Darrelyn Gunzburg
April 2005

We have seen the importance of sky stories through the Gathering of Kings (February, 2005 issue) but are these stories also concerned with personal natal charts?

I have a client who has Mercury in Sagittarius in the 1st house, square Pluto in the 11th house which is also conjunct the North Node and her Mercury is at the bends (square the nodes). Chart as shown. This is someone who, through change (Mercury rules the 8th house) and working with groups (Mercury also rules the 11th house) can see and communicate the big picture (Mercury in Sagittarius) using a focused and determined approach (Pluto-Mercury) and who, through tension, is able to creatively take action to solve problems (mutable square). With Mercury being at the bends, this ability to take risks in thinking, focus on the group’s issues (Pluto in the 11th house) and work them through with the group strongly stresses the role of Mercury as being involved with her profession and indeed this is the case.

She is employed by the Australian government (Department of Family and Community Services) to liaise with aboriginal women and their families living in the remote desert regions of central Australia whose health and well-being has seriously declined since colonisation.

Her work was significantly recognized recently when she and one of the Aboriginal women were asked to present their first overseas keynote address at an Early Childhood conference in the UK in March. My client contacted me, nervous about her ability to speak out strongly enough for the plight of the women and children that she represented, as some of the senior Aboriginal women had become quite ill after their initial keynote address in Australia in May 2003. This illness was thought to be the result of the overwhelming hurt and betrayal they felt as they attempted to make their voices heard. She did not want a similar outcome for the 2005 conference and wondered if she was strong enough for all the women that she would represent.

By using Starlight to turn her chart into an image of the sky at the moment of her birth, we can move away from the limits of the two dimensional chart and look at her sky story. In doing this we gain an even clearer insight into her Mercury. We can see that at the moment she was born Mercury was firmly lodged in the jaws of Scorpius.  

The software says of Scorpius:

Scorpius is the most southern constellation of the zodiac. From 5,000 bce to approximately 1,000 bce in the northern hemisphere, the Sun was amongst the stars of the Great Scorpion, Scorpio and Libra, for the Autumn equinox. Being one of the signs of an equinox, it was considered one of the four gateways to the other world and was known as a bringer of darkness, for as the Sun entered this constellation, it moved into the southern hemisphere and this marked the beginning of the dark part of the year.

To the Egyptians, the Scorpion, with its red flashing heart, was one of the great symbols of life and death and as there can be no life without death, it was the Scorpion who showed the way down into the underworld.

So here is my client’s Mercury, her ability to write and communicate and take risks in thinking on behalf of a group, linked with going down into the underworld, thinking or having empathy with the non-rational, chaotic or intuitive ways of seeing the world.  Her work is to think on behalf of an indigenous or marginalized people and to use that to voice the needs of the group. From this imagery we can see that her Mercury-Pluto square is being emphasised, stressed, or underlined by the sky motif. 

My client also has an unaspected Venus in Capricorn in the 3rd house. Her ability to form concrete social networks (Venus in Capricorn) works best when she is supported in business (Venus rules the 7th house) and when she allows her intuition to flow (Venus also rules the 12th house). Being unaspected and cadent, she has to work doubly hard to bridge the times when she feel confident at liaising on behalf of others (cadent) and when she does not (unaspected).

Her sky map also shows that Venus walks in front of Capricornius, the Sea Goat.

Starlight gives us the background to this Sea Goat:

Ea (the Sea Goat) was the protector of his people and from his place in the sky, the great rivers flowed, giving life. Periodically he would rise from these waters, take on human form and teach the people the knowledge they needed for civilisation. He was another Osiris-type of god: caring, educating and civilising….

You may remember that Condoleezza Rice (February VAN) also had Capricornius as part of her sky map but for her, Mars rode on its back. Here, using her ability to liaise and network, my client walks proudly in front of this group of indigenous women whom western society has treated as insignificant (Capricornius also indicates the scapegoat) and on behalf of these women (Venus is cadent), takes on the role of educator for them to the Australian government.

So her natal sky map underpins her natal aspects and paints the picture of a woman who is unafraid to delve deeply into taboo areas that affect a marginalized group of women and to speak on their behalf.

My client rang me after the conference. She had been overwhelmed by the success of the keynote address. Consciously drawing on the strength and sheer grittiness of her Mercury, she had spoken, unafraid of her own strong emotions and the power that her own words could unfold. She and her Aboriginal co-delegate had received a standing ovation and the people who heard them were crying. Furthermore they had been asked to present the work at a conference in Iceland next year. My client realized that, whilst a conservative government is often slow to make changes for indigenous peoples, since she spoke though the jaws of Scorpius and heralded the wayof the Sea Goat, the further she could push this work now, the better it would be for them when there was a change of government in the future.

It is a simple case study but the key point for me was that being able to share the actual visual sky images with my client had empowered her to fulfil that which she was more than capable of doing. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and I think in the case of a person’s natal sky map this is so very true. 

NOTE: Many people who do not own the software Starlight have asked us about their own natal sky map, so for a short time only, we have set up an online ordering system from Astro Logos. We will produce for you your natal sky maps (two, one the eastern part of the sky and one for the west) in black and white – so you can print them out- and email them to you for £3.00 (about $5 US).  Each map will also be accompanied with a one page printout of your natal star parans and meanings.