ISSUE NO. 32
VAN Archive - www.Zyntara.com
In this issue:
Lampeter University, Wales, UK - A Masters degree in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology, This exciting Masters programme will be taught through online live seminars and distance learning to students from around the world. Lecturers: Nicholas Campion, Liz Greene and Bernadette Brady with other expert guest lectures. Commences in January 2008.
Star Workshop: The FAS, UK, is holding a fixed star weekend as part of its annual Oxford, UK Summer School on 17-19 August 2007. Lecturers are Clare Martin and Carol Taylor and they will be working with alignments. [See the end of this newsletter for more details]. If you are in the UK and love stars, then give yourself a treat. Brasenose College is a glorious residential college and Clare and Carol will take you on a wonderful sky journey.
The Chart, the Sky and the
A natal chart is threaded with themes and issues, made up of elements which form a much larger pattern. Yet as we become proficient at reading that flat chart, we forget that its essence comes not from a computer but from the three-dimensional, three-hundred and sixty degree view of the dome of heaven. “We see” versus “we calculate”.
As I wrote in the June issue of this newsletter, we are drawn to astrology because we love the stars, yet the modern world is full of astrologers who have become disconnected from the sky. We dare to laugh at those whom we say live in “flatland” yet we live in flat charts, separated from our tool of trade, the patterns in the moving sky. But having once seen the spectacular night sky full of stars, how can one go back to the single-plane chart? As the poet Tennyson writes in “Tithonus”, ‘The Gods themselves cannot recall their gifts,’ for once you have touched the sky as an astrologer, you cannot turn your back on it.
So if you, too, love the whole sky and want to use it in your consulting work, the question becomes: how can we add in Visual Astrology so that it complements rather than impedes what we see in the flat chart?
There are three components to Visual Astrology
So let us begin with what is most
“Lewis” born 7th July 1969 at 4:18 am in Vancouver, Canada, is a long-term client of mine who has given me permission to use his chart for teaching purposes.
of this pattern suggests my client is either part of a
large organization or
institution (the 12th house) for whom he is the
writer or spokesperson or in his writing
he represents or is symbolic of an alternative
group of people (Mercury-Jupiter and Jupiter in detriment).
* The ego, identity and vitality of the chart - expressed through the unaspected Sun in Cancer in the first house.
From his father-figure Lewis learns to be strong in the world (angular Sun) by articulating (Sun ruling the 3rd house) his feelings and emotions (Sun in Cancer). He can, however, at times feel engulfed by his emotions or cut off from them (unaspected Sun in Cancer) and thus has to learn to link the two so that he can access his emotions at will.
* The relating needs of the chart - expressed through the Venus-Mars/Venus-Neptune opposition across the 6th-12th service axis with Venus making a partile trine to Uranus.
This opposition suggests that his drive and motivation can be used to inspire others (Mars in Sagittarius in the 6th) and his idealistic ideas (Venus-Neptune) utilized to change social networks (Venus in Gemini in the 12th). Yet in so doing he is forced (the opposition) to find a new position for how he uses his personal creativity (Venus-Mars).
* How the chart takes on responsibility - expressed through the unaspected Saturn in the 11th house.
From the disciplining figure he learns that he most easily takes responsibility in groups (Saturn in the 11th house) when he is in a business or intimate relationship (Saturn ruling the 7th house) but this comes at the price of change (Saturn ruling the 8th house). Being unaspected, this is another area where he can, at times, feels overwhelmed with responsibility or unable to take on the mantle of authority until he learns to form a bridge between these two feeling states.
All of this makes sense in the light of my client’s biography. My client is gay and chooses to work for large gay organizations. His professional career began with co-ordinating the International Lesbian and Gay Association in Brussels, Belgium. He then moved to London and worked as the project manager for a gay men's education agency which provided condoms and lube packs to gay men in London. He currently works as the International Policy Officer for an AIDS organisation and in 2006 was appointed the project manager for the Collaborative Fund for HIV Treatment Preparedness.
In this way, continually in the firing line as the front runner (Mercury conjunct the Ascendant and square the nodal axis), his writing and communicating gives a credible voice (Mercury in Gemini) to the alternative issues of gay men (Mercury square Pluto-South Node-Jupiter-Uranus/Jupiter in detriment).
After his Saturn Return, in the middle years of his life and embodying the difficulties of being an "out" gay man, my client began a successful writing career as a published poet and short story writer (Venus-Mars/Venus-Neptune) which has at its core the gay zeitgeist of modern life.
Considering this from a visual perspective gives other insights to these natal aspects. Whilst the Moon and Saturn are too wide and in different signs to make what we would consider to be a natal aspect, visually they occupy the same space in the sky, the width of your hand when held out from your body.
More importantly, in Assyrian astrological thinking, Saturn represented the king and Sin, the moon god, could empower or disempower other planets or stars either by travelling above or below them. In Lewis’ chart Sin, the moon god, rises over Saturn. Indeed over the next few nights, Sin will move closer to the Sun as it is already in its third quarter phase.
Adding the Stars to Lewis' chart
The third piece we can add are the stars themselves. Starlight will print out the full listings of Heliacal Rising and Setting stars (see VAN August 2005 and July 2006) and parans. Brady writes in the Visual Astrology Newsletter of August 2005:
“… [the Heliacal Rising] star and its ancient myths provides one with a deep sense of one's inherent nature, one’s inherent gifts or deep-seated ancestral issues that are pushing or pulling one through life. The star has journeyed through the Underworld and is now emerging into the light not as a tabla rosa, blank and empty awaiting your life to imprint it but instead ready for you to reach into its myths to gain insight into your feelings of personal life mission and personal abilities, and gifts you have within you that you can use to complete you mission.”
The Heliacal Rising and Heliacal Setting Stars are the two great anchor points in Lewis’ life. Bellatrix, the star in the left shoulder of Orion, is Lewis’ Heliacal Rising Star. Brady in Starlight notes that it indicates “a person who knows that their success comes from struggle”. It is easy to see how this has manifested in Lewis’ life by him being a gay man working in the area of gay men’s sexuality and health. Arcturus, the star in the hem of Bootes, the Hunter who now Farms, is Lewis’ Heliacal Setting Star. Arcturus symbolises the transition from one state of being to another and offers Lewis the wisdom and vision to make fundamental shifts in his life. Brady in Starlight notes that it indicates someone who is “always seeking a new pathway”. Lewis is pulled forward in life by Bellatrix in order to reshape that life through Arcturus.
Where the natal chart offers independence and challenge in groups for Lewis’ Moon in Aries, and the visual astrology shows the Moon rising over the Saturn, implying a challenge to his authority in groups, now we can look at the star parans that are connected with his Moon.
A star is said to be in paran with a planet when a the planet is on any of the four points of rising, culminating, setting, or on the Nadir, and at the same moment in time, for that location, the star is also on ANY of the same four angles or points. For those uncertain about what this looks like in 3D, go to this link: http://www.zyntara.com/starlight_tutorials_skyparans.htm
All of Lewis’ parans in connection with his Moon occur in the middle years of his life (culminating), the years after his Saturn Return, the years of maturity:
is culminating as the Moon is rising
Vega is the star in Orpheus’ Lyre and is linked with magic and divine spells, for the best expression of music is spell-binding. It adds charisma to Lewis’ Moon so that his feelings and sentiments are deeply and profoundly felt by groups.
is culminating as the Moon is rising
Facies is a nebula in the face of Sagittarius, The Archer. It is the penetrating stare of a lethal weapon, incisive action without regard for others, producing either a great leader or a great dictator. Since it is the only difficult star in Lewis’ parans and connected with his Moon, it therefore suggests someone who is strongly emotionally focused, someone who is not afraid to encounter the emotionally “hot” issues around gay men’s health and sexuality.
is culminating as the Moon is setting
Pollux is the star in the head of the left or shadow twin of Gemini. Twins represent the universal struggle with polarity, the blending of opposites, hence they offer Lewis the ability to tell a story. Connected with his independent, challenge-orientated Moon, the stories he will want to tell are those that can in some way transform groups.
The only other paran that enters the pattern in this time period is Acumen with his Mercury:
culminating as Mercury is on the nadir
Acumen is the star in the left or shadow side of the tail of Scorpio. This is the sting that erodes and weakens, either through gossip or health issues. The way to deal with such issues is always to confront them head on in the clear light of day. Since it is connected with Lewis’ Mercury in rulership, he has the ability to handle mental stress. This paran echoes the visual placement of Lewis’ Mercury above, sited as it is at the confluence of three constellations.
One could say, then, that it is in this middle period of Lewis’ life where he emotionally engages with his writing and produces some of his best work, forged as it were in the furnace of attack.
In summary then…
Whilst in this Newsletter I have only been able to touch on the broad brush strokes of delineating Lewis’ chart incorporating all three perspectives - the Chart on the Ecliptic, the Chart in the Sky and the Chart and its Stars - I hope you can see what riches lie herein.
For me, the flat chart comes alive with much deeper resonances when I incorporate visual astrology and parans and allows the client to step into a far more luxuriant landscape, often softening what may seem difficult and insurmountable natal aspects. It also allows me, every time I construct a flat chart, to acknowledge the sky from which we first began this journey, how it touches the earth and how it partners our natal chart and, in so doing, to connect with the network of astrologers who are my past and the sky that is my present.
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