Irene & Bob.... & Mike! Part 4

In part four of this series we take a look at Irene's charts, with her permission.  Irene McGoldrick, MSW is the author of Two Chai Day: One Widow's Story about Living beyond Grief, published in 2010 by iUniverse, Inc.


Irene’s grief in the loss of Bob was intense, yet she knew she didn’t want to stay in that terrible place forever.  With great courage, Irene consciously opened herself up to whatever life might bring her next…. which turned out to be a second wonderful husband!  Irene married Mike in September 2006, two and a half years after the Two Chai Day.

Irene's natal chart is the first in the gallery below (Feb 9, 1968, 8:28 a.m. EST Utica, NY, 43N06, 75W14; 21 Pisces Asc).


Her dominant temperament is phlegmatic, the water element.  The primary motivation for phlegmatics is 'to feel.'  Lord Ascendant and Lord 7--'self' and 'other'--are in mutual reception and opposing, showing us that engagement with a partner is closely tied in with Irene's identity.  Venus, natural ruler of romance and relationships, is strong in its own triplicity and well placed on the 11th house cusp.  Venus exalts Mars, Irene's Lord of the Geniture (LoG), and Mars returns the exaltation with dignity from the first house.  


This is not a woman who will spend her life alone.  Nor will she have any trouble expressing herself: Irene's Moon is in voiced Gemini and strongly placed on the IC, at the core of her being.  Irene's book is a beautiful demonstration of her inborn capacity for articulation of feelings.


First, let's mention a few highlights from progressions at the time of Irene's marriage to Bob.  (You'll recall that I'm not including the progressed charts here because it is too easy to make the mistake of reading them as stand-alone charts rather than as points.)


Irene's chart progressed to August 1996 (month of her marriage to Bob) shows progressed Venus, natural ruler of womanhood and relationships, exactly conjunct progressed Mercury, natal Lord 7.  Progressed Spirit (Super-Sun, "me") at 21.44 Capricorn is closely conjunct progressed MC, placing it in a major spotlight.  Progressed Fortuna is conjunct progressed Lord Asc, Jupiter, on Regulus ('greatness of soul'), showing her thinking self and her heart united; we could also see Jupiter here as natural significator of good fortune.


At the time of Bob’s death, Irene’s progressed Moon, on the nodal axis, was applying to oppose progressed Mars. This is a difficult aspect, showing Mars and the Moon in open battle.  By the time of her marriage to Mike, however, progressed Moon is applying to trine progressed Sun, signifying readiness for another male/female partnership.  The progressed Moon will leave its fall in 2006: things are looking up for Irene.


Irene's Solar Return for 2004, falling about a month before Bob's death, gives powerful testimonies of her heartbreak (3 Sagittarius Asc; second chart below):


  • The Moon, SR Lord 8, is close to the MC, drawing our attention to the topic of death.  
  • Sitting right on the 8th cusp is Saturn at 6.58 Cancer Rx, tightly conjunct Irene's natal Moon by antiscion (6.44 Cancer).  
  • Venus has just plunged out of exaltation into its detriment. 


The Solar Return for 2006 (8 Cancer Asc; third chart below) shows evidence of Irene's improved situation:


  • Solar Return Lord Asc is the Moon, newly strong in its own sign.  
  • Venus has returned to its natal position, signaling a time for ‘Venus stuff’ in Irene's life to manifest.
  • SR Jupiter, here as a natural benefic, is conjunct natal Spirit ("me," 18.20 Scorpio).


Mike is amazing in how well he handles being married to a woman with a 'sainted dead husband' (as Irene calls Bob).  Pictures of Bob and other reminders of him are prominent in their home.  Yet Mike has been Irene's greatest supporter in the development of her career as a writer and grief consultant.  He is truly secure in their love.  Perhaps Mike's natal Jupiter in Pisces, strong in its own sign, ruler of his 5th house and exalting Venus, gives us a clue as to how he is able to manage this.


It's hard to express just how uplifting and faith-renewing it was to witness Irene blossom again as her relationship with Mike developed.  Their wedding was, for many of us, an affirmation of the triumph of joy over sadness and of the basic goodness of life.


In the next and final post of the series, we’ll look at Irene’s charts relative to the writing and publishing of her book.


Two Chai Day is available online.  I highly recommend it!


The book is a compelling story that will take you to those deep places inside, like a really good novel does.


PHOTO CREDIT: From Irene’s collection.  Mike and Irene on their wedding day in 2006.


First published Oct 3, 2012 on