Month: August 2006

Mum,Dad & Eminem

It should be simple really. We are born completely defenseless and totally dependant on a woman, who dedicates herself more or less completely to our well being, and without whom we would not survive. For the mother we are probably the most precious thing to have ever happened, and she would not hesitate to give her life for us. We hang on to the mother, and are desperate when she disappears from sight. We rule with our screams of displeasure, and demand to have top priority, which 99% of the time we get. We are fed, bathed, smiled at and pampered with gifts – the center of a hive of activity like a queen bee.

Perhaps it is the psychologists who spoiled the picture. For instead of eternal gratefulness, we have managed to identify the mother and father as precisely those people who have thoroughly messed up our lives. Eminem expresses the zeitgeist of the times – albeit in extreme form – with his dismissal of both his parents.

See chart: Eminem, 17th October 1972, Kansas City, Missouri. Time unknown

His Sun and Moon configure with the Saturn/Uranus trine of the time to make a grand trine which was obviously anything but harmonious. Uranus has an agenda with Saturn, and it is not intended to be a traditional parental scene. Eminem – or rather Marshall Mathers (the two “m”s) – was brought up in a mobile home, and expresses it thus:
“I was a baby, maybe I was just a couple of months,
my faggot father must have had his panties up in a bunch,
cause he split,
I wonder if he even kissed me goodbye,
no I don’t on second thought, I just fuckin’ wished he would die…”
So no father at home, then. Which seems to have made Marshall a little angry, with his Mars at the midpoint of and conjoining Uranus/Pluto in Libra. His Sun also conjoins Uranus and is square the Nodes, which might account for the sudden disappearance of the father, who was just 20 when Eminem was born.

His mother obviously struggled to eek out an existence, travelling from trailer park to trailer park. Eminem wants you to see it from his point of view:
“put yourself in my position,
just try to envision witnessin’ your Mama poppin’ prescription pills in the kitchen,
bitchin’ that someone’s always goin’ through her purse and shits missin’,
going through public housing systems, victim of Munchausen’s syndrome…”
Great lyrics, fantastic rhythm – love the song, which is “Cleaning out my closet” from “The Eminem Show” CD. His mother actually sued him for $12 million because he portrayed her as an unstable drug user. She was awarded just $25,000. He probably was a little miffed because of the court case, but it is not like he did not have the money. No stranger to court cases he actually won custody of his daughter from mother Kim, and she now lives with him. Hope he does a good job.

Psychology gets stranded on an uncomfortable premise: that we are formed by nurture rather than nature. In other words the formative influences of the environment after birth – particularly the parents – create the framework of our character. Other psychological views take into account the period of pregnancy. On a scientific level genetics are enrolled as an explanation of family trends and disposition prior to conception, but not behavior. This puts our parents in the firing line.

Astrology of course does not see things like that at all, but recent trends in psychological astrology have tended to enable a transfer of responsibility to the parents rather than the child. It is very disempowering for the person who does this, and can result in misplaced attempts to confront parents with all the things that they did wrong, as if this would change anything. I recall once attending a Buddhist event, where the religious teacher had to deal with a question from a woman in the audience about how she should forgive her mother. First of all the teacher couldn’t understand the question, and it had to be translated several times for him. He finally got it, and chuckled uncontrollably. He pointed out that the need to forgive the mother never occurred in Tibet, where she is the symbol of a beneficent world, love and compassion, and used as such in meditation.

A more empowering view is the idea of attraction, when the disincarnate soul is drawn to the future parents as they have sex, suddenly getting captured into a physical body to begin again the endless cycle of death and rebirth. The bond with the future parents constitutes an irresistible attraction because of many lifetimes of interaction with them, where the roles, according to Buddhism, are often reversed. The soul has already at this point gravitated to what will be the perfect environment for both future development and growth and the settling of old issues. Take note, Marshall.

Armed with this information, the individuals can no longer see themselves as victims of circumstances, but as major protagonists who have a proactive role in shaping their fate. Here lies the key to empowerment, and also the answer to the forgiveness question, which is neither appropriate nor helpful.

Relations with the mother and father are to a large extent related to the Moon and Sun in the horoscope and the major aspects to them. These heavenly bodies represent the filters through which we view our parents, and through which are parents are forced to interact with us. There are two different areas of this interaction, and we are responsible for both. Firstly we may literally have parents that do not treat us well, (though they have given us precious life); here the responsibility is connected with actions in previous existences. Secondly we can make it impossible for parents to interact with us in any other way than our filter dictates. Both cases give access to therapeutic interventions, which may resolve some existential, emotional and identity problems.

Take a child with a Moon/Saturn aspect. The story is often that the mother appeared not to give unconditional love and security. The child grows up early, maybe even feels that it has to take responsibility for the mother in an unhealthy role reversal. There is a deep and unfulfilled hunger for emotional succor. But what is the mother’s story? Perhaps she had to work all hours to support her child and simply did not have any emotional resources left. Perhaps she did try to hug and cuddle the child, but from day one the child mysteriously rebuffed advances. Perhaps early health issues created a situation where the child simply could not be comforted, and this affected the whole future bond. Perhaps the mother was too young to be responsible, or too old to be an enthusiastic mother. Perhaps no one could get through the inherited emotional armor the child brought into this life.

The aspects of Eminem’s Moon to Uranus on one side – trailer park boy – and Saturn on the other actually perfectly reflect the struggle to provide a home in a gypsy-like existence. Moreover, without this upbringing Marshall Mathers would never have been able to reach out to the collective and speak to them:
“I never would have dreamed in a million years I’d see,
so many motherfuckin people who feel like me.
Who share the same views and the same exact beliefs
it’s like a fucking army marchin in back of me.”
Which brings the possibility of a reframe that puts the whole experience of childhood in a different light. Would Eminem have preferred to have been brought up in suburbia and never have reached so many people? This is a question that can be put to everyone with a difficult Saturn aspect – what have they gained through the struggle that they would not be without today?

Every difficult aspect to the Sun and Moon has a disempowering story regarding the parents, and an empowering one. If you take the Sun in Libra conjoining Uranus and squaring the nodal axis in Cancer/Capricorn, this may show a young father – a teenager in this case – fathering a child and suddenly disappearing. No role model here, just a childhood with father figures who come and go as the mother turns her attention to different men. With no male hero to identify with, Marshall Mathers developed an extreme individuality, and he touched the latent extremism in the world’s youth with his wicked rhymes (Mercury in Scorpio). Having a father figure to guide and discipline him would simply not have equipped him for a destiny in which he excoriates all father figures – not least major American politicians and their wives.

Dealing with a client who has a problem with a parent, it works to take a deeper look at the habit of blame, and to replace it with the attitude of personal responsibility. Blame leads nowhere helpful. There is no dignity in it. A woman with a Sun/Pluto aspect may find that the father was remote, or dictatorial, or hidden behind the mask of a newspaper. This person can back up the experience with anecdotes, memories and anything else that will enroll the listener in a view that depicts the father as perpetrator and the person as victim.

Here is another view of this aspect: the father had to work nights in the first year of the childhood. When he tried to relate to the Sun/Pluto child, it was the child who had already performed the emotional amputation, groomed by lifetimes of experiences of trauma and loss of male role models. The residual pain – the abyss in the heart – was activated by the early disappearance of the new father. The only known survival mechanism was pretending the father did not exist. The father wants closeness – even behind the pages of the newspaper – but it is denied. Later in life the young woman is equally unforgiving of men who appear to reject her, overreacts and drops potential male partners before they can hurt her.

In actual fact the woman herself is the architect of her fate, and herein lies a message of hope. Things that are done can be undone. The motivating energy for the survival mechanism of amputation lies in a core of anxiety within. The person must get into touch with this core energy, if behavioral patterns are to be changed.

Psychotherapy can be very cathartic in resolving these issues – indeed there are hardly any other tools to this job. It is natural to go through a process of projection and blame in relation to parents. And some parents have really harmed their children, for example through physical or psychological violence or sexual abuse. No catharsis will be achieved without reliving in full intensity the emotional pain suffered as a child, and this necessitates remembering the anger, hatred or pain. But once these emotions have been burned in the crucible of consciousness, then it serves no further purpose to project the negative emotions any longer.

There are universal spiritual values that go beyond psychotherapeutic tools. Whilst it is tempting to see the experience with the parent as the prime cause of subsequent behavior, the core energy existed before the parental abuse, and was only triggered by it. The individual carries the imprint of the events within at birth, and it is clearly visible in the horoscope.

A therapeutic intervention that takes this into account would use the remembered experience with the parent as the tool for accessing the deeper energy of the astrological pattern that primed the child to have the experience.

For example, a client with a Moon/Pluto square might have experienced a complete alienation from the mother. Tracing this alienation to its apparent source, the client will perhaps recall occasions when the mother froze her out as a form of punishment – acting as if the young child was invisible. The resultant emotional state would have been one of loneliness and dislocation, a sense of non-existence, a feeling of being deprived of the means of survival from the very person who was supposed to ensure ones survival. Only by revisiting this state can some kind of catharsis be achieved that can change grown-up behavioral patterns, and psychotherapy is needed to do this.

However the root energy will be felt in the body – this is the core Moon/Pluto energy which is neither good nor bad in its essence, and it existed at birth before the mother exhibited damaging behavior. The client can be guided into this body experience; perhaps it is felt as a vacuum in the stomach or solar plexus area, or as a knot or pressure. This root physical experience is what gets triggered by events in the outer world, but in childhood and today. By identifying the trigger it is possible to reprogram reactions to it, and thereby get more empowering results in life.

Today society is storing up plenty of material for future generations of children to react to, as work trends involve both parents in the market place from the early hours of the morning, leaving the bringing up of children to state institutions. Guilty parents make up by showering gifts on their neglected children, who are left to the TV and computer screen to form their views of society. It seems almost as if society and the media are supplanting parents as the primary formative influences. We will probably still blame the parents though, until we grow up, earn money, buy all those desirable items, and have children of our own.

Adrian Ross Duncan 18th October, 2006

Trends for Late 2006

Writing sun signs is one of the underrated skills in astrology, and those that have success at it are either very skilled astrologers, or extremely good at hitting the nerve of their readers. Normally both. Famous sun sign astrologers become icons for millions, and these icons can earn a lot of money. One of the most famous in the UK is Jonathan Cainer, who earns well over two million dollars a year from the newspaper who employs him, and the telephone lines to which customers subsequently ring for more information.Understanding the basics of astrology and writing very well are the two prerequisites for success in the field of sun sign astrology, but in this article I will just deal with the first. The basic technique is simply to make an equal house horoscope for each sign, and study the subsequent house placements and aspects of the Sun, Moon and planets. For example all Leos will currently have Saturn in their solar first house of Leo, and Neptune in their solar 7th house of Aquarius, and therefore partnerships will be profoundly affected by the Saturn/Neptune opposition that occurs three times, in August 2006, February 2007 and June 2007.

The Saturn/Neptune opposition last occurred in 1972, so it is a major long-term trend that tends to undermine all forms of structures, bringing an element of chaos and material difficulty. On a high level, it replaces material values with spiritual, and generally it brings sacrifice and loss. A further complication in 2006 is that Jupiter squares both planets from Scorpio, making a fixed T-square of great power. This puts the focus on the difficulties of expansion, and – because Jupiter is in Scorpio – the likelihood of hidden manipulative forces where there are elements of secrecy or even corruption. This T-square culminates in September and October, which is the time when political and economic difficulties will evoke a lot of frustration and despair.

Fortunately, Jupiter moves on into Sagittarius in November 2006, and already in the spring of 2007 it makes a long trine to Saturn, and thereby also resolves many of the difficulties that occurred earlier, and in particular it makes the Saturn/Neptune opposition much easier to deal with. With this in mind, let’s look at how each of the 12 signs will resolve the challenges which they are facing now.


The Saturn/Neptune opposition falls from the 5th to 11th house for Aries, and this shows challenges connected with children, self-projection and creativity. Socially there are circumstances out of Aries’ control, which simply must be accepted. There can be a responsibility for a friend or group, which is difficult to shoulder, or simply a sense of social isolation. The square from Jupiter in Scorpio in the 8th can show compromising economic or sexual factors. This is no time to have a love affair! When Jupiter moves into the 9th, creative blocks are removed and there is a renewed faith in what the future can bring. Difficulties with children and lovers are resolved.


For Taurus the Saturn/Neptune opposition falls from the 4th to the 10th house, showing factors that undermine basic structural systems in life, like the family and the profession. There may be special responsibilities towards parents to be shouldered, or domestic sacrifices to be made. The square from Jupiter in Scorpio in the 7th indicates a deadlock in relations with others, and a total lack of compromise from someone who is not prepared to budge. When Jupiter moves into Sagittarius, the powers that be will be more willing to compromise, and there will at last be both emotional and financial flexibility. This is a time when money becomes available after a period of drought.


In this case the Saturn/Neptune opposition falls from the 3rd to the 9th house, which indicates that there are troubles in the all-important area of communication, travel and education. Doubts regarding education processes can undermine the sense of direction. Sibling problems will seem impossible to resolve. Separations by distance will evoke sadness. The square from Jupiter in the solar 6th house brings ideological confrontation and power battles at work. Very few agreements can be reached at this time. However, when Jupiter moves into the solar 7th, strong partners will be a source of inspiration and provide the encouragement to resolve doubts and disagreements. Everything will be seen in a positive light instead of a negative.


The Saturn/Neptune opposition in this case falls from the 2nd to the 8th house, undermining both the economy and self-worth of the Cancer, and creating a difficult material situation which no amount of hard work can seem to resolve. It is unlikely that banks or other institutions will help, leading to many worries both materially and emotionally. The square from Jupiter in the solar 5th suggests that children, love affairs or failed creative projects may be a black hole that sucks away the resources. When Jupiter moves into Sagittarius, trining Saturn in the Spring of 2007, these matters can again be resolved because of new and beneficial circumstances in the working environment, and perhaps connections with abroad that improve the economy in some way.


With Saturn in this sign, and opposing Neptune in Leo’s 7th house of partnerships, this sign has been feeling the pressure – both in the personal life and relationships – for some time. Self-doubt and a sense of confusion about the life direction has dampened the irrepressible boisterousness of Leo, and a sense of having little control in the development of relationships may give a certain feeling of helplessness. The square from Jupiter in the solar 4th indicates that there is both domestic expansion, but that this does not harmonize with personal and relationship needs. When Jupiter moves into Sagittarius there is a radical change of mood with a creative boost and far better conditions for children, creativity and love.


With Saturn in Virgo’s solar 12th house, Virgos generally are in a withdrawn phase of their life, and the loneliness is increased by the opposition to Neptune in the 6th. Either there are issues at work that create a degree of dissatisfaction and isolation, or the actual daily life is simply difficult to get through, whilst health may also be an issue. The square from Jupiter in the 3rd may be good for the spiritual knowledge that blossoms through isolation, and there can be excellent conditions for psychological insight, but there may also be troubling themes connected with communication, both as regards family and work. Then Jupiter enters Sagittarius and the solar 4th, then far greater satisfaction is felt, and there should be fortunate domestic circumstances and a happier partner.


Saturn in Libra’s solar 11th house shows current difficulties in social relationships, as well as pressure caused by lack of economic resources for professional expansion. The opposition to Neptune may show a long-term challenge connected to a particular friend in need of solace. There may also be a dilemma connected with children that has no easy solution, perhaps because a child is in an unhappy environment. Jupiter in the solar 2nd shows expenses connected with these issues that can drain the economy unless there is considerable restraint. Unnecessary expenditure on prestige items is not the way to go! When Jupiter enters Sagittarius, many of the social difficulties evaporate, and there is a far more outgoing style. This is a time when then can be creative breakthroughs.


With the Saturn/Neptune opposition falling from the 10th to the 4th houses, this is a time of professional power play that absorbs a lot of energy, undermining domestic happiness, as well as making it difficult to advance professionally. The square to Jupiter in Scorpio shows an internalized psychological struggle which is in desperate need of catharsis. Scorpio’s need for personal expansion is prevented by the situation at home and at work. When Jupiter moves into Sagittarius, the professional blockages are removed, and perhaps some kind of promotion or economic boost will happen. At home, new creative possibilities arise.


Jupiter as ruler of Sagittarius is placed in the solar 12th house in this period, bringing an uncharacteristically introverted and even rather sorrowful year until November 2007 in which there can be a lot of self-doubt and broodiness. With the Saturn/Neptune opposition from the 9th to 3rd houses, there is likely to be a conflict of views and opinions with important people which even a Sagittarius cannot handle, which may be a contributing factor to a self-chosen isolation. Travel and education are particularly badly affected by long-term factors that are hard to solve. However the entry of Jupiter into Sagittarius radically changes everything, and there is an emergence of optimism and hope. In 2007 it will be possible to harvest really positive results after the struggles of the previous year.


Saturn in Capricorn’s solar 8th house has brought a period of anxiety for Capricorns, making them particularly sensitive about threats to their status. With Neptune in the 2nd house, the inability to establish a reliable economic framework gives the sense that hard-won professional gains can be swept away by fate.  On an emotional level too there is little security as Capricorn is confronted with sexual insecurity, and feels very dependent on the partner. With Jupiter in the solar 11th, there can also be difficult issues with friends that may well have an effect on the economy. This whole T-square in fixed signs may well indicate large scale corruption too. The movement of Jupiter into Sagittarius brings a more philosophical approach to the things Capricorn has no control over, and brings the chance of much greater psychological and spiritual insight.


Neptune in Aquarius’ first house has brought many changes in life quality in recent years and a new creative approach. However the opposition of Saturn in 2006 and 2007 from the solar 7th house shows that Aquarius is compromised by relationships, and somewhat a prisoner of circumstances. This necessitates taking a low profile in relation to others, in effect putting them first. With Jupiter in Scorpio squaring the opposition from the solar 10th, there can be professional expansion, but personal circumstances make it difficult to take advantage of the opportunities. However, when Jupiter moves into the solar 11th house, a far more favorable situation arises, and Aquarius can take full advantage of the expansion of the social sphere that will result. This brings much greater optimism and better circumstances for partnership.


Perhaps Pisces gets through the Saturn/Neptune opposition better than many. Pisces can feel quite comfortable with Neptune in the solar 12th, and the current position of Uranus in the1st trine Jupiter in the 9th brings a dramatic opening of horizons with many travel opportunities. The Saturn/Neptune opposition is an irritation factor because of the gnawing demands of working life, and Pisces will have some difficulty accepting the daily grind when there are so many more exciting perspectives. So there is trouble at work, and these demands put the brakes in many of the hopes and dreams that Pisces has. When Jupiter comes into Sagittarius and the solar 10th house the opportunity comes to translate ideas into achievement. This is the time to get down to work and make dreams into reality.

It is a fortunate thing that the Saturn/Neptune opposition, which starts with a difficult aspect to Jupiter, ends with a positive aspect to an empowered Jupiter in Sagittarius. Politically this has led to a stalemate situation in most areas. The US is mired in Iraq and President Bush is beleaguered. The EU has agreed not to do anything about its political structure, and there is an ingrained resistance to allowing new countries to join. All this will change when Jupiter comes out of the T-square. There will be a new optimism and steps will be taken to expand the EU. Whilst there is no getting away from the troubles of the Saturn/Neptune opposition, for example high prices and the undermining of executive powers, the strong Jupiter will bring hope and a spirit of optimism.

Adrian Ross Duncan 20th June 2006


Pluto 0 – Ceres 1

There must be a lot of people with planets in the last 5 degrees of mutable signs who are mightily relieved. Just as Pluto was about to give them some heavy treatment, a bunch of astronomers in Prague stripped it of its planet status, and reduced it to a dwarf. A friend with Moon 27 Sagittarius was on the phone immediately. Now he would not have to move, his family life would not experience meltdown, demons would not arise from the depth of his unconscious and torment him. Pluto, now just a spherical block of ice like so many more in the Kuyper Belt, had just been awarded the same status as the asteroid Ceres, and the next dwarf planet out there, Xena (note 1), which is in fact larger than Pluto.This demotion of a planet is not new. Ceres was discovered in 1801 and was awarded the status of a planet, but as many more asteroids started to be located, then it was demoted again. New astronomical advances have similarly shown many large objects beyond Pluto, and scientists began questioning whether Pluto, which is minute in relation to the gas giants Uranus and Neptune, should really be a planet.

It is relevant to ask: how is Pluto taking all this? The answer is – not very well at all. The evidence of Pluto’s discomfort could be found not far from Prague – in Vienna. On the day before the decision about Pluto’s status was made, Natascha Kampusch escaped from an underground dungeon concealed in the garage of one Wolfgang Priklopil. Kidnapped by this wolfish man at the age of 10, she had been kept as his slave for 8 years. Distracted by his cell phone whilst Natascha was vacuuming his car, he failed to see her make her escape. And when he realized she had done so, he took his black BMW to the nearest railway line, and threw himself under a train.

The story of this abduction and escape riveted Austria, Europe and indeed the world. It had all the elements of a fairy tale. Like Little Red Riding Hood, the girl was wearing a red outfit when dragged off. She dreamed of chopping the Priklopil’s head off with an axe. Wolfgang. But it is of course the mythological symbolism that catches the astrologer’s eye. Just as Pluto ripped Persephone from Demeter’s arms and dragged her into the Underworld, Priklopil dragged Natascha off to his dungeon. She was there for a Venus cycle – the 8 years it takes for Venus to return to its exact phase in relation to the Earth. On her return to the surface, Pluto’s status was diminished, but Demeters’ – Ceres – status was advanced.

So, yes, Pluto experienced some discomfort. But not enough for my friend with the moon at 27 Sagittarius to start celebrating.

It’s an odd thing, but Austrian newspapers at the time triumphantly showed pictures of the passports of both the victim and the perpetrator, and armed with a magnifying glass it was relatively easy to see both their birth dates. A study of the solar horoscopes for them both reveals fascinating information.

See chart: Natascha Kampusch: 17 Feb 1988 Vienna. 0 Aquarius AS/Equal House

Natascha was born around the New Moon in Aquarius with the Sun sextile a Mars/Jupiter trine in fire signs and Venus in Aries. No victim here but a fighter and a winner. As she herself put it in her first address to the media: “He was not my master. I was just as strong… he took on the wrong one (person) — and he and I both knew that.” Obviously having someone like Priklopil as your only companion for 8 formative years is going to mess up relationships, and her Venus in Aries in precise square to Neptune shows her as an angry victim who anyway had to grieve the loss of the only man who she has ever related to in her lonely years in the 9 foot long 6 feet wide dungeon that was her home. As she said: “It was Wolfgang (Priklopil)’s own decision to throw himself under the train. I sympathize with Wolfgang’s mother. I can feel with her and put myself in her position. I, and both of us, think of him”. Well, yes. It must be difficult not to.

It is interesting that someone with such an incredible story is born just a few days after Saturn and Uranus simultaneously entered that sign of hardship – Capricorn. With Mars on the degree of the Galactic Centre and soon to progress onto the Saturn/Uranus conjunction, perhaps it picks up the energy of this black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. Obviously this stellium shows extreme experiences at the hands of men – extreme hardship and extreme cruelty. The only man she has known, and intimately, was a psychopath. Yet at the same time, this powerful Mars, trining Jupiter in Aries, shows someone who combines bravery and spirit with an incredible self-discipline learned from her years of incarceration.

Pluto might be expected to be prominent in her chart; it had just turned retrograde in Scorpio, and Mercury, also retrograde, was to go back to 12 degrees Aquarius to make the exact square to Pluto. There it dwelled in progressed square to Pluto (within a degree) from the age of 3 to the fateful age of 10 at which time she was led underground. Pluto at birth is semisquare Mars, and really this was a time of undiluted horror for her – in a tiny room without windows which she was not allowed out of night or day for the first six months of her captivity.

Interestingly her Ceres is a 17.26 Aquarius conjoining Mercury, and at the exact mid-point of (and precisely septile to) Mars on the one side and Venus on the other. Ceres is the Roman name for the Greek goddess Demeter, who lost her daughter to Hades. The gods intervened and returned Persephone to her mother, but unfortunately she had eaten that fateful fruit of love, the pomegranate, whilst in the arms of Hades, and is condemned to periodically return. Just after progressed Mercury, now direct, conjoins Natascha’s Ceres, she also escapes and is returned to the world.

There is evidence that if you want to escape, it is good to wait for good aspects to come along, rather than bad. When Natascha found the right moment (Note 2), the Sun was at 0.11 Virgo and in precise trine to Uranus and Saturn. The moon was at 26.24 Leo in precise trine to Mars and Jupiter. And for those who are beginning to get interested in Ceres, it was at 17.26 Aquarius at birth and at the moment of escape it was at… 17.26 Aquarius. No orb. One Ceres cycle.

So who is this guy Wolfgang Priklopil, who spent the midnight hours building the concealed dungeon and equipping it with advanced electronic surveillance systems until ready to pounce on his captive?

See chart: Wolfgang Priklopil: 14th May 1962 Vienna. Ceres 19.43 Gemini. AS 0 TA

This is someone who robs innocents from their mothers. Venus is at 19.33 Gemini – just 10 minutes of arc from Ceres. The Mercury/Venus conjunction in Gemini obviously gives a predisposition for schoolgirls. Mercury looks blameless enough, but it actually goes stationary by progression on the Venus/Ceres conjunction, dwelling on them within a degree from the age of 5 to 19. What goes on in these years? Mercury moves from retrograde to direct motion at 11.51 Gemini which is exactly where it is in 1998 when he abducts Natascha. Trine Saturn at 11.21 Aquarius. A great planner. Quincunx Neptune – imaginative. Finally, Wolfgang left this world when progressed Mercury returned to degree of birth Mercury. He did not get very far.

His grand achievement – the abduction – took place as Natascha was going to school on the morning of March 2nd 1998.

Abduction: 3rd March 1998 School start. Vienna

The abduction took place just after a solar eclipse at 7.55 Pisces which was exactly opposite Priklopil’s Pluto. This was his moment of destiny – the time when he took an irrevocable step into the dark side. The eclipse conjoined Jupiter and squared transit Pluto, which at this point was exactly square his natal Pluto. As Priklopil is born with Pluto opposing Jupiter, this was a unique moment. In fact, the astrological detective could – if presented with Priklopil’s date of birth at the time of the abduction – have seen that this was the time when his dark fantasies about imprisoning a schoolgirl would be activated. The abduction chart and the natal chart echo major themes of domination and imprisonment. The fact is detectives visited Priklopil’s house to question him, but never searched it. The abduction also took place with an exact Venus/Mars sextile, echoing the same sextile in Priklopil’s birth chart.

Natascha Kampusch has a lot of catching up to do. She has chosen to limit her contact with her parents, who had divorced prior to her abduction. At present communication with them is limited to the phone. A live interview had the highest viewing figures ever in Austria and generated huge licensing revenue, which Kampusch is reported as having donated to women in need in Africa and Mexico. She has granted other interviews in return for a package including housing support, a long-term job offer, and help with her education. (Note 3) She’ll probably manage all right if her horoscope is anything to go by.

One of the main consequences of the new dwarf planet status of Pluto, is the promotion of Ceres, and the iconic story of Priklopil and Kampusch emphasizes the power of Ceres, making a strong case for its inclusion in the standard astrological chart along with the other major planets. Judging from its effect in this story, and a glance at the charts of people I know well, it seems Ceres is very connected with the mother archetype and the motherhood role. One client I know has Ceres between Uranus and Pluto and claims, because of extreme childhood experiences, that her mother is a psychopath. Another returned to his mother country after many years when his Sun progressed conjoined Ceres. The Greek myth points to the connection of Demeter with famine, and embedded in Ceres is the latent tendency for extreme contrasts between nurture and abandonment and loss.

As regards Pluto there are probably other stories coinciding with the date of its demotion from the pantheon of the gods. As a rule events in the field of astronomy tend to be reflected by events on earth. When Voyager flew past Uranus, the space shuttle Challenger exploded. When Voyager flew by Neptune, millions joined hands across the borders of the Baltic countries, dissolving the borders and the domination of the Soviet Union. The New Horizons space probe (Note 4) will arrive at Pluto in 2015. Expect to see an interesting demonstration of its effect.

As the years go by – if the Prague decison holds – Pluto will be redefined in school text books. It will lose some of its iconic power. Will the atom bomb go the same way as Priklopil? How will psychology fare? But right now it is firmly enconsed in the horoscope, and – sigh of relief – clients are still having traumas and crises. Clearly, as astrologers, we have not lost a planet – we’ve gained two. Now where is Ceres in my horoscope… not to mention Xena!

Adrian Duncan 19th September 2006

1. Xena’s position is currently 21 Aries – noticed anything? – and an ephemeris can be found at

2. Natascha escaped at 12.53 on August 23rd 2006.

3. Wikepedia:

4. An Atlas V rocket carrying the New Horizons spacecraft on a mission to Pluto lifted off at Cape Canaveral on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2006 at 14.00.


Israel 2006

If you had to invent a horoscope to describe a country in constant tension with its neighbors, a land that has risen from the ashes, a land with supreme confidence that could fight its own battles, then you might have chosen the 14th May 1948, and that country would be Israel. This was the time when Jewish figures under the leadership of Ben Gurion declared the existence of the state of Israel whilst the Arab League was in the process of invading the country. Even at inception, Israel was at war.See chart for Israel 14.05.1948 16.00 Tel Aviv

This horoscope is one of the most interesting horoscopes of all time for a myriad of reasons. The country was formed less than a week after a solar eclipse at 18 Taurus, which squared a Mars/Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Leo, thereby assuring its destiny at the center of a power hub in which war, struggle and survival were to be the keynotes. The Saturn/Pluto conjunction takes place every 35 years, and in this case it shows the rebirth of the Jewish nation after the Holocaust. The sun placed on the 8th house cusp shows that the country’s identity is based on contested territory – it is in fact founded on other people’s land, and these people were made permanent refugees in the war of Israeli independence. Ever since, the Palestinian people have claimed their land back. Indeed extremist forces in Arab countries have called for the elimination of the state of Israel. The fate of Israel is to live under the constant threat of extermination, and to cope with this they have an enormous willpower to survive.

Fortunately for the Lion of Israel, they have an extremely strong Mars in Leo, which trines an even stronger Jupiter in Sagittarius. This is a people with a well-trained army with enormous confidence and will to win. They have the sense that right is on their side, and that might is right. Mars is actually square the Sun, and there is the suggestion that the army can run independently of government, but as the Sun disposes of Mars, then it can be reined in.

The horoscope ruler Venus is in Cancer and the 9th, and this shows an important side of the Israeli character. They love their home and their family, and they are settlers, trying to build a home in a difficult environment. The 9th house position of Venus also shows that many have arrived from abroad – in fact this Venus position is exactly on the Venus/Jupiter conjunction of the United States, which of course the protector of Israel both financially and militarily. This is a soft and cultural influence, and with the square to Neptune in the 12th there is also a sorrow and awareness of the martyrdom of their race. As Ascendant ruler, Venus has a special role to play, especially in Israel’s progressed chart.

Mercury is strongly placed in Gemini, which probably says something about the many languages spoken in the country and the dual use of English and Hebrew. The strong aspect of the 8th house Mercury to Pluto in Leo indicates the effectivity of the country’s intelligence services, particularly Mossad. The ability of Mossad to orientate itself in the Arab world is a major extension of Israel’s power. Mercury makes a powerful trine to Neptune in the 12th, which gives great spiritual depth and teaching tradition, and shows the success Israel has in keeping alive the knowledge of the Holocaust. Mercury has also an extraordinary story to tell in the progressed chart.

Israel has been in extreme turmoil since the elections in Gaza that gave power to Hamas, which is generally seen as a terrorist organization. This coincided with the withdrawal of the military from Gaza and the removal of settlements. At the same time, Ariel Sharon had his near-fatal stroke, and the party he had just formed on November 21st 2005 – Kadima – won the March 28, 2006 elections with Ehud Olmert as its leader.

Progressed chart July 2006

Weakness has never been a very useful strategy in the Middle East, where the spirit of compromise is so difficult to capitalize on. Olmert has a chart with three planets in fall – Sun in Libra, Mars in Cancer and Venus in Virgo – and this is not going to stand him in good stead in the current conflict that is escalating with Hizbulla in the Lebanon. (Note 1) Olmert is in fact an idealist, with a Sun/Jupiter/Neptune conjunction in Libra – a good man who believes in compromise. In fact his chart is similar to the UN, and he should get them involved as soon as possible.

It is an extraordinary thing that both Mercury and Venus retrograde from Cancer and back into Gemini for a very long period. During this time their energies merge with the Uranus/Jupiter opposition clearly indicating the years and years of international diplomacy connected with the dilemma of Israel/Palestine and how to create two separate states that recognize each other’s existence. The long Sharon/Arafat “dialogue” was a manifestation of this activation of Uranus in Gemini.

Mercury retrograded into Gemini in 1993, and will reenter Cancer this year by progression, and this probably marks the end of dialogue, in the sense that Israel now make unilateral decisions and no longer negotiate officially with the Palestinian government. This is the end of the 1990’s epoch of the Oslo accords, which had such limited success. The policy of Israeli unilateralism will continue into the foreseeable future.

As may be expected with the sudden explosion of violence in the Middle East, Mars is involved. At the time of writing – when bombs are being dropped over Beirut and rockets falling on Haifa – transiting Mars is in fact exactly on Israel’s Mars at 28 Leo, so quite obviously Israel is flexing all its muscles. However, progressed Mars is at 26.52 Virgo – exactly conjoined by progressed Moon! – and approaching the square to progressed Uranus at 27.44 Gemini and natal Jupiter at 27.39 Sagittarius. This is a high explosive cocktail, and it looks like going on for a while. Progressed Moon enters Libra in October, which may help peace negotiations, but the exact Mars square takes place at the time of the New Year in 2008. This indicates that high tech warfare may flare up periodically over the next 1½ year period. And as mentioned in a previous article, air strikes on Iran are a distinct possibility.

The progressed Mars to Jupiter, which is exact at the end of 2007 indicates that the actions of Israel will not meet with approval. They will overreact, and definitely be open to the charge that they are using disproportionate force (which Europe is already claiming). With progressed Mars in Virgo this could be because military efforts are focused on the destruction of infrastructure.

The current efforts to establish security in the face of fundamentalist threats will only have a limited success. The Saturn/Neptune opposition of 2006-7 will square Israel’s Taurus sun created a long-lasting and apparently insoluble problem. Saturn squares the sun on 27th October 2006, and 15th January and 13th  July 2007. Neptune squares the sun in 2008, and Mars in 2010. This is going to be a damaging time for the Israeli economy in particular, and dealing with increasing debt will be a major preoccupation. At the same time military methods for conflict solving will become less and less effective as time goes by. The entry of Mars into Libra in 2012 will signal the end of the smaller skirmishes with militants, but there may be new alliances and heightened world tension at this time.

Lebanon celebrates its independence on 22nd November, after it wrested power from the French in 1943, and a noon chart places the Moon at 26 Gemini, which is exactly where the progressed Moon and Mars of Israel are right now. Pluto is squaring this position and opposing Lebanon’s Saturn in Gemini, showing the upheaval and restructuring currently going on as a consequence of Israel’s bombs. Lebanon has Mars, Saturn and Uranus in Gemini which clearly indicates the religious polarities in the country and the potential for civil war. This is obviously a destabilizing time in a country that has never been stable.

The general consensus regarding the current war footing of Israel is that this is something that has been orchestrated by Hizbulla at the behest of Iran and Syria. With the current pressure on Iran because of their nuclear program, a low-intensity Middle Eastern conflict can be very useful in distracting energy and attention away from its president Ahmadinejad, and a reminder of Iran’s regional power. The new longer-range rockets are manufactured in Iran, and can now reach major population centres in Israel. Given Israel’s extreme sensitivity regarding the capturing of their soldiers, it is a simple matter to provoke Israel into an escalation of hostilities, and this has probably been the intention of Hizbulla and their patrons. Everyone is a hostage to this – even the Hamas government of Palestine, who would probably love to be able to prevent its fundamentalists sending rockets into Israel. The Lebanese government would probably also love to stop Hizbulla aggression, but moderate Arabs have very little influence these days. With a peaceful resolution of this conflict in the hands of the masters of Hizbulla, there is likely to be low-level conflict for some time to come.

As mentioned earlier, Venus progressed retrograded into Gemini in the mid-90’s and will remain there until 2029. It stations in 2011 at 24.38 Gemini exactly on Uranus (24.21) and also conjoins Uranus progressed from 2000 to 2025. As ruling planet for Israel this shows an extremely disturbing process, characterized by the stress of rockets and suicide bombs. Uranus in Gemini shows provocative neighbours and the challenges in dealing with people whose language, religion and culture is almost insuperable. To learn to communicate with people who are so different is the fate of Israel. Peace will come in 2030.

Adrian Duncan 19th July 2006-07-19

Note 1. Ehud Olmet: 30 September 1945.


Oil – End of an Age

The discovery and exploitation of oil in the early 19th century made a lot of whales very happy indeed. Until that time whale oil was extensively used primarily for lighting and to a certain extent for cooking, but with the development of kerosene, the bottom – fortunately for whales – fell out of the whaling industry over a period of several decades. Plastic is currently performing the same service for trees. Traditionally oil and gas have been associated with the planet Neptune (as indeed whales are), and it is probably no coincidence that the first commercial exploitation of oil in the 1850’s took place soon after the discovery of Neptune in 1846.When Neptune was discovered, it was in exact conjunction with Saturn at 25 Aquarius, and subsequent Saturn/Neptune conjunctions have correlated with dramatic political upheavals – there were many (relatively peaceful) social revolutions in Europe in the late 1840’s because of the rise of socialism. The correlation of the 35-year Saturn/Neptune cycle with social change has been well documented, especially as regards communism, whose defining moments – the 1917 revolution, the death of Stalin in1953, and the tearing down of the Berlin Wall in 1989 – all occurred at the conjunction.To a certain extent the Saturn/Neptune cycle is also related to the supply of oil and gas, which is natural enough considering the association of Saturn with restriction and blockage, and of Neptune with oil. As consumers, we become aware of this through the price of oil at the petrol pump, but the correlation between petrol prices and oil supply is complicated by a number of factors, not least the desire of OPEC countries to maintain stable oil prices by pumping more or less oil as the situation demands. There is naturally also a correlation between oil supply and growth and prosperity, but again there are a number of factors that complicate the equation. For example there has been excellent growth in the United States in 2005 even though the price of oil tripled over the last three years.  Conversely, with the discovery of the largest oil pool ever in Texas in 1930 – at the time of a precise Saturn/Neptune trine – the price of oil was brought crashing down bringing chaos to the industry and considerably worsening the Great Depression. High oil prices do not guarantee economic woe, and low prices do not guarantee prosperity. Stable prices are best.

The classic example of the correlation between oil supply and the Saturn/Neptune cycle is related to the opposition that took place prior to the 1973 Yom Kippur war and subsequent Arab oil embargo. In fact the first opposition (in a series of three) took place on June 25th, 1971 at 0 degrees Gemini/Sagittarius, and it seems as if the entry of Neptune into Sagittarius at the beginning of the seventies heralded an epoch in which “foreign” countries, where the oil originated, began to take control. This was a time when OPEC flexed its muscles, supporting Iraq for example when it nationalized Western oil companies in Iraq in June 1972. OPEC itself was formed on September 14, 1960, when Saturn made a precise sextile to Neptune. (Note 1)

Oil prices rose dramatically up to 1974, and leveled off, even falling, but with the political disintegration of Iran and overthrow of the shah, oil prices took off once again and the price of oil almost doubled in relation to the 1974 peak of $38 per barrel (2005 dollar rate) to reach $63 by 1981. This was largely due to the US embargo on Iranian products in the wake of the US embassy hostage crisis in 1979 and the subsequent Iraq/Iran war in 1980. Astrologically this is interesting, because the Saturn/Neptune square from September 1979 to June 1980 spanned this period. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that the opposition and square in the 70’s – a time when Neptune was in Sagittarius – corresponds to restrictions on oil connected to Arab nations with a strongly religious agenda.

A new Saturn/Neptune cycle began in 1989 with the series of conjunctions that took place around 10 degrees Capricorn from March to November. As with all previous conjunctions, this had monumental political repercussions – in this case no less than a New World Order, which was connected with the fact that Uranus also conjoined Neptune and commenced a new 172 year cycle shortly afterwards. It seems likely that the Saturn/Neptune conjunction creates the new political structures through which form the background for oil supply, and that each conjunction has a different emphasis. At any rate it seems that the newly formed Russia, sensitive as it is to the Saturn/Neptune cycle, is now taking over in significance from the Middle East, and with the current build up to the first opposition of the 1989 cycle, it is Russia that is flexing her muscles rather than OPEC.

The bullying tactics of Russia have been clearly apparent in their dealings with the Ukraine as 2006 began. This was a major manifestation of the colossal grand cross between Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter and Mars, that was operative from August 2005 to February 2006, and it gives a foretaste of what is to come when the Saturn/Neptune opposition really kicks in. Basically Ukraine refused to allow the gas pipelines that go through its country to come under the control of the state-owned Russian gas giant Gazprom, and Gazprom responded by demanding that Ukraine would then have to pay the EU market price for gas, which at around $220 per 1000 cubic meters quadrupled the price for Ukraine. When Ukraine understandably rejected this – they had previously been guaranteed a fixed price five years into the future – Gazprom shut down supplies.

As the gas pressure fell also for European countries, it became quite clear for the EU that they themselves were now vulnerable to Russian blackmail, as Gazprom already supplies 25% of EU’s gas. What is more, this figure is growing as European supplies of gas dwindle, and new pipelines are being built from Russia. Interestingly, Gerhard Schroeder, the former premier of Germany is chairman of the board of the Gazprom branch for the pipeline going directly under the Baltic Sea to Germany. There are even rumors that Italy’s premier Berlusconi – if he loses his current post, will become chairman of the southern Gazprom pipeline bound for Italy. As Putin expands Russia’s web of pipelines into Europe he will clearly acquire a stranglehold on EU energy. Obviously this will not be used overtly – that is bad business practice – but Russia will acquire enormous influence… and great riches too. This must be sweet music to the Russian nation after the economic humiliations of the 1990’s.

Gazprom was formed at the Saturn/Neptune conjunction in 1989 and though privatized during the 1990’s Putin reasserted state control by acquiring 51% of the shares when he came to power. He went on to crush the competing oil giant Yukos, whose chairman Mikhail Khordorkovsky was jailed in 2004 for tax evasion… though everyone knows that the real reason was that he had presidential ambitions. The head of Gazprom is Aleksej Miller who is an old pal of Putin’s from his time as mayor of St. Petersburg. In reality Gazprom is an arm of the Kremlin, and is being used not just as a financial instrument but also as a political tool. Whilst America depletes its resources on foreign adventures in Iraq, Russia is rapidly consolidating its power. Quite apart from huge pipelines to northern, central and southern Europe, there are deals with Japan, Korea and the Far East, capitalizing on the huge demand for oil in these countries, which Russia is in a strong position to satisfy because it has almost a third of the world’s gas reserves.

It is in this light that the coming Saturn/Neptune opposition should be seen. This phase of the Saturn/Neptune cycle corresponds to the earlier 1972 opposition phase – in other words it is likely that the last half of the 35 cycle – from 2006 to the next conjunction (in Aries) in June 2025, will see the use of oil and gas to leverage Russia as a growing power on the world stage. The opposition phase of a cycle is connected with awareness, and just as the West became aware of the power of the Middle East in the previous cycle, the EU, and belatedly the US, will become aware of the power of Russia in this cycle. The events connected with Ukraine prove that this is not a benign influence… the power is there to gain advantage.

It is too late to do anything about the growing power of Russia… the pipelines are complete or under construction, North Sea supplies are running down, Europe is hungry. It is Russia’s turn to prosper, and the country is in great need of wealth after a dire period of poverty and disintegration. The choices in Europe are stark, and there will naturally be a strong incentive to economize by building economical houses and cars and investing in alternative energy supplies, and this in turn will stand Europe in good stead when the next Saturn/Neptune cycle runs its course from 2025 to 2060. It is those countries that become relatively independent of fossil fuels that will be in a supreme position as it becomes more and more expensive to extract diminishing quantities from the earth.

Meanwhile it is likely that the Saturn/Neptune opposition from 2006 to 2007 (see graph) will brings economic unrest. As Jupiter is involved in this – and Jupiter/Neptune squares are associated with the bursting of economic bubbles – there is likely to be some kind of market crash connected with power and corruption (Jupiter in Scorpio). Anything unrealistically priced will be cut down to size (watch it Google, watch it property market!). The warnings will come in the first quarter of 2006, but the crash is likely in September and October. But with Saturn increasing its restrictive grip on oil supply, I would imagine oil prices will go up even from their current highs. Venezuela is encouraging a wave of solidarity in South America and reducing the control the USA has on its deliveries from that quarter. Iraq’s already damaged production could get even worse through civil war. Iran’s confrontation course with the West can limit supplies. These factors are likely to contribute to economic depression in the USA and Europe.

The Yom Kippur war and Arab oil embargo took place a year after the previous Saturn/Neptune opposition, and it seems like there will be upheaval after the 2006-7 opposition, with the building up of an awesome grand cross involving Pluto which enters Capricorn and Uranus which enters Aries, indicating an aggressive period in world politics spanning the years from 2010 to 2014. There is likely to be highly charged interaction between the West, Russia and China at this time, and some political reconstruction will take place owing to the rise of extremism. This may or may not be related to the economic discomfort likely to be experienced in the wake of the Saturn/Neptune opposition.

The Age of Oil will run its course, just as the Age of Coal did. At current rates of extraction, oil will run out in the middle of the 21st century, though – as it gets more and more expensive per barrel – it will be a slow process as oil gradually gets supplanted by other power sources. The big question is: how peaceful will this process be? As dynamic technological progress made living easier, populations have exploded and dependence on cheap energy is what makes the world go around today. Yet there will be a future in which the burning of fossil fuels simply does not take place. Houses will not be heated by coal, gas or oil. Cars will not run on gasoline. Power will not come from oil, gas or coal-fired stations.

There are two views as to what will happen in the transition process. One is the Roman Empire model – the fall of civilization. The other is that man’s ingenuity will find solutions, and this view is more in keeping with the Aquarian Age prophecy. The exploitation of Earth’s resources is a phenomenon largely reflected astrologically by the 200 year Saturn/Jupiter conjunction cycle in Earth. When this moves to Air for another 200 year period – in 2020 – other energy sources based on light and waveforms will gradually take over in an extremely low-energy society. Whilst we have difficulty imagining this transition, our children, and our children’s children will easily find the way.

Saturn – Neptune cycle

Adrian Ross Duncan 10th January 2005

Note 1. Book of World Horoscopes. OPEC stands for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. OPEC countries supply about half the world’s oil.