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WHY GARY LOVES CHARLOTTESVILLE

by Gary Brand - written October 17, 2006,
published in the November 2006 edition of Echo* newspaper
Although I have been writing a series about the metaphysical meanings of the signs, my editor asked me to write my article about the theme of this month’s edition of Echo* – why I live in central Virginia and what brought me here.  Therefore, I am deferring the topic of Metaphysical Scorpio until next year.

My wife and I were not attracted to politically conservative, central Virginia but we were drawn to Charlottesville, a wonderful city of liberal, open-minded, progressive people.  I wanted to move here in large measure because of the very favorable comparison between my birth chart and that of Charlottesville.  Because Virginian cities are totally autonomous of their surrounding county and are politically equivalent to counties, I consider Charlottesville’s incorporation as a city on March 2, 1888 as its “birth” and look at the city’s “personality” using that chart (the city celebrated its 100th birthday in 1988).  The time of day that incorporation acts were passed by the legislature are unknown so an arbitrary time of noon is used to calculate the planetary positions and there are no houses (because the time of day is unknown).

In 1997, my wife and I took a long road trip through the Southeast visiting 10 mostly small cities where we thought we might want to live.  One of my specialties is a type of locational astrology in which I compare the chart of a client to those of cities that are potential relocation candidates (such comparisons are called synastry – same root as synergy).  Of course I gathered the “birth” dates and calculated charts of the cities we wanted to visit and collected/compared as much census and other data as I could about them before we left.  I purposefully didn’t look at the synastry between these city charts and ours until after visiting each one so that our experiences there would not be biased by any interpretation I made beforehand.  It was amazing how accurately the synastry fit our feelings about each city and what happened to each of us during our visit there.  Charlottesville was last on our list but we were so enamored that we didn’t want to leave.  The irony is that, before our trip, a Charlottesville librarian had given me the wrong date for the city’s incorporation!  During our visit, I learned Charlottesville’s actual incorporation date from a Chamber of Commerce brochure but I didn’t calculate the chart and look at our synastry with the city until we returned to Florida.

In the synastry of the city’s chart with mine, the Sun and Mercury in my chart are conjunct the city’s Sun and Mercury in Pisces, which means that I identify with it, particularly the downtown, although I am peeved by the lack of free or inexpensive parking there.  No surprise – the city’s Mercury, which symbolizes parking availability and street layout, is extremely debilitated (in its fall and detriment in Pisces, combust and retrograde).  Despite these shortcomings, with Sun and Mercury in Pisces, the city is idealistic and attracts an eclectic mix of people and ideas (one of my traits too).  The Virginia Film Festival, the Virginia Festival of the Book, and publications like Echo are positive manifestations of the city’s Mercury (books/newspapers) in Pisces (fiction/films).  The city's Sun in Pisces also indicates a great diversity of churches and spiritual groups.  We found all of the religions and denominations we were looking for here:  Buddhist, Unity, Unitarian, Christian Science, Seventh Day Adventist, and Quaker.

The Moon in the city’s chart is also conjunct my Moon in Scorpio, so I find many kindred souls here who feel just as strongly as I do about matters of great importance, who are investigators like me, but who tend to take themselves too seriously (also like me).  A Moon in Scorpio city attracts people who are fascinated by root causes, psychology, the mysteries of life, human nature, and underlying motivations (like me), and restaurants where they can have memorable meals.  It also indicates a deep, intense desire (Scorpio) to protect the local environment (like me), the integrity of neighborhoods, and the historic district.  Because the city’s (and my) Moon trines the Sun in Pisces, people here are generally kind and caring toward each other, toward me, and I toward them.

Venus in the city’s chart is conjunct my Venus in Aquarius, so it is as liberal-minded (Aquarius) as I am about relationships.  Interracial couples walk the streets without fear and there is a general encouragement (Venus) of diversity and self-expression (Aquarius) like the Community Chalkboard (a.k.a. the First Amendment Monument).  The city’s fairness, friendliness, and open-mindedness are traits of Venus in Aquarius (my traits too) and this, along with Sun and Mercury in Pisces (peace), are emblematic of the passage, in February 2003, of a resolution by the city council opposing Bush's war against Iraq.  If we didn’t have a conflict each year, we would attend the Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival, an example of a progressive (Aquarius) festival (Venus) here.  The South Node of the Moon in the city’s chart is also conjunct my Venus so I have lived here in another lifetime or loved someone from here.  This also explains why I have so many friends (at least 12) who have moved here from Tallahassee, Florida where I formerly lived!

Saturn in the city’s chart is conjunct my Saturn in Leo, so I encounter others here who have been through hard times and trials like I have, especially those that challenge my ego (Leo).  Hearing their stories of how they survived and grew stronger through perseverance (Saturn) has afforded me the strength (Leo) to go on in the face of discouragement (Saturn).  This has also been a place where my career (Saturn) has undergone changes that I was resisting (Saturn) but needed to make (like creating a Website and restructuring my fees).

The city’s Jupiter in Sagittarius is conjunct the Midheaven in my chart, which means that my career has benefited from being here and I have been offered positions in the national astrological organization to which I belong that I wasn’t offered the many years I lived in Florida.  Living here has also afforded me the opportunity to present my professional specialties to my peers at meetings of several local chapters of this organization.

There are even more aspects in the synastry between Charlottesville’s chart and mine that speak to my compatibility with the city (e.g. the city’s Uranus trine my Uranus, the city’s Venus trine my Neptune and the city’s Pluto sextile my Saturn) but I have run out of space to explain their meanings!  There are also some “hard” aspects from the city’s chart to mine but why focus on them?
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*Echo is a monthly newspaper about community, the environment, health, cuisine, and spirituality that is distributed in central Virginia.
Good Timing and Location are Keys to Success

Gary Brand, Traditional Astrologer
Tallahassee, Florida
850-656-5758


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