Slouching Towards Bethlehem – Total Solar Eclipse – 21 August 2017

There are dozens of articles posted on the internet regarding the upcoming Total Solar Eclipse. I have therefore elected to illuminate the significance of this eclipse in a fairly straightforward fashion so that those who are not adept in advanced techniques will nevertheless leave with a better understanding of the subject. I will speak to the essence of the phenomena. There are legions of potential rules and considerations one might use to judge an eclipse. This one is extraordinary because it’s the first total Solar Eclipse to be seen in all of the US since 1918.  The eclipse will have resonance in parts of Canada, Mexico, and Central America, but the full totality is seen only in the continental USA.

It is also extraordinary because the eclipse point is conjunct Regulus and the Ascendant of the President. The eclipse of the Sun in his own domicile is extraordinarily potent. It will fall over Washington D.C. like a dark cloud and the following months will see chaos, violence, confusion, and terror. I have struggled with writing this because I dislike being the harbinger of such news, but on balance, I think it better to be prepared than not. Because the eclipse is a Fixed Sign, the effects will unfold over several months. I could have consulted many charts but saw no need to do so. I chose the chart for the Year – Vernal Equinox and the chart for totality over Washington 21 August 2017. I could have consulted many charts but saw no need to do so. I chose the chart for the Year – Vernal Equinox and the chart for totality over Washington 21 August 2017.

Vernal Equinox – Washington D.C.

In the Equinox chart, Mars is bedeviled by numerous afflictions.  At the same time nothings restrains him. The sixth house of the common people is in the Royal sign of Leo, the sole domicile of the Sun and the Lord is Exalted. It’s not even a slight stretch to see how this has played out. The new President has been under constant duress. Mars is disposited by Venus. She is Rx. in her Detriment and Under the Beams. As Ficino put it, Venus soothes Mars and Jupiter soothes Saturn. She can do nothing. She isn’t even visible. Mars is a wild beast with no idea where he’s going. So, we look to Jupiter to soothe the other Greater Malefic and find him weak by sign, Rx and in the House of Death.  As the lord of the Ascendant, he doesn’t make a good captain.  Saturn with the Moon, in this case, causes a kind of emotional paralysis.  Mercury is the chart Almuten but Under the Beams. Considering the highly afflicted Mars,  Mercury in Aries is one more harbinger of the coming storm. The Node is with Regulus.

The eclipse also augers literal and extreme meteorological and seismic events in the areas alluded to, including the Southen US, Mexico, Central and the Northern regions of South America. Spain and North Western Africa will also see extreme conditions.  The heat and volatility in the social sphere will be echoed in the natural world.

eclipse path – courtesy of NASA

Total Solar Eclipse – Washington D.C.

The American people have been having an extraordinarily difficult time, with groups claiming authority seeming to come out of nowhere – except of course they don’t. Terms such as Fascism, Nazism, and Anarchy have more currency than any of them have had in decades – in most cases since WWII In my series on the Aquarian Age I discussed this in a much broader context. Turmoil, threats open revolts are all in store. I used the term ‘velvet fascism’ and have been horrified as basic rights such as freedom of speech are under attack from Saturn’s miserable armies. An earlier name for Saturn was Falsifer. He is the enemy of freedom and the author of enmity.  He is cold, dry and humourless. His presence in the Tenth House of the Vernal Equinox chart and on the Ascendant in the Eclipse chart, speaks eloquently of the situation.  Jupiter and Saturn are in reception by way of Ruler/Exaltation which is relatively minor consideration.

The chart for the Eclipse over Washington might be seen as a progression of the Chart of the Year. Conflict becomes a greater conflict. The house of the common people is now ruled by Venus in the sign of the Moon. She is in the eighth house as Jupiter had been. Jupiter isn’t very strong by sign, but exceedingly well placed in the House of the Good Spirit. When good placements are rare, one must pay as much attention to them as the darker significations.

Superior Conjunction of 30 Dec 2020 12:00:00 PM EST +05:00:00 Washington DC

I’m left with the sense that the ‘king” or whatever nomenclature one uses to describe this type of office is brought down, but the people are in disarray, confused and as Yeats put it “full of passionate intensity.” An established order is falling apart and a new order “slouches toward Bethlehem.” In a corporate global plutocracy, the king is expendable. His puppet masters create confusion and discontent and the people played as fools. I see this as a prelude to the upcoming Superior Conjunction. The epoch of Aquarius – Fixed Air progressing from Fixed Earth will no doubt accelerate technological advances that are to a large extent dehumanizing and set a fine stage for fanaticism.

America is a tinder box.and deception is the demon. True anti-fascists wouldn’t need to cover themselves in black and create acts of extreme violence while proclaiming their peaceful intentions.  Most of the major demonstrations have been sponsored and in many cases have actually hired crowds to create or exaggerate the illusion of dissent. This stokes the fires of a revolution that isn’t really a revolution at all. The torches and pitchforks cannot help but remind me of the wretched slaves of illusion in Plato’s Allegory of the cave.

Hanging in the Balance

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I think that by now the vision of an Aquarian Utopia populated by highly evolved, spiritualized beings devoted solely to the perfection of humanity has very little currency outside the lunatic fringe. At least I wish that were the case. The fact is, the idea has been marketed very successfully. If you can get a population to believe such things, they are very easy to control.

The illusion of progress makes real progress all but impossible to achieve. If you don’t realize there is a problem, there is no motivation to solve it. There are of course highly evolved and spiritualized beings here on Earth. There always has been. Humanity didn’t need to wait for Saturn.

This is likely to be the last article in a series regarding the nature of the Aquarian Age. The series of articles have been in large part a response to Robert Zoller whose views are notably dystopian.  I’m accepting Zoller on his own terms and methodology for this project. Although I’ve added many of my own thoughts, I find myself in general agreement with Zoller.

When we are talking about an Age, we paint with a very broad brush. This makes most astrologers understandably uneasy (or it ought to) but this is the right tool for the occasion. However, we do need to be careful of using the correct terms. For example, the word “fascist” have become so overworked that it’s oftentimes used in ways that are cliche and not helpful at all.

When the courtyard attendant asks someone not to smoke within nine meters of the door, he might be called a Nazi in an absurd attempt to link the enforcement of rules designed to protect asthmatics and non smokers to Nazi atrocities during the Third Reich.  This sort of trivial use or misuse of the term makes it a bit more difficult to recognize when we see the real thing.

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Chart showing the angles to which Zoller is referring

Zoller suggests that “In the Age of Aquarius, religion will be humanistic love of fairness and justice. While feeding the people with Libran platitudes, the Scorpionic rulers will work tirelessly toward the realization of their goal – absolute power over others, as Leo is seen in position on the 7th house.” (The Use of Archetypes in Prediction .)

In this we can find either hope or despair. Venus is nicely placed in the Ninth House which informs the Tenth. Libra, however, is the Fall of the Sun. Venus will tickle the ear, but lack authenticity that comes with a stronger sense of self.  But the placement itself is benign, even if misguided. Optimism is a wonderful thing but that doesn’t mean the pessimist has nothing to be concerned about.

There are no goose stepping soldiers in Montreal, London, Berlin or Manhattan, but the police forces in many Western countries have become increasingly militarized, to the point that someone from a previous era wouldn’t recognize them as police at all.  The right to even peaceful protest has been greatly diminished. The implications that what used to be called citizens are now the *enemy.* The term used most often to refer to the population is “consumers.” They are guilty if the powers that be say that they are.

Again, the implication is that this world is in the hands of a small, but inestimably rich plutocracy. According to Oxfam less than 1% of people in the world have more than half of the wealth (The Guardian).

Even these figures distort the reality because the Plutocracy is a tiny fraction of that 1%. It has become virtually common knowledge that this wealth contributes in no small way to foreign and domestic policies in all of the most powerful countries. It’s called lobbying but in many cases it’s rewarding what is demanded and implied threats of consequences if the donor fails to get what he or she want. .

The International Monetary Fund which we are lead to believe is a benevolent institution devoted to the development of the third countries sound very humanitarian. However the IMF loans amounts the country cannot afford to pay back as the interest compounds. The recipient then has to offer its resources in lieu of payment. This keeps the third world in thrall while making the *humanitarian* bankers richer than ever.  There is nothing new about greed and injustice; but packaging these things as benign acts of altruism and humanitarianism soars to a new level of cynicism, which is decidedly Saturnine.

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Somalia – Famine, war and corruption – only one case of a failing state resulting in massive refugee populations.

I also concur with Zoller: “As the Aquarian dream of humanistic science and universal brotherhood is a vision of the world to come in Pisces, and realized in Aquarius, so too, the Aquarian avant-garde will look forward to an Aquarian Golden Age on the one hand, while the Aquarian technocrats will look for a world corporation to fossilize society into a rigid caste system run technologically.” The Use of Archetypes in Prediction

The key problem is that the proponents of an Aquarian Golden Age are blinded by unfounded optimism. Ironically perhaps, if they were more realistic they would see that the agenda of the Aquarian technocrats must be curbed, not just for a better world, but for our survival as a species.

The Aquarian technocrats require powerful militaries and endless wars which are justified as necessary for the security of the nation. For “our own good” we give up freedom and human rights,

With Mars on the MC the Scorpionic “overlords” will have no scruples about using whatever force they deem necessary to put down the perceived enemies of complete global domination. In the spirit of Aquarian egalitarianism, a one world government sounds like a good idea. Just as George Orwell wrote in 1948, the world is divided into larger and larger sections, such as East Asian (“we have always been at war with East Asia”). Those not complying with the agenda are called terrorists – Orwell showed how the masses can be convinced that lies are true and visa versa.

1Aquarius - Delv - Kova by al-Sufi 'Book of Fixed Stars'1

Aquarius – From al-Sufi ‘Book of Fixed Stars’

Neither will their domestic critics be spared. This is all out fascism, largely concealed by the velvet glove. Wars are no longer fought for the nation state in the West, They are fought mostly to further the interests of corporations and to make the very wealthy even wealthier.

Some will argue that there have always been wars and tyrants to send good people to fight them. However, the level and scope of what have become endless wars since the Age began, with the dominance shifting from Naval Power to Air Power, is truly unprecedented. To a very real way we have the technology  to have wars that don’t end but become their own reason for being.

Predator drones are controlled from the other side of the world with impunity; but the target is people who are often unarmed ,with no chance of self defense They are destroyed without warning.. Arbitrary extrajudicial executions, carried out at the press of a button from CIA locations in California or Virginia, require no transparency or accountability. They operations are secret and above and beyond even international law.

The current President of the United States has insisted on his right to kill anyone, anywhere in the world, including the US, simply on the basis of alleged suspicion, This comes from a Democratic President with a Peace Prize. There is no trial and often no specific charge at all, All youths 16 or older can be considered enemy combatants. Almost 200 children have been killed by drones in Pakistan and Yemen alone on his watch. This mechanical, high tech form of slaughtering people is particularly ghoulish. The victims are often innocent and remain anonymous in our media. The globalism so commonly espoused in the Western world is often blind to who it kills, except of course for those who ordered the strike.

The astrological Saturn, by Hans Sebald Behamd 1539

The astrological Saturn, by Hans Sebald Behamd 1539

Many scientists, political commenters, environmentalists and others now consider nuclear war the most likely existential threat to the human race and thousands of other species, even if the exchange were limited to India and Pakistan. A nuclear winter would ensue and it would be difficult to imagine a more Saturnine fate. Rapid climate change, accelerated by the burning of fossil fuel is a threat as well. An accidental or deliberate leak of biological agents having the affect of a rapidly spreading plague of pandemic proportions is often cited as close to the top of the list of doomsday scenarios. These are created, exacerbated or potentially ameliorated by human beings.

Optimists are becoming less numerous regarding outlooks for the future. As Zoller stated, the two malefics on the angles lacks the optimism and idealism of a Piscean Jupiter. Steven Hawking, one of our most brilliant and  best loved physicists, has said many times that the only chance of human survival is for us to leave this planet. We have the technology to do real harm to the environment on an epic scale. In the meantime, famine, so often a result of war is obscenely commonplace considering the tools we have at our disposal,

Just as Libra in the Ninth is good at whispering sweet nothings into the ears of the rich and powerful, so it is an opportunity for renewed moral balance of a spiritual nature. Libra is after all the Exaltation of Saturn and the higher impulse is for true justice. We live in very dangerous times, If we can invoke the positive collective qualifies, we have an opportunity to take back what is ours. The real enemy is stealthy and the fist looks so much nicer in a velvet glove. Certainly denying or trivializing our powers of destruction will yield nothing but more of the same.

Saturn is the Reaper and what we reap is what we sow.  Saturn is all about consequences and revealing limitations, often in very challenging ways. It’s said that the path of good intentions leads to Hell. When humanism becomes a rallying cry for the availability of every human whim, it becomes something very different. The most poignant irony is that humanism, always attributed to Aquarius, spells the end of truly human life.

Clearly, this is no longer seen in an entirely negative light. For some, it’s the only solution. Why not have a humanoid that’s “Forever Twenty One” to do all the work and be able to function in the most extreme conditions, should they occur. Japan would prefer robots to immigrants in a rapidly aging society. And of course, the humanoid has perfect manners and can teach Japanese in Viet Nam.

The Aquarius / Leo axis has brought a culture of conspicuous consumption, unparalleled technological innovation, the rewarding of selfishness and celebrity for its own sake (one can now be famous for being famous) as well as opportunities to defeat the most miserable illnesses, illiteracy and some forms of inequality. The scales offer us a choice and until we make that choice we will be ever hanging in the balance waiting for “Godot” the Aquarian messiah or the end of everything that matters.

Aquarian Age : Part II

Aquarius - Italian C. 1600

Aquarius – Italian C. 1600

As the Sun once again passes through Aquarius, this seems like an opportune time to follow up on my article on the Age of Aquarius. For those of you who have no interest in reading the original article, my essential premise is that we are already in the Age of Aquarius and it is mostly dystopian, in contradiction to those who have looked forward to this New Age as a time of enlightenment, peace and even a radical, spiritual transformation of humanity. You can read Part I here 

A source which will remain anonymous states “The Aquarian Age is the epoch of new knowledge pouring like Holy Water onto the Earth from the Creator.” If were seeking this *new knowledge* we would find a very rich source in the Age of Aries for example which gave us Pythagoras, the Buddha, Lao Tzu and great sages from all over the world, I see no evidence that humanity as a whole is more spiritual now than in any other age, One does not become spiritual because of an age. More often we do so in spite of it.

I will take Zoller at his word on this, although I do not entirely share his apparent fatalistic pessimism. I am most interested in what he has to say about the angles of the Piscean and Aquarian Age, including his references to the role of Libra, Leo and Scorpio.

“The Novus Ordo Saeculorum, the New Order of the Ages, will rule through the power of life and death (Scorpio, which is on the 10th), through behaviour modification, cloning, genetic engineering, mind control and the occult. Might makes right in this New Age. If the preceding Age produced metaphysical materialists, who duped the people through the opiate of religion, the New Age will produce materialist metaphysicians who will make the preceding political power elites look like inept apprentices.

In the Age of Aquarius, religion will be humanistic love of fairness and justice. While feeding the people with Libran platitudes, the Scorpionic rulers will work tirelessly toward the realization of their goal – absolute power over others, as Leo is seen in position on the 7th house. The will of the people will be towards freedom of expression (Aquarius), and they will be encouraged to do their own thing so that they keep their minds off what their rulers do.”

See full article @  http://www.lunatica.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/SAA/ Documents/Zoller/Archandpredabridged-2.htm

 

Leo - Islamic Circa 1300

Leo – Islamic Circa 1300

He says a great deal more about the prospects of the Aquarian Age, but Im suggesting that the Age is essentially Fascist in nature. The Oxford English Dictionary defines Fascism as “an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization” but this is a great simplification of what we are likely to see manifest in the Twenty-First Century.

Zoller writes “Knowledge will be valued only insofar as it leads to the ability to wage war and destroy, because Aries is on the 3rd house. In fact, the cultivation of knowledge as a source of military power will eventually lead to a secret means of altering and controlling such things as earthquakes and the Earth itself, even the core.” ibid

This is the *boot in the face* we associate with totalitarian regimes with little to no interest in the populace beyond what they can supply the regime. As such, they are completely expendable.

How can this be? The Age of Aquarius was billed as a time of harmony, understanding and humanitarian philanthropy. This was never anything more than a utopian dream put forward by the theosophists and their heirs.

When most people hear the term, they think of jack booted Nazis goose stepping through Berlin among a sea of black and red swastikas. Any high handed attack on civil liberties will, more often than not, invite comparisons to Adolph Hitler. But contemporary fascism has been called velvet fascism. I believe this is part of Zoller’s point regarding the role of Libra.

Let’s take an example we are all familiar with – Political Correctness. It’s a means to silence and control. It bypasses the reasoning faculties and instead hands down unbreakable laws that have never been voted on or objectively assessed with the help of the hard sciences or the insights of anthropology. They tend to be tenets set forth by the media for mass consumption. PC is *true* because those with the most power say it is.  This ‘might is right’ is at the core of fascism.

Prior to the 20th Century, such systemic dogma regarding all facets of life was the domain of organized religion. Now it is political will in the service of multi-nationals and enforced by both the military and an increasingly militarized police force.

This is an affront to civil liberties and intellect, but it feels very much like the fixed – humanism of Aquarius. Human behaviour is thus governed by a purely political cabal who are normally assumed to be Liberal. Oppression masquerades as moral progress.

So let’s now look at the other end of the axis, the hot and dry, fixed fire sign of Leo. If I understand him correctly, I believe Zoller is particularly glib on this, writing it off a diversion in which to  “do your own thing.” Surely, it is a great deal more than that. In it’s simplest terms, this presents us with a polarity of the self versus the collective. Technologically, we are faced with the paradox of *personal* devices that have the effect of merging us all into a global collective, for good or bad.

The Sun is in his fall in Libra, but also debilitated in Aquarius.  Abu’ Mashar refers to the sign as the “estrangement” of the Sun. As a “partner” in the 7th House, we are presented with a choice, but not an easy one. It is worthy of note that in traditional astrology the Ascendant is the patient and the 7th house the place of the physician. ( The Forty Chapters of Al Kindi p.250 ).

The Sun in his own domicile makes for a powerful opposition that serves to ease the otherwise gloomy rule of Saturn.  Many of the illnesses associated with Saturn, such as arthritis, are soothed by the application of heat. A partial list of saturnine ailments from Nicolas Culpeper includes tooth-ache, Melancholy, excessive cold and dryness (See Astrological Judgement of Diseases. p 76). Leo is monarchy at the other end of the axis with Aquarius and as such is part of a dynamic. The balanced offered by the polarities of any age, present us with opportunities and choices. Imperfect as it may be, this ‘patient – physician” relationship room.

14th century C.E. illustration from an Arabic manuscript , which is dedicated to astrology, astronomy and geomancy and which was compiled by Abd al-Hasan Al-Isfahani

14th century C.E. illustration from an Arabic manuscript , which is dedicated to astrology, astronomy and geomancy and which was compiled by Abd al-Hasan Al-Isfahani

Let’s look again at the political manifestations of this axis. First of all, the distinction between Right and Left wing has become pretty much meaningless. Absolute power exercised by the greatest plutocracy the world has ever seen imposes its will by way of leaders they have chosen to meet their own agenda. In this case, the *king* is manipulated, but also *selfish.”

The Obama Presidency is a particularly poignant case in point. Obama himself could well be described as the velvet glove for the iron fist, so often associated with Libra. His success is fuelled by a combination of platitudes and charisma, but he rules mostly by executive order, repays banks with the taxes levied on the poor and working class.  He reigns with the great benefit of a mostly uncritical media paid for by his masters. His rise was a wonder of commercial promotion, promising one thing and delivering the opposite.

There hasn’t been a great deal of secrecy regarding the fact that he was repaying financial supporters, rather than addressing the will of those who elected him.  His campaign promises have been almost entirely ignored. His protection of companies such as Monsanto, even to the extent of making it illegal to criticize the company have shown him to be little more than a shameless opportunist. We have seen citizens regarded as mere consumers with no particular entitlement, even if they paid for it.

Libra - Arabic, 15th C.

Libra – Arabic, 15th C.

Of course, Obama is only one of dozens of world leaders and they are not all like him. Most are. As we enter into the thick of the Aquarian Age, consolidation of absolute power has become commonplace.

Writing about an Age / Aeon requires us to paint with a very, very large brush. This is particularly the case when there is and can be no consensus regarding the start or end of any age. However, we can make observations that reflect that age. It also helps us to find balance and avoid the extreme conditions of an age where the malefics hold sway.

My intent has never been to overly denigrate the ideals expected of the Age of Aquarius, but instead to offer some counterbalance to the unconsidered  expectations of the Age as being a Utopian state of being, with spiritual altruism at its core. No age is that and should be seen for what it is. In a wider context, I would like to stimulate some discussion on the Ages that might bring us to a point of greater understanding

Richard Wright : Leonine Obscurity

This is both a brief study of the abilities of traditional astrology to provide accurate readings and a tribute to a great musician and gentleman who never received the recognition I believe he deserved. It was first published on a list I moderate immediately after the untimely death of Richard Wright on 15 September 2008. Mr. Wright died of cancer within seven weeks of entering his Mars Firdaria. Ironically perhaps, the article garnered no initial interest on the list.

A Google search for Rick Wright or Richard Wright will generate a number of results and until the news of his death you would be lucky to get the one you were looking for on the first page. Try the same with Roger Waters, Syd Barrett or David Gilmour and Google will complete the name long before you even finished typing it. In fact I note that Gilmour is even included in the Word spell checker!

Amazingly, this founding member of Pink Floyd requires an introduction for many people. He was the band’s self taught keyboardist and vocalist even prior to them adopting the name Pink Floyd. He wrote “The great Gig in the Sky”, “Us and Them” and many, many other works that are played on the air virtually every day since they were written decades ago. Wright remained active in the band, showing up in live performances and recordings until very recently.

The fact that he was the first to die, with nobody outside the family knowing he was even ill, made the event all the more poignant. He was even forced out of the band by Roger Waters during the production of the now legendary The Wall album. He was in fact relegated to the role of sessional musician, preferring not to confront Waters and his reportedly vicious litigations and personal attacks. It is said that Wright became suicidal.

His innovations in keyboard and synthesizers influenced many in the music world. He also had a superb singing voice. I had to ask myself how a man with Sun, Mercury, Jupiter. N. Node and (for the interest of modern astrologers) Pluto in Leo in the 10th and 11th houses could manage to remain obscure in one of the best known progressive rock bands in the world? His solo albums are virtually unknown, despite this fact.  Wright was always eclipsed by other band members.

This might then be primarily a study in the all important Ascendant, a secondary consideration in modern astrology, but not in traditional. My sole purpose for including the outer planets in his chart is to illustrate how traditional astrology can reveal what modern can not.

Richard Wright was born 28 July 1943 @ 12:01 pm in London, England

The Ascendant is disposited by Venus in her fall in the 12th house. She cannot ‘see’ the Ascendant or, to borrow a title from a Pink Floyd album, obscured by clouds. Could this alone explain it? No, but it goes a long way! Who would have thought that those 10th & 11th house Leo placements could hide their light under a bushel?

But there is more. We also see that the Moon is with Saturn and Void of Course. She is slow and well separated from a trine to the Ascendant. Her next aspect will be a square to Mars and then Venus. Mars in the 8th is in detriment and squared Mercury and the Node. This leaves us with abundant musical outlets certainly, but not much in the way of being ‘seen.’

The placement of Mars in the 8th house is unfortunate enough, but he also disposits the 7th house of open enemies. The 12th house of hidden enemies is disposited by Mercury, where we find the fallen Venus in Virgo.

We have found the reasons for his otherwise irrational misfortunes and obscurity.  Of course, there are many factors to aid in his musical accomplishments, just not much help to allow him to shine as brightly as other far less accomplished musicians and even members of his own band.

The dispositor of the 6th house is a Solar Jupiter with Mercury and Sun in the same sign. Venus is almuten of the 5th house. Mercury is the chart almuten and significator of manners.

As far as temperament goes, in spite of all that fire and the Sun as Lord of the Geniture, it is a perfect three way balance of Choleric, Sanguine & Phlegmatic. We could say that disposition of the 6th house in part dictated his comparatively subordinate role in the band.

This phenomenon fascinates as much as his death saddened me, the latter occuring within 7 weeks of his 65th birthday and again in obscurity. His family issued a simple statement that he had passed away after a brief battle with cancer.