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Strategic Astrology

Strategic Astrology
General Unfoldment
Annual Patterns
Geographic Astrology

Pocket Almanacs

Celestial Guide

Daily Planetary Guide




Recap of Previous Articles 

Here is a brief recap of some of the topics covered in previous articles:

  • This system of interpretation is personal and is based on four “ranges” of interpretation.
  • This model of the four “ranges” was derived directly from Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do (JKD); the four ranges in that system are (1) kicking and weapons range; (2) punching range (karate style; long distance punches); (3) trapping range (shorter distance punches and blocks as used in wing chun kung fu); and (4) grappling range.
  • In this system of astrology, the four analogous ranges are (1) “general unfolding” which is a list of periods that occur in virtually all human lives; (2) “personal unfolding” which deals with the placements of the outer planets in the birth chart and all transits to those outer planets; (3) the “annual cycle” which focuses on the aspects that the transiting sun regularly makes each year on about the same date; and (4) SUMO.

SUMO Defined

This article is about SUMO.  Just as grappling range is dramatically different from the other three ranges, SUMO is dramatically different from the other three ranges in Strategic Astrology.  In JKD, the first three ranges are characterized by some form of striking, such as kicking or punching.  But grappling range is characterized by entirely different techniques; those techniques primarily involve certain kinds of body shifting, locks, and pressure points.

Similarly, SUMO is totally different from regular astrology.  Here are some of the key techniques in SUMO:

  • Analysis of Daily Aspects.  This includes integration of the information from the other three ranges, lunar transits to the natal chart, and all transits occurring on that day.
  • Meta-analysis of available astrological forecasts
  • Consultation with non-astrological oracles.

Each of these topics within SUMO bear further explanation.  Before I do that, let me say one thing: as you practice these techniques, you can become very fast at them.  I accomplish everything described below in about 10 to 15 minutes a day.  This is not true because I am some kind of prodigy; this is true because I’ve been using these techniques since the late 1980’s.  (Practice may not make perfect, but it can make “fast”….)

Analysis of Daily Aspects

Analysis of Daily Aspects, in turn, includes integration of the information from the other three ranges, lunar transits to the natal chart, and all transits occurring on that day.  Integration of the information from the other three ranges can occur first or last, and is often unclear.  Although current outer planet aspects may be bringing profound change into your personal life (or wreaking havoc, whichever you prefer ;-) the date that an outer planet aspect (such as a solar return) becomes exact may be uneventful. 

Astrologers have noticed this and discussed this, but no clear answer has presented itself.  Some argue that the answer is found in a “triggering” new moon or full moon that either immediately follows or squares (about three months) the exact aspect.  You’ll have to experiment (meaning track, as in tracking annual patterns discussed in the third article of this series) to find out what appears to work best.  Consider this area to be a “point of departure” from this article, meaning that further research may yield useful insights.

Lunar transits will require some kind of report.  The reports produced by various Astrology software products can do the job; consider acquiring such a tool.  Personally, my favorite two are Kepler and Psyplan.  The Psyplan ( format is especially useful for daily analysis and tracking patterns of events.  The predictions are generally on target and balanced.

As I mentioned, I’m also a fan of Kepler.  See, also,  These printouts are useful, and, again, the output is balanced.  A word, here, might be suitable by what I mean by “balance.”  Some astrology output has a bit of an apocalyptic view of life.  That is, EVERYTHING is negatively framed.  Squares are sources of turmoil, and trines represent laziness and missing of opportunities.  Perhaps the morose like such a product, but it does rob life of the joie de vivre. 

In fact, I’ve offered a few clients multiple printouts in the past.  After about the third set of “end of the world” predictions by a well known package, many clients tell me that they don’t want any more of those.  So, I’m left with just providing Kepler printouts and Psyplans.

A very good source of the general transits can be found at in the “Weekly Weather Report.”  Paper sources for general transits include the Daily Planetary Guide by Llewellyn ( and Jim Maynard’s guides, the Pocket Astrologer 2003 or Celestial Guide 2003. 

Meta-analysis of available astrological forecasts

Given that the world population is headed toward (has it passed?) six billion, how can some astrological pundit write a prediction for Leo, or Scorpio, or any other sign?  That is, how can one prediction fit a half a billion individuals.  The answer is simple: sometimes is doesn’t.  Hence the popular bashing of astrology by so many.  And, yet, after the comics the astrology column is the most read in the newspaper.  Astrology sites generate some of the highest traffic on the internet.  What gives?

These forecasts, obviously, provide general forecasts interpreted (we hope) by expert astrologers.  Often they contain wonderful, and useful, nuggets of insight.  So, how to ferret out the useful from the useless.  In this area, consider these approaches, test the guide for accuracy, test the guides for consistency against each other, and test the guides for utility.

Testing for accuracy

Unfortunately, no Better Business Bureau exists for oracles.  Such a thing could be bad, anyway, because crummy oracles who are great at power politics might use the organization to quash better oracles who aren’t as good at power politics.  Regardless, problems can arise.

Years ago, I followed a particular astrologer in a column in a newspaper in a small southern town.  I also tracked the aspects independently.  I knew that the Moon had conjoined Uranus on Tuesday about noon.  So, imagine my surprise to read predictions based on that event on Wednesday.  The printer had made an “error.”  I wrote an anonymous letter to the newspaper.

Imagine my surprise, then, when a few weeks later, they referenced a full moon on Thursday that had happened on Monday.  That is, on Thursday the predictions referenced “today’s full moon” and that had happened on Monday. 

The problems continued and increased.  In fact, the pattern was pervasive.  I realized, then, that this was more than an accident; this was an attempt to discredit astrology altogether!  I was amazed!  (After all, if astrology “doesn’t work” then why the need to sabotage it?)  But, the behavior continued.  (I’ve since seen other similar events.)  I realized, then, that this “oracle” could no longer be trusted.

The newspaper was a “middleman,” and someone in the chain had a vested interest in sabotage.  Who can say why?  I’ve seen both fundamentalists AND atheists see fit to attack astrology.  Regardless, cut out the middleman.  For this reason, I prefer web-based oracles.  But, ALWAYS, check your oracles for accuracy.  Better oracles will make at least a FEW references to the foundation of their predictions (full moons, new moons, eclipses, etc.).

Testing for consistency

Although oracles disagree, frequently, over time they will be generally very consistent.  Recognize, then, that some oracles are consistently at odds with the remainder.  This is neither good nor bad, but something to observe.  What can be bad is the oracle that seems to bear no connection to the rest. 

Assume, for a moment, that you check five to seven online sources daily for predictions.  (Bookmark them; open all of them at once, and, if in Windows, use <ALT><TAB> to rotate through and read them.)  Four may consistently agree with one always consistently disagreeing.  What to look for is the site that is “all over the map”; that is, may agree, may disagree, may be totally disconnected.  If you see this, suspect that the oracle is not valid.  This may be someone trying to cash in on the traffic on online astrology sites and making up “predictions” off of the “top of his head.”  From this perspective, astrology is “bogus” so who cares?  Eliminate such an “oracle.”

What about the site that is at odds?  Well, they probably just interpret the aspects in reverse.  For example, I’ve known of one astrologer that translates the TENTH house as “mother” and the fourth as “father,” exactly the reverse of most.  That’s okay; the real issue is consistency.

Testing for Utility

This last test, the test for utility, is the most important of the three tests used in astrological meta-analysis.  After all, even if the oracle is not “accurate” (re: aspects) and not “consistent,” if this oracle EXACTLY describes the events in your life with a satisfactory level of performance (say, 90% “on target”), then, who cares.  Realize, though, that this almost never happens. 

This ability of the prediction to correspond to what actually happens in your life is indicative of how useful the prediction is to you.  This quality of the prediction is the utility of the prediction.  (Utility = Useful)  Utility is the most important aspect of meta-analysis of astrological predictions.

Consider the hypothetical, above, of the four sites that consistently agrees and the fifth that consistently disagrees.  If that fifth site accurately predicts, for example, that your mother is going to have a good (or bad) day, and the remaining four inaccurately make the same predictions for your father, then which has better utility?  Obviously the fifth, the “contrarian” oracle.

Generally, you’ll probably want to track the sources that are (1) accurate; (2) consistent; and (3) offer the best utility.

Consultation with non-astrological oracles

This part of SUMO, consultation with non-astrological oracles, takes two forms: (1) you go to the oracle; (2) the oracle comes to you.  The first is relatively easy; the second a bit tricker.

You go to the oracle

This part of consultation with non-astrological oracles is the easier one.  For example, many morning, but not all, I will draw a single Rune as an oracle.  Often, this single rune will “pull together” astrological predictions that are “all over the map.” 

I’m, obviously, a Leo, and one day in October of 2002 none of my regular oracles agreed.  One or two told me to be quiet and to be careful of offending others.  One told me of a great opportunity that would require me to speak out.  Yet another said that this would be an “interesting” day.  What to do?  I pulled a rune.

The rune, that day, was the warrior Rune.  Using Blum’s book of interpretations, I read that I would have to be right with myself before I could take action, but that taking action would probably be a good idea.  The rune resolved the problems with the other oracles.

Frankly, this happens a lot.  Also, sometimes the rune will pick up something that the astrological oracles don’t.  About a week ago, the other oracles generally agreed, and told me about career advancement, travel, etc.  The rune, Inguz, by Blum’s interpretation told me to “finish what has been started.”  That single prediction was the most useful of the lot.  (Indeed, travel and career were issues, but the key was finishing a certain project.)

The oracle comes to you

This is trickier, sneakier, but maybe the most important of all.  In one form, it is the old story we’ve all heard.  You go home the same way, every day, after work.  One day, you get a “gut feeling” that you should wait, or maybe go home a different way.  You do, and that day the bridge you always cross collapses, killing everyone on it.  You live.

The story is dramatic, and rarely do such things happen.  But other things, more subtle things, do happen.

During several years of study with a Choctaw medicine man, I was given a “medicine shield.”  This was NOT a physical object, but, rather, an interpretation of animals that would always have certain meanings for me.  The most important (always) is the center animal.  As a hypothetical, pretend my center is a dolphin. This animal, then, can function as an oracle by coming to me at certain significant times.

In that case, whenever a dolphin appears, I should be on “alert.”  Appearance of the center is neither good nor bad, but often is somehow significant.  The center may be slightly disguised, such the time you see your center while flipping through a magazine at a physician’s office and seeing a picture of it.  Your center may be located on a logo of a truck passing in traffic.  You may overhear your center mentioned in a casual conversation nearby.

If the conversation happens to be about a dolphin trainer who won the lotto, good things might be coming your way, or to someone you know.  If the conversation is about dolphins being caught in fishing nets by tuna fishermen, then you may have just received a warning about danger from people who don’t care whether or not they hurt you.

Sometimes the oracle seems to have little meaning.  As you pack for a vacation, you see an image of dolphins “playing” on television.  Maybe this just means you’re going to enjoy your vacation.

These kinds of oracles, the kind that comes to you, are best if they are given to you by someone.  Realize that one given to you by a spouse, parent child, or a dream is going to be VERY different from one given to you by a neutral third party.

Another useful kind involves your 12th house.  Certain people tend to show up consistently when the moon is in your 12th house.  Depending on the setting, they may bring you dreams, insights, imprisonment, or hidden enemies.  If you see them show up at other times, be wary!


 I hope you have enjoyed this series of articles. 


Copyright © 2004 Grand Trines
Last modified: 08/18/05