Moon in Scorpio: I am Legend

I am Legend is a 1954 novel concerning the fictitious life of Robert Neville, the last surviving human in the city of Los Angeles, it was written by Richard Matheson who also wrote a number of episodes for The Twilight Zone and it has been made into a movie on three occasions, most recently starring Will Smith. It is ostensibly a science-fiction novel of the post-apocalypse sub-genre, more pertinently however, it is an out and out vampire flick. I read the book as a young man, and have watched the 1971 adaptation: “The Omega Man” starring Charlton Heston, and more recently the newer, glossier and somewhat unsatisfying: “I am Legend” which features Will Smith in the leading role.

Small coincidence.

Here is a movie about the last surviving human in an entire landscape of fear. His home is a fortress, his habits are paranoid, and the themes of his life are about nothing other than outright survival, for Robert Neville, every day is life-or-death day; there are no vacations, light moments or romantic, candlelit interludes. Each time he leaves the security of his four walls, he is taking his life in his hands, he learns – unequivocally – that the world is dangerous, dark and populated with ravaging demons who will rip out his throat without a moment’s pause; life is a trial, each and every day, of the most exacting and serious kind.

And like I said up there, small coincidence, that Will Smith was attracted to the role. The fictional life of Robert Neville is a near perfect facsimile for peregrine Moon in Scorpio and of course, Will Smith has peregrine Moon in Scorpio. I discuss this theme with fair regularity, not least because I too have it (aka Nick Drake Syndrome), but at least Will Smith, and more particularly, the character of Robert Neville creates a standalone out of this aspect (which describes the experiential focus of peregrination to a t). Wherever the Moon is found either in Scorpio or very closely (and especially solely) aspected to Pluto, it creates this same ambience (let us redefine it “Robert Neville Syndrome”), because our inner sense of security, of the ambient safeness of the world is skewed; where we should be able to trust that when we go out into the light we will be safe, Moon in Scorpio, or shackled to Pluto alone, will queer the pitch; and peregrinated, it will become overwhelmingly emphasised, the sense of disconnection, of insecurity, of imminent destruction will become, not just a nagging doubt, but a screaming certainty.

It is important to understand this, Moon peregrinated is always dissociative; watch any interview with Will Smith or Tom Cruise and you can palpably sense their struggle to feel involved, to make their experience real (and they fail), I find the Tom Cruise disconnect to be much more uncomfortable however, Will Smith has the benefit of some very well-favoured supporting conditions thus:

Will Smith, Actor. 25 Sept 1968, Time unknown, 0 deg. Aries chart.

Will Smith, Actor. 25 Sept 1968, Time unknown, 0 deg. Aries chart.

We can ignore the houses since birth time is unknown, however, Moon in Scorpio and peregrine is somewhat compensated for by an incredibly potent and partil stellium of Mercury, Venus and Pallas in Libra, and it is therefore no coincidence that a delightful, charming, gently harmonious quality to the speech and manner of self-expression is the balancing factor which offsets his Moon placement (and Pallas creates a point of astonishing competence). You can still feel the power of Scorpio Moon of course; his expression is emotionally incisive, and he has an edge to his manner that is fundamentally Hadean. So much drive and tension in this astrology (and yet no squares! All his struggles are projected!)! The opposition to Saturn in Aries too from the Libra grouping creates a go-it-alone mentality and a tendency to develop some serious self-reliance (which may at least be some kind of antidote to the ongoing struggle to survive, especially if the native can get past 35!) and look too at the conjunct of Jupiter and Pluto; here is someone who just knows how to get people in his way of thinking, whether they want to or not. All the easy aspects are to Neptune, so the dream of acting is one of the few things that he doesn’t have to work really hard at either.

And as with anyone of this generation, with Chiron opposing both Pluto and Uranus, which trine to Neptune, the best of life is to be found in the latter half, when those outer planet energies finally become meaningful; Will Smith has traded on his Libra stellium, his Saturnine survivalism and his desperate search for security, but an end to all that is in sight, providing he – like this entire generation – can find a way to personalise Neptune and start trading in compassion and sensitivity. If he does manage it, then his best performances are yet to come.

Rhona Cameron: A Thumbnail Portrait

Rhona Cameron Comedienne

Rhona Cameron is a relatively little known comedienne, certainly beyond Britain’s shores; I must confess that I am not especially familiar with her work, although I have seen a few snippets of her on television from time to time and I must say that I like her style. That’s about as much as I can reliably report about Rhona Cameron as an observer. As an astrologer, I find her to be a very interesting case, with many fascinating facets to her nativity that bear examination, and her astrology is doubly informative since it combines a case of Cazimi Mercury in Libra – by a mere 1 minute and 47 seconds – configured in a grand trine with Pallas rising in Aquarius. Notably her chart evinces a second grand-trine upon inclusion of Vesta and a near-peregrine Mars in its traditional rulership of Scorpio.

Rhona Cameron Nativity

If you listen to a few of the key themes discussed in her autobiography, you get a very clear idea of somebody who feels a need to discuss eighth house issues; unquestionably, the trine from her Cazimi Mercury in the 8th to Pallas rising gives her a great ability to express herself, she is quirky, offbeat and with Pallas rising, no doubt feisty too, but that need to express her comfortable self-awareness of forthright Aquarian difference is moderated by her powerful intellect and Libran impetus to harmony; so she will always mask her confusion and anguish, not for her own sake, but for everyone else’s. Intriguingly, with Sun in LIbra and Moon in Scorpio, there is a distinct lack of power in her luminaries and it is ever a difficult combination (I know, because I share it) not least because at heart she is incisive, self-reliant and deeply passionate, but this must be suppressed under a graceful, near-indifferent persona. Moon in Scorpio is intensely emotional, while Sun in Libra dictates that we must appear anything but.

The Cazimi Mercury is remarkable because it is so very tight, while her Pallas rising gives her truly Palladian looks and a confident almost Martial and competent demeanour, and with both of these trining her North Node there is an easy ability to catch the Zeitgeist, to be in the way of things, to tap along comfortably with the tunes of the moment. Here then is a grand trine that combines dazzling intellect, harmonious selfhood, a pleasing and able self-expression and a real insight into the mood of society at large, that in the air triplicity and with Pallas in wacky Aquarius gives a real comedic competence (Robin Williams too has Pallas in Aquarius). The grand trine is always informative; it represents a pattern of behaviour that flows so easily that we become self-sufficient, in that triplicity and energy structure we no longer require external validation or approval; this is why a grand trine is both a blessing and a curse. It allows us to capitalise on the positive benefits subjectively although from the point of view of personal evolution there is not much incentive to progress in those areas. With Rhona’s grand air trine falling across the first, fourth and eighth houses there is clearly an emphasis on intensely personal experience, on deep and often uncomfortable areas of one’s innermost being, but Rhona finds it so natural and easy to make these issues light, airy and mentally endearing that she may therefore avoid the more serious implications of such a configuration. This dark-side is neatly encapsulated in the partile conjunction of Uranus – Pluto in Virgo riding on the cusp of the 8th; an aspect that speaks to transformative revolution, the science, if you like, of self-realisation. This opposes the Saturn conjunction to Chiron, thus she “farms out” the pain that has wounded her when her father died of Cancer (circa 1979), with this configuration stressing the 2nd and 8th axis I don’t doubt that her father’s death made a serious financial impact on her formative years too and this speaks fundamentally to values, about money, about a Spartan attitude to life but she will probably not fully address the fallout from that scenario until she learns to go past the easygoing, flighty allure of her grand air trine; something that she is probably doing right about now, with Uranus transiting her radix Chiron and Pluto grinding menacingly through the 12th. No need to mention that the death of her father, when Saturn opposed itself and tipped over into her 8th house as she approached 14 years of age, is the key theme of her nativity in my view.

With all the 9th house placements lending a bubbly, fun-loving and deceptively philosophical slant to her outlook on the world, Rhona’s positivity is not an act, and her Mars, peregrine – although configured to Chiron – is significant so close to the Midheaven. She may well switch on to her power, providing she can integrate the painful lesson of her father’s tragic death, and discover a real determined power in her career as a result.

Evidently, Rhona’s career is in something of a hiatus, and with Pluto still 5 years from her Ascendant I don’t expect her to be making much headway until it surfaces in the first and starts to make its way to her Pallas placement sometime thereafter.

One last point of interest; Jupiter in Cancer in the 6th falls on the (Cardinal) Aries Point. This I believe to be the source of her modest fame; it falls in the 6th house of occupation and she has achieved a measure of success as a comedienne, and with the sign of Cancer being so prominent, it is small wonder that one her best known routines, concerns her breasts and her “home-baking” accent. And very funny it is too.

More on Pallas: Powerhouse of Undiluted Talent.

Pallas Header ImageMy last article brought together the principles of Cazimi and Peregrination as identifying criteria for the most pure and profound expressions of planetary energy; in my experience there is no better method of identifying a specific astrologic archetype than identifying natives who display either Peregrinations or Cazimi placements. The first forces an ‘over-expression’ of the planetary theme, the latter ego-identifies that energy, and thus the effect is remarkably similar to Peregrination. If you have a subject whose Cazimi placement is also a Peregrine Island, then that would create a point of incredible focus in the personality. This offers a remarkable tool for insight to the practising astrologer.

It was by use of this exact method, in conjunction with a study of mythic resonance that I refined and identified the central theme of Pallas. Best practise demonstrates that planetary archetypes can be distilled (itself a Saturnine key) into a single all-encompassing principle; thus Jupiter expands or preserves, broadens or promotes; the failing here is entirely semantic, because the principle is easily grasped as a single-pointed theme or energy; Saturn distils or contracts, limits or concentrates, and again the principles are far from disparate; this is why extensive experience of astrology teaches that if text-books on the subject were to remain wholly accurate they would contain at most a single sentence!

Chiron suffers this same wilting lack of exactitude, although I believe I have finally determined the focal energy of the so-called ‘wounded-healer’ and I shall write a post on that subject in the future. Pallas has before now suffered the same ignominious fate, but by studying cases of Cazimi and Peregrination in tandem with the mythic root, it soon became overwhelmingly clear that the principle of competence, undiluted ability and opportunity for victory described most accurately – and succinctly – the archetypal message. How this conclusion was arrived at may be useful in the broader context of understanding the Palladian principle, but ultimately, a long discourse on pattern recognition is not much help in understanding the nativity. The gift that Pallas gives – of competency – is undoubtedly a gift of the mind, an ability to think “outside the box” that confers an almost inarguable advantage in the arena of human interaction and competition.

This identification would be almost impossible without the advantage of Peregrination and Cazimi. Take the cases of Peregrination of Pallas:

  • Alan Shearer, the greatest English centre-forward of the modern game has a Peregrine Pallas in Pisces which – usefully for a footballer – shows competency or undiluted skill with the feet.
  • Stephen King with a Peregrine Pallas in Pisces of the imagination in the 8th house of horror.
  • Woody Allen with a Peregrine Pallas in Libra; Woody’s genius for insights into human relationships can hardly be questioned.
  • MC Escher’s Peregrine Pallas in weirdly, lunar Cancer, brings out the pattern-competency implicit in the mythology.
  • The sheer number of tennis players that have Pallas Peregrine, Cazimi or otherwise strongly configured is almost unbelievable! Martina Navratilova, Michael Stich, Tracy Austin, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario to name but a few, all have Peregrine Pallas. (And Chris Evert has Pallas rising!)
  • Robin Williams’ has Peregrine Pallas in quirky, offbeat Aquarius in the 3rd house of communication!

I note an overwhelming emphasis on Peregrine Pallas placements in the signs of Cancer, Pisces, and Capricorn.

As for Pallas Cazimi, note the following:

  • Tony Blair has Cazimi Pallas in the stubborn, determined sign of Taurus.
  • Yehudi Menuhin, also in musical Taurus.
  • Dan Rather, in investigative-reporter exalting Scorpio.
  • General “old blood and guts” Patton in ruthless warrior sign Scorpio.

Notice a pattern here? Cazimi Pallas seems to fare very well across the fixed Taurus-Scorpio axis.

Finally, looking at the charts of those with Pallas included in major aspect configurations is intriguing:

  • James Dean with Pallas in Virgo as part of a grand earth trine.
  • James Earl Jones with Pallas in Virgo as part of a grand earth trine.
  • Whitney Houston with Palls in Virgo as part of a tight Stellium with Pluto and Mercury. So that explains her belter of a singing voice, in pitch-perfectly-precise Virgo.
  • Consider Daniel Wesson’s Pallas in Taurus as part of a grand earth trine. He died having amassed an estimated 80 million dollar fortune in 1906!
  • Rory Bremner with Pallas in Pisces as part of a grand water trine.
  • Michael Caine with Pallas in Aquarius as part of a grand air trine.
  • Germaine Greer with Pallas configured in Pisces as part of a grand water trine.
  • Grace Kelly, with Pallas tightly configured with the Moon in Pisces as part of a grand water trine.

There is a simply overwhelming propensity of placements of Pallas across the Pisces-Virgo axis when configured in the grand-trine aspect pattern. On the whole therefore, there is a strong association between Pallas and Virgo-Pisces, also Cancer-Capricorn and Scorpio-Taurus. In my view Pallas is stronger in earth and water than anywhere else.

Now I want to concentrate on how Pallas looks. Here then it might be useful to look at those who have Pallas rising!

Pallas Rising

I will not say too much about these placements; but consider Stallone’s Pallas rising in strong, taciturn Capricorn, Pamela Anderson’s Pallas rising in breast-obsessed Cancer, Pacino’s configured with intense, darkly powerful Pluto, Janis Joplin’s Pallas rising in flower-child, peace-loving Aquarius or Meryl Streep’s Pallas rising in drama-queen, leading-lady Leo?

I am still looking for rulership clues, so if anyone has any ideas about that, please share.

Pallas: Archetype of Competence.

Boticelli's Pallas and the Centaur

Pallas, named for Athena, is one of the most persistent and long-enduring of mythological figures, but despite the fact of 2 Pallas, the asteroid and her namesake being more than two centuries past discovery, there is remarkably little consensus about interpretive themes in the nativity. Mostly, there is some vague notion that she rules patterns and pattern-recognition as well as a kind of Amazonian female typology. In broad terms, I find the current thinking on Pallas – especially considering her astrological venerability – to be woefully weak and dissatisfying. This article will demonstrate that far from representing a footnote in the nativity, Pallas is a major, profound and powerfully potent focal point in the astrology and offers an enormous insight into a client’s highest potentials, because it determines undiluted ability and the fundamental theme of competence.

Weaver's Nativity

Originally, Pallas’ major rulership beyond the martial sphere was as Patroness of weaving and craft work. Astrology, by dint of the fact that weavers do not normally achieve celebrity is hard to find, but by a serendipitous coincidence, my sister-in-law Hannah is a weaver and currently studies textiles at University where she is beginning to specialise in that ancient tradition. If we look then at her chart, we see Pallas tightly configured with Mars in Aquarius in the 9th house of university. The Aquarius connection denotes her ability to create unusual and unique patterns in the fabrics she designs, but more compellingly note the tee-square to Mars/Pallas as well as the fact that it forms an axis of a grand air trine from Moon in artistic Libra in the 5th (products of creativity) and Venus in Mercurial Gemini in the 12th, Neptune’s artistic domain. This suggests through the air grand trine a wealth of ideas about pattern-making and weaving in general, as well as plenty of drive from the fixed, determined Taurus/Scorpio axis powering the tee-square.

Escher Nativity.

This leads us to understand that the qualities of patterns are indeed important to Pallas, and if we study the chart of MC Escher, whose pattern creation is well-founded and recognised we find a remarkable occurrence; Pallas is peregrine, in Cancer in the 12th house, Neptune’s artistic domain; is it any wonder that so much of Escher’s great works featured sea-creatures, crabs, quirky and rather lunar themes, strange religious architecture (Lunar/12th House themes) and other oblique, weird and similarly Cancerian motifs?

But Pallas is about more than pattern and textiles, for she was also the Goddess of weaponsmiths. This is an important distiction to make from the usual interpretation of warrior-themes, because it combines the craft aspects of her dominion that are found in the make-up of the weaver and the pattern-loving artist and creates a link between the themes of craftsmanship and the business of war; it is, if you like the “hands-on” and creative elements of providing warrior-solutions that are emphasised.

Daniel Wesson Nativity

Here then is the nativity of Daniel Wesson, who partnered with Horace Smith in the 1850s to create the first repeating rifle (with which the West was arguably won) and made his fortune – estimated at some $50 million by the time of his death – as co-inventor of the renowned Smith and Wesson gun brand. Most intriguingly when we consider the chart we can see immediately that if we disregard the placement of Pallas, the grand trine from Mercury and Uranus is lost! Here Pallas is in the sign of Virgo which suggests a practical solution to a problem, with trines from Uranus – thus invention – in ambitious and methodical Capricorn and Mercury – thus the problem-solving thinker – in the wealth-generating sign of Taurus, a major theme of his life as an inventor and wealthy weaponsmith is told through Pallas’ placement within the grand earth trine, a theme that would be missed without the inclusion of Pallas in the interpretation!

But Pallas lent her patronage to others too, the weaponsmith was not the only student of the warrior arts who found her favour, and latterly, especially via the Greek interpretations, she came to represent competence on the battlefield, not so much as a mundane fighter, but as a strategist.

Montgomery of Alamein's Nativity

Here then is the chart of Bernard Montgomery, latterly “Montgomery of Alamein”, who alongside George Patton is probably ranked as the greatest military strategist of modern times. He famously defeated Germany’s brilliant ‘Desert Fox’ – Erwin Rommel in a series of decisive and often desperately daring military campaigns across the deserts of North Africa during the Second World War. A soldier his entire life, Monty’s chart shows a number of remarkable configurations, a near-peregrine Uranus in Libra (his wife died very suddenly from an insect bite leaving Montgomery devastated: he never remarried) a Cazimi Mercury in Scorpio (traditionally ruled itself by Mars, thus a brilliant and Martial mind), also an intriguing quindecile from Jupiter to Mercury indicating an obsession with leadership and most pertinently of all, a tee-square to Pallas in Aquarius in the 8th, Scorpio’s natural house. Thus by employing his great intellect he was able to create unorthodox (Aquarius) military strategies (Pallas) that allowed him to outfox the formidable Desert Fox.

George S Patton Nativity

And since we have made the comparison of Montgomery to Patton, then it might be informative to look at this other unorthodox genius in the field of military strategy. Ironically, Patton and Montgomery famously disagreed when they were asked to collaborate during the Battle of the Bulge, and both were considered “difficult” by their superiors, but there is no questioning their strategic abilities. Patton’s chart shows a wealth of remarkable configurations, not least a tee-square to warrior Mars conjunct royal Regulus, and this given its energy from the opposition of Mercury and Pluto (and he wasn’t nicknamed “Old Blood and Guts” for nothing!), but pertinently, a near-partile conjunction of Pallas with the Sun in ruthless Scorpio tells us that not only was he a brilliant strategist, his reputation for having an enormous ego as a strategist is entirely deserved! Patton knew very well that he was a great military commander, there were no “ifs or maybes” in his thinking!

Here then we begin to grasp some of the broader connotations of pattern-analysis and manipulation; Pallas gives a strategic vision coupled with the means to see it realised successfully. This concurs with the mythology; Pallas offered victory to her followers in the form of the Goddess Nike, usually on her outstretched palm. Pallas therefore describes where we might excel, and indeed be victorious in our own life. The association with Nike, fleet of foot and victorious both gives rise to Pallas’ configuration as being representative of great ability in sports and athletics too, because of the competitive, battling qualities combined with strong motor skills and hand-eye coordination implicit in the archetype.

Consider the placement of Pallas in the charts of sportsmen and women. Steffi Graf, who won numerous grand slam victories and an Olympic Gold in tennis has Pallas at the apex of a tee-square in Capricorn, or Tracy Austin, another tennis great with a peregrine Pallas in Cancer in the 8th. Or how about Muhammed Ali, whose Pallas in Capricorn in the 5th Quindeciles Pluto in Leo in the 12th? Here there is obsession relating to proving dominance and brutal, ruthless power realised through strategic artistry (otherwise known as: “dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”)

Returning to the mythic root then, Robert Graves noted that Pallas was the parthenogenous daughter of the Titan Metis who ruled wisdom and knowledge and is associated with Mercury. This leads to the conclusion that from knowledge (Mercury) comes wisdom (Pallas). This is why the Goddess was always attended by an Owl – denoting wisdom, but more specifically skill, a high degree of hand-eye coordination, fundamentally then the owl represents a specific blending of mental veracity, experience, and motor skill, which combine to represent craft, practical ability and thus ultimately competence. It also posits the view that Pallas, who remained a virgin and never wed, is the archetypal daughter. Thus Pallas can give a very clear indication of daughters, both subjectively (what kind of daughter “style” – if female – the native manifests) and perhaps more succinctly, it gives a clue as to the relationship and themes of the native’s own daughter(s) too, should they have them.

Parthenogenesis in biology is the birth of an insect from an unfertilised egg; and it is profound therefore that all of the themes of Pallas are somewhat Virgoan, there is an implied purity, a non-sexual, chaste theme of maidenhood which runs through the myth. Pallas, in the later Olympian versions of her genesis was born fully armed and armoured directly out of Zeus’ forehead (again signifying wisdom) and it is intriguing to note that Hera, enraged at Zeus for fathering a daughter without need of her involvement, spontaneously gave birth to Hephaestus, known in Roman lore, as Vulcan; thus the proximity of Vulcan to the Sun is no accident; “like father, like son” cleaves to the essence of the archetype, and where Pallas represents the daughter, it may be fair to suppose that Vulcan in the astrology offers some essential insight into the male children too.

Combining all these factors it appears that Pallas then represents an essential quality of ability or competence. This resonates with the chaste maiden theme of the daughter because the ability or undilute skill it represents is unsullied and uncorrupted, it is beyond reproach; thus it gives an indication of where in life we might find the highest, most victorious and splendid of our achievements; it is where, if you like, we might achieve something that is so beyond reproach that it could be considered unequivocal, and that is why, the astrologer ignores the gift of Pallas at their peril.

FOOTNOTES:

1) Vulcan (Hephaestus) was also a smith, so he is the male facsimile of the weaponsmith facet of Pallas.
2) Pallas is probably the mythic root of the Virgin Mary archetype.
3) There appears to be a strong case for rulership of Virgo by Pallas, since this explains many of the mythic roots. My personal feeling is that there is an area of crossover between military leadership and analytical strategy, Pallas was not a fighter herself, but a war leader, the patron of great generals. For this reason she seems to carry connotations of both Leo and Virgo, and it is interesting to note that Regulus, in the final degree of Leo and thus the cusp of Virgo, is said to give military honours, power, success and leadership ability with a possible disastrous fall from a prominent position.

The Astrologer’s Degrees, a Study of the Evidence.

Today I wish to look in some detail at a specific phenomena that is of great interest to the astrologer, the provocatively named “Astrologer’s Degree.”

Provocative, not least because in binary thinking (which is ultimately commonplace even among astrologers!) it suggests an on-off state, it provokes the deterministic view that an ability for astrology can be realised through placements to a specific degree in the nativity. Of course, this is utter nonsense, it cannot, nor should be so, however, it most certainly is not unreasonable to posit placements upon any supposed degree to incline toward an astrological acumen, an acumen that need never be realised in the life unless other predisposing factors support the same view. Imagine it is like a pushbike. If you have two wheels, a frame, handlebars, brakes and a saddle then you can put them all together and actually ride off into the sunset. If you only have one wheel, then you are at something of a loss, and are going nowhere. An astrologer’s degree placement then is perhaps like a single wheel, useful only if you happen to have the other parts.

So let us discover the nature of those other parts first, before we examine the degrees themselves. Binary thinkers have run various algorithms through databases of nativities in an attempt to discover a golden astrologer’s bullet without any particular success. One such study came out with the following results:

  • 38% had the Sun in Scorpio, Sagittarius or Capricorn and these placements were found in the astrologers charts twice as often as they were found in the control group.
  • Sun, Moon or Mercury was found in a fixed house for 70% of astrologers and Venus, Mars, Jupiter or Saturn were placed in an air house for 71%.
  • Sixty-three percent of the astrologers had the ruler of the eleventh house direct.
  • None of the astrologers tested had a mutual reception between Sun and Uranus.
  • Pluto, Chiron or the North Node was placed in one of the Gauquelin power zones in 66%.
  • Uranus was found aspecting the vertex in the control group more often than it was found aspecting the vertex in the astrologers’ horoscopes.
  • Nothing was found in 100% of the astrologers’ charts.

 

This is not really useful particularly, because it is trying to measure a grey area (human potential); we might as well say that forty percent of vehicles are red, seventy percent have at least two wheels, but only five percent were bicycles! I only include this rather vile pandering to statistical scientism as a reminder of the pointlessness of measuring the immeasurable. What, then, pertinently, would I look for in the astrologer, apart from placements to an astrologer’s degree?

Urania, muse of astrology and astronomyFirstly I would look to the position of Uranus and to a lesser extent Saturn. Uranus configured to the angles seems to be prevalent, as does a strong Saturn. Uranus gives flashes of insight as well as mathematically themed abilities while Saturn provides rigour and an ability to structure. Traditional astrologers point to the importance of Mercury in the consideration of astrological ability. Some people say that the asteroid Urania -muse of astrology and astronomy both – ought to be meaningfully placed. Noel Tyl posits the view in his books that 18 degrees of mutable signs is significant in the study of astrology. Similarly, James Braha asserts that it is common for the greatest Hindu astrologers to have been born with a powerfully disposed Moon (memory) and 2nd house (knowledge).

All of this technical discussion though fails to address one key consideration, since the premise of the study – in my view at least – requires clarification. In my experience, astrology is as much – if not more – about counselling as it is about any technical ability to understand the patterns of energy in the nativity. An abstract grasp of rhyme and metre after all, does not a Dryden make. To pattern recognition, mythic-insight and meditative application you must then add an ability to talk to people, or at least to be able to convey sensitively in writing an appreciation of their struggles; some measure then of humanity and compassionate mettle forged through trial and adversity cannot be lacking otherwise the science of astrology becomes a brittle, artless parlour-trick with no practical application.

So to this list I would add a requirement of sensitivity, which might be supported by the configuration of Neptune with either of the luminaries, a strong Piscean influence, 12th house significators, Virgo too, through the polarity of Pisces and the service-oriented axis and any strongly Lunar characteristics. To the ideal for counselling I would suggest that a study of the descendant may be pertinent, since it is the Aries polarity point of Libra and thus it is concerned entirely with the other fellow.

Finally I would like to look at Chiron, since here is a new factor in astrology; indeed, Chiron was the first astrologer, so it is only fitting that he ought to figure in the craft very centrally. Chiromancy and chiropractics are both concerned with the hands, the healing power of the hands specifically and Chiron recognises, not a power centre in the nativity, but actually the astrologer, card reader, palmist him or herself, on one level at least.

So, these are the other factors, now what of the degrees themselves? I do not wish to discuss the etymology of the degrees as individual powers to promulgate fate and character, at this stage, let us just accept that for whatever reason, they have relevance. The sources are obscure, the interpretations many, but here are the astrologer’s degrees according to deVore:

From 22° – 28° Aquarius.
From 25° – 29° Leo.
With particular emphasis being given to the 27° Leo – Aquarius axis.

Furthermore, 11° Virgo is considered an astrologer’s degree, no doubt with a very tight orb, thus 10° – 12° of Virgo and there may be a polarity point at 11° Pisces, although this is by no means agreed upon uniformly in the various sources.

It is assumed then that any placement upon these degrees will give some propensity toward astrological ability. Let us look at a couple of cases to check the veracity of these degrees. Firstly, Alan Leo, the great Edwardian astrologer who very much revived the art in the early days of last century. From our list of correspondences then:

Uranus: in the 10th, so career configured, but not much otherwise.
Saturn: Rising, partile Ascendant at 27° Leo (the astrologer’s degree).
Mercury: nothing here particularly, Rx in the 12th, separating from Saturn rising.
Urania: Found at 5° Libra in the second, which is relevant according to James Braha.
Sensitivity: This does not appear to be a big theme in Leo’s chart, his Moon is in mania-susceptible Aries, and highly stressed as the focus of a t-square from Venus opposing Mars. Neptune is in its rulership though and at the 30th degree, thus it is especially fated.
Chiron: He falls conjunct the descendant, an ideal counselling position, especially for the astrologer Chiron and opposing the Saturn and Ascendant, he too falls in the astrologer’s degrees of Aquarius. Evidently it is this axis in particular which is of overwhelming import in creating an aptitude for astrology.
18° of Mutable signs: Nothing here either.

Beyond this, there are no other major asteroids on any of the astrologer’s degrees, although his Part of Plays falls exactly conjunct Chiron at 25° Aquarius.

Applying the same methodology to my own chart I get:

Uranus: Rising, thus prominent.
Saturn: Nothing here.
Mercury: Peregrine (unaspected) in the second.
Urania: At 11° Pisces, thus at a possible astrologer’s degree.
Sensitivity: Moon is probably peregrine (unaspected) but the closest major aspect at near 9° is a conjunction to Neptune. I am never sure whether to count this or not.
Chiron: conjunct the descendant in Pisces and partile to the Vertex.
18° of Mutable signs: Mars at 17°49′ Sagittarius.

Otherwise, I have Jupiter at 27° Leo exactly opposing Isis at 27° Aquarius, Pars Fortuna at 25° Leo and Pallas – pattern recognition – at 26° Leo, all astrologer’s degrees, with Venus in the 12th on the cusp of Virgo, just a degree or so off the range of Leo.

I know a fair few astrologers around the world, and I can comfortably say that those who appear to have the greatest blend of skill in applying the understanding of the science to the practical and compassionate art of counselling all appear to have some strong configurations around the aforementioned degrees, and usually several other indicators to boot.

I should add as a disclaimer, because I have read message boards on this subject before and those who do not have the configurations indicated seem to delight (I think for fairly understandable reasons) in debunking the theory, but again, I am not claiming that without these degrees configured there is no ability in the study of astrology. Far from it, I have known many people who are deeply skilled in astrological techniques who show none of these indicators; to which I say only that they source the individual cogs and gears of their bicycles from different suppliers and pedal along with just as much enthusiasm as myself or anyone else, and to them I wish safe journey, to the stars, the sunset, or wherever the great art might take you.