My New Home on the Web

By Ellen Zucker | December 19, 2015 is my new home on the web. I’ve cleaned it up and given it a new and very much needed update and overhaul.

Practical Astrologie has a much cleaner, brighter look and it reflects updates in my evolution as an astrologer.

I hope you like it. I’d like to hear your feedback.

It‘s the place to go to catch up on what I am thinking and doing. And as always you can always connect with me via Facebook and Twitter or best, enter your email in the box to the right to subscribe to Celestial Currents where you will receive my free report on 9 Ways to Make Mercury Retrograde Your Friend.

I hope to see you there.
Ellen Zucker

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You Can’t Always Get What You Want

By Ellen Zucker | November 26, 2015

There is much truth in the Rolling Stones lyric which is followed by “But if you try sometime, you just might find
You get what you need.”

Yes, I’m talking about our friends, Saturn and Neptune, dancing a dance, or,  more accurately having a family tiff.

While in the US, we take a break to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, Saturn has been the mover and shaker of the skies these days. Yesterday’s full moon at 3 degrees Gemini/Sagittarius was tied to Saturn. And today Saturn and Neptune stand in a perfect 90 degree alignment with one another. That 90 degree alignment, a square, is an alignment of friction with the energies of the two planets at odds with each other.

Of course it is difficult for Saturn, planet of reality checks, delays, limits, to play easily with Neptune, planet of dreams, the imagination and magic. Saturn wants to make all it touches to be concrete whereas Neptune wants to dissolve and soften reality’s hard edges.

The square is a theme that began playing out this fall and will continue through the end of 2016. Many astrologers have commented on the Syrian refugee crisis as one manifestation on the world stage as their sheer numbers overwhelm Europe’s borders.

Another example is Pennsylvania Governor Wolf’s prolonged negotiation with a recalcitrant state legislature to craft a budget. The budget, overdue since June 30th, has still not yet been finalized. The reported outlines of the proposed deal show that both sides have had to make deep compromises.

If these configurations touch your chart directly, you may find that the steps to implement goals that seemed attainable may be ensnared in an unmanageable mass of detail, or you may face an obstacle causing you to compromise or scale back temporarily.

Take it one-step-at-a-time, trust in the your big picture and listen to the guidance of your intuition.

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Be All You Can Be

By Ellen Zucker | July 9, 2015

How do you go about being all you can be?

Self actualization, realizing your potential, is the Holy Grail for many of us who want our lives to have meaning and count for something.

There are many paths to that end. Two are astrology and Spiritualism.

While both are very different–Spiritualism is a serious religion while Astrology does not ask you to “believe” in it or even accept it to use its powerful techniques, both provide tools and encourage you understand to yourself on a deeper level and live a better life.

And, much to the chagrin of scientific materialists, both do that by connecting you to a larger, living universe. That you are a unique individual with much to develop and contribute, but you are also part of a larger whole. And by working to actualize yourself, you help the Universe to evolve.



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Love in the Stars: Sun Sign Compatibility

By Ellen Zucker | February 8, 2015

So, you just met Prince (or Princess) Charming and you wonder… I’m a Pisces, can I possibly be compatible with Gemini?

The question makes sense. After all, if your experience is like mine, your introduction to astrology is through newspaper sun sign columns. And for many of you reading this post, those sun sign columns defines much of what you know of astrology.

Ah, if only it were so simple.

Alas, we are much more complex than our sun sign descriptions. After all as human beings, we are multi-dimensional creatures. And bringing two people together with their quirks and contradictions…

Astrologer Rob Hand argues that not only do you have to assess the compatibility between two birth charts, but there are other factors to consider. Such as:

Are both partners open and ready? Anyone who has dated more than ten minutes has run into someone who initially says and does the right things but you later discover is emotionally unavailable. Or maybe it’s you who discovers that you really didn’t want to be tied down…

Do you have what the other person needs (and vice versa)? You can write a doctoral thesis on this one. Look for a resonance between chart patterns such as Sun/Mars, Moon/Mars, etc.

Are the charts sympatico? Synastry, a technique where the elements of the two charts are analyzed for compatibility is used here. Where does your partner’s planets and sensitive points fall in your chart (and vice versa?). Your partner’s Sun conjoins your Moon, beautiful. But your Pluto on their Sun, not so much.

And then, there is the relationship chart. Different astrologers have their favorites. The composite is a popular technique. This is a chart created by blending the birth charts of each partner (the midpoint of the two moons becomes the moon position for the composite chart’s moon, for example).

This chart is a chart of the relationship. That chart can be read on its own but also analyzed in tandem with each of the partner’s charts.

So, where does sun sign compatibility fit in? It’s a small part of the synastry analysis. So, in this example, you might note that Pisces and Gemini, both mutable signs, are in incompatible elements (water vs. air). Pisces is sensitive and operates in the realm of feeling, whereas Gemini operates in the realm of thinking and communicating. There’s an element of tension as Gemini is generally very chatty and social while Pisces needs its quiet and solitude from time-to-time.

But if the Gemini partner has its Moon in Pisces, it too will share some of Pisces’s Sun’s needs. And so, the sun sign incompatibility is mitigated.

As you see, the analysis of relationship potential for any two people is as complex and tangled as the actual relationships that the charts represent.

Such is the beauty and frustration of being human.

Topics: Astrology of relationships, composite, synastry | No Comments »

The Grand Cardinal Cross Redux

By Ellen Zucker | April 21, 2014

Here we are in the thick of things.

As I write, the Grand Cross is reaching its point of maximum intensity.

Despite some terrible tragedies such as the Korean ferry sinking, I’m pleased to report that despite the hysteria that seemed to permeate the astrological community for a time, Armageddon hasn’t arrived.

I can make some observations at this early juncture. I observe that many people born in the mid-sixties, who have the Uranus/Pluto conjunction, seem to be energized. They are making real inroads in long-standing problems.

This makes sense because Pluto in Capricorn trines the conjunction. In my mind’s eye I picture the force of the cardinal cross to be like a spinning engine while the trine gives the energy an outlet unleashing the creativity of many in that generation.

We can look to that generation to teach the rest of us make use of the energy. The conjunction took place in Virgo. Many of these people are excellent healers and their healing gifts can be put to good use.

Oftentimes when a powerful planetary pattern takes place, some of the energy lies latent until a later development triggers it. For example, Mars, which is part of the configuration, is retrograde. On May 20th, it will turn direct at 9 Libra. Mars is the planet of action. The direct station is liable to unleash Mars energy and act as a trigger. Look to events that occurred when Uranus/Pluto last squared exactly last fall at 9 degrees Aries/Capricorn. Look to what was going on in your life then, because this station will reactivate those issues.

From June 15-18th Mars will cross over 13 Libra, the spot it’s at now, reactivating the cardinal cross energy.

13 degrees of cardinal will remain ‘hot’ degrees for some time to come. Transits, lunations, eclipses, on or near that point are liable to act as triggers.

Developments coming up in the headlines now are tied into the cardinal cross energy.  A few that come to mind are the continuing tensions in the Ukraine. the recent report about global warming, and a video showing a large Al Qaeda gathering in Yemen.

So what developments are going on in your life?

Keep me posted.

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Whitewater Rafting and the Astrology of April 2014

By Ellen Zucker | March 30, 2014

If you like whitewater rafting then April 2014 is your month.

The skies will churn all month. April will be an amazing, exciting, and for some, challenging time.

If you have planets or sensitive points at 12-14 cardinal (Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn), this month will be life changing. If not, you’ll only be peripherally affected, but you’ll have a ringside seat to see how these energies affect others. Nonetheless, the headlines will be more than interesting, because, in part, the chart of the United States (yes, countries and other entities have birth charts), is right in the bulls eye.

More important, the intensity and power of April’s configuration is exactly what the doctor ordered if your goal is to break through a difficult blockage or get to the bottom of an intractable issue. If your chart is directly affected, the Universe is liable to serve up such an issue, probably with past, longstanding roots in case you’re not inclined to find one yourself.

The April skies will leave an indelible mark which will shape the remainder of 2014 and beyond.

More to come.

Topics: 2014, astrology | 1 Comment »

Mars Retrograde

By Ellen Zucker | March 6, 2014

2014 brought with it an unbroken string of personal planet retrogrades extending throughout the first half of the year. Retrogrades denote energy moving inward rather than outward. Back burner issues, people from the past magically show up in our lives.

Mars will be retrograde from March 1 through May 19th.

Here your task is to revisit the way you assert yourself, how and what you desire. Mars is the planet of war and passion. Thwarted desire results in anger. So Mars is also concerned about how you and others handle anger.

An issue from the past, still festering, will provide the vehicle. Because of this retrograde, Mars is hanging around Libra until late July. Dealings with others on a one-to-one basis is highlighted here. Libra’s normal predisposition to second-guessing and difficulty making a decision are heightened.

Look for hesitation and overreaction, two sides of the same coin, both common manifestations of Mars retrograde.

Under Mars retro, some people experience a drop in energy or lack of enthusiasm. As a result, conventional astrological wisdom cautions against beginning a new business or new project as you may not have the usual passion to carry it through.

Pay attention to your reactions and what your body is telling you. Let go when necessary. And keep in mind that exercise is a wonderful outlet for
stress and frustration.

Topics: 2014, astrology, Mars, Retrograde | No Comments »

Martin Luther King and the Beat Goes On

By Ellen Zucker | January 20, 2014

Today we celebrate Martin Luther King Day where, for a day, schools, banks and government offices close, and amidst the sales, we acknowledge his accomplishments.

Some media is acknowledging that King was far more revolutionary than he is generally credited. Joan Walsh of Salon comments on his August 1967 speech in which he levels harsh criticism against the American economic system and its unequal distribution of wealth.

Today as many of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs such as Medicare, Food Stamps, etc, reach their 50th anniversary, the existence of poverty and an increasingly unbalanced distribution of wealth and power are once again creating headlines.

In 1967, Uranus and Pluto, the two harbingers of deep seated unrest and change were conjoined in Virgo. This conjunction was one of the planetary signatures that signalled the turbulence of that decade.

The square, or 90 degree aspect, brings to the surface and challenges that which was started at the conjunction. The rightwing pushback regarding women’s reproductive rights, the legitimization of LGBT people in US society, along with a widening economic divide between the ultra rich and poor and erosion of the middle class are just some of the Uranus/Pluto themes currently playing out that have roots back to the 60’s and prior.

The civil rights movement itself is closely tied to the Uranus/Pluto cycle. The 60’s were well known for the civil rights struggle of which Dr. King was a major figure. Now, 40 years later, he has been canonized and sanitized and the oval office is occupied by the first African American president. Meanwhile the Supreme Court’s overturning of the Voter Rights Act demonstrates that equal access to the voting booth is still not a done deal. These are themes being worked out as American society adjusts to and fights against deep-seated social and economic change.

In 2014, the Uranus/Pluto square is in a critical phase. We have been buffeted by their disruptive energy all during this decade, but 2014 will bring many turning points as the square touches the US chart directly.

Stay tuned.

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2014: What’s in the Stars?

By Ellen Zucker | August 8, 2013

2014 promises to be a year full of excitement and growth. It will be the culmination of many changes and long-term events and it offers the opportunity for you to kick-start your life and your goals.

One interesting focus will be your relationships and one-to-one partners, be they your significant other, friends, family or of the business variety. The opportunity will be there to refresh old connections as well as begin new ones.

I’ll be speaking more about 2014 during my interview by Lauren Darr of the International Association of Pet Fashion Professionals at 4:00 pm Eastern today , 8/8. Listen in here.

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A Mercury Retrograde Tale

By Ellen Zucker | June 30, 2013

Given that Mercury turned retrograde this past Wednesday, you may be feeling its effects.

We astrologers are not immune to its disruptions as the following anecdote illustrates.You may know since the mid-90’s, I have made myself available for party entertaining as a caricature artist as well as my Tarot and astrological services (check it out here if you are curious).

I received an urgent call from an artist colleague at 7pm this past Friday. She had been booked to draw caricatures for a company picnic this weekend. She had put the date down as today, Sunday June 30th, but had just learned that the event was actually taking place on Saturday, June 29th. Problem was she already had a confirmed booking scheduled for that time slot and she needed a replacement.

The event producer was adamant they told her the date was Saturday and she is equally adamant that they told her the date was Sunday. Unfortunately, she had no way to double check her calendar entry as the booking had not been followed up by written confirmation.

We caricature artists are a tight community and we help each other out when needed, so after making last minute changes to my own weekend commitments, I agreed to fill in.

The event was scheduled for noon to 4pm. I spoke to the event producer to confirm and nail down the details.

The next day I arrived promptly at 11:30pm, set up, and was ready and waiting at 12pm for the guests to arrive. The other vendors had also arrived and set up, including the caterer under a tent outside with lots of tasty picnic fare on the grill along with salads and condiments ready for hungry mouths.
12:00 came and went. No guests. 12:15, then 12:30 came and went. Still no guests.

Sometimes guests at large events are bussed in and depending on traffic conditions and other variables buses can run late. But I learned that the employees and their families were coming on their own.

12:45, then 1:00 pass. No guests.

As a party entertainer I am paid for my services by the hour. I had been contracted from 12pm, so the client was obligated to pay for me (as well as the other vendors), so the client was paying vendors good money for just hanging around.

At 1:15 I learn that the client’s organizer had the event scheduled from 2pm to 6pm, but the vendor contracts were written with the 12-4 times clearly spelled out. And sure enough, the guests began arriving at 2pm. After the potato salad had been sitting out for over two hours.

The moral of the story? Please, please, please double check your schedules and put your arrangements in writing. The read what you  wrote. This holds true anytime, but especially when Mercury is retrograde.

Have a Mercury Retrograde story? Please share!


Topics: Mercury Retrograde | 1 Comment »

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