Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Strictly No Go

If the John Sergeant affair didn't ruffle enough feathers, "The Results Show" or should I say, "The non-Results Show" has ruffled a few more. In truth they could have been the same feathers ruffled twice.

The three couples entered the semi-final expecting there to be a dance-off at the end of the show between the lowest scoring two couples. The judges scores had placed two of them in joint first place which precluded a dance-off after the public vote had been counted. The production team hadn't realised this before the voting began and so at the start of the show it was announced that the vote had been stopped. No big deal you might think, especially as it was made clear that the votes already cast would be 'rolled-over' to next week's final. Ultimately it was decided that all three couples would go forward to the final.

If you were thinking that there was
nothing wrong with that, in my own opinion you'd be right, however eighteen hundred Strictly fans thought otherwise and complained to the BBC. Whoever said that the British weren't very good at complaining should think again – we can complain when there's nothing to complain about, in fact we'll make something up if necessary. It is said that a little education is a dangerous thing, well, a little power is a tiresome thing; there's probably some interesting psychology there about feelings of being disenfranchised or something. Perhaps I should mention that millions watch this programme and, probably, vote, so eighteen hundred is a tiny proportion.

The chart for the beginning of the show is stunningly descriptive. The announcement was made within a minute and a half of the show's start, so this time is fine.

The Sun, the ruler of the Ascendant, is conjunct the 5th cusp of entertainment with the Moon of the public vote in the 11th. The Moon holds interest here because it is unusually fairly strong and I take this as the huge number of those participating and their influence in the matter (reassuring perhaps for those who felt that their vote was being ignored or carried no weight). However, for all that, spoilsport Saturn is stronger and is in a square with the Sun, both in signs of long ascension easing that square. The show wasn't cancelled and neither was the vote, it was just delayed and the show finished ten minutes early, so all is not lost. The Moon is void of course and so cannot be effective and certainly cannot prevent the vote being stopped and the show being disrupted in this way. I suppose that if you watch the show to see who will win rather than how they dance, this could be a tad frustrating. It's hardly the stuff of headlines.


Here is a brief, but interesting, discussion from the BBC's "Newsnight" programme.


Monday, 15 December 2008

How the Mighty Fall

On the 16th November I published a prediction here relating to the Jupiter-Saturn trine of the 21st which highlighted Mars in the 10th house. I suggested that some financial scandal might well ensue and on Friday last it was announced that Bernard Madoff was suspected of fraud. The alleged amount is said to be £33bn and today he has been arrested on that charge. One commentator stated "This is the biggest financial scandal, probably in the history of the markets..." (notice how many superlatives have been used during this crisis). I should say that I had expected this type of event in the UK, but with globalisation it doesn't really matter, it's effect will be worldwide. As you will see if you follow the link, a number of UK banks are known to have been affected.


You might note that there is a hint in that article to a need for further regulation, to which I also referred in my post of 16th November. I don't know much about finance and stock markets, but it is suggested that this scandal might be tha last straw with regard to hedge funds. With the coming of the conjunction in Aquarius, I suggest that this isn't all that comes to an end pertaining to financial speculation, etc.

I also stated that the trine would have separated by the end of November, but this isn't so of course because the joint moeities of their orbs will not be completely separate until 15th January or thereabouts. My apologies, I leaned on the software a little too heavily there.

Saturday, 13 December 2008


The following chart shows the approximate time that a fire began on the roof of a Waitrose supermarket in Surrey. Police are investigating the cause of the fire which they are treating as suspicious. They were no injuries, but the building was destroyed.This case caught my eye because the Full Moon of that night was the largest and brightest for 15 years. Once the chart was erected, something else attracted my curiosity, but more of that in a moment.

The Moon is high and in Gemini which I believe describes the fire starting on the roof. It opposes the Sun, of course, and is separating, the Sun is the ruler of the Ascendant. Mars of destruction by fire, and ruler of the 4th, is combust as we might expect and is applying to that combustion, so is getting hotter. If we accept Mars as signficator of the building, its application to the Sun can be taken as its path to obliteration. If we take Mars and the Sun as the fire itself we can extend the signification they provide just a little further. They are diposited by Jupiter which is on the cusp of the 6th house; Jupiter is disposited by Saturn in the 2nd house which is in mutual reception with Mercury dispositor of the Moon. On page 158 of "Christian Astrology", Lilly lists the causes of damage to a ship and looking at Mars in Sagittarius we find "The Mariners themselves". Four of these six planets are in double-bodied signs. From this we might deduce that there may have been at least two arsonists, Saturn older, Mercury younger, at least one of whom is or was an employee of the supermarket. The Sun applies to the square of Saturn in the 2nd, and shows financial losses for the company and this may well have been the goal of the arsonist or arsonists.

The question that arose was regarding the Moon: why should it be so malefic? It is separating from the square of Saturn and applying to the opposition of Mercury
(this configuration, by the way, is known for lies). So the connection between Mercury and Saturn is reinforced and so is the connection of the 2nd and 6th houses, or the 7th house of known enemies. Janus software reports that the Moon is conjunct the fixed stars Alnilam (within 5') and El Nath (within 58'). It occurred to me that the problem of numerous fixed stars at a significant point is often a problem – which to use? Alnilam is in the constellation of Orion and thus is given the nature of Jupiter and Saturn; El Nath is in the constellation of Taurus and has the nature of Mars. The latter is tempting for obvious reasons, but it is further away from the Moon in zodiacal longitude.

I checked the Moon's declination (a measurement north or south of the Ecliptic) and found it to be 27° North, but Alnilam's declination
is 1° South, whereas El Nath's declination is 28° North; these positions are all approximate. It occurred to me to see what this actually looked like in the sky and from that image (shown below) the positions of these stars relative to the Moon is quite clear.

I don't know if it is an accepted argument to take declination into account or not and I can think of at least one reason why it wouldn't be. When using primary directions, specific natal points are directed to certain positions, for example, to house cusps, terms and fixed stars. I can see no reason for using anything other than zodical longitude in this particular reckoning, but then I haven't given it a great deal of thought. So, at least when looking at non-symbolic positions and thus excluding primary directions, I wonder if the use of declinationsn in this regard is effective. It would seem to be so in this particular case, but it requires more than this to prove a point. Interesting though.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Mundane Astrology

In the forthcoming issue of The Tradition, as mentioned before, I will present a paper in part regarding the current financial situation, but it's main aim is to encourage the use of the Jupiter-Saturn cycles in Mundane work. I am hoping to demonstrate that the accuracy of the Traditional system by means of Jupiter and Saturn far outweighs any other. This might seem like arrogance of the first order, but I have been amazed by the descriptive precision and predictive capacity so many times that I am confident of the method's efficacy. The range in terms of time can be as wide or as narrow as the circumstances of examination require: 20 years, 200 years, 2000 years, or longer, it doesn't matter. The Jupiter-Saturn cycles cover all of these and more.

I am probably not the best person to be holding forth on Mundane matters and I am certainly not the best informed, but there is little information available about the application of the Traditional system, and so I will add my little bit. Hopefully, this will encourage others to do a more thorough and detailed job. Unfortunately, in order to be thorough and detailed, a lot of work is required and here, as elsewhere, I understand the reason for use of the new planets. Their extremely slow movement seems to coincide with so-called "generational" shifts, and examining the transits of these three is hardly challenging. Whereas applying the Jupiter-Saturn cycles requires certain 'overviews' of other cycles outside the narrower one; in my article I call it the 'Russian Doll' effect. It can be complex, but if we are truly to understand the world in which we live, we must also understand the larger cycles of Creation. This has a grandiose sound to it, but we might also be interested in whether or not the current situation will deliver its payload without damage to ourselves, because Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions can also be applied to the nativity.

The state of the national economy might also be of interest, but this is only one of the subjects covered by these cycles. War, health, trade, social concerns, political matters all fall within their remit, as do the rise and fall of civilisations, political systems, nations, leaders and many, many more. Anything of historical interest or importance can be found within these cycles and if we can read the past and, of course, the present, then we can necessarily read the future.

Of interest to some might be my paper Uranus, Neptune and Pluto: an investigation into the sources of their symbolism (available through my web site – see link to the right) where I investigate, as the title suggests, the derivation of the symbolism of these planets. It is of interest to those who might undertake Mundane work, but again, I fully accept that a Traditional astrologer such as myself was not the best person to carry out this investigation. Still, you might find something of interest there.

It might be as well to remember that just because this astrological system is very old, that doesn't make it redundant. As Olivia Barclay used to say, "Arithmetic is very old, but 1 and 1 still make 2."

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Feudal System Ends

For those who, like me, didn't know it still existed, you may be interested in the following charts. Today, for the first time in 450 years, the inhabitants of the island of Sark in the Channel Islands will vote for their first democratic government.

By following this link http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/guernsey/7774140.stm you will find some interesting information about the island and how it was ruled. Sark is famous for allowing no motor vehicles except tractors, even the Fire Service is powered by tractor.

About 600 people live on Sark and there are 28 parliamentary seats available and there have been 56 nominations.

So, this little piece of political history is found in the following charts for the opening and closing of the polls - I'm showing both for those who like one or the other in these matters.

The Moon's application by trine to Saturn perfects just before the close of polls. Do we think Saturn will win? Plus ca change?

For more information on Sark and its governance follow this link:


Friday, 5 December 2008

Intuition and Study

As I've been discussing the intuition recently, I want to make a few points from the student's perspective.

There is rarely anyone these days taking up a formal course of study in astrology who hasn't had some exposure to it previously. This is not an ideal situation because there are preconceptions and learned information that may be incorrect. Apart from having to undertake an Un-learning process (just to add to the difficulties of this study), there have been occasions when some of these students, having studied for a short while, feel that their ability to judge a horary chart has been diminished.

There are two main reasons for this: they often have to unravel most of what they have learned and, where they have relied on intuition, it retreats as new directions are laid down.

For those who have not followed a formal course of study but have been practising horary with some success we have to ask how that is possible. As a very long term student, I know how difficult it is to reach a stage of any security in judgement. So, when an astrologer is achieving good results with their early attempts, I don't think it's right to put it down simply to beginner's luck. I'm sure that there's more to it than that.

For a student to make any real headway, a natural aptitude is required. This can take many forms, for example, they may have a profound philosophical bent, or they may have a clear and logical mind. whatever it is, it can be of great help to them. If, however, they have a strong intuitive faculty, this can be a hindrance. That might seem a strange thing to say, but the early successes I mentioned above are often sourced in the intuition. At that early stage, with an untrained, undisciplined intuition, successes often lead to failure and, perhaps, giving up astrology altogether. There is, of course, the other danger, that success without very much effort leads to ego-inflation and then the inevitable fall.

So, having had a number of successes without too much toil, the brave student takes on the task of formal study. Then everything seems to fall apart, apparently unable to judge even the simplest of horaries. This happens because study requires the intellect and the intellect restrains the intuition. The situation isn't helped because in the Traditional Horary Course we expect students to be able to support all statements with hard astrology and just getting the right answer isn't enough, it has to be for the right reasons. This runs counter to intuition, but if the study is pursued and if it is done thoroughly, the intuition will fall into step and respond to the right stimuli, instead of just when it feels like it. Patience will usually answer most of the questions.

The symbols work their magic and impose onto the intuitive part what it needs in order to become reliable. It takes some time and this varies from person to person, but it will happen. The degree to which it acts depends on the intuitive capacity of the astrologer, again this will vary. It will happen IF the ego is kept out of the way because that will corrupt the student and then fancy replaces knowledge and intuition.

To undertake formal study in a magical art, such as astrology, puts the intuition under the student's conscious direction and that has to be worth a little hard work, or even a lot, don't you think?

Monday, 1 December 2008

Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-126

I had intended to write about this before the shuttle's return to Earth, but missed it, nevertheless the chart shows some interesting descriptions which may be of interest.

The chart is set for the moment of lift-off and the Ascendant and its ruler signify the shuttle and its crew. We see the Moon just above the horizon showing the ship rising off the platform and away from Earth.

The Ascendant also indicates the point of departure, the 10th the journey to the destination, the 7th the destination itself and the 4th the return journey. Looking at the angles, we have Venus in the 7th of destination and the stated aim of this trip was to improve the living quarters on the space station (it was nominated as "extreme home improvements"). Certainly Venus would be associated with making something or somewhere more pleasant, but in Capricorn Venus doesn't seem to be offering anything luxurious. You can read about the nature of the improvements by following the link below, but part of the work was to install new toilets and a system for purifying (Venus) urine and sweat (Capricorn).

Saturn is placed in the 4th of the return and we know that this was delayed by one day and that the landing was changed at the last minute due to bad weather at Cape Canaverel. It had occurred to me that Saturn's position there might indicate a bumpy landing, but in this chart it has over 20 dignities, so not as bad a result as might be expected. The Moon applies to Saturn by square in 2 degrees which is a little short of the anticipated 15 day trip which turned into 16 days. Still, a nicely descriptive chart from which you might be able to extract more information.