Update  - Nabu and Nergal go to War.
Why do we place our hopes and fears in the sky?

SPECIAL NOTE: If your email-reading software has trouble reading this Newsletter then click here and go to the TOP newsletter in the archive list to read it online.



Update: Nabu and Nergal in the Bow of the Archer go to war

We have not seen much activity around the Korean situation of last month but what did crash into the news was the WikiLeaks episode. There was outrage from the establishment at WikiLeaks once again releasing over a half a million documents onto the internet. At first news stories were about the leaks which seemed quite harmless and were primarily about disparaging comments about world figures by other world figures. But all of that changed when the media decided that the better story was not the leaks but the attacks on Julian Assange, WikiLeaks' founder. The establishment decided to try and stop Wikileaks' cash flow but their attempts came under a counter-attack via hackers fighting the financial sector that was involved.  War was literally declared by this group who were fighting for freedom of information.

Such a series of events are almost an exact description of Nabu with Nergal in an aggressive place, along with Pluto sitting in the bow, bringing in a global story. Now that the issue is up and running, marked by such a sky combination, the war of words and hackers will continue rising and falling in intensity every time Mercury and Mars form an aspect.

Of interest also is Julian Assanges, born 3 July 1971 in Townsville, Queensland. He has many interesting fixed star parans but I noted that the tightest paran was between Capulus, a nebula in the sword of Perseus, and Saturn. The delineation of this, produced by Starlight, is: 'To ruthlessly fulfil one’s dreams whether positively or negatively'.

In looking at the fixed star parans to his natal Mercury the print out from Starlight is as follows:

Capulus is Culminating 

To express oneself in a confronting manner


Sualocin is Setting 

Playfulness with truth and facts, a different way of seeing the world


Dubhe is Rising 

An interest in places and/or people


Pollux is Culminating

Struggling with new or unusual ideas, to take the contra argument


Mirfak is Setting 

To be verbally assertive, and a lover of mental challenges


Altair is Culminating 

A military mind, a brave and independent thinker

My thinking, given the above, is that WikiLeaks is not going to roll over and go quiet!



Starlight Software Sale

For those astrologers who want to get into the stars and become familiar with the sky! ... Give yourself a post-Christmas present and save £30!



The Sky: holder of  hope and harbinger of fear 
 By Bernadette Brady M.A.

For many of us this time of the year sees a focus on the Star of Bethlehem. It adorns Christmas cards, shop windows, emails, street lights, and for many people it will also sit on top of their Christmas tree. Perhaps the Christmas star is the ultimate sky symbol of hope. It may be a fantasy generated by our desire to have such an important event as the birth of Christ marked by a special sign in the sky, or indeed it might have been a bright Venus linked with Mars, Jupiter and Saturn rising before the sun (called a doryphory by Ptolemy) that played the roles of those three wise men. There are many interesting arguments but none can ever offer any proof.

Alberht Durer, Nativity, 1509-11


The simple fact is that we look to the sky for signs of hope and signs of fear.


I remember the Harmonic Convergence of 1987. It was on the 16 and 17 August of that year and was the alignment of six of the ten planets; a Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Neptune grand fire trine.  It was supposedly associated with the Mayan Calendar, and was meant to mark the end of a 1,144 year cycle. The idea linked to this celestial event was of hope, hope that we could nudge the world into a better pattern of some type, based on the belief in the benefit nature of trines and the element of fire.


I remember standing around a fountain in the middle of the city of Adelaide in South Australia meditating for world peace at the time of the Convergence.  It was a global event filled with collective hope for a better world.  We were still in the utopia of the Age of Aquarius, that promise of the world that we all wanted but which no one knew when it would occur. We were probably reaching for the Age of Aquarius as we were the group that had lost grandparents in WWI, lost parents in WWII and lost our brothers and friends in the Vietnam War.

The Harmonic Convergence of 1987


It was no wonder that we sought change and the Convergence offered us a real date.  Nothing magical happened on that day, but maybe we made a small change to the world. 


But the sky also is used to hold our fears.  It can be the place of the unexpected or the chaotic.

In 1179, John of Toledo circulated pamphlets predicting that an alignment of all visible planets in Virgo and Libra on 23 September 1186 (OS) foretold the end of the world. 

In Constantinople, the Byzantine Emperor walled up his windows, and in England the Archbishop of Canterbury called for a day of atonement.  

The planetary alignment of 15 September 1186 NS was used by John of Toledo to predict the end of the world.




One could ague the world did end at these times with the impact of the crusades between the West and the East in the 12th century, the implications of which are still being felt today.

Later as people moved towards the year 1500 there was fear of the world’s end. On 5 March 1524 (OS) all the visible planets were within Pisces and Aries and this was believed to foretell the end of the world.

The end did not come but the Renaissance did. 

The planetary alignment of 5 March 1524 OS was another marker of the end of the world.


However, every period and every century contains change, whether the sky performs a noticeable alignment or not. At the dawn of the 20th century there were no cars, planes, antibiotics, phone, computers, internet and most importantly very few human rights, no votes for women, and animal rights were still far in the future. The hundred years of the 20th century bought great change to us all.



Once again however we are being swept up in yet another sky-prophecy of world end. As we move into 2011 it seems the number of emails once again promoting fear and worry of a sky event are growing in intensity. Yet again the Mayan cosmology is being used to throw up worries about the year 2012.


The justification seems to be the fact that the December solstice sun is now, once again, occurring near the galactic centre or visually within the body of Nut the great Egyptian sky goddess.  This event although occurring over the next 100 years, as precession is a slow-moving event, has been focused, through the use of Mayan cosmology, onto the year 2012. 


But why are people seeing this as a time of fear?  There are many possible answers to this question but two points are worth considering. Firstly, if the sky is a harbinger of collective destruction or cause for global worry, why would the sun returning to the womb of the great sky goddess be a cause for fear?  The Pyramid text of 2500 BCE reports a description of the starry goddess, this first Madonna, who proclaimed the love of her children, promising to protect them and upon their death, which she does not cause, she promised them immortality. This great starry goddess was seen every night as the Milky Way, arching overhead like a great protecting deity (see June 2010 newsletter). In this way Nut was portrayed as a loving, caring, stellar goddess: 



'Great lady, who is the heavens you have become mighty, you have become victorious, you hast filled every place with your beauty.


The whole earth lies under you; you have taken possession of it;

you encompass the earth and all things are within you arms;

may you give you child immortality as one of the imperishable [circumpolar] stars'


(Utterance 432)

Nut, the starry goddess with her husband Geb.

Her role was of earth protector as well as loving mother and many of the utterances talk of her protective features:

'Thy mother, Nut, has spread herself over you, that she may hide you from all evil things. Nut has guarded you from all evil; thou art the greatest among her children.'  (Utterance 446).


Such Utterance from the earliest religious writings of a starry goddess, the Queen of Heaven that loved us and could guard against all evil is, of course, reflected in our own concept of the Virgin Mary, who is also generally shown with stars on her veil. 


The Egyptian Queen of Heaven, Nut,  would proclaim her love for us, guard our soul against condemnation of eternal death and offer us eternal life amongst the stars. 


Nut was the Milky Way and as such was and is the centre of the Galaxy


CRIVELLI, Carlo Madonna with child
(detail) c1470


These words were chiselled into stone at an earlier time in 2500 BCE when there were similar alignments of solstice and the body of Nut, but the world did not end for the Egyptians, well at least not until several thousand years later with Alexander the Great’s invasion of Egypt. So if the sky is a portent of hope or fear, why are people seeing this celestial event as a time of fear?


Maybe the answer to this question lies in the second key point: why do we humans from time to time need to externalise and collectively move as a group into either hope or fear?  


The answer may lie more in Jungian psychology and/or the inherited Stoic idea of the destruction of the world through the periodic conflagration, the world being returned to the element of fire to be purified and then being ‘born again’. Whatever the logic of historically unfounded fears around stellar omens, astrologers will be asked privately in consultation or publicly in the media for information about this next sky fear. 

It is important that when this happens to realise that you are not really being asked to interpret a sky event but rather to comment on a collective fear.

The contemporary symbol for the Stoic Conflagration



As astrologers we consider that life and the sky are intertwined and we can look respectively at all these great alignments and conjunctions and point to changes in the emerging history of the earth. Indeed I remember wondering if the Harmonic Convergence of 1987 would bring contact with alien life, but what we got instead was the Internet. The Sun, for the last 50 and next 50 years is retouching the body of the great stellar mother, the very first divine queen of heaven. I for one have no idea of what this means but I am certain that it will begin, or maybe has already begun, as a small change that will slowly build to what will be known in history as one of the features of the 21st century.


At this time of the hope of the Star of Bethlehem let us push against the global fear of the Galactic centre and the Sun and talk instead of Nut, the first starry goddess reaching out to once again touch the very source of life on this small blue planet, our Sun.




Issue No. 72
December, 2010

On related topics

November 2010

The story of Nabu and Nergal meeting in the Bow.

June 2010

The Milky Way and Nut, and the solstices.


February 2010

The Egyptian ritual of the Opening of the Mouth and the Nodes.



In brief...

A revisit of the Mercury-Mars meeting in the bow and a consideration of the way that we place our hopes and fears in the sky.



Please use the links at the bottom of this newsletter.
Sends us an email which is then added to the Newsletter's mailing list.
Your natal stars - emailed to you.

Free Downloads
 a 60 min flash lecture on Visual Astrology

click here
to see astrological
educational material

click here
for a quick overview of
all our astrology courses

click here
to view our entire catalogue of Studyshops with a NEW Visual Astrology Studyshop

click here
see our tips for learning astrology


visual astrology  sky happenings

December 2010

Saturn now claims the early morning sky, rising to culmination before the sun rises. If you are up early before  dawn look for Saturn near the bright star Spica in Virgo.


Jupiter continues to be high in the sky at sunset, glowing near the western fish of Pisces but by the end of December it begins its descent, for at every sunset now it will be seen moving towards the west. 

Mars is now close to the sun and thus not visible. While Mars is in the 'other' world this is the perfect time for your own personal creative time.   

Venus continues as the Morning Star visible from mid-November and radiates the King (Saturn). In late December she passes through the Symplegades - the gates of Libra - always linked to times of sudden decisions. The week between Christmas and New Year will contain a few unexpected events that need a fast decision.





Calendar of
forthcoming Events

8-10 January, 2011
Adelaide, Australia

Re-Thinking the Heavens :
Cosmology, Sky and Charts

A 3-day specialist conference with Bernadette Brady and Darrelyn Gunzburg.


More information on Astro Logos web site

8, 9, 10 April, 2011
Tiefenbrunnen, Zurich Switzerland

Maps of the Psyche - Astrology and the Path to the Stars
Liz Greene, Nick Campion and Bernadette Brady
This 3-day conference, drawing on ideas from ancient and classical teachings as well as modern psychology, will examine astrological notions of the horoscope as a map, locating humanity within a celestial environment and describing a journey through life and a pathway to the stars.

Please note: Limited places available.
Registrations Now Open

13, 14 , 15 May, 2011
ORIGINS, the Egyptian and Mesopotamian contribution to astrology
This event is unique in the USA. For the very first time, the Sophia Centre at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, UK through Dr Nick Campion and Bernadette Brady will be teaching an intensive, exploring the Babylonian and Egyptian contribution to Western Astrology.

Registrations Now Open

14 - 16 October 2011 - Bristol, UK
Heavenly Discourses: Myth, Astronomy and Culture
An academic conference being held at The University of Bristol, UK.
Co-convened by
Darrelyn Gunzburg and Nick Campion.

More information shortly.

If you enjoy Visual Astrology and would like to look at sky maps and also create full fixed star reports for yourself as well as clients, then have a look at Starlight the software that has provided the foundation stone for the development of visual astrology over the last 6 years.
 Visit:  www.Zyntara.com