A joint publication of: Astro Logos and Zyntara Publications



September 2007

 VAN Archive - www.Zyntara.com

In this issue: 
A strong King employs a henchman to remove a threat, and the weather turns cold and wet….A consideration of Saturn with Regulus as Mars rides in the horns of the Great Bull of Heaven.

Alice, Frodo and Harry: a sojourn into Ras Alhague - Three great characters, three great journey's, one star.

To subscribe or

Visual Astrology Blog
for additional articles

Notices: Have you been enjoying these newsletters? If so, then at StarLogos, the recent conference in South Africa, we summarized this new visual astrology material and showed how all of this - the stars, the skies, the planets, and the charts - can be put together to enhance your astrology. This wonderful conference allowed Visual Astrology to take the next step forward in its development.  If you also wish to take this next step, then now you can.
The conference is now available as a set of flash presentations that play in your computer. You sit back with your pad and pencil and watch the PowerPoint presentations play automatically. As you listen to the lecture, the mouse cursor points out the key points as Bernadette and/or Darrelyn are lecturing. To also help you, there are a set of five extra tutorials - all on the sky.

We began the journey into Visual Astrology in January 2005 and now it is growing in momentum as astrologers, whether they be sidereal or psychological, medieval or evolutionary, are finding that taking note of the sky on the day of birth is a powerful addition to their astrology.  See the bottom of this newsletter for more information or click on the image left for more information on the pre-launch special..

Starlight - our annual web-conference sale is now on... If you have always wanted to get the sky into your charts, then this is your chance to pick up this remarkable software at a discount. Click the image (right) to visit Starlight on the web - www.Zyntara.com  which is also the home of every back issue of this newsletter, ready for you to download.

So in short, right at the moment you can get the software for doing visual astrology at a discount price AND also get a good discount price on all the lectures and learning material that you need to get you started on your journey of becoming a visual astrologer.


A strong King employs a henchman to remove a threat,  
and the weather turns cold and wet….
Bernadette Brady M.A.

In the last month, Regulus, the great king star, has been joined by Saturn, the planet of the king. With Regulus located on the ecliptic, this sky event occurs every 29 years, plus or minus some months. But this year it has been a little different, for several reasons. Firstly, Mars has moved into the position in the sky where it rides between the horns of the Great Bull of Heaven, Taurus, and while these two events have been happening in the sky, parts of the world have had a spectacular total lunar eclipse.

So let’s unpack this sky story.

The Lunar Eclipse

There are four possible visuals that one can have with a total lunar eclipse. These are:

Not visible - you cannot see the eclipse from your location.
Visible - you can see the full eclipse cycle beginning and ending while the Moon is well above the horizon in the night sky.
Visible at Moon Rise -  you can watch the moon rise, and as it rises, it becomes eclipsed.
Visible at Moon Set -  you can watch the full moon set and as it sets, the eclipse occurs.

From the letters of the astrologer priest to their kings from around 650 B.C.E. these visual differences were important. A lunar eclipse seen to rise or set is referred to as  “A Moon with Unwashed Feet” [1] This was the Moon god, Sin, and there were different meanings to the sky omen depending on whether Sin was seen to be rising or setting as his feet became dirty [2].

In considering the total eclipse of 28 August, 2007, one can see from the map above [3] that the moon was seen to rise with “Unwashed Feet” over Australia, Asia, India, and parts of Russia, generally considered to be positive for the land. The eclipse was not visible to anyone located in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and a large part of Russia. However, it was seen to set with “Unwashed Feet” over the USA and South America, generally considered not good for the land.

Taking a simplistic approach to this ancient idea we can hypothesise that the lunar eclipse foretells of  positive events for Australia, Asia, India, and parts of Russia, while for the USA and South America it foretells of difficult times.    

But as always with sky stories, there are several other factors to consider with this lunar eclipse. Firstly Saturn has drawn close to the king star, Regulus, which is a sky-signature for a strengthening of the king’s position (any head of state). Secondly, Jupiter was visible in the sky at the time of the eclipse and this was identified as a good sign, implying that any ill fortune that was aimed at the king would be diverted to a noble dignitary, as we can see from this letter by the priest Akkullanu around 660 B.C.E. [4]

If the planet Jupiter is present in the eclipse, all is well with the king, a noble dignitary
will dies in his stead.

Additionally we gain a description of this noble person who may feel the brunt of this lunar eclipse, as Jupiter (the signifier of the noble person) is amongst the stars of Scorpio, a military or aggressive place in the sky. Pulling the elements of this sky narrative together we gain the picture of a military figure or war-based official from either the USA or a South American country who will be sacrificed for the good of the king.

The King's Henchman

Adding to this story is Nergal, (Mars) currently amusing himself by riding the horns of the great bull of Taurus, reminiscent of the Greek myth of Jason, who tamed the fiery bull in his quest for the Golden Fleece. However, for all his potential as an indicator of aggression or terrorism, with the king currently in such a strong position, Nergal will have to comply with the king’s wishes and become the king's henchman and so will carry out the act of sacrifice required of the military figure.  Nergal serves the king at the moment; Mars is subservient to Saturn in this sky narrative.

Saturn, the King, at the Heart of the Lion

 Nergal (Mars) rides the Great Bull of Heaven - Taurus.

This is not a common sky story. It occurred in the 17th century, in late May and early June 1684. At this time King Charles II of England, feeling confident of his power, revoked the Massachusetts Bay Colony Charter, and England had the coldest winter ever known, with the Thames freezing over and the sea covered with ice for up to two miles off the English coast.

The next repeat of this sky combination of King and Nergal was in August 1772. At this time a supremely confident Swedish monarch, Gustav III, successfully seized control of Swedish government and restored the full power of the monarchy, which had been subordinate to parliament since 1720. This is a clear expression of a strong king, with the sacrifice being the members of the Swedish parliament.

The last time we had the king so strong and Mars wrestling with  the horns of the bull serving as a henchman was in late June 1949 - the beginning of the “Red Scare” where the fear of communism became an active force against any individual deemed to be even slightly against the current regime, (the king). At this time the henchman was the little-known Senator Joseph McCarthy.  

But the US was not alone, and in
South Africa apartheid began (29 June, 1949) - a similar expression of a heavy handed “king” using a henchman (the new laws) to suppress a group of people - anyone who was not white.

Senator Joseph McCarthy who started the "Red Scare"
in the USA.


"Say, what ever happened to 'freedom-from-fear'?"
August 13, 1951
part of a reproduction
 from original drawing
Published in the
Washington Post


Weather links

Once again, as Saturn moved towards Regulus in 1949, the weather turned unusually cold and wet and in January 1949, Los Angeles received its first recorded snow fall.

Now into this mix of a strong King, his henchman and someone having to make a sacrifice we can add the last lunar eclipse all of which suggests that the USA and South America are the areas that suffer under the hand of the strong king and a henchman, but areas such as Australia and Asia who saw the eclipse rising may in fact gain a blessing.

The lunar eclipse itself occurred amongst the stars of Aquarius, in the flow of water from his great urn. So for Australia, given the weather links to this sky story, such a blessing could possibly be a wet summer.

So in summary, given the nature of the sky story and with a little help from history, one can suggest the following possibilities.

Strong King - A military person from either the USA or from a South American country will be sacrificed by a henchman who is acting on behalf of a strong “king”. 

Cold Winter -  In the northern hemisphere we may be moving into a very cold winter, but probably more for North America rather than Europe, as the eclipse was not visible over Europe.

Good Rain for Asia and Australia -  There is a possibility that the countries that saw the Moon rising with Unwashed Feet may get a great deal of rain. For Australia to have rains over the summer months would be a great blessing indeed. 

[1] Hunger, Herman. (1992). Astrological Reports to Assyrian Kings. Helsinki, Finland: Helsinki University Press. pg 62.
[2] It was also important as to the direction that the wind was blowing while the eclipse was observed.
[3] http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/LEmono/TLE2007Aug28/TLE2007Aug28.html assessed 25 August, 2007.
Parpola, Simo.(1970). Letters form Assyrian Scholars to the Kings of Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal, Part 1. Germany: Verlad Butzon & Bercker Keelaer. pg 255.



Alice, Frodo and Harry: a sojourn into Ras Alhague

Darrelyn Gunzburg

Every so often in England there emerges a writer who creates a character who ignites the world’s imagination. It happened in 1865 and for a second time in 1872 when English writer and mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898) fashioned the story of a bored little girl named Alice who goes looking for adventure and finds Wonderland and the world of the Looking Glass, populated with a logical nonsense that continues to delight and surprise.


It happened again in 1937 when John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973),  a major scholar of the English language, specializing in Old and Middle English, firstly created the world of a Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins and then in 1954-55, the world of Middle-Earth, the Shire, Frodo Baggins and the Ring that had to be destroyed before it destroyed all.


We ourselves have been privileged to see this phenomenon emerge in 1996 with the arrival of a small boy carrying a scar on his forehead in the shape of a zed, a solar hero born from the Uranus-Pluto generation, the mind and pen of J.K.Rowling (1965 -). Each of these authors was born in the final years of the other in an elegant pattern of handover.


Ras Alhague, the one thread that binds them all

When we look for this pattern in their fixed stars we find another point of connection. As the final volume in the Harry Potter series closes that story, it is this connection through the fixed star Ras Alhague that I want to consider.


“Ras” means head and despite there being many people and many stories in the sky, there are only two stars named for their position in a head: one in the head of Hercules, the "one who kneels" (Ras Algethi ); the other (Ras Alhague) in the head of Ophiuchus, The Serpent Bearer and they are both together in the same area of the sky.


Brady in Starlight writes that Ophiuchus was known to the Greeks as Serpentarius the Healer, also the god Asclepius, son of Apollo who learnt the healing arts from Chiron, and who is depicted as holding a stick on which a serpent is coiled, a symbol now used to depict western medicine. Asclepius was the ship's surgeon on the Argo and became so skilled he was able to bring patients back from the dead. Such a practice was quickly forbidden by the gods who eventually smote him with a thunderbolt for fear that he would surpass them with his healing powers. He was then placed in the heavens as Ophiuchus.


The serpent, which Ophiuchus holds is the healing side of the ancient goddess, she who has the ability to create life, to heal it, and knowledge of how it can be destroyed. It was said that Asclepius had the blood of Medusa in his veins, the blood that flowed on her left side being fatal poison, while that which flowed on her right being beneficial.




So how has this manifested for these three great story-tellers?


Lewis Carroll has
Ras Alhague in paran with his Venus. 

R.J.J. Tolkien
 has Ras Alhague
as his
Heliacal Rising Star

J.K Rowling has
Ras Alhague
as her
Heliacal Setting Star



The Heliacal Rising Star in a chart is the star that has returned to visibility, rising before the sun after a period of not being visible. This period of invisibility could last from a few days to many months but was always the same time for any given star for a given location. In disappearing from view it was thought to have died to the visible world. Then one particular morning the star would be glimpsed in the pre-dawn light. This was its "resurrection" and proof of its successful journey through the underworld. In so doing, it revealed its divinity by having safely travelled through the underworld to be resurrected and hence its claim to be a god. The star then rode in the chariot of the sun and ruled the time period until another star completed this divine journey of death and rebirth.


Thus the Heliacal Rising Star shows a person the inherent nature of their life and spiritual pathway as it emerges over time, whether this is easy or full of pot-holes or full of great drama or of great love.


Tolkien was born at a time when Ras Alhague held this position and suggests that within him there is the driving force of the healer to repair that which is damaged, by understanding polarities: the destructive viciousness of absolute power, and the courage to fight it so the world can exist in a better place. In “Lord of the Rings” Frodo is chosen to go on a journey in order to throw the Ring into the fire of Orodruin and destroy the spirit of Sauron and the forces of Mordor. Tolkien takes Frodo through the journey into the underworld and through this great journey, Frodo heals the world, as is fitting for the journey of Ras Alhague.


J.K. Rowling has Ras Alhague as her Heliacal Setting Star, the time when a star is seen to be setting on the western horizon just before sunrise. The Egyptians believed this was the time when a star left the realm of the gods and came down to earth to spend time walking amongst the mortals. The god that descends to earth as your Heliacal Setting Star offers you a divine gift from the gods, a divine talent which slowly emerges as we are pulled forward on our pathway of life and which helps us travel the journey dictated by the Heliacal Rising Star.


Harry Potter, like Ras Alhague,
has the gift of talking to snakes

To see this divine journey in Rowling's characters we can turn to Ptolemy’s description of Ras Alhague  which is as follows: 

 “The star in the head of the Serpent-charmer”.

Harry Potter is gifted with the ability to speak parseltongue, the language of snakes. Thus Ras Alhague, as Rowling’s Heliacal Setting Star, shows that her divine talent is "parseltongue" which she bestows on Harry. Yet it is she who has the magical voice to which the world listens through the story of Harry who uses it as an essential skill in completing his quest.


Potter is the embodiment of Rowling's  Ras Alhague.



Lewis Carroll has Ras Alhague in paran with his Venus. Brady in Starlight defines this as “A person who expands the collective options by increasing the information available”.  Whilst Alice’s adventures are defined as “literary nonsense”, this in fact refers to a genre of literature, whether poetry or prose, that depends on a balance of sense and nonsense, on order and chaos.


The Wonderland described in the tale plays with logic in ways that have given the story lasting popularity with adults as well as children. Ras Alhague here strides the two worlds of "Wonderland", a term that has now entered the language as an extraordinary imaginary place, or a real-world place that one perceives to have dream like qualities, and continued into “Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There” with its mirror themes, opposites and time running backwards.


This is a short exploration of three English writers whose characters have entered the canon and taken hold in our psyche. Ras Alhague is a common thread between all three, all containing this ability to heal yet expressed slightly differently depending on how they connect into the natal charts of these writers.


In paran with Venus, it becomes part of the way Carroll relates and forms social networks; as Tolkien’s Heliacal Rising Star it describes his journey through his underworld, the journey that Frodo in fact takes; as Rowling's Heliacal Setting Star it is what she comes to understand as her divine gift, a skill that Harry discovers that helps him with his quest.

Alice, Frodo and Harry all reveal facets of the ancient theme of Ras Alhague, the one who heals by touching another place.   

Lewis Carroll born - 27th January, 1832 3:45 LMT, Daresbury, UK.
R.J.J. Tolkien born - 3rd January, 1892, 22:00 LMT, Blomfontein, South Africa.
J.K Rowling  born -  31st July, 1965, chipping Sodbury, UK. No accurate time yet available.


The three volume boxed set of StarLogos -
(over 11 and a half hours of flash presentation of the
lectures and visuals from the conference).

Plays in your computer - PC or MAC .

Pre Launch special.
Normal web price - £75 but at the moment
you pay only



The software that allows you to work with the whole sky in your astrology is Starlight and it can be explored on the Zyntara home page where there are also online tutorials.