ISSUE NO. 11
is a free monthly electronic newsletter
In this issue:
|The Rhythm of a City - using a parapegma in the 21st century. Bernadette Brady|
|Rosa Parks, the woman who sat down to be counted - Darrelyn Gunzburg|
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The October lunar eclipse
The Moon with Unwashed Feet which was the Moon on which we focused in the last issue of the V.A.N. has heralded the removal of two top officials. One was from the Bush administration, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the top aide to the Vice President, Dick Cheney, and the other, David Blunkett, was a minister in Tony Blair's cabinet. Both officials resigned in the last few weeks due to the revelation of previously hidden or unknown alleged improper behaviour finally coming to light.
We can thus begin to
see that the "Moon with Unwashed Feet" might be
focusing onto the "kings" substitute (the high official) in true
Babylonian fashion. However, if we draw wisdom from the history of the
last occurrence of this phenomena (the beginning of the English Civil War
and the first battle fought by Charles I), it is probably safe to assume
that there is still more to unfold. Nevertheless what is of real interest
for visual astrology is the occurrence of two top officials being removed
from power under this intriguing moon.
The Rhythm of a
Bernadette Brady M.A.
One of the ways that we mark events in our culture is not only in their calendar dates but also in their location. To us, place and date are interwoven. We raise monuments at these places and hold ceremonies at these monuments on the calendar dates of the events enshrined in that time and place – the anniversary. Our culture and our national identities are perpetuated by the recognition and celebration of these relationships between time and a particular place.
An example of this in the USA is the events of 9/11, now enshrined in New York City. For Australians, one of these is the cold and windswept cliffs of Gallipoli and the date 25th April, while a British example is the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar in October of this year (2005) at Gibraltar. So strong is this desire that we even locate our mythic figures and events in physical places, such as Father Christmas or Santa Claus in Lapland; and television commercials for Easter products would have us believe that the Easter Bunny lives in Chocolate Land. We instinctively link dates to places.
But our version
of astrology is focused on time rather than place and does not really
provide us with a tool to explore the potential of a place to produce
an event, to explore the inherent quality of a location. Granted we
do have the technique of AstroCartoGraphy but this method views the
earth as a neutral canvas, blank and empty, waiting for a planetary line to
impregnate it. Yet the earth is not a neutral canvas.
But such instruments were only useful for the latitudes for which they were made, for if we observe the sky for different latitudes, then different sets of stars would be rising at the key times of the year.
And this is the major point. Depending on the latitude, there will be a particular pattern of stars which claim rulership (I prefer the term 'governorship' when talking of stars), over a period of time for a particular place. For any given latitude a star may govern a period of just a few days or perhaps a few weeks. It will then give way to another star of different mythological meaning and different symbolism which will take over the governorship, and then that star will give way to another, and so on, throughout the calendrical year, only for the whole cycle to repeat itself in its timing and its order from one calendrical year to the next.
The Pulse of New York
If we consider New York City, we can construct a modern parapegma to observe the city’s rhythm, its unfolding annual star-pattern. The following is such a parapegma using only the heliacal rising stars for New York’s latitude. [see the August, 2005 Visual Astrology Newsletter for a definition of the Heliacal Rising Star].
Now what one is looking at with this parapegma is not the events which will happen every year but rather what is the quality or potential of the different parts of the year for New York's latitude. This is the stellar background into which the planetary patterns will settle. For example:
Another example for New York was the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883.
We can therefore use a parapegma to gain insights into how a location will deal with a difficult planetary patterns by firstly considering the planetary pattern and then considering the stellar quality of that time period for the city.
Later on this month we have a
fixed T-square which could prove difficult for somewhere on the planet. Will it influence New York? The planets themselves indicate
pollution, oil spills,
environmental accidents, outbreak of plague, the breaking down of some
form of barrier or a disaster caused by the weakening of a system.
As astrologers we are all aware of the beginnings of
this with the threat of a Bird Flu pandemic. But where in the world will
we see the expression of this particular T-square?
Saturn both in paran with Menkar
Neptune in paran with Alcyone
visual astrology can help us with location, then it is at these latitudes
that we can anticipate the expression of the Mars, Saturn and Neptune
T-square - whether this is an outbreak of Bird Flu, a major oil spill or a
breakdown in some city system. The fixed stars are also implying that it
is unlikely to be a natural disaster, unless the consequences of the
disaster are magnified or are the result of corrupt officials.
This month like the last sees another iconic figure end her sojourn on planet earth. Rosa Parks died on 24th October, 2005 at the age of ninety-two. Fifty years earlier, tired of being humiliated by an outmoded, outdated and outrageous set of rules which discriminated against black Americans travelling on buses, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in the middle rows of a Cleveland Avenue bus in Montgomery, Alabama, to a white man. One small step for a woman which ignited a flame of injustice and catalysed her title as "the mother of the civil rights movement".
As with Wiesenthal, we can consider the soil into which Rosa Parks’ chart was seeded in order to gain an understanding of the nature of her life.
Parks’ heliacal rising star is Rukbat. This is delineated in Starlight as:
Rukbat - To lead a life that is unswerving from what is held to be the true path
Rukbat is the brightest star of Sagittarius the Archer, in the knee of the left foot. Picked for his sharp eyesight and his steadiness of stance and strength, the Archer was the feared and forceful warrior at a time when archers were the most important and powerful pieces in the game of war, for he was able to fight from afar rather than face-to-face with a sword. Rukbat is the star that offers steadiness and consistency, so as this helical rising star emerges from the Underworld into the light of day, Rukbat gives Parks a rudder or anchor to her life, allowing her to fight for long-term goals, rather than looking for easy or short-term solutions.
Her actions on that day in December 1955 risked legal sanction and even physical harm. She was fined $14 and arrested for not giving her seat to a white man but her arrest led to a three hundred and eighty-one day boycott of the Montgomery bus system, organized by a then unknown Baptist minister, Reverend Martin Luther King. Rosa Parks had become the symbol of the mass movement which culminated in the 1964 Civil Rights Act and an end to segregation.
To add to the story we can look at Parks’ sky map and parans. Like Wiesenthal last month, we don’t have a timed chart for but the strength of the method of parans used in Starlight is that parans consider the first twenty-four hours of life and searches for the potential of each star-planet combination. There are many star-planet combinations we could examine but her natal Jupiter in fall in Capricorn square to Venus in detriment in Aries and at the Bends (square to the nodal axis) stands out as an obvious one to explore. In her sky map (below) we can see that at the time of her birth Jupiter was in the face of the Archer - so we can see from the visual astrology that this is a combative Jupiter [also see insert of Sagittarius at the top of this article].
Additionally there are three stars that link their myths to her natal Jupiter through parans.
Jupiter rising when Acumen is rising:
A person who puts themselves at risk in response to their social conscience
Acumen is one of a pair of nebula in the tail of the Scorpio (the other being Aculeus). Both of these stars are linked with mental, verbal or spiritual attacks, with Acumen carrying the shadow side. The lesson is to avoid lashing out or getting angry and simply confront problems in the clear light of day. The paran of Acumen-Jupiter again put Parks directly in the line of the bus driver’s fire but it took a complete Jupiter cycle before it matured and gave her the strength to respond as her social conscience dictated.
Jupiter culminating when Facies is culminating:
Strong but potentially abrasive religious or philosophical views
Facies is the penetrating stare of The Archer. It describes a lethal weapon which can destroy others or be destroyed. Connected with Parks’ Jupiter, it suggests someone who is strongly focused, a non-diplomatic but achieving person whose alternative philosophic views allows her to turn around the notion of being the victim.
“Are you going to stand up?" the driver, James Blake asked. "No," answered Parks. "Well, by God," replied Blake, "I'm going to have you arrested." "You may do that," Parks responded.
Jupiter culminating when Alhena is on the nadir:
The scholar or explorer; the person with a mission
Alhena is the star in the in the foot of Pollux, known as the Proudly Marching One. To have Alhena connected with a planet in your chart is to have a cause to follow, a belief for which you will 'march'.
From this small investigation of Parks’ heliacal rising star and her Jupiter, we start to gain a glimpse of some of her dance card and the partners with whom she moves:
In 1996 Parks received the Presidential Medal of Freedom before being awarded the United States' highest civilian honour, the Congressional Gold Medal, in 1999. On Sunday 29th October, 2005, Parks became the first woman to lie in honour in the vast circular room under the Capitol dome. A woman who sat down to be counted.
Starlight can be explored on the Zyntara