Sunday, 1 December 2013

Paul Walker's tragic death and chart rectification

We don't have a birth time for Paul Walker (at least I don't) so I'll "play around" with his chart and try to find one possible birth time. I do not know much about him, so I'm going to rely on two major events in his life that are known to everybody. His death yesterday (30th November 2013) and his big breakthough with the first film of the Fast and Furious series, in 2001. Naturally, two events, however major, are hardly sufficient to provide any certainty about the birth time, but let's give it a shot.

Let's start with the time of death. If we follow Ptolemy, the primary candidates as killing planets are Saturn and Mars. In Paul Walker's chart they are both in a severely debilitated state. Saturn is in detriment and conjunct the South Node and Mars is also in detriment in Taurus. We see that around 40 years of age (a little more, a little less -depending on which method of calculation you prefer) we have the direction of the Sun (19o49' Virgo) to the the square of Mars (8o54' Leo). You can already see that the zodiacal distance between these two points is around 41 degrees. Of course we need the distance in right ascension here, but it's not going to be a lot different than 41, in fact somewhat less. This direction also seems to fit the manner of Walker's death, as he died in a fiery car crash (Mars, a fiery planet that rules machines).

However, this means that the Sun must be the hyleg. In order to satisfy most of the methods on how to identify the hyleg, we should make Walker's nativity a diurnal one and we must avoid the 9th, 8th, 12th and perhaps 7th (where the Sun sets) houses of the chart, which leaves us with the 10th and 11th houses.

We also know that Walker became famous in 2001 with the release of the first Fast and Furious film. If we put the Sun in the 10th house, there doesn't seem to be an obvious and important direction for such a significant event that changed his life. If we put the Sun, however, in the 11th house, that would place Leo in the 10th and the Sun would be its ruler. So, a primary direction of the Sun to the conjunction of the Midheaven would give us the desired result. Based on that direction, we would have an MC at 20o53' Leo and an ascendant at 14o24' Scorpio. With these placements, both events are covered.

Does it fit generally, however? It seems that it does. A Scorpio ascendant would give us Mars as its ruler, which, in turn, would be angular in the 7th house and in detriment. This fact alone, signals danger.  This year's solar return has Mars (in Leo!) conjunct the ascendant and square Saturn in Scorpio. The lunar return has Sagittarius ascending with Jupiter retrograde in Cancer in the 8th house! Finally, Saturn is currently conjunct this ascendant.

Feel free to comment, particularly if you disagree or have another birth time to propose.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Free will and predestination

John Frawley has written a very interesting article about the so-called battle between free will and fate, but I think there are some issues that are left unclear, to me at least. Here are two paragraphs from the article:

"Much the same can be said of prediction. When we predict we are in a sense looking into the little book that is eternity, because we’re not looking at life as a straight line of which we know only the particular point where we are right now. When we predict, we’re looking at the life as something the whole of which exists now. Else we wouldn’t be able to see it. The whole movie is in the can. Hence the fact we can look anywhere we want in that life. It’s a bit like a photo album. You have a photo album covering 20 years of your life, and you can open that album wherever you like. Those 20 years in a sense exist now, completely. Both prediction and prayer assume that the whole of our life exists in much the same way as those 20 years in the photo album, the only difference being that the photo album exists only after we apparently perceive the life, whereas the prayer and prediction seem to us to exist only before we experience it. But because before and after are things we perceive only because of our position within the constraints of time, they are not necessarily to be taken too seriously. Before and after are not necessarily the determining words on the subject."

"Our situation regarding prediction and the apparent contradiction between free will and predestination, is not the situation of the one watching the movie and wondering what’s going to happen next. Our situation is that of the person in the movie. We are Rick, wondering if it will be him or Victor Lazlo getting on the plane with Ilsa. What will I choose to do? Rick has his free will. It’s his choice whether it’s him or Lazlo who gets on the plane. But - the decision has already been made. The movie’s in the can. Yet only by exercising his own free will does the movie unfold as it must do, as it can only do, as it will inevitably do. The predestination (the movie being in the can) is obtainable only by Rick exercising his free will.

The whole article can be found here: 

1) So, we as astrologers do not predict, because there is no such thing as a past and a future. Everything already exists, therefore we cannot make a prediction in the literal sense of the word, because we are not seeing something in the chart that "will happen", but simply something that is part of our script. We are just stating a fact. So far so good.

2) We, as people, do not know the script beforehand, because that would be extremely unpleasant. Look at Jesus, John says. He knew his script beforehand and he didn't like it, at least parts of it. He played it out of course, because that is the only possible "choice" for everybody, but it was unpleasant nonetheless. So, what are we doing as astrologers? Why are we trying to find out about what the various scripts say? Are we making our lives - and other people's lives for that matter - unpleasant? Should we stop? Can we stop? Naturally, what we will eventually do (stop or don't stop), will be determined by our script, but if we consider astrology to be a divine art, isn't that perhaps what we are supposed to do? Shouldn't we try to emulate Jesus? Can it be that this is our purpose, that is, to find out all we can about our script, despite the potential unpleasantness?

3) John finally says that the script can only come to life by us exercising our free will. Curious choice of words here and this is the part that is unclear to me. By free will does he mean conscious action? That I can understand.  My "choice" is written in the script, but this choice has to be acted upon, it has to be realized. The script has to become a movie, it can't just stay simply words on paper forever. But free will? What does he mean by that? Isn't that an illusion? I can only call it free will, if I do not know that a script exists. But I'm deluding myself because a script does exist. And even if I do know my script by heart (Jesus), I still have to play it out, regardless of whether I like it or not. Can this be called free? I can't help but remember Cypher from the first Matrix, who got out of the Matrix, only to realize that freedom is an illusion. "You call this free?" he told Trinity. Trinity failed to respond.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Serena Williams

She could be the greatest female tennis player of all time. She is only two grand slams away from the all time record, currently held by both Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. What Steffi Graf, who is considered by most as the best player ever, couldn't accomplish, seems to be an easy task for Serena. Her chart, however, at first glance doesn't seem to promise greatness with all those 6th house planets, her temperament (a phlegmatic/melancholic tennis champion? Really?) the Moon in very poor condition and two planets in detriment or fall, one of them the ruler of the ascendant, no less. What is going on here?

Granted, she's had more than her fair share of injuries and she's had to stay away from the game for sometimes long periods of time, which explains the loaded 6th house. She also does seem to have a slow movement and tries to save energy by ending the point with a powerful stroke, instead of getting into a long set of rallies, which could partially explain the cold temperament. She's had problems with her weight, a common characteristic of a phlegmatic temperament. She's suffered from a bout of depression (melancholic temperament), but that was after the violent death of her half-sister, Yetunde, which is understandable. And finally, she does give the impression that she would rather compete only in slams, because all the other tournaments bore her enormously. Where, however, does she derive her heat and power from?

I think most of it comes from that very powerful square between Venus and Mars. Venus, the ruler of the ascendant and ruler of all those planets in Libra, is in detriment, yes, but she's also in that quite rare (for Venus) and very fortunate state of hayz. She's a nocturnal planet, in a nocturnal chart, nocturnally placed in a nocturnal sign. Because Venus is so close to the Sun, she's almost always diurnally placed, where the Sun is, that is. So it's not easy for her to be in hayz. Serena's Venus however, is, which strengthens this Venus a lot. What's more, Venus is in her own terms (the best place for a Venus in Scorpio to be) and there's a mutual reception between Venus and Mars (domicile/terms) which helps to make the square less of a problem. Mars, an extremely hot and dry planet by nature, is in Leo here, which makes him even hotter and drier. So this Venus receives, quite willingly, a lot of fixed fire. Hence the power. Mars is also the co-almuten of the 10th house (exaltation and face ruler) and by being placed in the 5th house, makes the connection between sports and profession.

Serena, at 32,  is currently the oldest female player ever to be No 1 in the ATP rankings. It would be interesting to watch her break many more records in the future, if she manages to stay injury-free.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Venus in water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces)

Venus is quite comfortable in the element of water. She is a cold and moist planet and water is cold and moist. Although Venus by herself is not particularly emotional, emotions tend to be an integral part of relationships and they are a sort of a by-product when two people are brought together.

Venus in Cancer = Not bad, but not a very good Venus either. That’s because this tends to be a clinging Venus with a sort of childish emotionality. Easily hurt, with a tendency to brood and sulk and that can put off a great number of people, who soon realize that she can’t stand a healthy - and sometimes necessary - dose of conflict. The problem is that when this Venus gets romantically involved, the other person automatically becomes a member of the family. And members of the family stay together, no matter what. That can be a great burden for the other person, who may want more freedom in a relationship and may hate always being on their toes for fear of saying or doing something that might hurt this sensitive Venus. The good side of this Venus is that she is extremely nurturing and takes great care of her loved ones, but this can also be a great burden sometimes.

Venus in Scorpio = This Venus is highly problematic and that’s because she finds herself in a sign that is totally contrary to her nature. Where Venus wants harmony and balance, Scorpio wants poisonous passion. Mars, the planet that rules Aries and Scorpio, is not a planet of relationships. He doesn’t understand them, or rather, the need for them. Passion yes, can be very interesting for Mars, because it’s something that sends the adrenalin sky high. Passions however, have a sell-by date and then a new person has to come along to stir up the passion once again. It's a sad fact that love and passion rarely have anything in common. Love is loving the other person, passion is loving what the other person makes YOU feel. So we cannot talk seriously about love for this Venus, although, to be fair, it is slightly better than Venus in Aries, because Scorpio is a fixed sign and an emotional one. Relationships may last with Venus in Scorpio, but they can never be peaceful, relaxing and enjoyable, because Scorpio can’t survive without tension.

Venus in Pisces = This is the third best Venus, after Venus in Taurus and Venus in Libra. This Venus represents the emotional part that emerges from a relationship. Pisces is a place where Venus can pretend to be all about feelings without her usual possessiveness (Taurus) or need for rules (Libra). This is why astrology authors usually call her an idealistic Venus, because she tends to have an idealistic view about love matters and often chooses to ignore the down-to-earth reality of the other person. Some authors call her promiscuous, but, if this is so, I think it is either because she's often coupled with an Aries Sun or because she finds it difficult to turn people down for fear of hurting them or because she wants to save them through love (or sex). Anyway, this is a very good Venus and despite the problems that arise sometimes, this is usually a Venus that can love and respect the other person's needs. Need we ask for anything more?  

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Shirley MacLaine: A mommie dearest?

In a few days, a book by Shirley MacLaine’s daughter, Sachi Parker, is going to be released with some bitter comments about her mother, especially the fact that she felt neglected and abandoned. She describes her mother as a very career-driven person that couldn't stand being around her only child for more than four hours, which was very hurtful for her when she was growing up. Shirley has not commented on any of this and perhaps she never will.
Shirley’s chart has an impressive mutual reception by domicile between the two benefics, Venus and Jupiter. Venus is also exalted in Pisces and it is one of those not so frequent occasions that Venus is correctly placed (nocturnally) in a diurnal chart, in the 6th house but in the same sign as the descendant. This is a wonderful Venus and she is the ruler of her 9th house of “higher knowledge”. No wonder she is so much interested in this otherworldly stuff. For the lovers of modern astrology, we also have a Moon/Neptune conjunction in the 12th house.
Her 5th house is in Aquarius with Saturn there in domicile. A somewhat “austere” 5th house, not much prone to fun and games and with Saturn there, not many children can be expected. Shirley has had only one child, Sachi, who she sent to live with her father in Japan for a number of years. Shirley mentions in her books that it was wonderful for Sachi to have experienced two different cultures, but it seems that for the daughter, her childhood wasn’t exactly a fairytale. That's what she says at least. Also, this placement (Saturn in the 5th) seems to corroborate the daughter's story that she was a burden to her mother.
This year’s solar return has the 5th house ruler (Jupiter) conjunct the MC. The daughter “goes public”. However, it’s Jupiter and in Taurus, which isn’t so bad. This month’s lunar return has the 5th house ruler (Mars) in the 1st house and the ruler of the ascendant (Saturn) is in the 9th house exactly squaring the ascendant. Since we are talking about Mars (daughter) and Saturn (Shirley) here, the two Infortunes, we can expect some difficulty, also considering the square aspects. However, Mars and Saturn are in strong mutual reception by domicile and this is quite encouraging. Yes, Mars and Saturn are in signs that square each other and they are both afflicting the ascendant (Saturn is also in the LR 9th house, the daughter’s 5th from the 5th = the daughter’s baby = her book), so some discomfort is to be expected and perhaps some animosity, but the mutual reception offers them a chance to patch things up eventually.
Which might prove to be a very good idea as next year (from this year's birthday to the next one) may be a very difficult one for Shirley. Next year's solar return has retrograde Saturn conjunct the ascendant with Mars repeating his natal position (combust and in detriment) and opposing the ascendant. We also have the lunar return for 18th May repeating the SR pattern and we should not leave out the fact that secondary progressed Mars (natal 8th house ruler) will conjunct the natal MC (if we subtract 5 minutes from her birth time). A difficult year, no doubt, and it would be helpful if mother and daughter were on friendly terms.