Picking a Winner The great American saga is about to begin again, as the United States gears up to the vast 4-yearly soap opera that is the American election. During the next months, experts and pollsters – astrologers too – will attempt to do the impossible… predict the winner. Nobody knows who this will be. As every candidate is well aware of, the smallest misdemeanour buried in the past can turn out to be the candidate’s nemesis and avoiding telling the whole truth becomes something of an art form. Witness George W. Bush’s evasions regarding drug-taking. But then perhaps bad publicity is better than none at all, and having nothing to hide is equally a sin… squeaky-clean Gore is accused of being flat and boring, and that could make him lose.
The Infamous Saturn/Jupiter conjunction
So anything can happen up to November 2000, and even though prediction when there are only two strong candidates should be a simple matter – there is after all a 50/50 chance of getting it right – it is an unenviable task for the astrologer. It’s always an incredibly close-run race, and as neither candidate knows whether he or she will win or lose until the last moment, their horoscopes will surely both reflect the sense of rising on a mighty wave towards greatness. One will slip back into that wave, the other will surf to glory.This election is interesting from another point of view, too: it’s an election that takes place at the Saturn/Jupiter conjunction, as every fifth one does, and it is a fact that no president elected at this time has fulfilled his term as president. Ill-health, death or assassination has removed them from office. The one exception to this is Reagan, who was elected when the Saturn/Jupiter conjunction took place in the Air sign Libra. Curiously he was nearly killed by an oddball who was trying to impress Jodie Foster I believe. Shot in the lung (Air?), Reagan survived to fulfil two terms in office. However in the year 2000 the Saturn/Jupiter conjunction takes place in the Earth sign Taurus, which leaves some astrologers wondering whether the pattern will continue.
Seven Planets in Taurus
See graph overt the movements of major planets in 2000
In the presidential campaign, the kind of issues that will arise and be fought over will be reflected in the movement of the planets in the year 2000. It is a dramatic year, not least because of the 20-year Jupiter/Saturn conjunction which takes place in Taurus in May 2000, to be joined by 5 other planets during the course of the month making a seven-planet stellium in that sign for a short period. The last 7-planet stellium was in February 1962 in Aquarius, and this heralded a period of terrifying international tension (with the Cuban missile crisis), the assassination of JFK, and, indeed, a sense of the dawning of Aquarius. An explosive time. The coming stellium in Taurus is likely to highlight issues connected with the economy and the environment – especially in contrast to technology, science, and the polarisation between developed and undeveloped countries. In other words the issues so vividly highlighted in Seattle in 1999.
As the influences for the early part of the year are so strongly Taurean, it is likely that things will go in Gore’s favour. On the one side he can point to eight years of economic growth which he at least vice-presided over with Clinton. On the other he is a committed ecologist, and the author of EARTH IN THE BALANCE: Ecology and the Human Spirit which is quite an unusual testimony for a politician. Looking at his chart, it is easy to see that ecological ideals are close to his heart. With his Ascendant ruler strong and exalted in the 9th house of ideals, and opposition to Neptune in the third, he clearly wants to express a vision of the future, and with Mercury emphasising the Neptunian theme in Pisces, he did well to get it out in print.
Features of Gore’s Horoscope
This is a strong chart, even a winner’s chart, but Mercury is weak, partly through being in the sign of its fall, and in the 8th, and partly because it is so closely quincunx Saturn (and Mars) in the first. It is hardly fair to ask Gore to be chirpy and spontaneous with this combination. Likewise the Pluto/Saturn/Mars stellium in the first house is very heavy indeed… especially when so cruelly compared to Clinton’s first house Venus/Mars/Jupiter.Furthermore, the Saturn/Jupiter conjunction falls at 22 Taurus and during the month of June both planets conjoin Gore’s very well-placed Venus in Taurus in the 10th (but on the cusp of the 11th) which is going to put him in the limelight in early summer. Probably there will be a lot of emphasis on the economic interests behind Gore at this time, and no doubt the ‘Usual Suspects’ will be found in the form of the various corporations which in reality pull most of the strings in American politics. Being well-placed Venus and Gore will pull through OK.
Ideals versus Materialism
There is an interesting quincunx from this strong Venus to an equally strong Jupiter in Sagittarius, and this seems to indicate a somewhat irreconcilable conflict between very strong visions and ideals for the future (Jupiter), and well-placed friends with lots of money. Venus is actually conjunct the fixed star Algol, which often brings some form of ruin, so he could conceivably get unlucky here, though on balance I think the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction will help him.Despite the many fine influences in Gore’s chart, he would make an autocratic president, and be something of a control freak. The first-house stellium will want to run the show, and will be very unreceptive to advice. Though dogged and courageous, he may not have the mental cool to tie together the disparate threads of government. His communication weaknesses are already well-known, and will be exploited ruthlessly by his opponents. Finally the Moon in Capricorn on the sixth cusp could show him mired in work, and demanding too much of those who work for him. So the atmosphere in the Gore camp is likely to be rather heavy and without joy.
Of course, there is the possibility that Gore will lose out to senator Bill Bradley in the primaries. At the time of writing – January 2000 – Bradley (born 28th July 1943 at 11.37 EDT Saint Louis, Missouri 38N37 90W12) has been doing rather well, and the Gore camp has been rather alarmed at his success in raising money. Interestingly, Bradley also has a stellium in Leo (as does George W. Bush), and his Sun is exactly on Gore’s Ascendant. However, with 29 Virgo rising, conjoining Neptune and square a Moon/Saturn conjunction close to the MC, it would be an odd chart to win the US election. The effects of this powerful square seems rather unhappy and depressive, and it would be hard to imagine the country prospering. Actually, this influence does show a genuine concern for the underprivileged, and probably as a top-pro basketball player, Bradley was more aware than most about the situation for blacks in America. He was one of the very few whites in the team. In his own words: “The great player is one who makes the worst player on his team good. And he does that by the way he moulds the team together. For me, team play was . . . the peak of the game”. Hardly the correct hard-core sentiments to win in the dirty game of American politics! Interestingly, Bradley’s progressed Sun conjoins his Neptune/Ascendant in the months up to the election, as transiting Neptune opposes his Sun. I imagine this may have something to do with rumours concerning his health, and he is sure to be weakened. He may make it as Gore’s running mate.
As the election approaches transits and progressions to the candidates’ charts will make themselves felt. Uranus at 16+ Aquarius is likely to create last minute problems for Gore, who already labours under a Mercury/Uranus square and has the tendency to say unpredictable things. With Uranus activating Gore’s Mercury quincunx to Saturn/Mars, sudden news around the election date could create a shock result. Indeed, the main aspect on election day is an almost exact square to Uranus from the Sun in Scorpio, and as the election closes (at 18.00 in Hawaii) this Sun is on the Descendant… quite a strong indication of upset as the result is announced.
The Death Penalty
There can hardly be any doubt that this deadly square relates to the use of capital punishment in the USA. And here’s the thing: two thirds of Americans support the death penalty. This will be the issue on the day, and as George W Bush can’t seem to execute enough people in his native Texas, even those who are mentally insane or underage when murder is committed, he will come out well. Most of those executed are black of course. Gore will probably find himself insincerely mouthing platitudes about getting tough with criminals, and even advocate the death penalty – you can’t ignore public opinion – but the voters won’t believe him.These murky issues are supported by Mercury transits in October/November which – unsurprisingly show the usual recipe: deceit and lies.
Looking at the graphic ephemeris for this period we can see that Mercury enters Scorpio and goes retrograde, conjoining Neptune in Aquarius three times in the process. One can almost hear the frantic digging for dirt. Be prepared: at this stage of the campaign there will be some terrible mud-slinging. Innuendoes and aspersions will be cast in the desperate hope that something will stick… and of course it will. With Neptune precisely on Gore’s Descendant during this period, there will be many factors undermining him … probably not least the influence of Clinton. Quite extraordinarily Mercury will turn stationary direct on the exact date of the election at 29.56 Libra. In other words for a few hours Mercury gets to feel the cool breeze of Libra after the fog and chaos of its sojourn in Scorpio square Neptune. It is as if the fog clears on that day, and justice is after all seen to be done. Or, perhaps, a sudden piece of news about an old relationship suddenly casts light on the rumours and lies that have been circulated.Gore is a fighter, but he’s not dirty.
George W. Bush
George W. Bush has far better qualifications for handling this Mercury in Scorpio, because he is born with a Mercury/Pluto conjunction on his Ascendant. Naturally Bush has his fair share of secrets, but it is questionable whether they will ever be extracted from him. Everything that Bush says is carefully measured. This is a man who has learned a lot from his father, who was also a man of many secrets. Actually Bush senior and junior have the Moon in exactly the same place, and this is significantly placed in the 10th house of the USA horoscope, conjoining USA Saturn (which relates strongly to Congress). Of course Bush is already Governor of Texas, so he’s doing fine in Congress, as well he might with the beautiful influence of Venus in Leo in the first sextile Moon/Jupiter in Libra in the third.
Here is a popular man, born with a silver spoon in his mouth, charming and gifted in expression. A debate between him and Gore will be almost embarrassing. As Gore will never outcharm him, he could only win by showing Bush as superficial on the outside, and harbouring dirty secrets on the inside.Bush professes Republicanism with a human face, and I am sure he can deliver this. With the Ascendant ruler Sun, in Cancer and the 12th, he is undoubtedly a caring person. The sextile from the Sun to Mars in Virgo in the second indicates that he would support spending to relieve suffering. The Uranus/Node trine Moon/Jupiter, sextiled by Venus in Leo, indicates he could bring happiness and prosperity, and encourage great growth in education and technology. Still, there seems to be a lot of personality, and not a whole lot of substance… though when has this been a hindrance in American politics?
Gore and the US chart
To win the hearts and minds of the American people, there has to be a strong activation of the US chart. Bush has this considerably more strongly than Gore. Interestingly Venus at 26 Taurus in Gore’s chart squares the Moon at 27 Aquarius in the US chart, whilst his Moon at 3 Capricorn opposes the US Venus. It could be that this does not endear him to that most important part of the American electorate… its women. Or perhaps that he does not harmonise with the American taste for sentimentality. (Venus in Cancer conjunction Jupiter in the US chart can’t get any sweeter). Or his concern for the environment does not fit with an American’s concern for comfort. So there is an instinctive antipathy here. However, the Moon Venus square does actually repeat itself on the election day… a fact that could go in Gore’s favour.
Bush and the US chart
Astonishingly Bush has his Sun on the US Sun at 13 Cancer, which would mean that he is a natural choice for President symbolically speaking. With Venus sextile the US Mars, the Moon conjoining Saturn, and Uranus conjoining Mars, Bush is definitely presidential material. Interestingly too, Bush’s Ascendant falls on the US node, and thereby activates the infamous Mars/Neptune square by semisquare, keying him in rather dangerously to the weapons culture (which as a republican he tacitly supports.)
The Jupiter/Pluto opposition
Although there is an emphasis on Taurus early on in the campaign, later on both Saturn and Jupiter enter Gemini, and there is a very powerful Jupiter/Pluto opposition in September/October 2000 at around 10 degrees Gemini/Sagittarius. This will surely be a major theme of the election, and it speaks of religious fundamentalism, education (and school extremism), and foreign policy ideology. As this is happening on the US Ascendant and Uranus, there may be very explosive foreign policy developments at this time. Some form of paranoia may galvanise the American people, possibly connected with terrorism and Islam. Bush has famously revealed a very poor knowledge of foreign affairs, so he will be tested at this time. But actually, he, like Clinton (who also has the Jupiter/Uranus trine) will probably do very well in this department when put to the test. With his Moon/Jupiter in Libra sextile Venus he is, in contrast to his father, a peacemaker. However he is also a Star Wars man, and is sure to encourage high tech development.
The Winning Combination
At the time of the election the progressed Mercury of Bush will be at 21.05 Leo, within 25 minutes of arc from his natal Venus. His progressed Uranus supports this by advancing to 21.26 Gemini making an almost exact sextile to Venus. His progressed Venus is at 21.47 Libra, trining progressed Uranus, and sextiling progressed Mercury, and sextiling natal Venus. A nice pattern, and with the progressed Moon at 12 Libra which will curiously conjoin USA Saturn at the time any oath may be taken in January 2001. Also, if you agree with the birth time of 17.10 for USA giving an Ascendant of 12 Sagittarius (and some astrologers prefer the earlier time of 16.50), then the US progressed Ascendant is 21.47 Leo… somewhat dramatically making George the Man of the Moment.
What will the Future bring?
Still, it is an interesting fact that America’s progressed Sun is at 26 Aquarius at inauguration of the next president, and in the space of one year will go on to conjoin the all-important Sun dispositor in the US chart… the Moon at 27 degrees Aquarius. Had there been a woman in the running for president, this may have been the indication that her time had come. Often it is factors like this that help decide the winner in the US election. For example, when Clinton came to power progressed Venus in the US chart moved in to 0 degrees Aries (conjoining US IC), showing a new style of woman entering the White House. Hillary Clinton was to represent this new Venus in Aries spirit. It would seem that the American people will be galvanised in some extraordinary way in the year 2001/2002. My guess is that Elizabeth Dole will be chosen as the running mate for Bush, and will have a very special role to play during the presidential term.© Adrian (Jan 5, 2000)
For data sources see: http://www.astrologer.com/aanet/index.html
The Man One of the most fascinating characters of our time is the Indian author Salman Rushdie, born in Bombay on 19th June 1947 and now living in hiding somewhere in the United Kingdom under the protection of the British state. Salman Rushdie is a magical author whose grasp of so-called reality brings the reader into a world in which everything is possible and where the imagination is supreme. I have heard, but I do not know if it is true, that Rushdie was a copywriter who made a fortune from creating a slogan for cream cakes. The slogan was “naughty but nice”. The wonderful thing about this slogan is that consumers are being given permission to enjoy themselves – it becomes permitted to break the rules for the sake of pleasure. For, if there is one thing that runs through the books of Salman Rushdie, it is a tolerance, acceptance and compassion for the ordinary human being, whose lot in life is, generally speaking, rather hard. Another theme which can be discerned from the writing of Salman Rushdie is his contempt for those who have sold their souls for power.
The Individual and the Nation
Not only is Salman Rushdie a great novelist, he also has a wonderful sense of the nature of time and the significance of the moment. In his first major success, Midnight’s Children , the opening paragraph describes the main character’s fictive birth in this way: “I was born in the city of Bombay … once upon a time. No, that won’t do, there’s no getting away from the date: I was born in Doctor Narlikar’s Nursing Home on August 1 5th, 1947. And the time? The time matters, too. Well then: at night. No, it’s important to be more … On the stroke of midnight, as a matter of fact. Clock-hands joined palms in respectful greeting as I came. Oh, spell it out, spell it out: at the precise instant of India’s arrival at independence, I tumbled forth into the world”. During the book Salman Rushdie shows he is fully aware of how significance is embedded in every moment of time, and appreciative of the fact that the birth of the individual and of the nation are part and parcel of the same energy – a central theme for the whole concept of astrology. Those children born closest to midnight at the time of the independence of the Indian nation somehow encapsulate the fate of that nation during the course of their lives. Salman Rushdie was actually born remarkably close to the time of Indian independence, so there is perhaps some correlation to the fate of both Salman Rushdie and India.
At any rate, in the month of February 1989 – in a remarkable parallel to the central idea of Midnight’s Children , in which the historical development of India is a secondary yet causative theme in the life of the central character – riots in England, Pakistan and India left several dead and hundreds wounded as a result of the launch of Salman Rushdie’s book – The Satanic Verses – which was alleged to have blasphemed the Muslim religion. At the same time, Salman Rushdie’s life as a hunted man began. On February fourteenth 1989 the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran issued an Islamic death sentence – fatwa – on the novelist and Salman Rushdie has been on the run ever since. The death sentence, which technically extends to anyone who even owns the best-seller, cost the life of the novel’s Japanese translator who was stabbed to death in 1991 – and its Italian translator was wounded during a knife attack in the same year.
Looking at the horoscope of Salman Rushdie, the planetary positions powerfully show the theme of writing. If we are to accept the data from an Indian astrological magazine, Salman Rushdie was born at sunrise just four hours after a new Moon in Gemini. This new Moon was in precise conjunction with Uranus, and even more precise semisquare to Pluto. The connection with Pluto and Uranus emphasizes the theme of terror embodied in this time, and the provocative nature of Salman Rushdie himself. Obviously Salman Rushdie was destined to shake up the intellectual community with his writings. He is a revolutionary whose job it is to communicate ideas from a completely new angle. It was at this time that Sony Corporation had its beginnings – another example of the revolution in communication that happened at this time. Also, in an interesting parallel to the fatwa, at the time of his birth in America, alleged Communist sympathisers in Hollywood were rounded up and forced to reveal any connections with the Communist Party. And those that refused – the Hollywood Ten – were sent to jail. America certainly had its own capitalist equivalent to the fatwa at this time. Other indications which are favourable for writing in the horoscope of Salman Rushdie are the conjunction between Venus and the North Node – also in Gemini – which shows, through the trine to Neptune in Libra, the capacity to communicate in a lyrical and poetic way. Venus and the Node in the 12th house indicates the creative and lonely exile of Salman Rushdie, and the precise sextile to Saturn may also show the difficulties and restraint which must be involved in all his relationships, now that he can rarely show himself openly.
Mercury, the planet which traditionally represents the power of communication, is placed at 21 degrees Cancer in trine to Jupiter in Scorpio and in a precise sextile to Mars in Taurus. It is a very curious thing that the twenty-first degree of Cancer and Capricorn are associated, directly or indirectly, with warped values and murder. Mass murderers have throughout history had a tendency to have significant planets placed on this degree, as has been well-documented by astrologer Dennis Elwell in his book The Cosmic Loom . Considering the placement of Mercury for Salman Rushdie, it is interesting then that the writings of Salman Rushdie have been so profoundly associated with death.
Mercury makes an extraordinary journey in Rushdie’s progressive horoscope. Starting at 21 Cancer, it goes stationary retrograde around the age of 12, fatefully returning to the 18th degree of Cancer where it trines Jupiter at the ill-reputed degree 18 degrees Scorpio (associated in horary astrology with ill-fated Serpentis ). The retrograde Jupiter in Scorpio likewise makes a retrograde journey in the progressed horoscope, and Mercury makes rendezvous twice with this planet – the last time being when both are direct in 1988 with the release of The Satanic Verses. With this “fortunate” trine – the fated meeting between the writer Mercury and the religious fanatic Jupiter in Scorpio – Salman Rushdie made his name internationally.
The Fundamentalist Weapon
At the time of the fatwa in 1989 the planet traditionally associated with death, Pluto, was at the 15th degree of Scorpio. Some astrologers call the fifteenth degree of the fixed signs the Avatar degree – it is the point at which a planet has the greatest power. Looking at the horoscope for noon on February 14 1989 we can also see that Mars is at 15 degrees Taurus – in exact opposition to Pluto. The significance of this opposition can hardly be underestimated. This was one of the most murderous days in this century – aptly reflected in the riots of the time. The opposition of Mars and Pluto in so potent signs shows amongst other things the inhumanity of the inexorable will of the Iranian fundamentalists of the time. One could perhaps be tempted to have an understanding attitude towards pious Muslims who were offended by Rushdie’s work, but the horoscope for the fatwa has all the signatures for extremism and religious intolerance. The Sun squaring Jupiter from Aquarius to Taurus, shows a bigoted fixity of opinion, and this square makes a stressful midpoint pattern with the Neptune/Saturn conjunction in Capricorn showing the influence of religion on matters of state. This fatwa pandered to the populism of Moon in Gemini trine Venus in Aquarius, and is simply a work of evil-mindedness. The Mars/Pluto opposition falls on the Mars/Jupiter opposition in the horoscope of Salman Rushdie, and of course Mars in opposition to Jupiter reflects the struggle against religious fanaticism (Jupiter retrograde in Scorpio) which has always characterised Salman Rushdie. Unfortunately, by presenting the wife of Mohammed as a prostitute, Salman Rushdie gave expression to the subsidiary sexual theme in this opposition with the appalling consequences this was to have subsequently in his life.
Progressions for 1989
That 1989 would be a fateful year for Salman Rushdie was clearly shown by the progressions at that time. Apart from the aforementioned progressed Mercury trine Jupiter, the Sun progressed was now at 6.40 Leo, precisely on the Saturn in his horoscope. Over the course of the next few years the progressed Sun would go on to make a conjunction with progressed Saturn. 1995 must have been the year when the trials and tribulations connected the death threat were at their highest. At this point Saturn progressed had reached Pluto progressed and the Sun progressed was in conjunction with both making a triple conjunction which would have been crushing for the soul, but obviously gave Salman Rushdie an almost superhuman power. There can be no doubt that there were concrete threats to his life during this period.
Rushdie – the Symbol
It is the fate of Salman Rushdie to have become more than simply a writer, he has also become a symbol – a symbol of the rights of the individual to express ideas and opinions in the face of intolerance and fundamentalism. Thus the symbol of Salman Rushdie has become more important than the author Salman Rushdie. He is a living challenge for democratic governments to manifest the their support for human rights in the face of economic and security pressures. In November 1996 the government of Denmark was nearly toppled because of the uproar in the intellectual community when the visit of Salman Rushdie was cancelled because of fears of repercussions from Islamic fundamentalists.Salman Rushdie performs in the literary world the same kind of function that the Dalai Lama performs in the spiritual – both reveal the cowardice and lack of principle amongst some government leaders and the courage and sense of principle amongst others. There can be no doubt which course of action is honourable yet political leaders persist in letting political or economic issues decide over matters of principle for short term gain.
Adrian Ross Duncan
The client A middle-age woman, who had spent most of her life alone, visited me one day, and the consultation was dominated by her fantasies about being followed by strange men and a general sense of being persecuted. She had Pisces rising on the Ascendant, with Neptune in exact conjunction with the Descendant, which, according to astrological theory, would tend to induce fantasies in relation to other people. When she left at the end of a rather difficult session – as she was obviously something of a borderline case – I decided to go shopping. After some minutes I opened my door to leave my office, only to find the client talking to herself on the stairs. Acutely aware that it might seem like I was following her, I smiled weakly and closed the door again, waiting until I saw her depart in the direction of the bus stop. I then left, taking a new route into town so as not to pass the bus stop, and after about 20 minutes brisk walk I arrived at the town square. As I entered the square the bus drew up and my client got out, virtually bumping into me. She took one look at me, abruptly turned around and walked rapidly in the opposite direction! Were the stories of being followed that this lady told true, or not?
One of the difficulties about ascertaining truth is to define the yardstick with which to measure it. Scientists have developed complex systems of measurements which have enabled them to map out the material world and describe its workings in intricate detail. Traditionally there has been a clearly defined division between subject – the inquiring mind – and object – outer reality. Though no more than a working hypothesis which is under constant revision, the belief system of science has functioned well. However, as science in the 20th century examines extreme states in the material world – sub-atomic particles and phenomena in the deepest reaches of space – the subject/object division begins to be undermined. On a simple level a researcher intent on a particular pursuit will automatically make choices which favour an intended result, and on a more subtle level in the sub-atomic world at least – the actual intention of the researcher can be scientifically shown to affect the outcome of the research. This means that modern science has now become aware that it must take the condition of the subject into account when measuring reality.
Cold Fusion confusion
On March 23rd 1989, the researchers Pons and Fleischmann claimed a world-shattering discovery at the University of Utah. The phenomenon of Cold Fusion was confidently announced to an astonished world. Instead of the several hundred million degrees normally considered necessary to fuse lighter nuclei into one heavier nucleus, thereby creating vast quantities of energy, these two researchers maintained that they had create fusion at room temperature. Initially this cold fusion process was apparently successfully replicated in France and in other laboratories around the world, yet at a subsequent federal conference in May, the process was discredited, and reports of successful replication dwindled. How could reputable scientists make such a mistake? It is an interesting fact that on March 23rd 1989 Saturn and Neptune were in tight conjunction, and this conjunction – which recurs in the heavens once every 36 years – lasted most of the year. Astrologers associate Saturn with form, and Neptune with dissolution, and on a more abstract level, Saturn relates to experienced fact and Neptune to fantasy and fiction. The conjunction occurred in the sign of Capricorn, which is connected with boundaries in the material world and the drive to overcome them (and on a more personal level the ambitious urge to rise in status).
As Saturn merges with Neptune an astrological picture arises of the fusion process, and the subsequent confusion about cold fusion, (- and loss of status for our two research scientists!). Was the whole thing fact or fiction? Such is the nature of Neptune – which casts its misty cloak around everything it touches – the truth may never emerge. Perhaps cold fusion really did happen, and can only repeat itself during the next conjunction of those representatives of the concrete and sublime, Saturn and Neptune? The important lesson of this event which shook the scientific world, was concerned with the nature of reality, the nature of illusion, and the difficulty of establishing objective truth.
As above, so below
The basic principle of astrology is that the smallest thing in the universe is subject to same process as the largest. The same rules apply for both, and indeed an action in one sphere will reflect an action in the other. That which affects us in our daily life reflects that which affects the universe. Furthermore time and the physical world are mutually interdependent. Astrology is unique in that it applies rules of correspondence between time and space, linking them to human character and history. Working with the concept of time and character brings an understanding of Fate – which in this context is in no way fixed, but interactive with character. If past actions create fate in the present, then so do present actions, putting the individual very much more in control of the time and its material consequences in the world than opponents of astrology might imagine.
Experience of the outer world is completely dependent on the physical senses and mental convictions of the individual. Apparent reality is entirely relative to the consciousness of the experiencer. Practising astrologers are well aware of how different psychological theories reflect the horoscopes of the psychologists who founded them. How literary themes reflect the lives of author. How films reflect the mind of the director. How actors choose roles reflecting their planetary transits. Every impression has to pass through the unique mental and physical filters of the individual. Considering the subjectivity of personal truth the most one can hope for in establishing truth is a broad agreement shared by as many people as possible about what standards to apply to reality.
The Battle for Truth
The more people who embrace a belief system the more power it has. That is why preaching was such an important part of the Christian religion. That is why defenders of the scientific model like the English professor Richard Dawkins and the American Carl Sagan invest so much energy defending the tenets of scientific belief and doing their utmost to discredit what they regard as the superstition of astrology. They understand that the real battle for truth is in winning the hearts and the minds of the people. Fighting for beliefs is essential to maintain power and influence. For astrologers the desire to defend their beliefs then is natural, though often misguided. Personal identity is often inextricably connected with the beliefs one embraces, and arguments are consequently infused with emotion, because a defence of beliefs often constitutes a defence of personal identity. It is normally the case that people cling to their beliefs during the whole of their adult life – especially if their work is centred around them. In the last analysis, great changes of thinking occur as old proponents of ideas lose influence and die, and proponents of new ideas come into prominence.
Unity in Duality
As we approach the millenium, and begin to integrate the philosophical consequences of the scientific discoveries of this century, a transition is occurring. Relativity theory shows the interactivity of subject and object, matter and energy, body and mind. The awareness of unity within duality is arising, and it is in this awareness that a meeting point can be found between the world of rational science and less-rational astrology. Astrology cannot be proved satisfactorily using methods of thinking founded on dualistic thought. But then there are aspects of modern science which do not respond well to dualistic logic either. Using old-fashioned scientific methods and demanding replication without consideration of the ever-changing cycles of time and its influence on the process, can lead both the modern scientist and the astrologer astray. Indeed, the successful practice of astrology is in fact dependent on the awareness of the interactivity between the mind of the astrologer and the object of his or her consciousness.
Astrology ascribes meaning to planetary events, and assumes that the energy which moves the universe has a kind of inherent intelligence. The astrologer maintains that there is a natural resonance between the evolving motion of the universe, and the development of the human soul. This is a very effective working hypothesis, and the astrologer who puts doubts about its effectivity aside and embraces the hypothesis wholeheartedly is rewarded by this intelligent universe. The clinical and objective approach of the sceptic will lead to very poor results in the interpretation process, whilst the enthusiastic believer will find himself in dialogue with a supportive universe, magically geared to his development.
The Consultation Moment
Consider the story mentioned earlier. I have clients daily and always uses the birth chart of the client in combination with the actual chart for the moment of arrival of the client. I find major correspondences between these two charts. One client born in January 1950 is a Capricorn with the Moon in Sagittarius and the Ascendant in Aries. The client arrives for the consultation in January 1996 with exactly the same combination of Sun, Moon and Ascendant. The chances of this happening are 1:1728. As if that were not enough Mercury is retrograde at 29 degrees Capricorn in both charts. This combination has only happened twice in the client’s life – at birth and during the day of the visit to the astrologer. Yet this kind of parallel is a normal occurrence in consultations.
The Unified Field
Astrologers – and indeed everyone else – create a world around them which reflects there methods for seeing the world. And the world responds intelligently. Events unfold in discrete harmony with the beliefs and conceptions of the observer. It is in the nature of things that events normally confirm convictions. Where the scientific approach to the consultation might see the client as the object, the non-dual approach sees the sensory and intellectual interaction of the astrologer and client as a unified field, which affects each individual equally. And in this unified field where consciousness focuses its attention on events, meaning arises. Objectifying astrology and trying to prove it removes the observer from the very field of consciousness in which astrology works so effectively. Conventional scientific methods may be effective at quantifying the stationary observable universe, but in the mysterious and invisible universe of consciousness – a world which has its parallels in the field of quantum mechanics – the concepts of relativity and paradoxes comes into their own.
The truth of Astrology will be accepted when the majority of people embrace it as a part of their reality. Today we are very close to this happening, and in all probability future generations will accept the natural correlation between Man and Cosmos in much the same way as we believe in, say, psychology, today. The question is not whether astrology is objectively true or not, but whether astrology will become a generally accepted representation of reality or not? Whatever the case, it should be clear that what the individual experiences as reality is not objective reality. Individually-experienced reality did not exist before the individual experienced it and will not exist after – the individual creates his own private experience of reality. This is why shared beliefs are so important – the more people who agree to share a certain interpretation of reality, the more that reality is validated. This does not make that reality objectively true. Astrology is simply a very good basis for constructing reality because it is based on the observable planetary system of which we are a part.
The Magic of Astrology
Astrologers will be able to produce irrefutable examples of the effectiveness of astrology. Obscure predictions which have come true. Wonderful correlations from their own life. But their reality is based on the same rules as the lady client described earlier. They are being followed – by the interaction of the world with their own belief systems. It is perhaps more relevant to ask whether the system in question enriches their life, whether it harms or does good, than whether it represents truth. The world is vast, and the capacity to extract meaning from it unlimited. Astrology is one way – a very effective way – of doing this. So is astrology true? Not in an absolute sense, no, but relatively yes, of course. It is arguably more effective than any other system for mapping out the character of events and their significance in time. It is not an infallible system, but it has its moments. As when Michael Baigent predicted so accurately in 1983 in the book Mundane Astrology that the Soviet Union would experience from 1989 – 1991 “some basic restructuring of the nation…a change …with regard to the leadership and the style of rule. It would appear possible that this period will herald some new revolution in Russia which would restructure the country dramatically… the tight command structure will fail and the country will collapse back into the numerous autonomous states that it once was”. Yes, there are times when it feels like a privilege to be granted insight into the ancient art.
Adrian Ross Duncan
GeneralizationsSun Sign astrology is a much-maligned branch of astrology. How can people be grouped into 12 categories and have generalisations made about them? Many people – and many astrologers – ridicule the idea. Yet much simpler generalizations exist and are accepted. What about naive generalizations about being “introvert” or “extrovert”. Or about being “typically” American, French, Indian etc.
A Comfortable Living
The extraordinary fact is, that most sun-sign columns in newspapers are written by very skilled astrologers, who excel in their field whether giving consultations, holding seminars or writing articles. Some keep a low profile about their sun sign work – some even have aliases like Orion etc. One of the nice things about writing a sun-sign column is that the astrologer is paid at going journalist rates – and that means well-paid. And God knows an astrologer deserves to be able to live a reasonable life – without having to be supported by a loving spouse or odd jobs.Full-time astrologers can develop truly professional skills which are of benefit to everyone.
Sun Sign skills
One point that critics do not realize is that writing sun sign analyses is difficult. Apart from considerable language skills and the ability to express universal ideas in a succinct manner, you have to have your finger on the pulse, you have to know exactly what’s going on in the heavens, and you have to have an incredible grasp of the 12 solar houses, their rulers – and the dispositors of these rulers. Talking to a skilled sun sign astrologer is an awesome experience. This person will be able to tell you the major themes in your life at any given moment – and give precise dates – whilst you, struggling with transits and progressions cannot even identify these changes with advanced methods.
How to do it
In this short article, I would like to show something of the complexity of this process. Take a look at the horoscope below: This shows the general situation when the Sun moved into Leo in July 1997. The secret of Sun Sign Astrology is to place zero degrees of the Sun Sign on the Ascendant, make a horoscope with Equal Houses and judge circumstances according to the relationships of Solar House Rulers, and, most importantly, concentrating on the “traditional” rulers for Scorpio (Mars), Aquarius (Saturn) and Pisces (Jupiter).
So what’s going on for Leos then? Well, for example Mars is in Leo’s 3rd House, and…oh, dear…opposition Saturn. So here comes a detailed interpretation for a Leo:
Trouble with authority in all education matters. An enormous workload. Brothers have a tendency to bully. Your partner (7th House Ruler Saturn in 9th) is under extreme severe attack (opp. Mars). This is a recurrence of circumstances which popped up in February 1997, only to recede again. (Why? Because Mars was opposite Saturn in February but went retrograde, and is now repeating the aspect) Recommended solution for partner: more freedom, alternative healing, travel. (Saturn is after all sextile Jupiter in Aquarius in the 7th) It is important for your partner to retrace his/her steps to pick up opportunities which presented themselves previously. (Saturn is now stationary and goes retrograde until 17 December)
Of course there is much more – that was just about Leo’s partner.
If analysing another sign, just place zero degrees of that sign on the Ascendant and go for it. Take a look at the following solar horoscope for Libra … same planetary positions, but the horoscope has been moved around. So how’s Libra (and Taurus, for that matter)? Well, Venus is changing signs from Leo, where she has been romanced, wined and dined, had fun with friends, and perhaps a little bit of travel too with the opposition to Jupiter in Aquarius. But, oh!…, she’s heading into her fall in Virgo, and to make matters worse hits a square to Pluto when already weakened. So here is the prediction:
The days of sunny romance are over, and you have to get down to practicalities. An existential crisis threatens (Venus is in the 12th) and it is time to abandon impractical beliefs and convictions. Avoid fanatical obsession with details. Traumas in your work life – secret enemies undermine your security. Be prepared to take a loss or make a break.
Well it’s not much fun for the Venus-ruled whilst Venus is in Virgo. No good aspects until the trine to Neptune at the end of the sign. (And she’ll need a drink by then!)
Those who are really skilled will be able to take dispositors into account. For example Venus in Virgo definitely suffers, but at present Mercury, the dispositor of Venus, is exalted in Virgo. Therefore she can expect honourable treatment from people who count. On the other hand, Mars’ situation, which is already appalling (in exile and opposition to Saturn) will be weakened further when Venus which disposes of him gets broken down in Virgo. It’s like being in a crumbling hotel in Baghdad, under siege by aggressive fundamentalists.
Go forth and practice!
Well, that’s how it’s done. Go forth to parties and other informal meets and astound your friends. If you know your stuff, you will always hit the mark.
Adrian Ross Duncan