ISSUE NO. 19
The VAN is a
free monthly electronic newsletter
In this issue:
|The Ascent and Descent of the Soul - the natal Heliacal Setting Star and stars in Curtailed Passage.|
VAN Archive - www.Zyntara.com
In the August, 2005 edition of this newsletter we began the journey of unpacking star phases. In that newsletter I looked at the concept of phases generally but focused on the Helical Rising Star. In this newsletter I want to continue this exploration but now with a focus on the Heliacal Setting Star and the resulting stars that have Curtailed Passage. So the newsletter this month is focused on this one theme as it is such an important piece of the jigsaw of a natal chart and Darrelyn's case study articles will return next month.
The inaugural Visual Astrology Conference in May 2007, a special limited-number conference to be held under South Africa skies and focused totally on Visual Astrology, will be opening its doors for registration later this month. So if you are interested, you can put your name down to receive early notification of registration and/or program releases by following this link for more information.
Star Phases, The Helical Setting Star and Curtailed
The idea, desire and methodology of the ascent of the soul has been a predominant, ever-present theme in the thinking of humanity. From the Egyptian Pyramid text of the Old Kingdom (2650 – 2152 BCE) we see some of the first writings where the sky is considered to be divine and the soul, after death, moving upwards towards a perfect, immortal life.
Thousands of years later, Plato (c. 427–c. 347 BC) attempts to describe the soul’s ascent in The Republic in which he suggests that we live in a cave but that there is a brighter light outside which he defines as the World Soul, a great collective concept to which we all aspire or seek. Later the neo-Platonist, Plotinus (c. 205 – 270) expands Plato's thinking by describing the soul in his Enneads when he talks of the moment of the heavens as being reflected in our own individual souls. He states that our personal souls have been captured and held down “by the clay it bears with it” while all the time “even in us the Spirit which dwells with the Soul does thus circle about the divinity. For since God is omnipresent, the Soul desiring perfect union must take the circular course: God is not stationed.” [Enneads, ii, 2]
Here Plotinus, like the earlier Egyptians, links the soul directly to the moment of the heavens and notes that our own individual souls mirror this moment in its desire to rejoin with the divine. These ideas have been carried through the ages but in twentieth century astrology there is little evidence of this long sky/earth/soul debate and the idea of soul as an entity has been defined in a more Jungian manner with the soul considered to be an archetype. This is described by James Hillman as “a perspective rather than a substance, a viewpoint toward things rather than a thing itself. . . .” and thus contained within an astrological horoscope, like any other archetype, as an expression of the combination of planets, houses and signs.
When we work with the dome of the starry sky we allow all the nuances of the visual phenomena of the sky to come into play in our astrological thinking. This methodology allows us to return to the earlier approaches to this important question of the Egyptians and of Plotinus. When we actually look at the sky it becomes obvious that, for the location of your birth, some stars are circumpolar, meaning they never set and are visible for the whole year. To the Egyptians such stars were deemed to be immortal and god-like if not gods themselves for they never travelled below the earth to the Underworld. However, sometimes one of these stars left the realm of the gods and came down to earth to spend time walking amongst the mortals. After a set period of days, this star would then leave the earth and return to the realm of the immortals. As it joined the earthy realms of the mortals, it becomes known as the Heliacal Setting star, meaning that it is seen to be setting on the western horizon just before sunrise.
Now there are many philosophical
and theological implications of a star’s ability to move from the realm of
the gods to the realm of humankind and then, after a time of “mortality”,
ascend back to the gods. One of these implications is the idea of a
saviour god who walks amongst us. However, let us focus on the implications
which occur on
a personal level.
Now look to see if you have any stars listed as Curtailed Passage [this will be in red ink if you have a colour printer and is listed immediately after the star’s meaning]. Stars listed as Curtailed Passage are stars that, during the course of the year, descend and become the Heliacal Setting Star but at the time of your birth they are still totally in the realm of the immortals. Such stars when in paran to your natal planets act like intermediaries between your mortal world and your divine sense of being. They are the demi-gods or “saints” who show you the way to ascend to the gods. They act as role models and give you inspiration on the journey of your personal ascension, the ways and means towards the divine that you seek. They may not be open to "prayer" like a Christian saint, as they have left the earth, but they are examples of those who have made the ascent.
Here are a few examples.
With his great personal dignity and total allegiance to non-violence, respect and love for others, Gandhi was a force so strong it overthrew British rule in India and gave his beloved nation independence. His guiding principal was love not violence, captured in many of his quotes, one of which is as follows:
By his uncompromising non-violent approach, Gandhi eventually won the hearts of India, as well as the world. These are the stars from Gandhi’s chart that are his link to the divine (taken from Starlight's paran printout).
Alderamin is the main star of Cepheus, the King, and in Starlight some of the delineation of this star are:
Gentle power, passive power. With this star in your chart, your skills are to be strongly focused but not aggressive. The greatest benefits and success will come by gentle determination rather than dramatic action.
However, as the
Heliacal Setting Star, this great and
ancient king star is linked with how Gandhi reaches for, or achieves what he
believes to be his highest purpose. For Gandhi,
strength and dignity is the pathway to his personal salvation, a pathway
he also saw as the salvation of India.
Linked to this is another star which is in a phase of Curtailed passage and this is Schedar, the main star of Cassiopeia, the Queen. In Gandhi’s parans it is linked with both his natal Sun and Moon. In Starlight some of the delineations of this star are:
To have Schedar in a phase of Curtailed Passage and linked with both luminaries is a strong stellar emphasis on honour as a key to a person's chosen pathway towards their own spiritual fulfilment. So for Gandhi, to travel the path with honour is one of his key principles. These stars then have to work in partnership with Gandhi's natal chart but we can clearly see that a great deal of information can be gained by considering the stars that link Gandhi to the realm of the gods.
In contrast to the above example is:
Florence Nightingale - 12 May 1820, Florence, Italy 43N46, 11E15.
Florence Nightingale was the woman who became known as the “Lady with the Lamp” during the Crimea War (1854 - 56). Her Heliacal Setting star is Vindemiatrix, the great star in Virgo that collates and organises. After the war, where she set new standards in nursing, she devoted her life to reforming the nursing profession by developing new techniques of statistical analysis to prove her points and push through reforms. She kept records and analysed these records, proving to the military that care and cleanliness actually saved lives.
She also had two stars that were in a phase of Curtailed Passage while being in paran to her natal planets. The first is Arcturus which is the main star of Bootes, the great pathfinder, and some of the meanings as listed in Starlight are:
This star acts as a role model, a personal mentor, so now she not only has to collate and develop new idea on nursing but now she must teach it to others.
Florence also has Vega in curtailed passage and in paran to two planets. This is a star of charisma or persuasion and it is the main star of the Lyra, the constellation which is symbolic of the magic of music, so it indicates her personal ability to convince others to follow her chosen pathway.
Researching the theme
I like to use Starlight to
scan for stars in a particular phase in a person’s chart as I
find this a good technique for getting the “feel” for a specific star/planet/phase configuration. For example, other people who had Arcturus,
the great path finding star, in paran with their natal Saturn while also
being in a phase of Curtailed Passage were:
These are simple examples
which start to give us
insights into the role that the Heliacal Setting Star
and stars in a phase of Curtailed Passage can play in
giving us understanding of how we personally seek our
salvation, how we personally reach out for the divine. Such stars, when
married to the meanings of the planets, reveal deep principles in our
lives, the things in which we believe, the way we want to live, the deep
spiritual goals that we seek to fulfill.
By ignoring star phases astrology has become blind to
this ancient and mystical journey that is played out in each of our own
the ascent and descend of the soul and
how we reach up and touch the divine.
 Hillman, James (1975). Re-visioning Psychology. New York: Harper and Row.
Receiving this newsletter:
With new filtering systems monitoring emails, many of the people who wish to receive this newsletter are being blocked by internet email filters. Thus in order to ensure that you are able to continue to receive this newsletter, please add our email to your address book: newsletter@Zyntara.com Thank you.