Consecutive Full Moons in Scorpio

There will be two consecutive Full Moons in Scorpio in 2008. The last one occurred 20 April 2008 @ 2:33 am pst. This is not to be confused with the Blue Moon phenomenon, which is a fourth Full Moon in a given season. That occurs approximately every 2.7 years to reflect the fact that the Solar Year is longer than twelve Lunar Cycles, but less than thirteen. It is commonly misunderstood that a Blue Moon is the second Full Moon in a given calendar month.

Nevertheless, to have two consecutive Full Moons in any one sign is a rare enough event. I am giving this pair a little extra attention because the configuration is of great interest for a number of reasons.

The April chart had Saturn as the ruler of the Ascendant retrograde in the seventh house with the Dragon’s Tail. The Eight / Two axis is known as the Gates of Hades or Domain of Typhon.  Note that in the May chart the Sun and Moon change places on the same axis.

The Moon is parallel Sirius and conjunct the Arabic Part of Understanding. The parallel aspect is much stronger than the conjunction. The Moon is in her fall and the powerful influence of Sirius brings passionate, searing intensity to an already volatile mix. The Moon in the traditional decanate of Mars, accentuates her already Martian nature. She is disposited by Mars in Cancer, the sign of his fall. This provides what is called a negative mutual reception. Both are in the sign of their own fall. A weak malefic is a damaging one.

According to Ptolemy, Sirius, the brightest of all stars is of the nature of Jupiter and Mars. With the Moon, there is general good fortune, if free of malefics. This is a case of a highly baneful situation being ameliorated by association with a particular star and Arabic Part. However, this relief is slight considering the overall picture. Regrettably, the planets have delivered their promise by way of global catastrophes in the same elements. Much suffering could have been avoided if the celestial forcasts had been heeded.

In itself, we can then see that the chart is certainly challenging enough, but its full import is seen with the second opposition in the same sign a month later.

The second consecutive Full Moon in Scorpio occurs 19 May 2008 @ 4.44 pm pdt, just before the Sun enters Gemini. Note that Saturn has gone direct and sits on the same degree as the Full Lunar Eclipse of 20 February 2008 @ 7:26 pm. pst. It is also in almost precisely the same position as it was in the April chart.

The May chart has Venus combust in the eighth house and, although dignified by sign, cannot do much due to both combustion and house placement. Venus is ruler of the Ascendant and caught up with the Sun’s opposition to the Moon on the same axis.

Morover, the Dragon’s Tail is besieged by Saturn and Mars. Both Saturn and the South Node are in the twelfth Lunar Mansion, Al Safah, the Changer of the Weather. Mars disposits the Part of Fortune, found in the unfortunate sixth house in the Mansion of the Belly. By any standards, this is a nasty piece of work.

With the current vulnerability to seismic activity, particularly around the Pacific rim, Central Asia and all countries where the Lunar Eclipse was visible,  vigilence and preparation should be a matter of course. Any country under the governenance of Virgo should also beware. Extreme siesmic activity is often the case with Sun, Jupiter and Saturn in Earth signs; and here we have exacerbating circumstances.

Ptolemy does not mention China by name, but the country would fall under what he calls the second quarter:

“which embraces the southern part of Greater Asia, the other parts, including India, Ariana, Gedrosia, Parthia, Media, Persia, Babylonia, Mesopotamia, and Assyria, which are situated in the south-east of the whole inhabited world, are, as we might presume, familiar to the south-eastern triangle, Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn, and are governed by Venus and Saturn in oriental aspects.” (Tetrabiblos. Bk II. p. 43)

This places Myanmar (formerly Burma) and China under the governance of the Earth triplicity at a time when Saturn, Sun and Jupiter occupies these signs. What he calls Ariana is what is now known as Afghanistan and Pakistan as far east as the Indus.

The Moon was Void of Course in the 24th degree of Leo, crossing the Dragon’s Tail and activating a square to the Sun when the 7.9 magnitude quake hit the Chendu area in the Szechuan province of China. The Sun was cojoining with Algol. The result was mass destruction causing the death of 10,000 people as the result of the quake and aftershocks. The Chinese refer to Algol as the star of “piled up corpses”

In the chart for 19 May 2008, the Sun is conjunct the Fixed Star Alcyone, the brightest of the Pleiades, situated on the shoulder of the Bull. It is of the nature of Mars and the Moon. Negatively the star is associated with blindness caused by fevers, either literally of figuratively. The spread of disease as a result of the catastrophes in Myanmar and China is a very real, but preventable threat; but first, blindness must give way to vision. This is most particularly the case in Myanmar.

The Lunar degree of this chart falls in the nineteenth Mansion known Al Shaulah, The Sting. The Ascending degree is in the sixteenth Mansion Al Jubana, The Claws, and in Via Combusta. The latter is a region of the zodiac that contains many baneful stars, with the notable exception of Spica. However, the Moon in the 28 th degree of Scorpio has Venus for decanate ruler, rather than Mars as was the case in the April chart.img_sign_on islamic astrolabe

This Solar degree falls in the Lunar Mansion Al Thurayya (the many little ones) and is said to be profitable to sailors and alchemists. Taken figuratively, this augers well for the afflicted and an albeit belated rescue effort for Burma, particularly as the Sun moves into Gemini and the Moon enters Sagittarius, forming a fleeting but perfect trine to Mars at the time of the Solar Ingress.

She will be in parallel with Antares, the Heart of the Scorpion,  before the opposition fully separates. Venus will soon be out from under the Sun’s beams. This is a brief period of respite, before Mars closes in on the Dragon’s Tail. Excessive heat and fires fanned by high winds are predicted when the Moon co-joins with them.

Please bear in mind that the house placements will differ from one time zone to another. These comments are most specifically relevant to the Pacific Coast in that regard only.  The comments on fixed star placement and planetary aspects otherwise remain the same and are most immediately concerned with the areas Ptolemy identified with the Earth Triplicity.

To be continued …

Foundation Chart for Baghdad

Al-Biruni mentioned a foundation chart for Baghdad, calculated by the court astrologer, Nawbakht with the assistance of the great Mashallah. This occurred under the caliph Abu Ja’far Al-Mansur who believed Baghdad would be the ideal capital of the Islamic empire under the Abbasids. They were appointed to select a favourable time to begin construction of the capital. It was a truly massive project that would ultimately hire 100,000 labourers.

The date given is 31 July 762 02:40 pm, using Alchabitius Semi-Arc, placing Jupiter precisely on the Ascendant and allowing the builders to indulge in a late brunch. Here is the result:

The first question likely to arise in the modern metaphysical mind, is ‘were they completely mad?’ The first element most likely to strike fear and loathing into the sensitive New Age soul is the Grand Cross, that most hated and damning of all aspect patterns. There is a chart showing the aspects and modern planets here.

Saturn is in the fifth house, squaring Mercury and the Nodes. Worst of all, he opposes the Moon. As if they couldn’t botch things any worse, Jupiter opposes Mars. This is a fair presentation of how a modern astrologer would view this chart.

From a traditional point of view the chart is an entirely different entity and a stroke of electional genius. Let’s forget about geometry for one minute and think instead of essential nature. An aspect such as an opposition has meaning only insofar as natures oppose each other. In this case, the Moon is in the late degrees of Libra and Saturn in the early degrees of Taurus. The opposition of nature would occur if the Moon were in Scorpio.

Planets and luminaries, not aspects, have orbs. The Nodes emit no light and therefore have no orbs, for that is the basis of orbs in the first place. They are orbs of light. Although a modern aspectarian would view Saturn as squared the Nodes, by nature they are in fact trine and of the same element.

In fact, we can see that the astrologers were working within a relatively small window to find the closest thing to a perfect time. The perfect election exists only in the mind of God. A good election is comprised of the best possible moment, accentuating the beneficial and minimizing the malefic towards a desired end.

It is surely no coincidence that the Moon has entered the 12th Lunar Mansion, Al Simak. The meaning of this Mansion is “The Unarmed. Causes marital love, cures the sick … With Moon here, dig but do not marry or travel.” The astrologers might have prefered it were at the entrance degree of 22 Libra 43; but that would have left Mars above the horizon and the election would have been spoiled.

What we said about the Moon and Saturn, we can say about Mercury and Saturn. We find Mercury in the late degrees of Cancer which, like Libra is Cardinal. Fixed does not square or oppose Cardinal. It is a question of essential nature. So, the “Grand Cross” is in fact a geometric illusion and nothing more. Being in orb is not the point. Essential nature is.Abbasid Baghdad was a walled, fortified city, set among an extensive network of canals Courtesy BBC

Now, let’s look at the Mars / Jupiter opposition. The sixth house is considered an unfortunate house, along with the eighth and twelfth. One reason given for this is that it cannot ’see’ the Ascendant.

Mars has just set. It is also the perfect place to put  Mars because in the sixth House he is like a tiger in a cage. He is said to be in his Joy in this house. The astrologers probably thought that Mars was rendered far less harmful because of his house placement and the fact that he’s in sect.  At any rate, this is the chart the astrologers selected and must have felt that Mars was sufficiently subdued. The only other explanations that occur to me at this time is that their intentions were malicious or they were incompetent beyond imagination, neither of which are at all convincing.

This great new centre of learning has Jupiter in his own sign as the life blood of this new city, as the Ascendant is the health of the native. The Sun in the eighth place, by the rule of 5 is in the ninth house. This is the House of God and the Sun finds his Joy here in the royal sign of Leo. Here we find the Lord of the Geniture. The Arabic Part of Faith is found in the same house. The Part of Spirit is in partile conjunction with the Midheaven.

A protective Venus, disposited by the eleventh house Moon in Venusian Libra is placed in the house of partners and enemies. The enemies of Baghdad are rendered benign, as they have been for the majority of the city’s history. The eleventh house supports the tenth, which is in turn informed by the ninth. Baghdad was the greatest centre of learning and culture when Europe was a comparatively primitive backwater.

In this cursory reading of this election, it is evident that these astrologers were truly masters of the art. This also serves as a striking example of how a modern and traditional astrologer would view this election in the first place. The timing is ingenious from a classical point of view; yet the same chart seems mere folly when viewed through the lense of post enlightenment astrological theory.

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In response to several thoughtful comments and queries (and two really obnoxious ones) regarding this article, I’ve added two other versions of the same chart. The first is Whole Sign. The second is Whole Sign using the Sidereal zodiac. The latter was mentioned by Mark and I think it deserves some close  study. I’ve set the charts up as thumbnails so you can comment on them individually if you prefer.

trop

Whole Sign – Tropical

fagan-allen

Whole Sign – Sidereal

Wherein the Nature and Purpose of the Blog is fully explained

gad_a

The Industrious and Modest reader, who truly Thirsts or Pants after an acquaintance with the works of God, will thank me for thus lending him mine Eyes, and for doing so great, but useful a piece of Drudgery, for the service of the Divine Urania. While in the meantime, the envious Sciolist will perhaps disdain the work, and cry Tush! Term it a Trifle: and it may be, will be so thankless and ungrateful, as to tell me, I might have spent my time to better purpose, if (with Sir W.P. ) I had numbered all the Lawyers Chimneys in the several Inns of Court in London: or, full as well. have slept away my time with Lampatho’s Spaniel. But, do not all wise men know, that Envy hath no Commerce, or Communication with true Industry. The Invidious Man, like the Dog in the Manger, is never contented; he’ll do nothing himself, yet be still snarling at the performance of others. Howbeit, – jacta est alea – The Work is done and I am proof against all Censure. The Commendation of Good Men will not make me Proud, neither shall I value what witry Malice, or gross Impudence can Speak or do against these my Endeavours – (With apologies to John Gadbury, Gent.)

 

New Moon in Taurus

The Moon is New in Taurus as I begin this web log, which seems particularly auspicious timing. We can say that the Moon is Cazimi, in her exaltation and fast in motion. Both she and the Sun are under the governance of Venus in her dignity. She is chart almuten. Both she and the Moon are in Hayz and angular. However, she is under the sun beams which diminishes her power.

Mercury is dignified in Gemini, in his own hour. He is separating from a square to Saturn and forms a sextile with Mars in his fall. Sun, Moon, then Venus are in an applying trine formation with Jupiter,  also in his fall.  However, opposed as they are, Jupiter and Mars receive each other by mutual exaltation. This is a minor reception and not necessarily a particularly helpful one. Nevertheless, it looks like a fair beginning, all things considered.

First I will see if this actually posts! <G> Then perhaps we can look at the regional weather forecast. Welcome to the Classical Astrologer Weblog!