Welcome to the Gryphon Astrology
Gemini Ingress 2012 Newsletter
I hope you are doing well, and are ready for Summer. The Sun in Gemini is upon us. As a double-bodied sign, the month of Gemini hsa qualities of both Spring and Summer, with one foot in each season. I have been traveling recently, and will do more before Gemini gives way to Cancer. Of course, I will be at the United Astrology Conference in New Orleans next weekend, and hope to see all of you there. I will be a Presidential panelist on May 29th, so please drop by and say hello.
In the communicative Gemini spirit, I ended up writing a lot of content for this issue. This month, the newsletter features the following articles:
- Stocks in the Summer
- What Happens to the Euro? Does Greece Leave?
- Profile of the Month – Tommasso Campanella
- We Are Reading: Symbol and Magic in Egyptian Art
- Transit of Venus on June 5/6, 2012
Recent news: my hardworking webmaster and I have updated the Gryphon Astrology webiste to better match the look and feel of the Gryphon Astrology Blog. As there is no rest for the wicked, we have more news to come before the Summer is out.
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Just for fun, here are photographs from around the world of the May 20 annular ecilpse. I liked the progression in the Japan photograph.
Stocks in the Summer
It looks like Summer 2012 will be bad for the stock market, and jumpy investor that I am, I closed out my positions about two months ago at the earliest hint of trouble. The big news now is Facebook, an attempt to distract us from the bad state of the markets. Apparently, the Facebook insiders (or their astrologers) see trouble coming, since most have decided to dramatically increase the number of their shares they will sell the first day of trading on May 18. The best part, for them, is that most Facebook employees and early subscribers must hold the stock for 180 days, preventing a massive sell-off that would impact the investors’ holdings. If you are an individual investor hoping to cash in on the much-hyped Facebook bonanza, caveat emptor. On an industry level, the next year should be good for Facebook, given Jupiter’s entrance into the communicative sign of Gemini in early June. On the other hand, the overall market climate is flashing major danger signs. Let’s review:
– As you see elsewhere in this newsletter, the Euro and the European banking crisis is looking extremely volatile this summer. Any trouble with European banks will spread across global markets instantly.
– We expect a significant drop in stock values in the month following the May 20th solar eclipse. The eclipse is square Mars in Virgo, which opposes the Midheaven of the NYSE. For readers who use outer planets, it is also square Neptune, which opposes Mars. Violent changes are on the menu for the following month.
– Jupiter enters Gemini on June 11, which is a positive factor and historically beneficial for the market, but it will not outweigh the problems signified by the May 20th eclipse. Let us hope it takes the edge off and prevents a total world market metltdown, though we are not counting on it.
– And Facebook: The first few weeks should be at least decent; transiting Saturn trines Venus on May 19, while Jupiter conjoins the natal Sun on June 2. After that? Who knows – the overall market this summer will do its best to drag this stock down.
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What Happens to the Euro? Does Greece Leave?
Talk of Greece leaving the Euro has gone the rounds many times now, and countries are already preparing for the worst. Capital is fleeing Greece in droves, as depositors are looking for a safe haven from the economic turmoil and possible return to the drachma. If Greece does leave the Euro, this may mean a short term bump for the currency now relieved of the Greek burden, but it only starts a domino effect, starting the betting on who will leave next. Spain is an odds-on favorite, given its 25% unemployment rate, and spiraling bond rates.
Difficult Directions for the Euro
As traditional astrologers, we have many tools at our disposal to determine which way the Euro winds are blowing, and for how long. One of these tools is primary directions, which are the aspects to natal points formed by planets as they rise clockwise, carried along by primary motion. They are considered somewhat challenging to calculate, and had fallen out of favor in our less mathematically-inclined age. Nonetheless, they can be quite accurate, and with the advent of computers, calculating them is a snap.
First, let us examine the historical prices of the Euro and the primary directions in effect at the time. Early on in its existence, the Euro suffered great losses against the US Dollar, and had to be propped up by the European Central Bank by a cash infusion. Its lowest week was November 20, 2000, which occurred under the influence of Mercury sextile Mars. Mercury is especially important, as it is the ruler of the 1st house, signifying the Euro itself. Mars is in its detriment in Libra, so any contact to it, even a harmonious sextile aspect, is going to be challenging. By 2003, Mercury formed a square to a highly benefic Jupiter in Pisces, turning the currency for the better.
The historical peak of the Euro against the Dollar occurred on July 11, 2008. The directed 4th house cusp – the lowest point of the chart – reached Mercury, setting the tone for the precipitous fall that would follow. This was reinforced in 2011 by Saturn forming a trine to Mercury. Saturn is badly placed in the Euro horoscope, in the 8th house of death, conjunct the fixed star Algol signifying violence. Any aspects to it will not be helpful. As we can see, aspects to Mercury are particularly powerful in determining long-term turning points in the Euro prices.
There are no aspects to Mercury until 2019, when it conjoins the Sun. This tells us that the trend of the beleaguered Euro will continue until at least 2019, if indeed the currency survives that long.
Year by Year
The other traditional tool at our disposal are profections. This is simply counting signs from the Ascendant for each year of the Euro’s existence. Specifically, 2012 is a profected year governed by the sign Libra. This is not an easy sign for the Euro, as it contains the badly placed Mars in Libra. On the positive side, the Moon and Mercury form harmonious aspects to Libra, so while the storm clouds are gathering this year, perhaps the worst will be avoided. On the positive side, Libra is ruled by Venus, a benefic planet, which is placed in Capricorn, a sign that "beholds" Libra by a square aspect. On the down side, Saturn is transiting Libra until October of this year. It looks like a difficult year overall, but not without some protective measures thanks to Libra.
Next year, 2013, does not look as good. The profected Ascendant comes to Scorpio, which is ruled by Mars, and Mars does not behold Scorpio, as it is placed in an adjacent sign. Saturn in Taurus opposes Scorpio, and transiting Saturn will cruise through Scorpio all through 2013. Neither bodes well for the Euro. On the upside, natal Venus, Jupiter, and the Sun form harmonious aspects to Scorpio. The currency is in for a bumpy ride, indeed. It may well be that members leave in 2013. So, who will it be?
Greece and the Euro: Sad Farewells?
Greece is a top contender for a Euro exit, and astrological indications seem to concur. We are working with the 1822 horoscope for Greece, as set forth in Nicolas Campion’s World Horoscopes book. This horoscope is not timed, so the angles are not reliable. However, we have found that using the old Arabic method of taking the angles of the prior Solar Cardinal ingress while using the planetary positions of noon of the founding day gives accurate results. The angles of the 1821 Capricorn Ingress set for Athens are 20 Scorpio ascending, and 0 Virgo on the MC. The series of Taurus-Scorpio eclipses that starts in 2012 for the next few years will significantly impact Greece. Given the great suffering of the Greek people so far, it is hard to believe that their real trouble is just beginning, but the astrology seems to support this.
This year, Greece does not look good. The 2012 Aries Ingress has Mars in Virgo retrograde, opposite the Moon. Mars thus falls on the Greek Midheaven, showing the great turmoil and instability in the government that we have already seen. The Aries Ingress Ascendant in 17 Aries conjoins Saturn and Jupiter in Aries in the Greek chart. This is a bad omen; according to Jean-Baptiste Morin, when we have a conjunction of two planets, the superior (slower) one wins, so this malefic Saturn in fall overpowers Jupiter, the country’s money. The capital flight that has been going on over the last three years is increasing at a rapid clip this summer. Further, note that the May 20 eclipse at 0 Gemini will be exactly square the Greek MC at 0 Virgo, a bad sign. The eclipse is conjunct Jupiter, the ruler of the 2nd house of assets and currency, promising great upheavals in the country’s money.
Because of the indications of great market instability this summer, we look to the Cancer Ingress of 2012 (June 21, 2012) to see how the summer looks. Amazingly, the Ascendant is again 17 Aries, indicating that the disaster we expect will occur in the summer months. The Ingress Moon opposes the Greek Mercury, showing the great popular unrest and turmoil. If Greece leaves the Euro, the greatest effects in 2012 will happen in the summer, even if the legal departure occurs later, such as this autumn.
We have taken money out of the stock market back in March, and do not see an opportunity to buy until later this fall. This is one wild ride that is best to watch from the sidelines.
Profile of the Month
Tommaso Campanella (September 5, 1568 – May 21, 1639)
A Renaissance-era Italian scholar and cleric who was a well-known astrologer and magical theoretician. He was also a utopian, and his predictions on the Age of the Spirit in 1600 caught the eye of the Inquisition, who imprisoned and tortured him. He feigned madness and saved himself from imminent death. After further torture, he was sentenced to life imprisonment in Naples. He spent 27 years in prison under terrible conditions, where he nonetheless wrote his most important works. In 1626, he was released from prison due to the intercession of Pope Urban VIII, for whom he later became an astrological advisor.
Campanella had a great interest in natural magic, which he discussed in his popular book Del Senso Delle Cose e Della Magia Naturale (On the Sense of Things and On Natural Magic), published in 1620 in Frankfurt. In this work, he described the world as a living organism, all of the components of which possessed life and consciousness. Campanella attempts to restore the reputation and status of magic, which he says had fallen into disrepute due to magicians who were "superstitious friends of demons," asking the dark forces for quick results rather than approaching their subject with patient study of natural causes. Working from Pliny’s description of magic in his Natural History, Campanella reiterated that it is an ancient form of wisdom combined from three doctrines: religion to purify the soul and cleanse one’s intentions toward the subjects of magic, medicine, which gives the knowledge of the different properties of the materials used in magic, and astrology, necessary to time one’s magic for greatest effectiveness.
According to Campanella, natural magic produces specific alterations in the delicate faculty of the spirit, which receives all impressions. The magician acts on the basic passions – pain and joy, love and hate, hope and fear , and can provide remedies to increase bodily strength and power to help ward off death and decay. In his Monarchia di Spagna (Monarchy of Spain), Campanella wrote that politicians must understand that the first cause of all events is God, and that they must have recourse to prophecy and astrology to work with the course of the stars to achieve their ends.
Campanella’s work for the Pope owed much to Marsilio Ficino, whose astrological remedies were set forth in his Three Books on Life. Below is a description from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on some of the remedies employed by Campanella on the Pope’s behalf:
"When an eclipse appears to threaten a specific person [presumably the eclipse contacts that person’s natal horoscope], he counsels using every precaution to prevent the seeds carried in the polluted air from finding a favorable terrain and producing their noxious effects. He then explains how to demarcate a separate space that will be impenetrable to malign influences. With the doors and windows sealed, the air should be purified by sprinkling perfumes and scents and by burning aromatic woods such as laurel, myrtle, rosemary and cypress. In the room, decorated with foliage and fabric of white silk, one should set alight two lamps, five torches and other lights in order to represent the planets of the zodiac [presumably simply “planets” is meant]. It will also be useful to seek out the company of friends who are not subject to the negative effects of the eclipse, to play music connected with Jupiter and Venus, and to have recourse to all those “enticements,” connected with plants, stones, colors and odors, capable of attracting beneficent influences and countering malign ones. If the darkness of the eclipse seems to suspend and interrupt the life that flows from the heavens, it will be necessary to secure protection by constructing a sort of artificial sky." [De siderali fato vitando – How to Avoid the Fate Dictated by the Stars (no date given)]
This Gemini Ingress – the date of Campanella’s death, let us remember a philosopher and astrologer who contributed much to the art for decades in the face of the forces of bigotry and ignorance.
We Are Reading…
Symbol & Magic in Egyptian Art by Richard H. Wilkinson, Thames and Hudson Ltd., London, UK, 1994.
A highly informed Egyptologist friend recommended this scholarly yet entertaining volume, and with good reason. The author is an Egyptologist who wished to create a key of the magic and symbolism underlying ancient Egyptian art. As someone who enjoys Egyptian art but is sometimes frustrated with the lack of information about a given piece on exhibit or in a book, I was happy to read something that cracks the code. The book explores the symbolism of fom, size, location, materials, color, numbers, key hieroglyphs, actions and gestures portrayed in the artwork.
A typical entry is about sacred and symbolic objects crafted from silver. However, the very symbolism of the material was essential to understanding the work’s meaning and function, as well as enhancing its beauty. If you think about it, few artworks and even fewer commonplace objects today employ this level of profound meaning. Silver was valued due to its divine connection. It was used in figures of lunar gods, as well as in mirrors, which often featured it as part of a symbol of the Moon. The book features a beautiful sculpture of a baboon, sacred to Thoth, the lunar god of magic, whose face was inlaid with silver to indicate its connection to the Moon and heighten its aesthetic value.
Symbol & Magic also features many illustrations and photographs, which are essential to understanding the key points of the author. A fine book. I am planning to read the companion book, Reading Egyptian Art, soon.
Transit of Venus – June 5-6, 2012
Venus passes directly between the earth and the Sun, visible as a small dot moving across the Sun’s face. The transit of Venus is basically an annular eclipse of the Sun by Venus. North and Central America will see it the evening of June 5, while Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia will see it the morning of June 6.
The last such transit was in 2004, and the next one will be in 105.5 years, so this is our last chance in this lifetime to see it. The interval between transits is 121.5 years, 8 years, 105.5 years, and 8 years, after which the cycle repeats.
Venus has transited the Sun during these years in the last few centuries:
1631 and 1639. Both years are marked by great fighting in Europe due to the Thirty Years’ War and the Eighty Years’ War. Mt. Vesuvius erupts (1631). The Taj Mahal is begun (1631)
1761 and 1769. The 1769 transit is followed a few hours later by a total solar eclipse. The settlement of California by Spanish missionaries begins.
1874 and 1882. In 1882, the Married Women’s Property Act is passed in the UK, allowing women to buy, own, and sell property, and keep their own earnings. Thomas Edison starts up the 1st commercial power plant.
2004 and 2012. June 8, 2004 is the transit of Venus. The 30th G8 summit is held, while the heart of Louis XVII is buried in the royal crypt at St Denis.
If you are near a major observatory, they will almost certainly host a special event for the transit viewing. I am planning to be at the Adler Planetarium to check Venus out in person. Remember to observe safely!
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