Sunday, 29 March 2009

The Age of Aquarius

I don't understand why people go on and on about the Age of Aquarius, expecting most of our problems to be solved and that we will be magically transformed into more humane and understanding beings. If the concept of astrological ages is true, there is nothing special about this age, is there? It's just one of the twelve astrological ages, like every other age before and every other age after that. I think what lies beneath this enchantment is that astrologers are, as individuals, deeply fond of the sign Aquarius and its' modern ruler, Uranus. One wonders what astrologers would feel like if it were the dawning of the Age of Capricorn, which, of course, follows next.
If we look back at the previous age, the Age of Pisces, we can make some interesting observations. First of all, it seems that we, consciously or subconsciously, thought it was much more important than this one. We took an event, the birth of Christ, treated it as point zero, and started counting the years as before and after this birth, something not very likely to happen this time around. Astrologically, it seems quite fitting that we did that, considering that 0o Aries always marks the beginning of something. What began at that moment was a new cycle that will last approximately 26,000 years and it was actually the Ascendant of this new era. Which means, that we are at the very beginning of this new cycle, and should humanity survive, we still have 24,000 years to go. Naturally, there will indeed be a shift in consciousness, but, it seems to me, that the real crisis points will be 0o Capricorn (the beginning of the Age of Sagittarius), 0o Libra (the beginning of the Age of Virgo) and 0o Cancer (the beginning of the Age of Gemini), that is the square and opposition points to the 0o Aries that started this new era.
What we can also deduce from the previous Age, is that everything happens in a polarity, so every Age has to combine two conflicting energies, Pisces and Virgo for example, in the Age that we leave behind. Apparently, in the beginning, we identify too much with the "Ascendant" and neglect the energies of the "7th house", which is truly considered an open enemy. In the Pisces Age, we truly developed a religious frame of mind and in the first half we looked down on everything virgoan, because we felt that it would tie us down here, in an inferior world, a place of suffering and tedious tasks, when all we wanted was to open our wings and fly to where God is. Naturally, we failed miserably. Virgo's reaction to all this, after having suffered in silence for so long, was equally fanatic. Science became the new God and everything piscean was thrown in the nearest waste-paper basket. What seems promising, and hopefully it will persist and evolve in the next Age unless we do away with religion completely, is the latest tendency in the metaphysical circles to treat everything as sacred, and consequently the material world we live in as well.
What we mustn't do therefore in the Age of Aquarius is to treat Leo as an open enemy and regard any manifestation of individualism as a threat to society. We should remind ourselves that huge and beneficial changes may at first be a demand of the masses, but it usually takes an individual to embody that demand. We mustn't forget that there are indeed people with special abilities and talents and it is to the benefit of us all to allow them room to grow and express themselves.
However, I feel that Leo will indeed suffer, at least in the beginning. With the upcoming Pluto/Uranus square and under the social and economic crisis that we are already experiencing, there will probably be someone who will promise us that he/she will restore order and show us the way out, but very soon we will discover that he is truly a dictator deep down. We will develop therefore, a fear of the "person" and it will take us a really long time before we are able to trust an individual again. This fear will be irrational, as all fears are, and it is likely that we will be very suspicious of anyone who stands out from the crowd. A lot of talents and individuals with special abilities will be thwarted in the process. Let's hope not.

The Age of Aquarius

Thursday, 19 March 2009

The tragic death of Natasha Richardson

Natasha Richardson, the actress and daughter of Vanessa Redgrave, died yesterday following an accident during a ski lesson. It's always extremely sad when someone dies like that, because it's not something you can foresee or prevent and it makes you feel at the mercy of some mysterious fate. Traditional astrology has always been concerned with death and the length of life, because it's no use making ten year or so predictions for someone who is going to be hit by a bus the next day. Modern astrology, however, has never been comfortable with the subject of death, which, it claims, cannot be accurately predicted. Let's have a look at Richardson's chart:

From the traditional point of view, this chart does not promise a long and uneventful life. The degree of the Ascendant (13o Libra), if the birth time is precise, may have some minor dignities, as it is in the terms of a benefic (Jupiter) and Jupiter itself is in the terms of Venus, but Jupiter casts an unfavourable aspect (opposition) to the Ascendant. More importantly, the Ascendant ruler (Venus), which is also the 8th house (death) ruler, is in the sign of its' detriment (Aries). The Sun, since this is a diurnal chart, is also a significator of the length of life and in Richardson's chart the Sun is peregrine, and weakened even further by being in the 8th house. There is a mixed mutual reception with Venus (Venus exalts the Sun and the Sun is ruled by Venus), but since they are both weak, they are not able to help each other much. The Sun is also afflicted by its' square to Saturn, which is a particularly strong Saturn in Aquarius and in the 5th house, therefore overpowering the Sun. Secondary progressed Saturn has returned to its' exact natal position and, at the time of death, transiting Venus (her chart and 8th house ruler) was retrogade in Aries. A most afflicted Venus, exactly opposite her Ascendant at the time of death, is not a very good omen.
Where modern astrology exacts its' revenge however, is the most impressive progressed aspects to the outer planets. Even if we ignore the T-square that the Saturn/Uranus opposition is now forming with her natal moon, we cannot help but be astounded by the simultaneous exact conjunctions of her two progressed angles (Ascendant, Midheaven) with natal Neptune and Uranus respectively. Any modern astrologer would at least have predicted a significant year for Natasha Richardson. These are two planets that she wasn't probably particularly fond of. Her Sun widely opposes Neptune and being in earthy Taurus, does not welcome any Neptune interference. The Saturn square to her Sun seems a lot stronger. Uranus, with its' eccentricity and its' tendency towards erratic and unpredictable behaviour does not bond well with Natasha's longing for stability and safety. So, she had two difficult planets for her activated at the same time, by powerful conjunctions to the angles.
I'm not sure who wins, but that's not important, especially over a tragic event like this. The two different astrological points of view must learn to co-operate, because astrology itself has a lot ot gain from this co-operation.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Natasha Richardson. She was a most elegant actress, following a long tradition of British actors, who made acting seem like something effortless and natural.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Neo-conservatism and Jonathan Krohn

I don't know if you've heard of this young man, I've only recently found out about him myself. He is a 14-year-old boy who has written a book called "Define Conservatism" What's striking about him is not only the fact that he is supposed to be too young to be interested in politics, but that he has adopted conservative values and principles, which is a rare phenomenon at his age. There must be a prominent Saturn there, wouldn't you think? You would be right.

Since I don't have a birth time, I erected a noon chart at Astrodienst. We may not have house cusps, but conclusions can be drawn from this chart, because it speaks for itself. First of all, he belongs to the Uranus/Neptune generation in Capricorn. This is not a metaphysical generation that is searching for God somewhere above the clouds. God (Neptune) can be found here, on earth (Capricorn), we just have to revolutionize (Uranus) the system and the way we view things. We must have rules and principles in order to avoid chaos (Capricorn), but we must make the necessary changes (Uranus) to ensure the survival of the system.
Why him? Why was it he that came forward? After all, he shares the same configuration with a great number of people. Yes, but he is the one who was born under a New Moon in Pisces. New Moon people are very focused on their goals, because their emotional nature (Moon) is not strong enough to get in the way of where they are going (Sun). He is one of the spokesmen of his generation and with the New Moon being in Pisces square Jupiter in Sagittarius, he is not only a spokesman, but a Messiah. Politics is a form of religion for him, but we are talking about a saturnian religion, which becomes even more evident considering Saturn is conjunct this New Moon. What's more, his personal values, what he, personally, finds beautiful (Venus) is also saturnine, with Venus conjunct Uranus and Neptune in Capricorn. His Mercury is also under the influence of Saturn, being in Aquarius, the other Saturn-ruled sign. If you want to take Uranus as the ruler of Aquarius, there is still no escape from Saturn, as Uranus is, of course, in Capricorn.
This is a chart, therefore, that revolves around Saturn, but there is a fiery, passionate, extroverted nature (Jupiter in Sagittarius trine Mars in Leo), willing to come forward and propagate saturnian beliefs. It's not our place to judge these beliefs, after all they will undoubtedly evolve over time, even though I cannot help but raise an eyebrow when I hear him say things like "life begins at conception" which is, of course, an anti-abortion statement. There are perhaps some things that he should leave well alone, until he is old enough to understand both sides of an issue. However, his generation is going to reach maturity during Pluto's transit through Capricorn square Uranus in Aries, and if there is great upheaval, as astrologers promise there will be, at the end of these transits we are going to feel very vulnerable and desperate for someone to restore order. Traditional values may again become en vogue, but we need to re-think them and re-shape them and not try to bring the past into the future, which is never a good idea.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Ruler of the chart

This is Tony Blair's chart. In The Real Astrology Applied John Frawley refers to this chart in order to show how mutual reception can strengthen planets. The ruler of this chart is Mercury tucked away in the 12th house. This, he says, almost always guarantees failure. Since this obviously isn't the case with Tony Blair, we must find something that turns things around. And this is Mercury's mutual reception with Mars exactly on the Ascendant, therefore empowering Mercury.
Of course, this is not a very powerful mutual reception, is it? Both planets are peregrine, meaning they have no essential dignities and, as a result, weak. Mercury is weakened even further by being in the 12th house, however Mars, being on the Ascendant is accidentally dignified. But how much help can it give to Mercury? As I understand from John Frawley, accidental dignity shows power to act but if the planet has no essential dignities, it is more likely to do harm than good.
Consequently, I'm not entirely convinced that this mutual reception is very helpful. With this chart, one could make a very good case in favour of the whole sign house system. Since Mercury is two signs away from the Ascendant, in this house system it would be an 11th house Mercury and we wouldn't feel the need to look for dubious receptions.

Let's have a look at Roger Federer's chart which is a much stronger and even more confusing example. Here is the chart:

For those of you who do not know who Roger Federer is, let's just say that he is one of the best tennis players of all time. He may currently be No2 in the world, as Rafael Nadal has the upper hand in their encounters, but even if he never beats Nadal again and starts to fall down in the rankings, he has had four phenomenal years, he is very close to equalling Pete Sampras' record for most Gran Slam wins and he is the player with the most prize money ever. So he is more than succesful.
But when we look at his chart using the traditional techniques, we are surprised, to say the least. His chart ruler and Midheaven ruler (profession) is Mercury. Mercury is on the cusp of the 12th house and applying to conjunct the Sun and become combust so, even though fast, this doesn't help him. What can we make of this? This is a severely debilitated planet and a strong indication that Roger would not amount to much. Yet, this is obviously not the case, in fact, quite the reverse. Granted, the Midheaven receives beneficial trines from a well-dignified Saturn and Jupiter and they are both in the 2nd house of money, but is that enough to completely offset the destructive influence of Mercury?
Need we rethink combustion when it comes to the sign of Leo? The Sun in Leo of course burns like hell, but it seems that planets in Leo want to be combust. Mercury in this chart absolutely loves the Sun. It is ruled by the Sun and it's in the triplicity of the Sun. Still, both Mercury and the Sun are accidentally debilitated by being in the 12th house.
What if we don't use Mercury as the ruler of either the Ascendant or the Midheaven? Finding the almuten, that is, the planet with the most essential dignity in those degrees, is not much help either, since Mercury is also the almuten. The only thing that would perhaps accurately portray the truth would be if we used the triplicity ruler of the Midheaven, which is Saturn. But should we?
I would appreciate it if you had any thoughts on the subject and shared them with me.

Both charts were taken from the astrotheme website.

Sunday, 1 March 2009


Is it an aspect or isn't it? For most modern astrologers, it is indeed, it's just that they don't know exactly how to interpret it. It is generally considered difficult, because the planets involved have a 6th/8th house relationship and therefore it possibly signifies illness and death. For Howard Sasportas, a quincunx can behave both like a trine and an opposition. For most traditional astrologers, however the quincunx is not an aspect in the sense that planets in a quincunx or a semi-sextile relationship cannot view one another. What if we combine these two conflicting opinions?
If we start from the traditional point of view that it is not an aspect, it can be argued that its' meaning can be derived exactly from that fact. Most of the planets in our chart, and sometimes all, are connected in some way or another as they are located in signs that are sextiling, squaring, trining and opposing one another. So, this is the norm. The natural state of affairs is for every planet to be aware of every other's presence, even if an aspect cannot be formed, when the two planets are out of orb. Still, they can see every other planet. But when we have two planets 30 or 150 degrees apart, then these two are unaware of the other's presence, meaning that when each one of them acts, it cannot receive the "beneficial" or "harmful" influence of the other.
Suppose I have the Moon and Saturn in a quincunx relationship. On the face of it, this is fortunate because these two planets hate each other and even harmonious aspects cannot be considered "easy". So, I will probably be able to express my emotional nature without feeling any hindrances. However, I may forever stay an immature child, expecting my emotional needs to be met all the time, since I will lack the maturing influence of Saturn. Whatever the case, I will probably experience both the pros and cons of these two not being in aspect. But at a certain time - and that's why we should not allow large orbs - I will have a heavy transit or an important progression that will activate both these planets.
Let's say my Moon is in Aries and my Saturn in Virgo. Pluto in Capricorn will square my Moon and trine my Saturn, so I will simultaneously have Moon issues and Saturn issues in my life, something that is completely alien to me. It would probably, therefore, be much more difficult for me to combine these two energies than if I had these planets in a conventional aspect, because my Moon is not used to Saturn being present, hence "illness" and "death" in a metaphorical sense.
Howard Sasportas is also right when he says that a quincunx can behave like a trine or an opposition. The two planets may not be in aspect in the natal chart, but by secondary progression, the faster one of the two will trine or oppose the other one. Even if both are fast, trines and oppositions will be formed by the progressed to the natal positions. If both are slow, then this is a generational marker and I don't think we should be bothered, unless they receive aspects from other planets.
Anyway, I think it is an "aspect" that would repay closer study, as is the semi-sextile which has a lot in common with the quincunx.