Popular Names for Baby Boys

One of the biggest challenges when a new baby boy is born is picking a suitable name for the baby that both parents and the child can live with. Parents nowdays have a lot of options on what and how to choose names for their babies. Baby boy names, just like names for baby girls, continue to evolve, and while there are the all time favorite names, there are also new and trendy ones that come up every now and then. You can not expect 'Chan' to be a trendy nom de guerre in Europe, but there are many popular baby namesake that you and your child will both love.

-There are popular Catholic names and most are derived from the Bible. Ethan, Matthew, Samuel, and Jacob are just some names that are still being used. While Abraham and Saul are also from the Bible, they are not as commonly used as other male names from the Bible.

-Popular baby boy's names in the Latin Region are Julio, Alejandro, Fernando, and Jose. For Arab countries, Abdul and Ahmed are quite common.

-What used to be popular names are still still popular but in a different way. Andrew is now being shortened to Drew, Jonathan is often replaced with John, and David and Dave are both popular names with the same roots. The shortened version of the name is often being used as the first name for a truly modern and updated twist.

Here are also some ways on how to choose your baby boy's name:

Unique names – You can either combine both names of the parents (try combining both first and first syllables, first and last, and other combinations until you get one that sounds right and not weird. your baby boy's name if you will be adopting the same names for the past 2 or 3 generations.

Database of names – Generally available online, a database of popular baby names for the current year and the past year are being monitored and recorded. The meaning of the names, especially if they are of Latin or have a significant origin, these name meanings are indicated as well.

Historical inspiration – You can name your baby after an important public figure in your home country. This is something that parents give their children particularly if the name is something the child will be proud of.

Ethnic names – To preserve tradition and culture, if you know of a local and ethnic name for a boy, you can use this name to show your respect and admiration to your ancestral roots.

Choosing a name for your baby boy should be exciting and not stressful or overwhelming. Also remember to incorporate both your ideas on how to choose and narrow down your name's list. The next few months will be filled with anticipation, and what better way to greet your child into the world but by calling him in a name as cute, lovely, and special as he is.

Fisher Price Baby Swings

Shopping for a baby swing can be confusing. For instance, Fisher Price baby swings come in more than a few models and that is just one brand alone. However, if you know what your needs are, then the selection becomes easier as you narrow down the list of choices.

For the Fisher Price brand, you can have the option to go with a full-sized swing such as their Papasan Cradle n Swing model or portable ones. The Papasan swing has a few themes to cater to both genders, ranging in colors from pink to blue.

Fisher Price Papasan Cradle n Swing

This swing has several swing speeds and there are two different swinging motions. This means you can elect to have it swing side-to-side or head-to-toe, depending on your baby’s preference. It is wide at its base, which will take up quite a bit of space at home, but is reliable and sturdy.

Given the size, it can be inconvenient if you need to move it around the house. But it has practical features that will keep your baby entertained when she is awake or lull her to sleep when she gets tired. This is because it has an attractive mobile hanging overhead and the newer models of the Papasan swing even have lights that can project objects such as stars and butterflies onto the canopy to stimulate your baby. When it is time for your baby to sleep, you can also turn on some soothing songs or sound effects to make her doze off.

The Papasan Cradle n Swing is worth a look if you want flexibility in terms of swing speed and motion. If you are not planning to move the swing around much, then a full-sized swing is probably the best way to go.

Fisher Price Swing and Seat

When you have a baby at home, you will end up with a lot of baby stuff all over the place. That is why a baby gear that serves two purposes is always welcomed. Instead of having two items, you only need to buy one, which also saves you some money in the process.

This is where the Fisher Price Swing and Seat comes in. It is designed to work as an infant seat as well as swing. It also has a vibration feature which mimics a car ride, if your baby does not care much about swinging.

Being small in size, it is portable. But it will not be as comfortable as a full-sized swing and you will also have to make do without some of the features of the Papasan model. However, it is a great place to leave your baby to take a nap or play in during when you want to do some chores.

Fisher Price Open Top Take Along Swing

As the name suggests, this model is portable and you can easily fold it up and take it along with you for outings and trips. It does not have a side-to-side swinging motion and the number of songs is far fewer than the Papasan model. No mobile hangs overhead to attract your baby but it does come with a removable toy bar.

Basically, the Fisher Price Take Along Swing serves a different need. It does not have many of the fancy features of the full-sized swing, but it caters to those who want the convenience of being able to move it from room to room or for travel. It is also a great alternative for those who are on a tight budget given that this portable swing costs much less than the Papasan model.

Conclusion

As you can see, Fisher Price baby swings have different models to cater to different needs. Apart from the above, there are a few other swings out there that have different features and selling points. You will need to go through each swing and check their features to assess if they meet your needs before you buy.

Baby Heartbeat Monitors Reviewed

Today, with advances in science and technology constantly creating smaller and cheaper electronic devices, acquiring a home use baby heartbeat monitor is cheaper and easier than you may think. For parents that want to listen to the developing fetus of their unborn child, use of a baby heartbeat monitor provides added peace of mind and valuable information that can effectively prevent complications during pregnancy. A baby heartbeat monitor is a device which is used to hear any kind of irregularity in the development of the baby, so that it can be taken care of well in time. One can find many heartbeat monitors manufactured by various companies, but to get the desired results it is essential that one chooses the best baby heart beat monitor available.

Choosing the Best Baby Heartbeat Monitor

There are various forms of baby heartbeat monitoring devices available on the market, each having different features and attachments. The available options differ from each other considerably. Whether it's a fetal Doppler baby heart monitor or an external electronic fetal baby monitor, a cozy fetal heart beat monitor or a BeBe Sound Prenatal Listener baby heartbeat monitor, each baby heartbeat monitor has some unique features that makes one model stand out over its competitors.

These advanced baby heartbeat monitors can let one hear the exact heart sounds of the little one growing inside the mother's womb. The sound-only baby heartbeat monitor for analyzing the heartbeat of a unborn baby is designed for clinical and medical use as well as for domestic use by the parents. Some home models also have video so one can see the baby (although the image is generated using ultrasound and not crystal clear). The sex of the unborn child can be determined using a video prenatal baby monitor.

Monitoring the heartbeat of the unborn baby at regular intervals is often recommended to those mothers who have an uncomplicated and healthy pregnancy. However, to those who develop certain complications such as pre-eclampsia, diabetes, any kind of heart disease, vaginal or urinary infections or is expecting twins are strictly advised to have continuous electronic fetal monitoring in order to keep track of any serious problems on the part of the child or the mother. Thus, choosing the heartbeat monitor depends on many factors and it is essential that an unborn baby gets monitored according to the needs of the situation.

Compare the Prices of Baby Heartbeat Monitors

Pricing a baby heartbeat monitor mainly depends on factors such as the brand name, features, attachments, and quality. Sometimes the accuracy of a particular heartbeat monitor also contributes towards determining its price.

Starting as low as $ 25 for the BeBe Sounds Prenatal Listener, the prices go as high as $ 150 or $ 200 for a fetal Doppler ultrasonic baby heart beat monitor. One can choose exactly that which suits his or her budget and choose the features and quality that one can afford. However, one can not fix the price of the baby's health. It is more then anything in the world – it's priceless.

Later May Be Too Late

I have a confession to make. There was a time when I did not give much thought to disability insurance.

As though it was yesterday, I can recall an insurance agent approaching me. She wanted to discuss a plan that would allow me to continue to support myself and my family should I become disabled due to an accident or an injury. At the time I thought, I'm young, I've never been hospitalized, (other than for childbirth). I've not suffered any serious injury or so much as a lengthy illness. There's a time to make a decision about this later.

I never discussed this with my husband. I planned to think seriously about the subject when it was time. Like, when I was older or when my health started to fail. Beside, I figured, if I was faced with an accident or injury my husband would care for me and my needs.

That's the way it was supposed to work.

I had no idea that an ice covered expressway with fresh snow would play a huge part in testing my plan, (or lack thereof). On our way home from a friend's party one evening the car in the next lane hit a patch of ice and lost control of his car. When our car finally came to a stop we had been hit twice and I could still hear the cars behind us slamming into each other. As far as I know, there were 19 cars and one fatality involved in that accident. Some said we were fortunate that my husband only lost sight in one of his eyes.

For me, one challenge was learning to juggle the task of recovering from a closed head injury while caring for a baby who was only months old. Another challenge was unfortunately trying to stay upbeat for my family in the wake of our financial situation.

My husband and I had never discussed how we would keep our household running if he was unable to work due to illness or injury. We literally watched our financial security fade. We were faced with losing our home and cars. Our savings quickly dwindled down to nothing. There was no money for utilities, monthly expenses, routine financial liabilities and additional expenses. We had to borrow money from family to stay afloat. This was painful for my husband since he was the primary breadwinner.

Due to the added stress we were experiencing, it was difficult for either one of us to concentrate on getting well. Endless doctors' appointments and the mounds of pain medication we had to take intention we could no longer care for our children and had to send them to my Mom out of state.

Although I never thought much about disability insurance before, that experience was a wake-up call for me. We were faced with the realization that we were not too young, too healthy, or too financially secure to protect our most valuable asset: Our ability to earn a living.

According to the Council of Disability Awareness, "… 1 in 4 of today's 20 year-olds will become disabled before they retire." This is a shocking large proportion of people. Just as starting is the 2001 study published in The American Journal of Medicine with a finding that medical problems were involved in 46.2% of bankruptcies. We tend to have insurance for our cars, homes, and even our lives, but most of us fail to insure our paychecks.

The time to evaluate your circumstance is now, while you are able to decide. You can start by asking yourself, the following questions:

How will you pay your bills if you are unable to earn a paycheck and for how long?

Do you have a plan to pay your mortgage or rent while you are recovering?

Do you have a plan that will preserve your independence without burdening others?

Do not wait until it's too late. Carefully examine your personal situation and document your strategy for protecting yourself against financial loss in the event of an injury or illness.

– According to the Council of Disability Awareness, "just 1 in 4 of today's 20 year-olds will become disabled before they retire."

– The American Journal of Medicine says, "Our 2001 study in 5 states found that medical problems contributed to at least 46.2% of all bankruptcies."

An excellent guide to disability income insurance can be ordered or printed at publications.usa.gov. You can also consider enlisting the help of an insurance agent to analyze your sources of income in case of an illness or disability.

Interior Design And Interior Design Tips

Most interior designers would advise that you decide on a general theme to use throughout your home. That doesn’t mean all rooms will be the same, just the theme would be the same throughout your home. The style one decides on should reflect on the family unit as far as character and style.

ASSORTED DESIGNS AND THEMES

The farmhouse theme is a very popular theme due to it appears to be timeless. For most, this would entail a country or cozy feel. For wall colors you could use light yellow, white or pastel colors. The furnishings would be farm-style shapes and worn-looking wooden furniture.

Bohemian or rustic is another popular theme. If you like warm colors this would be your style. Items from the Middle East, Africa and Morocco could be involved in this design. The colors for this design would be red, orange, purple and sand.

Contemporary or Minimalist is another popular theme. This style diminishes disorder and is a good means of opening up areas. The main color for this theme is white. That would include furnishings so normally you would not find this theme with families with young children.

Whichever you choose remember that all your rooms should possess a strong sense of compatibility.

INTERIOR DESIGN TIPS MADE SIMPLE

Mirrors is an outstanding way to expand an area to make it look larger. Utilizing a large mirror that is positioned directly across from a natural source of light such as a window or door. This should make the space not only look larger but less cluttered also. If you are working with a small area a little bit of clutter can easily make the space fill unorganized.

Adding an accent wall will draw in the eye and highlight a feature or piece of furniture. You can accomplish this by painting a focus wall or using wall paper to create a focus wall. Just remember you never want you wall art to be longer than the piece of furniture you are featuring.

Develop the illusion through motion by laying out your space so that your eye keeps moving from point to point.

Your furniture and other pieces should suit the total area of the room. In other words, don’t overshadow it or throw it out of symmetry.

Finally, home decor and designing is oftentimes a highly sensitive matter as many people feel that they understand the process but the outcome says something totally different.

Using items you might already have like candles and figurines could easily be re-arranged to bring dramatic results plus improving lighting. Always be sure you have lighting in places that are normally overlooked by obstructions.

If you are looking at some alternative ideas think about Gothic, Traditional, Mediterranean, Tropical, Asian and of course Contemporary interior designs.

Back Pain After Childbirth

Many new mothers experience back pain related to pregnancy for weeks, months and, in some cases, even years after giving birth. There are many causes of postnatal back pain; getting acquainted with them can help you treat and prevent chronic pain.

One main cause of back pain both during and after pregnancy is the hormone relaxin. This aptly-named hormone relaxes ligaments, muscles and joints so that the womb can grow and the baby can be delivered. This loosening causes instability through the pelvis and back. The sacroiliac (SI) joints, which form where the pelvic bones meet the base of the spinal, can become irritated and inflamed due to increased movement. This pain can radiate to the lower back and down the legs. The abdominal muscles also stretch and grow weak as the womb expands. Without the support of the abdominal muscles, the lower back muscles are strained as they try to support the upper body. Posture sufferers as weight is gained and the center of gravity shifts.

According to Medicinenet.com, relaxin levels do not subside in the body until about 5 months after childbirth. This means that your abdominal muscles and pelvic joints will still be lax for months after you have your baby, and the postural and biomechanical problems this causes can be expected to continue through that period.

Another way in which relaxin levels can lead to prolonged pain after birth is by facilitating a ripe situation for strains and sprains. Strains occur when muscles and tendons are stretched beyond their means, and sprains occur when ligaments supporting joints are overstretched. Severe strains and sprains involve the teasing of muscles, ligaments or tendons. The increased elasticity relaxin causes in your body makes it easier for these tissues to be overstretched since they do not contract as quickly to protect themselves from being torn. If you're eager to get back in shape after pregnancy and begin stretching and exercising without caution, you could strain muscles in the back and pelvis, or cause a sprain around the spine or SI joints.

You must also take into account the changes in activity you're experiencing with a newborn in conjunction with the above physical situation. Picking up the baby, carrying him or her around and losing sleep can all help cause back pain. When you're in a hurry to pick your child up, you may forget to use proper body mechanics. Bend at the hips, not the waist. Do not lift your child while twisting if you can help it.

If your back pain lasts more than six month after childbirth, you probably have postural discomfort caused by the changes your body went through. It is important to gently restore strength to your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles to help support proper spinal alignment. Guided exercise like postnatal Pilates can help you do this safely. Persistent pain may also indicate that the SI joints or spinal joints have become misaligned during pregnancy or childbirth. A chiropractor or osteopath can perform exercises that restore proper range of motion to joints and free up any nerves that may be compressed.

If your pain is debilitating or accompanied by any other symptoms, let your doctor know immediately. Back and pelvic pain are normal after giving birth, but the pain should not last more than 4 or 5 months. To help the pain on its way out, practice good body mechanics and remember to take it slow, since relaxin is still keeping your tissues lax. Taking the time to find helpful resources for yourself will ensure that the time you spend with your baby is uninterrupted by back pain.

Living With Breast Cancer and Beating It

Breast Cancer, to be informed that you have such a serious disease has to be a life altering point in a woman’s life. No one can ever prepare themselves to receive bad news of that caliber. Even with the advances in treatment, support systems, and recovery statistics, fear of the unknown is omnipresent. Fear of the side effects of radiation therapy and chemo therapy can cause the stress level to increase substantially. It’s a natural response to a serious situation

Extensive research has revealed the various ways people respond to their cancer has a direct affect on the course and intensity of the disease. Additional research has proven that intense negative emotions over time can impede the body’s ability to combat the disease.

One thing we must be aware of, however, is short term stress can actually be a good thing because it stimulates the fight or flight response. Oftentimes the jolt of a serious diagnosis spurs some people to take a proactive attitude towards the new and challenging situation. This positive attitude frequently gives them the energy to do whatever it takes to defeat this cancerous foe.

We should also be aware of the consequences of a negative attitude. If one becomes consumed with fear, negative thoughts and attitudes, the results will be an immune system that is less efficient and vulnerable to an attack by an aggressive cancer. Doctors who practice a holistic approach to breast cancer agree that the mind-body approach like meditation, yoga, and Qi Gong can relax the mind, reduce stress, and make it easier for the patient to cope with the magnitude of the issues at hand.

Chemicals produced from long term stress shorten the telomeres found on the tips of the chromosomes. Telomeres are the end-caps that prevent our DNA from unraveling, thus preserving its strength and preventing damage that can ultimately lead to chronic disease. Cells with shortened telomeres have a tendency to age prematurely. This premature aging process poses a potential risk for the development of new cancers. Stress, a pessimistic attitude, negative thoughts, and a negative attitude can affect your immune system by seriously damaging and often destroying critical immune cells. This, believe it or not, can result in the cancer intensifying. Some research strongly indicates a cancer risk increases in women who experience long periods of stress.

Stress reduction is of primary importance in the fight against cancer. A good way to fight depression, fear, anxiety, and other stressful states of mind is by practicing meditation on a regular basis. All it takes is a few minutes of your time to sit quietly, focusing on deep slow breathing to decrease the intensity of your stress related hormones. Numerous studies have shown that meditation can significantly stimulate immune function, reduce pain, and improve ones quality of life.

There are additional mental-physical methods of reducing stress and improving immune function. They are called moving meditation because they combine deep mental concentration with slow methodical movement. Examples of moving meditation are Tai Chi and Qi gong where the emphasis is placed on deep methodical breathing that helps correlate the connection with mind and body to facilitate a greater healing capacity.

Never underestimate the healing power of joy. It can be your best friend and cancers worst enemy. Doing something you really enjoy will significantly reduce your stress. Take a relaxing nature walk, hug a baby, laugh, interact with family and friends. All those types of activities will improve your mental state which will fortify your immune system.

We now know about the strong connection between our mental state and this insidious disease called cancer. There is also a strong connection between our eating habits and cancer. You have probably heard this in the past but it bares repeating. And that is to avoid grain fed red meat, fried foods, and sugar. These three items have been shown to increase your risk of contracting cancer. Sugar feeds inflammation and stimulates tumor growth. Try to cut back on the white stuff and make it a habit to read those food labels because that’s where much of your sugar comes from.

Raw organic fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, provide an abundance of antioxidants that assist in neutralizing the harmful effects of free radicals. Raw organic fruits and vegetables contain high concentrations of phytochemicals which are key players in the fight against cancer.

Broccoli, cauliflower, and kale are extremely beneficial because they contain ingredients that stimulate breast health by assisting in the balance of a woman’s hormones. One ingredient that is especially helpful is DIM which is produced naturally in the body when broccoli, kale and cauliflower are digested. Once DIM is exposed to the body’s interior, it helps to reduce inflammation, fortify the immune system, and ultimately fight the invading cancer cells.

The types of food we ingest plays an important role in our fight against breast cancer, any cancer actually. But lets not forget the role supplements play in this fight. In numerous documented cases, supplements have shown great success in the fight against breast cancer, even in aggressive cases.

Some of the key supplements in this fight are Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP), Beta-Glucan, Maitake Mushroom, Turmeric, Chinese Skullcap, Astragalus, Quercetin, and DIM. All of those have a variety of cancer fighting attributes. But there is one attribute they all have in common, and that is they all fortify your immune system.

We now know that the most successful method of fighting breast cancer is to combine a positive mental approach with a healthy organic diet and key supplements. I’m sure you are aware that there are no guarantees in life, but your chances of a successful outcome will increase greatly if you apply these methods.

Managing Acne While Pregnant

Any woman knows that when she is pregnant, there are hundreds if not thousands of things that she can and can not do, like drinking, smoking, over-doing it while working out, and the list goes on. The same goes with acne. There are lots of things that all pregnant women that have acne problems should know. In order to protect you and the baby, there are some tips and tricks that you will find helpful.

Cleanness is a very important part of controlling acne break-outs and protecting your child. You'll want to always make sure you wash your hands after you eat or go to the bathroom. If you do not, you are promoting the spread of bacteria which effects not only your skin but all parts of your body as well. Exercising is another good idea in order to keep blood flowing to all part of the body, stimulating your health and well-being, therefore keeping your baby safe as well. Make sure to be strict on your nutrition, eating lots and lots of fruits and vegetables that also play in good skin.

If you are a pregnant woman that has problems with acne, it is especially important to remember to wash your face thoroughly at least two times a day. This keeps bacteria and dirt from creeping in and spreading and intensifying your acne. When you cleanse your skin and the infected areas, make sure that you do not rub away too much of the oil, as your body needs a certain level to maintain healthy pores in the skin. When you use soap to wash your face make sure you get all of it off so it doesnt clog any pills leading to worse acne.

Never rub near the area of ​​your acne because if you do it spreads the bacteria around and leads to more break-outs. After you clean the skin on your face, pat it dry and use a thin film of oil to put on your face which will help combat bacteria and therefore help your skin to beat the acne.

It is also very important that when you are pregnant to watch what oral anti-biotic medication you are taking for acne, if any. Most are not a good idea and you will want to consult a doctor before you start on any. It's a good idea just to be safe to use oils, lotions, foams, or facial scrubs as a replacement for antibiotics as they can be dangerous to you and to your baby.

Make sure you learn all you can about having and treating acne when you are pregnant. Because now you have two people to consider instead of just yourself, so every decision you make concern your own health should be an informed one.

Health – The Best Kept Secret Around

If you want to keep a secret – chop it into pieces and give each person a piece.

o No one person knows the whole story.

The practise of modern medicine is similar in structure to the above analogy.

o Health is divided up into small bits and pieces (read as: Symptoms)

o Specialists vie for the honour of treating each little bit

o And the pharmaceutical companies reap the monetary rewards of taking a little bit from each part.

To-days practitioners rarely stray from the cook-book formula of prescribing for symptoms – although I often hear words like; ‘My practitioner is holistic.’

The truth of the matter is this.

o I don’t know of a practitioner that is truly 100% holistic. The first question practitioners ask is, ‘what’s wrong with…and then they proceed to treat the part/symptom.

o All parts of the body are connected and inter-connected – no one part exists on its own.

o All parts of the body, from the smallest cell to the largest organ, work for the benefit of the whole – there is no ‘Selfishness’ here.

As a result of accepting the current medical philosophy of disease causation and treatment we agree to be ‘kept in the dark’ regarding our own body, how it woks, what it needs and what to do with it if it needs repair.

An environment, you must agree, that is most conducive to the proliferation of fear and the reliance of others for the supply of simple needs.

Don’t be left in the dark by concerning yourself with ‘parts of the whole.’

Education is the answer.

Health can be determined, read and understood by simply observing nature – or if you are so inclined – may I suggest that you pick up a good read about Nature Cure – you will be left in no doubt as to the truth about health.

To each and every reader we wish you all the best in your daily

efforts to apply the laws of health to your own lifestyle.

Blood and Fire: An Astrological Perspective on the Salvation Army, Part 1

The mere name “Salvation Army” evokes powerful images of aid in times of crisis, charity in times of need, mercy and transformation in the hours of one’s personal deepest, darkest hour. The Salvation Army’s role in social reform during the latter half of the 19th century cannot be underestimated. William Booth, the Salvation Army’s self styled General, who stood in a point of history when suffering was both overwhelming and unnecessary, saw the world in need of radical change Like Petrarch some 400 years before him, Booth was adamant he would make a difference. Together with his wife Catherine, their eight children and the support of close friends, William Booth set out to bring salvation to the lives of the hopelessly poor, the destitute, the homeless and the hungry. From humble beginnings in London’s east end, today the Salvation Army operates in 111 countries, utilising 175 languages and has a well established reputation for being the first organization to arrive in the aftermath of disaster, providing clothes, food, shelter and healing words. At the time of writing, the Salvation Army continues its work in Iraq where it provides food, clothing and shelter to a land ripped apart by war. “The people of Iraq love the Salvation Army because it brings the message of the love of God to the Iraqi people,” said a Shia Muslim spokesperson, demonstrating the Salvation Army’s well deserved reputation for transcending all barriers to bring comfort to the suffering.

The Salvation Army uses a flag with an eight sided, yellow star on a red background with a blue border. Originally, the star was meant to be the sun but the Booth’s changed it to a star as it offended a branch of the Zoroastrian’s when the Salvation Army was first in India. Astrologers would recognise a double grand cross in the star and an emphasis on the fourth and eighth harmonic. John Addey wrote about 8th harmonic: “The numbers four and eight have a special reference to outward events and conditions.” We regard squares in a chart as indicating conflict. The Salvation Army so embroiled itself in conflict that its joint founders, William and Catherine, manifested a child (Kate-see her chart) who had the Salvation Army symbol in her chart shaping–which seems nothing short of miraculous and a testament to the struggles the family faced in their war on sin and poverty.

The Booths achieved so much in their lives together that it is overwhelmingly tempting to uncover their motivation to change the course of history. What makes ordinary people extraordinary? What makes a hero take risks, not just as opportunity arises or once in a lifetime, but over and over again? What, astrologically, can account for such phenomenal success in the extreme adversity the Booths faced nearly every day of their early ministry?

The man who would be the Salvation Army’s Founding Father and first General was born on 10 April 1829 in Nottingham. His own father, Samuel, was a man dogged by financial disaster but yet retaining an honest and chivalrous streak when it came to money, often re-paying loans that were not entirely his responsibility. William was said to detest his father’s numerous “money-making schemes and contrivances” and had described his father as having “a sense of truth and honour combined with a strong desire to get on in the world who knew no greater gain or end than money.” Growing up, his mother would never allow the young Booth to forget that his family continually hovered between solvency and bankruptcy, just-getting-by and poverty. Shortly after his father died a broken and bankrupt man, William was left without further funding for education. It seemed William Booth-as well as his mother and sisters-would be doomed to a life of grueling impoverishment. This perhaps rather explains why a 13-year-old William would so willingly allow himself to be apprenticed to a pawn broker. Booth would later reflect that the devil had tested him by sending him to work amongst moneylenders. It is almost unimaginable to consider the implications if Booth had been able to make a career of pawn broking.

Though no accurate birth time is recorded, it can be seen using the data from his birthday, that Booth had a Venus/Pluto conjunction on his S. Node. This configuration would echo in many of his life events: it reflects the animosity he attracted, the effects of poverty he so railed against, the encouragement for “self-denial” he gave to his followers, and even the hold the women of his life, first his mother then his wife, would have over him. Booth had an uneasy fascination with death: he was present at his own mother in law’s autopsy, he held his dying wife in his arms and when he himself came to the end of his life he did not simply die but was “promoted to glory.”

Roy Hattersley, the Booth’s due biographer, called William’s life a “paradox.” Indeed, it is a curious feature of Booth’s life that he exhibited both a driving sense of self determinism and an unbending goal to save as many souls as he could. Astrologers might recognize this in his natal Saturn opposite Neptune. This aspect reflects in several key events in his life. At an age when most 7 year old children are concerned with losing their baby teeth, William was signing pledges of eternal abstinence from alcohol (T. Saturn square N Neptune). Rather than playing the usual games associated with a Victorian upbringing, William’s precocious religious life centred around Nottingham’s Broad Street Chapel which was a testament to Methodist power in Nottingham at the time. It is unlikely the size and splendour of the building would have attracted a boy like William. Someone with Saturn trine Mercury would be far more interested in hearing about the discipline needed to abstain from alcohol, vice and gambling as ministered by the top itinerant preachers of the time. A poor boy like William would have thrived on the self deprivation prescribed by these Methodist preachers and have been lured by the notion of “instant conversion.” Thus, Booth became hooked on religion and at 15 was converted from the faith of his father in the Church of England to Wesleyan Methodism. Or, as Booth liked to put it, it was not merely a move between faiths but one to salvation (T Saturn and T Neptune over P Moon in Pisces).

As an adolescent preacher, Booth was regarded as unusual but not extraordinary. He and his youthful contemporaries found acceptance amongst the poor and illiterate. No doubt, it was Booth’s early experiences as a preacher to the working classes that he began to see poverty as the work of the devil. It was the beginning of his battle against the complacency towards hunger and despair. “Are you really going to spend your wages on in the public house while your wife and children and go barefoot and hungry?” he would challenge working men from his makeshift pulpit.

However, Booth was still the sole supporter of his windowed mother and it seemed, to him at least, he would be condemned to the life of a moneylender. A further manifestation of the Saturn-Neptune opposition can be seen in the young William’s despair, growing daily, as he was caught in the trap of needing to maintain a business and ripping people off–usually poor people. His despair was exacerbated as he saw the “victims” leave his pawn broking shop after accepting a loan of coppers against the security of a workman’s tools or his Sunday suit before heading straight to the nearest pub. It seems completely fair to say that the only pleasure William had in his life at that time was his preaching, which was unpaid and hence, in the eyes of his family, unimportant work.

William eventually made his way to London where he lodged with his sister and her alcoholic, atheistic husband. His only regret was leaving his mother. Booth was determined he would work six days per week and preach on the seventh–irrespective of what his brother-in-law had to say about it. His destiny as a reluctant pawnbroker would change when Edward Rabbits, a wealthy boot and shoemaker, heard Booth preach and instinctively knew a good reformer when he heard one. Confident that Booth could shake up a few sleeping Methodists, Rabbits offered to pay a reasonable salary that would allow him to leave his pawn broking business. On Good Friday 10 April, 1952, Booth, now in the employ of Rabbits, left pawn broking forever and became a full time preacher. It is not hard to imagine that William would want to return home to his sister and brother-in-law with the good news. However, Rabbits persuaded him to celebrate his news with other Reformers at a tea meeting. It was at this tea meeting that William Booth met Catherine Mumford–the woman who would become his future wife. Catherine fell ill during this meeting and Rabbits paid for her carriage ride home. William accompanied her. When the pair arrived at Catherine’s home, her parents insisted that William stay the night rather than face another trek across London.

Astrology can provide insight into what was probably the most significant day of William Booth’s life. During this time, Booth had a spectacular pile up of transiting and progressed planets in Taurus: transiting Saturn and Uranus were about to pass over his progressed Mercury and Venus and in the coming months, over his progressed New Moon in Taurus. The new progressed lunar phase for William indicated this time marked a new chapter of his life. It is no small astrological wonder then that Booth would see to it that no one, poor or wealthy, sinner or saint, in comfort or in catastrophe, would starve if he had a say in it.

Catherine Mumford, would remember events slightly differently. She had seen Booth preach before this tea meeting and had been greatly impressed. Perhaps it is best that William would not remember their first conversation: William had admitted he was not completely teetotal as he used port for its restorative properties. Here, one might wish to have been a fly on the wall. Catherine cut lose with unremitting passion, attacking both her future husband and any middle class Methodist who believed that alcohol was acceptable in moderation. Rabbits, who had also been there, bullied William into reciting “The Grogseller’s Dream,” 210 lines of doggerel describing the Publican’s contempt for his customers whose lives were ruined by drink. Some 40 years later, Booth knew the entire poem and could recite it without error or hesitation. It would not be the last battle Catherine would win with William.

Catherine Mumford was born 17 January 1829 in Ashbourne, Derbyshire. Like William, she too had a personal planet conjunct Pluto, in her case, Mars–so William or anyone else for that matter didn’t stand much of a chance in getting their way when she was around. In addition to believing in absolute abstinence from alcohol, Catherine also believed in a democratic church and passionately opposed racial prejudice (one of the main reasons the Salvation Army banned tobacco was because, in Catherine’s eyes, it made the slave trade in the USA a necessity) and an all-male ministry. Her influence upon William was remarkable and William Booth would have been a different man without her-and the Salvation Army as we know it might not have come into existence.

During their long engagement, it became clear that William did not share her love of a formal education. She urged him to study theology; he claimed it got in the way of his preaching. She admired his ability to electrify a congregation but fretted over his sense of pride. In the early weeks of their marriage, which had taken place in Brixton on 17 June 1856, Catherine even called William a “blockhead” in the heat of a row.

Things were soon to calm down for the Booths: shortly after they were married, Catherine became pregnant. In due course, they would have eight children, all of whom would survive into adulthood and all of whom to a greater or lesser extent would play key roles in the early Salvation Army.

Bramwell, born 8 March 1856 and his brother Ballington, born 28 July 1857, were the causes of much concern for their parents. Bramwell would refuse salvation until he was 7 years old and at the same age, Ballington broke the pledge of no alcohol when he took a sip of gin from the glass of a visiting adult. For their sins, all of the Booth children were punished harshly and then promptly forgiven. None of the Booth children were permitted to play with ungodly children and all had absorbed the somewhat odd habit of preaching to their dolls and converting their pets. With William and Catherine as parents, it only stands to reason that the Booth children would be exceptionally sanctimonious. Bramwell, in particular, suffered for his piety. He was bullied without mercy at his school and at one point was even tied to a tree whilst the other children bashed him in an effort to get him to renounce his faith. Of course, he held firm and with a stellium in Pisces did so with an aplomb only a fellow martyr could hope to replicate.

It was during Catherine’s seventh pregnancy that the “Christian Mission” was born on 2 July 1865 in a revival tent in London’s East End. For Catherine (if she was born close to noon as the writer suggests she was), Uranus transited her N Moon. Up to this point, she had accepted a lack of home as a necessary sacrifice. Now she insisted on a permanent address, a “permanency” that would not last long. In the months preceding these events, Uranus had completed its first return since its discovery in 1781. Remarkably, it is this return point (Uranus at 24 Gemini) that features so prominently in the charts of Catherine and her children: Catherine had the Moon at 29 Gemini (noon chart) and was also converted on 15 June 1846 with the Sun at 24 Gemini, Bramwell had Saturn at 23 Gemini, Ballington had the Moon at 24 Gemini, Kate had Jupiter at 20 Gemini, Emma had Mercury at 25 Sagittarius (opposite the Uranus return point), Herbert (born 26 August 1862) had Uranus at 20 Gemini, Marion had Uranus at 22 Gemini, Evangeline had an ascendant at 22 Gemini with Mars and Mercury straddling her descendant and Lucy had Venus at 23 Gemini. To top it all off, William’s “other baby,” the Christian Mission was founded when his progressed Mars was at 25 Gemini. It is as if William and Catherine and their children were plugged into the collective revolutionary power of Uranus and as a united front, the Booth family, battling under the banner of The Salvation Army, would change the world.

It was shortly after the Christian Mission was formed that William Booth returned home one Christmas morning’s preaching in a state of shock. “The poor only have their public houses!” he lamented. The following Christmas, the family distributed 150 Christmas puddings, mainly cooked in their own kitchen (and it’s a safe bet there was no brandy involved in the process). By the end of the century, 30,000 Christmas puddings would be distributed in an effort to provide a cheerful alternative to the public house. The Christian Mission’s chart shows a beautiful “magic triangle” (a trine between two planets connected to a third planet by sextile) between Mars and Jupiter both throwing a sextile to Saturn. It is a beautiful example of unrivalled generosity, discipline, a bit of luck and a very strong indication of the “itchy feet syndrome” the movement would eventually show to the world.

It cannot be overlooked that the William and Catherine made incredible sacrifices-another element of what astrologers might expect of the Saturn-Neptune opposition-and their children would be both victims and perpetrators of the sacrifice required by their parents.

The female children in the Booth family overshadowed their elder brothers by being exceptional preachers in their teens. Both Kate (born 18 September 1858) and Emma (born 8 January 1860) were preaching to adult congregations though still children. Their mother’s heart must have been filled with ungodly pride as she watched her daughters grow into the kind of female preachers that could balance the gender inequality of that time. It was days after Emma’s birth that Catherine felt called by God to become a full time preacher like her husband and whilst all her children were still infants, she preached to the poor. It was said that Catherine “preached like a man” and was often the family breadwinner whilst William got on with the business of antagonising his patrons.