Astrology

Astrologically, can Hilary Clinton make it to president?

Executive SummaryUnknown-1

Ptolemy identified six levels of fame/success depending on the location and condition of Sun and Moon and their ‘attendants. Unfortunately, although both Hilary Clinton’s ‘luminaries’ have a stunning array of attendants, they are in feminine signs; alone she could reach only Chieftain. However if we were to look at Hilary and her husband, Bill, as a pair, then what she alone lacks to push up up that crucial notch to Kings & Princes, he provides in spades. Beware however that with her Pisces Moon in the terms of Mars, it is likely that Hillary advances herself by dishonest means.

Ptolemy’s Basics

imagesPtolemy identified six levels of fame/success:

1. Kings & Princes

Both luminaries in masculine signs and at least one of them to be found in an angle. This alone is pretty good. However – as well, they (both) be attended by a doryphory (including rays) composed of all five planets – then this is REAL GOOD. In addition, this rank is helped if the planets in the doryphories are also in the angles or configured with the MC.

2. Chieftain

The Sun only masculine with the Moon feminine and only one of them in an angle. If both, however, have good doryphories as described above, then the person will reach chieftain level, with the power to judge life and death. NOTE – a good doryphory has benefics in good shape or on angles (or ruling them).

3. Governor or Commander

If the natal chart has the luminaries as for a Chieftain but the doryphories do not involve the angles, these people will not be invested with sovereignty, but will reach eminence.

4. Civil Leader

If neither of the luminaries be in the angles, but both have good doryphories which are in the angles or ruling the angles, they will have a leadership role in their community. Councilor, President of a club, Mayor of a small town and so on.

5. Undistinguished

If neither luminary is in an angle (Sun still masculine and Moon feminine), and the attending planets are not involved with the angles by placement or ruler-ship, then the person will lead a humble life.

6. Lowest Level

If neither luminary be found in a masculine sign, nor in an angle, nor attended by any benefics they will live lives of “quiet desperation” and obscurity.

Analysis of Clinton

How does Hilary Clinton stack up?

  • With Sun at 2 Scorpio 19 and the Moon at 22 Pisces 51, neither of the luminaries are in masculine signs. Neither are on an angle and neither is in ruler-ship or exalted. The Moon is dignified by only by triplicity and the Sun remains undignified. With Hilary ClintonScorpio rising, neither luminary is the chart ruler. Not so good.
  • Doryphory is an interesting technique focusing on the ‘retinue’ of helpers either of the two lights or luminaries (i.e. sun or moon) have in their ‘train’. The more planets in the retinue, the more helpers and if, additionally, those helpers were themselves strong the more help they could give. Imagine yourself a feudal lord trying to raise an army to fight a foe – the stronger and richer the neighbors (i.e. able to raise their own armies) you have supporting your cause, the more likely you were to succeed.
  • Note that when considering if a planet throws a ‘ray’ into the doryphory, benefics (Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, and the Sun) can only do so by sextile or trine and the malefics (Saturn and Mars) can only do so by opposition or square.
  • Because the Sun’s retinue PRECEDES him, to determine Clinton’s solar doryphory, we look at planets either in Scorpio (3-30) and Sagittarius.
    • Venus in Scorpio – dignified by triplicity and in the terms of Mercury suggests Clinton will not only have rank but her life will go well. Unfortunately this Venus is cadent (ineffective).
    • Mercury in Scorpio – undignified but extremely power closely conjunct an angle. Mercury is in the terms of Jupiter and hence Hilary will become great in the field of business and will not only be wise but also mix with famous people. But because Mercury is not in reception with the Sun, it has difficulty sharing its power.
    • Jupiter in Sagittariusvery strong in its sign of rulership. It is also dignified by triplicity and term and (because it is a diurnal planet and the Sun is above the horizon), it is thankfully in sect. Although not angular itself, it is in an angular house so this Jupiter is powerful. Because it is in reception with the Sun by triplicity, it gives the Sun all it has to give, which is significant.
    • Moon in Pisces casts a ray into Scorpio by trine – the Moon is dignified by triplicity and although not angular is in an angular house which gives it strength. Unfortunately, the Moon is in the terms of Mars and hence suggests that Hillary advances herself by dishonest means.
    • Saturn in Leo casts a ray into Scorpio by square – Saturn is dignified by triplicity and also in sect although cadent (ineffective). This suggests that Clinton will not only be the lord of buildings and estates but also have a noble father. Saturn in the terms of Mercury suggests Clinton will rule her father’s home because of her prudence but that she will receive sorrow from her partner and children.
    • Mars in Leo casts a ray into Scorpio by square – Mars remains undignified and cadent although it is in sect (being diurnal). Hence although it isn’t particularly helpful it isn’t harmful either and adds numbers to the Sun’s retinue.
  • Because the Moon’s doryphory FOLLOWS her, to determine Clinton’s lunar doryphory, we look at planets in Pisces (1-22) and Aquarius.
    • Saturn in Leo casts a ray into Aquarius by opposition– as noted earlier, Saturn is in reasonable shape and although fairly ineffective, it adds numbers to the Sun’s retinue which is helpful.
    • Jupiter in Sagittarius casts a ray into Aquarius by sextile and we already know how powerful that Jupiter is. Because the Moon is in a sign ruled by Jupiter (Pisces), it is in reception with Jupiter and so Jupiter happily and cheerfully gives the Moon all it has to give which is significant. Even better, the Moon at 22 Pisces is in reception with Jupiter by face and so it happily and cheerfully receives all that Jupiter gives. This is called mutual reception and as you might guess, mutually beneficial.
    • The Sun in Scorpio casts a ray into Aquarius by square – and although not particularly strong in its own right, at least the Sun adds numbers to the Moon’s retinue without causing trouble.
    • Venus in Scorpio casts a ray into Pisces by trine – and although dignified, is cadent and hence pretty effective. Again it adds numbers to the Moon’s retinue and while not particularly helpful, it does have reception by exaltation and triplicity and hence does what it can without causing trouble.
    • Mars in Leo casts a ray into Aquarius by opposition – Mars remains undignified and cadent although it is in sect (being diurnal). Hence although it isn’t particularly helpful it isn’t harmful and again, Mars adds numbers to the Moon’s retinue without causing trouble.
    • Mercury in Scorpio casts a ray into Aquarius by square – we already know that although undignified, this Mercury is extremely powerful because it is closely conjunct an angle. Although there is no reception between Mercury and the Moon (and hence they aren’t in close conversation) it can’t help to have such a powerful planet in the retinue.
  • A solar doryphory of all six planets is stunning and at least two of them (Mercury and Jupiter) are benefics and extremely powerful. This is very good.
  • A lunar doryphory of all six planets is equally stunning and of course Mercury and Jupiter are benefics and both extremely powerful. This is also very good.

Bill CLintonConclusion

However great both the lunar and solar doryphories, Clinton can only rise to the ‘Chieftain’ level because neither of her luminaries is in a masculine sign. However, I propose that if we look at Hilary and Bill as a pair, then his Sun in Leo (masculine and in rulership) along with his extremely powerful Venus in Libra (in rulership and on an angle) not to mention his Mars in Libra (although in detriment and hence damaged, it is closely conjunct an angle and hence powerful), and powerful Moon in Taurus (exalted), might just tip the balance and move her up that one crucial notch to King and Prince.

Uncategorized

2015 in review

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Cosmology and Divination

A different take on Christmas

Whether or not you celebrate Christmas as the birthday of Christ, a boy named Jesus born in Bethlehem two thousand years ago, by revisiting the concept of ‘Christ consciousness’ you may find the holiday season more meaningful.dove_Verrocchio_002

The Jesuit priest, philosopher, and palaeontologist, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, used the term ‘Christ consciousness’ to denote an Omega point, toward which he believed human collective consciousness is evolving.  Reaching the Omega point (the end of the world as we know it) will bring us not only ‘peace on earth and good will to men’ but also a transcendent, love-dominated enlightenment through which we will become one with the ‘ultimate reality’, otherwise known to some as God.

Quantum physics supports this view.  In essence, mankind, acting as a collective Christ, plays the role of the conscious quantum-mechanical observer:

“One might say that, by virtue of human reflection (both individual and collective), evolution, overflowing the physico-chemical organisation of bodies, turns back upon itself and thereby reinforces itself (see note following) with a new organising power vastly concentric to the first—the cognitive organisation of the universe. To think the world (as physics is beginning to realise) is not merely to register it but to confer upon it a form of unity it would otherwise (i.e. without being thought) be without.”

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man

That’s all very well and good – but how do we relate Christ consciousness to our daily lives in the here and now?

The Kabbalah may help.

The 6th sephirah, known as Tiphareth and associated with the ‘Christ’, lies at the exact centre of the Kabbalistic Tree.  Because the Kabbalah is a system based on balance and symmetry, it’s not hard to understand why this sephirah is also known as Beauty.

At the point of balance, Tiphareth is where the archetypal brilliance of the higher sephirot are grounded in the rich, dark nutrients of the bottom sephirot.   According to the great occultist, Dion Fortune, Tiphareth is a link where ideals are brought to focus and transmuted into ideas.  As such it that it is a Place of Incarnation; it is also called the Child.

In Tiphareth, soul and body, self and ego, higher consciousness and personality come together.   It is associated astrologically with the Sun and heart-chakra; Tiphareth is the place of our humanity.

It also referred to as the place of the sacrificed god, thus its association with Christ Consciousness.   As Christians know, it wasn’t enough for Jesus to feel sorry for the lot of mankind; Jesus, or Christ, had to be born into the world and sacrifice himself in order to save it.

Thus Tiphareth is the place of the wounded healer, a concept on which all twelve-step programs of rehabilitation are based.  It’s the place where one, through the loving heart, brings his own human experience to the help of others – personal Ego is sacrificed for something more.

In this context, at the time of the Winter Solstice, when the life-giving Sun is farthest away from the Earth, Christmas – or the celebration of Christ Consciousness – offers spiritual symbolism far surpassing that of the birth of a lowly babe.

At Christmas, we’re privileged to glimpse the possibilities of a whole new world – a world in which in relationship with himself man stands truly at the centre of his universe.

Astrology

Today and Tomorrow are Phlegmatic/Choleric Days

ob1840With the Sun in Cancer (cold/wet) and the Moon in Leo (hot/dry), its Phlegmatic/Choleric couple of days.

As you will recall, humoural theory is based on the ancient and medieval physiology and medicine as expounded by Empedocles, Hippocrates, and Galen – it’s all to do with the four block or ‘roots’ of the material world that manifest in certain humours and their related temperaments:

ELEMENT QUALITY HUMOUR TEMPERAMENT
Fire Hot/dry Yellow Bile Choleric
Earth Cold/dry Black Bile Melancholic
Water Cold/wet Phlegm Phlegmatic
Air Hot/wet Blood Sanguine

You may also recall that we also had Phlegmatic/Choleric energy earlier (29 June) but that was with the Moon in Sagittarius; the energy was dreamy – but not lazy – sluggish but still merry. That was because Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter (exalted in and happy with Cancer) whose job it is to bring not only wealth but also inspiration to our lives.

Now the Moon is in Leo and this Phlegmatic/Choleric energy is characterised by the planetary cycles inherent between the sun and moon. This is because Cancer is ruled by the Moon and Leo, is ruled by the Sun. But their relationship is reversed (the Moon rules Cancer but is now in Leo and the Sun rules Leo but is in Cancer).

Cancer takes the back seat = faithful, stable, lethargic, conservative.

Leo  takes the front seat = boasting, enthusiastic, generous, impatient.

This makes the energy of today and tomorrow much more like that of Choleric/Phlegmatic which is both hardy and impassioned.

Some key words for this energy include:

  • Determined
  • Assertive
  • Touchy
  • Impulsive
literary criticism

New Historicism – the Relationship Between Literature and History

New HistoricismUnlike with other historicist approaches to literature, for a New Historicist history is not (or not just) a backdrop against which, for example, a play like Shakespeare’s King Lear was written; the connections between such a text and the historical (facts/events) conditions in which it was written are always more complex. This is because New Historicism refuses to prioritize a literary text. Instead it focuses on parallel readings of other literary and non-literary texts in order to frame the text in a politically-charged and fully-embodied ‘historical’ experience.

In his essay Shakespeare and the Exorcists, Stephen Greenblatt makes clear that whilst we acknowledge that Shakespeare used historical background material for King Lear (like a contemporary account of exorcisms written by one Samuel Harsnett that provided the names of the fiends like Flibbertigibbet that hounded Edgar, the disguised Poor Tom), we cannot assume that the borrowing of information was a one way street. Perhaps others borrowed as much from Shakespeare as he did from them? If so, then what might this mean for the ‘larger cultural text’?

The New Historicist reminds us that history itself is ‘written’ in the same way as is a literary text. More importantly, the history that we are most likely to read was written by the ‘winning’ side – i.e. those who successfully held and retained power. Rather like Michel Foucault, the New Historicist believes that words are power and that it is through words that we are ‘communicated’ into being. Those who would ‘normalise’ and ‘socialise’ us to their purposes will ‘write’ history to suit their purposes.

Hence Greenblatt examines the ‘institutional strategies’ in which both Lear and Harnsett’s account of exorcisms are embedded. He concludes that both are part of an ‘intense’ and sustained struggle’ to redefine societal values during the late 16th and early 17th centuries in regards to sacred institutions upon which of course the king’s ‘divine right’ to rule rested. It was all part of a politically inspired strategy to ‘reinscribe evil’ on the ‘professed enemies of evil’ – and if by his text Harnsett was trying to expose this ruse for what it was – performance/theatre (and apparently he was somewhat successful in this goal), then perhaps the message that Shakespeare meant to send along with his character Poor Tom (whether intentionally or not) was along the same lines?

We will never know for certain but by regularly asking questions such as this, New Historicists problematise the understanding of the relationship between literature and history. There are many who are happy reading the significance of Poor Tom and related references to Bedlam as a symbol of the madness into which the play is descending or as reflective of the way in which ‘mad’ people were treated during the period. After all Bedlam was a bricks and mortar place with a reputation and history which is well documented and to make too much more of Poor Tom and Bedlam than that, is not without it dangers.

While it is true that all texts, both literary and non-literary, carry history with them, it would seem all too easy (in hindsight) for the New Historicists to discover links and influences that simply were not present at the time; or if they were present then it is equally easy to under or estimate their effect; looking back in time, one is hardly likely to get the mix exactly right for not only are they dealing with contemporary 16th and 17th century interpretations of what was going on at the time but we are throwing in own 21st century gloss as well. Indeed this is part of the goal of Cultural Materialism – using present day materials (like a program from a recent production of King Lear) to examine cultural consistencies between then and now.

This brings up a whole new set of potential problems through trying to identify issues that are timeless – in the sense that they were topical both in the 16th/17th centuries and in the 21st century. Whilst in some regards history does repeat, it is again all too easy to look back in time and overlay contemporary concerns onto historical situations in a way that is at best inappropriate and at worst, rewriting history to suit New Historicist viewpoints in the same way that along with Foucault, they often accuse others. This is especially true as they move further and further away from the actual text in front of them as they conjecture how it is that language really works.

literary criticism

The Impact of World War I on Modernist Writers

‘We have all had a tremendous jolt; . . . we are far more conscious of our condition than we were, and far less disposed to submit to it’ (Bernard Shaw).

According to Mr Lewis in his Cambridge Introduction to Modernism, it was said that when one certain intellectual was asked why he was not fighting to save civilization, he answered that he was the civilization for which men were fighting. Pompous as that might sound to 21st century ears, there is an element of truth in the comment and in Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Woolf explores this in some detail; civilization – or as Mr Shaw puts it, our ‘condition’ – as was known pre and post war was decidedly different – but whether there was anything worth saving – anything worth ‘submitting to’ in the words of Mr Shaw – from the earlier period was for the modernist writers, a point of conjecture.

Mrs DallowayThe novel is framed around its heroine, Clarissa Dalloway’s, day in London as she prepares for the party she is giving that evening. The novels develops around two seemingly unrelated plots – the shell shock and eventual suicide of Septimus, a veteran of the First World War and the fifty-two year old Clarissa’s social calendar, complete with significant reminiscences of jolly pre-war house parties when she was but eighteen years old – ‘hollyhocks, dahlias – all sorts of flowers swimming together with their heads cut off’ – the effect was extraordinary ‘coming in to dinner at sunset’ – then those glorious kisses of Sally Seton whilst ‘star-gazing’ and Clarissa had been ‘wearing pink gauze’ – ‘was that possible’?

Clarissa’s party was to be no less splendid than those pre-war parties – populated as it would be with all those characters from the past – the once young men and women who were now the ‘old guard’ – the very people that postwar society was holding responsible for the war. The two different plots in Mrs Dalloway do not come together until the very end of the novel when Clarissa hears of the suicide of Septimus, a man she had never known. It seems that this knowledge has prevented Clarissa from also committing suicide although why she would want to do that – so privileged she was such – is not completely clear. If, as she believed, her life was a failure then more had to be wrong than that she had not been invited along with her husband, Peter, to lunch with Lady Bruton that day.

According to Mr Lewis, Woolf called this novel a elegy – a ‘lament for the ‘dead’ – but was it a lament only those that had physically died like Septimus, as the result of the war or was it also a lament for the death of the pre-war civilisation of which, according to her own memoirs in Moments of Being, Woolf too had been a privileged member?Mrs Dalloway

In his landmark poem, The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot also addresses the trajectory of civilizsation but seems to take a different tact than Woolf. The civilisation he appears to favour is that of the classical world of ancient Greece along with lofty personages like Tiresias – who as punishment from the goddess Hera, had witnessed life as both a man and a woman. In his notes to the poem, Eliot admits that although not a character per se, Tiresias is the ‘most important personage’ in the poem. But is this solely because Tiresias is able to provide a unisex description of the sad love tryst in The Fire Sermon between the ‘bored and tired typist’ and her ‘young man carbuncular’?

I think not. I would suggest that is only part of the picture Eliot paints. Another part of that picture is rather like that presented by Woolf in Mrs Dalloway – questioning whether perseveration of pre-war civilisation – however defined – was really worth all that civilisation has paid for it. Eliot suggests that as was the case with the ancient Battle Mylae in 260 BC when Carthage was lost, the ‘corpses’ that had ‘begun to sprout’ as the result of the First World War is an equally extortionate price and worse, in What the Thunder Said we learn from the poem’s speaker that regardless of that extortionate price already paid, the break with the past is firm and complete anyway – the ‘lands’ will be ‘unable to be set in order’ because ‘London bridge is falling down’. All that is left to do now is to gather up those ‘fragments’ from the past and ‘shore’ them up ‘against my ruins.’

In summary, as Mr Shaw points out the First War World gave everyone a tremendous jolt and made them more than aware of their ‘condition’ – the reality of their civilisation – and the question of whether the price paid for trying to preserve had been too high. Woolf seems to suggest that her civilisation was worth preserving  at any price;  certainly Clarissa and her friends in Mrs Dalloway were not about to throw away the prestige and power they had accumulated over the years. The suicide of Septimus might have dampened the mood of Clarissa’s party but at the end of the novel we have been given no reason to expect that next year Clarissa would not be giving the same party all over again. In The Waste Land, Eliot seems to be suggesting that the pre-war civilisation had deeper roots than those recognised in Mrs Dalloway and that whilst it might be a good deal harder to dig out those roots, it was well worth doing.

original poetry

Grandma Brown

to my mother’s mother,

 

can’t say i hated ya

didn’t know ya well enough for that

can’t say loved ya neither

Brown rat

knew ya was a Brown rat

can say i resented ya

‘cause

ya

wedged

ya

bourgeois

self

‘tween

me

and

 my  May Queen.

Ethics

1933 and FDR’s great ‘the money lenders’ speech – history repeats – what will we do this time?

“Faced by the failure of credit they proposed only the lending of more money.”  FDR/ 1933 inaugural speech

Yesterday, I went for a ‘free and friendly’ financial review at my local bank, Natwest.

After 2 1/2 gruelling hours, the result (after I finally understood the deal) was their proposal to refinance an existing loan at 7% with a new one at 11.5%.

I’d have thought they’ve learned their lesson (after all, after 2008 Natwest- through their parent RBS – is now UK taxpayer owned).

Apparently not.

I firmly agree with FDR’s 1933 message that something drastic MUST be done about the banks.

FDR suggests happiness does not lie in the mere possession of money.  He suggests we need to get back to grips with real social values – that which makes us as a society really tick.

What do you think?

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