Ever since 2003 when Mars made its closest approach to Earth in 60,000 years and loomed large in the sky with its glorious red shine, every August our email boxes fill with well-meaning messages from friends determined to inform us of this spectacular event. While technically not a hoax, this has become more of an urban legend.
Here is a great article from one of my favorites, Liz Greene, whose work informed much of my own early work. In it she quotes Alexander Ruperti, one of the earliest holistic astrologers:
”There is not one Astrology with a capital A. In each epoch, the astrology of the time was a reflection of the kind of order each culture saw in celestial motions, or the kind of relationship the culture formulated between heaven and earth.’
and goes on to say:
‘For every individual astrologer today, astrology is not only a reflection of the kind of order our culture sees in celestial motions, and the kind of relationship it formulates between heaven and earth. It is also a reflection of the inherent temperament of the individual – our hopes, aspirations, personal histories, conflicts, fears, talents, and beliefs, both conscious and unconscious – and a reflection of the attitudes and perceptions that each of us brings to the story of our individual lives.’
The question of whether astrology is a science or not is one that I prefer not to delve into. In general, I am a person who believes what I see and not what I am told. There are too many examples, which I gleefully catalog in this blog, of instances where conventional scientific wisdom is proven to be wrong, and hypotheses which were considered “far out” by scientists are demonstrated to be true. There are many things in life that cannot be proven by the scientific method which requires rigorous testing and duplication of results. Love is the classic example of this – we cannot prove that it exists. Does that mean that it’s just a neurological response?
Dr. Greene includes Nick Campion’s survey results:
How Astrologers view Astrology
Nick Campion’s survey on how astrologers view astrology
|British (AA conference)||American (UAC conference)|
|– As a science
– As a divine science
– As a psychological tool
– As a form of divination
– As a religion
– As a path to spiritual growth
– As a form of counselling
– As a healing art
– As a means of predicting the future
This data is available in book form: What Do Astrologers Believe? (What Do We Believe?)
Dr. Greene’s essay then goes on to examine the chart of Princess Diana as it would have been interpreted by different astrologers throughout history. It’s a fascinating read.
I like to say that if you ask five astrologers a question you’ll get five different answers and then they will argue about it. But I would argue that this is a good thing – just as science must continue to expand to take in new paradigms, astrology must do the same. The science of medicine is now realizing that in abandoning folk medicine in favor of pharmaceuticals, much ancient wisdom was lost and the same is true with modern astrology. There is great wisdom in the ancient teachings of William Lilly, Abu Ma’shar and so many others, and we do ourselves a disservice when we neglect the wisdom of our astrological ancestors in favor of the more modern approaches. By the same token, human beings are evolving and changing, and just as the outer planets added a transpersonal dimension to astrological symbolism that was unknown to the ancients, the newer influence of Chiron has expanded our knowledge even more.
For the public, this huge array of astrological offerings may be confusing. But consider that seeking an astrological consultation is like going out to eat. There are many choices: Indian, Thai, Mexican, etcetera. There is no food that is the right one – everyone has different tastes and different needs. Some clients will be attracted to the precise answers of traditional astrology; others will be drawn to an astrologer who utilizes psychological tools.
In my view we only fail as astrologers when we close our minds to the vast array of astrological information that is available to us.
Dharmaruci has been following the saga of Gordon Brown from the beginning, and he has an article up from Sunday that reviews the charts not only of Brown but also of the New Labour Party and draws some interesting conclusions. Regarding the chart of the New Labour Party:
With Jupiter Rising in Aquarius, it believed (Jupiter) it could create a better world (Aquarius). Tony Blair’s Moon in Aquarius harmonised with this, and gave him the ability to connect this vision to the people. The MC in Sag also describes this sense of mission to the world. Mercury retrograde in Taurus square to Uranus and Neptune shows the desire to communicate this vision in a practical way, but not always successfully. Tony Blair’s Sun at 15 Taurus conjoins the New Labour Sun at 11 Taurus (and Venus at 19 Taurus), making him its natural leader (Sun).
When Tony Blair left as leader in June 2007, Neptune had been conjoining the New Labour Jupiter, reflecting the loss of self-belief by the party, the disillusion that Tony Blair had brought about, mainly over Iraq. Brown’s time as leader has seen Neptune finally cross the Ascendant in Feb this year, with 2 more crossings later in the year. Given what has happened so far – and Brown’s leadership has been under question, on and off, almost since the start – this transit looks likely to bring about an almost complete loss of vision by New Labour.
As for Brown himself, what we see natally is a fiery character with vision (Aries Rising and Leo Moon) who is nevertheless unable to give direction to himself or those around him (5 personal planets in 12th House Pisces). As a Pisces, Brown is able to shapeshift, to project the strong-man image when he speaks. But the rumours have always been of his authoritarianism, indecisiveness and inability to lead. I think his authoritarianism is partly his Moon conjunct Pluto in Leo; but I think it is also that weird, wilful thing you sometimes find in very Piscean people, who seem to sense and fear their own inner powers as threatening and chaotic, and try to control themselves and everyone around them to keep the ocean at bay. It is Canute syndrome.
Although Brown has an Aries Ascendant, its ruler Mars is in 12th House Pisces, which is a very difficult placement for someone who needs to be, and to appear, strong and decisive. It is also opposite an inhibiting Saturn (which, to be fair, has at the same time given him an ability to apply himself long-term to his personal goals). As Tony Blair’s Chancellor, he was a master of passive-aggressive behaviour, never daring to speak out against Blair, not even standing against him in the original election to be leader; he was, however, forever plotting against him. It is not a good quality for a leader – or for anyone, I suppose. For the last year we have seen Uranus conjoining Brown’s Mars, and in some ways we have seen some surprising leadership from him, particularly through his handling of the financial crisis when the world teetered and Brown saved it (Pisces), or so he seemed to think. But broadly speaking, a Uranus-Mars transit, when Mars is so afflicted, is unlikely to result in the steady leadership that he is so fond of projecting, but which his colleagues clearly do not experience.
Mercury is moving quickly through Taurus and today it forms a challenging square to the triple conjunction of Jupiter, Chiron and Aquarius. Mercury is the processor of our experiences; it digests the stuff of our daily existence and converts it into usable data that can be run through the softwareof our mind.
The square is a challenging 90 degree formation and today it may be difficult to process the emotions that are springing forth as a result of the triple conjunction. But as with any challenging aspect, the discomfort of the challenge forces us to find a way to mediate it and come up with a solution.
For the next couple of days don’t be alarmed if you are feeling somewhat distressed and unable to make sense of the way you feel. Try to relax and listen to the voices of the mind and the heart, and see if there is a way to negotiate a compromise.
While Mercury is squaring off against the Big Three, it is also in a harmonious alignment (sextile) to Uranus, the planet of innovation and fresh ideas. Mercury and Uranus are great allies and the presence of Uranus here adds more mental agility. Listen to the intuition that comes at a moment’s notice, and follow its advice.
Deirdre has a great article today on the upcoming eclipses this summer:
Although we have a month to go, I consider eclipse season to be in full swing now. The June 8 lunation opened a door to some specific geometry: 17°+ Sagittarius was the June 8th Full Moon. The July 7th full moon will be at 15°+ Capricorn and it will be an eclipse, too. Being so close in degree, these full moons will both effect charts sensitive at the mid-degrees, a port of entry for the first in a triplet of eclipses this summer.
Looking at a list of eclipses between 1980 and 2020, seventy-five percent of summers have one pair of eclipses on just one axis. This summer is now in the twenty-five percent and has three eclipses on two axes. From what I see, usually when three eclipses occur in a summer, this pattern will repeat every other year three times. This means the summers of 2009, 2011 and 2013 (when Pluto is in early Capricorn) will have have three eclipses each on two different axes, as did 1998, 2000 and 2002 (when Pluto was in early Sagittarius), as well as 1980, 1982 and 1984 (when Pluto was in early Scorpio). It started to be a tidy geometric package, and then I noticed 1991 was a irregular, isolated summer of three eclipses and it had the nodes freshly in a new sign. Besides 1991, the eclipse pattern I am diagramming seems to roughly parallel Pluto’s ingress into a sign.
Eclipses have fascinated humans throughout the ages. The nodes of the moon are known as the Dragon’s Head and Tail, and in many ancient cultures it was said that during an eclipse a dragon did battle with the moon – a myth that has a basis in science because of the proximity of the Moon to the lunar nodes, or dragon, during an eclipse. The blood red color that the Moon turns during an eclipse was said to be the Moon’s blood, adding to the fervor over the “death” of the Moon during an eclipse.
Eclipses do not affect everyone in the same way, and in my experience unless the degree of an eclipse is within a degree of a planet in your chart it is not likely to affect you in a significant way. If you are affected directly by an eclipse, expect something to change or to be altered irrevocably – there is an unmasking process that can produce some interesting revelations!