Gryphon Astrology Newsletter
News: I recently joined the editorial board of the Astrology News Service, the non-profit public relations arm of the astrological community. Stay tuned for more news regarding ANS. There are some exciting projects in the works, and I will announce them as they come up. By the time you read this, I will have been on California radio (Newstalk, 910AM with Gil Gross), on July 26th, discussing this year’s U.S. presidential elections. There was also an article about my presidential election study on Calbuzz.com, where I was cited alongside my statistician hero, Nate Silver of the NY Times. In the current issue of The Mountain Astrologer is my latest article, called “The Future of Iran”, where I discuss the astrology of Iran’s history and future. You can see things have been busy here. According to transit astrology, July and August this year are supposed to be my quiet months. As if!
This issue of the Newsletter is somewhat shorter than usual due to my being so busy, but I expect things to quiet down not too long from now.
I am available for personal, one-on-one astrology readings. There are three types of readings available via Gryphon Astrology, all personally conducted by me, using traditional astrological techniques proven highly accurate for forecasting.
I offer natal readings using ancient astrological methods. While we delve into personality analysis and discuss the archetypal images present in your horoscope, we spend an equal amount of time on the major currents of destiny revealed in your chart. We finish with a forecast.
If you are considering the best time to start something important, an electional reading may be right for you. We use astrology to elect the most auspicious time to conceive, get married, start a business, go on a diet, invest, and much more.
For specific, focused questions, you may wish to get a horary reading. This reading is best suited when you need a concrete answer to a pressing issue. Virtually any question under the Sun can be answered using this ancient method. It is also the most economical reading offered at Gryphon Astrology.
You can learn more by visiting here.
U.S. Crop Failures in 2012
The U.S. corn, wheat, and soy crops failed spectacularly this year due to the 50-year drought in the Midwest. The U.S. has the world’s largest corn crop, so the effects of this will be felt worldwide in the coming year. Corn and wheat prices have risen about 50% in July, and soy about 25%. Of course, most foods, especially eggs, meat, and milk will be affected by this price increase, since livestock are fed grain. The shockwaves could reach far away from the shores of North America; experts expect that the higher food prices and consequent shortages will cause political unrest in the coming year in Africa and Latin America, which depend on imported grains.
Interestingly, crop prices can be predicted, and here is where traditional astrology really shines. We have several techniques in our astrological toolbox specifically targeted toward determining commodity prices in any given year, quoted by an authority no less than Al-Biruni, prolific 10th/11th century scholar of astrology, astronomy, mathematics, and many other sciences. Al-Biruni and his contemporaries cast Lots (also known as Arabian Parts) in the Aries Ingress to determine prices of various goods. According to Al-Biruni, the Lot of Maize (really the Lot of the Price of Maize), is calculated by taking the longitude from the Sun to Saturn, then projecting it from the Ascendant. This Lot is reversed for night charts. The question might arise in your mind; how did al-Biruni, writing well before the European discovery of America, know about maize? There is scholarly evidence that maize/corn was known in Asia, particularly China and India, well before 1492. Al-Biruni was a renowned Indologist, so he would have been well acquainted with corn, and it is likely that the Arabs of his time traded maize from India (hence their need for a Lot of Maize to predict prices).
The Lot in the US Aries Ingress horoscope falls at about 14 Taurus, in the fortunate 5th house. The astrologer al-Qabisi notes that the strength of the ruler of the Lot will determine the price of the commodity. Venus rules Taurus by domicile, and she is extremely strong in this horoscope; she is placed in the auspicious 5th house, in her own sign of Taurus, and is conjunct Jupiter, the Greater Benefic. The Lot itself is conjunct Venus and Jupiter in this horoscope, promising a remarkable rise in prices this year.
Venus is also with the fixed star at the knee of Cassiopeia, the Queen. This constellation is associated with a hunger for gold and precious metals, suggesting that maize will indeed fetch a royal price in 2012. Another fixed star near Venus is Menkar, the Sea Monster’s jaw. In the June Newsletter issue, I described Cetus, the sea monster, as a metaphor for merciless, devouring nature. The jaw of Cetus is therefore that which devours things proper to humans, such as land or crops. Not a good sign for plentiful crops.
Looking at this Lot teaches us an important lesson about strongly dignified planets in Aries Ingresses; they may well be strong for themselves, but not for the country. That is to say, Venus’s great dignity in Taurus and conjunct Jupiter helps the prices of corn, rather than the people and animals who need corn to live. Note that Jupiter rules Americans this year, as Lord of the Ascendant. It is received by Venus, but Jupiter does not receive Venus. This year, the people will literally not receive corn.
Decumbiture Charts – The Horoscope for the Lying Down
This is literally what “decumbiture” means – the lying down that is the beginning of an illness, for which doctor-astrologers of old cast a horoscope. Using the decumbiture horoscope, they would make a diagnosis and prognosis for the disease. The dilemma for those of us who want to use decumbitures arises when we realize that not all diseases cause a person to lie down as a symptom of the disease. If we have a migraine or the flu, then by all means, we can use the time the person feels unwell enough to lie down. However, living as we do with increasingly insidious chronic diseases, we look to other ways to cast a plausible horoscope. Traditionally, the horoscope could also be cast for the time the patient came to see the doctor in person, or if unable, the time when the patient’s urine (i.e.: a key diagnostic means) was brought to the doctor. Luckily, the third method is rarely called for nowadays, but even those with chronic illnesses go see the doctor, so we can cast a chart for the time the person walks into a clinic, or the time they actually speak with the doctor.
Once we have our horoscope, we look for interactions between the planets and houses signifying the disease, any proposed treatments, and the patient. If the situation merits it, we can bring in the eighth house, which rules death, to see whether there is any threat to life. If you are just learning to read this fascinating type of horoscope and using your own recent bout with the sniffles as the learning chart, I recommend it’s best to keep the eighth house out of the picture. Your sanity will thank you.
A good way to enter these charts is to determine the disease. The simplest way is to look at the sixth house of illness, and also any planet or planets that are afflicting the Moon or the ruler of the Ascendant. Then you can see whether the planets are interacting in a way that gets better or worse. As an example, let’s use a decumbiture chart from my records, for someone who would later die of their (already known to be serious) illness. Mars was placed in the eighth house of death, and Venus was right on the Ascendant. Venus’s next aspect was a trine to Jupiter (Lord of the 12th house of chronic illness and mistakes), followed by a trine to Mars. On top of this, the horoscope was cast a few hours after a solar eclipse, and had Saturn conjunct the Midheaven. Mercury, ruler of the sixth house of disease, was about to conjoin the North Node, promising the illness would soon be increased. Very few redeeming characteristics in this horoscope, reflecting the gravity of the situation.
Obviously, we would read this horoscope very differently if it had been cast for a twisted ankle. It would likely be a painful and slow-healing ankle, but no one would die. This sensitivity to context is important in astrology, and especially so in medical horoscopes, where an astrologer’s lack of medical knowledge and of probable outcomes can quickly lead one astray.
I am currently preparing a workshop on medical/decumbiture horoscopes, to be given in the Chicago area. Stay tuned for details.
Gryphon Astrology and Gryphon Forecasting Newsletters
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