Gryphon Astrology Newsletter
Cancer Ingress 2012
Thank you so much for all of your very kind messages and notes of support following the Presidential Panel at UAC. As you may know, and to my surprise, my appearance on the panel was picked up by Reuters/Associated Press, and resulted in a CNN/HLN interview and a radio appearance. I only hope that I was able to do some justice to the astrological art given the time constraints imposed by modern media. For those of you not following the story, all five astrologer panelists, using five different astrological methods, predicted Obama to win in 2012.
It was such a pleasure meeting many of you at UAC – I made many new friends, and caught up with some old ones. It was also my first visit to New Orleans, and what a magical city it is! It’s the kind of place where I would gladly stay for a season, getting to know the people and their history, and of course, eating the amazing food. More recently, my teacher John Frawley’s recent visit to Chicago allowed me to meet yet another group of traditional astrologers I only knew from cyberspace, and of course, to catch up with John himself, both of which were wonderful experiences.
I am optimistic that this summer should be a bit quieter, and I look forward to doing more thinking about astrology and writing for this newsletter, blog, and other channels. In the next month or so, the Astrology News Service will be publishing an interview where I talk about the Presidential Elections study I did going back to 1880. The Mountain Astrologer will carry an extensive article about Iran’s history and future in the August/September issue, based on writings on the Gryphon Astrology blog.
My webmaster has been diligently updating my website, so old issues of this newsletter should be available on the site in the very near future, under the Newsletter menu item.
Please stay in touch,
Table of Contents:
- The Meaning of the Cancer Ingress
- Mars-Saturn Conjunction in Libra, August 2012
- What We Are Reading: Secrets of the Ancient Skies by Diana Rosenberg
- Facebook Inc: The IPO Horoscope (involving monsters of the deep)
- Cazimi: Are We Taking Liberties?
- Babies, Babies Everywhere: Mia Farrow
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The Meaning of the Cancer Ingress
As you probably know, I place a high level of importance on Ingress horoscopes, particularly the horoscopes where the Sun enters a cardinal sign, as traditional astrology considers these to be especially meaningful and powerful moments. What, then, is special about the Cancer Ingress?
With the Cancer Ingress, we are at the threshold of Summer, symbolized by the first hexagram of the I Ching, in which all the lines are solid. This hexagram, known as Yang, or the Creative Force, evokes the symbolism of the dragon, the symbol of the power and vitality at their apex during these longest days of the year. It is said that practicing t’ai ch’I around the summer solstice is especially beneficial, because one can tap into the heightened solar dragon energy.
Midsummer is also associated with St. John the Baptist, who is said to have been born six months before Jesus. In John 3:30, John the Baptist says: “He [Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease.” The astronomical symbolism of this is a reference to John and Jesus’s births – Jesus was born on the winter solstice, and after him, daylight increases, while John, born at midsummer, decreases the length of day. There is also the feast of St. John the Evangelist on December 27, emphasizing the duality of the solstitial festivals.
Traditional midsummer celebrations in Western countries usually happen between June 21 and 24, and have been syncretized with pagan rituals involving bonfires, swimming in lakes, and more adult night-time activities. In central Europe, where I come from, St. John’s Eve was an especially magical and uncanny night, when witches got together for celebrations (perhaps a story told to keep folks indoors on the ultimate pagan festival), but it was also the most auspicious time to gather rare magico-medicinal plants that only bloomed on this one night. There is a very old song, the only words of which go: “On St John’s Eve, the gates are opened.” These are the solstitial gates, the doors between realms that open only on the solstices. The god of doors, of course, is Janus, the Latin name for John, who looks in both directions, the past and the future. He is the dual god, combining both the St. Johns in one countenance.
With the Midsummer festival, we enter the downward half of the solar cycle, which will bottom out on December 21st. Now is a good time to think back and reflect on what has grown in our lives in the last six months, and what will need to wane during the next half-year.
Mars conjunct Saturn at 24 Libra, August 15, 2012
The Mars-Saturn conjunctions are a well-known medieval Arabic astrological method for determining approximate timing (and, as we will see, location) of bad events. Mars and Saturn are the traditional malefic planets, so it stands to reason that when they meet in the sky, their influences work synergistically to indicate particularly bad events. Abu Ma’shar, in his Book of Religions and Dynasties, says that when Mars conjoins with Saturn in Libra, “this indicates riots occurring in the Byzantine empire and among the Arabs…” To assess possible outcomes of the August conjunction, let us examine major events around prior conjunctions of the last several decades.
July 31, 2010, 0 Libra.
Wikileaks published their classified material on the War in Afghanistan on July 25, 2010. The effects on diplomatic relations and communications previously considered secret were drastic and swift. A few weeks of frantic damage control by many governmental organizations ensued. As an air sign, Libra governs speech and communication, so Wikileaks is a good example of a disaster in communications and diplomacy, at least from the government’s perspective.
On July 29, huge floods in the Indus River basin in Pakistan killed 2,000 people and displaced more than a million others. More than 20% of Pakistan’s land area was submerged by water. There is no special connection of Libra to the rains, but scientists had attributed the unusual heavy rainfall to the freezing of the jet stream, which had also been linked to the 2007 UK floods. This phenomenon causes the jet stream, which normally flows quickly around the globe, to halt, keeping vast rain systems locked in place above Pakistan for longer than usual. The movement of air is certainly appropriate for a cardinal (fast-moving) air sign, such as Libra.
July 7, 1982, 15 Libra.
As Mars and Saturn were applying to a conjunction in June 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon and the hostilities did not cease until May, 1983, later leading to Syria’s dominance of Lebanon for the next few decades. While strictly speaking, the Arabs were not the only people involved in the Lebanon war, Abu Ma’shar’s characterization was rather accurate, as the Arabs bore the brunt of the war’s violence. The 1982 conjunction was also square a lunar eclipse at 13 Cancer (the longest lunar eclipse in the 20th century), which occurred the day before the conjunction became exact. This would have added extra power to the Mars-Saturn conjunction and extended its reach through time.
On June 24 and July 9, 1982, while the conjunction was in effect, there were commercial airliner crashes resulting in hundreds of deaths. Libra, of course, is an air sign. Problems with air traffic and aviation are another possible manifestation of the Mars-Saturn conjunction this August.
Interestingly, there are no notes of disturbances in Turkey, Greece, or other parts of what used to be Byzantium for July 1982. Perhaps this year will be different. To predict bloodshed in the Middle East is no great feat, but it may well be that tensions increase as we come up to August 15th. In addition, we could see rioting in Greece around this time.
December 19, 1951, 13 Libra.
In early December, rioting in Egypt caused a state of emergency to be declared. Certainly, this falls well within Abu Ma’shar’s depiction of the Mars-Saturn conjunction in Libra. This later led to the Egyptian revolution of 1952, which eventually overthrew King Farouk and his dynasty, and the end of England’s occupation of Egypt. The revolution also inspired movements elsewhere in Africa to overthrow pro-Western monarchical regimes.
A charter airliner crash landed on December 20 in Ontario, Canada, with no casualties. As you may have noticed by now, aviation accidents seem to occur around the Mars-Saturn in Libra conjunction with some frequency.
What We Are Reading
Diana K. Rosenberg: Secrets of the Ancient Skies, Volume 1 and 2
Ancient Skies Press, 2012. www.ye-stars.com
USD 29.95 per volume
I have had the chance to spend a couple of weeks reading Diana Rosenberg’s life’s work comprising these two volumes, published very shortly after her death on June 1st. It is as though she held on to ensure her work saw the light of day in the manner she had envisioned. The astrological community benefits greatly from her tenacity, as we are the recipients of the author’s 30 years of research into the meaning and application of the fixed stars, constellations, and lunar mansions.
It is clear from Rosenberg’s introduction that the stars were a living, breathing reality that she studied in great depth. She states emphatically in her Introduction: “Constellations, especially those derived from ancient Euphratean sources and carried forward in Greece and India, are by no means haphazard or random constructs; they are, rather, detailed totems designed to describe the forms and functions of the human body, as well as they energies inherent in each part of the sky.”
The author places a special emphasis on the anatomical correspondences of the parts of the constellations and their effects on the body. She uses the example of the actress Natasha Richardson, who died of a head injury in a skiing accident, to show the correspondences of the fixed stars located in the region of the head of various constellations to Richardson’s untimely death. For example, Richardson’s Sun and Mercury in the 8th house were with stars in the Medusa’s head; her MC was Theta Canis Majoris in the Dog’s Head, Mars was with Algenubi, located in the Lion’s head, the Moon was with Rasalhague in the head of Ophiuchus, and so forth. The theme of the head is repeated with nearly every point in Richardson’s horoscope.
This is a very information-dense book, so it would have done well with an index, though criticizing this would be rather insensitive; the author notes that her illness prevented her from including an index and footnotes. The myths associated with various constellations are impeccably researched, which is where the real value of this book lies. As an example, look at the chapter on Cetus, the Sea-Monster, whose stars in the tropical zodiac span 18 Pisces to 21 Taurus in 2000. Cetus comes from Ketos, (Gr. Any large marine creature), the Sumero-Akkadian Bis-Gal or Kumar “Great Dragon,” also known in Hebrew as Mehumah-Tehom, “Chaos of the Deep.” Cetus is the Leviathan of Job 41:31. In Brazil, Cetus was seen as a Jaguar, the animal from the dark unknown depths of the jungle, while the Arabs saw his head as the Amputated Hand (that which acts without thought, perhaps, just like the monster of the chaotic ocean). Rosenberg notes that stars of Cetus have been transited during historic earthquakes and tsunamis, recently the Lunar Eclipse preceding the 2004 tsunami aligned with Menkar in Cetus’s jaws. Fitting for a tsunami that devoured huge tracts of land and countless lives. (Elsewhere in this newsletter, we note that Facebook’s IPO chart has the Moon on Mira, the cold, unfeeling heart of Cetus.)
Then, we get a list of events with significant astrological points in Cetus. Individuals and events with conjunctions to Cetus’s stars are listed in later chapters, by longitude. Very appropriately, Herman Melville had his Saturn in fall at 0 Aries, near Deneb Kaitos, the Monster’s tail, near the 12th house cusp – this house rules all large animals, of course. Perfect!
Rosenberg skillfully illustrated her own book, and created countless original constellation images sprinkled throughout. The cover image of the 19,000 year-old Lascaux bull cave painting is especially wonderful, as it clearly shows the star markings that are part of the painting, indicating its correspondence to the celestial Bull millennia ago.
A wonderful, very rich book that deserves a place on serious astrologers’ bookshelves. I look forward to reading it often.
Facebook Inc (FB)
As someone with significant ties to Silicon Valley, I am always interested in drama and news in the technology world. Facebook’s IPO on May 18 certainly provided significant interest. Going public the day before a solar eclipse will certainly do that to a stock, and once again proves the futility of undertaking major enterprises or decisions in the week or so before a major eclipse. Needless to say, Mark Zuckerberg should get a (new) astrologer.
Indeed, the transiting Jupiter over Facebook’s first trade chart Sun on June 2 provided an intermediate bottom to the stock price around $26, but Saturn will square the chart Ascendant multiple times through July, keeping the price unexciting for a while. The lunar return for the month starting on June 14 has Venus applying to the South Node, so the upcoming month does not look wonderful, but at least she is in orb of Jupiter in Gemini, which might protect the stock from the worst, by enhancing (unrealistic?) expectations.
There is something of the inflation of expectations in the IPO horoscope. The Ascendant is 23 Cancer, on Pollux, the immortal of the Dioscuri twins – perhaps Facebook will stay for a while. Yet it has the Sun and Jupiter conjunct Algol, the malefic fixed star named for the Gorgon who once was the world’s most beautiful woman. John Frawley interprets Algol as an obsession with the transient beauty of the earthly realm. Certainly a website whose entire focus is on letting users present the best “Face” to the world is a perfect analogy to Facebook’s mission.
The Moon, ruler of the Ascendant, is on the star Mira, the heart of the Sea Monster, Cetus. Cetus represents the chaos of the ocean, which devours land and humans in its endless hunger, without reason. It has a heart, in that it is alive, but lacks the essential quality of a heart – compassion and discernment. This is the sea monster that Medusa’s severed head turned to stone. It may well be that this stock devours cash, or the company does. We will watch the Moon at 1 Taurus very closely.
Two monsters are facing off in this chart, and of course, Medusa is the stronger, even in death. What does this mean for Facebook? All living beings must turn to stone under Medusa’s gaze, so are we all focused on ourselves, to Facebook’s profit. Like it or not, Facebook will be with us for quite some time to come.
Cazimi: Are We Taking Liberties?
Linea Van Horn’s excellent article, “Blinded by the Light: Planets Conjunct the Sun” in the last issue of The Mountain Astrologer discussed the various facets of planetary proximity to the Sun. Traditionally, combustion is highly destructive for planets near the Sun, as they literally cannot be seen for the Sun’s glare. As part of the discussion, the author mentioned the special condition of cazimi, where planets within 12 minutes of the Sun are “in the heart” of the Sun and therefore dramatically strengthened. Cazimi is rare enough that when we see it in a natal chart or a horary, we really take notice.
In her article, Van Horn theorizes that perhaps cazimi only refers to planets that are making a transit by declination and by longitude. This condition is far more rare than transits by longitude only, and can only impact the Moon, Mercury, and Venus, since only they can pass between the Earth and the Sun. When these bodies transit the Sun in both senses, they are visually, literally, in the heart of the Sun. If you had the good fortune to see the recent transit of Venus across the face of the Sun, this powerful visual really brings home the idea that there is something special about the Sun aligning with a planet so totally. Here is a NASA high-definition video of the transit, captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft.
I am inclined to agree with Van Horn, on the strength of one horary. I recently found an ancient horoscope I cast some years ago, when I was following a publicized murder case, asking if the defendant would be convicted. His significator was a cazimi planet in the traditional sense (conjunct the Sun by longitude only). I thought he might only get a life sentence. He was sentenced to death; hardly what I would call being in the heart of the Sun.
But then, we have natal horoscopes like that of Oprah Winfrey, who has Venus cazimi (again, by longitude only) in the 2nd house of money and has more money than God. Venus also rules Oprah’s 10th house of fame and career.
It may be that cazimi by longitude works only when aspects and house placements agree. I have not studied these charts extensively enough to say definitively, since they are rather rare. Yet I do treat cazimi with certain skepticism; unless there is supportive evidence, I do not see it as a trump card in natal or horary horoscopes.
Babies, Babies Everywhere
I get a lot of questions about fertility and children, most often from women who want babies and are having trouble conceiving. The 5th house of children comes up often in these readings! To that end, I now offer a specialized fertility reading on GryphonAstrology.com.
It would be interesting to look at the horoscope of someone who has a number of children, both biological and adopted, to see how fertility and the simple presence of children shows up in the natal chart. Mia Farrow is a good example, with four biological children and ten adopted.
We look to the 5th house for children, biological or adopted. In Farrow’s horoscope, using Placidus houses, we have the Sun ruling the 5th house cusp. Now, the Sun is in Aquarius, one of the middling signs of fertility, and strongly placed on the cusp of the 11th house. It makes no aspects, good or bad, so we would assume children are not a problem, and the person can have as many as she wishes. Nonetheless, fourteen is a high number, so we look deeper to see whether we can see this small army of children in Farrow’s life.
The Sun is conjunct fixed stars Castra and Nashira in the tail of Capricornus, the Akkadian Fish-Goat. The wise and beneficent Fish Goat God, Ea, emerged from the water four times in the history of civilization, each time teaching humanity important skills for life and civilization. During these periods of teaching, he would retire into the water for the night and reemerge the following morning. Capricornus is a freshwater god, unlike the ravenous ocean monster, Cetus. Seawater takes away life, while fresh water restores it. The tail of Ea represents the water from which he comes, while the goat head represents farming; the figure thus embodies the use of water for cultivation. The water element is the most fertile, giving birth to countless forms of life, as well as sustaining humanity with its bounty. Thus, the stars in the tail of Capricornus have a special affinity for fertility and children, especially in the sense of helping those less fortunate, given Ea’s love of mankind.
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