Apollo, Cassandra and the Archetypally Dysfunctional Marriage

Ajax and Cassandra by Solomon Joseph Solomon, 1886

Possibly, of all the many deities described within the pantheons of mythology, Apollo had the broadest remit. He was known as Apollo by both the Romans and the Greeks, which in itself was rather unusual, traditionally the Greek nomenclature was invariably altered, Romanised (although some later Roman poets did refer to him as Phoebus.) He was principally a Solar deity, a god of light, medicine, truth, science, commerce, colonisation, a defender of herds and flocks, the giver of music, poetry and song; and whilst the sheer scope of his associations are dazzlingly and dizzyingly broad, the fundamental reality is that he was a God of reason.

Crucially, for the purpose of this discussion, he was also a God of prophecy and his was a rational brand of prophecy since there is no suggestion of anything dark or mysterious about this gift; indeed, such would be antithetic to his innate quality as a god of light, science and reason.

Apollo, while looking down upon Troy, spied Cassandra, during the famed war and was so struck by her beauty that he bestowed upon her the gift of prophecy as a prelude to seduction, but when she later refused his advances he spat in her mouth, thus cursing the gift, so that her predictions would be doomed to be disbelieved.

Seeing the dread future clearly drove Cassandra to the brink of madness, as her audience scoffed at her predictions she became increasingly hysterical, irrational, which only served to further compound her apparent unreliability. Contrast this then with the Apollonic style of prediction, we have a dichotomy between rational prediction and irrational prophecy embodied in male and female archetypes: crucially, the masculine Apollonian perspective marginalises the feminine Cassandran intuition because she has the power to refuse his sexual advances, and this process is indulged as a punishment.

This marginalisation is named in psychological parlance a Cassandra complex, in its most basic format, it represents a situation where an individual’s distressing perceptions (their reality therefore) are disbelieved, derided or belittled by others (or one principal other), with the result that instability becomes gradually entrenched in the personal outlook. Laurie Layton Schapira wrote about this at length in her 1988 work: “The Cassandra Complex: Living With Disbelief: A Modern Perspective on Hysteria” and in it she states that one of the key qualities of the Cassandra complex is found in this impasse between Apollo and his would-be conquest. Typically, the complex then is projected onto those traditionally diagnosed with hysteria, denoting a tendency for them to be disbelieved or dismissed when relating the facts of their experiences to others. Based on clinical experience, Schapira delineates three factors which constitute the Cassandra complex in hysterics: (a) dysfunctional relationships with social manifestations of rationality, order, and reason, leading to; (b) emotional or physical suffering, particularly in the form of somatic, often gynaecological complaints, and (c) being disbelieved or dismissed when attempting to relate the facticity of these experiences to others.

Put more simply then, resorting to overtly feminine coping mechanisms, behaviours or beliefs is fundamentally at odds with the cultural outlook of the Apollonian society. Thus anything that cannot be rationalised, measured, proved deductively and materially is rejected, scoffed at, derided (with difficult physical and psychological consequences for the “victim”).

This is an archetypal marital dynamic. Much of my consultation time with women between the ages of 30 and 40 is taken up with this exact theme (women over 40 are very typically either reconciled to it – often by making an Apollonian metamorphosis themselves – or divorced). The husband has assumed Apollonian dimensions and the wife is beginning to doubt her sanity or – at the very least – the veracity of her perspective. Her only recourse in the face of this ongoing and hurtful marginalisation of her feelings – which she knows to be true – is to withdraw from sexual participation, since this is the only power she has left. The husband subjugates the wife by marginalising her feelings and needs as irrational, nonsensical or impractical, flattening her emotionally until she no longer has any reliable sense of emotional identity. The result is neurosis, low self-esteem and bouts of (what is identified as) hysteria. If adopted, this archetypal processing of marital dysfunction inevitably concludes in a destruction of the marriage: the husband is denied sexual access (which in any case cannot be intimate under this dynamic) and the wife is denied a valid identity, each punishes the other until one of the aforementioned outcomes is initiated.

Astrologically speaking then, we have a fabulous clue to this exact relationship dynamic in the asteroids Apollo (1862) and Kassandra (114). We can glean attitudes, potentials and insights from their positions, their relationship one to the other, and their broader integration into the nativity.

It should be noted that there are other interpretative potentials within both of these asteroids; Apollo is often interpreted as being a point at which we do not learn from our mistakes, but I cannot follow that logic in my own exploration of the mythology. Perhaps this suggestion that Apollo creates a propensity for over-rationalisation, which undermines empathy, who knows, is at the root of this assumption, but I would say that certainly, a rationalising influence is here, one which rejects intuition, scorns dark, feminine prophecy, that derides the immeasurable as akin to hysterical, and certainly, as a Solar deity, this is the archetypal perspective that seems obvious to the vast majority; what we can see is what is real, and without the light of the Sun we are blind.

Kassandra also has other meanings, positively, she relates to advice, to the gift of prophecy and insight and negatively to not being believed or given credibility. Kassandra’s is a feminine quality that is easily denounced however, because she is at odds with societal norms as Schapira describes:

Cassandra is a tragic figure. Her story has been the subject of Greek drama, poetry and even an opera. In literature, tragedy is a result of a flaw in the character of the tragic figure whereby some great potential goes unfulfilled, even turns destructive. What then is the nature of Cassandra’s tragedy?

When Cassandra refused to consummate their union, Apollo cursed her so that her prophecies would never be believed. But why did she refuse him? Was she simply not interested in him? The story indicates otherwise. In The Agamemnon, Cassandra describes their foreplay: “We wrestled, and his breath to me was sweet.” Only when it “came to the getting of children, as is meet,” she “swore a lie.”

Was she trying to get something for nothing? Was she being a sexual tease, like many an hysteric? Certainly, also in the manner of the hysteric, Cassandra was ambivalent. At first she complied and then she reneged. Perhaps her ambivalence also held some passive aggression: anger at Apollo for his past outrages toward the feminine, and a fear of being abused and abandoned as had happened to so many other objects of his desire.

Kassandra then is at odds with the rational, mainstream view, she rejects science and abides by prophecy and intuition and is condemned for it by society, even though she is correct. Considering the Cascade Effect, this can operate at many levels. Those with Apollo strong in the nativity will contend with rationality as a result, they can become the husband who ridicules the wife for her lack of practical sense, who worships commerce and who (as Joseph Campbell contended) buys into our society’s self-defeating delusion of rationalising avarice; alternatively they may become a scientist, an accountant, an entrepreneur. For Kassandra, the path is much less certain. It is a crossing over to the dark-side, and there is a price for that hubris (as determined by inverse populism) which is of course rejection, being considered an hysteric. Those with Kassandra strong then must contend with the choice to live outside of the normal strictures of mainstream society; they must bear ridicule, be threatened with marginalisation or they must denounce instinct, what they feel to be true and cross over to the Apollonian side. They risk divorce, derision and abandonment if they refuse.

It is for all of these reasons and many more that I believe that Apollo and Kassandra are one marital archetype. Jupiter/Juno (Zeus/Hera) is another – and bear in mind that neither role is gender specific even if there is a tendency to conform to one’s sympathetic role and thus in the Jupiter/Juno story, men are more likely to bed-hop, further enraging their jealous wife. In my experience though, the Apollo/Kassandra marital archetype is by far the most common. It characterises the marriage that lacks intimacy, where sex is infrequent, where the husband works in mainstream scientific, commercial or financial fields and the wife slowly deteriorates into a state of neurotic self-doubt and crippling uncertainty as he subtly ridicules and undermines her contribution to the family dynamic.

Much more broadly of course, the dichotomy speaks directly to the Cassandran study of astrology itself. Ridiculed, derided and disbelieved by the vast Apollonian majority, even though it is real and true.

Venus in the 12th

Be with me,
My prison-guard, whose smile the only light
In this oubliette of mine; no darkness,
Only a forgetting of what is bright,
A rich smear, a Monet in my mind’s eye,
Of you, only you.

And at last,
With your glittering soul I shall hold still,
With hands on hips and sweet Athena’s eye,
Your beauty tumbles the sky until
The end days have flickered out, unremarked,
Unbound by these spells.

So touch me,
With that quivering, that flinch, holding fast,
Sharp intake of breath and melt into memory,
The memory of embraces long past,
And the flight of love and timeless things like
Raindrops on a bridge.

<3

The True Spirit of Opposition

Today I would like to present you with one of the most challenging hypotheses you will likely hear in the entire spectrum of astrological debate. I contend that the best possible aspect that you can have at your disposal out of the entire array of angular connections between celestial bodies is the opposition.

Of course, I could leave it at that and ask that you simply trust that conclusion, I haven’t formulated it overnight after all, but rather after nearly 30 years of astrological practice, but I shall try to make a lucid explanation.

Let us consider the nature of aspects. I have written at great length about this on this journal and I have devoted an entire chapter to aspect theory in my forthcoming book, and too I have read most of the major works on the subject from the near majestic (Bill Tierney’s “Dynamics of Aspect Analysis“) to a plethora of less incisive but ultimately well-intentioned works that are for the most part conventionally regurgitative. This is one area of astrological understanding that is rendered academically inert through mainstream prima facie acceptance. It is not particularly an area that is open for research, except in the exploration of new angles (such as the work of Ricki Reeves on the important 165° quindecile aspect).

Convention dictates that the trine is the best of aspects, but I have always believed in the principle – put so perfectly and eloquently by the great Noel Tyl – that all aspects are squares. That at least conveys some evident and fundamental truth about the nature of celestial contacts; but I have little time for convention; I have seen semisquares running the show just as frequently as their double-breadth brethren and halfsums that open up incredible power-potential in a person who is beginning to understand the challenge of their own nativity.

There are a raft of allied principles which mirror this in the study of astrology. We grow older and wiser and a certain jading takes place. That does not mean that we become depraved and aristocratic (although some do), but rather that we no longer take so much substance out of the simplistic. This is not to say that we cannot enjoy the simple pleasures of life (the opposite is true, aging and wisdom is a decomplication), but in astrological terms it means that we undergo a gradual transition; we have learned as much as we can from our Jupiter in the 4th house, so we begin to explore the effect of Pluto, the house’s ruler more thoroughly. This is why some ‘obvious’ qualities of our nativity appear to erode and be replaced by other realities. There is too the ‘Saturn effect’, where what limits us in the first half of life becomes our emancipation and power in the latter. These and many other realities of exactly this type are extant, I see them every day.

A trine is easy, fluid, subjectively pleasing only in the sense that it requires no application of effort. But what is being lubricated here? Is it a trine between Moon and Mars retrograde in Cancer? Believe me when I tell you that you’d be better off with no aspect at all in that case. All aspects require effort but the problem with the trine is that it ‘works’ whether we apply ourselves to it or not and that is why, after time has elapsed, and no effort has been made, the trine ‘squares out;’ it becomes degenerative. I have seen far more clients suffer from addictive tendencies and issues with Neptune trines than I have with Neptune squares. Truth.

This then is the first clue and it is fundamental. All aspects are squares. What this means is that the concept of an ‘easy’ aspect is a myth, and if you think that you are blessed with a grand trine, then, in my view, you are just as much cursed. On the other hand, the dreaded square – worked with, made conscious, transformed, becomes the most mindful of trines, but we are forced to examine our squares, they don’t just happen, they grate. We are disenfranchised by them and so they become our agenda.

The second clue lies in the concept of polarity, and this too is an idea I have written about before on this journal. Conventional wisdom dictates that it is best to have a planet in its dignity or exaltation and worst to have a planet in its detriment or fall, with all other cases being in the unremarked no man’s land between good and bad. This is another misconception based on an oversimplistic, quantification of reality. Actually, it is easiest to have a planet in its dignity or exaltation, not better, and it is harder to have a planet in its detriment or fall, not worse. Do you understand the profoundly important distinction that is being made here? This works in exactly the same way that we understand that it is easier to have trines, but it is not better. (Indeed – and I have written about this before too – it is probably better to have a planet in its detriment or fall than for it to have no essential dignity or debility [classical peregrination therefore] whatever, although it will make your life more difficult, more of a struggle: but what does adversity build? Character! I rest my case).

A polarity then is a blending of opposites which alchemically combine to create a harmony. That is exactly how Kepler formulated his theory of aspects in the first instance, though a translation of musical theory (musica universalis: the music of the spheres, based on the earlier theorem attributed to Pythagoras). Dante’s Inferno contains an entire treatise on this exact subject for the scholarly minded.

Harmony then is made through a blend, and there is no more potent blend than the fusion of opposites because it contains a totality which creates a self-sustaining singularity. We can look at this from a different perspective by considering the principle of conjunction. Once again conventional wisdom dictates that a conjunction creates a blend, the result of which is entirely dependent upon the quality of the bodies so conjoined. A mix of cream and vinegar will curdle the cream. And a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. This is all well and good, but of course, there is another effect of conjunction: it creates an emphasis, and perhaps too strong an emphasis on one quality, on one side of a polarity. Too much Virgo and not enough Pisces creates at worst an over-analytical, neurotic cynicism that needs to be tempered by faith, an ability to transcend, to accept at face value that happiness and beauty exist in the world and need not be counted or measured to be true. Is the over-Virgoed type then doomed to be a hopeless neurotic until the end of their days? No, although it will make a great struggle out of life for them, but somehow, the seed of the polarity is found in every placement. Nobody understands Libra better than Aries and vice-versa; the intrinsic qualitative experience of opposition is therefore found at the very heart of each placement and that is the path to neutralising the imbalance of stellia and major conjunctions.

The polarity then, is opposition, and the polarity is the key to harmony and balance.

So, very much like the trine that is left to its own idle devices, the opposition that is unbalanced is a stressor, but an opposition that is recognised, balanced out, brought into awareness can give enormous perspective. Indeed, a chart without oppositions is possibly among the most cursed of all conditions because there is no possibility of perspective: life is a one-sided exposition of outright subjectivity that can create a long series of battles and conflicts; the native simply cannot see the other person’s viewpoint and so they fight on, and on, and on, and on, and on.

The opposition is the exaltation of polarity, and the polarity is the key that unlocks the nativity, so, don’t despair, learn to value and love your oppositions for they are your greatest gift.

Feeling blueprints…

Transit theory.

Actually, let’s talk for a minute about building a house. Let us say, for the sake of argument that you decide that you want to build your dream home. You probably have some vague ideas about how it will look, about the various features and styles of decor, about the layout. You’re quite serious about the whole idea, so you buy a plot of land to build the house on, and at that point you’ve reached a liminal point in the development of your house; liminality is that evocative space of inbetween-ness that represents a transition from one state to another, in this case the transition from having a vague idea of what kind of home you’d like to live in to needing to have a definite plan about the exact kind of home you’re going to build.

So you consult with an architect and after negotiation what you are left with is a set of blueprints.

The key understanding here of course is that the set of blueprints is not a house, it is only a potential house, albeit a very specificfally realised one. It is an idea of a house that is formally determined within certain parameters; the kitchen will be here and face the East, it will have a garage and you’ve decided that it will have a pool-house at the bottom of the garden.

Your house gets built, it might run over budget, so you make certain cut-backs. You decide that you can manage without the pool-house but at least the kitchen units are just what you wanted. You paint the living room in a deep red tone that you particularly love.

So, what started out as a rather vague and formless idea was translated into some fairly exacting plans which in turn, through the process of construction, through the realisation of those original specifications and the contingencies of life, became something quite unique. Life happens. You have children and need to build an extension. You inherit some money when great Aunt Bertha kicks the bucket so you finally build the pool-house. There’s a hurricane which blows the oak tree over and caves the roof in but the insurance pays out and you fix it all up and have enough money left over to redecorate the house.

Okay, that’s enough talk about building houses.

One day, a human soul forms a vague notion about being born into a new life situation. It decides that there are certain factors that it wants to incorporate into its new incarnation, it wants to have these qualities developed and experiences of one sort or another so that it can learn to be closer to the inner divine nature unto which the Universe ceaselessly cleaves and so it chooses the plot into which it will be born, the family, the parental influences, the culture and so forth and then the soul is born into life and at that exact moment a blueprint is drawn; a plan that defines within some fairly precise parameters how this soul will manifest into material existence. The blueprint of that human soul is its nativity.

But of course, the nativity is not the personality, any more than the blueprint is the house.

And this is the most important understanding that we can begin with when we consider transit theory: if the kitchen in our house faces East, it is never going to get the evening Sun, no matter what colour we paint the walls or what appliances we decide to install in that kitchen. Of course, if we decide that we want the evening sun in our kitchen we can perhaps save up our money over many years and work very hard to move the kitchen into another room on the west side of the property, so we can – in a very real sense – override the blueprint, but it will take enormous effort to do so, and we may have to make sacrifices and compromises along the way,  but with enough focus and determination, our blueprint can be transcended, but on the whole, the likelihood is that expedience and the vagaries of existence will dictate that we will keep our kitchen where it is and learn to live with it that way and get the best out of it. We make small gradual modifications and learn to fit into our home while at the same time modifying, fine-tuning and tweaking our home so that it better suits our needs.

Sometimes we come into some money unexpectedly (think Jupiter-Uranus) and we get to build an extension (or move the kitchen!) Other times we might determine that we really want that pool-house that we didn’t manage to build at the start so we save our money and make economies in other areas (think Mars – Saturn) and one day we get to build the pool house. Sometimes there is a hurricane which makes the oak tree in the garden blow down and flatten the roof (think Uranus=Mars/Pluto), but the insurance pays out more than expected (think Jupiter=Moon/Pluto) and you get to redecorate the house.

So, what we started out with changes according to the ongoing processes of transition and progression, fundamentally our soul-house will never change, we cannot change our city apartment into a beach house regardless of what influences move us forward in our lives, but within the broad framework of the nativity blueprint, we can experience evolution.

What of course you should realise is that transits always have a common quality (a hurricane is a hurricane for everybody in its path) but how you experience it personally is intrinsically, well, personal. It might blow the oak tree down onto your house, but your neighbour, who doesn’t have an oak tree in their garden and whose house sits in the lee of a sheltering hill?

What you should appreciate then is that events (transits/ progressions / directions) will affect you according to the nature of the event in general terms and according to the nature of your blueprint in specific terms.

A transit then will always begin to manifest in relationship to the blueprint of the nativity tempered by the general quality of the transiting influence. A transit of Neptune square the Moon is rather like having a flood in the kitchen because of a burst pipe under the sink. Because your kitchen is made in this certain way, it is going to be affected: the flood won’t affect the attic or the garage. If you have Saturn in Cancer and the 5th house then, what you can understand is that the general quality of Saturn square the Moon will undoubtedly make itself felt in the broad Saturn-squaring-Moon kind of way (feeling isolated, emotionally flat, strained relationships with women, wives and mothers) but in your case that sense of isolation will be partly influenced by themes of children too, or love affairs, or creativity, and family issues will be part of it too. That leads you to suspect that maybe you feel isolated from other women because you don’t have children of your own just yet so you don’t feel like you have a proper family; it makes you feel isolated and depressed. Your relationship with your mother feels strained because she wants grandchildren. On the other hand, maybe your lover is making you feel isolated because his mother doesn’t approve of you, or because he’s too moody and cranky, or you’re down because your responsibilities to him don’t leave you enough time to spend with your own family.

And that’s just the Saturn angle. If your natal Moon is in the third house and Taurus then you have to factor in other potentials; your daily environment, siblings, your car, any of these might be part of the problem and with Taurus, there’s a money angle too. Let’s put all that together and what you’ll see is that there’s strain in your life because you’re feeling lonely and isolated, it’s due to children: maybe with Saturn in the 5th it’s because you don’t have them yet (Saturn in the 5th often denotes delays in motherhood, older mothers), or perhaps for some reason your children entail extra responsibility so they take up your time. And now your car has broken down (3rd) and you don’t have the money to fix it (Taurus), and all of this feels difficult because it’s a square aspect, frustrations and obstacles stand in the way of progress. Perhaps your sister just had a new baby and you feel left out and isolated (Saturn) from the family (Cancer) and from your mother (Moon) because she’s giving all her attention to your sister’s (3rd) new baby (5th).

So, do you see? This is how the transit begins to show itself, through the blueprint.

As the aspect develops (it approaches partility) and transits usually involve very specific events which develop the situation that is manifesting out of the nativity blueprint. This is usually found in the transiting data. Here, let us say that Saturn squares the 3rd house Taurus Moon from its position in the 6th house and the sign Leo. So what happens is that your boss (Leo) starts getting really down on you about your work (6th) which only adds to your sense of frustration, depression and isolation. Or maybe you develop a heart (Leo) problem (6th) and that’s what is adding to your woes. Maybe your father (Saturn) develops a heart problem and you have to spend time with him. Any of these are possible, but crucially, they overlay the foundation qualities of your natal Moon and Saturn placements and bring the themes that are at work in those placement into sharp relief which causes you to take action or make an adjustment to relieve, fix or improve the situation.

So, how do things work out? Well, you can have a guess at this too, and there’s nothing especially wild about the guessing either. Here, the rulerships are key to the outcomes, so you discover that Saturn rules your 10th and Moon rules the 5th (and Saturn of course), so maybe you decide to change your career (or even give it up entirely) since your boss was giving you such a hard time anyway so that you have more time for your family situation, or you get pregnant (5th) so you have to change your vocational aspirations (10th) as a result of that.

Now as you can see, there are a great number of potential outcomes here, but they do tend to fall within certain parameters which are based on your blueprints, on the nature of the transiting points and their relationship to each other and also on a specific catalysing event which occurs to move the situation forward. Thus, your house has an oak tree in the garden (blueprint), there is a hurricane (hard transit) which causes the oak tree to fall on your house (transit event) and this results in you having to rebuild the house, but you take the opportunity to improve it in some way at the same time (outcome that evolves the blueprint).

See? Simple, incredible and profound all at once.

Let us consider a couple of examples, beginning with the ever-intriguing Victoria Beckham who was recently panned by critics for her rather bland contribution to the US TV show American Idol. The Los Angeles Times dubbed her “the night’s saddest failure” while Sharyn Jackson from Village Voice said her face was “too crazy for the close-up” and added: “I always thought a British accent made people sound smart but I guess I was wrong.”

If we take a look at her nativity we can see a few intimidating transiting configurations right away:

Victoria Beckham, media 'personality' 17 April 1974 06:00 Harlow UK

What you can see is that Saturn applies by transit to Pluto in the 6th house and Libra while transiting Pluto applies to a square of natal Pluto from the 9th (and bearing down on her Midheaven too). As you can perhaps see, this is an enormously intense combination of transiting stresses: transiting Pluto opposing radix Saturn is creating a tee-square to transiting Saturn conjunct radix Pluto. Let us use the blueprint – event – evolution model to try and decode the possible influence of these transiting energies.

First of all, the connections are as follows:

  1. Pl 0pp Sa (Tr-Na): This event is in the past (throughout 2008) but crucially it describes the beginning of the current cycle of issues. The implications manifest into the 10th and 7th houses, thus vocation and marriage (and to some extent her marriage is her career).
  2. Saturn square Saturn in October just gone; this has a real ring of everday life issues to it but also of health. It suggests that worry and anxiety (Saturn in Mercury’s house) are having a detrimental effect on her health.
  3. She gets the first of five Pluto squares on February 20th this year. Pluto is in the 6th so health and daily routine are both implicated (that’s the blueprint part), while transiting Pluto is in the 9th, so foreign issues and travel are big factors that relate to these concerns. She is living in the US and has been offered a regular job (6th house) on the American Idol judging panel while her husband David plays soccer in Milan, Italy. That’s the source of the anxiety: while the cat’s away
  4. Saturn squares itself at the same time, so the blueprint part is to do with her mental anxiety with the transiting Saturn in the 6th creating a health event.
  5. All of the influences play out into the rulerships of the planets, thus the 7th and 10th. The principle of Saturn – Pluto is hard labour and specifically the loss of one’s fortune or possessions, a real fall from grace in terms of the 10th and the 7th houses.

Conclusion, Victoria Beckham’s marriage and career will spectacularly collapse over the coming year, a process which may well be attended by some protracted mental health difficulties. There will be intrigues and quite possibly a custody battle which she will almost certainly lose. Victoria’s nativity evinces Uranus on the descendant too, so expect the revelations and the finish of the marriage to be sudden.

Ultimately though, it is an experience and a process that her soul requires. The eclipse may be something of a trigger, it falls within 4 minutes of the Venus square Neptune midpoint. The fantasy relationship falls away to be replaced by a painfully disappointing reality, custody battles, alimony and holding hostages to fortune, it all sounds rather painful in prospect.

What do you want?

Here is a list of all the topics I want to write about but just don’t have the time, so, if you have a view then vote for one and I’ll write up the most popular choice.

  1. How to work out what will most likely happen under any given transit. The process is a lot less speculative than you might imagine and it’s also highly personalised, a Moon-Pluto transit by Secondary Progression will have a common theme but it will affect two different people in different ways, but in measurable ways. That said, a Moon – Pluto transit will always evince a commonality of expression for an individual with only a certain degree of variance (based around such factors as type of application, development of the life narrative and so forth)
  2. The manner in which different signs and combinations evince specific fields of difficulty. Scorpio for example has a trust and abandonment complex inbuilt; I think that understanding the procedural nature of evolvement through a sign’s typical life-cycle is essential to mastering its challenges, thus to your growth and development; it is an intrinsic role in your raison d’etre. To be or not to be, that is the choice. There’s a fantastic personal side-issue here about opening chakras, and I’d want to talk a little about my heart chakra and how I can’t stop crying like a big girl when I watch movies but now I have a throat chakra problem, which is causing me all sorts of hell.
  3. Mars – Jupiter aspects, specifically the square. This aspect is a pain in the posterior. Or maybe the Sun – Saturn contact. Or how about the theory that an opposition is probably a better aspect to find in your nativity than a trine! Oh gosh, that’s controversial.
  4. I’ve already written about the upcoming eclipse, so I don’t think I shall say too much more about it, but I do know that it’s going to be a big deal for certain individuals in the public eye. Barack Obama is one, but even more so is Richard Branson, expect something quite spectacular to happen in his life in the next year or so. And Billy Connolly too.
  5. Otherwise, maybe there’s something that I might know about that you’d like to understand better so feel free to make a suggestion.

If I get no votes or suggestions then I shan’t write anything at all, so there! Now I’m off to work…

The Solar Eclipse of Jan 15, a detailed study.

The Solar Eclipse of January 15th looks to be a big deal; certainly, it affects countless people of my current association and I think that the next 3 years or so are going to bear an indelible impression of the darkness at 25 Capricorn. I have been working at some fairly advanced interpretations in an attempt to see where it might lead; and some of the material that follows is beyond even advanced astrology; there’s no need to worry too much about that because I’ll try and give some clues about the manifesting influences of the eclipse.

The eclipse cycle which the January 15th event falls under was instantiated on May 19th 1613 (for those interested in tracing the technical progression of the luminary conjunction it falls in the 12 North Saros Cycle), so in order that we understand the major themes of the eclipse and how it plays out we need to grapple with the chart for the originating event which is shown here:

The originator eclipse of 1613

I only include Zeus and Chiron for the purpose of defining the Star of David aspect pattern; it suggests that financial/material issues and a tendency toward rapid progress are inherent in the eclipse of January 15th. The originating eclipse is conjunct both Hopi and Proserpina, so there are themes of indigenous peoples (Hopi) and the kidnap of daughters (Proserpina).

Now, get this…

In March 1613, Pocahontas was residing at Passapatanzy, a village of the Patawomecks, a Virginia Indian tribe that traded with Powhatans… in the care of the Patawomec chief Japazaws (or Japazeus).

When two English colonists began trading with the Patawomec, they discovered Pocahontas. With the help of Japazaws, they tricked Pocahontas into captivity. They intended to hold her to ransom and release her in exchange for English prisoners held by Chief Powhatan, along with various weapons and tools stolen by the Powhatan. Powhatan returned the prisoners, but failed to satisfy the colonists with the number of weapons and tools he returned. A long standoff ensued, during which the English kept Pocahontas captive.

So, the Saros 12 North eclipse cycle began with the kidnap of the daughter (Proserpina) of an Indian (Hopi) chief (Sun)!  Of course, a big part of the argument that led to the kidnap was to do with firearms: the Su/Mo/Ho/Pr conjunction opposes Zeus, which rules firearms!

The first themes of the eclipse then are hinted at in this originating event: people in minority positions or who feel (for whatever reason) that they are being discriminated against will be coerced, removed from a secure position or in some way surprised or ‘ambushed’ (another Hopi theme) in order to ensure compliance: ultimately as a power-play.

Next, look to the elements: no fire at all, and that includes asteroids, there isn’t a single astrological body in the element of fire! So, all subsequent Saros 12N eclipses will inevitably be marked by a dearth of the fiery quality: thus despondency, a lack of optimism, failure to initiate, playing it too safe, and most of all lacking faith. The grand earth trine projecting into the eclipse at the kite’s apex is determinant: here is a warning that being too materialistic is going to trigger the negative consequences of the Su/Mo/Ho/Pr opp. Zeus spine, thus there is volatility, high blood pressure, having to keep a lid on things and all because it’s a struggle to have faith that things will turn out alright in the end. Moon opposes Zeus too, so women are going to get feisty and be the cause of the high-blood pressure; children might get taken elsewhere because of previous attempts to control, to enforce conditions and solutions. With Zeus opposing Proserpina and Hopi, take care that your daughter’s car isn’t stolen by an Indian!

Okay, on a more serious note, Pluto is peregrine (just), but is conjunct Bacchus(so somebody is getting high on their power trip) and at the apex of a slightly out of orb tee-square from Mars opposing Chiron. People are taking things into their own hands and being impulsive out of a need to cause some hurt, hitting somebody in the sensitive area of their life and it’s going to force a big transformation, or a real life and death struggle.

All the trines and sextiles suggest that things happen fast, there’s plenty of movement and lubrication, expect changes to be quick, but the repercussions to hang around for quite a long time. The only other problem is the opposition of Saturn to Neptune which tee-squares to Mercury in his sign widely conjunct Uranus. Here, material things are dissolving and it’s causing outbursts, people are thinking they’ve got it all worked out but are in danger of over-intellectualising their opinions and views and that’s simply adding to the problems.

So, to summarise then, there are several themes which acompany this eclipse in broad terms:

  1. An overemphasis on material viewpoints, practicalities and finances at the expense of faith, optimism and enthusiasm.
  2. People may be discriminated against (and in Taurus: perhaps because of their poverty) as part of a power play or reach for control.
  3. Children, access rights and custody battles may all be configured.
  4. Things will move fast.
  5. Overintellectualising leads to outbursts which in turn engender fierce arguments.
  6. Venus trines Jupiter, and while Venus is strong Jupiter struggles, the trine is in earth again, so it promises material increase, but this could simply be the underlying impetus for the material tone of the eclipse itself, “an opportunity for gain” is at the forefront of the ensuing dynamics.

And that’s the originator: what of the eclipse on January 15th?

The big themes here are quite clear:

  1. The conjunction conjoins Venus in Capricorn, thus relationships that are based on responsibility or duty are at the core of the eclipse energy, and most especially relationships with a financial dimension. If you overlay this onto the 1613 eclipse there are themes of alimony, child support, reparation paid to disenfranchised minorities and a sense that money can in some sense buy or compensate for love and affection.
  2. The eclipse (and Venus) opposes Hopi, so discrimination based on material resources (or lack of them) are strongly suggested. It also squares Kassandra in Libra, so legal advice might be a theme of this eclipse as a result, but beware of what you believe, somebody may not be playing you completely straight.
  3. The really tough break is contained in the eclipse halfsum of Sun=Mars/Saturn, a prominent male might die during the eclipse period (approximately 3-4 years). Placed in the context of the original eclipse there is a problem with Zeus, so motor accidents, explosions or deaths related to high blood-pressure are all possible.
  4. Mercury is conjunct Pluto: obsessive ideas and opinions are a big problem, and squaring Saturn, they’re based around older men, authorities, fathers and traditional viewpoints or perspectives. Me/Pl also opposes Kronos, so the obsessive idea (Me/Pl) that is brought to bear by an authoritative male (Sa) is opposed by a family expert or expert/authoritative mother (Kronos-Cancer). If you consider that to be a traditional tee-square then the tension of the obsession being opposed by the family expert results in a legal decision being handed down by the judge (squares Sat. in Libra!)
  5. Even more remarkably, Venus (and the eclipse itself) oppose Vulcanus (Venus by only 3 minutes of arc). Wow, that’s quite scary. Here there are others making plays to force you to fall into line, enforced payments are key and there may be compulsive attractions (due to Ve. opp. Vu) which complicate the financial situation. If you consider the dynamic of Vulcanus conj. Hopi opposing Venus and the eclipse, there is also a theme of being forced into or out of poverty, perhaps as the result of the death of a male.
  6. The eclipse opposition to Vulcanus tee-squares Apollon which suggests that there is an impression that the outcome of the struggle might hinge on who has the most support and the greatest number of ‘followers’. Canvassing for support might then be a natural consequence of this eclipse, but the danger here is that with the tense energies configured you might simply get the wrong type of supporters onside.

So then, let’s put all this together. The eclipse seems to promise a power struggle that centres around material issues, responsibilities and a male being taken out of the picture. Legal contests especially that relate to children, alimony, child support, divorce settlements and attempts to gain control especially through denigrating opponents because of their financial position. Ultimately, sense will prevail, but it might take a legal ruling to sort it out once and for all.

And how does this apply to you? Here there is another layer of synthesis required; expect these kinds of themes to become noticeable in your life and environment over the next few weeks and months and look to house position and the position of Saturn as a further clue. If the eclipse falls in your 2nd house there may be a custody dispute over some prized possession, if in the 12th you may find that these themes have been playing out without your knowledge of them.

You should really sit up and take notice if the eclipse conjoins or opposes major points in your nativity, because this will colour your experience of it and determine the manner or areas of life in which you will be affected by these themes. It is complex and confusing, but if you’re really stuck, why not consider consulting a professional astrologer for some insight.