©5-12-2010 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
The Cosmic Piñata is a series featuring choice bits of information taken from the comment section, questions from my correspondence students, readers’ emails and letters to my astrology columns. We each aim to be special, in our own not-so-special ways. And one of the reasons we love astrology is that the chart based on our time, date, and place is ours alone. It’s our cosmic DNA that distinguishes us from all others. I frequently get questions from readers who are excited by things they find in their charts, hoping to hear how rare and special they are. Here are some of them, along with my answers. is that the chart based on our time, date, and place is ours alone. It’s our cosmic DNA that distinguishes us from all others. I frequently get questions from readers who are excited by things they find in their charts, hoping to hear how rare and special they are. Here are some of them.
An excited reader writes: “I am seeking a specific answer to how often historically a specific planetary anomaly has EVER occurred. How often does a chart have no fire at all??? In my chart, there are 6 instances of water, 4 instances of air, and 2 of earth. NO FIRE AT ALL ANYWHERE!!! I want to know if this is not common but not unheard of and more interesting as a strange thing but not significant beyond causing me to be an astrological mutant.”
My reply: Nobody keeps statistics on that kind of question, but based on over 40 years experience in working with charts, it isn’t exactly rare to be missing an element. It’s significant enough in the chart interpretation, but not triple exclamation point significant and does not qualify you as a mutant.
What is exceedingly rare is to have two elements missing—my father had no fire and no earth, only water and air, and I’m quite convinced he was a mutant.
Missing elements are common in eras when none of the outer planets are in signs related to that element. For instance, there were multitudes of people born during the Baby Boom of the 1940s with no planets in earth because there were no outer planets in earth at that time.
People born in parts of the 1960s or the 1980s-90s had outer planets concentrated in earth and water, so many of them have fire as a missing element.
Often the person with a missing or very weak element will overcompensate by consciously—but never totally naturally—making themselves fulfill the missing function. A person with no earth would then have to work hard to deal with practical, material concerns in a grounded way. Not impossible, but not easy either.
Also, if a planet that rules a sign in that element is really strong, like conjunct the Sun, Moon, or Ascendant, it compensates. For instance, Mars is a fiery planet, so having a strong Mars would compensate. Or a person who has “no water” gets all concerned, but a closer examination of the chart shows Pluto conjunct the Ascendant and Neptune conjunct the Moon, so the person would still be highly emotional.
An Aquarian born in the 1940s asks to understand more about the 7 retrograde planets in his chart:
7 retrogrades? Here’s the thing about retrogrades—other than, say, Mercury, they last a long time and happen during certain intervals of the year, if you watch them in the ephemeris.
During the 1940s, the slower moving planets were concentrated in the section of the zodiac from Gemini-Virgo, so people born on your side of the zodiac had tons of them.
Probably every single Aquarius (and maybe all Pisces too) born on the planet the same year as you had pretty much the same number of retrogrades as you.
It’s then a social phenomenon about your particular generation—having to do with world conditions that impacted many of you strongly, with life-long results–rather than confined to you and you alone. What’s the worst thing you can say to an Aquarian? “You Aquarians are all alike.”
A hopeful reader reveals, “My boyfriend and I have a quintile in our chart comparison. Does it mean we’re soul mates?”
A quintile is a 72 degree aspect, within about 2-3 degree range. In the natal chart, it describes your personal “genius” or talent. I don’t honestly think it means much in chart comparison. To me, the conjunctions are the real “juice” of a relationship.
A reader with Pluto conjunct the Ascendant noted that complete strangers encountered casually often tell her the most personal secrets.
I responded: I’d never thought of it, but I have Pluto on the Ascendant also well and have exactly the same experience. One of the reasons I was forever hiding in my room when I spoke at conferences was exactly that.
Complete strangers would drag me off in a corner at cocktail parties or accost me in the hallways and dump the most horrifying tales. I learned not to talk to seatmates on planes, for they would wind up telling me every horror story in their family all the way across the country.
That placement is an asset in the consultation room, but fairly wearing in everyday life. I’ve learned not to reveal to casual strangers what I do for a living.
A reader asks plaintively, “What I don’t understand is how come nothing ever happens to me. I just had transiting Pluto conjunct natal Venus – and nothing happened. I’m also having transiting Saturn conjunct the MC. The 1st time nothing happened, and the 2nd time I got a job interview to a lousy job that I didn’t even want. And this is supposed to be pinnacle of my career!! These are supposed to be strong transits, right? Why does nothing ever happen to me? “
My answer: A lot of times nothing DOES happen externally on the first crossing of a transiting planet over a natal position. Instead, a process begins internally that more and more impels the person to make a change on the 2nd or 3rd crossing.
In the case of a Midheaven transit, many times, a job or business possibility will present itself, but then as the transiting planet moves away from the natal, it falls through. Then on the 2nd or 3rd crossing, a similar opportunity presents itself and the change occurs.
With transiting Saturn, especially, the opportunity may fall through, but the interview process alerts you that it’s time to put your best foot forward and get prepared for the better job you could be eligible for if you pushed yourself harder. It kick starts the internal preparedness that can take you to the next level.
A practicing psychic and former astrology student complained: “Astrology doesn’t work. For me, at least. In February of 1991, astrologer told me I would meet someone. I didn’t. Since I separated from my ex-husband on April 25, 1983, I have continuously heard the prediction, “in two years,” now for over 10 years.
Not that I’m sitting around waiting, but I no longer believe transits, progressions, or horaries mean anything at all. So, I don’t want to hear it again. I’ve heard the last of relationships, marriage, moves, job changes, etc, based on the stars. Now, at 42, I’d like to know why astrology has failed so miserably.” (She gives her birth information, withheld here.)
My reply: Once in a great while someone like you comes to me for a consultation. Fifteen minutes into the session, not one thing I say has clicked. First, I double check the birth information, to see if I’ve made an error. If not, I suspect that one of several things is going on:
- I’m being set up (hey, I DO have Pluto Rising!),
- the person was switched at birth with a baby born a couple of days earlier or later,
- the person was adopted and doesn’t know it, so the birth record is false,
- the person is so dense as to be impermeable to the cosmic influences, or
- the person is so evolved as to be impermeable to the cosmic influences.
Sometimes, too, it’s a matter of lousy contacts between the client’s chart and my own, so that we just cannot attune to one another. Whatever the reason, I at least have the class not to charge for the reading.
Your case is somewhat different, in that you’ve seen enough in astrology to have followed and studied it for a number of years. Apparently it’s only the predictive part of astrology has failed you, perhaps due to that same very close but hazy Neptune/Midheaven conjunction that makes you a psychic in the first place.
Perhaps the inability to get accurate predictions for yourself has been the bait the Cosmos used to make you delve deeply into these studies–just as many practitioners in the alternative health fields are driven to study the physical body due to some persistent health condition that traditional medicine can’t solve.
Related posts: About predictions of romance that don’t come true: Chart Clues to Marriage—Will You or Won’t You? See my father’s weird chart–all air and water here: How to Survive a Pisces Dad—and I how I Survived Mine.
Readers, are there any oddities in your chart? Or is there something that makes you feel special? Share it in the comment section! And read more strange stories contributed by Skywriter readers.
Other Editions of the Cosmic Piñata Column:
- The Cosmic Piñata, Part 1 — Saturn Transits and Insights into the Houses
- The Cosmic Piñata #2: Treats from other Astrology Blogs
- Cosmic Piñata #3: A Plutonian Potpourri
- Cosmic Piñata #5—Mercurial Morsels
Art Credits: Like most posts on this site, the art came from Clipart.com. The little fellow shown here is my personal mascot, Question Mark Man. I identify with him a lot!