Irene & Bob, Part 5

This is the fifth and final part in a series discussing the life and charts of Bob and his widow, Irene McGoldrick, MSW. Irene is the author of Two Chai Day: One Widow's Story about Living beyond Grief, published 2010 by iUniverse, Inc.


Irene’s chart (below) expresses a lot of activity and emotion, and it is full of challenges.  There are major planetary debilities, oppositions and squares, and difficult fixed stars at play.  Yet Irene seems to manage all this very well. 

Any planet with essential dignity is a potential resource, and Irene has two--Venus and Mars--that are in triplicity, well placed, and in positive mutual reception by exaltation.  One of Irene's strengths is self-expression, and here the Moon plays a key role.  It is in voiced Gemini, strong at the IC, and ruling her fifth house of creativity. How fitting that she has written a book detailing her emotional experiences!


The birth of Irene's book was the culmination of several years’ devotion.  Her progressions for 2010 show that Fortuna (super Moon, ‘me’), at 11 Pisces, will conjunct her natal Mars (LoG).  The book--Irene's 'baby'--is about to arrive!  Progressed Moon at 14 Capricorn will cross natal Venus, a similar testimony.


The progressed Moon will square progressed Mars, a square Irene is well familiar with because it is also in the radix. This is not an easy aspect, but Irene has demonstrated that she can turn it to positive ends. The square seems to symbolize the emotional and personal struggles Irene has endured.  She has channeled these into a fine book that aims to help others process their own grief experiences.  Irene’s decision to make hospice and grief work her career is a beautiful expression of her natal Mars/LoG.


Irene’s Solar Return for 2010 (29 Gemini Asc; second chart below) shows Jupiter, SR Lord 10, strongly placed at the top of the chart. Around the time of the book's publication and throughout the next year, Irene received some media attention.  She appeared a few times on local network television, and the major newspaper printed an article about her.  She and Mike were popular presenters at Camp Widow, a national event of the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation, which they now attend every year. 


Uranus (as fixed star) is closely conjunct Irene's natal Mars.  Perhaps this signifies the breakthrough nature of the book's publication for Irene: a dream come true.  SR Neptune is bodily conjunct Irene's natal arc Spirit ('super Sun', 25 Aquarius), as if reminding us that a deeply painful experience underlies this achievement.


Irene received the news of the book's publication on September 20, 2010 at 1:40 p.m.  It's easy to ascribe too much importance to transits, but there are a few items worth mentioning here.  In the transit chart (19 Sagittarius Asc, third chart below) Jupiter is Lord Asc, essentially dignified and accidentally strong at the IC. Uranus shows up again, conjunct transiting Jupiter.  At the location of the publishing house (Bloomington, IN), transiting Sun is closely conjunct the MC. Mars, Irene's LoG, is conjunct antiscion Neptune with its theme of emotional depth and intensity.


That these planets are strong in the transit/event chart simply confirms the book's importance in the arc of Irene's life. I wouldn't analyze the chart any further by itself, as the book does not have a life separate from its author.  One's creations are best understood within the context of the natal chart as it unfolds over time.


Here is a brief description of Irene's book, from the back cover:


Two Chai Day is a compelling true story about embracing love and loss, realizing there can be laughter in the midst of sadness, and learning to appreciate the ambiguity of life.


You can also enjoy Irene's writing on her blog,, where she shares excerpts from the book and many humorous and touching anecdotes from her life with Mike and their blended family of seven.


To all those suffering from the loss of a loved one, may you find much comfort and love in your journey through, and beyond, grief.


PHOTO CREDIT: From Irene’s personal collection.  The ‘McHoganSteins,’ from left: Henry, Mike, Irene, Natalie, Arthur, Aubrey, and Sam.


First published Oct 8, 2012 on