Thursday, 29 January 2009

Chiron and Mariana Da Costa

It’s always sad when you read about a tragic death, especially of a young person. Brazilian model Mariana Bridi da Costa died of septicemia soon after the doctors amputated her arms and legs. In situations such as this one, those of us who are familiar with astrology search for clues in the birth chart and try to determine whether this tragic event was evident in the horoscope. Although Sue Tompkins says, and traditional astrologers would disagree, that most of the time death itself cannot be determined from the personal horoscope and that it can be much more easily deduced from the charts of those close to us, it is inevitable that we cast a look in the chart of the deceased.

Da Costa was born in Brazil on 18 June 1988. The birth time is unknown, so it is risky to go deeply into her birth chart, however one thing stands out. She had a Sun/Chiron conjunction in Gemini opposite an exact – almost to the minute – Saturn/Uranus conjunction in Sagittarius. I’m not saying that this configuration is responsible for her death after all there are lots of people born at that particular time all over the world, although it would have been interesting to know what houses these planets rule.

This is a most interesting configuration and probably very difficult to live with. As most contemporary astrologers would say, Chiron is the mediator between Saturn and Uranus and inflicts a wound upon us that cannot be healed. The important thing about this wound is that it is collective and we have to live with it because “that’s life”. Da Costa obviously identified with Chiron, since this is the planet out of the whole configuration that’s conjunct her Sun. The Saturn/Uranus conjunction in Sagittarius is also very interesting in that she was born at a time when there was an urgent need for meaning. It seems that she embodied the quest for meaning through being wounded by life.

How have we come to know about Da Costa? She wasn’t that famous to start with. We can be cynical about it and ask what does it matter that she died? People die every day all around the world and we don’t seem to make such a fuss about it. However, the news of her amputation made the headlines, even though most of us had no idea who she was prior to this event. And it did, because it was shocking to see a young beautiful girl faced with such a tragic fate. We didn’t mourn for Da Costa, but for what she represented, the fragility of each and every one of us. We mourned because of the realization that life is inherently tragic and can deal a heavy blow to whomever it chooses and no beauty nor fame or money can protect us. We mourned because we all have Chiron in our charts.

Why did she die now? Is there any astrological evidence? First of all, she had a Mars/North Node conjunction in Pisces, Mars signifying surgery. In the progressed chart Mars formed a tight T-square with the progressed Saturn/Uranus conjunction and natal Sun. Her progressed Sun was also trining/sextiling the nodal axis (remember Mars on the North Node) at the time she was admitted to hospital. Again, I’m not saying that these aspects “caused” her death, but any astrologer, had she consulted one, would no doubt have laid emphasis on them. What all of us can simply do now, is not to let her death go unnoticed, but instead stop and think how tragedy and meaning in life are sometimes interrelated.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

America and the sign of Cancer

I was watching the other day an episode of the US version of Ugly Betty (by the way, the US version is by far the best compared to all the trash we've watched in other countries) and it dawned on me that it must be difficult to live in the US if you have a strong Uranus. Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road will surely attest to that. The zodiac sign of Cancer is prominent in the US horoscope and it shows.
In the episode, Betty's father had a heart attack but Betty because of serious work problems couldn't be there to hold his hand. And I suddenly remembered all those movies and TV shows where there is a negligent parent (the father usually) who misses school plays, football matches, goes back on his promises to the child and so on. Even though the parent has a more than legitimate excuse for his absence, his behaviour is nothing less than a deadly sin. Family comes first, it seems, for the Americans.
Over the years, we've also watched scenes in American films where the hero moves into a new neighbourhood and immediately their new neighbours knock on their door with food, presents and words of welcome. This is most certainly considered the done thing, but has it ever occurred to these people that it's rude to impose your presence? What about privacy? By knocking on a stranger's door, you suddenly become known to this person and then the invitations start and the new member of the community feels obliged to attend and knows that it is expected of him/her to invite them back and so forth. Is it such a crime to wait and allow the other person room to breathe?
No to mention the fact that when you break off a relationship you are expected to get back in the game as soon as possible. No, I want to be by myself for a while and think things through and I want to be depressed and there's nothing wrong with that. Is temporary loneliness and rightful depression such a bad thing that entitles the hordes of friends and relatives to descend on you offering their help without asking them to?
Of course not all Americans are like that. But if the cultural products that a country exports are anything to go by, then Uranian people must suffocate living in an environment like that, because they will no doubt be considered bizarre and eccentric. Eccentricity and Uranus may go hand in hand, but some energies are more easily expressed in certain parts of the world and vice versa. Richard Idemon was right when he said that in order to make an accurate astrological analysis, you have to take into account the social environment your client lives in.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

About synastry...

“What signs am I more compatible with?” “Is this a good relationship?” “What do I have to do so that a Scorpio/Sagittarius/Capricorn will be mine?” are a few of the most common questions during an astrological counseling. Finally, the most desperate question of all: “Is there a future in this relationship?” Now that you’ve posed these questions, throw them away to the nearest waste-paper basket, where they belong.

Who’s this “I” that’s posing the questions above? Does this “I” remain constantly the same? Do we not change as time passes? Yes, we do. Therefore, we can’t be certain that what we say we want at a particular time is what we truly want or is best for us on a deeper level. It seems that we are called at some time or other in our lives to adopt a “thy will be done” attitude. This doesn’t mean that there is a higher entity which imposes its’ will on us, but instead that we need to make a conscious choice to allow God, the Higher Self, the universe or whatever you want to call it, to determine what happens to us to a certain extent. Because, whether we like it or not, there are a lot of things that we are completely unaware of.

What do we really want? Damned if we knew. We are hiding behind beautiful words like love, affection and tenderness in order to keep the truth from rearing itsugly head. The truth that we are spoilt children yearning for that kind of maternal love whose sole purpose is to satisfy our every whim. The truth that we are looking for someone who will justify our behaviour and allow us to remain stagnant. That’s why we are looking for compatible personalities, so that we don’t take the time to re-examine our behaviour.

In astrology there are twelve zodiac signs which stand for twelve energy patterns, twelve different mentalities, twelve different modes of behaviour, twelve different kinds of love and so on. There is no sign better than the others or a sign more appropriate and useful. The “whole” person, in the sense of imago dei, the person before the fall can easily mix those energies and live comfortably within this apparent conflict. It’s the “original sin” which has “condemned” us to a life of separateness which entails a limited world view. By only seeking compatibility, we are doing nothing less than restricting ourselves within the walls of our own private ghetto and projecting our behaviour as the only right one. What we are truly seeking therefore, is accessories to our crime.

Of course, in the beginning it is only natural that we act in this way. We can’t at first realize the value of conflict, so it seems logical to us to pursue relationships based on harmony and longevity. A fire sign feels more at ease with the other two signs of this element and there is also an affinity with the air signs. The same goes with the earth and water signs. Naturally, it is practically impossible to find two charts 100% compatible, but you can find two charts that allow the energy to flow freely with only a minimum of friction. However, if we constantly avoid challenge, it will creep up on us the moment we least expect it to. Harmony may very well be pleasant, but can block our path to knowledge and maturity.

Let’s take an example of astrological conflict. Let’s say we have two people, one with Mercury in Virgo and another with Mercury in Sagittarius. The Mercury in Virgo person will seek useful knowledge, precision, clarity and show an immense dislike to vagueness. The Mercury in Sagittarius person will show a tendency to intuitive knowledge, will have “visions”, the mind will search the meaning behind the facts and will be able to grasp theories without being interested in whether they are applicable or not. It is fairly obvious that there will be a lack of understanding between these two people. Mercury in Sagittarius will oppose the mathematical reasoning of the other person and Mercury in Virgo will accuse the other person of living in the clouds. Who is right and whose is wrong here? Both. In a relationship, the Virgo person may come to realize that obsession with practical knowledge can stifle inspiration and the Sagittarius person that what you grasp intuitively needs to be articulated and externalized, otherwise it’s useless.

Let’s take another example of two different ascendants, Pisces and Aries, and let’s make things easier by putting the ascendant rulers, Neptune and Mars, in the first house, even though there is no living person with Neptune in Pisces. The Aries individual will try to affirm their personality and satisfy their desires, often ignoring the needs of others. The Pisces one will be much more compromising or adaptable, sometimes defeatist even and will hesitate to express their individuality for fear of alienating other people. In a relationship, these two different approaches will cause problems. The Aries person will blame the other one for weakness and lack of courage and the Pisces person will blame the other one for selfishness and callousness. However, if the two people stick to the relationship, the Pisces individual may realize that there are times when expressing what you think or feel is more honest and kind and the Aries individual that acting like a bully will get you nowhere.

What does all this mean? That synastry is useless? Far from it. However, in my opinion, we should use it after the formation of a relationship and not before. We are not in a position to judge whether some relationships are “good” or not and we shouldn’t play God by deciding which relationships are useful for our soul purpose. Otherwise, we will end up creating a tight circle of people around us based on the compatibility of our personal planets, not allowing room for change. But after the relationship has formed, which means that the two people in question feel the need to be with one another, synastry can prove to be an invaluable tool, because it can shed light to problematic aspects of the relationship and it can explain to us how our personal behaviour is responsible for them. And through synastry, that is astrology, we will acquire a better understanding of our significant others and of human nature in general. Vive la différence!