Monday, 13 September 2010

Never Ask the Same Question Twice

One of the unwritten, but oft-quoted, rules of horary astrology, is that you shouldn't ask the same question twice. I say "unwritten" because a source has never been discovered. I've thought about this over the years and, whilst there is no Traditional source for it, it has continued to play on my mind. In practice, I've found ways around it and have equivocated, but generally avoid asking (or allowing to be asked) the same question twice, but for no solid reason. There is the argument that if the querent won't accept the original answer, then subsequent questions won't help. The same could be said about horary charts where the considerations before judgement are in effect – they provide an answer of their own and to persist would seem foolish.

First, I'll explain what I mean by asking more than once, although it might seem plain and obvious: when a client asks the same question of various practitioners,
astrologers or not; when the querent refuses to accept the first answer; when curiosity overwhelms. It is a greater problem these days because it is so easy to calculate a chart and print it; a thousand in a day if we choose, and this is more prevalent when so many querents are there own astrologers. Generally, we don't view this as terribly important, perhaps people are playing with it, but it doesn't really matter. Does it?

Clearly, time plays its part in astrology, but more so with horary. A great many words have been written about the 'horary moment', which moment is correct and so
on, however, we have managed to miss the point almost entirely in my opinion. It's not that we don't appreciate the importance of that moment, but that we don't understand WHY it is important. I can't say that I understand time, but I offer an image of the little that I think I understand.

I'm afraid that I have to touch on that old chestnut, the 'Fate versus Freewill' argument. My observation of horary and its workings has brought me to the conclusion
that it isn't a question of one or the other, it is BOTH. Each nativity, by its very nature, shows an entire life much as a brook or stream following a certain course. Water is a good analogy because water, whilst following the line of least resistance, may also forge its own path. And this is my point, whilst each life may follow a predestined course, it doesn't have to, we can make choices. Of course, this is delimited by individual capacities and personalities. The decisions we make are largely sourced in our personalities: impulsive, cautious, static, and so on, and this follows the predestined course of our lives. The same applies within the field of horary astrology: the type of question and the reason for asking will usually be determined by the type of person asking it. But that isn't how horary works. It works on the basis that the querent really is trying to 'manage' their own destiny and who will and can act on the information the chart offers. It is the reason that so-called 'third party questions' are fraught with problems; the querent is unlikely to have control over someone else's destiny. I would extend this to external events, those over which we usually have no control to include political, international and natural events. As children we are often at the mercy of the destinies of others, primarily our parents, and here we might consider the debate about 'Nature versus Nurture' as apposite.

So, continuing the analogy, if we consider each individual life to be like a fast running stream or brook, we can watch from many viewpoints and see the twists and
turns, the rocks and hollows that it negotiates . We might watch from upstream or down, or somewhere in between, but as observers, we can't see it all, except that that is exactly what we try to and can do with the nativity. Using horary we attempt to observe a droplet of that water, but it is one of thousands which pass that one point of observation at any given moment. So which one is the right one? We have to be careful because, once the droplet is chosen, the brook rushes on, but it does so with one droplet less because the astrologer has chosen that one to examine. In so doing we have stopped the clock and changed the composition of the brook.

Once that moment, that now frozen droplet, is accepted as indicative of the matter asked about, time has stopped in that particular and the future has been
determined. The myriad possibilities of that one subject have been condensed into one droplet, and this and no other will describe the future of the question and, in most cases, there is no alternative. We have intercepted fate by exericising our freewill.

When the astrologer casts the horoscope for the question, he or she has stopped that particular droplet, and just as you can never cross the same river twice, neither
can you ask the same question because the river has moved on and has changed. Once the question has been put as a horary question, a choice has been made – the answer has been chosen. It doesn't matter how many more times the question is asked, the original answer cannot be undone, and it explains how it is that contradictory answers are obtained by going to more than one practitioner. It also explains many failed or apparently unreadable charts.

The implication is that we have many possible futures and we choose one, although not always the same one, we may ride the waves and jump from one to another.
When we ask a horary question, we choose one of those futures, because we can only have one at a time, and so great care should be exercised. It was not for no reason that the ancient astrologers required the querent to pray before posing their question. Such contemplation is useful if for no other reason than to prepare oneself for the answer – it might not be the one expected or wanted.

This also goes some way towards explaining the necessity for the potential of action on the part of the querent; he or she must have some degree of power in the
question and a desire to act appropriately. All magical and mystical systems espouse awareness as their principle teaching and if we are aware then our choices are likewise. From such a position real choices can be made, rather than the more common reactions. We generally activate freewill weakly, if at all, because we are at the mercy of our personalities and temperaments. We have to rise above these in order to rise above the stars and control our destinies, but those "stars" delineate our personalities, so it is that which has to be risen above. I realise that this poses as many questions as it might answer, but there's nothing I can do about that, each of us needs to contemplate the principle.

Think carefully before turning your question into a horary question, it is a magical operation and changes the future. Be sure that you can cope with that change.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Jeremy Bamber: The White House Farm Murders

I am not going to give details of this event because they seem to be adequately laid out at The author relies heavily upon the court record of Bamber's Appeal of 2002, and these details are available elsewhere. Neither am I entering into the debate about Bamber's guilt or innocence. Furthermore, I should preface my remarks by saying that most of the information I have comes from media reports which could be inaccurate.

The media have recently reported new evidence, one piece of which being a call logged by police on the night of the murders which wasn't presented to the jury in the
original case and which was unknown to defence counsel. The documentary evidence has been published which details a call made by Nevill (sic) Bamber, the accused's father, to the police; in it Nevill says that his daughter had one of his guns and had "gone berserk". As far as I know, there has been no official confirmation of the veracity of this new evidence. However, having looked at the court record, it does appear that two separate calls may have been conflated by the court if not by the police. The second call, ten minutes later, was from Jeremy Bamber himself reporting a call from his father giving the same information that his sister, Sheila, had "gone crazy" with a gun. It appears that Jeremy Bamber was unaware of his father's call to the police. The following chart is supposedly for the first call to the police made by Nevill Bamber who subsequently became a victim of the shootings. Does this moment bear any relation to what we know happened that night? If it does, then does it show that it could have been the daughter, diagnosed as schizophrenic, who carried out these killings rather than the son?

One point which caught my attention was that during dinner the previous evening, Sheila's parents suggested to her that the twins were put into foster care. This had
been done before when Sheila was in hospital, although the children had been living with their father, too, so it is difficult to know what the situation actually was. Jeremy Bamber's version states that Sheila responded simply and quietly that she preferred London.

As is usually the case in chart judgement, I will use both natural and accidental significators. The former are often overlooked as anything other than subsidiary, but
natural significators often have as much to say as do the accidentals. So, although it might appear that I am jumping back and forth, I am simply following a path and double-checking my route. It is also true to say that in some cases, and this is one, accidental significators can be a hindrance: there were three generations at the farm that night which can cause problems in identification. Both Jeremy and Sheila had been adopted by the Bambers which means that a 5th house connection is unclear since, necessarily, the parents did not give birth to the children. The 5th house does not signify all children, but only the children of the querent or 1st house.

To begin with both the day and hour are ruled by Mars, the ruler of violence, murder and explosive action; Mars is combust of the Sun in Leo, and hot and dry sign.
Thus we have our first argument of violence. The Moon is angular and disposited by Mars providing our second argument of violence; it is angular so the violence is extreme and, in the 10th, it will be notable. This does not tell us who was being violent, but more of that later. Nevill Bamber told the police that his daughter had "gone berserk" and we can find a classic argument of insanity (acute or chronic) by Mercury's combustion. Mercury is the natural ruler of the brain and is here 'overheated', retrograde and peregrine; that it is also in a fixed sign suggests to me that this is a chronic condition and that something like this has happened before, particularly because Mercury is retrograde.

Having called attention to the very choleric trio of planets in Leo – by nature or by association – we can see that the Moon is also highlighting them through aspect and
dispositorship. The Moon is indicating that the situation is coming to a close as it draws near to the end of the sign of Aries. Although in a hot and dry sign, its phase is cold and dry, also known as Melancholic, which is a temperament associated with brooding, depression and long memory. It seems to me that this combination of planetary natures and configurations is rather vengeful and irrational, but this is hardly surprising given the nature of the event.

Saturn signifies the father in a night time chart, so let's look at it and see what can be deduced. Saturn is very poorly placed in Scorpio, thus it becomes more
malefic through that weakness. It receives aspects by square from both Mercury and the Sun, the former has only just begun to separate, but before moving on to that, this configuration offers a description of the father which is unpleasant. It seems to bear out the descriptions found elsewhere of his having been domineering and controlling. Saturn is below the horizon and Mr. Bamber's body was found downstairs in the kitchen.

Mercury is the natural significator of children and young people; it mutually applies to combustion and separates from the square (in signs of long ascension and so
equivalent to a trine) with Saturn, and the Moon separates from the trine. Based on this, I suggest that it was the deaths of the twin boys which woke Mr. and Mrs. Bamber - the rifle had a 'silencer' attached, but it still makes a noise. I suggest that it was at that point that Mr. Bamber, horrified as he must have been, tried to control the situation in his habitual manner and that it was this which opened the floodgates for the person holding the gun. From the various reports, the twins appear to have been shot several times at close range in their sleep, hence the trines: their deaths were fast and painless. In contrast, the deaths of the parents, particularly the father, were bloody and excessively violent.

The Moon signifies the mother in a night time chart and with my previous comments in mind, it might be valuable to note that she, too, had a history of mental illness.
The Moon separates from its trine with Mercury, perhaps woken by voices and then made aware of the deaths of the twins. Moon in Aries is loud, hasty and prone to panic, and to an agitated person with a gun this, too, could have precipitated an extreme reaction. The Moon in the 10th applies widely to a weak Venus in Cancer which perfects when the Moon has changed signs. Mrs. Bamber's body was found near the door of her bedroom upstairs. Venus in Cancer describes an attractive, if vacillating, emotional woman disturbed by the approach of the aggressive Moon.

This would have been the best moment for Mr. Bamber to have made his way downstairs to the telephone, but he may already have been wounded. Forensic
scientists had not been able decide in which order the victims had died, so were unlikely to know which wounds were inflicted first. However, much was made by the Prosecution of Mr. Bamber's height, build and health arguing that Sheila, a slightly built young woman, could not have overwhelmed him in what appeared to have been a violent struggle in the kitchen.

Before moving on to the accidental significators, I want to mention the most prominent configuration of Mars opposition Jupiter. This is not to ignore the Sun's
opposition to Jupiter, but that of Mars is mutually applying and thus more violent. It describes excessive, impassioned and exaggerated violence, with Mars's combustion we see this condition inflamed. It also speaks of fervent religious belief. The Bambers were known to have been devout Christians and there was some concern by the father of the twins that this was being imposed upon his children. Mrs. Bamber's religious beliefs were described as "obsessive" and possibly linked to her mental illness. Sheila Bamber had spoken in religious terms when she was taken into hospital and this often centred upon the twins as "devil's children".

In terms of the accidental significators, we might accept the Moon, ruler of the Cancer Ascendant, as significant of Mr. Bamber and Saturn, ruler of the 7th, for his
wife. Keeping in mind that at this point Mr. Bamber was supposedly on the telephone to the police, we see that his next event is the sextile with Venus which has already been described. That it is moving into late degrees indicates that he is running out of time and perhaps had delayed involving the police making them useless to him. Saturn is the natural ruler of death and the accidental ruler of death, thus Mrs. Bamber identifies with that idea and I believe that she died before her husband. Saturn afflicts the rising degree even though by trine and therefore kills Mr. Bamber. I suggest that as the Moon separates from its square to the Ascendant and 7th, that the killer had to try several times before succeeding in killing both Mr. and Mrs. Bamber.

We could take the Moon as significant of both mother and father because the telephone call was hardly made solely for his own benefit and may also include the
twins. We find them all running into Venus. We may wonder how peaceful, benefic Venus could be the source of such mayhem: it is conjunct a star of the third magnitude, so not usually of much bother, but its name is Al Dirah which means, according to Robson, the Seed or Branch and symbolically called the Abused or Beaten One. It is of the nature of Mercury and Venus which maintains the feminine flavour.

According to reports, the killer had to have been one or other of the adopted children: Sheila or Jeremy. The 11th house is most frequently given to adopted children
and my source for that is Ptolemy in "Tetrabiblos". The radical 11th has feminine Taurus on its cusp ruled by Venus in feminine Cancer lurking in the 12th house. The 12th house is associated with self-harm and as there are no other planets affecting it, we might conclude suicide with regard to Sheila.

That's what this particular chart suggests to me, it's a difficult chart and not at all obvious, although you may think differently.