Sunday, 8 January 2012

Out of sign aspects

Do they count? Some say they do, others say they don't. Those who say they don't (myself included) view the beginning and end of the sign as boundaries, which means that you cannot have a conjunction between planets located in adjacent signs, no matter how close they are. Or a trine between planets that are in signs which belong in a different triplicity. That is because, if we accept the opposite, then it totally cancels out the essential meaning of a conjunction, a trine etc. How can there be a conjunction between the Moon in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Capricorn for example, when these two planets want two completely different things?
The ones who say they do count, claim that if the aspect is within orb, then it is an aspect, only less effective. The problem, however, of the two planets wanting two different things, remains. If you want to stick to this theory, then you must also be of the opinion that signs don't act as boundaries and that the end and the beginning of each sign is a fuzzy area that comprises characteristics of two signs. The Moon, therefore, is NOT in Sagittarius and Jupiter is NOT in Capricorn, but instead they are located in this fuzzy area that is both Sagittarius AND Capricorn to a certain extent. Only then would a conjunction be possible. You can't keep the boundaries theory and at the same time speak of a conjunction. That is impossible.

Monday, 2 January 2012

2012 and beyond

A lot is being said about the 21st of December 2012 and astrologers around the world are busy delineating the chart of that particular date. Others are saying that nothing extremely out of the ordinary is going on, while others are paying special attention to the yod aspect formed by Saturn in Scorpio, Pluto in Capricorn and Jupiter in Gemini. The truth is that no one can say that indeed something extremely rare is about to happen, because difficult planetary configurations happen all the time and the world is still here.
First of all, is the yod really an aspect? For those of you who are not familiar with the non – ptolemaic aspects, the yod is formed by two planets who are in a sextile aspect (Pluto in Capricorn, Saturn in Scorpio) and both of them are in a quincunx aspect (150o degrees) to a third planet, in this case Jupiter in Gemini. A lot has been said about the yod, but as is often the case with modern astrology, nothing has been said that can’t be interpreted the way each astrologer sees fit. To my mind, the important thing about yods, quincunxes and semi-sextiles is precisely the fact that there is no aspect. The norm is for the planets to be in aspect by sign to one another. For the Sun of course, it is quite common to be in inconjunct signs with Mercury and Venus, but we could say that the common thing is for planets to exert an influence, however slight, to every other planet in the chart.
The quincunx aspect is not rare, but yods are less common. The planet that forms the quincunx aspects has no relation with TWO other planets in the chart, regardless of the orb and taking antiscia into account. Is that a good or a bad thing? On the whole, I would say that it is preferable for planets to be in aspect - at least by sign – with each other, because confrontation brings awareness, despite the difficulties. It is debatable however, whether a planet would benefit from a confrontation with another planet in a very poor state. In the 2012 chart, Jupiter is in the sign of its detriment and retrograde. That is a nasty Jupiter and probably not a lot of fun to be around with. So, it won’t probably be able to soften the Saturn/Pluto sextile and perhaps it’s for the better.
What is also interesting in this chart is that there’s a mutual reception, not between Pluto and Saturn as modern astrologers tell us, but between Mars and Saturn, since Mars is also in Capricorn. We have, therefore, the two traditional malefics liking each other enormously and Pluto is there, joining in the fun. What’s even more interesting, is that this is a very “martial”chart. Mars himself is exalted in Capricorn, Saturn is in a Mars-ruled sign, Pluto and the Sun (winter solstice) are in the sign of Mars’ exaltation and finally the Moon and Uranus are also in a Mars-ruled sign, Aries. This is too much Mars and we all know the things Mars is associated with.
Now, is Mars a benefic or a malefic? There is a slight difference of opinion in traditional astrologers about this, mainly because there is ambivalence in the ancient texts. There are those who say that any planet can be either benefic or malefic, depending on the sign it is in. If the planet is in the sign it rules or where it is exalted, it is a benefic. In the sign of its detriment or fall, a malefic. Others, although they basically agree with the previous statement, make a distinction between Mars and Saturn, the natural malefics and the other planets, saying that a well-dignified Mars or Saturn may indeed behave well, but the things Mars and Saturn rule, even though necessary, are naturally unpleasant. So, no matter what their condition is, Mars and Saturn can never be called Fortunes.
In the 2012 chart, we have an extremely  strong Mars energy and we have a well-behaved Mars, in the sign of its exaltation. We could interpret this as things that need to be done and are necessary (Mars in exaltation), but they may not be pleasant (Mars and Saturn, the natural malefics, in mutual reception). This is not valid only for that particular day, but for the whole season, since it is the day of the winter solstice.

The most interesting thing, however, that has been said about the time period around 2012 is, I think, not what this chart for that particular date tells us, but the fact that we are living at a time that Regulus, one of the four royal fixed stars that are associated with the solstices, has or is about to move into Virgo. This is the last of the four “solstice stars” to ingress into a mutable sign, with the other three stars (Fomalhaut, Aldebaran and Antares) already being in the other three mutable signs. This means that after a very long time, all four stars are going to be in signs of the same quality. This, indeed, does imply change. Is it going to be a change for better or for worse? Frawley, in particular, is quite pessimistic about this change, saying that gradually spirituality is going to hit an all-time-low, judging from what happened when Fomalhaut, for example, moved into Pisces, which was at the time of the Enlightenment. We are now living in the Age of Reason, which, for Frawley is not enlightenment at all, but exactly the opposite thing. So, with Regulus moving into Virgo, we are going to move even further away from spirituality, marking an “End of Days” kind of situation according to the Christian tradition. Even if somebody is not quite as pessimistic as Frawley about this, one cannot escape the fact, that the mutable signs are about closing circles and returning to the Source, so, when the four solstice stars move again into cardinal signs, in 2160 years or thereabouts, there is going to be a “get rid of the old and start afresh” kind of thing. We won’t be around to witness that, but for the time being we could stay alert for signs of spiritual degradation.