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Planetary Purchase

Instantaneous international buying and selling, with global delivery only later, makes consumer astrology a new ball game.

Avoiding Buyer Remorse in the Age of the Internet

By John Townley (with advice from Susan), March 2013

In the Seventeenth Century glory days of pre-modern astrology, when the likes of William Lilly, Nicholas Culpeper, John Gadbury, Elias Ashmole, Henry Coley, Richard Saunders, and John Partridge held sway in England, ordinary tradespeople used astrology for everything. That included deciding when to take trips, medical diagnosis, finding lost objects, launching ships, arranging voyages, making personal and business deals, judging personal character and life developments, and most particularly, for daily commerce of all sorts. If you wanted to buy or sell everything from a major estate down to a sheep or cow, you took a look at the stars before deciding on when to do it, because the chart of the purchase would tell the story of whether what you bought would work out well for you or not.

Oddly, although astrology today is widely used to describe character and foretell life developments, outside of the stock market and sometimes real estate it is rarely used to judge ordinary daily purchases, even though that amounts to the greater part of personal spending, as any sales tax legislator can tell you. The closest most astrology fans come to daily commerce astrology is avoiding major purchases on a Void-of-Course Moon (VOC). But even that rule of thumb can be confusing, as so much commerce is done on the phone or over the Internet these days, when purchase and possession don’t happen at the same time, unlike previous eras, so older rules may not apply.

It used to be that exchange of cash and goods always happened simultaneously, with the same chart, but no more.

Indeed, they don’t, so here’s a look at some general digital age astrological buying principles to help encourage consumer success and avoid buyer remorse, particularly by email:

First of all, there’s a matter of definition, of what comprises a purchase. It used to be money exchanged hands and so did the goods, at the same time with the same chart, but no more. So, legally, what comprises a purchase? It’s actually the time your money is accepted, even though you don’t yet have the goods in hand. From that point on, it’s yours or you get your money back and the purchase is voided (and that should tell you something right there, avoid the Void-of-Course Moon!). That means the chances of it working out when you spontaneously do a TV buy on HSN, QVC, Shop NBC, or other video channels are lower than you might think, as spontaneity rises on a Void-of-Course Moon. So be careful before you phone in an impulse buy or hit "send" on an Internet purchase, even if they guarantee free shipping on returns, as you could be wasting your time by hastily judging your wants and needs.

Favor the Moon

And, even when the Moon is not VOC, also make sure it’s unafflicted, and that the usual set of house and sign rulerships apply regarding the purchase and its nature. If you’re buying media goods, think third house and Mercury, real estate fourth house, food Moon and Venus and Cancer and sixth house, loans eighth house, and so on, and so on…you want a well-chosen chart that applies specifically to the kind of thing you’re buying. And take especial care of the Moon, regardless of the rulerships, because it's concerned with how you will feel about the purchase. You’re not likely to be happy with anything bought on a badly Saturn-afflicted Moon, for instance, but with Jupiter supporting it, you’ll at least be enthusiastic about it, even if it doesn’t turn out to be all that useful.

Which brings to mind that another principle applies, which is personal suitability. That great-looking suit of clothes, for instance, might turn out not to be one that suits you, so make sure some of your own personal degrees are involved, hopefully the planetary ones, but certainly the angles. That applies to life in general, as your personal degrees literally swirl around you like an event cloud, even to the point of making them a useful tool in rectifying your chart. When the degree of your Sun or Ascendant is rising, it's more likely you’re going to get what you like, and like what you get.

When you hit that "buy" button, a whole concatenation of events begin, and you can't go back...

Of course, to do that you have to have the right location for the chart. When you’re in New York and buying something in San Francisco, which do you use? You use your own location, as you are the initiator and it all starts when you hit that Return/Enter button on your keyboard or click the "buy" symbol on the order. The seller is only responding to your lead. Nevertheless, it can be worth doing the same chart from the seller’s location as well – a general principle that applies to all personal correspondence, even love letters, as you’ll see a picture of the benefits accrued to the other end as well. When you click that send-button, a whole concatenation of events begins, which can sometimes last a lifetime, so be very aware of the instant and its implications to both parties involved.

Play and Pay, on eBay

One of the most fun places to play with all this is eBay or other instant auctions sites. There you can actually see the exact time for the end of the auction, and you can erect a chart for it, which should let you know well in advance whether you really want to bid on it. And, to a certain extent, the reverse is true, in that if you’re the one selling, you should list it with the exact time of the auction end in mind. When you do that, you’ll bring in buyers more closely linked to you and get a better price (and avoid regretful or angry returns if you make sure the sale is not VOC).

How do you avoid a buy you might regret, when you don't know when the delivery will happen...or does it matter?

Then, finally, there’s the other end of the transaction, the chart of the moment you actually receive your goods, which used to be pretty much one and the same as the purchase payment, but no longer is. Although e-transactions let you have greater control over a purchase chart than before, delivery by postal carrier puts you at the mercy of the mails for the corresponding take-possession chart. And further, what really is a take-possession chart, anyway, if it’s not the chart of the purchase itself? 

Dealing with delivery

It’s really an accent or transit chart, an overlay that gives you a greater clue as to how the purchase gets used in the end, the space it makes for itself, whether it’s the way you intended or perhaps entirely different (especially if it arrives on a VOC Moon!). Sometimes it dovetails nicely with the purchase chart and all goes as hoped and anticipated, other times it turns out to have unexpected possibilities or deficits that you can take advantage of or must cope with. Of course, you can and probably should manipulate the time of arrival as much as possible, within reason, because you know within certain boundaries how long a shipment takes and what time of day your chosen carrier generally shows up. But you’ll never be able to get the angles exact, so it’s always a hopefully-creative and always-informative element of surprise. The closest you can get is to have the goods held for you and go pick them up at the exact time of your choosing.

That’s only a general outline of some of the astrological rules applying to the new shopping experience of the Twenty-first Century, but it’s a start. The rest is common sense, along with your native knack for the market that will guide you when the stars are hidden behind the clouds of uncontrolled circumstance…


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