April 25, 2012 by Nina Gryphon
Faithful readers of the Gryphon Astrology blog have read my 2007 post about little Madeleine McCann who vanished without a trace from her parents’ vacation apartment in Portugal, on May 3, 2007. Recently, Scotland Yard stated they have evidence that Madeleine is still alive and they are investigating this line of inquiry. Perhaps they read this blog! In 2007, I wrote that the little girl is most likely alive.
As this is an emotional topic for me (and many readers), I impulsively cast a horary chart when I learned of Scotland Yard’s announcement, asking “Is Madeleine McCann alive?” The chart is below:
Short answer: Yes, Madeleine is still alive. There is a good possibility she will be found.
Long answer: This is clearly a question about children; we have a Mercury-ruled sign rising, Gemini. Mercury rules young children, especially those between 4-10. We also have the Moon and Venus on the Ascendant, so further evidence that this is about a little girl. Madeleine is represented by the 1st house (William Lilly assigned missing persons we don’t personally know to the 1st house), its ruler, and planets in it. Any past connection to planets associated with the eighth house would indicate death.
Mercury, ruler of the 1st house, is in the auspicious 11th house, which, according to Lilly, means the person is still alive, however many reports there are of their death.
Saturn rules the 8th house of death in this chart; there is no past connection between Saturn and Madeleine’s planets (Mercury, Venus, or the Moon). Lilly also says to watch out for oppositions between these planets, which we fortunately do not see here.
Now, the Moon does apply to a trine of Saturn, translating the light of Venus to Saturn. However, we are optimistic that Madeleine is not in danger. Saturn is in the 5th house, which is not malefic, and having Venus on the Ascendant is highly protective for the little girl. Interestingly, Venus will not trine Saturn anytime soon; she will go retrograde a hair before the aspect perfects.
We do see that the Moon has separated from Venus, ruler of the 12th house, which means a past imprisonment or fear of imprisonment. But interestingly, we do see Mercury and Venus applying to a sextile, and are cautiously optimistic that this brings some news of Madeleine. This aspect perfects on May 4th, William Lilly says to look at when the ruler of the 11th (Mars) and the ruler of the Ascendant (Mercury) come into aspect to determine when we hear about the missing person. Mercury trines Mars on the 13th of May. Let us hope we hear about Madeleine on one of these dates.
March 28, 2012 by Nina Gryphon
The full Moon of April 6 foretells a period in the U.S. when efforts to make peace and warlike tendencies are in strong conflict. Men and women will be in conflict with each other. Also, religion and religious traditions around women in particular are going to be at the forefront of national attention. Given the recent unpleasant debates about contraceptive rights for women (hello, 1916!), this seems particularly appropriate.
At the Full Moon, we have Venus in Gemini on the Midheaven with the South Node, so there will be discussion of women’s immorality. Note that Venus is in a barren sign, so this is conversation about women supposedly behaving badly by being freed from the responsibility-inducing risk of pregnancy.
Jupiter is just outside the 10th house, indicating the prominence of religion and law in this two week period. We suspect that the Supreme Court will not look kindly upon the administration’s health care law. The Sun in Aries is on the cusp of the 9th house of the law, indicating a situation where the president’s head is very much in the court, but this is a situation that is already ending (the Full Moon indicates fullness, or completion of something). Note there is no aspect between the Sun and Mars, the planet ruling the Supreme Court. Mars is also much better positioned than the Sun, as it is placed in the Ascendant, indicating that the Supreme Court really is the final arbiter here. With Mars retrograde, we assure you that this debate will be going back to Congress for yet another round.
This Full Moon has an interesting and somewhat unusual feature; after the Moon separates from the opposition to the Sun, it will conjoin Saturn. Saturn and the Sun rule opposite signs (Leo and Aquarius, respectively). This configuration in traditional astrology is known as the “Opening of the Double Doors” and creates major weather changes. These should be apparent especially in the Mountain states of the U.S., where the weather will change most noticeably, bringing storms, cold, clouds, and/or fog.
March 17, 2012 by Nina Gryphon
My latest research into past U.S. election cycles shows that Obama will be re-elected in 2012. It will be a somewhat close contest, but I do not expect it to be a cliff-hanger like some of the elections of the previous years.
The 132-Year Research Project
Last winter, I completed an extensive study of horoscopes for years that included U.S. Presidential elections going back to 1880. This gives us 132 years of US Presidential election data to study. I have examined Aries ingress horoscopes, cast for Washington DC, at the moment when the Sun enters Aries, traditionally the first moment of the astronomical new year for election years. This has enabled me to determine the basic characteristics in Aries Ingress horoscopes that indicate Presidential winners. While some horoscopes are more straightforward than others, the basic rules of traditional astrology are applicable here as well.
We would look at the 10th house of the king to signify the current president or the incumbent party, and the 4th house for his opponent. We closely examine the planets in these houses as well as the rulers of the houses to determine who fares better. It really is that simple. As ever, we look at the traditional planets, rather than the modern rulers.
For 2012, I was struck by the similarity of the 1880 Aries Ingress, and wanted to share that horoscope with my readers to explain my predictions for the 2012 US presidential election. The horoscope for the 2012 election is below.
1880 Presidential Election Contenders
Do you remember the year 1880? It was the decade of mutton-chop mustaches, ruffled bustles on ladies’ skirts, and the height of the Gilded Age industrial economic boom. Well, I wasn’t alive either, but it’s an important year for the 2012 presidential election, because of the close astrological resemblance of the 1880 election to this year’s contest.
In 1880, the Republican incumbent was Rutherford B. Hayes. Hayes chose not to run that year, so instead, the Republican party chose James Garfield as their nominee. The Democrats, after a close and splintered contest, nominated Winfield Scott Hancock, a highly respected Civil War General.
Following the lead of the ancient Arabic astrologers, we will assign the Aries Ingress 10th house to the King; that is, the current president or incumbent party. His opponent is signified by the fourth house, as it is the seventh from the 10th, or the “enemy” of the King.
The 1880 horoscope has 29° Virgo on the 10th house cusp, and of course 29° Pisces on the fourth house cusp. This is one similarity between the 1880 and the 2012 Aries Ingresses. Garfield, as the representative of the incumbent party, is symbolized by Mercury, ruler of the 10th house. We note that Mercury is stationing retrograde, and the Moon in Cancer is making an immediate square to Mercury. It may be that Mercury is particularly benefited by going retrograde, because it indicates the return of a party to power, though this remains to be researched.
We do know for certain, however, is that Mercury applying to a planet in its domicile, that is the Moon in its own sign of Cancer, is strongly benefited. So that is one point for Garfield. The fact that Mercury is in the fourth house ruled by his opponent, does not seem to matter, based on my examination of the horoscopes for US elections.
This is another similarity between the 2012 horoscope and that of 1880; Mercury, ruling the King, is in the fourth house, and a different sign from the house cusp.
Now, let us look at the horoscope from the point of view of General Hancock. The fourth house is a crowded house; Jupiter in Pisces is on the fourth house cusp, the Sun in Aries is just inside the fourth house, and we have Mercury conjunct Saturn in Aries as well. The position of the Sun may have helped Hancock, but the fact that it is in a different sign from the cusp seems to have negated most of its positive effects. What about the extremely benefit Jupiter in its own house on the fourth house cusp? Since Jupiter is also the ruler of the fourth house and represents Hancock himself, much of the positive impact is negated as well. Further, there are no immediate applying aspects between Jupiter and other planet.
You can see that the late degrees on the fourth/10th house axis are a bit of a red herring. As you probably know, James Garfield won the 1880 US presidential election, though by a margin of less than 2000 popular votes out of a total of about 4.5 million.
The 2012 U.S. Presidential Election
We see that Mercury rules the 10th house of the king, and it is retrograde. Just as in the 1880 horoscope, it is possible that the 10th house ruler retrograde indicates a return of the president to power for another term. More importantly, Mercury applies to a conjunction with the Sun in Aries. The Sun is extremely powerful in Aries, as it is the sign where the Sun is traditionally exalted and therefore very strong. It is favorable for Mercury to apply to it, even though such closeness to the Sun is called combustion and is normally problematic. In the last 132 years, in the Presidential election context, a planet’s application to the Sun in exaltation has been helpful, not harmful for the candidate symbolized by the applying planet.
As in the 1880 election, we see that Mercury and the Sun are placed in the opponent’s house; while this may pose difficulties ordinarily (Mercury would be in the opponent’s power), the fact that Mercury and the Sun are in a sign different from the fourth house cusp seems to eliminate the negatives associated with this placement.
With these positive factors, Obama is sitting pretty for reelection this year.
His challenger, symbolized by Jupiter as ruler of the fourth house, is not so fortunate. There are no applying aspects to Jupiter, reminding us of the girl who did not get asked to the prom. No one is coming around to knock at the door to change the opponent’s current trajectory. For modern astrologers, who would take Neptune as the ruler of Pisces, we have Mars applying to oppose Neptune, while the Moon (the popular will) separates from Neptune. This is not a good sign for the Republican party nominee in 2012.
Who will be the challenger? As of this writing, the three Republican front runners are still fighting it out, but I suspect the winner will be Mitt Romney; as the wealthiest of the three contenders, Jupiter in the very material sign of Taurus symbolizes him.
March 7, 2012 by Nina Gryphon
The Full Moon in March, 2012 occurs on March 8 at 9:40 AM universal time. This is 1:40 AM Pacific time and 4:40 a.m. Eastern time. As with each Full Moon, the Moon is opposite the Sun, so with the Full Moon at 18° Virgo, the Sun is at 18° Pisces. In general, the influences of the Full Moon last about two weeks, until the next New Moon.
The March Full Moon’s Influences on You
The planet Mars is conjunct the Moon at this Full Moon, with a harmonious trine aspect to Jupiter and Venus in Taurus. Given that Mars is a malefic planet, while Jupiter and Venus are benefic, there will be a mix of influences we can expect with this Full Moon. Normally, an aspect to Mars causes conflict, especially with mercurial people (Mercury rules Virgo, the sign where the Moon and Mars are at this Full Moon). However, with the gentle and beneficial aspects of Venus and Jupiter moderating this otherwise negative energy, we can expect that the energy of Mars is turned into fuel that helps us move forward, rather than unproductive warfare with the world. Expect that this Full Moon will be especially favorable for legal, religious, or educational matters. There may be financial benefits or at least an opportunity to spend a little money to make a lot more later, perhaps thanks to creative ideas or artistic ventures. Partnerships in general, whether business or personal are favored. With both Venus and Mars involved, this could be a favorable period for relationships as well as births. In general, benefits will come from foreigners, wealthy or socially prominent people, as well as professionals of any stripe.
Depending on where the Full Moon falls in your natal horoscope, that area of your life will likely reap the benefits of this energetic, positive configuration. For example, if this Moon in Virgo falls in your natal 10th house of career, you will see changes in your profession, or through property transactions, since the fourth house of real estate is where the Sun is located during this March Full Moon. In addition, it may be a good period for one’s health, given that Venus and Jupiter would fall in the sixth house of illness, helping heal health problems. As with all Full Moons, it is important to retain a balance, since we have the Moon opposing the Sun; on to opposite ends of a seesaw, as it were. This month, it should not be too difficult to balance your home and career, but keep this in mind, as investing in relationships now will pay dividends later. The harmonious interaction of Venus and Mars allows for harmony in relationships, while Jupiter provides the material and spiritual benefits.
The Full Moon’s Influence in the United States and the World
This Full Moon falls in the ninth house of the United States chart set for 6:17 PM, as rectified by Regulus Astrology. This is going to be a very busy two weeks when it comes to public statements, debates, and media attention. Most obviously, we will see this play out in the Republican contest for the presidential nomination. Libel and slander will fly widely, and misunderstandings and misinterpretations will be rampant, but some of the harsh negativity we have been seeing in the past few months will abate. We are already seeing negotiations with Iran restarting, as well as additional talks between the world powers on next steps with Iran. The recent side talks between the United States and Israel will be fruitful, as Virgo rules Jerusalem; while Israel has been beating the drums of war (Moon with Mars in Virgo – a verbal sign ruled by Mercury, so lots of talk), more moderating influences symbolized by Venus and Jupiter will prevail for now.
The harmonious configurations of Venus, Mars, Jupiter offer a promising start to any talks initiated during this period. In particular, positive reports and communications around these talks will be carefully managed by PR people. With Venus as the traditional ruler of Islam and Muslims in general, its harmonious aspects promise a fruitful round of negotiations around Iran’s nuclear capability. We still believe that Iran will be engaged in conflict in 2013, but the time has not yet come.
We will be seeing news out of Greece, Africa, Iran, Iraq, and Jerusalem, as all these places are ruled by Virgo. In general there will be conflict, because of the influence of Mars, but it will be resolved at least in the short term, due to the presence of Venus and Jupiter.
The Full Moon and the Financial Markets
The global financial markets, too, are at an important juncture at this Full Moon. With Jupiter in the early degrees of Taurus, it may be that the stock markets will rally into the end of the year. The harmonious aspects to this Full Moon hint that the US stock market will go up for a while yet; however, according to my calculations, the US stock market will likely not continue to rise beyond 2012. This largely comports with the predictions for this week made by Raymond Merriman, a top astrological market analyst.
March 3, 2012 by Nina Gryphon
Lee Lehman’s latest book, Traditional Medical Astrology, is out, and it is a rich work with copious detail. As she points out in her preface, “the study of medical astrology is not especially sexy,” but when we need it, we really need it. The same is true for this book; there is little flash here but much substance for when the need arises. Lehman’s book is a good start for those interested in the historical underpinnings of medical astrology – and historical they surely are, since the Western and Middle Eastern application of astrology to medicine originated in antiquity and lasted until the 17th century. Lehman’s focus and sources are strictly traditional, though she will use the outer planets on occasion to fill in an interpretation. Note that Lehman is not a medical practitioner. As a result, we do not see the application of medical astrology to cases under the author’s care, an essential perspective that distinguishes the classics in the field, such as the works of Nicolas Culpeper. As an overview of the many astrological methods applied to medicine, however, this thorough book is outstanding.
Traditional Medical Astrology is a well-researched overview of traditional astrological medical methods, with a good historical and conceptual overview of the key basics of ancient medicine. The book covers natal topics, such as the temperament and length of life calculations, in addition to decumbiture/horary charts for specific instances of diseases. The last few chapters are devoted to electional astrology and prediction of the course of a disease. A solid reference book for those of us interested in the theory and practice of traditional medicine.
Contents and Structure
In an early chapter, “A Word to the Modern Astrologer,” Lehman encourages readers coming from a modern astrological tradition to dive in. This strikes me as sensible, given that traditional astrology can be intimidating, due to its plethora of foreign terms and frequent reference to ancient books. Few of us in this age of superficial knowledge have been educated to grapple with intellectual difficulty, but as with everything, more effort usually equals better results.
Chapter 1, “The History of Medicine and Astro-Medicine” is a good summary of the historical movements of medicine starting with prehistory, with a strong section on the four-humor structure, especially as applied to astrological diagnosis and theory. In the chapter, Lehman articulates a theory I have long held myself – traditional medicine worked hand in hand with electional astrology to assist in determining the best time for preparation and administration of treatments. The theory is that astrology fell out of the picture at the end of the 17th century and the treatments were timed according to what is convenient/practical for the practitioner. Perhaps for this reason, traditional medical treatments lost much of their effectiveness, and modern medicine began to be born from the search for a better alternative.
Chapter 2, “Understanding Hippocratic-Galenic Medicine” provides background on ancient ways of thinking about health and disease, and gets into the specifics of establishing and maintaining humoral balance by keeping the hot, cold, wet, and dry qualities in balance. This chapter provides some background on the four complexional types – choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic, and melancholic – their personalities and predominant diseases. There are a few valuable tables here, notably Hippocrates’ injunctions for balancing health practices by the season. In winter, for instance, we would be required to do lots of walking but eat only one meal daily. The austere winter regimen is offset by Hippocrates’ recommendation to have as much sex as possible to heat the body (“But honey, the doctor said it’s for my health!”). In summer, we are encouraged to wrestle in the dust and keep our exercise short and infrequent.
Chapter 3, “The Body, Its Health, Temperament, and Virtue as Shown by the Natal Chart” gets into the eternally disputed methodology for calculating temperament. Lehman makes a few good points, notably the element of the Sun being used, rather than the season. I am not convinced that a perfect calculation exists, seeing the temperament as one of the tools in the astrological toolbox, but not necessarily the most important one. The author then provides a few temperament calculations of celebrities. It would have been nice to see a few charts for people known to the author that she can comment upon personally; with public figures; it is difficult to know what is reality and what is the public image, especially when it comes to health and the overall constitution. I enjoy speculation as much as anyone (possibly more), but for teaching purposes, the more first-hand information, the better.
There is an interesting section on Richard Saunders’ natal Almuten of Virtue, which looks to the 5th cusp almuten to see which bodily functions were likely to be impacted for someone. The 5th house is an unusual choice for a health reading, since we initially look to the 6th or the 1st houses of disease and vitality, respectively. The 5th rules the liver, however, the traditional seat of vitality, which regulates the humoral balance. I would have enjoyed seeing additional analysis and examples of this method, especially since Saunders’ method was of his own invention.
Chapter 4, “The Body and Its Diseases As Shown by the Natal Chart” starts with an interesting observation; unlike classical astrology, which mostly cared about the timing of one’s death, modern astrology tries to determine the exact cause of death – will it be cancer or heart disease? One can hardly wait to find out. There are difficulties with the modern approach. The Pluto in Leo generation, in a most inconsiderate fashion, has 36% lower rates of death by coronary heart disease than preceding generations, happily ignoring the fact that Pluto is a malefic and Leo rules the heart.
This chapter is where the author gets into some data crunching. It would be ideal if she delved into the statistics, and I hope to see more information in Lehman’s future articles or talks. Comparison of each factor to the norm to see the deviation, a discussion of the sample characteristics, and controlling for variables such as age and sex would be outstanding. Lehman looks at a sample of about 700 A-rated charts and the natal planetary hour and 1st/6th house rulers represented in heart disease, cancer, and drug abuse. There are a couple of short sections on traditional analyses of disease, namely by Lilly and Gadbury.
Chapter 5, “The Body and Its Longevity” deals with the traditional length of life calculations. As in many other books on this topic, the author starts with an apologia, presumably to comfort the more sensitive readers who may be learning of the existence of death for the first time. This is followed by a substantive listing of Arabian parts around mortality and morbidity, and Morin’s own list of significators for the same. The author shares some statistics and bar graphs describing the placement of the Arabic parts and planets in heart disease and cancer deaths.
Lehman then walks us through the hyleg and alcochoden calculations that lead to a length of life estimate. This is a rather complex and hotly contested area of astrology, so the interested reader will want to review as many sources as possible, test many charts, and draw her own conclusions. As with calculating temperament, no one method works 100% of the time, but some are better than others. Ten examples are given for the reader to follow along with the author.
Chapter 6, “Astrological Iatromancy” is my favorite chapter, not only because iatromancy is a great word, but also because this is where we learn to apply some of the most useful techniques of medical astrology. The author discusses the difference between horary (question) and decumbiture (start of illness or diagnosis) charts, and a checklist for evaluating such charts. Then we are off. This chapter is where Lehman’s skills and insights as a researcher and compiler really shine. There is a handy six-step checklist (I bookmarked this page, as it is a great summary), followed by a lengthy list of medical aphorisms (of which there are thousands) from traditional sources including Saunders, Culpeper, Lilly, Hermes Trismegistus, and Blagrave. She then provides a few charts that she has run through a computer program that has all – yes, all – of the aphorisms in Lehman’s sources. It is interesting to see all the aphorisms fighting it out amongst themselves, and one cannot help but reach the same conclusion as Culpeper; let us keep our brains in our heads and not in our books. Each chart is different and applying thousands of rules to it will not give us a magic answer. The author seems to come to a similar conclusion, as most of the charts consist of her analysis with her six-point checklist, rather than a mindless application of aphorisms.
Chapter 7, “Prediction through Time: Crises and the Development of Disease” is a fascinating topic, as the ancients spent a lot of time evaluating the changes in a disease. Specifically, astrologers and doctors set charts for the crisis points of the disease and watched for the good and bad aspects in those charts. Crisis times are when the transiting Moon makes a major hard aspect to the decumbiture Moon. Judicial (intermediate) times are when the transiting Moon makes a minor hard aspect (semi-square and sesquiquadrate) to the decumbiture Moon. For chronic illnesses, we look at the same positions of the Sun relative to its decumbiture position. I have used this method for myself when ill, and it works extremely well. We then see some of the predictive value of solar return charts when it comes to illness and injury.
Chapter 8: “Surgery: Electionals and Events” shows us some rules for surgery, as well as examples of surgical elections and charts for surgeries done without astrological consultation, with discussion of how the procedures had turned out. The attentive reader will not be surprised to know that the surgery where the #1 rule of medical astrology was violated – never have the Moon in the sign ruling the treated body part – turned out terribly. The patient almost died and had to have multiple re-dos of the surgery.
Chapter 9: “Non-surgery Electional Astrology: Purges, Diets, and Breaking Habits” provides more opportunities to apply the art of electing the right moment for treatment. These are the moments that are more electable than surgery; few surgeons have very flexible schedules, but if we want to find the right moment to quit smoking, start a new drug regimen, or start a diet, elections can be helpful. We see a summary of the therapeutic methods of the Hippocratic/Galenic practitioners, few of which are in common use today; bloodletting, vomiting, purging, enemas, sweating, and diuretic procedures. Even for today, there are some helpful rules here, e.g.: to stop a nasal discharge, put the Moon in Earth. Lehman applies the ancient rules for more modern problems, like beginning a weight loss regimen: eat your first “diet” meal on a waning Moon, then once you enter a maintenance phase, do a second chart with lots of fixed signs to keep the weight off.
In Chapter, 10, “Conclusion: When We No Longer Engage in Bloodletting,” the author puts the study of traditional medical astrology in context. As she points out, U.S. medical expenses have tripled in the last 50 years, yet life expectancy has only risen 10%. She expects that inevitable cutbacks in medical funding will lead to more alternative treatments, where medical astrologers could find a niche combining their skills with alternative medical modes such as herbalism, traditional Chinese medicine, or homeopathy.
Finally, there are a helpful few appendices: classical concepts necessary for horary (for those brand new from the land of modern astrology), a glossary of terms used in the book, where we may learn the meanings of words such as abstergent and spagyric. There are a few worksheets for temperament calculation, and medical rulerships of various body parts. Don’t miss the small but useful table comparing indications of a physical vs. mental or spiritual disease as indicated in horaries.
I enjoyed delving into this book, as it summarizes many of the traditional medical books on my bookshelf in easy-to-understand modern language. Though it is not a substitute for the classical texts, it provides a painless, accurate introduction to many essential topics that one can learn about in more depth from the masters themselves. This is not astrology lite by any means, but rather straddles the ground between a reference work and a critical text, as many of Lehman’s books do. Highly recommended.
Traditional Medical Astrology
By: J. Lee Lehman, Ph.D.
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., 2011
Available at amazon.com and leelehman.com