2011 Predictions for the United States

March 29, 2011 by  

Spring - 2011 Prediction from the U.S. Horoscope

Here is a look at the predictive annual horoscope for the United States each year to get a sense of what lies ahead for the next 12 months.  This year looks interesting, especially on the economic front.  Based on this horoscope, I do not think we are as far out of the housing/debt crisis as we would like to believe.

Prediction 1: Financial Fallout from Housing Crisis

There will be a new wave of major financial consequences from the housing boom of the last decade,and this topic will dominate the news in 2011 and early 2012. We will see substantial debate anddemagoguery about the American real estate and banking connection. Unfortunately, we as a nation are still not done paying for the financial excesses of past years. Farmers, especially, will be heavilyaffected by the financial difficulties we are facing. Credit may well tighten up again this year, and  the mood of the nation will be somber and sad.
The Saturn-Moon conjunction in the 1st house indicates a serious tone in the public discourse; in individual horoscopes, it can indicate depression, and we see a similar feeling, just on the macro levelfor the United States in 2011. The official message will be one of optimism, as shown by Mercury conjunct Jupiter in the 7th house, but the mood of the people (and the reality) will be significantly less happy.

Saturn is well-placed in the horoscope, as it is in the sign of its exaltation, Libra, but it is retrograde. The old astrologers say that Saturn in Libra indicates a time of great building of houses; with the planet beingretograde, however, this building up is reversed, and we see an overabundance of buildings. This will not be a good year for the housing market, and indeed, we are seeing even the best housing marketsexperience drops in price in late 2010. The United States horoscope is experiencing a Saturn return this year, indicating a time when the accounts are coming due for the country’s finances. Saturn rulesthe nation’s second house of money, and his return to its place in the United States nativity indicates closing of one chapter in our financial history, with a final accounting before the new cycle begins.

Jupiter in the national horoscope indicates the banking industry, as well as farming, and real estate.Jupiter and Saturn are opposed in the 1st and 7th houses, showing the housing business being negatively impacted by public pessimism and an unwillingness of buyers to pay, as they wait for lower prices. Inother words, we will see housing prices come down further this year. The housing crisis will continue tobe a drag on the banking industry as well. Oppositions of planets from the cardinal signs indicate “huge evils,” as Jean-Baptiste Morin, the 17th century astrologer, writes.

Many of the evils described by Saturn – debt, inability to pay, insolvency – are related to the common people’s desire to be placed on an equal footing with great men, as the old astrologers have it. The Moon is with Saturn in the 1st house; the Moon signifies the masses and the common man, while Saturn represents the rich and powerful. With the two planets together, the poor wish to be the same as the rich, and as we can see, they are willing to bankrupt themselves to be seen as such.

2011 Aries Ingress Horoscope

Prediction 2: Sex Scandals

Not that there is ever a dearth of sex scandals, but this year shall be particularly notable for hidden vices coming to light. Guido Bonatti writes that Saturn in Libra oriental (as it is in this horoscope)shows the “desire of shameful, criminal men.” In the natal U.S. horoscope, Saturn is occidental,bringing “infamy…upon fornicators, and those abusing shameful sexual intercourse.” These are challenging configurations for public figures, so expect to see lots of public shaming in 2011.

Prediction 3: Public Health Concerns

With Saturn in the 1st house in Libra, we can expect to see health problems that especially affect the poor. Bonatti says that especially “slaves” will be harmed, so likely we will see people at the very lowest strata of society be subject to health concerns of a Saturnian kind. Saturn brings illnesses having to dowith the cold humors, such as tuberculosis, colds, flus, edema, and so on.

Prediction 4: Trouble for the President

2011 will not be an easy year for the U.S. President; there will be lots of contentions between him and his opponents. He might face health challenges as well this year. With the malefic South Node on the midheaven, and the ruler of the 10th house of kings being the Moon conjunct Saturn, we can see that he might have a number of things on his mind, namely people who rise up against him. There could be significant protests this year against his policies, for example.


Astrology of the Iran Election: Rigged or Written in the Stars?

June 21, 2009 by  

Astrology of the Iran Election: Rigged or Written in the Stars?
The 2009 Iran election is over, and the people had filled the streets in protest.  Now, there is a lull as the authorities have cracked down on the protesters.  What will happen next in this stalemate?
Astrological omens indicate that the action is not yet over, and indeed, may just be beginning.  The summer of 2009 will bring violence and bloodshed in Iran, specifically violence involving the government committed in the name of Islam.  Women will be very important in these events, particularly women from Iran’s ruling class.  The rulers will display their enemies’ injured bodies as public deterrents, perhaps ensuring that images of death get out to the public and the world.  The astrologer Masha’allah said that in years where Mars governs and is in the 10th house, the king will “put his enemies in a gibbet.”  Among the president’s enemies will be those from his own circle (from domicile of significator of the president).  There will be great conflict among the clerics, and also contention between the common people and the clerics.
The horoscope for the summer promises serious conflicts, with Mars aspecting Saturn out of the Midheaven, indicating the weakness of the ruler.  The horoscope for this summer in Iran is below:
Mars governs the horoscope, as it is at the top of the chart, and it is about to enter the 10th house, the house of the king.  However, it will be shortly overtaken by Venus, and then trine Saturn.  This is likely indication that the violence (perpetrated in the name of Islam, as it is a Venusian religion, and Mars is in Venus’s sign) will ease, and that the current rulers will harm their enemies.  Mars is in Taurus, the sign of its detriment, indicating violence and harm to the rulers.
End of July (around the Solar Eclipse of July 22, 2009, which will be visible in Iran) indicates possible changes in leadership in Iran this year.  There will be more on this eclipse later, but the eclipse shows difficulties for the existing government.
This winter (2009-2010) shows more violence to come, again afflicting the people.
Regardless of the short-term outcome, this summer’s events plant the seeds for a much more serious showdown in Iran several years from now.


The 2009 Iran election is over, and the people had filled the streets in protest.  Now, there is a minor lull as the authorities have cracked down violently on the protesters.  What will happen next in this stalemate?

Astrological omens indicate that the action is not yet over, and indeed, may just be beginning.  The summer of 2009 will bring violence and bloodshed in Iran, specifically violence involving the government committed in the name of Islam.  Women will be very important in these events, particularly women from Iran’s ruling class.  The rulers will display their enemies’ injured bodies as public deterrents, perhaps ensuring that images of death get out to the public and the world.  The astrologer Masha’allah said that in years where Mars governs and is in the 10th house, the king will “put his enemies in a gibbet.”  Among the president’s enemies will be those from his own circle (from domicile of significator of the president).  There will be great conflict among the clerics, and also contention between the common people and the clerics.

The horoscope for the summer promises serious conflicts, with Mars aspecting Saturn out of the Midheaven, indicating the weakness of the ruler.  The horoscope for this summer in Iran is below:


Mars governs the horoscope, as it is at the top of the chart, and it is about to enter the 10th house, the house of the king.  However, it will be shortly overtaken by Venus, and then trine Saturn.  This is likely indication that the violence (perpetrated in the name of Islam, as it is a Venusian religion, and Mars is in Venus’s sign) will be done with the help of the government and of the people (paramilitary groups?), and that the current rulers will harm their enemies.  Mars is in Taurus, the sign of its detriment, indicating violence and harm to the rulers.

This horoscope is similar to the Capricorn Ingress of 1978, presaging the exile of the Shah, who fled the country in early 1979.  In that horoscope, Venus was in the Midheaven in the sign of her detriment.

End of July (around the Solar Eclipse of July 22, 2009, which will be visible in Iran) indicates possible changes in leadership in Iran this year.  There will be more on this eclipse later, but for now, suffice it to say the eclipse shows difficulties for the existing government.

The horoscope for 2009 promised violence and death this year in Iran, particularly the deaths of young people, indicated by the Mercury-Saturn opposition out of the 8th house of death.  Again, Mars was prominent in the 7th house.


Interestingly, the Iranian regime is having its own Saturn return, a time said to be difficult for individuals and organizations alike; Ruhollah Khomeini returned from exile in February 1979, when Saturn was at 12 Virgo.

Regardless of the short-term outcome, this summer’s events plant the seeds for a much more serious showdown in Iran several years from now.

P.S.: Late last year, Gryphon Astrology did a seven-part series on the astrological history of revolution in Iran.

Horary Astrology Reading: Is the Vanished Air France Flight Okay?

June 1, 2009 by  

Ship in a Storm. Astrology Reading on Air France flight.

I read about the Air France flight that disappeared over the Atlantic this morning, and my immediate thought was: “Are the Air France plane and its passengers okay?” I am sure that being an optimist is somewhat laughable in the situation, but I do think that good things can happen, and perhaps the passengers and crew escaped the worst.  I cast a horary chart for my question, below, because I genuinely want to know what became of the Air France flight.

5:49 am, June 1, 2009, San Francisco, California

I used William Lilly’s horary criteria from Chapter 26 of Christian Astrology: “Of a Ship, and Whatever Are in Her, Her Safety or Destruction.” This should apply to more modern conveyances as well, and an airplane would certainly be very similar to a ship in this situation.

As I discussed elsewhere, for horary questions that don’t directly concern me, I like to doublecheck the radicality of the question, and make sure that it is appropriate. Here, we have a horary question about transportation by air, with Mercury ruling the hour, and Gemini rises, so because of the planet-sign agreement, we have a very radical horoscope.

  • Because in this horary question, I identify with the flight and the people on it, and am concerned for their well-being, we must give the plane the Ascendant, its ruler, and the Moon.
  • Mercury is in its second station in the 12th house in Taurus, on the malefic fixed star Algol.
  • The Moon is just inside the fifth house in Virgo, within orb of a trine to Sun in Gemini. Its last aspect was a trine to Mercury.
  • The Ascendant is with the fixed star Aldebaran, which is of the nature of Mars and therefore malefic. The Sun is just inside the first house, and therefore will be important to our judgment. It rules the fourth house.

Lilly says that if we find out the Lord of the Ascendant in the eighth house, in any “ill configuration” with Lord 8, 12, 4, 6, or the Moon combust or under the Earth, the ship is lost and the men drowned, unless there is mutual reception. If there is reception, the ship was wrecked, but some of the men escaped.

Here, Mercury is in the 12th house, which is bad, and it is square Jupiter, ruler of the seventh and 11th houses, and it is also trine Saturn. The connection to Jupiter might indicate that some hope still remains, but more likely it might indicate that the plane had encountered some winds, because Jupiter is in the 10th house in an air sign.. The trine to Saturn in the fourth house, which is particularly malevolent in these types of questions, is rather disconcerting. Mercury receives Saturn by domicile and exaltation, but what we really care about is whether Mercury is received by Saturn, and being at 22 Taurus, it is not. With no reception, Saturn will not spare Mercury, and therefore, the Air France plane is not in good shape. Mercury is essentially motionless in second station, and in a fixed sign, indicating that this plane is not going anywhere.

The Moon under the Earth is a bad sign, and the fact that it had been void of course shows that no news had been available from the plane. The Sun is kind of a secondary significator in this chart, because it is placed in the first house. It, too, aspects Saturn, but by a square. Neither of them receives the other, which makes the situation serious.

The fixed stars in this chart look pretty grim, with Mercury on Algol and Aldebaran rising.

Lilly has a handy chart of parts of the ship assigned to the different astrological signs, and since we see Saturn in aspect to the Ascendant, the Sun, and Mercury; essentially all of our main significators, we can see that it is the “belly” of the plane that will have been affected, as that is the part of the ship associated with Virgo. It could be that the plane smacked down on the ground or water and broke from the bottom.

The Moon will aspect the Sun in about 13°, indicating that some news will be heard of the Air France plane in 13 hours or days from this chart (which was cast 6 AM Pacific time on June 1).

This is one of the charts where I sincerely hope I am wrong, but the testimonies look pretty serious indeed.

Astrology Book Review: Astrologia Gallica, Book 25 – Universal Constitutions of the Caelum (Jean-Baptiste Morin, trans. James Holden)

April 25, 2009 by  

Astrology Book Review: Astrologia Gallica 25, Morin

Book 25 of Morin’s Astrologia Gallica, a text on mundane astrology, is available for the first time in English, thanks to James Holden’s recent translation.   Mundane astrology, which focuses on predicting events of political and national/international magnitude, is a complex area of the art, one that few people have completely mastered.  The Universal Constitutions of the Caelum is a very coherent and practical treatise on the subject, and English-speaking astrologers everywhere should rejoice that it is finally available to them.  An abbreviated version of Book 25 was translated into French by astrologer Jean Hieroz in 1946, and until now, Hieroz’s was the only non-Latin version available.  In contrast to modern astrologers of the time, who were blindsided by WWII, Hieroz used Morin’s methods to correctly predict the war, and his 1939 article for an astrological journal is included in Holden’s translation as an Appendix.


The Universal Constitutions of the Caelum is not necessarily an introductory text, in that it assumes the reader’s familiarity with numerous astrological terms and concepts.  However, the “how-to” methods of mundane analysis presented by Morin are straightforward and easy to apply.  This book is best read with a pen in hand, because Morin gives step-by-step instructions on interpreting a mundane horoscope.  As is typical for him, Morin gives many examples of his method; in conjunction with Jean Hieroz’s article on WWII, the reader can see for himself the application of Morin’s principles.  Similar to other Morin books, The Universal Constitutions of the Caelum deserves careful study.

Contents & Structure

Book 25 is separated into two parts; the first is the more theoretical one, while the second focuses on practical application of mundane methods.  However, there is a significant amount of overlap, which means that one should read the entire book, not just skip ahead to the “good parts”!

Part I begins with chapters setting forth the basic concepts of mundane astrology, starting with a discussion of its validity.  Morin’s key concepts include the doctrine of subordination of horoscopes; the notion that mundane horoscopes do not act alone, but like nesting dolls, they are a manifestation of a larger cycle.  Therefore, the reader is directed to examine the lunations preceding an Aries Ingress, for example, and look for repeating themes among the horoscopes.

In Part I, Chapters 7 and 8, Morin discusses the specific characteristics of eclipses and planetary conjunction horoscopes.  In Chapter 9 and subsequent chapters in Part I, he gives guidance on interpretation of mundane horoscopes. 

The first step is to select ruler(s) of the horoscope, which are those planets that are especially powerful, and whose reemergence in subordinate horoscopes provide timing of the potentials promised earlier.  Here, Morin gives an interesting technique of ruler selection; focusing on the angle subsequent to the Primary Point of a horoscope.  For instance, an Aries Ingress with the Sun in the 12th house would have the Ascendant as the angle, and its rulers, occupants, and aspects would all be essential to determining the ruler – and thus the main theme — of the Ingress.

Chapters 11 and 12 provide details on the places where a mundane horoscope’s promise would most likely manifest, and the specific times in which the events will occur.  In his prediction of WWII, Jean Hieroz utilized the latter methods with consummate skill, and comparing Morin’s instructions with Hieroz’s application is most instructive.  Chapters 14 and 15 focus on the kinds of events one might expect with certain rulers (e.g.: Saturn and Mars ruling the mundane horoscope are bad, but fixed stars make them even worse).

Part II begins with a discussion of the elemental composition of mundane charts, and the planets’ behavior in signs of various elements.  This is especially important for weather prediction, a subset of mundane astrology.  Morin then goes on to emphasize the importance of the Aries Ingress as a description of a year’s events, with special attention to the rulers of the Ingress.  Chapter 4 is an excellent summary of the qualities of the planets when they are rulers of the year, with discussion of the fact that the luminaries can also be rulers of the horoscope, something the ancient astrologers did not address.

Chapters 5 -7 focus on the planetary qualities primarily for weather prediction, providing handy lists of planets in aspect and in various signs.  For example, Venus in Aries, as in the 2009 Aries Ingress, “under the sun beams produces humidity; when oriental, thunder and rains; when occidental, winds; when static, humidity.”

Chapter 8 gives an interesting list of aphorisms for determining events from the rulers’ motion; Morin considers all planets to bring rain when they are retrograde, for instance, though this tendency is emphasized when the planet is in a moist sign, a humid Lunar mansion, and in aspect with Venus or Mercury.  Chapters 10 and 11 are chock-full of aphorisms for further weather indications contained in the Aries Ingress and lunation horoscopes.  Chapter 13 provides guidance on comparing subordinate charts; such as that of an Ingress and a subsequent lunation.  Chapter 14 explores the intersection of place and horoscopes.  Chapter 15 gives guidelines for interpreting the appearance of comets.  First, one is to determine the planetary nature of a planet (mainly by its color), and then look at its position in the zodiac, interpreting the comet similarly to a planet in that sign.  Chapter 16 provides details on daily weather predictions, and some additional factors that go into such a specific prediction.

The Appendixes are particularly useful, giving a method for determining planetary strength, the WWII prediction of Jean Hieroz, WWI horoscopes, tables for the year 1625, and a list of the elemental qualities of the lunar mansions (and the mansions’ location).


A highly recommended text on mundane astrology.  The number of concrete guidelines and tips in this book justifies careful reading and re-reading.  James Holden’s translation, as always, is careful and thoughtful, with plenty of footnotes.  His preface is informative and places the book in appropriate context for the reader new to Morin.  A worthwhile addition to any astrologer’s library.


Astrologia Gallica Book Twenty-Five: The Universal Constitutions of the Caelum

By Jean-Baptiste Morin (trans. from the Latin by James Herschel Holden, M.A., Fellow of the American Federation of Astrologers)

American Federation of Astrologers, 2008, 241 pages, paperback.

$24.95 on astrologers.com and astroamerica.com


Astrology Book Review: The Latin Picatrix, Books I & II (Trans. Greer and Warnock)

November 30, 2008 by  

The Picatrix (also known as “The Goal of the Wise”) is a renowned book of astrological magic, translated for the first time into English by a practicing astrologer (Chris Warnock) and a magician (John Michael Greer). It was written in Arabic around the 10th century, and translated into Latin in the 13th century. The original author is anonymous, but it is quite possible that the book was written in the Arab world of al-Andaluz, which was fascinated with astrology, magic, and philosophy. The fact that al-Andaluz was relatively lax in its observance of Islamic law, which strictly prohibits dealings with magic, points to a fertile ground for a text such as this.


The Picatrix is for advanced astrologers only, specifically those comfortable with electing horoscopes. This is only half of the work, as the reader is then expected to fashion talismans during the elected moment. Not being a seasoned talisman maker, I cannot attest to the efficacy of the Picatrix talismans, but there is something here for everyone: Charms for love, the founding of cities, business and trade, the safe escape of convicts, and stopping gossip. It is important to note that this is a “limited review edition” of a finalized version that will come out in the next year or so. This means that the cover and layout of the preview is very basic, but serviceable. The most important point is that the translation was done by a knowledgeable astrologer for an astrological audience, and is therefore very clear and easy to read. The same is not true of other English translations of the Picatrix.

Contents & Structure

This edition of the Picatrix contains the first two books of the entire four-book text. First, there is a prologue by the translator, appended to that of the author. The prologue describes the author’s purpose in writing the book, stating that the wisdom of the past has at last been revealed in this book “to reveal the highways and byways of this science.”

Book I, On “the nature of the heavens and the effects caused by the images [talismans] in them.”:

The first book of the Picatrix starts with theoretical and philosophical chapters. These contain a fascinating discussion on the nature of magic, and its connection to astrology, which is seen as a kind of bridge through which one must pass to create magical effects in the physical world. Then, we are introduced to the 28 Lunar mansions, and other conditions of the Moon to be learned before electing horoscopes. In Chapter 5, the author gives a list of talismans and their electional “recipes,” which is the heart of Book I. The final two chapters of Book I continue the explanatory and theoretical theme from the earlier chapters.

Book II, On “the figures of heaven and the motion of the eighth sphere [of the stars], and their effects on this world:”

The first chapter exhorts the would-be astrological magician to learn the classical Pythagorean sciences before approaching magic: arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. The author means the esoteric aspects of these disciplines, rather than assuming that one’s mastery of 1+1=2 qualifies one as a classical arithmetician.

Then, we get two chapters devoted to basic astrological concepts, such as the nature of the Moon, and some electional precepts. This section presents the basics of electional astrology in a practical, succinct manner, and it would be useful to all astrologers interested in this field, not just magicians.

The following few chapters expand on the “why and how” of astrological magic and the universe, including the relative strength of the planets and the fixed stars, the relationship of the four elements and similar topics.

There follows a short chapter with some talismanic glyphs, evidently based on magic squares (the ones where the numbers are arranged to add up to the same number horizontally, vertically, and diagonally). The next chapter lists the planetary affinities of stones and metals, and the talismanic images associated with the planets and their seals. For instance, one image of Mars “is the form of a crowned man with an inscribed sword in his right hand.”

The last two chapters discuss the images associated with the astrological decans, and the kinds of talismans best for each. So, if you wish to increase the milk given by your goats, make a talisman in the second face of Capricorn. These recipes are nothing if not down-to-earth.


The Picatrix is a classic in the magico-astrological field, and, most likely, in the Top Ten Banned Books of All Time list. The Greer/Warnock translation is excellent; clear and non-intrusive, their easy prose does a complex, very niche topic justice at last. The cost is steep for a 140-page paperback, but presumably this is because of the small number of printed copies. Yet, a would-be astrological mage might consider this a low price to pay for lessons in controlling the very fabric of space-time (cue dramatic music). Let us join the anonymous author in hoping that the book “might come only into the hands of the wise…and that whatever will be done by its means be performed for good and in the service of God.”


The Latin Picatrix, Books I and II

By: Anonymous (author), and John Michael Greer and Christopher Warnock, trans.

The Renaissance Astrology Press, 2008

54.95 USD, with 9.95 USD shipping (paperback), 74.95 + 10.95 for the hardcover.

Available at RenaissanceAstrology.com

Iran: The Astrological Path to War in 2000-2020 (Part VII)

September 18, 2008 by  

Having examined the astrological indications for war in Iran in the late 1970s and 1980s, we will now look at what the next 12 years hold for Iran. The same sensitive points that presaged the 1979 revolution and the Iran-Iraq war should be activated again in the event of another war.

The Khomeini Foundation Horoscope

The horoscope for the moment of Khomeini’s Landing in Iran on February 1, 1979 is still valid for our purposes, because it begins the era of the Islamic Republic in Iran. We saw that the Mercury-Mars-Sun conjunction in Aquarius and Jupiter’s opposition thereto were activated prior to the Iran-Iraq war. We will keep a keen eye on this configuration going forward.

The 2000 Grand Conjunction

The Grand Conjunction occurs every 20 years, and foretells the fate of nations for the upcoming 20-year period. The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Taurus was uncomfortably close to the malefic fixed star Algol, associated with the mythological monster, Medusa. Algol is a violent star of the first order. While the Jupiter-Saturn-Algol contact occurred around the world, in Tehran the Jupiter-Saturn-Algol conjunction fell in the seventh house of open enemies. It also squared the Midheaven of the conjunction chart, afflicting the King, or the government and Supreme Leader.

At least some portion of the years 2000-2020 will not be good for Iran’s government. We also note that Mars is just inside the 8th house of death, and that the malefic (but royal!) fixed star, the South Scale, is on the Ascendant. Vivian Robson writes that Lucida Lancis is of the nature of Saturn and Mars, the two malefics, and is called The Insufficient Price. It causes “malevolence, obstruction, an unforgiving character, violence, disease, lying, crime, disgrace, and danger of poison.” Bad times for Iran, compounded by Scorpio rising, a malefic sign in mundane astrology.

Connections between the Khomeini and the GC 2000 Horoscopes

The afflicted Ascendant of the conjunction conjoins the Sun of the Khomeini chart by antiscion. This portends malevolent afflictions to the country, perhaps due to disease or generally harmful happenings (the Sun rules the Khomeini 6th house).

The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction afflicts the Khomeini Mercury-Mars-Sun-Jupiter configuration by antiscion. This is a further indication of violence and mayhem.

However, the financial state of Iran during this 20-year period looks positive, at least for a while, due to – wait for it – Iran’s oil riches. Venus rules the Khomeini 2nd house of the nation’s money, and the Moon rules the 4th house of riches in the earth. In the GC 2000 chart, Venus and Moon are sextile in benefic houses, indicating oil wealth indeed. However, Venus is combust, indicating that the money will be hidden, perhaps by the government (the Sun’s light hides Venus) and in the 7th house, may be spent on covert pleasures, as Venus conjoins the Khomeini 5th cusp by antiscion. The fact that Venus is in the 7th house indicates that Iran may not have control over its money at some point during this 20-year period, or it may spend it on 7th house matters, such as war.

Next week, we will look at primary directions to the Khomeini chart to determine what will happen in Iran, during this 20-year period, and when.


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 – War is Inevitable, but when will it happen? Using Aries Ingress charts to narrow down the year.

Part VI of the Iran Series – Narrowing down the time of the Iran-Iraq war and Khomeini’s demise.

Astrology Book Review: Astrologia Gallica 16 (Jean-Baptiste Morin)

September 8, 2008 by  

The indefatigable James Holden has translated another volume of Jean-Baptiste Morin’s astrological opus. Book Sixteen, a relatively slim volume relative to others in the series, discusses “The Rays and Aspects of the Planets.” The book is mostly theoretical, unlike some of Morin’s more hands-on volumes, and all but the most hardened Morinistes will value the book as an exposition of the theory behind astrological aspects. The reason for this is that Morin takes some unorthodox positions, most of which are not implemented today.


A fascinating theoretical book about astrological aspects for the advanced astrologer or hard-core Morin fan. If you are still learning about astrology basics, or even grappling with more intermediate topics, Book 16 will be hard going. However, if you are interested in the complexities of astronomical arguments so beloved by Morin, get this book.

Contents and Structure

The book consists of three sections, each composed of several chapters. The first three chapters of Section I define aspects and planetary rays, and their effects on this world. Morin defines an aspect as the relationship between the rays of two planets. In Chapter 4, Morin enumerates the Ptolemaic aspects, and adds a few of his own, besides, such as semi-sextiles, semi-squares, sesquiquadrates, and others. Chapters 5-9 discuss and refute other astrologers’ views on the planets’ maximum latitudes. Finally, Morin presents his own method, which the translator writes out in simpler terms following Chapter 9.

In Chapter 10-12, we learn about the natures of the aspects, which are benefic and which malefic, and why. For example, trines are benefic, because they are sides of an equilateral triangle, and always fall in the signs of the same element and sex, and is “the greatest and particular symbol of love.” Morin makes the point in this chapter that “every Planet that is malefic…badly afflicted…and determined to evil in the figure…harms that to which it is determined with all of its aspects.” The implication is that a bad planet can cause trouble to another planet regardless of the nature of the aspect between them.

Chapter 13 discusses Morin’s “new and improved” orbs, based on the visibility of the planets outside of the Sun’s rays. Chapter 14 is about applying and separating aspects, as well as dexter and sinister aspects, which are determined by the direction of the aspects with or against the direction of the signs.

Chapters 15-17 talk about antiscia (or antiscions), which are the planets’ shadow positions. Morin reworks this doctrine as well, adding in the concept of declination.

Chapter 18-20 refute arguments against aspects by other astrologers, including the currently fashionable Marsilio Ficino. Chapter 21 talks about whether fixed stars can cast aspects (recall that a conjunction is not, properly speaking, an aspect) – the conclusion is that the stars cannot aspect planets, but planets can aspect stars.

Section II of Book 16 starts off by discussing applications and separations of the planetary aspects, and the strength of applying versus separating aspects. Chapter 4 touches on the concept of doryphory, or planets attending the luminaries, which helps determine the worldly fame and distinction of the native.

Section III analyzes the three modes a planet has when near to the Sun; cazimi, combustion, or being under the sunbeams. Morin analyzes the opinions of the ancient astrologers and (unsurprisingly) finds them mistaken. For instance, he differs with them on the weakness of intellect as indicated by Mercury combust, instead interpreting this position as hidden knowledge: “And so, those persons for whom Mercury is combust, and the significator of intelligence, do not disclose to all either their own intelligence, or what they have in mind, but something is always researved, or revealed in the smallest things they keep back for themselves.”


A clear translation of a complex and sometimes confusing work. It is important to remember that though Morin often finds reasons to dismantle astrological tradition, he lays out his logic fully, helping us understand his reasoning. Especially valuable are his references and summaries of astrological authorities well known in his time, but forgotten in ours. Recommended for the more advanced astrologer or lover of the Morin system.


Astrologia Gallica: Book Sixteeen, The Rays and Aspects of the Planets

By: Jean-Baptiste Morin

Translated by: James Herschel Holden, M.A., Fellow of the American Federation of Astrologers

American Federation of Astrologers, 2008

21.95 USD

Available from amazon.com, astroamerica.com, and astrologers.com

Astrologer Interview: James H. Holden (Part 4)

September 7, 2008 by  

This is the last part of Gryphon Astrology’s interview with astrologer, translator, and author James Herschel Holden.  If you are just joining us, read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 here.

JH: You asked me are there any particular techniques or areas that I favor. I guess looking back over the years I have been particularly interested in reading personality out of a chart. In fact, I wrote a paper on that that was published in our Journal of Research a few years ago. As you well know, trying to make predictions and put specific dates on them is hard to do with great accuracy, but we can do it to some extent. And we all try it. I mean if somebody gives you their birth date, then you put the chart up, and you can look at the thing, and you can pretty much tell what kind of person you’re dealing with there. To me that’s particularly fascinating, to try to work out the personality from the chart.

I might mention what’s in my paper, and I have a devised a technique that works for me, and I’ll mention it to you. It’s very simple, and you might try it yourself. The first house, the ascending sign, shows you the animal nature of the person. Now what I mean by animal nature is that this is the instinctive thing. If somebody suddenly says something to you, asks you a question, or somebody trips you up, or hits you, or says, “look at that.” You have an instant reaction to it, and this is a reaction that’s without thought. It’s what’s natural – that’s the ascendant, as I said.

And I will give an example with animals. If you have a rabbit sitting in the floor in front of you, a pet rabbit, and you throw a ball of yarn down in front of it, he’ll turn around and run away from it. If you throw it down in front of your pet cat, he’d pounce on it. That’s animal nature. This is the thing that you see with the ascendant. It’s what you do without thinking!

The Moon is the conscious mind inside your head, it’s what you think. And the Sun is a kind of a censor that sits there in the background. It’s kind of like a backseat driver. It says you’re going too fast or turn left here or something like that. And I think if you look at a chart like that, why it makes a whole lot of sense and you can read personality pretty well with that kind of technique.

And since there are three areas, and each one can be in a different sign, or in the same sign, or something, you’ve got 1,728 different combinations. And that’s about how many different kinds of people we might run across in the world. Now if you’ve got a planet in any one of those, obviously, that modifies it. For example, if you’ve got Mars in the first house then violence, to some extent, comes natural to you. If somebody comes up and hits you on the shoulder, you may turn around and slap them without even thinking about it.

On the other hand if you’ve got Mars in conjunction with your Moon or strongly configured with it or something like that and somebody slaps you, why you may think, I guess I ought to hit him, but I don’t know whether I want to do it or not. You’ll think about it before you do it.

And if you’ve got Mars with the Sun, then the Sun says it’s okay to hit if you want to. It’s kind of a censor. I see the Sun as a censor. It doesn’t necessarily tell you what to do, but it tells you what it thinks is right and what it thinks is wrong. We have all had the experience of saying something and then instantly wishing we hadn’t said it. And very often, why that is the Sun down there saying, oh No, that wasn’t righ; you shouldn’t have said that. And it popped out because either the ascendant popped it out instantly, or the Moon thought it up and put it out. But the Sun said: that doesn’t suit my personal, ethical standard; you shouldn’t have said that. I think if you look at a chart like that, I believe it’ll make more sense than the usual way that people do.

Now part of that you can trace back to some old writer. I think Alan Leo said something that agrees with part of that, but not the whole thing. I have found in the old books that there was always a lot of confusion over what does the Sun mean and what does the Moon mean and which one is the personality. Well, I think the personality really is the ascendant.

When you first meet somebody, you see him. You size people up from their looks, their physical appearance, and that’s the ascendant. When you get to know them, then you talk to them and then your Moon is evaluating what their Moon has them say. And if you get to know them real well, why, then maybe you get down to the Sun sign level and you see that their ethical standard either agrees with yours if you’ve got the same Sun sign or else it’s different.

One other thing that I’ve been interested in over the years is the house problem. Are we going to use Placidus? Are we going to use Regiomontanus? Are we going to use Koch? Are we going to use Sign-House? What are we going to use? And I would like to recommend that you take a look at what I call Sign-House, and some people call Whole Sign. But Sign-House is what I call it.

The way this works, you look at the ascendant, and no matter what the degree is, the sign that’s there, the whole sign, is the first house. Now if you’ve got twenty degrees of Aries coming up, then all of Aries is the first house. And all of the next sign is the second and the one after that’s a third.

Now this was the original system. This is what the people that invented it in the 2nd century BC came up with. And I’m not saying that they were smarter than us, or that since they did it that way, why, we ought to all fall in line and say hi-ho we’ll use it too, and so on. But I recommend you try that. I have tried it and I usually put a chart up in Placidus if it’s a natal chart. And then I look at it the other way.

I wrote a paper sometime back that was published in our monthly publication, Today’s Astrologer. It had the horoscope of Mussolini. And if you draw the chart in Placidus, or Regiomontanus, either one, I don’t think the house position suit him nearly so well as they do if you use Sign-House. For example, I think if you do it with either Regiomontanus or Placidus you’ve got the Sun and Mercury in the ninth house. If you do it with Sign-House, they’re in the tenth in Leo. Look at the kind of guy he was. He was a flamboyant speaker. He got up and blah, blah, blah to everybody, and people just ate that up.

Also, the other thing, is that he had the Moon and I think Mars and Saturn in the seventh house with Placidus and Regiomontanus. But if you do it in Sign-House, it’s in the eighth. How did he die? He got nailed by some partisans and they strung him up and machine gunned him. And that perfectly fits.

And all I’m saying is, try it. Now here’s the other advantage to that: It’ll work everywhere. If you take the city Murmansk. Now it is above the Arctic Circle and there’s 300,000 people that live there. And using Regiomontanus or Placidus, you cannot draw their horoscope. But with Sign-House you can do it. And even if somebody’s born at the North Pole, they’ve got zero Libra rising and you’ve got a sign for each house all the way around. And it seems to me that if the thing’s true it ought to work everywhere.

I’m not saying that Placidus is wrong or Regiomontanus is wrong,but I’m saying try this other one, and I think you’ll see some samples right in your own chart. And if it moves some planets into another house, well, look at it and say, now which one of those really suits me best. And the further north you are the more likely it is that they are going to move them into different houses. And I think putting up a chart using any of the quadrant systems in Stockholm, for example, where you can have houses that only have eight or nine degrees in them and others that have two whole signs; that doesn’t seem to make any sense.

I’m just saying here’s something that I discovered that people used at the dawn of time, and maybe you ought to take a look at it.

NG: My last question was if you’re related to Sir William Herschel [the discoverer of the planet Uranus].

JH: Oh, I’m sorry to say that I’m not. Sir William was German. He was born in Hanover I think. And I’m nearly all English with a tiny bit of Scotch in there some place. I don’t know where the name Herschel came from. My grandfather Holden’s middle name was Herschel. He was Albert Herschel Holden.

And he was the first in our family that ever used the name Herschel, and why in the world he had that middle name, I’ve never been able to discover. He’s long since passed away so I can’t ask him. I wish I was kin to Sir William, but I’m not.

I’ve got to tell you something funny though. I’m interested in genealogy. I discovered quite by accident that I was kin to Doris [Chase] Doane [former president of the AFA]. Yes. She and I were about tenth cousins I think. Now that isn’t very close but her maiden name was Chase, and if I go way back up to my great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfathers, one of them was named Chase. [Doris Chase Doane] was directly descended in the Chase line from that one. I was indirectly descended, I think one of this granddaughters married a man named Sergeant; and straight down the Sergeant line was my paternal grandmother, who was Cordelia Sergeant Holden. And so Doris and I were very distantly related. And I found that out just a few years before she passed away, and we kind of had a little bit of a laugh over that.

JH: This is for you or anybody else that’s bought one of my books. If anybody has got one of my books and they read something they don’t understand, let me know about it. Send me an e-mail and say, hey on page thirty-seven it says this, and that desn’t make any sense, or I don’t know what you’re talking about, and I’ll be glad to answer their question.

And let me say this about my latest book, The Five Medieval Astrologers. I solicit comments from anybody that’s bought the book. If you like it, tell me you like it. If you say, well, you should have done so and so in this part of it, or I read this, and I don’t understand it, why, let me know about that too, because this is feedback. And if we can fix it, we will.

JH: [On William Lilly] I’ve got a Master’s Degree in English and I was able to write my thesis on William Lilly. “William Lilly Christian Astrologer: a Biographical and Critical Study.” How about that? It’s probably the only astrological thesis that the University ever accepted.

But anyway in Chaucer in the Canterbury Tales, which I suppose you have read. You remember the Doctor of Physic? And in one place it says of him, “Gladly would he learn, and gladly teach.” And I have adopted that as a motto. I mean I like to learn things, and if somebody asks me a question, then I’ll do my darndest to answer it.

Astrologer Interview: James H. Holden (Part 3)

September 6, 2008 by  

This is the third part of an interview with astrologer, author, and translator, James Herschel Holden.  Mr. Holden has a number of translations coming out in summer and autumn of 2008, including Books 16 and 17 by Morinus, and a collection of ancient astrological texts in Five Medieval Astrologers.  To catch up, read Part 1 and Part 2 of the interview.

NG: I was curious what prompted all your recent translations.

JH: There is one thing that’s causing some of them to come out pretty close together. I don’t know if you’re aware of it but the AFA was reorganized last year. And now we have a new chief executive officer, Kris Riske. For about six months or a year before last summer I don’t think the AFA had printed very many books. And this was partly because people hadn’t offered any and said, “Hey, I’ve got a book; would you like to print it?” And then when the AFA was reorganized, why it took six months or a year to get the office straightened out, because there were a lot of things that needed to be done with a leadership change. So during that time they didn’t publish any books, because they were busy doing other things. And it’s just in the last few months that Kris Riske, who also is the principal editor, has had time to deal with anything like that.

And so some of the things that she’s done for me, I had done in earlier years, but they’re coming out close together now, not because every month I did something new, but they’re just kind of sitting around waiting to be published. And there’s more to come.

If you’re interested I can tell you a little bit about the Morin Method. Twenty years ago, and for two or three decades before that, there were only two people to my knowledge in the United States that knew anything about the Morin Method and they were the only ones that had ever even heard of it, except for the Morinus system of houses which is kind of a joke. But anyway, one of them was Zoltan Mason, and he was in New York City. And the other one was a man named Gerhardt Howing who lived in Dallas. I used to be in Dallas. And I attended some classes with Gerhardt and he taught the Morin Method. Now those to my knowledge were the only two people in the United States that knew anything about it. And both of them taught classes. And Bob Corre was a student of Zoltan Mason.

Mason died a couple years ago I think. And he hadn’t been teaching any for the last few years of his life. But Corre has picked up where Mason left off and he is a very active teacher of the Morin Method. He travels all over the world. He’s lectured all over Europe and Australia and every place else on it. And he also has a correspondence course over the Internet that you can sign-up for. And Corre has encouraged me to translate a good many of the books of Morin’s Astrologia Gallica.

And that’s what caused me to do most of those. And I think the method is good, and Corre finds them useful in his course so I havel translated aquite a few of them.

I have a new translation of Firmicus, for example, that I hope we can get printed this year. And I think it will be a considerable improvement over the Bram translation that’s available now.

And also, there’s several other things. Like I said, Book 25 is going to come out on Meteorology and Mundane Astrology, which I think people that are interested in either one of those will like.

Incidentally, if you are interested in Meteorology, Kris has written a book on that. Kris did something that I think a lot of people didn’t do. She actually collected statistical data on notable hurricanes and all kinds of storms and things like that and studied them astrologically. And [she] took some of the old rules that were in the old books; and well, she tried them out to see if they work. And so the book that she wrote is based on practical experience, and she gives a whole lot of examples in there. So, if you’re interested in that subject, I recommend that book.

NG: Are you also a practicing astrologer, whether amateur or professional?

JH: No, I’m not. Actually, I’m a retired telephone engineer. I worked for the phone company all my life. And I was a senior engineer, and then I got put in charge of the engineering budget for the state of Texas. That was when I was living in Dallas; I’ve only been here in Phoenix since `93. And prior to that, I was living in Dallas. And I would say that I never did practice professionally to amount to anything. I have read charts and answered questions for friends and family, for free of course. I think we all do that. And I had have done some work for pay in the past. Nothing in recent years. But if somebody came up to me that I hardly knew and wanted me to do their chart or answer a question or something, I charged those people. And I did it partly for this reason: I thought, well some other professional might have gotten this job and if people get the idea that they can get it done for nothing, why then I’m sort of knocking somebody else out a fee. And since I was a Professional Member of the AFA, I thought I guess I really ought to charge people that weren’t close friends.

But as far as having a standard practice or putting my name on the door and having the public come in, I never did that at anytime, because I didn’t have time, for one thing. And after I retired, I spent most of my time studying and writing books. That’s all I did.

JH: You were curious about how I got started in astrology. You’ll laugh at this. I think I was about twelve when I got interested in astronomy. And I studied up on the planets and their orbits and the stars and eclipses and all that kind of stuff. And the next year I took note of a publication that we got every year which was an almanac that was printed by the Telephone Company. And on the front, they had the figure of a man with the signs of the zodiac all around, Aries for his head [and so on]. And then they had some Sun sign material. I think they had one page of that in there; and I read that,and I got fascinated by that. I thought, hey, this is something really interesting.

And then that was age thirteen. I guess when I was thirteen and maybe early fourteen, I used to occasionally go to the beauty shop with my mother; she would pick me up at school, and then stop off at the beauty shop to get her hair done, or something like that. And here I am a teenage kid sitting there with nothing do. They had two kinds of magazines. They had movie star magazines and they had astrology magazines. Well, at thirteen or fourteen, I couldn’t care less about reading about movie stars. But I began to read astrology magazines. They had Horoscope. They had American Astrology. I think there was one that used to be called World Astrology, and there were two or three others. Back in those days there more of them than there are today.

And I read those and I looked at the charts and I got fascinated. And I found out they were sky maps and I looked at the numbers around the edge, the cuspal numbers. And I wondered how they figured those. And I got real interested in all of that, and I guess in a way, that’s what really sucked me into astrology. Like I said, when I was around eighteen I got hold of a copy of Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos. And about the same time I found the Latin text of Julius Firmicus. I’d had four years of Latin in high school so I could read Latin pretty well. And at the University I had had nine hours of Latin, in which I guess would be fifth year and first half of sixth year. So I could read the Latin without much trouble. And both of those books fascinated me. And they got me interested in the old stuff, and then I began to apply the astronomy that I had.

Well, I did quite a bit of those things like you saw in the introduction to The Book of Flowers, I was working on that thing back in the sixties. When I’d get bored with doing anything else, I’d say oh, I’ll get that out and translate another page or two, something like that. And also I had in the late fifties and early sixties begun to acquire the Greek texts of some of the classical Greek astrologers that had been published in Europe. And I taught myself Greek and I began to translate some of those.

NG: You must have a real gift for languages.

JH: Well, I guess I do or I wouldn’t have been able to have done it then. I can’t take any credit for it, I guess you’re born with that sort of thing. I have thought to myself sometimes, and I don’t say this as a piece of braggartry, but just as a fact. I think of all the people in my high school that took Latin I’m probably the only one that ever did anything with it.

To show what you can do, I got that Latin text [Guido Bonatti’s Book of Astronomy]; I guess I’ve had that thirty years or so. And I sat down one day and I made a table of contents for it. The pages aren’t numbered, but they ave what they call folio numeration every fourth page: why, you’ve got B and then you’ve got one, two, three, four and then you’ve got C, and so on. And I made a complete index of the whole thing, so now if I want to look up something, well I get that out. I can open up the book and find a page that’s got that information on it. So it’s kind of handy. And then I discovered the Universal Bookstore (or something like that) up there in Canada that reprints old books. Anyway, they’ve reprinted a lot of the old books,and they offered Coley’s book, for example. And I bought that thing, oh, I guess twenty-three years ago.

I got several other of the 17th century English books that they reprinted, and those are very handy. You can find a lot of stuff in there that you’d be hard put to locate in the modern books. Like I said, Coley had done the three Centiloquies, and that was the only place I knew where you could find all three of them. And I don’t know that anybody ever did al-Mansur, or I guess somebody must have translated it, but I’ve never seen it. Anyway, that’s some of the stuff that I put together over the years.

[Read the final Part 4 of the interview with James Holden.]

Astrology Book Review: The Consultation Chart (by Wanda Sellar)

September 3, 2008 by  

The practice of casting a horoscope for the moment of the consultation is quite ancient, though until now, there has not been a full-length book devoted to the subject. It is fairly rare to see an astrologer using this method today, though when I first started learning about astrology, I thought it was common practice!

The first astrologer I ever consulted was a very hip and alternative-looking lady with a sparkly purple sweater and a laptop in Seattle, Washington. I sat down at her table at the local New Age shop, not knowing what to expect. She pulled up a chart on her computer and started telling me why I had come to see her. I confirmed her analysis of my situation, and she answered my question based on the chart, pulled a few tarot cards for good measure, and sent me on my way (her prediction was correct, by the way). This experience obviously skewed my impression of what a typical astrological consultation entailed, with the result that I was hooked on predictive techniques from Day One.

Wanda Sellar describes a very similar procedure, sans tarot cards. She casts a chart for the moment the astrologer and client meet, with the ascendant and ascendant ruler of the chart representing the client, her mental and emotional state, and specific concerns. At this point, the consultation chart reading looks very similar to a horary reading, whereby applying aspects represent the future, and separating aspects show past events. In fact, one might say that the consultation chart is a horary chart with the question unknown to the astrologer. Sellar’s book proposes to teach the reader just how to interpret a chart with two unknowns; the question and the outcome.


The Consultation Chart is a terrific introduction to this ancient method. Make no mistake about it; the author uses modern house meanings, all of the outer planets, including Chiron, and sometimes takes a psychological approach to the chart. In that sense, The Consultation Chart is a modern astrology book that teaches an ancient method. The book contains thorough explanations of the meaning of the ascendant, planetary movement, planetary house and assigned positions, and detailed house meanings, all in the context of the consultation horoscope.

The most absorbing part of the book are the case histories, forming about one third of the volume. The author’s interpretations are crisp and succinct, helping the reader understand how the author arrived at her conclusion. There is a lovely assortment of various horoscopes for our study, including a chapter on “spooks,” showing consultation charts of clients asking about family members and loved ones beyond the grave.

A book that is highly recommended both for traditional and modern astrologers; the consultation chart method has much to recommend it for speed and accuracy. In Wanda Sellar, the method has found an experienced and gifted proponent.

Contents and Structure

Chapter 1 plunges the reader right into interpretation of the ascendant sign of the consultation chart, followed by a checklist of observations about the ascendant ruler, which will help the astrologer understand what is going on with the client. We are then briefly introduced to the planetary dignities.

Chapter 2 is a brief overview of the way planets interact, much like we would find in an explanation of basic horary concepts such as combustion, prohibition, and the somewhat controversial considerations before judgment. Chapters 3 through 5 give us a detailed tour of the planets and their meaning in the signs. The author uses the planetary dignities to assess the strength of the planet, or whoever the planet represents (a client, their significant other etc.), a more traditional approach. In chapter 5, outer planets are treated as something between full-fledged planets and fixed stars, one example of the blending of traditional and modern approaches we see frequently in this book.

Chapter 6 discusses the nodes and Chiron. Chapter 7 is a detailed explanation of each House, along with a short description of the meaning of each planet in the houses. The houses are interpreted with both modern and traditional meanings. Following are six chapters on case histories; career questions, health concerns, relationships, spooks, consultation/natal horoscopes together, and interpreting the turned chart.

In the examples provided, the author seems to take a more traditionalist approach, though she does use the minor aspects, with a stronger emphasis on the traditional house meanings. It is very instructive to see an experienced astrologer working through a chart where she has very little background knowledge of the situation. That takes confidence and serious astrological chops, both of which are evident throughout the book.


Wanda Sellar’s book is very timely, in that it gives astrologers an easy way to incorporate a traditional method into their practice, with both an increase in client satisfaction and accuracy. The consultation chart is very clear and efficient, and often cuts right through to the client’s real concerns. It takes practice to become good at this method, as the astrologer’s usually reading the chart on the fly, right there in front of the client. The Consultation Chart gives the reader everything they need to start working with the consultation chart themselves.


The Consultation Chart: A Guide to What It Is and How to Use It

By: Wanda Sellar

Wessex Astrologer, 2001

14.50 GBP (about double in USD)

Available from amazon.com, astroamerica.com, and wessexastrologer.com

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