trine the Sun and Mercury at 21 and 17 Taurus.
But the boxer who has held the title the longest to date is Ukraine’s Wladimir Klitschko, with 12 years on top of the heap, beginning early in the new millennium. Klitschko holds the record for the longest cumulative heavyweight title reign of all time, with 4,382 days as world heavyweight champion; he defeated 23 opponents to retain his title, more than any other heavyweight in history. Born 25 March 1976 (no time available), natal asteroid Champion at 0 Gemini is sextile the 5 Aries Sun and opposes asteroid Klitschko at 7 Sagittarius, a point named for himself and his brother, also a professional boxer.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of asteroid mysteries as much as I have – it’s so fascinating to see how asteroids can fill in even the most trivial details, yet also express major themes or events in the life. Maybe I won’t wait four years for the next Leap Day to update it!