A Sulpa'e Jupiter and the British Elections - a brief look at the sky story for the current elections.

Eyjafjallajökull – the volcano erupts - An exploration of the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland and what it looks like from the perspective of visual astrology.

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Sulpa'e Jupiter and Saturn in the Wing of Virgo:
an old leader moves into exile and the Crown Prince gains power

A brief note on the British Election
by Bernadette Brady

The British general election system is known as the Westminster system and differs in many ways to that of the USA. As discussed in the September, 2008 newsletter, the fact that the USA elections are held at a set date every four years actually aligns itself with the eight year cycle of Venus – alternating between two particular Venus phases and positions. However, the British system cannot be any longer then a five year term but can be any time before that generally decided by the Prime Minister.  Thus it is a little more difficult to consider the British elections in terms of  cycles, so when it comes to looking at the current election on 6 May, 2010 via visual astrology, we do so as stand-alone event.

Elections of any form tend to propel astrologers into a plethora of charts – charts for the country, charts for candidates, charts for the day of the election, to name just a few. However, by contrast and as shown with the USA elections, using visual astrology one can ignore the individual candidates and simply look at the big picture. 

Elections are moments of time when, on a set day, a people cast their vote based on their emotions and ideas at that moment in time.

The current sky story since the middle of March till late May (at UK latitudes) is that there is a Sulpa'e Jupiter with the 'king', Saturn retreating. A Sulpa'e Jupiter is one that is rising before the sun in the dawn light. Such a Jupiter is symbolic of the emergence of a powerful Crown Prince. Here in Britain before the announcement of the election it was easy to assume with this strong Jupiter that the young leader of the Tory party, David Cameron, would sweep to power. The Tory party (conservatives) have been in opposition for the last 13 years to the Labor government (non-conservatives) that is lead by the older Gordon Brown. However, as the volcano erupted closing all airspace over Britain (see Darrelyn's article below) a new event occurred to fill the vacant 'gap' of space, as it were. On the evening of 15 April 2010, Britain decided to experiment with the idea of allowing the leaders to debate their issues on TV. In that historic 90 minute debate a new young contender, Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrats (a centre left party) emerged, capturing the Sulpa'e Jupiter energy and upsetting the landscape of British politics. From that TV debate the two party system, with its assumption that the conservative party (Tories) would claim victory, was left in tatters and Nick Clegg suddenly took second place in the national polls.

The point to be underlined here is that this UK election is being described by the Sulpa'e Jupiter. On the day of the election, the Sulpa'e Jupiter still shines brightly in the early morning light and the 'old King' is in exile in the wing of Virgo. But now there are 'two Crown Princes'. For 10 days after the election the Moon will ride over the top of Neptune, Jupiter, Uranus, Mercury, and the Sun, softening the expression of these planets and not allowing any rash decisions to be made. It finally meets up with Venus in the horns of the Bull on 16 May, 2010 suggesting that by 17th May, some form of compromise will have been made politically between these two 'princes'. Time and Jupiter will tell.

Eyjafjallajökull – the volcano erupts

Darrelyn Gunzburg

14 Apr 2010
10:00 am
63°N38' 19°W36'
Zone standard : -01:27:24

We have all been aware of the unique time this last week has been with volcanic ash pouring across European airspace and causing havoc by stranding millions of travellers across the world. So in this Visual Astrology Newsletter we want to take a look at what was going on in the sky.

The name Eyjafjallajökull (eye-ya/ffyullah/yokel) means ‘the island-mountains glacier’ and it erupts relatively frequently, previously recorded in the years 920, 1612, and 1821-1823. Seismic activity connected with the 2010 eruptions was first detected around December last year, but it wasn't until 14 April 2010 that the top of the crater blew in all ferocity, heaving volcanic ash several kilometres up into the atmosphere and causing meltwater floods. Airspace over most of Europe was closed from Wednesday 14th April until Thursday 23rd April.

Eyjafjallajökull volcano:
location in the south of Iceland.

So what has been going on in the sky?

Whilst some astrologers have been blaming Mercury going retrograde, a deeper story emerges in the sky map, not one we can use to predict but instead one we can use to seek to understand.

Mercury has been travelling through the part of the sky that straddles the ecliptic between the Stare of Cetus and the stare of the Medusa. Cetus represents the unknown beast from the depths. Hidden or ignored events of society erupt with what appears to be huge, unstoppable and destructive force.[1]

The stare of the Medusa represents that which becomes frozen in its tracks due to jammed anger and fury.

Mercury radiated by a bright Venus, and both trapped by the
Stare of Cetus and the stare of the Medusa.

Mercury passes through this Stare every year but in this year Mercury stationed and then went retrograde in the Stares. Furthermore it was radiated by, and thus empowered by, a very bright Venus (magnitude – 3.92). The last three occurrences of this unique combination were: April 1905 where there were earthquakes in China that killed 20,000 people; April 1898 when the USA declared war on Spain; and May 1832 where we see a gentler expression of this - Darwin set sail on his five-year journey on his HMS 'Beagle', a voyage that lead to his theory of evolution - which eventually 'erupted' into the world's thinking. In this current episode we are seeing that all matters to do with communication and journeys (Mercury) have been trapped and frozen (the stare of Medusa) by an event that has literally erupted from the bowels of the earth (the Stare of Cetus) and which has, at the same time, been strengthened by the radiating light of Venus.

We also gain added information from the fixed star parans with Pluto. Pluto represents the crises or the changes that occur in society. The mundane background theme of this eruption of 14th April 2010 (for those readers who own Starlight, when you have 'Parans' showing on the screen, select the button ‘Text One’ / ‘Mundane Parans’) is contained the following paran:

Pluto in paran with Murzim:

a seemingly small event has very powerful consequences

Murzim, a star in the constellation Canis Major was called The Announcer because it rose before Sirius. Its nature is to carry a message or to have something important to say. [2] In the past, previous eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull have been followed by those of the nearby volcano Katla. Katla's eruptions have always been more violent than those of Eyjafjallajökull. What concerns some geophysicists in Iceland is that this current eruption of Eyjafjallajökull eruption may trigger a violent eruption of Katla.[3] Pluto in paran with Murzim would also seem to indicate that this will happen again.

Left: Eyjafjallajökull erupting, as a lightning storm sweeps over tumultuous cloud.
Right: Eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull at sunrise (c)
Gunnar Gestur, 2010.

The eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull in 1821-1822

Eyjafjallajökull erupted on 18 December 1821 and again on 30 June 1822. Visually in the sky Saturn was then in the Stare of Cetus, and Pluto, low off the ecliptic, was trapped in the tail.

The ash released from the December 1821 eruption contained a large amount of fluoride, which in high doses may harm the bone structure of cattle, horses, sheep and humans. This nineteenth-century eruption affected the structural parts of the body, the bones (Saturn) rather than the travel or communication of its twenty-first century counterpart when Mercury was trapped there.

The sky map for when Eyjafjallajökull erupted on 30 June 1822. Visually in the sky Saturn was in the Stare of Cetus and Pluto, low off the ecliptic, was trapped in the tail.

The mundane background theme of this eruption of 18 December 1821 contained the following parans:

Pluto in paran with Sualocin:
To be taken by surprise, or to take others by surprise
in paran with Aldebaran:
The population is asked to act with dignity and social awareness

The eruption of 30 June 1822 contained the following parans:

Neptune in paran with Murzim:
News or information that is not believed, or causes loss
Neptune in paran with Vindemiatrix:
That which has been collected in the past is vulnerable to loss
Pluto in paran with Alphard:
The macabre, the ruthless; to seek retribution

Pluto in paran with Zosma:
A nation mourns, or a nation is victimised

In mundane parans Neptune signifies the hopes and fears of the nation but Neptune can also represent poison. Farmers at this time attributed the death of cattle and sheep in the area to fluoride poisoning from this eruption. The eruption also caused some small and medium glacier runs and flooding in nearby rivers.

The eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in 1612

We have no dates for the eruption of 1612 but we can look at where the outer planets were situated for the whole of that year in order to gain an understanding of what was happening in the collective. The sky shows Pluto in the jaws of Cetus and Uranus rolling from the tip of the lower horn of the Great Bull of Heaven onto the tip of the club of Orion. Uranus in mundane parans is representative of public opinion and public expectations, so this was a year full of violent attacks (Uranus on the horn of the Bull and the club of Orion) and erupting crisis (Pluto travelling through Cetus).

Sky map for January 1612 showing Pluto in the jaws of Cetus and Uranus on the tip of the lower horn of the Great Bull of Heaven.

The year 1612 contained the following mundane parans:

From March to May 1612:

Uranus in paran with Antares:
Collective worry, collective concern about wellbeing

In June 1612:

Uranus in paran with Alphecca:
Safety systems or security systems fail.

From July to August 1612:

Pluto in paran with Sualocin:
To be taken by surprise, or to take others by surprise

The eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull in 920

Again we have no dates for the eruptions of 920 but the sky shows Pluto travelling across the tip of the club of Orion, so here we have another constellation image connecting crisis (Pluto) with violence (the club of Orion).

The year 920 contained the following mundane parans:

In March and April 920:

Neptune in paran with Facies:
A ruthless attack on a national, or collective, symbol

From August to November 920:

Pluto in paran with Betelgeuse:
Benefits or breakthrough achieved in the wake of a disaster

From September to November 920:

Neptune in paran with Zuben Elgenubi:
People, in awe of unfolding events; disbelief or wonder

Other volcanic activity in the region – Laki in 1783-1784

This is not the first or last time that a volcanic eruption in Iceland has caused disruption to the atmosphere above Europe. Beginning on 8 June 1783 and continuing until 7 February 1784, the Laki or Lakagígar (Craters of Laki) system erupted over this 8 month period and poured out an estimated 14km3 (3.4cumi) of basalt lava and clouds of poisonous hydrofluoric acid/ sulphur dioxide compounds, killing over 50% of Iceland's livestock population, and leading to a famine which killed approximately 25% of the Iceland population.[4] Between June and October 1783 its eruptions of noxious cloud pumped 120 million tonnes of toxic dust into the atmosphere and engulfed the whole of Europe, cascading more than three times the average annual industrial pollution of the entire Continent in 2006.[5] Across Britain healthy men and women literally choked on the air around them. By the end of 1783 approximately 23,000 people had died of respiratory failure and related conditions in what was to become the greatest natural disaster to hit modern Britain.[6] In Great Britain, the summer of 1783 was known as the ‘sand-summer’ due to ash fallout.[7] It created a poisonous plume over Prague, made New Jersey's snowfall its highest ever, had an impact on Egypt contributing to one of its worst droughts, and as it led to a poor harvest and public unrest in France, was considered by some to be a central cause of the French Revolution.

NASA image acquired 16 April, 2010, showing visible ash as it sweeps in an arc across the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, and Russia. It is likely that the clouds mask additional ash.

The year 1783 contained the following mundane parans at the latitude of the Laki volcano - 64°03′53″N:

May, July 1783:

Pluto in paran with Ras Algethi:
The collapse, or birth, of a stable system

May - June 1783

Uranus in paran with Acubens:
Public attention on lives lost, a community in mourning

October – November 1783

Uranus in paran with Zosma
A controversial, or upsetting, outcome

November 1783

Pluto in paran with Acubens:
An act against the sacredness of human life

January - February 1784

Neptune in paran with Aldebaran:

Natural disasters

Neptune in paran with Polaris:

A final solution, a last chance, that fails

In conclusion…

As societies, as well as individually, we tend to live our lives believing we are in control. When natural events such as volcanic eruptions occur, we are brought up short, recognizing that we are simply part of a much bigger, broader, wider system, all separate yet all inter-related and all interconnected. It is times such as these that we become aware of the power of Gaia, mother earth, and how our lives can be disrupted so easily. The irony is that there is no blame in all of this, no one person or group of people at whom we can become angry. Whilst we can’t use the parans of the outer planets to predict volcanoes, we can use them to look back on what has happened in order to gain a greater understanding. Like adjusting a lens on a camera, the constellation images at the time, the areas of the sky the planets inhabit, and these outer planetary mundane parans tell us how these events impact on the collective, and leave us breathless with wonder.


1.Brady, Bernadette, Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars, York Beach: Samuel Weiser, Inc, 1998, p. 108.

2.Brady, Bernadette, Star and Planet Combinations, Bournemouth: The Wessex Astrologer, p.187.

3.Roger Boyes. ‘Iceland prepares for second, more devastating volcanic eruption’. TimesOnline.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article7070239.ece. Retrieved 24 March 2010.

4.Gunnar Karlsson, Iceland's 1100 years: the history of a marginal society, London: C. Hurst & Co, 2000, p.181.

5.Volcanology: Iceland's Doomsday Scenario? - Stone 306 (5700): 1278 – Science

6.Derek Wilson, Britain's Rottenest Years, London: Short Books, 2009.
BBC Timewatch: "Killer Cloud", broadcast 19 January 2007


Issue No. 64
April, 2010

On related topics

September 2008

Venus radiating and empowering the USA presidential elections.

April 2008 -

Introducing the Stare of Cetus in the charts of Harry Patch, 'Victoria' and Aung San Suu Kyi.

May 2008 -

More on the Stare of Cetus.

In brief...

Using the sky narrative to look at the forth coming British elections.


A focus on mundane issues - the recent chaos caused by the Icelandic volcano with Mercury stationing and going retrograde in the Stare of Cetus; and the current UK elections.

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visual astrology sky happenings


Saturn continues its occupation of the wing of Virgo and will now be high in the sky at sunset. On 23 May the Moon moves underneath Saturn, suggesting a good period for doing all things of a Saturnian nature. 

Jupiter completes its   Sulpa'e phase,  rising just before the Sun. At the latitude of the UK this phase of coming into visibility lasts considerably longer than at lower latitudes. Thus it is a feature of the current British elections. 

Mars spends the month of May moving between the stars of Cancer and Leo and in early June Mars conjuncts Regulus, the Heart of the Lion.

Venus is now a bright evening star. By late May she will be  radiating the Heavenly Twins, Gemini.  

Calendar of
forthcoming lectures

13-19 June, 2010Shropshire, UK Conversations with Astrologers
with Robert Hand, Liz Greene, Bernadette Brady and Nick Campion.

(Rescheduled due to the chaos of the Icelandic volcano)
10-11 July, 2010 Bristol, UK
Imagining Astrology: Painted Schemes and Threads of the Soul Conference,
The University of Bristol, UK

Organized by
Darrelyn Gunzburg and Liz Greene.

Click here for further information, provisional programme and to register.

24-25 July,2010
Bath, UK
This conference will, for the first time, bring together academics to investigate the theory and practice of astrology in the modern world, from c.1800 to the present day.

Speakers include: Rob Hand, Nick Campion, Liz Greene, Darrelyn Gunzburg, Bernadette Brady, and Garry Phillipson.

9-13 September, 2010
Santa Fe, New Mexico

StarLogos >>> 2010
Bernadette Brady, Darrelyn Gunzburg, and guest lecturer Darby Costello.

The 2nd Visual Astrology Conference under Santa Fe's big skies.

24- 26 September, 2010
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Workshops with Darrelyn Gunzburg

Friday evening 23rd September:
AstroGraphology at Astroinspiratie
Saturday 24th and
Sunday 25th:
Delineation, and Children's' charts.

25 - 29 October 2010
Bernadette Brady and Darrelyn Gunzburg are both presenting work at this
More information.

8-10 January, 2011
Adelaide, Australia

Cosmology, Sky and Charts
A three-day specialist conference with Bernadette Brady and Darrelyn Gunzburg
Details still to be announced.

13-15 May, 2011
West Greenwich, Providence USA
Bernadette Brady and Nick Campion
More information still to be announced.

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