ISSUE NO. 16
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In this issue:
|Nergal’s Story – A Mesopotamian look at Mars and his descent into the Underworld|
A Man, A Vision and the Edge of History - Ehud Olmert Israel’s new Prime Minister
In the last few days we have had the final confirmation of the article "The Prince Takes the Crown" January Newsletter (Issue No.13). The sky at that time revealed a non-violent shift of power passing from a "king" to his appointed heir. Within a few weeks of the newsletter, Ariel Sharon suffered a massive heart attack, placing his deputy, Ehud Olmert, in power. To complicate the matter, Israel was due to have elections and the unknown Olmert was not expected to win. However, the sky message of Jupiter amongst the stars of the Scales was a clear message from the Babylonian priests and astrologers that the person who was Sharon's "prince" would take power. The election occurred just a few day ago and Ehud Olmert was duly elected the new Prime Minster. Never underestimate Jupiter amongst the stars of the Scales to keep surprises out of politics!
With Ehud Olmert now the new Israeli Prime Minster, Darrelyn has focused on his chart and his fixed stars, in particular the Royal Star Fomalhaut, as now his ideas, beliefs and leadership skills will impact on all of us through Israel's policies in the Middle East.
Nergal’s Story – A Mesopotamian look at Mars
the Babylonian pantheon, Nergal was the god of war and he was always shown
as bearded and carrying swords or weapons. Through his
love for Ereshkigal, he also became the god of the Underworld. He ruled
over all battles, as well as the cemeteries of warriors, and he could
bring plague to live stock, particularly cattle. When the Greeks took
dominancy around 600 B.C.E. then his warrior features were absorbed and
translated into the Greek hero Hercules, as well as the Greek god of war
Mars and, through his association with Mars, Nergal gained rulership over
the zodiac signs Aries and Scorpio. But in this Greek translation Nergal
lost his authority as Lord of the Underworld as that position was assigned
to Zeus’ brother Hades. However, two and a half thousand years later, when
Pluto was discovered in 1929 and named after
the Roman god of the Underworld, Nergal regained some of his rulership of
this domain when astrologers assigned Pluto rulership
As the god of the Underworld and the god of war, Nergal's activities were closely watched by the Babylonian priests. Features such as colour changes, brightness and of course conjunctions with other planets were meticulously monitored. But when the Babylonian priests wrote of Mars forming a conjunction, there was always an element of doubt or a direct statement that Mars will not actually make the conjunction.
astrology, Mars will always reach Saturn. There is no question about
if the planets will form a conjunction and not even a question about
when the planet will form a conjunction. Indeed there is a Saturn-Mars conjunction this year on
19 June, 2006.
So what does this priest mean when he says, that Nergal will not reach
Behaviour of the Planets - different information
Now if you
are watching the sky regularly, you will notice that, over the next few
months, Nergal/Mars will
Consequently he will probably not be seen to reach the conjunction with Saturn, as by the time the conjunction occurs, the two planets will be so low on the western horizon at sunset that, for most of us, they will have disappeared. When this occurred, the Babylon priest considered there was no threat to the king. I am not too sure if I agree with the Babylonians on this point. However, once we start to observe the visual behaviour of Mars, something quite interesting unfolds. Mars, or rather Nergal, since we are working with the planet's visual behaviour, is actually now in the process of descending into the Underworld to join his lover, Ereshkigal, and in this instance it is going to be a particularly long visit.
Nergal’s Mesopotamian Mythology
Ereshkigal is the elder sister of Inanna and she represents the dark, chaotic side of the feminine. As an intense and passionate lover, she demands Nergal’s sexual attention and he delights in returning her passion. In the great myth of their meeting - the earliest records date from the fifteenth or fourteenth century B.C.E. - Nergal visits Ereshkigal in the Underworld and although he is told to resist her and eat no food and drink no wine, she seduces him and they spend six passionate days together. Nergal then tells Ereshkigal that he must climb through the gates of the Anu, Ellil and Ea and return to the heavens. (The gates of which Nergal speaks are the names of the three pathways where the horizon cuts the sky. They are north of the ecliptic, the zone of the ecliptic and south of the ecliptic respectively.)
So Nergal is seen to rise in the predawn light. The gods rejoice at his arrival into the night sky and seek to disguise him as a simple man amongst the other gods to hide him from Ereshkigal. But she goes wild with sexual frustration yelling out:
She then threatens the gods of heavens in her anger and says…
The myth then talks of how Nergal begins his slow descent once again into the Underworld but this time he has to kill seven gate keepers,
There are, as you have probably already noticed, striking similarities with the Greek myth of Kore (Persephone). She is kidnapped and raped by Hades (Pluto), the god of the Underworldd. Her mother, Demeter, protests and causes life to come to a standstill. This action forces Hades to return Kore to the world. But Hades tricks her into eating six pomegranate seeds, thereby insuring that she will always return to him. These parallels are so strong that one senses that the Greek myth is a male rewrite of the older Mesopotamian story of Nergal and Ereshkigal.
Nergal - a different Mars
There are several points to consider in this Mesopotamian view of Mars. In this myth, Nergal descends into the Underworld in the same manner as we think of Kore/Ishtar/Inana (Venus) in her descent. However, unlike the Greek myths, Nergal’s story is not one of rape and kidnap but of mutual love and a deep, intense, sexual passion. The relationship between Nergal and Ereshkigal becomes monogamous and unlike Hercules and Mars, his Greek/Roman counter-parts, Nergal never takes another lover. The myth ends with the two rulers of the Underworld living happily ever after.
So when Nergal is in the heavens, he is shown in the myth to be milder, calmer, fitting in with the other gods. When he is absent and in the Underworld, he is violent (the gate keepers are killed) as well as highly-focused, motivated and extremely aroused and passionate. So we see that Nergal has two sides and that these sides may be indicated by Nergal's relationship to the sun.
Think about your own chart. Is your natal Nergal (Mars) in the Underworld with his lover or is he in the heavens with the gods? If you are born with a Sun-Mars conjunction with either the Sun approaching the Mars by only about 8 degrees or separating from the Mars by about 20 degrees (roughly), then your Mars is in the Underworld regardless of the zodiac signs involved. One would think that such a Mars would have a strong level of intensity in its actions, so I scanned a few files using Jigsaw to find charts with this Sun-Mars relationship and found the following list of people :
We will return to Nergal frequently in this newsletter, particular when he begins to re-climb the stairs back to the heavens early next year. I think that this ancient version of Mars, with his periods in the Underworld, his love, his passion and his equal relationship with his queen, Ereshkigal, is a more complete model of human love, sex and relationships than the rape of Persephone where the six days and nights of sexual passion are traded-in for six pomegranate seeds. I think that we have things to learn about Mars and his role in our modern charts from this Mesopotamian view of Nergal.
Hunger, Herman. (1992). Astrological Reports to Assyrian Kings.
Helsinki, Finland: Helsinki University Press. pg. 49
Man, A Vision and the Edge of History
By Darrelyn Gunzburg
Ehud Olmert was born in Nahalat Jabotinsky, near Binyamina, in the British Mandate of Palestine (today’s State of Israel) on 30th September, 1945.[i] He was elected as Israel's Prime Minster on 28th March, 2006
As far as I can ascertain, we do not yet have a birth time for Olmert so, working with a noon chart, we can see he has a tightly-conjunct natal Mercury-Neptune-Sun-Jupiter stellium in Libra. This suggests a father figure who was either highly religious, idealistic or artistic, or a dreamer, an alcoholic or weakened in some way, (Sun-Neptune), who seeks or is a spiritual teacher (Jupiter-Neptune), who may be confused in his thinking or be an inspired, intuitive communicator (Mercury-Neptune) and is either able to see both sides of a situation and thus to negotiate with diplomacy or else unable to make clear decisions and so falls into confusion (Sun in Libra). Since this stellium is also at the Bendings (square the nodal axis), these aspects are further highlighted and stressed in Olmert’s chart.
Olmert and a Royal Star
In working with parans Starlight does not need a birth time to examine the fixed stars in a chart. The resulting paran printout produced by Starlight will divide a life into three sections: stars of one’s youth, stars of one’s prime and stars of one’s latter years. If life can extend anywhere from between 70-90 years, then we could say that the first third of life may contain all that occurs up to the first Saturn return, the second third up to the second Saturn return and the final third the years thereafter. So for Olmert, the fact that Fomalhaut is connected with his Sun and his Mercury in youth adds recognition and acclaim to his pathway but initially projected onto his father figure.
Starlight says of Olmert’s Fomalhaut that it is rising as it forms
a paran to his natal Sun
Thus Olmert would have seen his father as someone with tremendous magnetism who shaped and focused his early ideals (Fomalhaut) and honed his own identity (the Sun).
When Olmert was born, the Second World War had just ended. Olmert’s father, Mordechai Olmert, was an ultranationalist politician and a member of the Revisionist movement whose goals were to put pressure on Great Britain for Jewish statehood. Following in his father’s politically active footsteps, Olmert joined Betar, a secular Jewish and Zionist youth movement.
Starlight says of Olmert’s Fomalhaut rising with his Mercury
As with all Israeli youth, Olmert served time in the Israeli Defense Force as combat infantry unit officer. However, we see an early expression of Fomalhaut in paran with his Mercury when he took on a position of military correspondent for the IDF journal “Bamachane”. Taking this ability with words, communication and idealistic vision further, Olmert went on to become a lawyer by profession, holding B.A. and LL.B. degrees in Psychology, Philosophy and Law from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. By the time he was twenty-eight he had won a seat in the Knesset (the Israelii parliament) and was offering further expression for his lofty visions by serving on various political committees.
as the Sun is Rising
Alhena, the Proudly Marching One, is the star in the left foot of Pollux. Brady, writing in Starlight, tells us that:
Since the creation of Israel in 1948, the country has been governed either by Labour (left wing) or Likud (right-wing) parties. This current Kadima (centrist) victory is historic.[iii] particularly given that Olmert was essentially a “blue blood of the right”[iv] in upbringing. But within a few short years of being a close ally of Ariel Sharon he had moved his ideas to the middle.
For Olmert, these elections have taken the idealistic vision of his early years (Sun-Fomalhaut) and linked them with absolute certainty to Israel’s identity – that of a leader with a mission identified with a cause (Sun-Alhena) in the years of his prime.
as Mercury is On Nadir
Ankaa is The Bright One in the Boat which, according to Brady, carries a sense of transformation or transcendence. In Olmert’s case it is in the area of his Mercury, his thinking, his communication, his ability to broker deals and to sway people to his point of view that he can truly change or alter Israel’s circumstances, not through force and action, but via insights that transcend.
Again the idealistic vision of his early years in politics (Fomalhaut-Mercury) are being given an opportunity to provide a peaceful solution for Israel (Ankaa -Mercury) in the years of his prime.
The nemesis of Fomalhaut is that one could be being lost in the world of idealism and fanaticism. Yet Olmert has not done this.
As Nicola Assetta in Cafebabel.com (France) on 30th March 2006 wrote:
He has done it; Ehud Olmert cast aside his grey bureaucrat's suit and became a statesman recognised by the people… His winning weapon has been pragmatism. A pragmatism that has lead him to difficult choices in a country whose politics have mainly been inspired by ideologies and dogmas.
As well, with a natal Mercury-Neptune-Sun-Jupiter stellium in Libra, Olmert has the gift of steadiness, seeing both sides of an argument and taking a middle course. He has already proved he is on this pathway. Olmert was once a lifetime advocate of keeping all the land Israel conquered in the 1967 Six-Day War and his idealist Fomalhaut-fed Sun and Mercury supported settlement in the occupied territory. However, in 2003, Olmert recognized that Arabs would eventually outnumber Jews and turn Israel into a bi-national state if they continued to maintain the combined territory (Israel, Gaza and the West Bank), that the only way forward in order to remain a Jewish state was to pull back.
The fate of the Middle East has been placed upon Olmert’s shoulders. He is now the leader with a mission, the person identified with a cause (Alhena-Sun) but it rests on his ability to as the engineer, or one who brings order and structure (Mercury with Ankaa) to communicate and implement his plans. The fixed stars connected with his natal chart all suggest this will happen.
[i] Sources: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs; News reports (January 2006) and http://www.jafi.org.il/education/100/people/BIOS/olmert.html - accessed 2nd April 2006.
Bernadette. (1999). Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars, Samuel Weiser
Inc: York Beach, Maine.
[iii] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4855154.stm - accessed 2nd April 2006.
[iv] http://www.newsday.com/news/opinion/ny-opgor314682183mar31,0,1810806.story?coll=ny-viewpoints-headlines – accessed 2nd April 2006.
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