The Lion & the Serpent – Tulsi Gabbard II

Aslesha – Artist Unknown

In my previous reading of Tulsi Gabbard’s chart, I used a tropical zodiac, with the tropical;y placed  Nakshatra for the Moon. I agreed with one of the followers of the blog that more could be done. I have therefore chosen to read the entire chart as sidereal. rather than simply read the relevant nakshatra in sidereal, You may find this confusing or even pointless. I only ask that you take the advice of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and exercise a “willing suspension of disbelief.”

The nakshatra I focused on in the previous chart was Magha. Here, I’m drawing and reading a chart for exactly the same place, date and time, This connects the Moon to the ninth Nakshatra or Lunar Mansion

The 9th Lunar Mansion comes in the Zodiac Sign of Cancer.  The name of this nakshatra is Ashlesha, which means “the entwiner” It is also known as the  “the Clinging star” like a desire to embrace. the thing with which it is linked to. deity is Naagraj Vasuki, the Naga or Serpent of Wisdom. The key symbol is readily recognized as the Caduceus, associated with Medicine and Mercury, the latter being the Lord of this Nakshatra.

Further, the image represents both poison and medicine in concert, There is more than one way of interpreting this but they are all related. Like arsenic, the difference between medicinal and poisonous is the dosage and also of intent. This can also be seen as offering to heal one who is poisoned. The nagas are shown as the celestial vehicle and protection of Vishnu, as he dreams Creation into being.

Budha (Mercury)

This is a very intense Nakshatra and how it plays out will be a result of how it is managed or channelled. The embraces [the Serpents) are approaching indirectly [abhyāgacchantaḥ] from above and indirectly dancing towards [abhyānṛtyantaḥ] from below. See the Taittiriya Brahmana which goes unto great depth.

Primary Motivation is dharma. Ashlesha represents the Kundalini or Serpent Fire that is located at the Muladhara or Root Chakra (at the base of the spine).it has mystical powers, electrifying, transformative power., and ultimately serves as a vessel to enlightenment. The Serpent Power is the name given to the Kundalini. Misuse of this can do a great deal of damage, yet skilful and conscious raising of the Kundalini. is something that can be accomplished to great advantage by a skilled yogi

Tulsi Gabbard Nativity – 12/4/1981 – 14:40:00 – Pago Pago, American Samoa – Lahiri Ayanamsa. The chart displays the nakshatras abbreviated text.

Crucially. , the Moon in Gahhad’s chart is further emphasized by Rahu, also in the First House. The nature of the Moon (Chandra) in Indian astrology is “”Abounding in Vata and Kapha and filled with knowledge is the Moon is of round body, O’ Twice Born, auspiciously eyed, of sweet speech, fluctuating and lovesick.”Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra: Nature and Form of the Grahas, 24 The Avatar is Krishna Budha (Mercury) 

We look also to the sign of the Moom -Cancer – Karka” crab” Rasi “Pale red (pATala), moving in water, a Brahmin, vigorous at night, many moving legs, a stout body, endowed with Sattva, watery and Back Rising is thought the Crab Rasi ruled by the Moon.” Brihat Parashara Hora Sastra, 4 – Rasi Characteristics, 10-11

Let’s consider Rahu (North Node) in Gabbard’s first house, in relation to what we have seen in the Moon and Nakshatra. Rahu is the Pushya nakshatra. The auspiciousness [tishya] of bṛhaspati (The Lord of Devotion) is worshipping [juhvataḥ] from above and the worshippers [yajamin ānā] from below. Taittiriya Brahmana The Lord of the Nakshatra is Saturn.

Crucially. , the Moon in Gahhad’s chart is further emphasized by Rahu, also in the First House. The Moon is in her own Domicile in Cancer so in many respects this a better placement than Moon in Leo as we had in the tropical chart. The change from fire to water would mean less sunny charisma and more empathy and intuition. The Node in the same sign as the Moon and in the Ascending position is intense. Simply put, the 1/7 axis may cause a conflict between the needs of self and others. about which Komilla Sutton writes in her book The Lunar Nodes – Crisis & Redemption, In this case, the emphasis is on empathetic power, due to the sign and Moon’s influence.

My experience of using sidereal and tropical is that they tell the same or similar story but in different ways. It is common for people to find a resonance in their sidereal chart, even if they have known only their tropical chart for decades.

The Zodiacal Riddle of Vettius Valens

The phases of the moon, Liber Floridus, 1460, The Hague KB 72 A 23, f.16gr

The works of major Hellenistic astrologers have become available over the last few decades. Of course, Claudius Ptolemy has been part of the canon for centuries. His works have been helpful in many ways, but we can’t say he is the last word. Indeed, the reading of Ptolemy has lead to many preconceptions, particularly with regard to which zodiac is to be used.  He leaves us with the strong impression that the Tropical zodiac is the only one to use.

When I first Vettius Valens I was aware that there were enormous problems with the transmission, Rober Hand makes note of several of them. I have come to the conclusion that Valens was using more than one system and that it was never certain even which zodiac he used. Returning to the text of the Anthology I was taken by parallels, by no means perfect, between recognizable colloquial Greek methods and particularly Indian and Babylonian astrology. I have needed to to be selective due to the sheer volume of material.

There is still a persistent perception that Hellenistic Astrology is a particularly Greek development, no doubt because of the fact that it’s assumed that the Hellenists were all Greek. We know that Philo was a Hellenized Jew but nobody thinks he was born in Athens. I’m assuming here that the reader is familiar with the term is also aware of the extent of reciprocal influence across the known world. With this in mind, I believe that Hellenistic Astrology can be better understood.

For example, on first reading The Anthology of Vettius Valens, one may be bewildered about many things, but for the most perplexing element of all is his explanation of the nature of the signs and planets. For example, he tells us that Aries is watery: Surely this requires further explanation. How can a blazing Fire sign be watery It occurred o me that what he actually doing was describing the season in the Northern hemisphere. Rather than looking at the influence of Mars, he may as well be talking about April showers.

Autumnal Sky

“Aries is by nature watery, with thunder and hail. From its first degree to the equinox, it is stormy, full of hail, windy, destructive. The middle degrees up to 15° are mild and fruitful; the following degrees are hot and cause plagues> of animals. This sign has 19 bright stars. On the belt are 14 bright stars, 27 dim, 28 somewhat bright, and 48 faint. The constellations that rise at the same time as Aries are (in the north) the first part of Perseus, and the rear and the left parts of Auriga, and (in the south) the fin and tail of Cetus. When Aries is rising,> the feet of Bootes (in the north) and the hind parts of Lupus (in the south) are setting. Vettius Valens, Anthologies,”  Book I.3

Let’s turn to his thoughts on Taurus: “Taurus is feminine, solid, lying in the sun’s spring tropic, full of bones, with some limbs missing, rising backwards, setting straight down. This sign lies for the most part in the invisible sky. It is calm. From its first degree to 6° (the section of the Pleiades) it is worthless, even destructive, disease-producing, thundering, causing earthquakes and lightning flashes.

What are we to make of this? It doesn’t describe the sign, Taurus under Venus, the Exaltation 0f Pisces. Neither does it begin at the first degree. In the Northern Hemisphere and May is usually mostly blessed with clement weather. I’m at a loss unless he is referring to the constellation itself without associating it with the sign Taurus. How could we use such information in astrological interpretations?

This passage tells us several things about how Valens interpreted the heavens. Aries doesn’t line up with the Equinox, but he doesn’t say here exactly how many degrees it differs from 0° Aries and the Tropical Vernal Equinox. The first part of Aries, in the Decan of Mars, is watery by nature, producing hail and high winds. The second Decan of Aries is the Sun and according to Valens, is “mild and fruitful.” The final Decan of Aries is Jupiter, the greater benefic, which is hot and causes plagues.

Further, Valens tells us that “Taurus is feminine, solid, lying in the sun’s spring tropic, full of bones, with some limbs missing, rising backwards, setting straight down. This sign lies for the most part in the invisible sky. It is calm. From its first degree to 6° (the section of the Pleiades) it is worthless, even destructive, disease-producing, thundering, causing earthquakes and lightning flashes.The next two degrees are fiery and smokey. The right part (toward Auriga) is temperate and cool. The left parts are worthless and changeable, sometimes chilling, at other times heating. The head (to 23°) is in a temperate atmosphere, but it causes disease and death for living things. The rest is destructive, worthless, disease-ridden.”” It is unclear as to why he would refer to Taurus as “; lying in the sun’s spring tropic” or why a Venusian sign is so destructive. Nevertheless, he goes on to mention 27 stars.

Throughout the Anthology, Valens is meticulous when regarding the stars, noting not only the constellation but groups of asterisms, seen to be part of a divine play. It recalls Hesiod’s Works and Days, wherein, for example, Hesiod’s associates of the rise of the “rainy” Pleiades with wet weather and Sirius with very hot weather, just as the Egyptians did, If he is referring to the sign as it has been known, it makes precious little sense.

As one progresses through the work of Valens it becomes increasingly apparent that his work, among many other things, might be used as a kind of almanack, bit with due caution.. Hesiod was better skilled at that.

Valens is thought by many to have used a sidereal zodiac which plausibly accounts for his notion that the Vernal Equinox is not the same as °Aries.  The fact is, he may not have known the difference because the two zodiacs at that time would yield very similar results. I heartily recommend Chris Brennen’s chapter on Tropical Versus Sidereal Zodiacs in his Hellenistic Astrology pp. 216-222. Let’s try to sort out the background.

Nearly 1800  years ago the Battle of Hormozdgan decided the fate of the Parthian Empire and led to the rise of the Sasanian Empire that would rule unchallenged over the Middle East for 400 years.. Yet the culture itself went back millennia. The tropical Zodiac was being used by some as early as the 2nd century BCE Others used the Sidereal Zodiac.

The difference between signs and constellations

Since Pythagoras’s expedition in 570 B.C., the strategic body of water that finds its way into the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.,has been called the Persian Gulf. Compared to the focus on Greece and Rome, Persia hasn’t enjoyed anything like the scholarly attention it so obviously deserves, and this is certainly true with respect to astronomy and astrology in the 20th century., including the creation myth that informs them. There have however been notable exceptions. Theirs was a rich tradition of the Magi, esteemed throughout the known world. It was also a culture that venerated the stars.

Yet they were one of several highly advanced societies with regard to astronomy and astrology. As I have written elsewhere,, even the most unjustly founded empires do in fact have some advantages and this is very much the case in the transmission of knowledge. The Hellenistic world united Greece with Egypt and  Persia with both. The School of Alexandria was among the greatest venues for shared knowledge, from Hindu astronomers and astrologers, Buddhists, Pythagoreans, numerous Solar religions, Neo-Platonists, devotees of Isis, Christians, Jews, Babylonian and Zoroastrians.

The 28 “western” Lunar Mansions

It’s a Persian, Indian, Babylonian, Egyptian and Greek alchemy that produced what we now call Hellenistic astrology and to practise this, one requires a great deal of knowledge,  Recreating that astrology depends on a number of things, not least of which is being certain of which zodiac was being used.. In a recent article, I suggested that that Mashallah used the sidereal Sassanid zodiac on at least one occasion. Yet astrologers have been content to assume that he always used a Tropical Zodiac,

Nakshatras and Padas Nakshatra (Sanskrit: नक्षत्र, IAST: Nakṣatra) is the term for lunar mansion in Hindu astrology and Indian Astronomy. A Nakshatra is one of 27 sectors of the heavens.. Their names are related to the most prominent stars and asterisms in the respective sectors.

As previously indicated, during the time when many of these records were penned, the tropical and sidereal zodiac would have yielded similar results. Moreover, we now know that Indian Astrology had a significant and reciprocal impact on Hellenistic astrology.

The assumption of a universal Hellenistic Tropical Zodiac is fiction. However, this perception might explain why some of the Hellenist material we have is so perplexing, resulting in the illusion that there might be a need for two zodiacs for different purposes. The sidereal zodiac, as the name suggests, is anchored in the stars. The Tropical zodiac is oriented to the Equinox and Solstice points. The fact that the constellations precess at a rate of one degree every 70 years is for all intents and purposes, ignored. This naturally of much concern with those work with Fixed Stars and to be in a position to integrate nakshatras into interpretations.

Theodoros Karasavvas, J.D.-M.A has provided an enviably brief but accurate account of the origins of Greek astrology: “The Babylonians were the first people to systematically apply myths to constellations and astrology and describe the twelve signs of the zodiac. The Egyptians followed shortly after by refining the Babylonian system of astrology, but it was the Greeks who shaped it into its modern form. The Greeks borrowed some of their myths from the Babylonians and came up with their own. For that matter, even the word astrology – as well as the science of astronomy – is derived from the Greek word for star, “asteri.”

Dendera astrological calendar 12 constellations, each made of 3 decans10 days Each decan represents a major star. 1st Century ACE Roman period

The Babylonian, Egyptian and Indian zodiacs were sidereal. The Tropical and Sidereal Zodiac were the same when the precession of the equinox reached 0º ARIES in the year 221 A.D. in the heyday of Hellenistic astrology. In the last century,  the celebrated Egyptologist, Cyril Fagan, proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the original Egyptian zodiac was Sidereal. The practise of dividing each sign into three decanates was an integral element.

Decanal stars on boats in Hathor Temple at Dendera.’Starry gods are sailing on boats across the firmament on the astronomical ceiling in the outer hypostyle hall of the Hathor Temple at DenderaIt.

I=, not alone, but definitely among a tiny minority, who suspect that Valens and presumably other Hellenistic astrologers used a sidereal zodiac. This shouldn’t be seen as a problem because the Sidereal and Tropical zodiac have different uses. The tropical zodiac takes as its anchors the Solstice and Equinox points. It is the zodiac of choice for terrestrial timekeeping. Zero degrees Aries always marks the Spring Equinox and zero degrees of Libra will always mary the onset of Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. The Tropical zodiac is the clear choice for calendrical, mundane purposes Precession has no consideration. We know that the rate of precession is approximately one degree every 70 years, so the stars are no longer necessary in the same sign. For example, The Heart of the Scorpios is now well into Tropical Sagittarius. Regulus, The Heart of the Lion isn’t even in Tropical Leo anymore, just as Fomalhaut is no longer in Aquarius.

If you are concerned with the position of the stars over time, the Sidereal Zodiac wins hands down, There are several bright and not so bright stars in the firmament that have ancient and consistent significance and the Tropical zodiac distorts this badly. It is clear that Valens was interested in asterisms, including circumpolar and other asterisms that did not fall on the ecliptic. Ursa Major, for example, is considered to be the three rishis and the seasonal turning of the constellation draws a swastika in the heavens, one of the most ancient sacred symbols. He was clearly very interested in the Fixed Stars.

Robert Hand, in his brilliant commentary on Valen,s makes some fascinating points regarding the close parallels of Indian astrology apropos of Valens. This would explain many things.

Anthology p. XII

The Nakshatras are 27 in number and are each specifically oriented to set asterisms. Each Nakshatra is divided into four Padas. Each pada is allocated to a sign. This gives us the sacred number or 108. The zodiac used in India is sidereal and there is no attempt made to pretend that the constellations associated with signs on the ecliptic are equal, which they most certainly are not. This isn’t the place to delve into the intricacies of Indian astrology, but I hope to have at least piqued an interest in expanding what we mean by Classica or Hellenistic for that matter. I believe this also opens to door to the possibility of modern astrologers using a sidereal for some purposes and to still remain “Classical.”.

I give the last word to Robert Hand whose introduction to Schmidt’s translation is masterful and he makes i very clear that the text is riddled with problems that show no sign of relenting any time soon. There have been additions made by later authors and contradictions abound. When faced with the signs beginning at 8 or ten degrees and aware of the urgent need to decide which zodiac he actually used. Hand concludes:

“The lunar mansion or nakshatra is 13°20’ long. This is very close to the average daily motion of the Moon in the zodiac, and it is well known that this is the derivation. The navamsa is exactly one-quarter of that and therefore resonates to the passage of the Moon through the quadrants of the chart. On average the Moon moves very close to 3°20′ of arc while it is rising from the Ascendant to the M.C., from the М.С. to the Descendant and so forth. ” Moreover, he uses two methods to establish the Ascendant in a horoscope, now known as A and B. They are closely allied with Babylonian astrology.

Once the text is finally sorted out, I believe that close reference to Indian astrology may be very helpful. I suspect that the model of Nakshatras will shed light on the often perplexing  astrology of Vettius Valens

Church of the Nativity in the village of Arbanasi, in Veliko Tarnovo, north-central Bulgaria, there is a similar zodiac fresco image — a “Wheel of Time” in which the cycle of human life is represented:

Rahu Ketu & Nakshatras for the Hellenistic Astrologer

Vishnu and Lakshmi on_Shesha Naga, Lakshmi stimulates the dream of creation.

This is a continuance of Astrological Mysticism in The Surya Siddhanta. Since that article was written several months ago, I have managed to obtain other texts on Indian Astrology which have served to explain or fill in apparent gaps. I have also been fortunate to meet highly accomplished Indian astrologers who were amenable to discussing how Indian techniques might be used in concert with Hellenistic astrology, I came away with two techniques that seem to be particularly useful and, to my way of thinking,, add much-needed dimensions.

My time here is not to go into any of these texts in depth but I will make them available to the reader who desires a broader compass. I will caution ahead of time that less is often more, particularly when the goal is practical in nature. Of course, particularly when discussing Indian Astrology, practise and spiritual discernment is as important as in its Hellenistic, Persian, Egyptian, Druidic or Babylonian counterparts.

This can only serve as the simplest of introductions to two techniques used in Indian astrology. To tell the entire story would require the retelling and analysis borne of millennia. I, therefore, present this with due humility in the hope that it might spark interest in other practitioners of Hellenistic astrology.

Jyotish translates as “science of light,” and refers to the profound and mathematically sophisticated form of astrology originating in the earliest texts. Jyotish is as revered in the sub-continent as authentic astrology is largely undervalued and even reviled in the modern West. The essential tenets of Jyotish, including the nomenclature of the science of light, will not seem alien to a practitioner of |Tradional Western astrology. In fact, there is, therefore, an unbroken chain of this science of light going back to very ancient times.

In a previous article, we discussed The Surya Siddhanta of an unknown date. It was readily available in the 11th and 12th Century AD. The translation most commonly seen is that of Ebeneezer Burgess, published in 1860.. However, there is solid evidence that it was much older, perhaps existing in oral form long before that, It is also widely understood that changes had been made over the years

With uncertain provenance we must take what we have on its own terms., assisted by reference to other Indian astronomical works., It should be borne in mind that the same is true for all ancient forms of astrology. India the relationship between Spirit and Matter is common to all, in a highly developed form it is to the sciences, although they may use differing nomenclature. I have elected to employ the term Indian Astrology because it is practised from the Himalayas to Kanyakumari with surprisingly little variance, all things considered.

“The yantra is a mystical or astronomical diagram used as an amulet or charm. Beneficial in getting rid of insufficiency, competitors, resentment and bad effects of planets” – Neeta Singhal

The word Vedic can be misleading as can the nomenclature of Hindu astrology because it is used not only by Hindus, but also Sikhs, Jains, and Muslims. There are also many practitioners of Jyotish globally, but there is never any doubt of its origin in its present form. There is also an undeniable connection with the yogas and the gods are of Indian origin both Vedic and later.

For reasons which are not entirely clear, the intermingling of astrological cultures over millennia didn’t result in complete transference of some of the most useful elements of Indian astrology. Perhaps the chief of these is the Nakshatras system and an adequate understanding of the Nodes. Classical, Islamic and European sources tend to be vague on the subject of the Nodes and some don’t mention them at all. My friend and colleague Clelia Romano have done a splendid job of surveying the opinions of the Nodes and has provided 40 chart readings of people with mental illness to demonstrate how the Nodes work. A pdf from her site is available here.

Nakshatras are divisions of the zodiacal wheel by 27 which are further subdivided to arrive at the mystically significant of 108  The divisions of four are called padas and they are assigned planetary qualities. The Nakshatras are anchored to the stars so one might use a Tropical zodiac with Sidereal Nakshatras. This is not common practise in India because the Sidereal zodiac is usually (but not entirely) for all purposes. they are Lunar Mansions and Rahu and Ketu are also Lunar based.

This simple chart shows the positions of Nakshatras, showing planetary lords and ruling deity.

For the Western Astrologer, the use of a Sidereal Zodiac s problematic. Think for a moment that you have always known you were a fiery personality with a Leo Sun, an Aries Ascendant and Moon in Sagittarius. The Sidereal reading would have you be a Cancer Sun, a Pisces Ascendant and a Scorpio Moon. The elemental change alone is enormous, even before considering the signs. themselves. We are tropically oriented. Our system is based on the Solstices and Equinoxes and the Sidereal is based on the stars. But as fortune would have it, we can use the Tropical for the Signs and the Nakshatras at the same time.

The question arises, of course, as to why a Western Astrologer would eschew the various systems of 28 Lunar Mansion in favour of the Indian model. The truth is that Lunar Mansions are not used that much in the West, largely, I should think because they offer us very little information and even that much can be vague. Moreover, each version gives us different information. The great exception is the use of astrological magic and fine-tuning a particular element of a chart or indeed as a tool in chart rectification.

Because of the nature of the nakshatra,. we can discern a great deal about the nature of the soul’s first point of contact with the material world, as was explained to me by a highly credible Indian astrologer. Now, of course, such things are relevant in a plurality of systems. But we don’t actually suggest what was the nature of a previous incarnation or indeed one yet to come., There were attempts in the 70s and 80s riding high on the misguided New Age era. From the School of Theosophy came swaggering confidence that one could simply make up association using only the nodes.

It needs to be said that the idea of reincarnation or the transmigration of souls is solidly established in the European tradition from Plato to the Druids, who may have actually preceded the Indian sages on this matter. Brahmins have referred to the Druids as their European cousins or brothers. Indeed, early Christianity had proponents of reincarnation until they were silenced by orthodoxy. So the metaphysical of a mystical framework already exists, yet Traditional Astrology appears to avoid the question. I’m quite sure that the reason for this is the influence and threats of the Abrahamic religions.

So, a Hellenistic or Persian astrologer could employ Nakshatras, with a Tropical zodiac and in fact, this is done by Indian Astrologers both within and outside the sub-continent.  Let me provide one example of how this can be done. This is a chart calculated in a Hellenistic programme, showing the 27 Nakshatras, the Padas and the traditional Chaldean Decans. It so happens that the Whole Sign system is the most often used on the Indian sub-continent. The Hellenistic astrologer is not required to make any essential changes beyond using the Nakshatra and taking the Nodes as seriously as Vettius Valens.

We find the Lagna (Ascendant) is in the 27th degree of Libra – the Nakshatra is Vishaka, which occupies 20-00 Libra To 3-20′ Scorpio. Jupiter is the Lord and the symbol is an Archway and both Indra and Agni preside. Indra is one of the oldest gods from the Rigveda and Agni is both a god and Fire. The short description or general characteristics: include energy, strength and potential power, bright in appearance, well spoken and adept at making money. The Pada is Gemini and Mercury is very happy here. Jupiter brings a driving idealism in this place.  The character is described as being versed in scriptures. So we would derive a charming and effective person, an idealist desirous of change towards justice, but one whose health is likely to be fragile.

Sometimes the Moon Nakshatra is studied, along with the Sun or any other point. However, the Lagna seems particularly important and immeasurably more so when considered in relation to the Nodes. The western astrologer might use this useful astrological tool. However, we haven’t got the full benefit until we have studied Rahu and Ketu through the eyes of Indian Astrology:.

The creation of Rahu and Ketu is told in the creation myth itself. The story is one of immortality stolen by a dissembling demon. This is the most pertinent part of the story for our purposes:

Devas (demigods) appealed to Vishnu, who then took the form of Mohini and as a beautiful and enchanting damsel, Mohini distracted the asuras, took the amrita, and distributed it among the Devas, who drank it. Asura Rahu-Ketu, disguised himself as a deva and drank some nectar. Due to their luminous nature, the sun god Surya and the moon god Chandra noticed the switching of sides. They informed Mohini. But before the nectar could pass his throat, Mohini cut off his head with her divine discus, the Sudarshana Chakra. But as the nectar had gone down his throat he did not die. From that day, his head was called Rahu and body was called Ketu. Later Rahu and Ketu became planets. The story ends with the rejuvenated Devas defeating the asuras.

Komilla  Sutton writes “Rahu Ketu is the name given to the Nodes of the Moon. Rahu is the North Node and Ketu is the South Node. They are points on the ecliptic where the Moon is in alignment with the Sun and the Earth. They indicate the precise point of harmony with the three most important influences in our life- the Sun, the Earth and the Moon. This relationship plays an important part in the unfolding of individual consciousness.”

Dark forces gaining divine attributes through deception is an archetypal tale of the Fall. The attempt to kill the Asura, only made him more malefic. It is not true that the N|odes are always malefic, but they often are and should be studied closely. Whether or not they are demonic isn’t up for debate. They have advisedly named shadow planets. They are secretive and not always easy to detect.

According to Sutton: “Rahu behaves like Saturn. It deals with drugs, poisons, over-ambition, power play, hidden knowledge… Rahu’s element is air. It deals with all aspects of air-related activities air travel, Air accidents, Aviation, Pilots etc. Other significations of Rahu include students of Astrology, metaphysical knowledge, witchcraft, skin diseases, smallpox, deception, politics, political manoeuvre, inventions, scientists, execution, diseases, disenchantment etc.”

Rahu

Rahu is the head and for our immediate consideration, the mouth. Rahu is forever hungry and analysing. He can eat but lacks the body required for digestion. This brings with it an obsessive nature. Of course there will always be other considerations required to get the full picture, but imagine in Rahu were in the fifth house. The perennial hunger could result in excessive, even uncontrollable gambling or result perhaps in what is now called sex addiction. Desires are out of control.

In the tenth house, Rahu might manifest as an unquenchable desire for prominence. In the second house, Rahu can never have enough possessions. This need has almost nothing to do with wealth. We can see this in compulsive collectors who are never satiated and always looking for the next piece. The drive will never be satisfied because Rahu cannot digest. He is perennially hungry and the hunger is insatiable..In Indian astrology, the 2nd house includes speech as its province. This could a mellifluous voice with an occasionally sharp tongue.

Rahu in the first house belongs to people who can’t seem to get enough of themselves. They may well appear selfish to others. But of course, Ketu will be in their seventh house. This brings a crisis in relationship pursuits. Obviously, the other elements of the chart will affect how this is expressed.

If we refer back to our sample chart, where we found the Nakashatra Vishaka, on the Ascendant, we now add Rahu to the ninth house, this could subvert the good qualities by exaggerating. The fictitious person might tend towards a degree of fanaticism in religion and the domains of Jupiter.

Ketu is the headless body. Kee5tu can usually indicate something about what has past, including what preceded your physical being in this life. What Ketu wants most of all is-Moksha -liberation. Because no ‘thing’ can give that, Ketu rejects what is available where he is. So, Rahu is unsatiable appetite and Ketu is on the opposing side of the spectrum. They are desire and aversion personified if you will. IF this results in rejecting negative elements, then all is well and good. But if helpful elements are discarded, this could be quite devastating.

Importantly, the “Nakshatra’s Ketu rules are Ashwini (Aries), Magha (Leo) and Mula (Sagittarius), the fire triplicity. These are the beginning stages in the cycles of life. Mars, Sun and Jupiter the rulers of Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are friends with each other. Together they represent strength, the soul and wisdom, Ketu has the capacity to give in these areas. A proper blending of these three planets in our natal charts direct us towards seeking Moksha- the final liberation from the cycle of life and death.” See Sutton, Komilla 

Ketu Dev Tail of Demon Snake

Most intriguing is that Mula is the most difficult and painful of the Nakshatra because the work is to cut through all illusion. In relation to the fire triplicity, we can say that warrior, sage and sol are dramatically energized by Ketu in the quest for Moksha.

The examples I’ve given are for the Natal chart which is the main focus of this article. I have long used the Nodes in Mundane charts also. Mundane has its own set of rules, but the same principals apply. I have noticed a very high number of catastrophes in which the Nodes are squaring a key point in the chart, but even here, there are many other elements to consider and the seasoned astrologer will know what to do..

Summary: I have attempted to offer an introduction and insight into two interconnected elements in Indian astrology, that I believe would be easy enough for most Hellenistic astrologers to incorporate. The Nakshatras are anchored in the stars and the Tropica Zodiac derives from the Solstice and Equinox points. The nodes are so poorly documented in the Western tradition to render them next to useless. Many writers don’t mention them, mention them in passing and usually contradict each other. Indian astrology does not have that problem. Also, Hellenistic and Indian astrology have a great deal in common already. Both use the seven planets/luminaries and the nodes. Both favour the whole sign system. I should think that the most challenging point of disagreement is the zodiacs. But it is permissible to use the one with which you are familiar.

There are few stellar practitioners of Indian astrology who have published extraordinarily fine works to help the westerner understand the astrology of the Indian sub-continent: I recommend anything by Dr David Frawley, Light on Life by Hart Defuw & Robert Svoboda. Ancient Hindu Astrology for the Modern Western Astrologer by James Braha,  The Nakshatras by Dennis M. Harness. The Lunar Nodes: Crisis & redemption. & The Nakshatra: The Stars Beyond the Zodiac. by Komilla Sutton.

Rahu-Rahula-Tibetan form-

Solar Eclipse of June 30, 1954 – Brothers in Arms

The 1st lunar mansion of Cancer: الذِّرَاعُ “al-dhirā`” (the Lion’s paw) in Arabic. पुनर्वसु “Punarvasu” (The Two Restorers of Goods) in Sanskrit. Symbolized by a bow and quiver full of arrows in Jyotish. From [Wellcome MS Persian 373] Thumbnail 193 of Nujum al-‘Ulum ‘Stars of Sciences’ copied from an earlier work (dated AD 1575), which was probably commissioned by ‘Ali’ Adil Shah II of Bijapur in India. [Wellcome MS Persian 373]

The Total Solar Eclipse of June 30, 1954, is distinguished in no small part by its reach. Totality stretched from the US to Eastern Canada, over Greenland, parts of Scandinavia, Eastern Europe through Iran, Afghanistan and to Northwestern India. The most obvious historical connection is to a conflict between Afghani Pashtuns and Pakistan. I make this statement with some degree of hesitation because as the saying goes, a Pashtun is only at peace when he’s at war.  Afghani tribesmen are the de-facto military and warfare is taught alongside lessons in the Quran by traditional Afghans to boys as young as six., Therefore, we need to keep in mind that conflict is something of a natural state. The difference here, however, is that the conflict is between what we could well call brothers. In fact, the notion of hard boundaries between some Islamic countries is itself something of a rarity.

In addition, the politics existed and persisting between India, Pakistan and Afghanistan are so convoluted and deeply ingrained, that I will not be rehearsing them here in any detail. I’m more interested in the larger symbolism and particularly as it relates to this eclipse, However, this particular, little-discussed incident represents something of an epiphany or crystallization of the larger theme of serious and protracted wars that would have included Kashmir and therefore India and Pakistan – conflicts that continue to this day. The war in Kashmir is at least as old as the time of Partition. It has hosted what has been called a shadow war certainly between India and Pakistan, but Afghanistan has also been involved.

The strategic position of Afghanistan changed when Pakistan was born. Instead of being bordered by a largely Hindu population, it was now neighbours with another Islamic one.  Nevertheless, this was still early days and the porous border with Afghanistan was to some extent exacerbated by her landlocked position. There was and still is an antagonism between Sunni and Shia Muslims and Afghanistan is also neighbours with predominantly Shiite Iran. Even after all this time, the lot of Shii Muslims in Afghanistan is not good and is perhaps even worse in Pakistan.

I don’t think it would fair to suggest that this eclipse alone augured for the conflicts between Pakistan and Afghanistan, but it is both relevant and highly telling of the greater conflict. Pakistan has a large Pashtun population beyond the concentrations we find in Waziristan, a mountainous region covering the North Waziristan and South Waziristan agencies.

On 14 August 1947 (27th of Ramadan in 1366 of the Islamic Calendar) Pakistan gained independence. India gained independence the following day. The date given for the present state of Afghanistan is  4 August 1747, 12:01 PM in Kandahar. So, to put the conflict in context, this is not quite seven years into the young lives of either country. We don’t need to consult the chart for the creation of Pakistan for our immediate interests. It is impossible not to notice that the three countries are Leo. They have many things in common and many things to fight about.

This is the chart for the eclipse in Afghanistan:

Most obvious of course is the string of Cancer planets and luminaries in the 8th House of Death and Inheritance, themes which are very much at play, perhaps more so for Pakistan. Although history has celebrated the Independence of India and the creation of Pakistan (Land of the Pure) the depth and magnitude of the wound required to create a land for India’s Muslims are considered mostly within the context of the immediate results, such as the widespread violence between displaced Hindus and Muslims.

What is less often considered is the longer-term effects of the amputation. Pakistan was no small concession. It is an enormous country of 340,509 sq m., all of it once part of India. Moreover, the land had been handed over to what had not so long ago been invaders and often very harsh rulers. an estimated three hundred million Hindus were massacred and their religious sites destroyed over a three-century span of time. Members of other religious groups were also severely persecuted over the centuries. This mostly gets lost in the smoke and mirrors that constituted the politics of India and the British Empire. This raises the issue of duplicity, as shown in the 7th House.

Nevertheless, Gemini is, after all, the sign of the twins. The Lord of the Descendant is Mercury in Cancer but retrograde in the 8th House. It’s the Day of Mercury, but the Hour of Jupiter. The latter is also the Almuten of the chart. This brings us to the Lunar Mansion in which the Eclipse occurred.  The 8th Mansion is named al-Natra, meaning the Crib or Gap. It occupies 0* Cancer to 12* Cancer 51’What would seem utterly hopeless at first glance, turns out to be representative of opportunity.

In The Picatrix:, this Mansion denotes’ love and friendship and the ability to heal enmity.  Stephanie Johnson adds that Al Nathrah brings “a profound attachment to family and a love of children, even those of other people. This is not dissimilar to the interpretation of a Moon in Cancer.” (Lunar Mansions: Arabs and the Moon p. 5)  Dorotheus of Sidon has his own interpretation, but while the core themes remain the same.  there is great doubt about the longevity of the benefits. He writes  it is:

“Good for voyages, swift on outward and return journeys. Marriages contracted will be harmonious for a while, then discordant. A slave bought will deceitful, accuse his master, and run away. A partnership started will involve fraud on either side. If captured, long imprisonment.”

Durand Line Border Between Afghanistan And Pakistan

The two versions are not incompatible. In the short term, peace and understanding prevail. However, we know that corruption is rife in both countries. The core issue was and still is the recognition of the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, known as the Durand Line. The issue was old even before the inception of Pakistan.  The history and ongoing strife are far too complex to rehearse here in detail and that isn’t the main thrust of this article. Everything is ephemeral in the Sub-Lunary Sphere and what this chart and eclipse show us is how the details, the smaller stretches of time, fit into the larger picture which is ultimately more massive than the human mind can fully comprehend.

Neverthe; less, in the short run, all looks quite encouraging. We have a truce rather than a permanent peace, which is what we might expect. The exaltation of Jupiter in Cancer lends a great deal of good-will seems well and Venus in the 9th House is quite splendid for two Islamic countries settling border issues. saturn is not respecting the Ascendant, except by aversion.

This does matter, however, because Saturn is all about boundaries and limitations of all kinds, and the party contesting the border can’t see that. Saturn is ion his House of Joy only because he can do less damage there.  Be that as it may, Mars is on the same Axis and the Eclipse – known as the axis of Hades and he has just entered Capricorn  This axis is after all, about possession of material things, either your ‘own’ or what is inherited. Again, this theme fits perfectly with the matter at hand. Mars is in his sign of Exaltation, but Retrograde. The antagonism is enough to get things moving, but not enough to kybosh all that might be gained.

Ficino tells us that Mars is soothed by Venus and Saturn is soothed by Jupiter. Both of these are operative in the outcome, albeit a temporary one. Venus accomplishes this by her position in the 9th House of religion. Islam itself is under Venus and both countries are Islamic. That brings an ultimately unshakeable degree of harmony, despite the boundary issues.  She is also in the sign of the Sun, and we are discussing two Leo countries. The 9th is the Joy of the Sun.

Jupiter, on the other hand, is strong, even though the house position is weak. He is still the Almutren of the chart. in his exaltation with a Cancer Moon.  He forms a trigon with Saturn and this seems to seal the deal. At the end of the day, the parties in conflict are they are brothers – and like brothers that will continue to scrap but always find a way back to each other. According to  Vinay Kaura, of Sardar Patel University, as of Jun 27, 2017 . “no Afghan government, including the present one headed by President Ashraf Ghani, has ever recognized the legitimacy of the Durand Line, which runs through mountainous terrain and remains largely unpoliced.” (MER. Jan, 2017. But what does a border actually mean to people who are partly nomadic and for the most part have no real concept of a nations state?

Considering both countries are strongly Muslim, the concepts of ummah and caliphate have much more resonance and particularly with the tribal populations of both countries. Ummah (Arabic: أمة‎ [ˈʊm.mæ]) is an Arabic word defined as “community”. It is distinguished from Shaʻb (شعب [ʃæʕb]) which means a nation with common ancestry or geography. Thus, it can be said to be a supra-national community with a common history. When Muslims speak of the Ummah, they would include Muslims from all countries. The Islamic ideal is a global Caliphate with all non-believers subjugated, so national boundaries between Muslims are going to produce conflict between tribal and Islamic values.

A nomadic family posing for a photo in the Wakhan corridor in Afghanistan

This is part of the never-ending story and there were and will continue to eclipses that are immediately relevant. My primary purpose here was to show how the eclipse describes the situation so eloquently.

Father Christmas & The Piper at the Gates of Dawn

The Longest Night must pass before the waxing of the Light. A Blessed and Merry Yule to all my friends, family and associates. At the time of the Solstice, we have the image of the Centaur giving way to Capricorn with the Holly King, appropriately riding a Goat.

St. Nicholas magazine cover art by Canadian-born illustrator Norman Price, Christmas Number, December 1912

There are some variations on the theme of the Holly and the Oak Kings. First of all, they are two faces of the same life force, with strong natural, seasonal, agricultural and mythical significance. Form a traditional astrological point of view, the two signs of Saturn oppose both luminaries – Capricorn opposes the domicile of the Moon and Aquarius the domicile of the Sun. It is, after all, a dark time of year with the seeds of the waxing light.Beyond all other considerations, the celebrations taking place cross-culturally and around the world celebrate and exalt this seed of light.

The story of Pan and his contest with Apollo is an archetypal portrayal of Saturn vs the Sun. Pan is remembered for competing with his flute against Apollo’s lyre. Rhe contest was judged by Timolus to be inferior to Apollo’s lyre. Everyone present agreed with the judgment except for King Midas, who considered it unjust. For his insolence, Midas acquired, by the will of Apollo, the ears of an ass, which he tried, unsuccessfully, to conceal under a turban.

I’m also reminded of the passage by C.S. Lewis wherein Mr. and Mrs. Beaver tell the children that Narnia is under the spell of a malevolent despot. There is neither joy nor peace. Narnia has become a land where hope is little more than an act of folly and oppression is the order of the night,  Every day is as if it is “always winter but never Christmas.” Not long after, there is the sound of sleigh bells and it becomes apparent that the dark force is losing its strength.

Lewis is drawing from ancient sources and a theme that is ubiquitous. Christmas is, of course, a Christian festival, but The Oak King and the Holly King each rule for half the year. The evergreen holly and the sacred oak symbolically vanquish each other every six months, to rule for half the year. In reality, they are two sides of the same force. Indeed, the etymology of the word Holly in Latin means the holm-oak or evergreen oak (Quercus ilex).

These battles are usually considered to take place at the Solstices, but this seems to be the result of a misunderstanding regarding the nature of the seasons.

The battles take place at the Equinoxes – Samhain, and Beltane so that the Oak King is at his strongest during Midsummer or Litha, and the Holly King is dominant during Yule. In the Celtic tradition, Samhain is the end of Summer and the beginning of a new year. Beltane is a time of new life – a celebration of mating and regeneration. The association of Pan with Capricorn shouldn’t be missed. At his peak, the Holly King is very much like the Lord of Misrule, thriving as he does under two consecutive Saturnine signs.

Pan and Daphnis 4, the inventor of the bucolic poem. 7222: Gruppo marmoreo di Pan e Dafni. Collezione Farnese. Forse da un prototipo dello scultore rodio Eliodoro. National Archaeological Museum, Naples.

I think Lewis is also pointing to a parallel tradition in which a faun might be interpreted as a child of Pan. In the engraving above, Father Christmas or the Holly King has an unmistakably lecherous grin and he appears to be well- stocked up with wine. The goat is synonymous with lust and of course, Pan himself is half goat.  We have a mischievous  Father Christmas who could also be seen as the Lord of Misrule, found at the center of Saturnalia. The Holly Kings is also merry. The mythic elements are also decidedly chthonic and celebratory of nourishment found in barren places. Goats thrive in the most hostile environments due to their extraordinary sure-footedness and ability to find food even in the most remote places, including high elevations and extreme temperatures.

This 1835 drawing depicts “Father Christmas” being ferried by a goat.
Wikimedia Commons / University of St Andrews Library

It would be naive to interpret the Holly King as a Santa Claus, but the fact is they will forever be associated with most of the same themes that we associate with Christmas and Yule and the dozens of other festival occurring at the same time. Pan is the Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Syd Barret, a Capricorn, chose this title for Pink Floyd’s first studio lp. No doubt, he got the namer and the inspiration from ‘The Wind in the Willows’ by Kenneth Grahame; illustrated by Nancy Barnhart and  Published 1913. The Piper goes back much further, however, and he was the subject of Pre-raphaelite artists.

Pan’s is a primal music and his nature is the origin of the word ‘panic.’ But authentic music is not merely cerebral. It evokes other states of consciousness – some sweet and some dark

The Season is a celebration of Peace and Good-Will as much as it is a recognition of our most primal nature and the transmutation required to embrace both. We are all the Piper at the Gates.

Cancer Ingress of the Sun – Summer Solstice

The Solstices and the two Equinox are of great significance.  For Mundane astrologers, they are consulted along with the ingress of the planets, eclipses and a variety of other elements, depending on exactly what is being sought.

The rule has it that Fixed Signs signify a longer period of the effect than Cardinal, and Mutable is even shorter.  A Solstice or Equinox chart is valid for the season it heralds. Most obviously, each season is greeted by a different element. All are in Cardinal Signs. Cardinal initiates.  Aries is Cardinal Fire and heralds the Spring, Libra heralds Autumn & Capricorn, winter. Along with these markers of the seasons, there are some interesting elements that are seldom considered. For example. Capricorn is the Detriment of the Moon and Libra is the Fall of the Sun. Cancer is the domicile of the Moon, as Leo is the domicile of the Sun. The luminaries are considered to be Peregrine, so in all the aforementioned cases of the four divisions, there is always intrigue.

But first and foremost, these times are particularly powerful and should be greeted in the spirit of reverence and celebration, of conscious reception. This moment is a point in a much larger cycle. The Summer Solstice heralds not only Summer itself but the two Royal Signs – indicative of the Queen & King. The Sun and Moon rule only one sign each.   These archetypes are particularly powerful and the Summer Solstice sparks celebrations all over the world. It’s also the great pivotal point between the waxing and waning light. Just as Winter Solstice is the longest night,  Summer Solstice is the longest day. In a Celtic tradition, a flaming arrow was shot towards the Sun as it rose, adding fire to fire.

The Celts had eight major festivals and four of them coincided with the tow Equinoctial and Solstitial periods. The Summer Solstice is called Litha. It was a time of clearing, a time to banish evil spirits to make way for a celebration of the light at its zenith and assure an abundant harvest. Feasting, music, and dancing took place. Bonfires were lit in celebration.

This is where the grand picture of astrology comes into play. We are reminded that events of this magnitude affect us all in some way and recognition of this is important. This isn’t primarily a personal chart, but it is certainly a collective one. The image blow shows the stars in the constellation of Cancer the Crab: Manilus writes:

“Shining at the hinge of the year by the blazing turning-point which when recalled the Sun rounds in his course on high, the Crab occupies a joint of heaven and bends back the length of day. Of a grasping spirit and unwilling to give itself in service the Crab distributes many kinds of gain, and skill in making profits; he enables a man to carry his investment of foreign merchandise from city to city and, with an eye on steep rises in the price of corn, to risk his money upon sea-winds; to sell the world’s produce to the world, to establish commercial ties between so many unknown lands, to search out under foreign skies fresh sources of gain, and from the high price of his goods to amass sudden wealth. With heaven’s favor he also sells seasons of idleness at rates of interest to his liking, wishing the swift passage of time to add to the principal. His is a shrewd nature, and he is ready to fight for his profits.” [Astronomica, Manilius, 1st century AD, book 4, p.235.]

Most of the stars in Cancer are relatively obscure and rarely mentioned. However, the left claw holds the Arabic-named Acumen’s, which translates to ‘the Claw.’ Arabian astrologers also give this name to one of the Lunar Mansions. This should not be confused with two stars in Libra, named Zubenelgenubi, Zubeneshamali, the”Northern Claw” and Southern Claw respectively.

The initial portion of Cancer relates to the eighth Lunar Mansion (0 Cancer to 12 Cancer 51) named Aluayra or Al Nathra. In Indian tradition, this Mansion is good for cutting new clothes, for women’s jewelry and putting it on. Rain will bring benefits, not damage, but this is not a good time to travel, except for the third part of the night. Arabian astrologers added that it causes love, friendship, and society of fellow travelers.

With all these things in mind, the chart for the exact moment of the Ingress of the Sun in Cancer takes on greater meaning.

Recueil d’astronomie et de mathématiques. This is a magnificent crab, even if it looks like someone who never met one. The primary interest of this painting is the positions of the stars that make up the constellation.

There are a few salient elements I would like to point out in this chart. Such charts often either lean on the gloomy side or are manically, even blindly, optimistic.

Mars and the Moon are never a good mix. The Moon is Martial Scorpio is in her Fall and Mars is in his Fall in Cancer.  Like Saturn,  Mars is worst when the most afflicted. In the 7th House, he is an open enemy. He’s in the decanate of Mercury which makes him that much more explosive; nevertheless, something needs to trigger the outburst. This position on a chart for the Pacific coast is prime for a maritime disaster, but nothing on a grand scale, such as a major earthquake.

Mars in his Fall From: Metaliʿü’l-saadet ve yenabiʿü-l-siyadet Seyyid Mohammed i

The second focus is the 5th House. The Moon is Exalted in Taurus, with Venus in her Domicile and the Parts of Courage and Necessity. Moreover, Mercury is strong and resilient in Gemini with the Part of Venus (Eros). This is a veritable garden of Venusian creativity, involving Mercury, and the Sun. This ought to be an encouragement to creativity versus negativity, despair or simple lethargy.

Jupiter is in the Exaltation of Saturn, but he’s still Jupiter and in the 10th House. The 11th House of Greater Fortune has the Part of Spirit and Victory, but also Nemesis.

Human life on this plane is always an admixture of fortunes. The Summer Solstice is a time to celebrate the light in whatever way speaks to you.

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