2001, Susan Helms became the first woman to inhabit the International
Space Station. Scheduled to be completed around 2005, the station will
be a sophisticated complex of six scientific laboratories, designed to
house humans in space for ten years or more. Mission specialist Helms
and two other astronauts will handle various critical tasks on the station—including
space walks—before returning to Earth in four and a half months. They
also arrived with new equipment and supplies. Meanwhile, the first team,
onboard this orbiting outpost since last November, were transported home
on the Discovery space shuttle.
highly regarded NASA astronaut since 1991, Pisces Susan Helms dispels
many of the stereotypical images of her sign, which is traditionally accused
of being unassertive—even wimpy—and afraid to take risks. Nonetheless,
Pisces is quite interested in cosmology, including the prospect of taking
amazing, gravity-defying journeys into outer space. Exploring boundless
realms appeals to this visionary sign (traveling through outer space is
very much like crossing the great expanse of oceans and seas during the
Pisces-inspired, historical eras of major world exploration).
Sun (her ego drives), Susan's Mercury (her mental skills) is also in Pisces.
At its best, this sign is not deterred by the typical mental barriers
that hinder others. It believes that ideal, collective dreams can come
true. Susan is motivated to take action based on having faith in her vision
of a more enlightened future, a vision that takes on greater evolutionary
importance as humanity’s understanding of its universe unfolds.
emphasize these qualities, both these Pisces planets make a harmonious
trine aspect—120 degrees—to her Neptune and Jupiter in Scorpio, two planets
that arouse deep feelings of inspiration and awesome wonder, in a sign
known for fearlessly probing life’s mysteries. Folks with such a pattern
typically avoid humdrum jobs, but seek careers that idealistically feed
their imagination and appease their spiritual yearnings. Such individuals
also want to escape from the confines of earthly living in some fashion.
Susan Helms has certainly found a novel way to do just that.
of This World
conjunction means that these planets are so closely aligned that they
operate as one unit. Jupiter expands much of what spiritual Neptune is
all about. Thus, Helms’ optimism regarding scientific advancement can
soar, as can her dedication to unselfishly serve the collective need for
combination symbolizes a compelling urge to transcend ordinary human limits
by immersing oneself in something universal or even cosmic in scope. For
Susan, space travel could become an almost religious experience. Combine
this aspect with her Pisces planets, and it says she has "the right
stuff" to handle the unreal, faraway quality of space travel without
getting too homesick (since ethereal Pisces/Neptune almost feels as if
Earth is not its true home). In addition, Helms has found an excellent
way to channel her active, inner world of fantasy.
feature that will come in handy during this otherworldly expedition is
her Mars in Capricorn. Mars signifies her potential for strength and courage.
Capricorn is a well-disciplined sign that can take on authoritative roles.
When blended together and well-managed, they reinforce each other’s ability
to remain determined, hard-working and able to handle tasks requiring
focused energy. This is not a Mars that shuns responsibility. It has guts,
backed by expertise and a sense of command. It’s also very ambitious.
Helms’ Mars provides her with a strong backbone of courage and integrity
Home Away From Home
no coincidence that transiting Jupiter—in Gemini, one of astrology’s travel
signs—is crossed over Helms’ Moon (planet of security needs and domestic
urges) in March for the first time in twelve years. This should have her quite enthused
about her new living quarters (Jupiter is also a travel planet, and so
her home for the next several months is in outer space). This Jupiter-Moon
contact also suggests that much publicity awaits her when she returns (and
even during her excursion), since this transit is associated with someone
who can be popular with the public.
transiting Neptune (already an important planet in her birth chart) makes
a dynamic opposition—180 degrees—to her Uranus (which is associated with
unusual events and exciting breakthroughs). This is great for doing experimental
activities along scientific or technological lines. It also adds to the
general uniqueness of her situation.
that Susan Helms will be so enamored of her experience that she’ll want
to go back again and again. (Her accrued frequent-flyer mileage will be
truly astounding!) She will also be an inspirational role model for girls
and women everywhere, who will realize that the power to dream big is
the key to expanding one’s true potential. She’ll prove that women can
conquer space with as much fortitude and know-how as men. Helms will make
sure she gets that message across once she is back on the ground and able
to give uplifting talks about her most thrilling adventure on the revolutionary
International Space Station.