Venus & the Temple of the Sun

Konark Temple of the Sun

Konark Temple of the Sun

This is really not much more than a brief note and inquiry into the nature of the Sun and Venus when they are very closely associated. – in this case in a very beautiful and enigmatic work of art

It’s been my contention for most of my life as an astrologer that Aphrodite is a charming but inadequate personification of the celestial Venus. It is necessary, I think, to broaden one’s view by examining various associations , not just Hellenistic ones, to get a glimpse of the many layers of meaning and variety of expressions to fully understand the significance of the planetary archetype.

There are few better opportunities for this study outside of the Western tradition than that afforded by the temple of Konark , a 13th century Sun Temple, imagessat Konark, in Odisha, India.  It was apparently built by king Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty around 1250. This temple to the Sun god Surya is built in the form of a Solar chariot, drawn by seven spirited horses.

The motif of the Sun in a chariot drawn by horses is ubiquitous in the ancient world, although the details do differ. Here we have time represented by the months of the year, seven days of the week and the number of hours in a day. The chariot wheels themselves are decidedly Solar, but there is also poetry, music and dancers described among the erotic figures and hence we find ourselves very much in the fuller spectrum of all things Venusian. In fact, this is very much the realm of the Fifth House where Venus finds her joy

Sarasvatī - Hindu goddesss of Music, Poetry , Nature

Sarasvatī – Hindu goddess of Music, Poetry , Nature

Venus is known as Shukra in Indian mythology and is male. Shukra means semen, so the associations of fertility and creativity only strengthen the fifth house associations.

Shukra is however also represented by a female deity, most commonly, Lakshima, but there are obvious and close associations with Sarsawati, the patron of music, poetry and learning. The temple appears to embrace the Venusian within the larger Solar context.

This may seem confusing, but is much less so if you consider the Fifth House. First and foremost the house is the realm of all that is creative, including offspring and pleasure in music, poetry and sex. This is the house of Good Fortune in Hellenistic astrology and the parallels between the European and Indian conceptions becomes apparent, as do their differences .konark2

Consider firstly the relationship between the Sun and Venus in the symbolism of this temple’s construction. Its more than proximity of deities. It expresses a deeply intimate relationship to the Sun and Venus. Like all great art, it leaves us with many questions, but the study is time well spent

John Dee – Arch-Conjuror

John Dee

John Dee

John Dee (1527 – 1608) was a British alchemist, geographer, mathematician, navigator, astrologer and a double-agent for Queen Elizabeth I . He was a precocious child, educated in mathematics, philosophy and the occult. He also enjoyed the patronage of Sir Philip Sydney and Lord Dudley. He was an associate of Sir Francis Bacon, who may also have played the role of spy on occasion.

Elizabeth used an insignia  for private communiques between her Court and John Dee. It was the first occasion of 007 being associated with British spies. 007The 007 was the insignia number that Elizabeth was to use for private communiques between her Court and Dee.

He studied at Cambridge and on the European mainland, where he traveled widely. He brought back many astrological instruments and gained the reputation of a sorcerer. Dee studied astrology with the celebrated Jerome Cardan from 1552.  His combined skills allowed him to give sound advice to those seeking routes to the New World and the Far East.

He helped write the first English edition of Euclid. He was student of the Neo Platonic philosophy of Marsilio Ficino and drew no distinction between mathematics, geometry and  his investigations of the Hermetic Philosophy and Angel Magick..

John Dee - The Great Siglium

John Dee – The Great Siglium

He spent almost half his life attempting to commune with angels, to learn the universal language of creation, in the hope that he might bring about the pre-apocalyptic unity of humanity. He amassed one of the largest libraries in England. His occult work, mostly published, has had an enormous influence on the Western Magical Tradition.

Dee married three times and was the father of eight children. He is best know today as the astrologer and long-term advisor to Elizabeth I about almost anything to do with statecraft. Dee died in late 1608 or early 1609, Mortlake, England.

John Dee - Magical Equipment

John Dee – Magical Equipment

Here is Dee’s chart using Porphyry houses: for July 13, 1527, 4:02 PM in: Mortlake (London) – United Kingdom.johndeechart

This gives us a chart for the Day of Saturn and Hour of Mars

The first thing to notice is that it’s 1° from a Full Moon on the Cancer – Capricorn Axis, but the Moon has already left Capricorn for Aquarius. From an astrological point of view we can’t treat this as any Full Moon because the signs are not in Opposition. Technically we call this  Waxing Gibbous, perfecting in it’s last degree. This contributes to a strong will and deep sense of purpose

Using Porphyry houses,  Pisces and Virgo are Intercepted. This could be misleading because Venus deposited by Mercury is in Cancer and in her Fall in Virgo in the Ninth House. The Ninth House is disposited by the Sun.NPG 520,Francis Bacon, Viscount St Alban,by; after John Vanderbank; Unknown artist

The Almuten is a tie between Jupiter and Saturn, but I’m taking  Jupiter to hold that position in this case.. Mars is the Lord of the Geniture due to an abundance of Accidental Dignity.

Mercury in Cancer is free from the Beams and Direct. He is with an Exalted Jupiter, Lord of the Ascendant. Jupiter is unafflicted and conjunct the very powerful Fixed Star, Canopus, the Celestial Navigator. Canopus is of the Nature of Saturn and Jupiter and perfect for those involved in the Celestial Arts and Sciences.

The Ascendant at 3°57 Sagittarius is Conjunct Antares, one of the four Royal Stars of Persia. This is also a very powerful star of the Nature of Mars and Jupiter. Unfortunately, Mars is in his domicile, but in the twelfth House of hidden enemies.  In fact his enemies are stronger that he is. ws

This is where the chart starts

to fall apart. Jupiter and  Mercury are in the house of open enemies, the MC is disposited by Venus in her Fall and there is no support from the Eleventh House. We know he was highly considered and taken care of very well by the Queen and Court, but this charts doesn’t show that. We have a man who had eight children, but his Fifth House is in an infertile house and home to Saturn, disposited by a barren Venus in her Fall..

The Sun in the Eighth can certainly be interpreted as a  spy with  powerful occult interests, but much of the chart doesn’t describe what we know about Dee.

Sir Philip Sydney

Sir Philip Sydney

If we look at the chart using Whole Signs, many things become a lot clearer. The Eighth House now have Sun, Jupiter and Mercury. Considering the House is Disposited by the Moon in Saturnine Aquarius and Jupiter with Canopus, this looks a lot more like te chart of an alchemist and occultist. It is also ideal for a spy.

The previous open enemies of the Seventh House are replaced with the Par Fortuna. We still have a dignified Mars in the House of hidden enemies. He is in the Arabic Lunar Mansion of The Sting, as well as the Ascendant.

John Dee’s “Angelorum Bonorum” of Enochian angel names

John Dee’s “Angelorum Bonorum” of Enochian angel names

Saturn however moved from the Fifth to the Sixth House. This tips the balance on the subject of Children. The House is still Dispoisted by Mars but with Saturn and his Dispositor out of the picture this is much more conducive. The Sun of Course is applying to a Trine with the Ascendent, but as with the Lunar – Solar Axis, the aspect is out of Sign. The Trine is actually separating from Mars, which bodes well. Mercury is applying. The Almuten is now slightly weighted towards Saturn. To me it’s a better fit for what we know about John Dee..UnknownChild1

Finally we consider the planetary Parts as set out by Al Biruni. the Part of Venus sits just inside the Cusp of the First. Mercury is another six degrees into the House. The Ascendant is very strong and well disposed. With no major contradictions to this in the chart, we would expect a long and fairly healthy life. It gives a commanding presence.

Regarding support for the Eleventh House, perhaps we can can consider it’s Dispositor, Venus in Virgo as the Virgin Queen. This is the same in both charts.

The reader can decide for themselves which system yields the most accurate results. I prefer the Whole Sign because irt explains three very important issues in the chart – the degree and extent of occult interest and talent, to some extent his status as spy and the fact that he had eight children. I don’t see the4se in the first chart. I’m always happy to hear connstructive feedback.

Niccolo di Bernardo dei Machiavelli

machiavelli-1-sizedMy intent in this short piece is to read Machiavel’s radix chart using Whole Signs only. To that extent it is part experimental. I also want to know what we can about a man regarded as a monster – his very name synonymous with evil – a title I do not think he deserves.

Llittle [is] recorded of the youth of Machiavelli, the Florence of those days is so well known that the early environment of this representative citizen may be easily imagined. Florence has been described as a city with two opposite currents of life, one directed by the fervent and austere Savonarola, the other by the splendour loving Lorenzo. Savonarola’s influence upon the young Machiavelli must have been slight, for although at one time he wielded immense power over the fortunes of Florence, he only furnished Machiavelli with a subject of a gibe in “The Prince,” where he is cited as an example of an unarmed prophet who came to a bad end. Whereas the magnificence of the Medicean rule during the life of Lorenzo appeared to have impressed Machiavelli strongly, for he frequently recurs to it in his writings, and it is to Lorenzo’s grandson that he dedicates “The Prince.” (Bickers & Sala -Gutenburg)

Lucretia_Borgia_PinturicchioLucrecia as St. Catherine of Alexandria in a fresco by Pinturicchio, in the Sala dei Santi the Borgia apartments in the Vatican c. 1494.

Lucretia_Borgia_PinturicchioLucrecia as St. Catherine of Alexandria in a fresco by Pinturicchio, in the Sala dei Santi the Borgia apartments in the Vatican c. 1494.

At the age of twenty five  until  forty three, he served The Republic of Florence in a variety of ways, but most importantly as an advisor. This was during the Borgia Papacy and depravity, by almost anyone’s standards, was a way of Life  The Papacy itself had been gained through deception, murder and manipulation.

Cesare Borgia as Jesus

Cesare Borgia as Jesus

Anyone slightly suspect or otherwise inconvenient to the holders of power was in real danger of being murdered by the Papal family itself,  usually by poison and often by Lucretia who developed new, more effective means of delivering poison to her victims.

The notorious but beautiful Lucretia was painted as various saints as well as being the model for the Annunciation and several portraits from the life of Jesus, such as the flight into to Egypt.

The painting on the right shows but one example. Her brother, Cesare Borgia had himself painted as Christ. apparently without any sense of irony, in spite of his incest, fratricide, multiple murders and a myriad of other acts that can still manage to shock to this day. He was a Cardinal of the Church and used his position for the advancement of the family.. Machiavelli didn’t have to make much up.

Machiavelli was about twenty-five years of age when he became part of all this intrigue. He was to deal with this as a pragmatist, at least publicly.There are however reasons to suppose he still had some conscience. I wouldn’t call him a sociopath but he was enormously helpful to those who were.machiavelli

Appropriately, the radix is for the Day of Mars and the Hour of Venus.

The first thing that strikes me in looking at this chart is the applying Trine of Moon in Aquarius to Mercury in Gemini in the Sixth House of Servants. The combination of the Moon and Mercury make for a very fine mind and keen intellect.

The Part of Mercury is also in Gemini. Mercury has plenty of dignity and is free to act. He is conjunct Rigel, an important Fixed Star that adds to his brilliance.

Receptions are minor except Mercury and Node by both Exaltation- Triplicity and Exaltation Term.

Mercury takes his place as Lord of the Geniture, but Mars is the Almuten of the Chart.

I have not read his biography, but Mars in a weak sign n the Third House would show conflict with siblings. But closer to our own interests is that Mars and Mercury are in an applying square.

In Whole Sign Venus is Angular and in her detriment, in an applying Square to Jupiter in his Exaltation and she is rising parallel with Betelgeuse, a very powerful star being of the nature of Mars and Mercury. The Mars Mercury theme is all over the chart.

With Jupiter in Exaltation as ruler of the Ninth House, the mind is elevated to higher thoughts and the Part of Fortune is there to bless it.

However he has to please very powerful people. As if to remind us of that, we find the Part of Mars not only in the Seventh House but in the same Decanate as Jupitermap

There was a Total Lunar Eclipse prior to his Nativity at 17 °10 Leo. This falls in partile conjunction with the Part of Venus in the Eighth House.

Saturn in Taurus in the Fifth House is not a strong Saturn. However, he disposits the Ascendant. Machiavelli’s Humour is strongly Melancholic with a bit or Sanguine and Choleric in the mix.

To put this in but a few words, I see a man of great intelligence, of singular gravity and utterly pragmatic to the point of abandoning all humane considerations if need be.  The Prince still shocks people to this day, and yet when it pointed out that their own government does no less they cannot deny it. The Prince is a guide for a Prince to take and hold power in any way possible, regardless of considerations of ethics or compassion. Power is power.

Pope Alexander VI

Pope Alexander VI

His immediate patrons would have seen no more than a mirror held up to them if they were honest. But Italy itself was in enormous and seemingly eternal crisis, broken into often warring states.Power of any kind might bring some harmony. However, he was a cautious critic even of the Borgias. Even in these cases though, the grounds for his criticism tended to be practical. They were actions that didn’t serve the stability of the State or the Power of the Prince.

Whole Signs & Planetary Strength

It is usually implied that if one uses the whole sign system one will need to recalculate the chart using a quadrant based system to determine the relative strengths of the planets. I have always considered this465531_488826147828921_984372261_oLandscape with clerks studying astronomy and geometry, showing an armillary sphere, square, compasse1s highly suspect and self contradictory. Why use the whole signs in the first place if you cannot tell planetary strength from the chart it yields?

Whole Sign is much older than any quadrant system, so it must have been considered complete in itself. Indian astrologers still use them to this day.

I’ve drawn up a chart for a random time and date for Reykjavík, which is the capital and largest city in Iceland. Its latitude, at 64°08′ N, makes it the world’s northernmost capital of a sovereign state. Charts for places this far north often have intercepted signs.

The same would occur if a chart were drawn for a similar distance south of the equator. Intercepted signs raise a number of problems, not least that a sign is missing from the horoscope.

The first chart will be drawn using whole sign followed by four common house systems employed by astrologers to establish planetary strength.

whole-sign

 Here is the Whole Sign chart: We’ll just take a cursory look before checking the other charts. Let’s pay particular attention to the angles where the planets are strongest.  Mars in Aquarius is in the Seventh House, He is disposited by angular Saturn in Scorpio. Mars returns the favour and disposits Saturn.  They form a partile square. This looks like a Mutual Reception made in Hades.

The Moon in Scorpio is in her Fall and Void of Course in the Hour and Day of the Moon. She is also the Hyleg if we follow Bonatti. Jupiter is in his House of Joy, but Debilitated and Retrograde. I can’t see that the trine to Mars  is much good and it’s separating anyway.  Mercury is Under the Beams. The Ascendant in Leo is disposited by a chilly but supportive Capricorn Sun.  Taking a few minutes has already given us a good sense of the overall chart and I would say planetary strength as well. Let’s take  a look at the quadrant housesregiomontanus

This is the chart using Regiomontanus  Most obviously the fifth house is strikingly different.  Jupiter is now in the tenth house and angular. Mars however is the sixth house. `He is no longer in Hayz. Note the shift in authority. We lose the Scorpio house due to interception. The Scorpio planets are now in a Libran house. Taurus is also intercepted.

Morinus

Morinus – At first glance Morinus seems to be the most like Whole Sign, until we notice the cusp of the first house is in Cancer Also note the highly significant shift from the fifth house to the sixth. Mars is back in the seventh and ready for war.

Placidus

Placidus – Jupiter is back in the tenth house Mars in back in the sixth.The fifth house looks fairly good  and the malefics have been slightly subdued. Jupiter is angular and Mars is cadent – opposite to the Whole Sign chart. This might give us something if we pretend that Placidus didn’t say his own system was flawed. And it would have to agree with the other quadrant charts, of course

campanus

 Companus – The planets that were in the fifth have moved into the sixth with Mars.  In this chart Sagittarius and Gemini are intercepted. Again, Mars is cadent, but this time Jupiter is back in the eleventh house.

Finally we look at the Porphyry chart: Again, Mars is cadent but Jupiter in the eleventh.

Porphryry

I think these examples show that relying on a quadrant houses system to illuminate a Whole Sign chart is of little or no use. Because each quadrant house yields different results, I think it fair to call the process arbitrary.

Because of the way a Whole Sign chart is read, it tells us all we need to know. We have  a plethora of tools by which to determine planetary strength : Fixed Stars, Peregrination, Hayz, Halb, Joy,Void of Course, Face, Term, Retrograde, Besieged, Lunar Mansion, Hour of the Moon, Arabic Parts, Oriental / Occidental and many more. Using a second system is unnecessary.

Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar was arguably the best known and most revered player of the sitar in the world. He passed away at the age of 92 on 11 December 2012 at 4:30pm PST.  Shankar had been admitted to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, San Diego, California after complaining of breathing difficulties. According to The Ravi Shankar Foundation, Shankar had suffered from upper-respiratory and heart issues over the past year and underwent heart-valve replacement surgery on 6 December 2012.

Shankar has been refered to as the father of world music. I think this came as a great surprise to him. He couldn’t understand why pop musicians would want to play the sitar. Eventually he went on to play with the likes of Yehudi Menuhin. At a concert in the late 1960s, he was horrified that members of the audience were kissing. He was more than a bit irritated that western audiences failed to understand the sacred nature of his music, and one has to assume that kissing during a perfomance was like a form of blasphemy to him.

I have what is allegedly accurate natal information provided by Kundli Sangraha Tendulkar and have cast two natal charts for Mr. Shankar using Regiomontanus and Whole Sign houses, the latter being somewhat closer to the Indian system.

In loving memory of Ravi Shankar

This is the video chosen by his daughter, Anoushka Shakar, to remember her father and thank all those who sent their blessings and condolences.  This piece was played inside the Kremlin. In concert are Ravi Shankar’s Indian Ensemble, the Russian Folk Ensemble, the Government Chorus of Ministry of Culture of USSR, and the chamber orchestra of the Moscow Philharmonic. The photos are from the Hubble telescope

ravi_regio

Regiomontanus

ravi_ws

Whole Sign.

I will not be going into an in depth reading of these charts at this time. For now, I want to be certain this is in fact the correct natal information. Although I have no reason to doubt the source, I do find the horoscopes to be problematic for a number of reasons. The  Whole Sign chart is much less s0. I will restrict comments to this house system for the time being. Here are some preliminary thoughts

First of all, the Moon is Void of Course. This is not a particularly rare event, but she is also in her Fall. The Sun is however in his Exaltation and in the first house.  Mars disposits both Sun and Ascendant. In fact, Mars is overwhelming strong in this chart. He is chart almutem, the almutem of profession and the killing planet.

Venus is exxalted in Pisces in tight conjunction with Mercury also in Pisces and in his fall. They are in the twelfth house  The chart is of the day and hour of Mercury.

When we look at the fifth house, we find Jupiter in Leo. The fifth house is the topos of children, theatre and music among other things. This house in disposited by the exalted Sun and home to Jupiter in Solar Leo. We can see how all these elements can work together.

Perhaps the most glaring difference between the two house systems is that Regiomonatus puts Saturn in the fifth, which seems untenable to me.

Comments and constructive feedback are very welcome.

Foundation Chart for Baghdad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

trop

Whole Sign – Tropical

fagan-allen

Whole Sign – Sidereal