Iran: War and Change in 2014?

March 13, 2011 by  

This is the last article in Gryphon Astrology’s series on Iran.  It took me nearly two years to write this article, not because it was so complicated – the signs are very simple and clear – but because I hesitated to make such a serious prediction.  I believe that 2014 will bring great conflict in Iran, up to and perhaps including regime change.

The God of War

The traditional authors (Masha’allah and Morinus) write that a year with similar characteristics as 2014 will bring wars, seditions, captivities, the fall of cities, anger of Princes, murders.  Violent illnesses, deaths of the young, fires, and looting.  This combination brings hot spells and wars.  The year 2014 will bring serious upheaval for the country’s leadership.

What brings such terrible things to Iran?  No other than the god of war, Mars.  In 2014, Mars will fall on the Ascendant of the Aries Ingress horoscope.  This is the chart cast for the first second of the first day of spring; the beginning of the astronomical (and traditional Persian!) new year.  The tenor of this horoscope predicts major events for the specific location where the horoscope is cast.  More than this, however, Mars will be in the sign of its detriment, Libra.  This is a highly unpleasant Mars, very possibly bringing destruction from the air (Libra is an air sign).

Mars’s malevolent influence is emphasized still further: there will be a total lunar eclipse on April 15, 2014, that falls on the very degree of the Ascendant of the Aries Ingress horoscope set for Tehran, Iran.  Eclipses are malefic influences in the political arena, bringing upheaval and shocking events.  This Mars is spring-loaded, as it were, ready to pop at any moment.

Mars in Libra: August 19 – October 4, 2008

August 12, 2008 by  

Mars enters Libra, the sign of its detriment, and will zip through the sign in about six weeks. Generally speaking, this is a bad time to do martial tasks, such as fighting, physically exerting yourself, or working with tools. Theoretically at least, you can put off that renovation project and exercise routine you’ve been dreading. However, the good news is that Mars will be in a Cardinal sign in Libra, and it will be moving very fast. So any martial activity that you want to happen quickly might be helped by Mars’s placement in the next month and a half.

Mars in Libra

Libra is the beginning of the dark time of the year, when night begins to outweigh daylight in the northern hemisphere. The fiery planets, the Sun and Mars, are ill at ease in Libra, while Saturn, the planet of darkness, is exalted there. Libra is also the beginning of the cold and dry quarter of the year, associated with the melancholic temperament. None of this makes fiery Mars very happy, as he is already uncomfortable being placed in an air sign. Mars is all about action, and Libra is altogether too cerebral for the Lord of War.

Further, Libra is considered one of the human signs, because it has to do with the human quality of reason. To Mars, this is an alien concept, further weakening the planet. Ibn Ezra, in The Beginning of Wisdom, writes that Libra rules “the marketplace people, judges, mathematicians, musicians, and merchants who deal with food and drink.” None of these occupations are particularly congenial to physically-oriented Mars.

The one bright spot of Mars’s transit through Libra is its conjunction to the very benefic fixed star Spica at 24° Libra, which brings Venusian and Mercurial blessings.

Mars Aspects in Libra for 2008

September 7 – Mars square Jupiter in Capricorn. This is a very expensive combination, and might be useful for intimidating your opponents. Jupiter is weak in Capricorn, but exalts Mars, so this might be a good day to verbally confront those higher in social standing than yourself.

September 8 and 23 – Mercury conjunct Mars in Libra. This might be another day for verbal confrontation; there might be a lot of talking and weighing arguments, but not necessarily with a tangible result.

September 11 – Venus conjunct Mars in Libra. This is an attractive combination, because Venus is in its own sign. It’s a good day for romance, and generally making your roof. Mars in Libra may be a little wimpy, but a good time should be had by most.

September 26 – Mars conjunct Spica at 24 Libra. A bright spot of beauty during Mars’s otherwise uncomfortable sojourn through Libra. A good day to try your luck in most things if your natal ascendant is Aries or Scorpio.

[Missed Mars in Cancer?  Read about it here.]

Sun in Leo: July 22 – August 22, 2008. A Long-Term Weather Forecast for California

July 16, 2008 by  

Sun in Leo: July 22 – August 22, 2008. A Long-Term Weather Forecast for California

Godric, the weather gnome (yes, that is his real name), let me know that with the Sun passing through Leo, we can expect more dry heat for California. Mars in Virgo is on the 4th house cusp this month, continuing the theme from the Cancer Ingress. The theme, of course, is heat and fires in California, all summer long, so Godric doesn’t think we’ll get a real respite from the forest fires this season.

However, the Leo Ingress has a slightly different variation on the theme of the Cancer Ingress. This month, Mars is in cold and dry Virgo, applying to trine Jupiter in cold and dry Capricorn. The overarching theme here is dryness with two warm/hot planets, which can lead to more fires, especially with Mars so close to an angle. Mars and Jupiter in combination bring thunderstorms, so we may see dry storms sparking fires. Mars in Virgo brings winds.

Sun in Leo: July 22-August 22, 2008. Long-term weather forecast for California.

The nearest likely day for extreme dryness or thunderstorms is when Mars and Jupiter perfect the aspect on July 26, and the Moon trines both planets that day as well. The Moon squares Mars on July 28, but by then Mars will have separated from its aspect with Jupiter, lessening the danger. As the two planets get activated throughout the Sun’s passage through Leo, we will see echoes of this theme around the middle of August as well.

Coming sometime next week, Godric promised us a week-by-week weather forecast for August.

Full Moon of July 18, 2008 – Long-Term Weather Forecast for California

July 7, 2008 by  

Full Moon of July 18, 2008 - Long-Term Weather Forecast for California

The Full Moon this July promises to bring some much-needed moisture to the San Francisco Bay area. As the long term weather forecast horoscope for summer 2008 showed, this was going to be a hot season – in more ways than one. Mars was in Leo, a fire sign, right on the Midheaven in San Francisco and we have been getting unusually high numbers of wildfires in this part of California since summer began. I would expect that Mars’s double-hot influence will lead to heat waves as well.

But relief may be in sight for a while; the Full Moon of July 18th falls on the Midheaven in San Francisco, and there should at least be cooling temperatures during the following week, and perhaps even some mist or light rain if we are lucky. Most likely, however, the promised cool-moist lunar influence will not show up until July 20th, when the Moon transits the 10th house cusp of the Cancer Ingress horoscope, activating that chart.

Full Moon of July 18, 2008 - Long-Term Weather Forecast for California

As the temperatures rise this week (mid-90F in the shade), any promised cool air is much anticipated and appreciated!

Astrology and the Planets: Mars and Saturn Conjunct on July 10, 2008

July 5, 2008 by  

What will happen when Saturn and Mars conjoin in Virgo on July 10, 2008?

Every couple of years, the two malefics, Mars and Saturn, conjoin in the sky. This is considered a malefic cycle, because of the problematic nature of Mars and Saturn. The most ominous of these conjunctions is when Mars conjoins Saturn in Cancer, because the planets are each in their fall and detriment, respectively. On July 10, Mars and Saturn will conjoin at 5° Virgo; this is not considered as bad as the conjunction in Cancer, because neither Mars nor Saturn are particularly afflicted in the sign of Virgo.

However, the conjunction of the malefics is still bad, and we can expect it to manifest in the summer or autumn of 2008, specifically in places where important points in the Cancer and Libra Ingress horoscopes fall on this conjunction. I will keep an eye out for this and point out any such connections to the Mars Saturn conjunction.

Effects of Mars and Saturn in Virgo

Whenever we have the malefics in Virgo, we can expect some of the following effects:

Saturn in Virgo brings:

Wholesome and beneficial gusts of wind, especially during the harvest

Droughts of fountains and a scarcity of water

Women miscarrying

Acute fevers

Rulers will be ultimately helped by their enemies

Mars in Virgo brings:

War and bloodshed in the North

Vision and eye problems

A good harvest (or injury to the harvest, depending on Mars’s position in a given location)

Death to many women

The death of old men and illnesses of men

Strong winds

The good and prosperity of the rich and famous

In the next few posts, we will discuss the connection of the Mars-Saturn conjunction to upcoming important charts for the United States, and possible effects of the conjunction in this country. I would be interested to hear from non-US-based astrologers who are investigating this conjunction relative to their own countries.

Ancient Greek Mythology, Astrology, and Plato (Part 2)

February 10, 2008 by  

Hercules and Death illustrating Ancient Greek Mythology, Astrology, and Plato (Part 2)

Damascius’s allusions to Greek mythology track the upward order of the planets very closely.

“The soul descends into generation, after the manner of Kore;” The Moon is associated very closely with the principle of generation, because of its watery nature, its speed of movement, and its constant change. Just like all things in this sublunar world, the Moon is constantly growing and dying, never staying the same. Kore (literally “the virgin”) was another name for Persephone, who was kidnapped and taken to the underworld by Hades. The implication here is that at the beginning of its journey, the human soul is forced to inhabit the inhospitable and arid realm of material forms, just like Persephone’s enforced stay in Hades.

“She is scattered by generation, after the manner of Dionysus;” Dionysus himself was scattered by the Titans, who prepared to eat him, having cooked the parts of his torn body. Zeus interrupted the feast, and Apollo buried the body parts. Dionysus was then reborn from his heart, which was preserved by Athena. The relevant Planet in the proper order would be Mercury, the planet of duality, having no gender of its own, and always influenced by planets disposing of or aspecting it. Similarly, the soul on earth becomes scattered, loses the direct identification with the divine principle, and must find its own way back to God. It is important to note that the god Mercury was the patron and guide of travelers.

“Like Prometheus and the Titans, she is bound to body.” Titans were the children of pre-Olympian gods who inhabited the earth; they were defeated by the gods, and humans were said to have been created from the Titans’ smoking ashes. The Titans are of the gross matter of the earth, symbolizing the natural downward tendency of Creation. For the purposes of our planetary ladder, the Titans are associated with Venus, which gratifies the senses and bestows physical pleasure. The more we live for sensation, the more we identify with the body and with matter.

“She frees herself by exercising the strength of Hercules;” In Greek mythology, Hercules is one of the few mortals to become divine, and his story points to a similar function of the soul. With this part of the story, we come to the turning point in the souls journey. This is appropriate, as we start heading toward the outer or slower planets, which are considered superior to the faster inner planets. The labors of Heracles are all concerned with the triumph of spirit or virtue over gross matter, paralleling the efforts of the soul to free itself from its material prison. Hercules’s chief virtue is, of course, strength. As a result, he is associated with the planet Mars, even though the next planet in the proper order should be the Sun. Despite this martial association, Heracles does have some solar characteristics, most notably, his connection with the Royal goddess Hera (Heracles means “the glory of Hera”).

“Gathers herself together through the help of Apollo and the savior Athene, by truly purifying philosophy;” here, we come to a combination of the Sun and Jupiter. Apollo is the god of prophecy, and the ruler of the objective world, as Tim Addey* writes. His name means “not many,” or in other words, “the one.” This is an excellent commentary on the nature of the Sun, which is always associated with things that are singular or unique. Even though all the other six planets are arguably unique, only the Sun is the living representation of the Creator.

Athena is the goddess of wisdom, and therefore the hidden face of Jupiter (Zeus), as she was born out of Jupiter’s head. She was considered to be the protector and helper of man, and this is why the Greek city is named after her. She protects and helps all heroes, who receive magical gifts from her to complete their quest; Perseus, Jason, Theseus, and of course Odysseus, her greatest favorite. Her gift is at once wisdom and divine protection, both qualities associated with Jupiter.

“And she elevates herself to the causes of her being with Demeter.” Demeter, in Greek mythology, was the goddess of fertility (her name means literally “the mother Goddess”), and the mother of Persephone; she rules the harvest and fertility. She is strongly associated with Saturn (who in Greek myth was her father, Kronos). Saturn is not only the god of restrictions and endings, but also the god of farming and the earth. Therefore, in the last phase of the soul’s journey, the soul returns to its true home, which is not the material earth, but rather its primal matter; the endlessly fertile Spirit.

*For further reading on the topic of ancient Greek mythology and its connection to Platonic teachings on the soul, I recommend Tim Addey’s The Seven Myths of the Soul, published by The Prometheus Trust.

Read Ancient Greek Mythology, Astrology, and Plato (Part 1) here.

Ancient Greek Mythology, Astrology, and Plato (Part 1)

February 9, 2008 by  

Persephone illustrating Ancient Greek Mythology, Astrology, and Plato

It has become fashionable to correlate Greek mythology to astrology and the planets, though unfortunately most such analyses merely scratch the surface of myth, as the authors focus exclusively on human psychology. However, Greek mythology functions on many levels, and the Platonists used myth to describe the very nature of the human soul, rather than just the temporal travails of the ego on its passage through life.

The Platonic tradition, springing from Greece, relied heavily upon ancient Greek myths to describe the complex and often paradoxical interaction of man and the divine. Since astrology is a symbolic language describing the divine plan, we will see a very strong correlation between astrological and mythological symbolism, enabling us to access a deeper level of meaning than is common today.

Damascius, the last director of Plato’s Academy (an 800 year-old establishment which closed in 529 A.D), wrote the following lines about the journey of the soul:

The soul descends into generation, after the manner of Kore;

She is scattered by generation, after the manner of Dionysus;

Like Prometheus and the Titans, she is bound to body.

She frees herself by exercising the strength of Heracles;

Gathers herself together through the help of Apollo

And the savior Athene, by truly purifying philosophy;

And she elevates herself to the causes of her being with Demeter.

It is interesting that none of the Greek gods mentioned here are associated with the planets. From my research, I strongly suspect that many if not most of the Greek gods had two faces, one exoteric and mundane, and the other esoteric and celestial. As an example, the overt god of the Sun was Helios, who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky. However, the god embodying the highest intangible attributes of the Sun, such as prophecy and nobility, was Apollo. And so it goes with many of the gods.

The ancient order of the seven planets goes from the heaviest/slowest to the fastest and most changeable. Don’t forget that the traditional perspective gave precedence to those astronomical bodies which were perceived as the most constant and least subject to change, as change is a sign of imperfection and deterioration. Thus, the most elevated planet is Saturn, followed by Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, and finally the Moon.

One may think of this list of planets as a ladder, with the Moon at the bottommost rung underneath which is this imperfect earth. Therefore, it follows that in order for the soul to reconnect with its maker, it has to start out at the bottom rung and make its way all the way up to the top, to Saturn.

Read Ancient Greek Mythology, Astrology, and Plato (Part 2) here.

Queen Elizabeth I: Astrology of Her Speech to the Troops at Tilbury

October 14, 2007 by  

Queen Elizabeth I - Horoscope & Portrait + Speech at Tilbury

Queen Elizabeth’s horoscope is subject to some dispute, though it is known that she was born around 3 p.m. on September 17, 1533 at Greenwich.

Queen Elizabeth I - Horoscope - Astrology of Her Speech to the Troops at Tilbury

Queen Elizabeth’s chart shows her temperament to be strongly melancholic, influenced by the humor of black bile. The two most indicative planets for melancholics are Saturn and Mercury; in Elizabeth’s case, Saturn is in Cancer, the sign of its detriment. It is angular and aspects the Sun, so her faults will be quite evident, and may well harm her relationships with others (Saturn is in the 7th house of relationships), but will also come across as tough and shrewd. Mercury, on the other hand, is near the Royal star Spica, the Spike of the Virgin. It is this Mercury that put Elizabeth on the throne; she was only third in line, after all. The Part of Fortune on Regulus, trine Jupiter in Sagittarius did not hurt matters, either.

In her famous speech to the troops at Tilbury, Elizabeth famously said: I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too. Quite literally, she did: Mercury on Royal Spica rules Elizabeth’s 5th house, which governs the heart and stomach. Elizabeth’s Mars is on the star of the female warrior, Bellatrix, and it trines Mercury on Spica. It is thus fitting that Elizabeth spoke of her royal heart to the troops, dressed in white with a silver breastplate. And that this should be her most famous speech; Mars rules war, while Mercury, natural ruler of speech, with a Royal star promises lasting fame.

Scorpio: the Sign of Mars. Sun enters Scorpio on October 23, 2007

October 13, 2007 by  

Saint George Fighting Dragon illustrating Scorpio: the Sign of Mars. Sun enters Scorpio on October 23, 2007

Scorpio is the sign that is über-Marsy, which is why modern astrology had to assign Scorpio a planet as extreme as Pluto*.

The sign Scorpio is ruled by the planet Mars, and Mars also rules Scorpio by triplicity. During the first few degrees of Scorpio, Mars rules even the minor dignities. There are few equivalent situations in the zodiac, where one planet so completely dominates a sign. As a result, Mars is very happy when it is in Scorpio, but the gentler, softer planets are all but decimated. This is why Venus is in its detriment in Scorpio throughout the sign, and the Moon is in its fall.

The Sun’s entry into Scorpio, a fixed sign, marks the second month of autumn. The Sun is not terribly strong in Scorpio, which makes sense, as we don’t get to see the Sun very often this time of year. In many traditional cultures, Sun’s entry into Scorpio marked the time when the dark forces started ruling the world, and their hold on the earth increased with the longer nights. Frequent house cleansings were performed to keep harm at bay.

If you have solar things to do, such as talking to your boss, attempting to rule over something, or any other activity ruled by the Sun in your natal horoscope, you will do well if you wait until the Sun enters Sagittarius. The Sun will rule the triplicity by day, and it will be considerably stronger than in Scorpio. To top it off, the Sun will sextile Saturn and trine Mars shortly after its entry into Scorpio. Neither is considered beneficial for the Sun.

To find the best time for major events or activities, you can use electional astrology. Learn more about electional astrology here.

* I have a fondness for the belief that violence, extremism, and even death existed before the discovery of Pluto. Just recently, I read a social history of England, which said that the per capita murder rate in medieval England was a few hundred times greater than England’s murder rate today. How the medieval English accomplished this without Pluto remains a mystery.

Halloween Costumes: Unique Ideas from Your Horoscope – Part 1 of 7

October 11, 2007 by  

Preparing for the Costume Ball - illustrating Halloween Costumes: Unique Ideas for Your Horoscope – Part 1 of 7

There are 1001 columns out there purporting to find your most appropriate Halloween costume according to your Sun sign. We’re above such superficial approaches here (but we are definitely not above dressing up for Halloween!). Instead, consider dressing up according to the planet ruling your Ascendant, which is the planet symbolizing your ego. And isn’t Halloween all about letting your ego roam free of societal fetters?

As always, traditional sign rulers are used, modified by the sign in which the planet is placed. Thus:

Mars (rules Aries, Scorpio rising) – think masculine and macho, modified by the nature of the sign in which Mars is placed.

Mars in Taurus or Libra? Sexy police officer or something with lots of leather. Gigolo.

Mars in Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces? Pirate, sailor, harpoon fisherman.

Mars in Aries? Soldier, gladiator, cowboy, or matador.

Mars in Gemini or Virgo? Trial lawyer, fencer, Formula One driver.

Mars in Leo can go as Napoleon, Caesar, Alexander, etc. Lion-tamer, Hercules, or big game hunter.

Mars in Sagittarius? Knight, jockey, or equestrian (horse optional, but recommended). Archer.

Mars in Capricorn or Aquarius is a power executive, Alpine mountaineer, or a buff construction worker.

This series will run occasionally over the next ten days or so. I’d love to hear your ideas for each planet, or an astrologically-appropriate outfit you have worn in the past. I have Mars in a water sign, and once went as a pirate (this was before I got into astrology).

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