June 6, 2012 by Nina Gryphon
Yesterday, Venus moved across the face of the Sun, a conjunction not only in longitude, but also in declination. Venus was visible as a black dot on the Solar disc, moving diagonally across the Sun. The conjunction occurred with Venus in retrograde, and was exact at 15 Gemini.
Venus transiting the Sun – image courtesy of NASA
Last night, I had the opportunity to visit the Adler Planetarium here in Chicago, which held an observation event. The transit began at 5:04 pm CDT, and was visible until about 7:45 pm, when the Sun sank behind the skyline. There was also a live NASA feed from Mauna Kea, with commentary by astronomers and physicists. I got a chance to look through the high-tech observatory telescope, which was so clear that it showed the solar flares along with Venus herself, just as she made the mysterious black drop effect. This is the effect occurring when Venus separates from the corona of the Sun, and she looks more like a little drop than a clearly-defined sphere. The black drop effect has not yet been explained.
The viewing was a spectacular and special event, not to be repeated for another century. Even if you missed it, the good news is that Mercury transits the Sun about once a decade. Mercury is considerably smaller, however, so the visual is a little less dramatic, but still rare and beautiful.
I think of this transit as Venus being super-cazimi. Traditional sources say that planets are exceptionally strong when within 16′ of longitude of the Sun, as they are “in the heart of the Sun.” This condition is called “cazimi,” from the Arabic kasmimi. They are in the heart of the King, as it were, and so suitably powerful. Yet – and this will be a separate article on traditional astrological methods – a planet such as Venus is visually only in the heart of the Sun when she makes this super-rare transit. Could it be that cazimi only refers to these planetary transits across the Sun’s face? My few horary charts with cazimi planets indicate this may be the case. Stay tuned.
May 31, 2012 by Nina Gryphon
NOTE: Gryphon Astrology will be down for maintenance for a few hours sometime in the next few days – if it is down, just come back a few hours later.
I just returned from UAC in New Orleans yesterday. It was a great conference, with many eminent speakers and fascinating presentations. The conference culminated with the Presidential Panel, where five astrologers, each using different techniques, made their prediction for the winner of the 2012 elections. The participants, in alphabetical order, were Chris Brennan (Hellenistic), Gary Christian (Uranian), Edith Hathaway (Vedic), me (Traditional), and Claude Weiss (using a mix of mundane techniques). As far as I know, none of us discussed the outcome with each other prior to the panel. Yet everyone concurred that Barack Obama would be re-elected in 2012. I wrote about the 2012 elections here earlier this year; my talk was a condensed version of the article.
The panel was covered by major media outlets, who posted a story on Reuters and Associated Press covering the panel’s conclusions and citing Chris and me. You can read the story as printed in the Chicago Tribune here. The story quickly propagated through the world media, and was featured on Huffington Post, USA Today, Sina.com, NY Daily News, and dozens of other news sites and publications. When I returned to Chicago, I had an interview request from CNN/HLN and a local radio station; both interviews aired the same day.
As life returns to normal, we have lots of plans afoot, and I am sure you will be hearing more from me on my favorite topic, mundane and financial astrology.
May 21, 2012 by Nina Gryphon
This morning, Gryphon Astrology Newsletter subscribers received the latest installment of the Gryphon Astrology Newsletter. The number of readers has doubled over the last two months; thanks very much for reading!
Below is the list of this month’s articles. You can read the whole newsletter here, and can subscribe to future issues using the link on the right side of this page.
1. Stocks in the Summer
2. What Happens to the Euro? Does Greece Leave?
3. Profile of the Month – Tommasso Campanella
4. We Are Reading: Symbol and Magic in Egyptian Art
5. Transit of Venus on June 5/6, 2012
May 13, 2012 by Nina Gryphon
The annular solar eclipse of May 20, 2012 at 0 Gemini is one of two solar eclipses of 2012 (the other occurs in November, as eclipses run in pairs six months apart). An annular solar eclipse is named after the Latin word “annulus” or “ring”, and this type of eclipse occurs when the Moon is on the far side of its orbit and appears too small to cover the entire solar disk. As a result, at totality, a narrow ring of solar light is visible around the Moon. Approximately one-third of all eclipses are annular. From first to last penumbral contact, the eclipse will last 3 hours and 33 minutes. The totality of the eclipse will last 5 minutes and 46 seconds.
The eclipse will be visible in Southeast Asia, southern Japan, the Pacific Ocean, and western North America (view a Google Map of the eclipse path here). The traditional perspective on eclipses is that they influence primarily the places where they are visible; from an astrological perspective, eclipses are especially active where they are angular in the horoscope. The duration of the eclipse’s effects in years is equal to the duration of the eclipse, or 3 1/2 years. Thus, we will see the effects of the eclipse through the end of 2015.
The eclipse occurs closely conjunct to the 1st magnitude fixed star Mirfak (alpha Perseus, meaning “the Elbow” in Arabic), which is traditionally seen as the side of Perseus, the famed killer of the Medusa and the sea monster Cetus. The star can be said to give bravery and strength, though it is placed in a warlike constellation ruled by Jupiter and Saturn, according to Ptolemy. Jupiter is for justice, but Saturn is for death. In general, this eclipse may bring earthquakes or big storms – the eclipse occurs in Gemini, an air sign, and its ruler, Mercury, is in an earth sign with Jupiter. Certainly Mercury and Jupiter in Taurus can indicate disturbances and movement in the earth.
Let us look at possible effects of this eclipse on the various localities where it will be visible.
China (Southeastern), Macau, and Hong Kong: China has been involved in an altercation with the Philippine Navy in the South China sea over the last few weeks. Chinese vessels stopped the Philippine government from arresting Chinese fishermen accused of illegally fishing in the resource-rich Scarborough Shoal area. The Chinese online media has been talking up preparations for war, which China’s Defense Ministry has denied. The thought is that China is asserting itself to look in control during its political transition this year. The presence of the eclipse indicates further warlike behavior, as the ruler of the eclipse is Mercury with Jupiter, but as Mars is not prominent in the eclipse chart, we do not believe a war with the Philippines will actually start. This is supported by a lack of contacts between the eclipse and China’s 1949 foundation horoscopes.
The Philippines, however, have the eclipse right on the Midheaven (3 Gemini), and the Eclipse Mars (10 Virgo) falls on the natal Philippine Mars-Moon conjunction in the 1st house. The conflict will continue in the Philippines’ backyard, and while it will not make a ripple in the Chinese horoscope, the tensions – and potential conflict – in the Philippines will likely be high.
Japan: We expect changes in Japan following this eclipse. The country has shut off all of its nuclear reactors in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and has recently announced the nationalization of Tepco, the private company that operated the Fukushima Daiichi site. The entire management and board will be replaced as Japan attempts to clean up and contain radiation. The warlike posture of Perseus will show itself as people will demand accountability for this unnecessary disaster.
United States: The eclipse will pass through Northern California, within a spitting distance of Sacramento, the state’s capital. The California governor, Jerry Brown, had announced that the California budget shortfall had grown to $16B, in contrast to the estimated $9B, and that in addition to more program cuts, an increase in taxes will be needed. This is a state that already has the highest sales tax in the nation, and the highest top income tax rate. The economic difficulties that currently envelop California will continue with an added hit of drama. There may be increased earthquake activity following the eclipse. The eclipse will be visible from Las Vegas, Nevada and will pass through New Mexico – Albuquerque, as well as Los Alamos.
The eclipse horoscope set for Sacramento, California, is below:
May 1, 2012 by Nina Gryphon
Note: A reader asked me recently whether a horary question about someone I do not personally know (i.e. Madeleine McCann) is valid. I am not sure where the concept of some questions being invalid came from, as it does not appear in traditional literature; I assume it arose at some point in the 20th century. Below are some thoughts on this issue.
Let’s unpack what you mean by “valid.” Does an invalid question mean that the answer will sometimes or always be incorrect if people ask a certain type of question? I’ll assume that is what you meant.
Now, let’s take the logic a little further; let’s assume that hundreds of horary astrologers not connected to the McCann situation have asked “Is Madeleine still alive?” For the sake of argument, let’s posit she is still alive. Do we really think that all those charts came up with “no” as an answer? That seems unlikely, so we can assume that questions asked by querents unconnected with the matter will at least sometimes lead to correct answers. But when? Does that mean astrology worked at some of those times but not at other times? That does not seem right.
Does astrology stop working when we ask certain types of questions? If “as above so below” is true – and Hermes Trismegistus assures us that “true without falsehood, certain, most certain” – then the stars should always reflect reality here on earth without exception. I have gotten accurate results to questions about situations in the news that interest me, so these questions are clearly valid at least some of the time.
This raises a second question: Even if there really are valid/invalid questions, how far removed from a situation do we have to be for a question to be valid, and who decides where the line is drawn? Immediate family to the McCanns? Neighbors who sometimes saw Madeleine? Friends? How about acquaintances of the family? Family of friends of the McCanns? Any line that we draw between valid and invalid questions must be arbitrary, and not supported by traditional literature to my knowledge.
Why is it insufficient that this is a topic that affects me emotionally? Presumably, Madeleine’s parents, would be mainly motivated to ask out of their emotional involvement with their daughter. Is their question invalid? Or are we letting post-Enlightenment materialism creep in by assuming that there must be a physical connection between us to have a valid question? It’s well proven scientifically that emotions affect our bodies, so whether little Madeleine lives or dies does, in fact, impact me more immediately than we think. The only requirement is that we care at least a tiny bit about what happened to this little girl.
I have recently become very conscious of the fact – and this is not about you at all – is that in all areas of life, there are people who set themselves up as authorities who are eager to tell us what is and is not possible and we are very eager to take their word for it. The Buddha said: “One is one’s own refuge, who else could be the refuge?” Also, “be a light unto yourselves.” We cannot take statements of possibility for granted, but rather, let us do the actual hard work to test assumptions. What is our reward? The truth, the only thing worth striving for.