Some Astrological Thoughts on Easter

Mary Magdalene, Apostle of Christ, holds the first Mystic Egg, the Easter Egg, by means of Jesus Christ, representing the new MAN, the Son of MAN.

Mary Magdalene, Apostle of Christ, holds the symbolic Gnostic Egg

To anyone who thinks twice about it, Easter presents us with a bizarre cacophony of images: crosses, rabbits carrying chocolate eggs and Lambs.  Baby chicks spring out of the eggs brought by the rabbits. This is the kind of thing that happens when we try to obliterate the Gnostic in Christianity, adopt any number of so-called Pagan festivals, while banishing the writings of Mary Magdalene, the only one said to be present at the Resurrection and a constant companion to Jesus during his last years.  If we understand the significance of the Gnostic Egg and only then try to put the other elements together, we stand a far better chance of establishing a coherent festival

You can eat lamb but not rabbit at Easter. The lamb is the traditional sacrificial animal in the Bible.  That’s how we get terms such as Lamb of God. It goes back at least as far as the Sacrifice of Issac

Also, the Spring is the time of new born lambs, an important moment in agricultural as well as nomadic herding cultures such as we find in the Bible.

Here are a few of the astrological observations on the season.

Easter is a movable Feast. It occurs on the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Spring Equinox. Unlike the Solar Based Christmas dating, Easter is more Lunar.

The first Full Moon when the Sun is in Aries is of course in Libra, governed by Venus. But the actual holiday has to occur on a Sun Day. For Christians this is the most important day of the year. It marks when Jesus Christ rose from the dead after the Crucifixion.

These two themes appear to clash and to clash badly. That’s because in spite of its best efforts, early Christianity failed to combine the elements of a Pagan holiday into a Christian one as successfully as they had with Christmas.

But then there really isn’t anything particularly Christian about Christmas with regard to the time of year.. It appears to be a symbolic gesture to the Winter Solstice. This time of year is of great significance in virtually all cultures in any case.

Sol Invictus - Roman Solar Deity

Sol Invictus – Roman Solar Deity

Early evangelists attempted to symbolically integrate the Religion of the Sun God or Sol Invictus with Christianity. If they had failed it might have remained a minor cult or gone extinct.

At that time Sol Invictus was the primary deity of Romans. It effectively made Caesar the God’s spokesman on Earth. This is of course very close to the idea of the Pope as the Vicar (as in vicarious) of Christ on Earth. Ironically, the Caesar Constantine who declared Christianity the state religion of Rome, left as the memorial to himself as Apollo the Sun God. It is now widely doubted that Constantine ever fully converted.

Concessions were made to previous religions by absorbing key archetypal ideas and symbology. In Persia and the Eastern Roman Empire there were many practicioners of Mithraism or Zoroastrianism which again is the Solar Deity. Among the chief reasons that Christianity eventually spread so fast is that local religions were given their place whenever possible,

It is becoming very difficult to find anyone who thinks that Christmas is the actual birthday of Jesus Christ, but it’s by far the most popular holy day. The early evangelist Justin Martyr famously gave solace to a potential Greek convert by assuring him Christ was just like Zeus. It is the semblance of Zeus that was used particularly in the Eastern Orthodox Church. The end justifies the means.

Easter eggs go back at least as far as Ancient Persia and painted eggs were part of the Spring Equinox Festival also known as Noruz. Eggs are an obvious choice to use if you want to symbolically celebrate fertility. But the reason for the eggs is Venusian. The egg is a high symbol of the ubiquitous Goddess known as Venus Ishtar, Innana, Oestra, and many more. In fact the word for Easter comes from the name Eostra. So we have eggs and other obvious symbols of the Goddess religion. Rabbits and Hares are a later European feature of Easter. We have expressions such as breed like rabbits because they are famously reproductive.

An Anglo-Saxon goddess named Eostre may have had hares as attendants. If so, the hares may have held her lights, since Eostre was the goddess of Dawn, like Eos (Greek) and Aurora (Latin). The month of April was, among the Anglo-Saxons, called Eostur-monath, and during Eostur-monath, a festival was held to Eostre (see  “The Hare in Myth and Reality: A Review Article,” by John Andrew 1973.)

It’s a stretch in my view to mix these symbols and hearkening to so called Pagan religions with the the Christian story of the death and resurrection of Jesus It doesn’t seem at home amidst all this estrogen, but so far it has worked.

I’m sure this is why it has to occur on a Sunday after a Full Moon in Venusian Libra. It’s an attempt to align the Solar Deity Mythology with that that of the Goddess.

The resurrection is suppose to mean (quite literally) new life – as in rising from the dead. From an astrological point of view we have the Spring Equinox and 0 Aries, followed by a Full Moon in Venusian Libra.

At this point we can say we have balance. We could easily say as many religions do, that the Vernal Equinox is a Fire Festival associated with the Sun God and the Waxing Force of Light.

It appears to be a case of turning the tables by switching to a Lunar Calendar but insisting on a Sun Day. Although *new life* and *fertility* can be linked, I don’t think it’s a successful attempt. One is really referring  to the resurrection of the Body. The other is all about perpetual generation on the earthly plane.

Birth of ISCA

This is the chart for the foundation of the International Society of Classical Astrologers (ISCA).

iscas

I didn’t construct this chart as an Election. I had time frames in mind and  the project had been simmering for quite a while. This chart is set for the time that an agreement was struck which gave birth to the Society: 11 March 2013 2:14 PM Victoria, British Columbia PDT

To begin with, the event  coincides with the New Moon. You will notice the Pre Natal Lunation @ 21 Pisces 25. The Moon is 21 Pisces 28.  This sets the perfect new beginning. As I’ve said many times before, the perfect election exists only in the mind of God and in this case I didn’t have much control over the time at all.

Yet here we have three planets and both luminaries in the House of God, with Jupiter as Lord . Its’ what you might expect of an International Society with a strong spiritual focus. There are two elements however that might seem problematic: Mars in the Ninth and Mercury Retrograde in the sign of his Fall.

There is also the question of Jupiter in Detriment and in the Twelfth House conjunct Aldebaran, the Eye of God. Mercury appears to square his dispositor, but because Mercury is Retrograde , we can say that he’s separating.

It doesn’t solve the problem but it does take some of the immediate pressure off. Oddly enough, Mercury Retrograde is far more reviled in Modern astrology then it is in Traditional. Turning to Mars and following Bonatti, he is half way through the final Anorectic degree. We can say he’s mostly spent and has already entered the changing room. See Aphorism 30 of Bonatus’ Anima Astrologiae

We do of course have a further dilemm,. If we count all Ninth House planets as Combust or Under the Beams.  We then have Saturn Retrograde in Scorpio and Jupiter in Detriment in the Twelfth House..

Let’s now turn to what Hellenistic astrology refers to as the Helm of the Ship, the Ascendant. It’s in Cancer, the Exaltation of Jupiter; The Daimon (Part of Spirit) is in exactly the same degree. Because it’s a New Moon, Fortuna is very close to both the Ascendant and Daemon.

The First House is also the position of the Hellenistic Basis and Exaltation. If this were a person, we would expect an inspired individual with a strong vital force.  None of the placements in the First House are afflicted. Most remarkable to my mind is the fact that the Ascendant is conjunct Canopus, the Celestial Navigator.

So far we have a very strong Ascendant disposited by the Moon in Pisces. She is the undisputed Hyleg and Almuten of the chart.  Venus is Lady of the Geniture. So we have one of the most important elements taken care of i.e. The Lord of the Ascendant is perfecting a Trine with the Ascendent, the Part of Fortune and Part of Spirit. The Part of Fortune is fortunately placed next to Procyonhellenistic. I’ve added the chart in the Hellenistic form for the Lots and other considerations not shown in the chart above.

At the same time she is separating from her aspect to  Saturn. This doesn’t stop the chart from being exceedingly wet. But with that Ascendant and the Ninth House placements this ties together quite nicely Saturn disposits the Seventh House from a place of weakness.

He has no reception and therefore Peregrine. He is still a killjoy in the House of Pleasure, but how much does that really have to do with Astrology? This leaves us with Jupiter, in Hayz in the Domicile of Mercury, well placed amongst the Fixed stars;;. Of course I would have liked Jupiter to be in a more productive house, but he is conjunct the Greek Lot of Victory.

This is the House of the Evil Spirit, but I wonder if in this case it’s a blessing in disguise? you can see, there has been a number of choices and decisions to make along the way.  Problems such as these are not solved by relying on rigid dogma. This is where discernment comes in.

Someone insisting on the  rules of a  Renaissance astrologer, without consulting  much earlier sources could condemn this chart. I understand there are still Indian astrologers who consider Jupiter in the House of Hidden Enemies to be better than most planets or luminaries In any case, we work with what we have and I’m quite happy to go with this one.,

Liber Locis Stellarum Fixarum – Abd al-Rahmān al-Sūfi (964)

عبدالرحمن صوفی’ or Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi was born December 7, 903 in the Persian city of Rey. He was also also known as Abd al-Rahman Abu al-Husayn, ‘Abdul Rahman Sufi, ‘Abdurrahman Sufi and known in the west as Azophi. A Persian Astronomer, Al-Sufi published his celebrated Book of Fixed Stars in 964, using both text and images. It was written in Arabic, rather than Farsi and was an attempt to combine elements of Claudius Ptolemy’s work and indigenous Arabian compositions or Anwa

He is credited with a large number fo discoveries, including what we now call the Magellanic Cloud, not visible from Persia, but from Yemen. It’s clear that he travelled a great deal. Astronomers have honored him by naming a crater and a very small planet after him, but for most of the world he is obscure.

This short piece is to bring attention to his contributions in the history of Astronomy and Astrology. For each constellation he painted two images, one from the outside of a celestial globe, and the other from the inside. He listed the position, colour and magnitude of the star. I also appreciate his fine and charming aesthetic as a visual artist.

The accompanying music is by Le Trio Joubran, ‘Masâr’, dall’album ‘Majâz’

Solar Revolution – Vernal Equinox

sun-heaven

Drawing a chart for 0°Aries is an ancient tradition. This is the astrological New Year and the chart is representative of who is the Lord of the Year and what we can expect the year to bring.

This chart is cast for Pacific Daylight Time (+7). This means that it most specifically applies to the Yukon, North to the Arctic and South to the Baja Peninsula. It also includes Haida Gwaii

The Eastern boundary is roughly marked by the Rocky Mountains  It covers several major cities including Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Coastal Range and the Olympian Range of mountains are within this zone, as are fault lines of various threat levels.wtzmap006

It’s being calculated from Victoria, the Capital City of British Columbia, Canada. Most of what I have to say will be most pronounced for this location. The specifics of the chart are as follows 20 March 2013 @ 04:21:55 am. 48 North 25 – 123 W

First of all, I’m using Whole Sign Houses and referring to the same chart in Porphyry to measure relative strength.

The chart is for the Day and Hour of Mars, with Mars Direct and  in his Domicile.

Mars is the chart Almuten. The Sun is the Lord of the Year and in his exaltation Mars disposits the Sun and Saturn, the latter being the Lord of the Ascendant..

There is a remarkably strong Martian signature, not all of which is obvious at first glance. They even share Face, so Mars and Sun will never be too far from each other with regard to intent.123421

Some will argue that Mars is Under the Beams and therefore massively weakened at best. My view on this point is that ignoring the relatedness of Sun and Mars would be careless and ultimately misleading. I believe most seasoned astrologers would agree. When valid considerations become unquestioned dogma, they can often lose their original intent and cause unnecessary oversights.

This is a Night Chart, so Mars is in Sect and applying to the Ascendant. In this case at least, we have two hot masculine planets, both dry.

One is exaltation of the other, which in turn provides the domicile of the second. Of course they will act together.

The Part of Mars is in the Second Whole Sign House. Rhetorius tell us that “The Lot of Mars or Boldness is indicative of rashness and treachery and strength and every form of villainy” (Rhetorius p. 26). He is disposited by Saturn and doesn’t do well in the Second House. . Economic growth is curtailed. There will be water shortages and food costs will increase accordingly.

The Lot of Saturn is also called retribution. Here we find him in the Opposite topos as the Ascendant. Although less than ideal, I can’t see this amounting to much harm in and of itself because its nature is the same as the Ascendant..

Luna is in her own Domicile, separating from a Square to Mars and would transfer light to Saturn via an applying Trine to Scorpio.

There is a problem here because Saturn is Retrograde,  in the disposition of Mars and Lord of the Ascendant. Saturn and the Moon have no reception. However it’s important to note that Luna is Parallel Arcturus, a significant Fixed Star of the nature of Mars and Jupiter.porphai

What was a strong Cardinal presence in the chart, now has a Fixed Martial Saturn in the mix and in a Productive House. The Eleventh House is that of the Good Spirit. Saturn in this House is not good at all. First of all, it subverts the House of the Good Spirit and tends to make those we rely on hostile, usually when we least expect it

The Moon has also just departed from a Trine with Mercury in his Fall and departing from a Cardinal Square with the Part of Fortune. But she is also applying to an Exalted Venus in the Third House. Jupiter is Direct, but in his Detriment and in the Face of Mars. Porphyry houses place Jupiter in the Fifth, affording a bit more relative strength.

This is a bright spark in the horoscope, but Saturn ( Whole Sign) is Almuten of the Tenth House. All things considered this chart bodes well for women and particularly if they are in a position of authority. Venus exalted is in the Third House of the Goddess.

The Sixth House is Unfortunate and Jupiter is limited by all these considerations. It is Fortunate however that Venus is Exalted and Dispositing the Tenth House Part of Fortune.

Mars is Almuten of the Fourth and Eleventh House, while the Sun is Almuten of the Eighth House. Fomalhaut, the Mouth of the Fish is conjunct Mercury, being of his own nature as well as that of Venus. Jupiter is with the very powerful star, Aldebaran, the follower of the Pleiads.

Mars in Aries - From el-Tusi, Paradise of Submission

Mars in Aries – From el-Tusi, Paradise of Submission

This star is said to be of the nature of Mars. He is called the Eye of God and is also associated with blindness.  This latter combination makes for a prophetic or highly intuitive mind, even with Mercury in Pisces. The Stars really change the formula. Also, the Part of Jupiter is in  the Ninth House, lending more spiritual discernment to the overall picture.

There will be increased seismic activity, particularly during May and September, although a heightened threat is present throughout the year. I am not predicting  a major catastrophe for Vancouver or Victoria, although those on the West Coast of the Island should be vigilant. This heightened warning also applies to Haida Gwaii and the Coastal regions of the Olympia Range.

Spring will be relatively warm and damp. Weather will become progressively dry. As the year unfolds there will be excessive heat and some drought, at its worst in the South of California. When the Sun enters his own House in Leo, there will be droughts and more fires than usual, including forest and brush fires on a larger than average scale.

When the  Sun rises with Sirius we usually have the peak of extreme heat. According to writers like Rhetorius and Mashallah , the combination we have brings either war or conflicts. I see widespread social unrest but not a war that effects this time zone.

Twelve years have completed since the last Superior Conjunction of  May 2000. The Ascendant was in Leo @18°. Directing the Ascendant, we are starting a new cycle with the Ascendant progressing to Virgo..

The syzygy falls in the Third House @ 21 °24 Pisces. In the source chart it appears right on the MC. The Moon is the Hyleg.  Being reflective and turning inwards for answers will be a great skill to have this year

A Question of Combustion

venus-transit-art-120502-hpi

An anonymous Indian astrologer recently requested astrologers at large “to develop their own faculties of discrimination and judgement which is necessary to appraise an individual chart. No set of rules can provide for all contingencies and all the permutations and combinations possible.”

Yet Vedic astrology has a vast number of considerations resulting in 66 different Yogas alone. If this applies to Vedic then it certainly applies to Traditional Western Astrology.

Divination is not a mechanical or dogmatic process. In fact, some cannot learn it at all. The word Divination is from the Latin divinare “to foresee, to be inspired by a god”

Considerations Before Judgment are laid down for posterity to assist in the different forms of astrology. Bonatti alone identified 123. We don’t know whether he applied them all in every case, but I should think it virtually impossible and certainly unnecessary.

Moreover, he is not in complete agreement with his predecessors or posterity. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t read what he has to say.

Traditional astrologers are wont to mock Modern astrology for its “cookbook” answers to deep questions or being fuzzy-minded as well as employing outer planets without adequate knowledge of the original ones. I think this criticism comes down to saying there is no coherent metaphysical underpinning for Modern astrology.

It’s essentially based on the whims of the Theosophists with little or no foundation in the true origins of the Art.

However, when Traditional astrologers unquestioningly follow rules,  precepts, and dogma, they too can fall into the cut and paste category in its worst manifestation. More often though, they just become confused. Divination is to know and read the Divine Will. It can’t be learned by rote or practised without critical judgment. The sources are not all in agreement about everything.

The Theory of Combustion is based on the same metaphysical framework as orbs. In Traditional astrology planets, not aspects have orbs. These are actually orbs of light. We then remain true to the principal of at least potentially visible light. In fact, without light, there is no vision.

However, William Lilly and his Christian Astrology have arguably shaped Traditional astrology over the last few decades. For many astrologers, his is the last word on the subject. His form is in fact referred to as “The Real Astrology”  When someone of his stature decides to innovate in such as way as to undermine the entire edifice upon which Traditional astrology is built, this surely raises some very interesting questions.   He tells us that if the planet is in another sign from the Sun, it can be conjunct the Sun and not be Combust.

cazimi-venus-transit-

Venus Transits Sun – Cazimi

This may seem to be a fine point,  but he who argues that this is consistent with the larger scheme of astrological theory based on light will find himself denying the undeniable. This might serve as a cautionary tale of dogmatism versus Divination. Essentially, Lilly broke the Cardinal rule but is still loved and respected as a great astrologer because he was. Lilly is distinguished in his humility and honesty. When he gets it wrong, he tells us. For some reason, he persisted in using the same formula for the Part of Fortune, day or night, although even in the earliest sources it’s reversed. He seems a bit muddled on that point, but at least he was aware of the issue.

Strictly speaking, William Lilly already broke with tradition if we are to disallow any form of innovation.

Let’s look at one or two practical examples: first of all, anyone who believes that Mercury has anything to do with thinking or intelligence will need to explain why Albert Einstein’s Mercury is Combust, not in a good sign and applying to Saturn in Aries! Oh yes, and the Chart Almuten is Venus in her Fall.! Followers of Lilly will find an opportunity for validation, but it still won’t explain why being under the beams is still relevant. The theory based on celestial light cannot be used here

If you didn’t know whose chart it was, the chances are you would think of art before science. I think it’s fair to say that Einstein had an approach to knowledge unlike the majority of theoretical physicists. Whether in another sign to the Sun or not, I would say they are working together to some extent. It helps that Mercury is in the Exaltation of the Sun and that Pisces is visionary.

There are two principal reasons for this. The first is that the Traditional is not a monolith and our predecessors didn’t agree on everything. Take a simple example regarding Combustion. Some will tell you that a planet cannot be combust if it’s in a different sign from the Sun. Another will tell you that anything within 15 degrees of the Sun in either direction is rendered virtually useless. Others give the number of degrees at eight and some as little as three.

Although physical attraction is subjective to some degree, there are many people considered attractive by a large number of people. Super models, actors and actresses might come under this category. A brief survey finds that many people who are considered attractive tend to have Venus well beyond the Beams as would be expected

Kate Moss on the other hand, has her Venus within 3 degrees of the Sun and retrograde. If we say Kate Moss has her Venus Combust, we are saying that all things Venusian are radically undermined, are we not?

It’s clear that we need to consider the nature of the planet Under the Beams in a variety of ways in the context of the entire chart. Mars Combust might share some Solar traits depending on Sign or other considerations.  We would be foolish to downplay the power of a combust Mars with other forms of strength, including reception.

Let me be very clear. I am not trying to undermine any Traditional beliefs. What I am saying is that there is a time to consider the spirit rather than the letter of Divination. The Craft requires constant studying. When we cease to query it will die.