Iran: The Astrological Path to War (Part VI)

August 28, 2008 by  

Last week, we narrowed down the possible dates for a war in Iran to 1980/1981, and for the death of Iranian Supreme Leader Khomeini we got 1988/1989.  This week, we look more closely at these years and find out which year is the relevant one.

When Would the Iran War Start – 1980 or 1981?

The 1980 Aries Ingress Mars is on Regulus, a fierce, bombastic royal star, conjunct the expansive North Node.This combination is quintessential warlike puffery; “I’ll see your gas weapons and raise you a few thousand foot soldiers!”This configuration occurred around the world, of course, but in Iran, we saw it in the Ingress 1st house of the nation as a whole.Mars rules the Khomeini 1st house of the Iranian people, so they will be deeply affected.

And, of course, they were, with the Iran-Iraq war resulting in 100,000 Iranian young men dead.Still, Mars in Leo has little essential strength – this was a war that Iran could ill afford.Just a year after the revolution, Iran obviously believed that it could quickly end the conflict and instill a much-needed shot of Iranian national unity in the process.I suspect that this is the reason the war ballooned to the unbelievable dimensions it did; Iran was still in the “Regulus” mindset, where creating and maintaining an image of military might became paramount.The 1980 Aries Ingress indicates that the border skirmishes of 1980 didn’t have to turn into a full-blown war.But the Mars in Leo egos on both sides simply would not back down.

The 1981 Aries Ingress looks much more serious; 1980 was the dress rehearsal, with everyone excited about the war.The 1980 Ingress was like the opening of Gone with the Wind, with Southern society folk excited about the prospect of beating the Yankees, with the young men parading around in their brand-new military uniforms.The Sun-Mars conjunction is right on the Khomeini Ascendant.Note that Mars is in its own fiery sign of Aries, so the war is in full swing, it is also combust, indicating that the Iranian people both could not see what they were getting into, and they were also afflicted by their ruler (the Sun).Though I cannot find data on this, 1981 must have been the year that Iranians began getting drafted in significant numbers, since the Mars-Sun conjunction is on the Ascendant, ruling the people.

The 1980 Jupiter-Saturn conjunction was on the malefic fixed star Vindemiatrix, associated with widowhood and regret.The Jupiter-Saturn-Vindemiatrix conjunction is still active in the 1981 Aries Ingress, and falls on the Khomeini 7th house cusp of open enemies.The Moon in the Aries Ingress opposes the Khomeini Moon and Ascendant, and is immediately applying to oppose the Ingress Mars.Oppositions are particularly warlike, and this Ingress simply screams “war!”Finally, the 1980 Great Conjunction Mars opposes the Ingress Midheaven.When we see a planet afflicting the IC/MC axis, it afflicts the Asc/Desc axis by mundo aspect, so all four angles of the Ingress chart are electrified by this Mars.

Death of Khomeini

Last week, we determined that Khomeini would likely die in 1988 or 1989.The 1988 Ingress is suggestive of death; the Moon rules the turned 8th house of death in the Khomeini chart, and applies to trine Saturn (the ruler of the King).Jupiter conjoins the Moon, however, so we might assume that Khomeini at least got a reprieve in 1988.The 1989 Ingress does not look as positive, however; Saturn is right on the 4th house cusp of the grave in the Ingress.The Moon applies to trine Saturn – this time, there are no helpful interpositions.Moreover, the Moon is conjunct the Khomeini chart Saturn.Without a doubt, 1989 would be the fateful year for Khomeini.He died in June 1989.

Coming Next Week: Using the methods shown in all the previous parts of this series, we will start examining the 2000-2020 period for Iran and determine whether war is likely.


Read Part I of the Iran Series – The seeds of the revolution in the Shah’s Coronation and 1961 Great Conjunction charts.

Part II of the Iran Series – The revolution draws near: Eclipse hits to the coronation and 1961 Great Conjunction.

Part III of the Iran Series – The revolution is here and the Shah is deposed.  Aries Ingress charts for 1977 and 1978.

Part IV of the Iran Series – War comes again: the charts for the Islamic Republic and the 1980 Great Conjunction.

Part V of the Iran Series – Early indications of war and Khomeini’s death.

Part VI of the Iran Series – When would the war begin?

Part VII of the Iran Series – The 2000 Great Conjunction and the Khomeini horoscope.


Astrology Book Review: Flirting with the Zodiac (Kim Farnell)

August 27, 2008 by  

Both modern and traditional astrologers like to grouse at Sun sign columnists for prostituting the ancient astrological art. The complexity of the natal horoscope is reduced to one single factor – the Sun sign – and the public is disappointed when these simplified predictions do not pan out. At least, that is the common understanding. However, there is much more to Sun sign astrology than meets the eye, and it has quite a historical pedigree to boot. Flirting with the Zodiac is the latest book by Kim Farnell, who takes us along on a journey through the history of Sun sign astrology, showing that Sun sign astrology has its importance and has played an important role in astrology’s history.


A captivating and fascinating journey through 2000 years of Sun sign astrology. The strength of the book is in its vivid, brisk descriptions of the motley crew inhabiting the world of astrology. Recommended for astrologers of all levels; beginners will gain background on the who’s who of Sun sign astrology, while more advanced astrologers will find fascinating nuggets of information not widely available elsewhere.

Contents & Structure

Flirting with the Zodiac is set up chronologically; Farnell walks us through Sun sign astrology in the ancient world (did you know that the Roman legions carried standards with zodiac signs?), followed by its role in the Middle Ages. There is an in-depth discussion of the importance of almanacs in providing quick and easy astrology advice, like in daily newspapers today. Here we see an important reality check to those of us who like to believe that historically, all people were deep, profound beings with a grasp of the nuances of astrology. Really, the majority of people always wanted an astrological “quick fix,” whether it was via almanac prediction or by reading their daily horoscopes in The Times.

Interestingly, the chapter on the 16th century, arguably the best century in recent history for legal, quality, in-depth, profound astrological work, is the shortest with regard to Sun signs. Perhaps in the last few hundred years, the availability of the quickie astrology fix is inversely related to the amount of more in-depth astrology being done.

The book gets more detailed and anecdote-rich once we hit the last 150 years, with a fascinating journey through the interconnected worlds of mystical societies, gurus, and astrologers, all of which loom larger than life. The public’s hunger for occult wisdom about 100-150 years ago was undeniable, after a couple of centuries of pure scientism. Many astrologers stepped in to fill that void, including Sun sign columnists and publishers of astrology magazines. Serious astrology became interesting again, too, but the popular astrology got the lion’s share of attention.

Farnell gives us some in-depth chapters on two Sun sign greats; the turn of the century astrologer and palmist Cheiro, and 1960s “Queen of Sun sign astrology” herself, Linda Goodman. A nice summary of the scientific backlash against astrology follows.

Finally, we come to one of my favorite parts of the book, the Hall of Fame, which is a collection of biographies of some contemporary Sun sign astrologers, including Patric Walker and Russell Grant. These short articles provide an interesting summary of the astrologers’ careers, along with hard-to-find tidbits and facts about their lives.


Flirting with the Zodiac is something of a meta-book, in that the book is not unlike its subject of Sun sign astrology. Lots of interesting tidbits are presented in a snappy, engaging manner, but without wearing out the reader with too much technical or historical detail. A very good history of astrology, particularly with an emphasis on recent centuries, that can stand on its own as both a tribute and a history of this fascinating corner of the astrological world.  Farnell’s book has certainly given this astrologer a new respect for Sun signs!


Flirting with the Zodiac

By: Kim Farnell

Wessex Astrologer, 2007

256 pages, paperback

27 USD

Available at,, and

Astrology 101: Are You Shameless?

August 26, 2008 by  

If you have Venus or Mars in detriment in the Ascendant, the astrological writer Hermes seems to think so.

In the Centiloquy of Hermes Trismegistus, Aphorism #25* says:

“In the nativities of women, when the Ascendant is in any of the domiciles of Venus with Mars in them or when the Ascendant is in any of the domiciles of Mars with Venus in them, the woman will be shameless; and it will be the same if she has Capricorn in the Ascendant.”

A workable definition of shamelessness is public immorality; Hermes refers to sexual immorality, but this is somewhat narrow based on our examples. Also, as our examples below show, the native does not have to be female for this rule to apply. I excluded Capricorn rising from the examination, because this clause is unclear: Is Hermes referring to Venus or Mars in the Ascendant in Capricorn? Or is having Capricorn rising enough?

1. Bill Clinton – Libra rising, Mars in Libra. Clinton’s failings are a matter of public record, though the publication was not exactly voluntary, which may be a necessary component of shamelessness.

2. Pete Rose – Aries rising, Venus in Aries. A record-breaking baseball player at the epicenter of a major baseball gambling scandal. Rose bet on his own team for years, and eventually served time for tax evasion, presumably because of the underreported gambling income. Despite his obvious skill as a baseball player, Rose will probably never be admitted to the Hall of Fame due to the gambling scandal.

3. Anais Nin – Libra rising, Mars in Libra. A published diarist who described her personal experiences with sex; her writing was meant for public consumption. This seems the closest to Hermes’ definition of shamelessness – intentional display of one’s personal life for public view.

4. Roman Polanski – Libra rising, Mars in Libra. Film director who fled to France due to being indicted for sex with a 13-year-old in the U.S. During an unrelated libel trial twenty years later, with Polanski as plantiff, it was remarked: “Surely a man like this hasn’t got a reputation to tarnish?”

5. Groucho Marx – Scorpio rising, Venus in Scorpio. Not particularly known for public vices, perhaps the most scandalous fact is that all of Marx’s wives were considerably younger than him, with the last one over 40 years younger than Marx. Still, this hardly qualifies as shameless, even by traditional, conservative societal standards.

6. Grace Slick – Scorpio rising, Venus in Scorpio. The vocalist for Jefferson Airplane, Slick has had a typical rock‘n’roll life; famous lovers, child out of wedlock, and run-ins with the law for various infractions.

Many charts that I examined (with a reasonably specific birth time) with the Aphorism #25 characteristics do not seem especially remarkable for their shamelessness. Of course, perhaps we just don’t know them well enough!

Dear reader: what do you think? Is Aphorism 25 right?

*As translated by James Herschel Holden in Five Medieval Astrologers.

Long-Term Weather Forecast with Astrology: September 2008 in the U.S.

August 25, 2008 by  

The resident astrology weather forecast gnome, Godric, recently seemed very pleased with himself. I asked why, and he pointed to this post, where he predicted the storms off of Florida, namely Tropical Storm Fay. Since I believe in instilling astrological humility, I asked Godric whether he could also predict the name of the storm in advance. He looked ashamed and ran off. I believe he’s working on the name prediction method right now. Despite his hard work on this, with the help of an airy sylph spirit, Godric was able to put together the following forecast for the U.S.

California weather for September 2008:

August 30 – Nice, cool weather, with fog or clouds. Saturn in the Midheaven with Jupiter conspire for classic autumn weather.

September 7 – Dry and mild, with some west wind.

September 15 – More western wind, still with fair weather. Mars, Mercury, and Venus in Libra conspire for autumnal weather.

September 22 – Western wind but the weather should be fair and warm. More Mars, Mercury, and Venus influence.

USA weather through September 22, 2008:

West Coast & Western Midwest: Fine, seasonal weather, with nothing out of the ordinary. Starting on September 22, we will see some winds and fair, warm weather, as indicated by Venus on the Ascendant, combined with Mercury and Mars in Libra.

Midwest (Minnesota down to the Gulf): Hot, but not insanely hot. Expect some moisture, too, especially in the north, but not heavy rain. Showers and clouds should be enough. Starting on September 22, you will see more seasonal weather, much like what you’d expect this time of year.

East Coast: Clouds, rain, and storms. Saturn, Mercury, and Venus in Virgo are all in the Midheaven, promising clouds, winds, and rain respectively. Because all planets are in a Mercury-ruled sign, wind is especially emphasized. The Caribbean is not going to have a good time. The clouds and/or cool weather will continue past September 22.

Free Horary Astrological Reading: Back in the USA?

August 24, 2008 by  

I am petitioning to work as a nurse in California. Can you see when I will be back in the US? And will I be able to shift to medicine (I’m a graduate of nursing and medicine) and be a doctor when I am there?


Dear M.,

The horary chart for your question is pretty clear; that is what happens when you have a clear question (other free reading requesters, take note 🙂). The astrological chart is below:

You are ruled by Saturn, ruler of the first house of self, and by the Moon. We see that the benefic North node is just inside the ascendant, which is a generally positive indication, though not the final word. Saturn is hanging out in the seventh house, trine Jupiter, but not making any immediate aspects. We do notice that the Sun has just moved into Virgo, and Saturn is now combust. This can indicate that you do not see clearly in the situation; it may be that you do not get updates on the application process, so you really know where you stand. You may also not know exactly what is involved in becoming certified as a doctor in the US as compared to your home country.

We see that the Moon is translating light between Saturn and Venus. It looks as though Venus conjunct Mercury in Virgo in the seventh house represents the United States. The seventh house can indicate “over there,” and with Venus so strongly influenced by Mercury both by sign and by aspect, there is a definite medical flavored to Venus. The Moon applies to Venus by a square aspect, indicating delays, obstacles, and struggles. However, you should be able to get back to the US sooner or later. The aspect between the Moon and Venus will perfect in about 6 1/2 degrees; because we are dealing with double signs, we could be looking at your returning seven or eight months from now. This could actually be weeks, but that seems a little rapid for what a bureaucratic process.

Will you be able to be a doctor in the US? Of course you are able to; all you have to do is just pass a bunch of exams. I think this will be a little trickier, though, because you are represented by Saturn in Virgo, which is in the detriment of Jupiter, the planet governing your career. You might not be focusing enough on what it takes to make your American M.D. credentials happen. If you want to be a doctor here, it is absolutely essential that you focus on getting the right qualifications, which I am told is not easy or simple. The medical profession protects itself, so you must prove your worth.

[Readers interested in an astrology reading can pay using the PayPal button at top left, or learn more by visiting the Astrology Readings page.]

Celebrity Astrology: Who Are Your Enemies?

August 22, 2008 by  

What if your horoscope could tell who your enemies will be? A tidbit in Ibn Ezra’s The Book of Nativities and Revolutions (written c. 1140-1160) tells us a quick way to do just that. All you have to know is your rising sign; the 12th sign from the ascendant tells us about the nature of people who will make your life just a little less pleasant. I won’t give away all of the signs, because you should really read this great book yourself, but I will use a few famous examples to illustrate the simplicity and accuracy of Ibn Ezra’s method.

Bill Clinton – Libra rising –> Virgo ruling 12th sign. “Quarrels with the learned people.” Pretty accurate for someone who spent much of his presidency in court and especially in the press (both ruled by Mercury, ruler Virgo). John McCain, Jimmy Carter, and JFK all have Libra rising as well.

George W. Bush – Leo rising –> Cancer ruling 12th sign. “Most people will hate him,” because the 12th sign ruler is the Moon, ruler of the people. This correlates with Bush’s chronically low approval ratings and general lack of popularity worldwide.

Barack Obama – Aquarius rising –> Capricorn ruling 12th sign. “He will hate himself and will bring upon himself quarrels for no good reason.” Ouch! The reasoning is that the same planet rules the 12th and the 1st houses, so Obama is the cause of his own undoing and his own worst enemy.

What is your 12th house sign? Does it describe your enemies or interpersonal conflicts?

Virgo Sun: August 23 – September 22

August 21, 2008 by  

The Sun enters cold and dry Virgo on August 23, cooling down substantially from fiery Leo. The Sun in Virgo is somewhat incongruous, a hot/dry planet in a cold/dry sign. Astrologer Ibn Ezra said that Virgo rules scholars, learned people, writers, and merchants. The Sun is the planet of rulers, the nobility, and “top command” of all types. The two characterizations don’t mesh that well; very few leaders are also scholars, or even learned, for that matter. There are exceptions, but they are rare, like the Romaemperor-philosopher Marcus Aurelius, whose name is enshrined in history. The picture above depicts him distributing bread to the people, true to the Sun (emperor) in Virgo (bread) symbolism.

The Sun is the giver of life, but Virgo is a barren sign, because it is mentally fertile; Virgo is the most cerebral of the earth signs. Virgo thus channels the energy of the Sun, but not perfectly, which is why Virgo is not an optimal placement for the Sun. It is not a terrible placement, but the Sun does not have lots of dignity in Virgo.

What Astrologers Say about Sun in Virgo

Here are other perspectives on this placement, traditional and contemporary.

William Ramesey, in Astrologia Restaurata, writes: “The sixth sign is called Virgo (signifying a maid) because the Sun therein hath his heat diminished, and dryness ruleth, so that things cease to increase, and the earth becometh barren; being of the nature of a Virgin, who is naturally tending to cold rather than heat, and is of herself barren.” The symbolism here is memorable: intellect without the life-giving warmth of Spirit is cold and barren.

In The Consultation Chart, Wanda Sellar describes this placement as giving “a talent for administration and an impressive knowledge of past and present events. There is a tendency to work quietly behind the scenes, which ultimately can lead to great achievement…striving for perfection can cause difficulties.” This is a riff on Ibn Ezra’s characterization of Virgo nature, focusing on Virgo’s Mercurial nature combined with the practical earthy triplicity.

Keep Your Powder Dry

Based on the Virgo Sun’s aspects to other planets, the coming month presents a few opportunities, but none of them will really pan out.

September 4 – Virgo Sun conjunct Saturn and trine Jupiter. Saturn is the planet of restriction, and Jupiter is in its fall in Capricorn (a Saturn sign). Jupiter can present a seemingly tempting opportunity, but it is likely to be hollow. Better to wait for Venus’s transit through Libra, or even better, Jupiter’s exit from Capricorn in January, if you can.

Astrology 101: An Easy Way to Predict Your Fate

August 20, 2008 by  

Accurate astrological prediction is supposed to be complex and incredibly time-consuming. It can be, and if you want detailed predictions, you will have to put in serious time studying the natal chart, directions/progressions, and other steps. However, there is an easy method for determining how good your life will be. Joseph Crane mentions it in his book, Astrological Roots (click for review), but the method comes from the ancient Greek astrologer Dorotheus, whose book, Carmen Astrologicum,  or the Song of Astrology, is widely available in English today.

Everyone’s life has peaks and valleys, times of good fortune and bad, and this method accounts for those variations. But this is not just about one’s material well-being, though of course money will play its role. This method shows which parts of our lives will be happier and easier than others.

Predicting with Dorothean Triplicities

Here is the basic method, step by step:

1. Examine the natal chart. Note which planets are strong or weak by sign, house, and aspect.

2. Determine the length of the native’s life. This is tricky, and merits a full chapter in a book, if not a book in itself. If you’re not familiar with this technique, you can use 75 years for our purposes, and be right much of the time.

3. Identify the luminary of the time (i.e.: the sect luminary). For those born at night, this will be the Moon; the Sun rules day births.

4. Note the elemental triplicity (earth, fire, water, air) of the sect luminary. Look up the planets in the table below, noting their order. For day births, note the planets in the order written. If you were born at night, the planet marked N will go first, then the planet marked D, followed by P:


Sun (D)

Jupiter (N)

Saturn (P)


Saturn (D)

Mercury (N)

Jupiter (P)


Venus (D)

Moon (N)

Mars (P)


Venus (D)

Mars (N)

Moon (P)

5. Each planet rules one third of your life. The happiness during that third of your life will depend on the strength of the planet in question.

Example: Barack Obama’s Horoscope

We can try out this method, with abbreviated commentary, on Barack Obama’s horoscope, which is below.

Barack Obama's Horoscope

Obama was born just after sunset, but it was still daylight, so we can consider his horoscope diurnal. Therefore, the sect luminary is the Sun in Leo. Leo is of the fiery triplicity, so the first third of his life is ruled by the Sun, the second by Jupiter, and the last by Saturn.

First third of Obama’s life – Sun in Leo, ruler of the 7th house, placed in the 6th house.

The strength of the Sun in its own sign tells us that Obama’s youth was generally positive, but the sixth house rules slavery and low social status, which might indicate difficulties early on in life. The sixth house also rules illness. Because the Sun rules the seventh house of other people, significant others, and open enemies, we might assume that he suffered through interpersonal relationships at this time, and that they created obstacles for him.

Second third of Obama’s life – Jupiter rx in Aquarius in the 12th house, ruling the 2nd and 11th houses, opposing Mercury in Leo in the 6th house, trine the Moon in Gemini in the 4th house.

This part of Obama’s life is auspicious for his career and wealth, as Jupiter rules the 11th house of good fortune and ambition, and the second house of money. Jupiter is moderately strong, as it is a triplicity ruler of Aquarius, but it is afflicted by house placement in the malefic 12th house of secret enemies, and by being retrograde. This might indicate partial success, but hindrances from enemies and secrets. There could also be health issues at this time, because the sixth/12th house polarity is involved. The Moon is relatively weak in Gemini, and ruling the sixth house might cast aspersions on his heritage (Moon in the 4th).

Last third of Obama’s life – Saturn rx in Capricorn in the 12th house, ruling the 12th and 1st houses, trine Mars in Virgo in the 8th, square Fortuna in the 3rd.

The last part of Obama’s life will be good, though not without some suffering. Saturn is a malefic placed him in the 12th house, so again we see suffering through hidden enemies. The contact to Fortuna promises financial success, but not without effort. Saturn’s trine to Mars might bring career success, as Mars rules Obama’s 10th house of success and fame. However, the weak house placement of the two planets indicates incomplete success, or even harm through his public standing.

Take a look at your own chart and see what comes up using this method. Is it accurate for you?

Astrology Book Review: Astrological Roots: The Hellenistic Legacy (Joseph Crane)

August 19, 2008 by  

There are not many modern books out there that teach traditional astrology, and that give an accurate representation of what is actually in traditional texts. Astrological roots is such a book. It is a summary of Hellenistic astrology, that is, astrology as recorded by the Greeks 2000 years ago. The book appears written with two goals in mind; first, to give an overview of Hellenistic astrological techniques, and second, to demonstrate these techniques on a multitude of charts. The book stops short of being a true how-to manual, like John Frawley’s The Horary Textbook, for example.


Because Astrological Roots is both an overview and a manual, it cannot serve both functions perfectly, but that does not seem to have been the intent. The real beauty of Astrological Roots is that it is accessible to nearly all levels of astrologers. A beginning astrologer could start working through the book, which gives a good introduction to the signs, and houses. An advanced astrologer would find much here of value as well, though probably later in the volume, among the chapters on the Hellenistic Lots (Arabian Parts) and profection.

It’s important to remember that Hellenistic astrology is a system. As a result, not all of its methods might translate 100% into more recent astrological systems; the use of whole houses, for instance, may not work as well if we are looking at progressions or directions to house cusps. However, most of the techniques can be fruitfully incorporated into any astrological practice. Highly recommended as an introduction to traditional concepts.

Book Contents and Structure

Astrological Roots covers a large amount of ground in 14 chapters. The first three chapters introduce the traditional perspective on the planets, signs, and astronomical concepts such as sect. Herein lurk extremely useful modern updates of occupations, physical traits, and personality characteristics associated with the traditional planets. Yes, all of these can be had from the source and traditional texts, but a modern perspective can be very useful, especially on things like descriptions of the native’s profession, which has changed substantially over the last 2000 years. We are also introduced to the concept of the sign subdivisions called bounds, more commonly known as terms, and their use in natal astrology.

The following five chapters get into the gnarly bits of traditional astrology, including the use of triplicity Lords to determine the quality of the native’s life experiences by thirds. This is a method primarily detailed by the astrologer-poet Dorotheus. The author then whisks us along to the determination of soul, which today might be called personality or motivation (we discussed the significator of soul here), the Arabian parts, the meanings of the 12 houses, and aspects.

All of these techniques are illustrated with charts, not all of which have reliable birth data, which seemed a slightly odd choice. The methods presented in these chapters are very profound, reaching to the depth of the native’s existence and fate, and verifying their accuracy might only work in a heart-to-heart conversation with the native. Since that level of feedback is not possible from those whose charts were used, a few charts explored deeply, combined with detailed biographical information, would have been more informative.

We are then treated to more specialized topics, such as determining love, marriage, and indicators of the parents. A lovely chapter on the fixed stars follows, with heavy reference to traditional authorities. The author gives various methods for incorporating fixed stars into the natal horoscope, such as parallels of declination, rising/co-rising, and paranatella.

The last three chapters focus on specific prediction using transits (though these were used very little by ancient astrologers), and profections, which move natal points forward through the chart at a set rate. We are also introduced to firdaria, and other planetary time lord systems, as the author calls them. The concept here is that any given moment of our lives is governed by at least one, more often two planets, and the quality and nature of our experience during that time will depend on the quality and nature of the planet(s) in our natal horoscopes. The final chapter focuses on progressions, directions, and ascensions. As the author demonstrates, these can be used to determine the native’s length of life.


An engrossing astrology book, better as an in-depth overview than as a step-by-step textbook. Upon receiving it, I felt compelled to try out all of the methods, because the resulting information is so concrete and useful. Crane’s book demonstrates that traditional astrology can be simultaneously concretely predictive and psychologically illuminating. The use of traditional terms for commonly understood concepts was interesting (zoidia, rather than signs), though perhaps confusing to a beginner. The author clearly wishes to immerse the reader in traditional thought, not just to present interesting techniques for cherry-picking. This is commendable, showing the author’s understanding that traditional methods should be approached with respect and an open mind. Astrological Roots engages our hearts and minds, which is the only way to study astrology.


Astrological Roots: The Hellenistic Legacy

By: Joseph Crane

The Wessex Astrologer, 2007

Available from and

305 pages, softcover.

22.50 GBP (about double in USD)

(If you have written or published an astrology book you would like reviewed on Gryphon Astrology, please contact me at nina [at] or write to me here (don’t forget to include your contact info).

Iran: The Astrological Path to War (Part V)

August 18, 2008 by  

Our goal in the Iran series is to discover whether Iran is headed for war. To do so, we will explore the astrological indications of Iran’s previous war, that with Iraq. Last week, we looked at the foundation chart for the Islamic Republic of Iran, that of Khomeini returning from exile in 1979. We also examined the great conjunction of 1980 set for Tehran, Iran. Both of these horoscopes have sensitive points that may be activated when war is imminent; the Great Conjunction horoscope indicated that war during the following 20 years (between 1980 and 2000) was a real possibility.

We would also keep an eye out for any indications of Khomeini’s death, since he was already an old man when he assumed power, and the likelihood of him dying between 1980 and 2000 was quite high.

Today, we will use eclipses to determine just when war and Khomeini’s death were indicated. Twenty years is a long time, and eclipses are a handy way to narrow down our time horizon.

1981: Indications of War

Two solar eclipses aspecting the Khomeini chart promised war. They both activated the Sun conjunct Mars in that horoscope. There was another such eclipse in 1990, but it did not produce anything, except an American invasion of Iran’s neighbor. It appears that at least two such eclipse hits are necessary to produce an effect in Iran:

February 1981 – the eclipse activated the Sun

July 1981 – the eclipse activated the Sun, Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter

Two lunar eclipses, in July 1981, and January 1982, activated the Midheaven of the Tehran Great Conjunction of 1980 around the same time as the eclipses hit the Khomeini chart.

Because the first eclipse occurred in February 1981, we would look at the Aries Ingress horoscope for March 1980, and for March 1981. The actual invasion by Iraq occurred in September 1980. We will look at the Ingress charts next week

Khomeini’s Death

No fewer than three eclipses in 1988 and 1989 hit Saturn in the Khomeini chart (January 1988, March 1989, and August 1989). Why is Saturn important? It rules the 10th house of the King, or the Supreme Leader, in this case. Three hits to the King’s significator in the Reza Khan coronation chart were more than enough to depose and eventually kill the Shah. Khomeini died in June 1989.

We will look at the Aries Ingress horoscopes for the 1980, 1981, 1988, and 1989 next week. The goal is to follow the thought process of an astrologer examining these charts in 1980, who did not have the benefit of hindsight, like ourselves. Only then can we hope to predict major events with confidence and accuracy.


Read Part I of the Iran Series – The seeds of the revolution in the Shah’s Coronation and 1961 Great Conjunction charts.

Part II of the Iran Series – The revolution draws near: Eclipse hits to the coronation and 1961 Great Conjunction.

Part III of the Iran Series – The revolution is here and the Shah is deposed.  Aries Ingress charts for 1977 and 1978.

Part IV of the Iran Series – War comes again: the charts for the Islamic Republic and the 1980 Great Conjunction.

Part V of the Iran Series – Early indications of war and Khomeini’s death.

Part VI of the Iran Series – When would the war begin?

Part VII of the Iran Series – The 2000 Great Conjunction and the Khomeini horoscope.

Next Page »