2020 Virgo Ingress of the Sun

Musei Vaticani Caduceus

I rarely post on ingress charts other than the four cardinal Ingresses – the solstice and equinox events. Bot this is no ordinary year, by anyone’s standards and I’m there for watching the unfolding patterns that precede the Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius, an event that will have repercussions not only until the next Great Conjunction but also for the next two hundred years. The shift is from the  Earth to the Air Triplicity. I have elaborated on this elsewhere.

The chart is drawn up for Greenwich BST + 1. I will not, therefore, be referring to the house placements, as these will change from zone to zone I would focus on the salient dynamic of the event as they will be most relevant to the larger view. Primarily, I’m looking at the relationships of the chart as a whole to the Saturn and Jupiter conjunction and the role of Mars.

Notably, the Sun enters Virgo in the Decan and the Bounds of Mars and with Regulus (00. Vir. 06′ 21″). Mercury is in the Decan of Mercury and within the Bounds of the Sun. Mercury id the Lord of the Geniture. Mercury in Virgo is Hermes in his sign of Exaltation and Domicile.

Mars is in the decan of and the Bounds of Saturn and Decan of Venus, separating from a square to Jupiter and applying to a square with Saturn, which in turn is in the Bounds of Mars and the Decan of the Sun.

The Moon is in the 16th Lunar Mansion at 18 LI 44′ 11″ in the Tropical zodiac. The Mansion begins at 12 LI 51′ 22″ and ends at 25 LI 42′ 51″ Th Arabic name is Al Jubana, the Scorpion’s Claw. Ibn ‘Arabi (1200 AD) attributes this Mansion to The Sixth Heaven, the Sphere of Mercury, the Abode of ‘Isa (Jesus).

The principal stars are Zuban Elgenubi, which Claudius Ptolemy tell sus is on the nature of Saturn and Mars – and Zuben Eschemali is Jupiter and Mercury. of the nature of Jupiter and Mercury.

Most crucially, in this particular configuration, the Moon on the MC is in the Exaltation and Decan of Saturn, It is at these levels that the chart discloses a more sombre, dare I say ‘heavier’ than what a cursory reading may easily miss.

She is in the second Pada of Nakshatra Swathi – the Lord of this Nakshatra is Rahu and the Pada is that of Saturn.

The most intriguing theme is the Mars and Saturn signatures repeated throughout the geniture. This illustrates the ongoing pattern of strife we have seen throughout 2020 as we look forward to the Winter Solstice and the Great Conjunction.

We should not miss the extraordinary power of the Virgin herself. Her meaning has been horribly diminished and misunderstood, this distortion began in earnest nearly two millennia ago in the Christian West. although has survived in Paganism. Hinduism and other religious and philosophical traditions. Monica Sjoo writes:

“Ancient moon priestesses were called virgins. ‘Virgin’ meant not married, not belong to a man – a woman who was ‘one-in-herself’. The very word derives from a Latin root meaning strength, force, skill; and was later applied to men: virile. Ishtar, Diana, Astarte, Isis were all called virgin, which did not refer to sexual chastity, but sexual independence. And all great culture heroes of the past…, mythic or historic, were said to be born of virgin mothers: Marduk, Gilgamesh, Buddha, Osiris, Dionysus, Genghis Khan, Jesus – they were all affirmed as sons of the Great Mother, of the Original One, their worldly power deriving from her. When the Hebrews used the word, and in the original Aramaic, it meant ‘maiden’ or ‘young woman’, with no connotations to sexual chastity. But later Christian translators could not conceive of the ‘Virgin Mary’ as a woman of independent sexuality, needless to say; they distorted the meaning into sexually pure, chaste, never touched. When Joan of Arc, with her witch coven associations, was called La Pucelle – ‘the Maiden,’ ‘the Virgin’ – the word retained some of its original pagan sense of a strong and independent woman. The Moon Goddess was worshipped in orgiastic rites, being the divinity of matriarchal women free to take as many lovers as they choose. Women could ‘surrender’ themselves to the Goddess by making love to a stranger in her temple.” (The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth by Monica Sjoo. Harper Books.)

Ancient Akkadian cylinder seal depicting the goddess Inanna resting her foot on the back of a lion while Ninshubur stands in front of her paying obeisance, c. 2334-2154 BC (Wiki Commons.)

I believe that Sjoo has overstated the case, only insofar as she has implicitly downplayed the Mother’s necessary and obvious relationship with men in the act of procreation, but her book is decidedly within the tradition of feminist writers in the 1980s. We understand that this sensibility and means of presentation were necessary and that this by no means undermines her salient points. The power of the Virgin, as she recites, is indeed great and all to often ignored and devalued – one might even say taken for granted.

In this ingress, we see her with Regulus, of the nature of Mars and Jupiter and Guardian of the North. Due to precession, Regulus has entered Tropical Virgo.  Powerful Indian goddesses are often accompanied by Lions.

Regulus is highly auspicious. The star brings great success if revenge is avoided. This is, of course, a great challenge. Still, there is a gentleness in this powerful Heart of the Lion and it comes as no surprise that the healing Angel, Rahapel finds his place here in the North.  He is of the nature of Jupiter and Mars may, therefore, be read as Mercy and Severity, the essential symbols of the Pharaohs as rulers were the crook (heka) and the flail or flabellum (nekhakha). A good King needs to know when to use one or the other for the sake of the Kingdom. In this case, we have a wise Virgin empowered amongst many elements of discord. She meets them opposing energy that seeks healing, assisted by Venus in the Moon’s domicile of Cancer. The interplay of Masculine and feminine energies in this geniture is not to be missed.     

Recently, someone referred (not disparagingly) to my “dystopian views,” particularly in relation to The Novus Ordo Saeculorum, the New Order of the Ages – simply referred to as “New Age” by modern astrologers. For the record, my view is virtually identical to that of the late Robert Zoller, who wrote:

“The Novus Ordo Saeculorum, the New Order of the Ages, will rule through the power of life and death (Scorpio, which is on the 10th), through behaviour modification, cloning, genetic engineering, mind control and the occult. Might makes right in this New Age. If the preceding Age produced metaphysical materialists, who duped the people through the opiate of religion, the New Age will produce materialist metaphysicians who will make the preceding political power elites look like inept apprentices.

In the Age of Aquarius, religion will be humanistic love of fairness and justice. While feeding the people with Libran platitudes, the Scorpionic rulers will work tirelessly toward the realization of their goal – absolute power over others, as Leo is seen in position on the 7th house. The will of the people will be towards freedom of expression (Aquarius), and they will be encouraged to do their own thing so that they keep their minds off what their rulers do.”

Where I depart from Zoller is in my conclusions as to what the human spirit is capable of apropos of the dark prediction. My impetus in revealing the nature of the Age is not to instil a sense of despair, fear or apathy. I have refused to present a deceptively pollyanna picture of a seriously challenging time, one in which our very humanity is being undermined at every turn. The antidote to this is not blissful ignorance, but rather a fearless and realistic estimation of the forces at play. The solution is a focussed, grounded and informed consciousness.  If one has cancer, pretending it isn’t there is foolishness. Foreknowledge is power and empowers us further by affording us a chance to employ wise remedies to the ailments of the spiritual, mental and physical body and ultimately to the Earth and the web of life itself.

We live in a time of extraordinary consequence. The choices we make in the next few years may very well make the difference between thriving or perishing, not only for human beings but for all of the natural worlds in it’s myriad of dimensions.

Because this article is written as part of a series related to the march towards the Solstice, it is best read in concert with the previous entries in this series.,

Figure of the Virgin – 1440-1450 Book of Hours, the Fastolf Master, Bodleian Library, Oxford

The Lion & the Serpent – Tulsi Gabbard II

Aslesha – Artist Unknown

In my previous reading of Tulsi Gabbard’s chart, I used a tropical zodiac, with the tropical;y placed  Nakshatra for the Moon. I agreed with one of the followers of the blog that more could be done. I have therefore chosen to read the entire chart as sidereal. rather than simply read the relevant nakshatra in sidereal, You may find this confusing or even pointless. I only ask that you take the advice of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and exercise a “willing suspension of disbelief.”

The nakshatra I focused on in the previous chart was Magha. Here, I’m drawing and reading a chart for exactly the same place, date and time, This connects the Moon to the ninth Nakshatra or Lunar Mansion

The 9th Lunar Mansion comes in the Zodiac Sign of Cancer.  The name of this nakshatra is Ashlesha, which means “the entwiner” It is also known as the  “the Clinging star” like a desire to embrace. the thing with which it is linked to. deity is Naagraj Vasuki, the Naga or Serpent of Wisdom. The key symbol is readily recognized as the Caduceus, associated with Medicine and Mercury, the latter being the Lord of this Nakshatra.

Further, the image represents both poison and medicine in concert, There is more than one way of interpreting this but they are all related. Like arsenic, the difference between medicinal and poisonous is the dosage and also of intent. This can also be seen as offering to heal one who is poisoned. The nagas are shown as the celestial vehicle and protection of Vishnu, as he dreams Creation into being.

Budha (Mercury)

This is a very intense Nakshatra and how it plays out will be a result of how it is managed or channelled. The embraces [the Serpents) are approaching indirectly [abhyāgacchantaḥ] from above and indirectly dancing towards [abhyānṛtyantaḥ] from below. See the Taittiriya Brahmana which goes unto great depth.

Primary Motivation is dharma. Ashlesha represents the Kundalini or Serpent Fire that is located at the Muladhara or Root Chakra (at the base of the spine).it has mystical powers, electrifying, transformative power., and ultimately serves as a vessel to enlightenment. The Serpent Power is the name given to the Kundalini. Misuse of this can do a great deal of damage, yet skilful and conscious raising of the Kundalini. is something that can be accomplished to great advantage by a skilled yogi

Tulsi Gabbard Nativity – 12/4/1981 – 14:40:00 – Pago Pago, American Samoa – Lahiri Ayanamsa. The chart displays the nakshatras abbreviated text.

Crucially. , the Moon in Gahhad’s chart is further emphasized by Rahu, also in the First House. The nature of the Moon (Chandra) in Indian astrology is “”Abounding in Vata and Kapha and filled with knowledge is the Moon is of round body, O’ Twice Born, auspiciously eyed, of sweet speech, fluctuating and lovesick.”Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra: Nature and Form of the Grahas, 24 The Avatar is Krishna Budha (Mercury) 

We look also to the sign of the Moom -Cancer – Karka” crab” Rasi “Pale red (pATala), moving in water, a Brahmin, vigorous at night, many moving legs, a stout body, endowed with Sattva, watery and Back Rising is thought the Crab Rasi ruled by the Moon.” Brihat Parashara Hora Sastra, 4 – Rasi Characteristics, 10-11

Let’s consider Rahu (North Node) in Gabbard’s first house, in relation to what we have seen in the Moon and Nakshatra. Rahu is the Pushya nakshatra. The auspiciousness [tishya] of bṛhaspati (The Lord of Devotion) is worshipping [juhvataḥ] from above and the worshippers [yajamin ānā] from below. Taittiriya Brahmana The Lord of the Nakshatra is Saturn.

Crucially. , the Moon in Gahhad’s chart is further emphasized by Rahu, also in the First House. The Moon is in her own Domicile in Cancer so in many respects this a better placement than Moon in Leo as we had in the tropical chart. The change from fire to water would mean less sunny charisma and more empathy and intuition. The Node in the same sign as the Moon and in the Ascending position is intense. Simply put, the 1/7 axis may cause a conflict between the needs of self and others. about which Komilla Sutton writes in her book The Lunar Nodes – Crisis & Redemption, In this case, the emphasis is on empathetic power, due to the sign and Moon’s influence.

My experience of using sidereal and tropical is that they tell the same or similar story but in different ways. It is common for people to find a resonance in their sidereal chart, even if they have known only their tropical chart for decades.

The Lion & the Unicorn

hunt_captive_unicorn1I have long wondered about the deeper significance  of the Lion and the Unicorn myth or folklore. I had suspected it to be astrological

The Lion and Unicorn are perhaps best known these days as the Royal insignia of the United Kingdom. The emblematic qualities of the lion are well known. We can’t say the same for the unicorn. James I saw the lion and unicorn as solar and lunar. He insisted the unicorn be in the Bible that bore his name.

There is a nursery rhyme about the conflict and the clear associations of the Lion with England  and the Unicorn with Scotland:

The lion and the unicorn

Were fighting for the crown;

The lion beat the unicorn

All round about the town.

However it doesn’t tell us why the Unicorn was chosen for Scotland to be then coupled with the Lion for England. The association of Solar and Lunar makes sense. Writ large it’s a reconciliation of opposites and a harbinger of a united realm. We have the first astrological clue: but there is more to this story.

In the seventeenth century, the Unicorn was added as a constellation:  translated as Monocerus, it’s a  faint constellation on the celestial equator. This doesn’t really signify very much except the popularity he enjoyed in the seventeenth century.

The Lady & the Unicorn

The Lady & the Unicorn

In works of art, the Lion and Unicorn are shown with other animals, holding the gates to the tent open. There is a lady in the  centre, accompanied by a smaller, probably younger lady.  Considering the context it’s easy to see this as a form of sexual initiation in the guardian presence of the Lady and the Unicorn. This all starts to look like an elaborate rite of passage.

The unicorn is invariably seen with a female figure. In the picture at the top of the page, she is holding up a mirror to the unicorn. This furthers the lunar imagery by introducing the topos of reflected light. The female figures look like madonnas, as in the golden statuary below.  The Virgin holds the Unicorn.

As benevolent as unicorns may be, they were mercilessly hunted in an elaborate tradition. Hildegard of Bingen wrote some material on the best way to do this. She suggested that one should use more than one virgin, One can distract him while the other facilitates his capture.

We need to step back and refer to ancient history and cosmology for the meaning of the Lion and the Unicorn. There is a legend well-known throughout the middle east for which I cannot find a definitive written source. It may very well be in the oral record only.

At the beginning of Creation or dawn of time, the lion and the Unicorn chased each other across the heavens. For 14 years the lion chased the unicorn, and it ran away, and the next 14 years, the unicorn chased the lion, until it began to gain on it, and the lion headed towards earth where, either, it hid behind a tree which the unicorn charged into, got stuck and then eaten by the lion, or, it speared the lion with its horn.

This has to be an allegory for the Lunar cycle in relation to the Solar cycle –  using a day for a year. This a cosmic dance, not warfare. It looks as if an ancient pagan legend has been adopted and developed by Christianity. It certainly wasn’t the first time.

This simple but valuable allegory of the Sun and Moon had to accept some additions, even some highly irrational ones. The fairly obvious gesture towards the person of Christ also facilitates the subject of virginity, The Unicorn is only be accessible to virgins.220px-Poliptyk_Zwiastowania_z_Jednorożcem_02

The Christian iconography of the Madonna and Child seems perfectly at home here; but we still have a Unicorn who doesn’t want to be tamed and has to be trapped into service, which undermines the Christ analogy.

Apparently, he also needs to be fenced in or shall we say harnessed. This seems to refer to the passage in Job wherein the Unicorn is a great power if he can be domesticated. In Job 39:9–12 we read that the unicorn, “whose strength is great,” is useless for agricultural work, refusing to serve man or “harrow (plow) the valley.” He must be tamed.

I can’t help but think the always circular Unicorn enclosures are but another dimension of the marriage of the Sun and Moon.

I’m certain there is a great deal more behind this iconography and allegory, but it really looks like Lunar and Solar iconography gone slightly off the grid.