A joint publication of: Astro Logos and Zyntara Publications

 

ISSUE NO. 14

February 2006

The VAN is a free monthly electronic newsletter
dedicated to promoting awareness of the sky to astrologers.

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 Venus changes places and a Little Girl seeks the Chrysanthemum Throne
     The Royal Stars of Persia - A focus on Regulus  
   

VAN Archive - www.Zyntara.com

 
   
 

Introduction

Last month this newsletter suggested that in January we would see the non-violent shift of power from "king" to "crown prince". Within days of putting out the newsletter, the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, suffered a massive heart attack, placing his deputy, Ehud Olmert, in power. To complicate the matter, Israel is also due to have elections in March, 2006, and many believe that with the removal of Sharon, his rival, Benjamin Netanyahu, will win the election. However, the sky indicates otherwise. The successor, remember, was indicated by Jupiter amongst the stars of the scales which is a configuration in Mesopotamian thinking which implies that the successor is one who is closely linked to the old king.  Therefore the sky narrative is suggesting that Ehud Olmert will become the next Israeli Prime Minister.

Here in the UK two events unfolded. Firstly, Charles Kennedy stood down as leader of the Liberal Democrats but hoped to be re-elected. Of course he was not, as, the sky narrative indicated the shift of power to another. The second event was revealed in a small article run in the London "Times" on 16th January, the day when the Moon rode over the top of Saturn (see January newsletter). In this article, the palace quietly announced that, coinciding with Queen Elizabeth II's 80th birthday this year, she intends to move into partial retirement, allowing Prince Charles to take on more duties and the Queen to spend more time in the country.

Here in these several expressions of the non-violent, natural shifting of power from sovereign to prince, from prime minister to deputy, the sky narrative does indeed seem to be alive and well! 

 

   
 
 
   


                                   Venus changes places
              and a Little Girl seeks the Chrysanthemum Throne

                                 Bernadette Brady M.A.

The four-year old Princess Aiko stands, unknowingly, on the edge of a new chapter in Japanese history. The Chrysanthemum Throne (emblem shown) consists of an unbroken line of descendants since 660 B.C.E. but is in “crisis” as the Japanese imperial family have not given birth to a male heir in over forty years and the Crown Prince's only child is the little princess Aiko. 

On 20th January, a bill was presented to the Japanese parliament to change the law to allow a woman to ascend to the Chrysanthemum Throne. Conservative elements see this as the end of the entire Japanese way of life, transforming the cultural place of women from being merely supporters of their husbands and nothing more than child-producers. This conservative element is so worried about the succession of the little Princess that it has been strongly and openly suggesting that the Crown Prince use concubines to produce a male heir.
 

Chile and Africa gain Women Leaders

At the same time, in another part of the world, other women were claiming roles of leadership. In Chile, Michelle Bachelet became her country's first woman president and within days, in Africa, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was elected Liberia’s president - Africa's first elected female leader.

Normally in this newsletter I look at the coming skies and then suggest possible future scenarios but now I would like to take these news items and let them ask a question of the sky. Is there anything in last January’s sky narrative that could be taken as an indication of this focus on women and position of leadership? Is there anything that these news events can teach us about Visual Astrology?

Venus, the lone Female Planet in the Mesopotamian system

To a sky watcher, the most notable variable in the sky, next to the phases of the moon, is probably that of the rhythm of Venus. Indeed watching the appearance and disappearance of Venus, its times of brightness and its regular shifts from a morning rising to an evening setting star, was part of the genesis of astrology. The records of these observations, known as the Venus Tablets, date from 700 B.C.E. and are themselves considered copies of observations made a thousand years earlier. 

Always tied to the sun and never being able to be further then 48 degrees from the “King”, the goddess Ishtar, or the king’s princess, varies in her brightness, depending on her phase and her closeness to earth.

She can be seen for nine months at a time, either as a bright evening star visible in the west just after sunset or a glorious morning star rising just before dawn. After each nine month period she disappears for three to four days before she reappears as the opposite star (morning or evening). Furthermore Venus can become so bright that other planets or stars within her vicinity were regarded as being radiated by her light. Such Venus radiations were thought to enhance, empower or enliven the other “actors” on the stage of the sky narrative.  

Images of Venus on Assyrian seals
 

Venus (left) is shown with her emblem animal, the lion, a star above her head, indicating that she is a star,  and weapons in her hand. This is a woman who has power to give. Venus (centre) is shown with her radiating power, the ability to empower whomever she wished. Venus (right) is shown with radiating beams coming from her shoulders.

Part of a seal showing Venus as Ishtar.  Neo-Assyrian, 720 - 700 B.C.E .

Seal depicting Ishtar with radiating halo. Cylinder seal and modern impression: Ishtar image  8th–7th century B.C.E.; Neo-Assyrian period,  

Venus was the lone feminine entity in the Mesopotamian sky world and she was a sign of love, as described by the priest Issar-sumu-eres when writing to his king around the year 660 B.C.E. about the new appearance of Venus [1]:    

What is this love by which Ishtar loves the king my lord and has [sent] the very best to the king my lord!  [Venus] made her [position perfect [......] she became visible quickly — [a good sign for the king] and his reign [2].

Apart from love, Venus could empower strife if she shone brightly with a difficult sky combination. The priest Nergal-etir warned his king about a radiating Venus in the constellation Orion by writing:

If the stars of Orion keep gaining radiance: an important person will become too mighty and commit evil. — Venus stands in front of Orion [3].
 

The Mesopotamian Venus 

Venus was a strong woman who could give her support to whomever she wished, be that to promote peace and fruitfulness or the glory of battle, even against the king. She was Ishtar and her power lay in her ability to support another, rather than to take action in her own right or promote her own agenda. A radiant Venus enhanced, supported, gave her favour to and empowered another. Venus gave her colours to her “chosen knight” and although this view is now out of step with the role of women in western society and how we work with Venus in our modern charts, this does seem to be her position in Mesopotamian astrological thought.     

In researching the translations of both Herman Hunger (1992) and Simo Parpola (1970), it would also appear that Venus as the Morning Rising star was considered more potent, more capable or inclined to empower a dangerous enemy and "bring wailings to the land" (Hunger 1992:31) whereas as an Evening Star she was seen as more gentle, more loving and potentially able to pacify a dangerous situation.


Now it so happens that during the middle of last January, Venus moved from being the Evening Star to the Morning Star and as she did so, in the northern hemisphere, she could, due to her distance from the ecliptic, be seen at both sun rise as
well as at sun set (see image below). So Venus was, on the same day, both the Morning Star and the Evening Star [4].

This is not an unusual event, as it will reoccur approximately every eight years but it is an event that horoscopic astrology does not recognize and it could well be an emphasis on Venus within the genre of visual astrology. Indeed if you look at the image below, you can see that the chart for sunrise on 12th January (only eastern side of chart shown) indicates that Venus will rise AFTER the sun but in the sky map (from Starlight) for this same chart you can see that Venus has actually risen BEFORE the sun. Also from the sky map for sunset on that day, it can be seen that Venus will set after the sun, therefore is both the Morning Star as well as the Evening Star.   
 

 


 

This could well be an indicator of the recent focus on women's issues and indeed knowing this, I went back and did further research and found that the last time this happened, in 1998, was when Bill Clinton announced that he had never had sexual relationships with Monica Lewinsky! 
 

More work is needed to explore the role of Venus in visual astrology, particularly with her emphasis on support rather than direct action but one final point can be added before ending.

With regard to the little Princess Aiko (born on 1st December, 2001 at 14.43 in Tokyo, Japan) she will probably rewrite the role of women in Japanese society by acceding to the Chrysanthemum throne, for her Venus is a Morning Rising star and her mundane stars, which are the stars which talk of how she will personally impact on the collective, contain the great royal star Regulus in paran with Venus and Saturn. Starlight gives us for the Princess Aiko:

Regulus with Venus
The role of the king, or leader, becomes of prime importance

Regulus with Saturn
To play the king

[For those readers who own Starlight, these stars and their meanings can be found by opening your own natal chart, then selecting Text/Mundane Parans. These stars and their meanings are those linked with your heliacal rising and setting stars and will give you information concerning the nature of the larger collective into which you were born and how your local acts can impact on the global scene.]

On a Personal Level

You can ask yourself some questions about your own natal Venus. Firstly, your chart will tell you if Venus was the Morning Rising star (rising before the sun on the day you were born) or the Evening Rising star (setting after the sun on the day you were born). You can then understand whether your Venus is forceful and independent or more willing to find the peaceful pathway and pour oil over troubled waters. Once you decide whether Venus is a Morning or Evening Star in your chart, then ask yourself this question: who or what in your chart does she empower, enhance or radiate? If any planets are near her, then within this Mesopotamian thinking, those planets will be empowered and given a stronger voice in your chart.


1. This could well be the earliest known example in text of the association of Venus with love.
2. Hunger, Herman. (1992). Astrological Reports to Assyrian Kings. Helsinki, Finland: Helsinki University Press. pg.16
3. (Hunger 1992:143)
4. My thanks to Martin Lewicki for pointing this out.

Reference:
Parpola, Simo(1970). Letters from Assyrian Scholars to the Kings Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal. Germany: Verlag Butzon and Bercker Kevelaer.


   

 


 

 


 

The Royal Stars of Persia -  A focus on Regulus  
Darrelyn Gunzburg


The Heart of the
Lion

 

The Royal Stars of Persia. The name alone opens doorways in our imagination which lead down corridors of palm trees, exotic perfumes in the air and silk dresses and shawls.

The Royal Stars of Persia refer to four particular stars – Antares, Aldebaran, Regulus and Fomalhaut – each one guarding one of the four compass points of the heavens. All four Royal Stars are connected with the supreme Persian deity Ahura Mazda, father of Spenta Mainyu, beneficent spirit, and Angra Mainyu, the destructor. Each star promises glory, achievement and success but each star only gives this glory if the dark destructor can be avoided.

Thus to have your chart connected in some way with a Royal Star means that there will always be this duality between light and destruction interwoven into your earthly journey. Thus great glory is promised to you but only if you can overcome the nemesis which can destroy. Last issue we considered Antares. In this issue of the VAN I am focusing on Regulus, the Watcher of the North.

Regulus as the natal Heliacal Rising or Setting Star

The Persians saw Regulus, known as the Heart of the Lion, and the alpha star of the constellation Leo, as the Watcher of the North and Brady (1999) links this star to the Persian stories of the mythological king Feridun who, it is told, once ruled the entire known world. Feridun came to adulthood by winning a great battle and claimed the throne of the kingdom for himself. He brought civilisation and laws to his people and the land benefited and prospered. Thus his reign was filled with success. As he moved into eldership, he gave much thought about how to pass on his lands and eventually decided to divide his flourishing kingdom into equal portions amongst his three sons. However, in their greed, his two eldest sons murdered their younger brother and seized his lands for themselves. Such a heartless, avaricious act shocked and grieved Feridun. He seethed with anger. He fumed with the desire for revenge. Once more he rode into battle, this time against his two sons. The war of revenge bought total decimation to the kingdom. All that Feridun had achieved turned to dust and the golden days of his rule abruptly came to an end.

The nemesis of Regulus is revenge and if Regulus connects into you chart by paran or as a helical rising or setting star, then you will gain great success in your chosen field. However, you will also be tempted in some manner shape or form at some stage of your life, to take revenge. If you choose to take this road, then like Feridun, all for which you have strived and all that has given you success turns to dust.

I used Starlight to scan my files for charts that contained Regulus as the heliacal setting star (see August, 2005 issue of this newsletter for more information concerning the heliacal rising and setting stars) and found the following names:

 Heliacal Setting:
A strong belief in the correctness of one's position, or path.

The father of physics,
Galileo Galileo.

Political figure Mary Tudor was known as Bloody Mary for her persecution of Protestants.

Sir Thomas More, author of Utpoia. 

Oliver Cromwell

Osama Ben Laden

alleged terrorist linked with 9/11.

Heliacal Rising
A strong belief in the correctness of one's position, or path.
(only able to occur for people in the
southern hemisphere)


Dawn Fraser - Australian Olympic swimmer

 

The heliacal rising star, as well as the heliacal setting star, are themes in the person’s life. They help to build the person’s philosophies and can at times, take on a vocational pulse. Regulus with its mythology and in this position, appears to compel a person to succeed, to shine, to move forward with their life. To have Regulus as one’s heliacal rising or setting star indicates that you will be strongly focused to aim high in your life but you must be open and alert to what could result from taking revenge [1].  

In the example above, Australian Olympic swimmer Dawn Fraser, considered by some to be the greatest Australian Olympian ever, won four gold medals in three successive Olympic Games between 1956 and 1964 and was the first woman to swim the 100 metres in less than a minute. Here is Regulus, as her heliacal rising star, pushing her to gain the heights of success in her field of talent – swimming – and giving her the blaze of glory and success.

 

Being Regulus, however, she will be tempted to take revenge for an act of injustice or betrayal. At the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Fraser was banned from competition for ten years for allegedly climbed a flagpole in Emperor Hirohito’s palace and taking the Olympic flag (this was later proved false). So here is Regulus giving her great success but also presenting her with an opportunity to take revenge. Instead Fraser retired from swimming and became a publican and a swimming coach. In 1988, she was presented with an Order of Australia (AO) and the government named her a National Living Treasure. At the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics, she was given the honour of being a torch-bearer.

 

Clearly such a story would not have had such a happy ending if she had taken her revenge against the Australian Swimming Union. She got on with her life and allowed time to unfold its truth for her without taking retaliation.




 Regulus in paran with a planet

I also used Starlight to search for people who had Regulus in paran with a planet or luminary and found the following people.

 Regulus with the Sun:
     
 "To receive honours and awards, provided one avoids matters of vengeance."

George Custer
US military officer.

George Stephenson,
English engineer
and principal inventor of the railroad locomotive.

Marilyn Monroe, actress.

Aubrey Beardsley
British illustrator.

Leni Riefenstahl
film maker
famous for
her
documentary films of the Nazi movement.

 

 

 Regulus with the Moon:
"A natural leader, who leads by love and devotion, rather than by power and authority"


James Cook, explorer.

Jules Verne,
French author and one of the founders
of modern science fiction.


 


George Eastman
,
manufacturer, introduced the first Kodak camera.

H.G.Wells,
English novelist,
The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds.

 

 

Regulus with Mercury:
 
"Receiving recognition for noble ideas, provided one avoids intrigue"


Raphael
master painter and architect.

Jonas Edward Salk,
physician and medical researcher.


Hermann Rorschach
psychiatrist.

Alan Turing
code breaker.

 

 

Regulus with Venus:
"A creative person who receives honours, or a diplomat
"


John Keats
, poet.

Ivan Pavlov, physiologist.


 

Raoul Wallenberg
Swedish businessman and diplomat
who rescued Hungarian Jews during World War II.

Gerry Adams
politician and President of Sinn Fein.

 

 Regulus with Mars:
"Maintaining faith in one’s skills"


Osama Ben Laden
alleged terrorist linked with 9/11

Mao Tse-Tung,
statesman and leader.


M
ary Baker Eddy
founder of the Christian Science movement.

Tom Stoppard, playwright.

 

Regulus with Jupiter:
"To be involved with those who hold high office"


Albert Einstein
, scientist.

Voltaire
French writer and philosopher.

Saint Bernadette Soubiros,
known for the visions
which led to the
foundation of the shrine at Lourdes.

A. A. Milne,
humourist and children’s writer.

 

 Regulus  with Saturn:
"
Seeing the big picture, but struggling to bring the vision to fruition"


Vincent Van Gogh, painter.

Maggie Thatcher, British Prime Minister.


Annie Oakley
, markswoman

One would have to look at each person’s chart in order to understand the nature of the theme being expressed by that planet / luminary and hence the way that the desire for revenge may have underwritten that theme. But this general look at Regulus, either as the heliacal rising or setting star or in connection with a planet / luminary in the charts of the well-known, gives us an indication of the nature of Regulus, the Royal Star, the Watcher of the North, that promises glory as long as one is strong enough not to take revenge when thwarted.

Most of the people above have been able to generate that integrity in their work, pushing into areas where their best talents lie and achieving success. We won’t necessarily be privy to the times when revenge is offered but one thing is for certain - they will have been there and caused a dilemma for each of these people in connection with the planet or luminary or angle with which Regulus makes contact.

For the Royal Stars concretize this duality between Spenta Mainyu and Angra Mainyu. In the case of Regulus, the shadow side embodied by Angra Mainyu, the destructor, takes the form of the desire for retribution. But as has been noted in the past: revenge is a dish best eaten cold, when the heat of the moment has cooled and the actions one wishes to take can be put into perspective and resisted.

With other Royal Stars the form is different and we will meet these in future editions of the VAN.

So if you have Regulus in paran with a planet in your chart, recognize it can give you glory, the glory metaphorically symbolized by rooms lined with porphyry, necklaces of lapis lazuli, bracelets of carnelian and rings of turquoise, a market place of magic carpets, tapestries and silks and the magnificent decorative reliefs, glinting mosaics and the rich gold work of ancient Persian architecture. But do not use the status that your talents and your successes give you to plan how you may bring your enemies low, for your nemesis is destructive revenge.


  [1]Brady, Bernadette. (1999). Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars, Samuel Weiser Inc: York Beach, Maine.

  Note: All the meanings of star and planet parans quoted are taken from Starlight Software. © Barnswood Ltd and Bernadette Brady.

Note: If you do not know your star and planet parans, we are happy to send them to you free of charge - visit www.Zyntara.com  the home of Starlight.


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Note for Southern Hemisphere readers. Martin Lewicki, an astronomer and fellow astrological sky watcher in South Australia, has an excellent web site for views of the southern sky. The link is:
http://members.ozemail.com.au/~mlewicki/Almanac/January06/almanac.html


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Starlight can be explored on the Zyntara home page with online tutorials.
For those interested in self-study: a Studyshop by Bernadette Brady on star phases and star myths.