Over Lebanon: An
Interview With Carmen Chammas
demand for futurecasters becomes ever greater during
times of danger and turmoil, and these days no place is more dangerous
tumultuous than the Middle East. It’s not surprising,
astrologers should be in great demand there, despite modern religious
cultural resistance to fortunetelling, in the very land where astrology
began several millennia ago. In the midst of war, both Baghdad and
popular radio and TV programs featuring astrologers talking about the
situation and giving readings to individual callers who are concerned
their lives and immediate futures in a strife-strewn daily environment.
fortunate enough to talk to Beirut’s favorite astrologer, Carmen
who has regular shows there on both radio and TV. She caught world
2005 when on February 14 she predicted a particularly bad day for
only four hours later Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri (whose Sun
Scorpio) and his entourage were blown up on the main thoroughfare in
Like her fellow countryman Michael Hayek, known for his too-specific
political predictions coming true, she has had to become especially
wary of how
she frames her forecasts, in light of the possible personal dangers
engender. As she told us over the phone, “It’s so
that it’s not wise
to mention anything particular about what goes on inside Lebanon. I do
about the situation in general, but only outside of Lebanon.”
spoke to her during
the last week of April,
and here’s what she had to say:
a well-known astrologer, author, radio and TV personality. Exactly
where are you seen and
heard in the Middle East?
host my own daily program on national Future TV, which is also
over the world. I have been on the TV screen since June 1999. My
program is a
great success and I have a wonderful audience. I have published eight
already, all about yearly personal horoscopes. I am the astrologer for Kamar
magazine, pan Arab magazine, sort
of like Vogue
also host my weekly interactive astrology
program on Radio Orient every Wednesday where I receive calls from all
the world for consultations. I also have my own private practice.
everything so far is
in Arabic, but I’d love to. [She
ought to, she speaks perfect English]
born in Beirut?
But I left Lebanon
in 1986, my husband and I went to
Columbia, South America. I lived there, had my daughter there, and got
astrology there, actually.
you come to astrology?
was through my husband, he’s a computer engineer and
manager. At that
time computers were popular but astrology programs were new. A friend
called him one night and asked could you please come over, I need your
with the computer. I got a phone call from him there saying come over
here, so I went and it turned out he was installing an astrology
his friend’s wife. He installed the program and the lady did
charts for him,
and my husband was so fascinated that he called me because he knew that
astrology and was waiting for an opportunity to get into it. And
that’s how I
started, with that lady. All a coincidence, if we call it that
but of course
we know it’s not…
in white) and friends enjoy good company at a recent dinner gathering
actually began your study of astrology with her?
started with her,
and she gave me a few books just
to start me off but then I had more chances to pursue it than she had
speak English but I did). I had many opportunities to go over to the
to Miami, and there I got into a library and I bought so many books and
them back to Columbia -- and that’s really how I started. I
joined the American
Federation of Astrologers, had to study on my own, and I soon surpassed
be your favorite authors, what school of astrology would you incline
he’s my ideal. All his books are my
references, especially Planets
Transit. I haven’t
found a better book on transits. My copy
is like in
shreds now. Whatever he writes I read. I also like Liz Green, and I
Howard Sasportas, because they are psychological astrology, but
I’m most into
predictive astrology. I love predictions, that is my obsession.
Valentine’s Day of 2005 you said it would be a particularly
difficult day for
Scorpios at just about the wrong time to say so, politically...when you
that, were you basing it just on the general sky pattern at the moment,
you have the prime minister in mind?
just the daily
horoscope, and that was
a really bad day for Scorpio.
Usually when I do horoscopes I specify advice like don’t be a
hero, stay home,
don’t go out, be careful. I usually warn people, like maybe
it’s the worst day
of the month, or one of them. It happened that day I said just that for
Scorpio, and it was.
don’t do predictions about individuals now, at least public
do predictions for personal consultations on the phone on the radio,
don’t talk about politics anymore. Just personal consultation.
the difficulties of being an astrologer in the Mideast?
Muslim religion and
also the Christian religion here
in Lebanon don’t approve of it. They say it’s
religion. Usually they
don’t like astrologers and don’t listen to them.
But when I
do astrology I
always do it using computers, numbers, calculation, so they just back
know, because they watch how I work and see I’m not inventing
things. I’m not a
seer, I’m not conjuring things, I just use numbers. So at
they back off
on me, they don’t get close to me. So far, I’m fine.
West a majority of astrologers are women, but in India there is
discrimination against them. Is there a problem with being,
specifically, a woman
astrologer in the Middle East?
before our interview, on BBC there was program on Lebanese pop music,
contrasting new young people’s sound with older, more
Om Kalsoum. Do you find astrology has a particularly following among
A lot, a lot, a lot.
Maybe it is that
in Lebanon the future is so dark and obscure that people have no idea
waiting for them. People really want to know, they are very anxious, we
day by day. Many young people prefer to travel away to find a proper
elsewhere in the Middle East, or in Europe, or in the West. They want
is it wise to invest, or what would tomorrow be? Will it be war, will
fine? So there is kind of a boom, because of the anxiety. Not because
of me or
what I am doing or anyone else is doing, but because of the situation.
lies at the feet of Beirut's scenic shorline, eternally beautiful
despite the perils of war.
you’re doing chart about the political situation, what charts
Lebanon, only for Lebanon. I work with
three charts for Lebanon, actually. I use the greater Lebanon that was
the independence, the independence chart, and the Taef chart [the 1989
agreement in Taef, Saudi Arabia]. I also go back to all the incidents
Lebanese history and the general planetary aspects for the year. For
wrote in 2006 there was the square between Jupiter and Saturn, and that
square happened in 1975, the year the Lebanese war started. So I wrote
should be careful of problems that might arise to bring conflict, and
many such things happened including the Israeli war on Lebanon last
use cumulative, repeating aspects across the years?
course. I also
have done that for this year, I
have written some predictions according to the planetary aspects for
next for this year?
only for this area, but globally, the important planetary secrets
opposition between Saturn and Neptune. It’s going to happen
June 25. It
happened on August 31 last year and again February 28 this year. If I
in history, it happened in 1989 coinciding with the fall of the Berlin
along with large-scale unemployment, gold and inflation problems. So
happen again through the end of June – maybe these things
perhaps the political walls will finally fall in Cyprus, where there
such trouble between North and South. The second important aspect is
between Jupiter and Uranus. This coincided in 1986 with the Chernobyl
also war with Israel, the Challenger explosion, the construction of the
nuclear plant in 1951. These things are still around – right
Iran might be
constructing a nuclear plant. It also coincided with many, many
in Argentina (Peron), the Phillippines, Iran, Idi Amin, the 1958 civil
Lebanon. It’s happening again this year so these are some of
should watch out for.
dinner?" Susan asked Carmen after the interview. "Felafel,
tabbouli, a trip to the mountains?"
third very important
factor, still a way off, is
Pluto and Jupiter coming together in December. If you go back, it
with the Khomeini revolution in Iran 1981, the bombardment by Israel of
plants in Iraq, the Chechen war, riots in the States in 1955 [Rosa
sit-ins, boycotts], the assassination of Martin Luther King and Robert
and associated riots in 1968. If we take all three factors together,
not an easy year globally. It doesn’t mean all these things
to happen –
it’s just that these are the patterns in the sky and
wise to look back and
learn their lesson. Perhaps we can learn not to let them happen again
predict is to prevent, you know?
ahead for you next? New books? More TV? What are you likely to see
yourself doing in
the near future?
working on my
yearly book published here in Lebanon in
November. I would like to do more right now, but my whole day is taken
work and family. I would love to travel more, and have my own
program, with guests and audience, not just personal on-air readings
I’m working on putting one together).
Vist her new TV website: http://carmenchammas.tv/index/
more about and by Carmen:
Lebanon’s Soothsayers (N.Y.
Hear her on radio (Radio
Orient) Mon.-Thurs, 9:30 AM, Beirut time.
See her on TV
TV) 9:10 AM
live Tuesdays at 9:45 AM and Fridays
at 9:30 AM
Watch her interview (N.Y.
her at: email@example.com
provided by Carmen Chammas --
scenic, and delicious!
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