A joint publication of: Astro Logos and Zyntara Publications



January 2005


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    Asian Quake Disaster: The Tsunami Sky  
    Case Study  

When the Greeks domesticated astrology and proceeded to bring order and logic to the Babylonian craft of sky watching, they created the horoscope as a way of mapping the sky. The Greek map - the horoscope - became so successful that it became the territory itself, rather  than a representation of the territory. Astrologers stopped looking at the sky and proceed to look only at the maps.   

This newsletter is dedicated to returning the night sky to the minds of astrologers. Visual astrology, - the astrology of the whole sky - is an uncharted domain, with only the shattered clay tablets of Mesopotamia to act as our guide. However,  increasingly in this post-modern world that seeks to hear other voices and other thoughts apart from the doctrine of establishment, we in astrology need to have the strength to leave the safety of our neat, mathematical ecliptic and start to consider, once again, the whole night sky. 

Every month in this newsletter we will look at the sky through the lens of questions, pondering the different star and planet configurations that unfold over different latitudes on the globe. Depending on the sky events, we will look at Star Phases; the impact of latitude on stars; and the meanings of parans and star myths. Indeed any aspect of visual astrology may well find itself in this newsletter. Some issues will be long, while others will be quite short.

Mundane - The stars overhead
Bernadette Brady

The Sun stands still and the Earth moves

For this first issue I planned to simply look at the month ahead and consider the visibility of Mercury. However, given the great disaster of the Asian tsunami and the non-astrological horoscopic events of that particular day (a Mars square Uranus fits in but is not the herald of such a disaster), it may be more insightful to return to our roots and look at the sky for that period.

Here is the sky for the time of just before sunrise on that day, and for that place. The Egyptians and the Greeks believed that the stars and planets that rose before the Sun mixed their energies, myths and portents with the Sun and in so doing, gained a voice through the power of the Sun. The Egyptians thought that these stars and planets rode in the fiery boat of Ra. The Greeks saw these as "spear bearers" and Ptolemy called them the doryphory. Here on the morning of the 26th December, 2004 for the latitude of 3N19 there was a most interesting sky.

The bright full moon had just set and the dark predawn revealed an eastern sky full of a  dazzling but ominous string of stars and planets.

Mars was bright and red (magnitude 1.58) sitting directly in the forehead of the Scorpion. Close to the horizon sat Ishtar (Venus) as the gleaming morning star rising with red star Antares, the heart of the Scorpion and watcher of the west. Mercury was also visible; and the Sun for that latitude was even now standing still (rising at the same place on the horizon, as far south as it can). We have no text book to turn to in order to understand this symbolism but if I was a visual astrologer and this pattern rose with the great scorpion, I do not think that I would be expecting a easy time.

Another Quake

In checking my data file I found that there was a tsunami on 23rd December, 1964 that killed 1,800 people in Sri Lanka.  Here is the sky for that morning - the familiar pattern of a bright Venus rising with the scorpion at the solstice with Mercury by her side. The same imagery. The same symbolism.

Now this pattern itself does not foretell an earthquake and could probably happen often with no earthquake occurring. However, there is more...

We can look at the stars that made or are making parans (rising, setting, culminating or on the nadir as the planet rise and set, culminate or are on the nadir)  to the planets. 

* Saturn with Pollux
* Facies becomes the Heliacal
     rising star

These interpretations come from the mundane work I have done working with fixed stars.

There were two large markers for this 2004 solstice tsunami:

1. The first was that on the 26th December, for this latitude, Saturn began to be in paran with Pollux, one of the stars of Gemini and not an easy star.

Starlight gives this simple mundane meaning to such a combination

Saturn - The Law and Civic Order
Setting when Pollux is Setting orb 00 mins 29 secs -
People's lives altered by a disaster, or the actions of an aggressive group

Saturn stays in paran - first setting with Pollux and later rising with Pollux - until the 17th January, 2005. So from the 26th Dec, 2004 to the 17th Jan, 2005 this is the major combination for this part of the world. Note: This is not for the whole world, just for this latitude of 3 degrees to 6 degrees north. I am not projecting stars onto the ecliptic and allocating them a degree. What I am doing it "looking" at the sky and "looking" to see what stars are rising, setting, culminating or on the nadir for that location when Saturn is also rising, setting, culminating or on the nadir .So these combinations are unique for this latitude.

2. The second major marker is that while Saturn has been forming this dance with Pollux, Facies became the Heliacal rising star (rising with the Sun and considered to rule that whole period of time, until Rukbat, the steady stance of Sagittarius takes over this rulership on the 11th January, 2005. Facies is a star I have always found associated with earthquakes.

Here is the printout from Starlight for this period of time, for this latitude, for the ruling stars of this period:

Heliacal Rising Star
Facies -
Rising 00 mins 38 secs before Sunrise
The shadow of war, the darkness of cruelty or aggression

Heliacal Setting Star
El Nath -
Setting 69 mins 09 secs before Sunrise
The advent of a new weapon, either intellectually or physically

And the stars in paran with the Sun:  

Culminating when Ankaa is Rising orb 00 mins 01 secs -
To rebuild, to rise from the ashes

Rising when Facies is Rising orb 00 mins 38 secs -
The piercing stare of an aggressor or a critic

Rising when Sirius is Setting orb 01 mins 48 secs -
The potential for great and immortal events to unfold

The 1964 tsunami 

Saturn is not always the harbinger of an earthquake but what this example of simply looking at the sky shows us is that for this part of the world, if Venus is bright (and she is very bright on this day) and she is in amongst of the stars of the Scorpion and Mercury is with her, then we should look for earthquake stars. For 1964 such stars are also present:

Saturn culminating when Antares is Setting orb 00 mins 55 secs -
The world is black or white, patriotism abounds, people scattered

Mercury with El Nath (the same star involved with the Sun for the current tsunami)
One who speaks out, abrasive language or speeches

The chart for the 1964 quake is much stronger with a Mars-Uranus-Pluto combination which any astrologer would use to describe the deaths which occurred in 1964. The horoscope for 2004 is much quieter. However, the stars and sky are much stronger. I, for one, will keep looking at the sky.

Using Visual Astrology in the consulting room
Case Study - Darrelyn Gunzburg

Each month this newsletter will present a small case study featuring different stars each month. This case study examines a man's powerful rising Mercury in rulership.

The natal aspect can tell us a great deal about the nature of an aspect being expressed in a client’s chart. The Fixed Stars which sit beneath them can add an even greater understanding of how this can best be articulated.

Example:   Mercury with Acumen (Culminating: active in his Prime)

Starlight says of this star and planet combination:

Difficult, or tedious, mental endeavours; stressful financial dealings

In my client’s chart, Mercury in rulership in Gemini in the 12th house makes a partile mutable square to Jupiter in detriment in Virgo in the 3rd house.

This natal aspect suggests my client is either part of a large organization or institution (the 12th house) for whom he is the writer or spokesperson (Mercury in the 12th house with Gemini and Virgo intercepted in the 12th and 3rd houses); or in his writing he represents or is symbolic of a large group of people.

With Jupiter being in detriment, this writing has to be for an unusual or fringe group or he himself may be unusual and radical and making statements on behalf of or an unusual and radical group. This difference can cause stress and tension (the square aspect) which he does not see until it is right in front of him (mutable square). However, once he sees the problem, he can then take action and solve the problem in a highly creative and flexible manner (mutable square). Since both Sagittarius and Pisces are intercepted in his chart (sixth and ninth houses), hard work and travel or publishing underpin the way he expresses himself.

So what does the fixed star Acumen add to this picture?

Mercury is connected with Acumen in his prime, so this empowered writing capability and clear-thinking mind has to deal with "difficult, or tedious, mental endeavours or stressful financial dealings" in the prime of his life. This could be said to encompass the Jupiter in detriment. However, my client is gay and chose to work for large gay organizations, such as co-ordinator of the International Lesbian and Gay Association in Brussels, Belgium; and project manager of a gay men's education agency which provided condoms and lube packs to gay men in London. In this way, continually in the firing line when expressing his writing and communicating skills, he was able to give a credible voice (Mercury in Gemini) to "difficult, or tedious, mental endeavours or stressful financial dealings" (Mercury connected with Acumen).

Luckily his Mercury is also connected with Betelgeuse.

Starlight says of this star and planet combination:

An abundantly creative person

Being on the nadir, this works his whole life. 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 which has at its core the gay zeitgeist of modern life.

By looking at the stars that are in paran to his Mercury, I gain a clearer picture as to how this important planet is going to play itself out throughout his life.

Starlight can be explored on the Zyntara home page
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