Leo Solar Ingress 2013


The Moon was Full at  11:15 am pdt, but this evening the Moon will look unusually large. We are experiencing another ‘super Moon” and the opposition is between the Fixed Signs of Leo and Aquarius. The Sun, Moon and Venus are changing signs simultaneously and even the Ascendant and Part of Fortune is @ zero degrees. They do so on the Day of the Moon and the Hour of the Sun

If you are in the Pacific Time Zone, this means that Venus is Lord of the Ascendant, but in her Fall. Mercury is conjunct Canopus, the Celestial Navigator and Sirius the Dog Star. Venus is conjunct and parallel Regulus, one of the Four Royal Stars of Persia. Saturn is parallel Spica, the star of brilliance. The Part of Fortune is parallel Procyon

All in all this is a highly auspicious chart signalling new beginnings on multiple fronts. The string of planets in Cancer is a heady mix and a very volatile one at that. Mercury with Mars can be compared to rocket fuel, all well and good if properly directed. Mars in his Fall conjunct Jupiter in his exaltation is associated with floods.

This is still a strong Jupiter and he is Almuten of the chart. When the stellar contacts are considered, Jupiter is also the Lord of the Geniture. There is a danger of false courage, however. At this Full Moon, figuratively celebrate the fruits of what you planted at the Dark of the Moon.


The focus of this lunation is the entrance of the Sun King. The Part of Spirit is in Aries, the Exaltation of the Sun. Because of the Solar – Lunar opposition, the Part of Fortune is conjunct the Part of Spirit . Overall, the chart is of a Choleric Humour, nicely balanced with Sanguine and a little Phlegmatic to keep things cool This Full Moon is known as the Thunder Moon by the Algonquin and Iroquois

Earlier today, the British Monarchy welcomed a new Prince into the world. His was a very different chart with Sun in the last degree of Cancer and the Moon in Capricorn. The time of birth was 16:24 BST at Paddington Hospital (London).

Congratulations and very best wishes go out to the Royal couple on the birth of their son. May he grow strong,  wise and receive many blessings in his life.

Full Moon. Photo taken earlier this evening by Mimi Mendez in Mexico City.

Full Moon. Photo taken earlier this evening by Mimi Mendez in Mexico City.

The Rise of Hassan Rouhani

Hasan Rohani

Hassan Rouhani

Hassan Rouhani is an Iranian politician, Shia Mujtahid, lawyer, academic and diplomat, who is currently the president-elect of Iran. He is viewed as politically moderate. He was elected as President of The Islam Republic of Iran, running as the only ‘moderate’ in the campaign, replacing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The Telegraph (07 03 13) quoted him as saying a “strong government does not mean a government that interferes and intervenes
in all affairs. It is not a government that limits the lives of people.” He has also called for an end to internet filtering and undue censorship that would allow a critical press to report the ills of life in Iran as well as her triumphs.

The time of birth isn’t available for either men, but I calculated a rectification for Ahmadinejad  that has continued to fit for the last seven years. I have done the same with the chart of Rouhani. The two birthdates and times are 26 October 1956 at Gamsar, Iran. 12.30 pm and 13 November 1948 in Sufian, Iran at 1.06 pm respectively.

However there is less verifiable information regarding Rouhani at the present time. This means there isn’t a great deal to be gained by an abundance of in-depth analysis, but we can certainly gain a fair sketch of what to expect from him. In the strictest sense this is an informed but speculative piece. The days and locations are solidly verified

For now, I’m intrigued by the similarities and differences between these two men born eight years apart. I hope this will engender fruitful discussion on these issues. The emphasis however will be on Rouhani.

Hassan Rohani

Most obviously both men are Sun sign Scorpios. Both have Saturn as Lord of the Ascendant and Venus in the Ninth House. But these apparent similarities can be misleading.

If I’m correct in the timing of this chart, Venus is very strong in her own Sign of Libra. The Moon however, in the House of her Joy is applying to an opposition to Venus. They are in the House of God and the Goddess respectively.

Saturn is not only the Lord of the Ascendant, ruling from the Eighth House,  but in Sextile with Mercury in Scorpio with the Sun in the Tenth House. Interesting though, the MC is in the Eleventh Whole Sign House. Jupiter is in his own sign of Sagittarius and with Mars in the same Sign.

Mars with Jupiter signals bravery and in the Eleventh House of those who support him. However, this is less the case with Jupiter in the Anorectic degree according to Bonatti. Jupiter is greatly restrained putting the emphasis on the Martial side of the equation.

He is currently in his Mars – Sun Fidar which is a place of strength considering the condition and placement of his Sun and Mars. In November he will enter  his Mars – Venus Fidar, accentuating his Third and Ninth House Axis


Looking at the Fixed Stars in Rouhani’s chart, we find a well placed power house. Regulus is parallel the North Node. Sirius is parallel the Ascendant and conjunct the Part of Fortune. Mercury is parallel Spica and the MC is conjunct Antares. There are no retrograde planets and the Part of Fortune in the Sixth House This gives him what it takes to be a strong leader and gifted speaker, with overall support from the people, as shown by the Sixth House . Yet his Signs of Eminence according to Vettius Valens are fairly scanty.  The Sun is Fixed and Angular, but both Venus and Mercury rise before the Sun, with Mars and Jupiter are occidental

Profection - Annual- Election_ Results

Annual Profection Chart for Rouhani

Jupiter is the lord of the Geniture. However, with Mars as chart Almuten combined with the strong Saturn signature, including both Hour and Day, we see something of the steel fist in the velvet glove.

Above is the Annual Profection Chart for Rouhani, set for the day of the election results, just one day after the actual elections. Venus is auspiciously in the Ninth House of God in the Sign of her Exaltation. The Sun is Exalted is Aries in the Tenth House and reflects his Mars-Sun Fidar. . The Gemini Ascendant is Disposited by Mercury in his Fall. This mutability speaks to Housani’s political positions, being flexible and moveable.  It also weakens the Ascendant because of the Sign and position of Mercury. Mars and Jupiter in Taurus in the Eleventh House weakens those who would assist, but not the extent of immediate catastrophe. It is a relief to dissociate Saturn with the Ascendant. The Moon is Void of Course which is likely to effect the connection he has with the people to some extent

Although both Rouhani and Ahmadinejad have Saturn for Lord of the Ascendant, we would have to say that the latter’s Saturn is more problematic because he is not at ease in Sagittarius. He is however in his Joy in the Twelfth House, but I don’t see how this is beneficial to the Ascendant. Having the Lord of the Ascendant in the Eighth House is perhaps the weakest and most troubling placement in Rouhani’s chart. When we consider the Planetary Lots, we find Mars sharing the Eighth House. This doesn’t bode well, as we now see a strong threat to his life.

Ahmadinejad has Venus in the Ninth, but rather than in her Dignity as in Rouhani’s chart, she is in her Fall. Rouhani is also unlikely to have the same conflicts with clerics. His Moon is Peregrine and Void of Course, squaring the Nodes. Overall his chart is a good one for a servant, but not a leader.

These are but a few things to contemplate and reflect upon. It is exceedingly unlikely that the birth times of either of the men will become available. I hope that my rectifications are reasonably accurate


Reading Hippocrates

Rod of Asclepius

Rod of Asclepius

Classical Greek physicians tried to find natural explanations as to why someone got ill and died, what constituted health or illness and the nature and actions of contagion. To this extent they broke with many of their contemporaries working in other fields because they were not seeking supernatural causes .They were certainly synchronized with mathematics however.  This did not mean they lacked piety. It meant that the signs of nature were viewed as a sufficient source of knowledge, particularly when cataloged, documented and shared. In this respect we can see the roots of scientific methodology

At the same time, the Greek Pantheon included Asclepius the god of healing and his daughter, Hygieia from whose name we get the word hygiene. It’s fair to say that the Greek Pantheon was in fact a system of archetypes and so the attributes of the god of healing should be those of the enlightened physician.

Hippocrates was among the first to make the shift from making supplications to the god towards embodying the healing qualities represented by Aesculapius. We really have no way of knowing how conscious this change was, but it produced a very different and highly effective form of medicine which was practised beyond the Renaissance and still has relevance today.

Asclepius & Hygieia

Asclepius & Hygieia

Until Hippocrates, Epilepsy was known as the “sacred disease” with supernatural origins and therefore could not and should not be considered an illness in any physical sense of the word.

Hippocrates is first and foremost concerned with the applications of medicine when diseases are said to be of supernatural origin and that those origins are to blame if the patient dies or fails to recover. The physician can take all the credit if the patient does recover, allowed for a systemic practise of fraud which prevented physicians from learning about the condition as it really is.

He writes “It is my opinion that those who first called this disease ‘sacred’ were the sort of people we call witch-doctors, faith healers, quacks and charlatans. These are exactly the people who pretend to be very pious and to be particularly wise. By invoking a a divine element they were able to screen their own failure to give suitable treatment and so called this a ‘sacred’ malady to conceal the ignorance of its nature.” Medical Works. Trans. John Chadwick (Oxford) pp. 179 180

Hippocrates carries this line of thought to its absurd conclusions such as blaming Poseidon if the cry of the patient was high pitched

If we return to the archetype model, we can see that Hippocrates does not go against it at all. What he does do is bring his practice in line with reading the signs of nature which have a divinity of their own, but not a catch all excuse for bad medicine.

Those who have a familiarity with Plato will recognize the trope. In the Pheadrus, there is a passage that that lies at the centre of Platonism and Neo Platonism.  At first glance it might appear that this mystical vision is at odds with Hippocrates:

“Beauty it was ours to see in all its brightness in those days when, amidst that happy company, we beheld with our eyes that blessed vision, ourselves in the train of Zeus, others following some other god; then were we all initiated into that mystery which is rightly accounted blessed beyond all others; whole and unblemished were we that did celebrate it … steadfast and blissful were the spectacles on which we gazed in the moment of final revelation; pure was the light that shone around us, and pure were we, without taint of that prison house which now we are encompassed withal, and call a body, fast bound therein as an oyster in its shell ” Phaedrus 249d-250c.

They are however perfectly compatible. Hippocrates is not a ‘materialist’ and Plato has no interest in ‘super-naturalism.” In their own ways they are overwhelmingly concerned with the return of the body and soul to its natural state.

Plato, Aristotle and their students hold Hippocrates in the highest regard. His specific spiritual beliefs are unclear except that he clearly shunned a religious cosmology in the usual sense of the term was a fallacy. The fact that Plato specifically mentions him in the Phaedrus certainly indicates they were of a similar mind.

The Pheadrus is among other things an allegory of a charioteer of the same name. He is the Soul and the two horses represent Spirit and Mind. Succinctly, the quality of the Soul and horses and the Souls’ ability to command them affords us a trinity of  being.

The theme of the chariot in Hellenistic astrology is well known. Here, the first horse is obedient, capable and noble while the other is “a crooked lumbering animal, put together anyhow; he has a short thick neck; he is flat-faced and of a dark colour, with grey eyes and blood-red complexion; the mate of insolence and pride, shag-eared and deaf, hardly yielding to whip and spur.” (253 e.)

The Chariot of Apollo - Odilon Redon

The Chariot of Apollo – Odilon Redon

It’s very easy to understand this in the context of traditional astrology. The different elements of our being, their condition and relatedness,  determine what we begin with. The chart shows this clearly, but it takes a skilled astrologer to read it fully and to know where to begin. Traditional Astrology and Traditional Medicine are very similar insofar as they look to the signs of nature, catalog findings and point to ways the body, soul and intellect can best be nurtured to their optimal, *natural* state.

Seeds of Prediction

seed-sproutTree of Life images take many different forms, but the essence is always the same. Roots deep underground mirror branches with leaves, blossoms and seeds. The seeds fall into the rich soil and the eternal cycle is renewed. There are many, many forms of prediction but they all require a knowledge of seeds.

If you hadn’t learned by direct observation or learned from another source, it is unlikely you would recognize an acorn as the seed of the oak tree. The essence of the tree must enter the darkness of the earth to grown towards the light. Both the Sun and Moon affect the growth of the tree by their own cycles. All elements are required, including the Quintessence.

C. J. Jung summed this principle up in the simplest possible terms when he wrote :”We are born at a given moment in a given place and like vintage years of wine we have the qualities of the year and of the season in which we are born. Astrology does not lay claim to anything else.”Da_Vinci_Studies_of_Embryos_Luc_Viatour

Astrology has a great deal in common with Agriculture, Medicine and other sciences. If we want to know how to judge a nativity, there are core principles that need to be understood. We are indeed fools if we think it doesn’t matter a great deal what kind of seed we have and don’t know whether or not the seed has the environment to cause it to flourish or languish. It is no less foolish to attempt a judgment of a nativity without due considerations

The Hippocratic School gave importance to the clinical doctrines of observation and documentation. These doctrines dictate that physicians record their findings and their medicinal methods in a very clear and objective manner, so that these records may be passed down and employed by other physicians.  This is what astrologers have done throughout the millenia. Claiming to have developed a new astrology independent of the great astrologers of the past is a modern phenomenon and act of considerable hubris

“Hippocrates made careful, regular note of many symptoms including complexion, pulse, fever, pains, movement, and excretions. He is said to have measured a patient’s pulse when taking a case history to know if the patient lied. Hippocrates extended clinical observations into family history and environment.”To him medicine owes the art of clinical inspection and observation.”[19] For this reason, he may more properly be termed as the “Father of Medicine”.[37] From Margotta, Roberto (1968), The Story of Medicine, New York: Golden Press

Hippocrates doesn’t begin to treat the patient until all of these considerations have been satisfied. Neither is the astrologer prepared if key elements have yet to be considered. These include social status and context in most cases. This doesn’t mean the astrologer is confined to these perimeters, but they set a point of departure grounded in reality. Consideration of the humours should be among the first considerations because a Phlegmatic temperament goes about things very differently than a Choleric temperament  .

You now have a much clearer idea of what kind of seed this nativity embodies and a better idea of the soil in which it might develop..


Page from Culpeper’s Compleat Herbal

We have the famous quote attributed to Hippocrates  : “a physician without a knowledge of Astrology has no right to call himself a physician .” The was held to be true by physicians throughout the 17th Century in the West and in many parts of the world, such as India, it was never forgotten. The reverse was also true. Every astrologer was expected to know something about Physic because  astrology deals with body, mind and soul. Various plants were used in relation to their planetary natures to bring about the desired result.

Albrecht Durer refers to the four elements in his engraving “Adam and Eve” We find a hare, an oxen, a cat and an elk, associated with Sanguine,  Phlegmatic, Choleric and Melancholy respectively. Tradition has it that the humours were held in balance in Paradise, but not in the post lapsarian world. Note that Eve is holding the fruit.

Intrinsic to the doctrine of the humours is the belief that  basic elements of the earth are transformed into food for humans. The nature of the element contained in the food will then create four different bodily fluids which become the Temperaments. It is therefore a fairly simple matter to prescribe remedies which were primarily plants with different astrological and humoural qualities.


For example, Nicolas Culpepper writes “”Lily of the valley…is under the dominion of Mercury, and there-fore strengthens the brain, recruits a weak memory and makes it strong again.” [Culpeper, 1652, p.149]

This plant therefore works on the central nervous system and the brain itself.  A solar plant such as St. John’s Wart may be prescribed for an excess of black bile. Valerian or Black Cohosh is used as a balance to excess of choler and sleeping difficulties

Culpepper was a friend and student of William Lilly. He set about  cataloging and publishing a vast pharmacopoeia with planetary and other associations.

As can be seen, the traditional system works with the natural world and astrology as one.  Moreover, the medicinal plants needed to be harvested at appropriate Planetary Hours and of course administered at the right time.

The knowledge of what a human will need to balance or ameliorate humours is therefore one of the first consideration of medicine and astrology, but this also applies to traditional form of agriculture to this day. Planting and harvesting by the Moon is core to such publications as The Farmer’s Almanac.

Whether we are judging a nativity, making a prediction or using astrology as an aid to balanced humours, it’s always the seed that need to be identified and considered

to be continued …

Hermes : Magician & Psychopomp

Hermes_mercurius_trismegistus_siena_cathedralHermes Trismegistus in the Cathedral of Siena

Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus – Cathedral of Siena

Among the many joys of practising traditional astrology, is the opportunity to fully explore the inner planets. When the going gets deep, the shallow resort to ‘higher octave” delusions. The formula seems to be if it’s deep, make sure it’s as far away from the Sun as possible which strikes me as perverse.

mercury (1)Being personal doesn’t mean it can’t also be universal. Let’s take Mercury for example. Mercury has the be the most skimmed over of all planets. This is really unfortunate because Mercury in his many manifestations has perhaps the richest set of attributes of all.

Everyone interested in astrology knows Mercury is about communication and short journeys and not much else. In fact, he is probably best known for the Mercury retrograde effect.

Let’s begin with the glyph. The Semi-Circle, Luna symbol  is Soul. The Solar circle is Spirit. They are above the Cross of Matter.

Although Mercury is usually referred to in the masculine, *he* is in fact the primal hermaphrodite that takes on the gender of it’s sign and position. However, it’s Mercury’s nature to communicate both the Solar and Lunar Self. As the Magician, he channels this energy to the world of Matter, symbolized by the Cross.

The image of Thoth (below) embodies the nature of Mercury. He has the Solar – Lunar disk above him. He is in the form of the Ibis. There has been much contention about why the Ibis was chosen as representative, but the most important issue is that it represents Spirits of the Air or intellect. No matter which form he takes, whether Mercury, Hermes or Thoth, he is a winged deity.images (7)

Thoth and Hermes were credited with the revelations of writing, mathematics, magic, astrology, astronomy, medicine, and  the almost completely forgotten role of Psychopomp, conductor of souls to the next world.

When we consider all of these, Hermes takes on a redemptive quality. Yet Modern astrologers have ascribed all of these qualities to the outer planets, mostly Uranus and Pluto. Now that he is virtually ignored, or written off in a sentence or two as the most boring planet,  we can see the extent of the loss.

As messenger to the two luminaries, he was held in very high regard. He is also credited with revealing the musical spell to bring Osiris back to life. In the earliest Egyptian sources he is a self created god.


Relief from a carved funerary lekythos at Athen – Hermes as Psychopomp Cconducts the Deceased Myrrhine to Hades C 430-420-BCE-National Archaeological Museum of Athens

There is great import in the seemingly simple sentence :

“Do You not know, Asclepius, that Egypt is an image of heaven, or, to speak more exactly, in Egypt all the operations of the powers which rule and work in heaven have been transferred to Earth below ?” (Asclepius III, 24b.)

These words of Hermes contain the essential dictum of “As Above, So below.” However the precise way that we comprehend this will depend on which model we are using to reference. For example, it is completely in keeping with Plato’s doctrine of the Forms, the idea that meterial, physical reality is not the ultimate one.

If we follow this essential teaching  through the Works of Plotinus, we have a complete system of thought that is mystical. A key image in the Enneads is the fountain of light, from which all originate and ultimately return.


Arabian Hermes

In the magical tradition of Hermes Trismegigstus, Pico dell Mirandola uses the image of Hermes wedding Earth to Heaven.

Mercury is a winged god, renowned for his speed. Sometimes refered to as Quicksilver, the protean shape shifter resembles the mind itself from the point of view of, say, Buddhism. Mercury is also the Triskster. I’m particularly interested in how Hermes was transmitted to Iranian and Arabian culture and the Abassid astrologers in particular

The early Abbāsid court astrologer Māšā allāh (fl . 762–ca 815) has been called the Prince of Astrology by Robert Zoller. He was “an associate of Umar ibn al-Farruxān aṭ -Ṭabarī, cites Hermes as an authority in his own Arabic works. He may well have known works of Hermes in the Middle Persian original; being a learned Iranian Jew, Māšā allāh could have had access toAramaic and Persian sources as well as Arabic’ (Pingee, Masa’ allah 1973. pp. 159 – 62). Several other Arabian astrologers including Al Biruni are discussed in Kevin van Bladel’s The Arabic Hermes: From Pagan Sage to Prophet of Science.

It’s fair to say that Masa’Allah was the most erudite of scholars at the Abbasid court as well as the finest astrologer. How he received Hermes therefore has resonance in European and Arabian astrology, particularly prior to the Renaissance. Their sources were Middle Iranian and not Arabian in origin. The Persians had taken and translated Hermes into their own language, and as is the case in all cross cultural receptions, Persian elements were attached. However, as can be seen by the photo of the “Arabian Hermes” he has all the same attributes, albeit in what contemporary Greeks might have thought an exotic fashion.

First, we see Mercury is winged, holding the Solar and Lunar elements. The downward triangle remains the symbol of descent into matter to this day. There is however nothing to suggest that he is merely ‘Earth bound.” The two heads certainly have a more Persian design, but it’s quite easy to see the reference to the caduceus, with the two ‘serpent’ heads (perhaps birds in this case.)

There is still plenty of room for cultural interpretation. The role of psychopomp will of course differ in understanding depending on belief in the afterlife. For one it might mean ascension and to another successfully crossing the River Styx. However, the role of spirit guide doesn’t have to change. In the words C.G. Jung:

“From the earliest times, Hermes was the mystagogue and psycho pomp of the alchemists, their friend and counselor, who leads them to the goal of their work. He is “like a teacher mediating between the stone and the disciple.” To others the friend appears in the shape of Christ or Khidr or a visible or invisible guru, or some other personal guide or leader figure.” Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious – CW 9i (1934–1954) (1981 2nd ed. Collected Works Vol.9 Part 1)

Alchemical art from the Buch der Heiligen Dreifaltigkeit

Alchemical art from the Buch der Heiligen Dreifaltigkeit

Hermes is much more than Magician and Psycopomp, but I believe these are the most ignored attributes in our time. Finally, we have the beautiful Alchemical illumination from the Buch der Heiligen Dreifaltigkeit on the left.

This has remained mysterious, although of course many scholars have had their theories. The image is very similar to the previous Arabian illustration, certainly not in style but in substance. Here the Mercurial figure is female. As mentioned, Mercury can be both genders, but is rarely portrayed as a woman. The caduceus- like form is there, with the Sun and Moon, but it’s reversed. She forms an ascending triangle. This image gives much to contemplate regarding the feminine attributes of Hermes.