The horoscope for the Vernal Equinox is among the most important considerations in Mundane (world) Astrology, not least because it provides us with the Lord or Lady of the Year.The chart I will be reading is specifically for PDT, although some elements will apply to all. Because the chart LOY is cardinal and in a cadent houser, The influence will be felt most strongly for perhaps 6 months.

This year, it occurs immediately prior to on the New Moon in Aries, with MC, Jupiter, Sun and Moon in the 9th house on the.The Sun is in his joy,occupying the first Lunar Mansion with Mercury in a is diurnal  chart. The Day and Hour are of the Moon. The Moon resides in the 28th Luna mansion-  echoing an Alpha and Omega.theme of the luminaries..

Let’s consider the Ascendant which occurs at 0:°︎Leo, the same degree and minute as the Sun, whom he disposits. .Aries is the Exaltation of the Sun which in turn is the Almuten,Figuris The Sun occupies the first Lunar Mansion with Mercury. The Moon is in the 28th Lunar mansion – Alpha and Omega. Moreover, the Sun is in his Joy in the 9th house.

Vernal Equinox – 20 Mar 2023 AD GC. 2:45:00 PM. Victoria, British Columbia PDT

One means of calculating the Lord or Lady of the Geniture is by reference to Essential and Accidental Dignities.This is most commonly used in horary and natal astrology and yields accurate results.. If we used this method, the Venus in her vespertine waxing phase in her own domicile in Taurus, free of the beams, in sect and  conjunct the Node is an extraordinary placement. The all-important Lord or Lady of the year is calculated with reference to the total of is the clear winner. As such she is very much the emissary of the chart. This position should by no means be ignored in the larger picture. It is important to note that this status of Venus remains constant across all time zones.

The Sun from Persian Manuscript 373 Wellcome Library

More often, in Mundane the primary considerations is judgment of the Ascendant. In the words of Mā Shā’ Allāh ibn Athari (Arabic: : ما شاء الله إبن أثري) )

” Therefore, if you wish to know the Lord of the Year, look at the Ascendant and its Lord, and at the Lord of the exaltation of the Ascendant (if there were an exaltation of some planet in that sign), and the Lord of the bounds and the triplicity, and the place of the hour from the Ascendant, and see of what kind are their places relative to each other, and what kind they are in the place of the enmity of the Ascendant, and which in place of friendship.” See Works of Sahl & Māshāʾallāh. Trans B.N. Dykes 2008 p, 325.

In this case, we need go no further. The Lord of the Year (LOY) is the Sun in the 9th house.(WS). He is in the decan of Mars and the bound of Jupiter. The Ascendant is in the decan of Saturn and bounds of Venus. Māshāʾallāh tells us that ” Aries and it’s triplicity (Leo and Sagittarius) are signs of the east; which if the came together with the Ascendant , their signification will be stronger.” (327 There is no significant impediment to the Sun’s position as LOY.

The 9th house rules philosophical matters, higher mind, the judicial system, morality, religion, diplomacy, foreign missions and the house of the Sun God in the Hellenistic tradition.  As mentioned, the Sun is in his joy in this house. The association with Mars, however may not bring out the best in him. There is rashness afoot.

It is here that the powerful Venus placement ameliorates the situation. The 9th house informs the 10th. The midheaven is in Aries, but the angular 10th holds Venus and the Node. This is a place of considerable power. With an unafflicted,Venus we have pleasantries such as the arts, music , as well as diplomacy and decorum. There is an association with peace when Venus is in this phase. But this particular placement speaks more than anything elses of feminine power..

Graphic illustration of Collection of Light

Mars is Gemini in the 11th will serve.Venus. There is a fascinating and comparatively rare phenomena in traditional astrologer referred to as the collection light and the effect is for light to be collected and transferred – in this case from the Sun. Moon and Mercury to a mercurial Mars. The themes continues.

As if to mirror this, Venus is in opposition to the Arabic Parts of Reason and Rectitude This placement tends to excess, even obsession. This is where the 9th house influence will provide some admittedly heated impetus.

In mundane astrology the 8th house signifies among other things natural catastrophes, debt, death rate of a country, import/export, other people’s money, taxes, litigations,  scarcity, the occult or hidden things generally., archeology, epidemics and litigations.

The Moon and the 6th house are co-significators of the common people and in the 8th, squared to Mars, they suffer greatly. With Saturn also in the 8th house, this is not  made a bit more gloomy. If we also consider the fact that there is no effective financial significator in the chart, this theme is underscored. We would not expect significant improvements in the economic realm this the areas this chart signifies.

To look more closely at the Moon, I would like to indicate what may be gleaned from reference to the Lunar Mansions according to Ibn Arabi. Note that I concur with Dykes that the sidereal mansions are the logical choice because the fixed stars are what defines them. See his comment in Astrology of the World I: The Ptolemaic Inheritance (2013) p. 16.

In this case, Luna is in Pisces in the final mansion. We might say, the end of the matter,.

The 28th Lunar Mansion starts from 17 PI 08′ 34″ and ends at 00 AR 00′ 00″. Considering this is immediately prior to the Sun’s position in the 1st mansion, this is immediately germane.The Arabic name is Al Batn al Hut, the belly of the fish.The constellation originally associated with this mansion is Andromeda.The principal star associated with this mansion is Mirach (beta Andromeda).The key theme here is one of endings. Dorotheus suggest that even a partnership beginning well, will end badly.

The Sun (LOY) is with Mercury in the 1st Lunar Mansion, Al-Sharatain, the horns of Aries The principal stars associated with this mansion are Sheratan (beta Aries) and Mesarthim (gamma Aries .According to Ptolemy, the nature of Sheratan is Mars and Saturn. Dorotheus suggests this mansion is Good for buying tame animals, for journeys, especially voyages, for making arms, planting trees, cutting hair or nails, putting on new clothes. importantly for the overall chart, this is not a place of compromise,.

This Spring will be noticeably drier and colder than average. May 16-24 are likely to be the rainy exception.Planting some crops may need to be delayed until this time.This will give way to much hotter than average weather as we approach the Summer Solstice.

Root vegetables such as carrots and parsnip do well in these conditions, as do most varieties of beans, melons and okra. Vegetables such as lentils, lettuces, peas and kale do not do well in hot dry conditions, so these should be planted as early as possible.

The cardinal equinoctial and solstice points are of the utmost importance in Mundane astrology. The ought to be recognized and celebrated as integral elements in a cosmic unfolding, a source of detailed information regarding events and conditions in our collective and personal lives. .


Caption Persian astronomy. Historical artwork showing a group of astronomers led by Persian astronomer Nasir al-Din Tusi (Nasireddin or Tusi, 1201-1275) at his observatory near Meraga (Maragheh) in what is now northwestern Iran. The observatory was established in 1259. Several other prominent astronomers worked here with Tusi. Twelve years of observations produced the Ilkhanic Tables of planetary movements, completed in 1272. This artwork is a miniature painting from the manuscript ‘Tevarih-i guzide’ (circa 1563).

With respect to the great Persian astrologers of the pre and early Islamic period of the Sassanian dynasty  (224-651 CE)  one requires some working knowledge of the influential Bundahisn, meaning “Primal  Creation,” also known as the Zoroastrian Book of Creation.

A series of cataclysmic invasions of Persia resulted in the destruction of the bulk of the Zoroastrian scriptures, namely the Avesta. The first assault was suffered during Alexander of Macedonia’s invasion in 330 BCE. This was accompanied by devastation and mass killings of priests who had preserved the work in an oral tradition. Then between 640-650 CE came the Arab Muslim invasions bent on mass conversions and the burning of Persian texts, including the Avesta. What fragments remained were largely destroyed in the Mongol and Turkic invasions. The result is that “today, out of the twenty-one books of the Sassanian era Avesta, only one complete book and fragments of others survive. The surviving texts are nevertheless one and a half times the size of the Koran, and are arranged as five books plus fragments.” (See K. E. Eduljee).

This reality makes the recovery of the Greater Bundahishn that much more important. This brief article is meant as a concise introduction to the work and its enormous significance.

The Persian contribution to early astronomy and astrology should not be underestimated, At the time of Persian history, particularly from the last decades of the fifth century BC until Alexander’s conquest was the most fertile period of Babylonian mathematical astronomy.:

“Astronomical schools existed in Uruk, Sippar, Babylon and Borsippa. The Achaemenians maintained an atmosphere favourable to the development of science. Under Darius, a great Babylonian astronomer, Nabu-rimanni (Naburianus), was instructed to carry out a study of lunar eclipses and arrived at calculations more accurate than those of Ptolemy and Copernicus. His works were translated and used for many centuries by all including Seleucid and Parthian rulers of Persia. His picture of Heavens was borrowed by the Greeks and eventually reached the famous Greek scientist Democritus. The terminology employed by Naburianu includes spheres, orbits, ecliptic, inclination, celestial equator, poles, circular motion, revolutions, retrogression, moon’s highest north and south latitudes. All were used extensively by Greek astronomers including the brilliant Eudoxus of Cnidus, precursor of Euclid. Another well known Babylonian astronomer under Persian rule, Kidinnu (Cidenas) of Sippar, distinguished the solar year from the lunar, discovered the precession of the equinoxes and arrived at an exact calculation of the length of the year, making an error of only 7 minutes, 41 seconds.” See Astrology & Astronomy in Iran and Ancient Mesopotamia by Massoume Price.

As I have indicated elsewhere:, The Greater Bundahishn is a compendium of ideas that are believed to pre-date Zoroastrianism, but the core is true to the cosmology of that religion. There are also some elements that would indicate knowledge relatively contemporary to its ninth-century appearance.

Fortunately, a brilliant new critical edition and translation of this work was completed by Domenico Agostini & Samuel Thrope and published by OUP in 2020 All references to the Bundahisn in the current article to this edition, unless otherwise stated.

I will focus specifically on the Creation of the Lights as described in The Greater Iranian Bundahishn. I would contend that without an understanding of this, the astrological writers of the period can be but partially understood. It will become apparent that although the text is first and foremost a Zoroastrian and Persian text, it reveals the extent to which Hellenistic and Indian traditions were well understood by the Persian author(s).

It behoves us to familiarize ourselves with the philosophical, cosmological or mystical underpinnings of any given system. This is an essential step in understanding the context of extant writings in Persian astrology, of which there is an abundance, most of which has only recently been translated into English.

It is also important to understand that: “Astronomy and its companion ‘applied science’ of astrology, were central features of the intellectual landscape of the early Islamic period . Observations of the heavens as well as the science of astronomy, have long pedigrees in Iranian culture generally and in Zoroastrian texts specifically. During the Sassanian period, Babylonian, Greek, and Indian traditions were synthesized in a single science that was part of the inherited Islamic intellectual tradition. “A special class of professionals were active in the art at the Sasanian court, producing horoscopes and predictions, as well as serving as translators and specialists on mathematical and scientific issues.” (Bundahisn p.16).

In a commentary to his own translation, Zeke J.V. Kassock states that “The Bundahishn is a collection of ideas, cosmogonies, cosmologies, histories, genus species and geographies. Most information is from pre-Sassanian Iran and Sassanian Iran, though some are from post-Islamic Iran. It can be divided into two categories, the Greater (Iranian) Bundahishn, and the Lesser (Indian) Bundahishn.” (The Greater Iranian Bundahishn A Pahlavi Student’s 2013 Guide p.i )

This Greater Bundahishn is approximately twice as long. as the Lesser (Indian ) Bundahishn. Neither is considered scripture. The Greater, in particular, draws heavily from the Avesta and Zoroastrianism, often starting sentences with “Gōwēd pad Dēn
kū”, “It is said in the Religion.” (ibid.)

The Bundahishn, or Zoroastrian ‘Primal Creation’ 17th or 18th Century – British Library Mss Avestan 22The text of the Bunda­hišn “probably grew through different redactions, but it is not possible to provide a precise date the first compilation was made. . Most scholars subscribe to the view … that it is “an original work on cosmology in which the scattered teachings of the Avesta were coordinated and brought into a system by an author who, living presumably towards the end of the Sassanian epoch, possessed an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Avestic literature … This author also had some knowledge of the Greek scientific literature that had reached Iran under the Sassanians. For example, the contents of chapter XXVIII bear a similarity to the Hippocratic treatise Peri hebdomádōn. Chapter II on astronomy manifests, besides nearly prehistoric views, an acquaintance with Greek and Indian science..” See the article in Encyclopedia Iranica for a more complete treatment of this.

The recent Oxford edition is splendid, distinguishing itself not only in its linguistic brilliance but also with respect to its insightful and extensive commentary. It is however expensive and is not likely to be available to most of my readers. I, therefore, quote from Zand-Akashi: Iranian or Greater Bundahishn. Trans. Behramgore Tehmurus Anklesaria Published for the Rahnumae Mazdayasnan Sabha by its Honorary Secretary Dastur Framroze A. Bode. Bombay 1965.

What follows is the complete text of the second chapter of The Bundahishn. using that edition. The entire chapter is less than three printed pages in length, but contains the essence of Persian astronomical sensibility.

CHAPTER II: As regards the procreation of the Luminaries.

Illustration of the zodiac in the Bundahišn, ed. and tr. M. Bahar, 1990, p. 58.

1. Ohrmaz created [forth] the Luminaries, between the Sky and the Earth; the stars of the constellations and also those which were not of the constellations [were stationed], then the Moon, and then the Sun.

2. As, He first created the firmament; the stars of the constellations were fixed thereon, especially these twelve, whose names are: the Ram, the Cow, the Twins, the Crab, the Lion, the Husk of Corn, the Balance, the Scorpion, the Centaur, the Goat, the Pot, and the Fishes, which are subdivided into twenty-eight asterisms of reckoning, the names of which [are these]: Padevar, Pesh-parviz, Parviz, Paha, Aze-sar, Beshn, Rakhvat, Taraha, Azara, Nahn, Maian, Avdem, Mashaha, Spor, Husru, Sroi, Nur, Gelu, Grafsha, Varant, Gao, Goi, Muru, Bunda, Kaht-sar, Vaht, Mayan, Kaht; all the original material creations made their residence thereon, so that when the Adversary, would arrive, they might fight against their own enemy and the creatures might be saved from their antagonist; each of these constellations is a specimen of a soldier and veteran, who is

posted for battle; six thousand four hundred eighty (thousand) small stars are created forth, for help, [those which the astronomers now number, besides those innumerable, as, they are for their mutual-help.]

3. Over these constellations, He appointed four chieftains, in four directions; He appointed a chieftain over these chieftains; He appointed many innumerable stars that are [33] recognised by name, in various directions and various places, as givers of vigour, by cooperation, to these Constellations.

Constellations of Ursa Major, detail, from Persian Manuscript 373. Zodiac. MS PERSIAN (373). Work ID: mcauucez.

4. As one says: “Sirius [Tishtar] is the chieftain of the East, Sataves the chieftain of the South, Antares [Vanand] the chieftain of the West, the Seven Bears [Haptoring] the chieftain of the North; the Lord of the throne, Capicornus, whom they call the Lord of Mid- Heaven, [is the chieftain of chieftains; Parand, Mazd-tat, and others of this list are also chiefs of the directions

5. And astronomers call these stars of the directions and sides as leaders; and they mention the first magnitude, the third magnitude, …… as to the big, small, and middling stars.

6. He ordained this firmament in the semblance of a year: the twelve constellations like twelve months every constellation having thirty degrees, just as every month has thirty days.

7. He appointed the Seven Bears [Haptoring] in the Northern direction, thither where Dozakh [=hell -JHP] was, when the Adversary came in; a band from every region, out of the seven regions, is attached to it, for the organisation of the regions, in the mingled state: for that reason, it is called the’ Seven Thrones.’

8. He ordained the sphere, nature and class of these constellations so that they might remain in motion, in the mingled state.

9. Again, He arrayed, above them, the unmixable stars, so that, when the Adversary would arrive, they might repel him in the combat, and would not let him mingle with the higher sphere; He appointed the Glory of the good Mazdayasnian Religion, as chieftain

The horoscope of the world, after D. N. MacKenzie, “Zoroastrian Astrology in the ‘Bundahišn’,” BSOAS 273, 1964, p. 514.

over them; the place is called the brunt of the battle, the manifestation of purity in the mingled state; for this reason, they are called unmixable stars, because, when the Adversary came, they did not mingle with him; astronomers name a firmament which is above the firmament, where through there is no ebb and descent, for they cannot judge the mixable stars and the substance of the pure-bodies.

10. Above that, He created the Moon having the seed of the Beneficent Animal.

11. Above that, He created the shining swift-horsed Sun.

12. He appointed the Moon and [35] the Sun, as chieftains of those mixable stars; that is, they are all bound to the Sun and the Moon.

13. Above the Sun. He created the Throne of the Beneficent Immortals, which is attached to the Endless Light, the Throne of Ohrmazd.

14. These, too, are the six stations of the six creations, just as the creations of material life are six.

15. And in the midst of the half of the firmament, He appointed the Wind, the Cloud and the Fire Vazisht, so that, when the Adversary would arrive, they might seize the water of Sirius and produce rain; with the Spirit of the Water; He formed their connection, too, also with the Sun; the Moon, and the Stars; His valiant Sirius, who is the Chieftain of the East, is co-worker and associate of the Fire Vazisht, the Wind and the Cloud.

16. Of these stars, the big ones are as large as an eagle which is of the magnitude of a house, the middling are as large as a four-sided granary, and the small ones are as large as the head of a domestic ox; the Moon is as large as a race-course of two hathras; as, each hathra on earth is like an average frasang; the Sun is as large as Eranvej.

17. Until the coming of the Adversary, the Moon, the Sun and the stars were standing still, they did not move, and were passing their time with purity, and it was always mid-day; after the coming of the Adversary, they were in motion and would not desist from that motion, until the end.

18. The motion of the Sun is like that of a very large three-feathered arrow, when a very big man darts it from a very large bow; the motion of the Moon is just like that of an average three-feathered arrow, when an average man darts it, from an average bow; the motion of the stars is like that of a small three-feathered arrow, when a short man darts it from a small bow.

19. Of these constellations; Tishtar [Orion], Besn, Taraha, Azara, Pateywar, and Pesh-parviz are of very swift motion.

Sirius (bottom) and the constellation Orion (right). The three brightest stars in this image—Sirius, Betelgeuse (top right) and Procyon (top left)—form the Winter Triangle. The bright star at top center is Alhena, which forms a cross-shaped asterism with the Winter Triangle.

20. The mean duration of the Sun, from the time when it leaves a constellation until it attains to the next, is as much as is requisite for a man who takes up a stone and throws it.

This brief introduction to the core of the Zoroastrian myth as it relates specifically to the operation of the planets, luminaries and fixed stars provides valuable context in relation to the study of Persian astronomy and  astrology. In a subsequent article, we may address the nature of the constellations in greater detail.

De Magnis Coniunctionibus: Tropical Aquarius – Sidereal Capricorn

Saturn, from Guido Bonatti Liber Astronomiae – Nicolaus Pruknerus,

The Winter Solstice this year is like no other that any of us have experienced,  I would like to begin by stating in simple terms what the attending Grand Conjunction is and isn’t. One of the central questions explored here is how the conjunction may be interpreted depending on which method is used.

Be advised that I have previously written articles, readily accessible on this blog, on the conjunction itself and merely wish to add some thoughts on the larger picture of the conjunctions in a wider context of interpretation.  First off, here is the chart for the exact moment of the Conjunction.

You will notice that this occurs within a few minutes of arc after the precise moment of the Winter Solstice. We cannot read the chart for the Grand Conjunction without considering its timing on the Solstice and we should not attempt to interpret the Solstice without regarding the integral element of the Conjunction.

What it is:

The Grand Conjunctions occur on average every 19.6 years, as Jupiter joins Saturn, due to the combined effect of Jupiter’s approximately 11.9-year orbital period and Saturn’s 29.5-year orbital period.

Since antiquity, these events were held to be of the utmost importance. As the two social chronocrators,  they signal the nature of the ensuing two decades and beyond. However, this Grand Conjunction represents a change from the triplicity of Earth to the triplicity of Air when employing the tropical zodiac.

However, it cannot and should not be ignored that great historical astrologers used a sidereal zodiac and chose mean conjunctions. The essential difference between the mean and true conjunction is as follows:

“A mean conjunction in Ptolemaic astronomy happens at precise, regular intervals. It is based on the average length of each planet’s cycle in the zodiac, which is nothing more than the cycles we are familiar with today: the 12-year cycle of Jupiter is actually a rounding-up of the more accurate cycle of 11.86 years. Likewise, the period of the “Saturn return” is 29.4 years. But in Ptolemaic astronomy this period has a technical meaning: it is the length of time it takes for the center of a planet’s epicycle to revolve exactly once around the zodiac. The position of the center of the epicycle is its “mean” position as it revolves at a constant or mean rate.” See Dykes.

So, when we say the current conjunction occurs in Aquarius, we are being true to the tropical zodiac, using ‘true’ conjunctions. With this in mind, let’s examine what the tropical zodiac and ‘true’ conjunctions illustrate.

When the trigons shift to another element, the event is referred to as a Mutation. With the exception of one Grand Conjunction in the airy element of Libra, the Exaltation of Saturn, all others have been in the element of the earth continuously since 1842 when calculated using a tropical zodiac.

The progression of the Firey Trigons which commenced 8 Dec 1603 as illustrated by Johannes Kepler.

The significance is not so much that the triplicity has shifted, but that subsequent Grand Conjunctions will remain it that element until 29 Mar 2199, with the sole exception of a Grand Conjunction in Scorpio. entering 8 Dec 2159. We will be in the Airy triplicity for 199 years. The last time we experienced this spanned 3 Nov 1186 to17 Jan 1405 25 Jan 1405. During this time, there were three deviations – one in Taurus and two in Scorpio.

See the attached  calculations of the Great Conjunctions: 5,000 B.C. – 2,500 A.D. Geocentric, Gregorian Calendar. Time Frame: From 1 Jan 5000 BC GC, 12:00:00 AM, PDT +07:00:00 to 1 Jan 2500, 12:00:00 AM, PDT +07:00:00 Location: Greenwich, England, 0w00 00, 51n29 00

The meaning of the Grand Conjunction is integral to core elements in Mundane astrology. It would be ultimately futile to navigate the many cycles within cycles without an understanding of the GCs In simple terms, these events are like the hands of a cosmic clock, demonstrating the nature of the coming epoch. Clearly, a shift from Earth to Air has a myriad of significances. Most essentially, Earth is tangible and material. Air is intellect. But Aquarius is a Fixed Air Sign and contrary to New Age thinking cannot by its very nature be revolutionary. It is after all under Saturn. It can and is, however, adept at innovation – of expressing the traditional qualities of Saturn in novel ways. One such manifestation is the crystallizing of powers in technology and what are now referred to as “tech giants.”

Released from an Epoch of Earth, there will be (and already is) a renewal of the modern version of the Inquisition, which began in earnest in 1231 during the last Saturn-Jupiter conjunction in Aquarius. We are already well into the Aquarian Age in my estimation and this Great Conjunction merely accentuates what I will call the Aquarian agenda.

The Monarchies of Europe are unlikely to survive in their current form. Aquarius is the sign that opposes the Sun. The other Saturn sign, Capricorn, opposes the Moon. This opposition to the lights is largely what defines Saturn. Note also that Capricorn is in aversion to the Sun and Aquarius is in aversion to the Moon. 

How much of this would also be true if we were considering Capricorn rather than Aquarius?

What it is not.

There has been a multitude of claims that this GC is a clear signal that the Age of Aquarius has arrived. To make such a statement is to reveal a fundamental ignorance of the clear distinction between an Age and an epoch. If the current GC indicates the Age of Aquarius, then so would any period that began in Tropical (or sidereal) Aquarius. I have at written length elsewhere on this blog regarding the nature and calculations of the Ages and will not rehearse that content here.

The conjunction is only in Aquarius using a tropical zodiac and ‘true’ conjunctions,

Bear in mind also that in Vedic and all other Sideral schools of astrology, the conjunction is in Capricorn and not Aquarius. It behoves us to remember that the masterful Masha’allah and Abu Masha used a sidereal zodiac, at least with respect to all manner of Mundane astrology. De Magnis Coniunctionibus is the Latinized title of a book written by Abu Ma’shar himself, sub-titled “Historical Astrology: The Book of Religions and Dynasties.”

As Benjamin Dyke pointed out, “it is important to know that only a sidereal system will yield 12 conjunctions per triplicity.”

From a sidereal perspective, the current GC is in Capricorn and therefore the element of earth. Still, the sign remains a domicile of Saturn. Below is a chart for the same date and time, using the Persian Sassanian ayanamsa.

Dyke provides a visual image of Abu Ma’shar’s own parameters.  Masha’allah’s are also given in §6 of his  Introduction to Astrology of the World II: Revolutions & History.

There is another consideration to be made. For most of astrological history, astronomers and astrologers relied on the system of Mean Conjunctions I don’t think it wise to ignore this fact. Dykes fully explains the situation on Skyscript. According to the Mean Conjunctions, we left the Fiery triplicity on 26 December 1980 and will not experience the conjunction in the Ayrey triplicity for 200 years when it will commence in Aquarius on 9 June 2199.  Considering this massive discrepancy and the extraordinary success achieved using the Mean system, this ought to give us pause.

To find a useful table of sideral mean Saturn-Jupiter conjunctions from 185 BC to 2219 AD, consult Appendix A in Benjamin N. Dykes. Astrology of the World II


This GC does not herald the beginning of the Age of Aquarius. Ages are not determined by single conjunctions. From a sidereal perspective, we would view the current GC as occurring in Capricorn. The Mean & sidereal system used by Masha’allah and Abu Masha have us in the first forty years of an Earth triplicity and we won’t shift to an air triplicity for almost 200 years.

It is interesting to note that the 2000 mean conjunction was in Gemini and not Taurus, as we read it using the ‘true’ system.

What we can be sure of is that using either system, we are now solidly in a Saturnine epoch. The element of the trigons will be understood depending on the ayanamsa we employ and whether we use the mean or true conjunctions.

It is clear that early Hellenistic astrologers such as Vettius Valens used both zodiacs, one at least some occasions. There is a prevalent view that the two systems cannot be reconciled, but the fact is they are measuring related but different things. The tropical zodiac is indispensable because it relates to the seasons on earth. Sidereal ayanamsa maintains the connection to the firmament – the actual position of stars in the constellations so that we can never have a case where a star is projected onto a tropical backdrop, in a sign outside of the constellation in which it participates.

The sidereal zodiac works seamlessly with the 13 Lunar months of Vedic astrology, which expresses itself through the Nakshatras. When it comes to describing a seasonal event, such as the Equinox or solstices, the Tropical system is adjusted to be forever in synch with the pivotal points of the annual wheel.

There are solid historical reasons why one would use a tropical or sidereal zodiac, a mean or true understanding of conjunctions. However,  the discrepancy is of the greatest significance when it alters the elemental quality of a 200 year series in a given triplicity.

Reading Māshā’allāh : Sassanian Ayanamsa

The Sassanid Palace at Sarvestan Shiraz Iran – Persian: kakh-eh Sassani-ye Sarvestan – Photo- Javad Jowkar

Before we begin, I would like to make it abundantly clear that it is not my intention to replace the chart we have for the foundation of Baghdad  The data, but not the chart, came down to us from a venerable source  What I would like to do, however, is to explore what happens when we decide not to take the best of intentions as the only possible motivation and that, further, the shifting of one element in the charts’ construction can change the meaning dramatically and with often unexpected results. I do this with the full recognition that the perfect chart exists only in the Mind of God.

At the centre of my argument is the simple fact that this chart has been read with the unsupported assumption that Māshā’allāh used an exclusively Tropical zodiac. There is no evidence for this.

Scientists and other researchers understand the necessity of ridding ourselves, as much as is humanly possible, of preconceptions. I think it only fair to read Māshā’allāh using the Sassanian Ayansama to see what might be found. I will add that this study makes me uncomfortable for all the right reasons and I most certainly mean no disrespect to Māshā’allāh.

Māshā’allāh (from mā shā’ Allāh, i.e. “that which God intends”) was a Jewish astrologer from Basra. Ibn al-Nadīm says in his Fihrist that his name was Mīshā, meaning Yithro (Jethro).  Māshā’allāh was one of the leading astrologers in the eighth- and early ninth-century Baghdad under the caliphates from the time of al-Manṣūr to Ma’mūn, and together with al-Nawbakht worked on the horoscope for the foundation of Baghdad in 762. (See Māshā’allāh ibn Atharī (or Sāriya) [Messahala]

13-th century manuscript, drawn by Al-Wasiti of the celebrated book “The Assemblies”. Written by Hariri, shows a library in Baghdad

The chart that he was commissioned for the construction of Baghdad comes down to us from Al Biruni, a fellow Persian from modern-day Uzbekistan / Turkmenistan, in his monumental work The Chronology of Nations.  He is less commonly known by his full name of Abū Rayḥān Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad Al-Bīrūnī (4/5 September 973 – 13 December 1048).  Biruni gives us the time, place and date, but makes no mention of the House System or Ayanamsa used for the chart. It’s reasonably considered that Māshā’allāh used Whole Signs and we know his most famous student did also. This still leaves the thorny question of which Ayanamsa he used.

If he used the Sassanian Ayanamsa along with material available to him in the Greater Bundahishn, this would change a great many things and certainly challenge some of our more cherished notions, such as the Chart for Baghdad being done in good faith in the hope of the greatest possible benevolence.

Before proceeding any further, it needs to be said that this chart has been subjected to all kinds of tortuous logic by several astrologers, including my initial article on this chart more than a decade ago. It has always seemed to have been discussed with a touch of reticence.

This is no more than a ‘what if’ because we cannot absolutely prove it either way.  As a Persian Jew, Māshā’allāh had good reasons to dislike and resent the Arab Islamic invasion of Persia and the slaughter of Jewish tribes in the Arabian peninsula and elsewhere. Jews had enjoyed a good life in Persia for millennia, as they do to this day. It would be extraordinary if he had no reservations whatsoever.


Here we have the chart with all the information passed on to us by Al Biruni, using Whole Sign houses, calculated using the Sassanian Ayanamsa.  This strikes me as a struggling chart with little to commend it if continued good fortune was intended when all is said and done. But the chart has never been unequivocally beneficent in any of its forms, using other house systems and the sidereal zodiac, for example. This has been part of the confusion. Baghdad was indeed a great centre of learning with widespread influence, both through space and time. However, it has also suffered excessive calamities and violence over the centuries and still suffers to this day. We see all this in the chart presented here.

The chart is not without considerable merit, but this is undercut by the very real and existential threats that are also illustrated. It is likely that only a seasoned astrologer may detect these in short order, but they cannot be unseen once they have been discovered.

The Sun in the Royal sign if Leo and magnificently placed with Regulus, one of the Royal Stars of Persia, known as the Watchers of the Directions,. Regulus is the Heart of Leo,  Watcher of the North and associated with the Archangel Raphael

Isrāfīl.-” Angel with Fish.” Mughal 1590 – Hossein Naqqash

The significance of this star is that it leads to immense good fortune, provided that revenge is avoided.  The Fixed Stars are stronger when well connected to a better planet. That is established. But reversals of fortune are part of the bargain if revenge is enacted.

In the ninth house, the Sun with Regulus is a powerful testament to the higher ideals of the proposed purposes and is placed in a near-perfect relation to Jupiter and the Ascendant.  This is also ideal when considering the meeting of foreign cultures and of course, religion provided that they don’t come in war. The Sun is in his Joy and in Hayz.

We find Mercury Retrograde and conjunct the South Node in the house of Death. This is most unfortunate. It also brings us back to the Moon. Cancer is her only domicile. The chart would do well to support a strong clerical and other positions falling under the influence of Mercury. At this level, always a crucial one in any system. They will be the keepers of the record and the ones who disseminate information of all kinds to keep the Caliphate strong.

Jupiter is in his own domicile and strong, in fine relationship to the Caliph and supportive of the goals desired  This reads like a great blessing and is very likely what Māshā’allāh would emphasise when presenting his election.

However, the fatal signatures of the chart should give us pause.

A brief history of the city shows us that Baghdad’s early meteoric growth was stifled due to problems within the Caliphate itself, including a relocation of the capital to Samarra (during 808–819 and 836–892), the loss of the western and easternmost provinces, and periods of political domination by the Iranian Buwayhids (945–1055) and Seljuk Turks (1055–1135).

Nevertheless, Baghdad held her place and continued as a major cultural and commercial centre in the Islamic world. Then tragedy struck on a massive scale. On February 10, 1258,  the city was sacked by the Mongols under the command of Hulagu Khan. The Mongols killed most of the inhabitants, including the Abbasid Caliph Al-Musta’sim. They also destroyed large sections of the city. Even the canals and dykes forming the city’s irrigation system were destroyed. The attack ended the Abbasid Caliphate. It has often been noted that Islamic civilization never completely recovered.

In 1401, Baghdad was again vanquished by Timur. So it continued, until the incursion of the Ottoman Turks. It’s difficult to make the case that Bagdad has not had far more than its share of sorrows and reversals of fortune.  It is equally difficult not to recognize the measure of success and abundance during its golden age.

We are used to thinking of the Royal Stars of Persia – the Watchers of the Directions –  as Regulus, Aldebaran, Fomalhaut, and Antares, representing the four Fixed Signs as the primary consideration in Persian astronomy.  However, the Sassanian model clearly puts the emphasis on Sirius.

Canopus is used in Islam for the orientation of places of worship. For those reasons, I have included it here. It is crucial to consider the Horoscope of the World which we examined in a previous article. In that schema, the House of Life (the Ascendant) was at the nineteenth degree of Cancer, the asterism Azara too was disposed in the star Sirius, which in the chart we have falls in the seventh house at 24°18.  I cannot see how he could have missed this detail. He was certainly aware of the Horoscope and the extraordinary power of Sirius.

In the Great Bundahishn

in Chapter 2, sections 3 & 4, in the translation by Behramgore Tehmuras Anklesariawe, we find:

“3. Over these constellations, He appointed four chieftains, in four directions; He appointed a chieftain over these chieftains; He appointed many innumerable stars that are recognized by name, in various directions and various places, as givers of vigour, by cooperation, to these Constellations.

4. As one says: “Sirius [Tishtar] is the chieftain of the East, Sataves the chieftain of the South, Antares [Vanand] the chieftain of the West, the Seven Bears [Haptoring] the chieftain of the North; the Lord of the throne, Capricornus, whom they call the Lord of Mid- Heaven, [is the chieftain of chieftains; Parand, Mazd-tat, and others of this list are also chiefs of the directions.”

Ibn al-Nadīm lists some twenty-one titles of works attributed to Māshā’allāh; these are mostly astrological, but some deal with astronomical topics and provide us with the information (directly or indirectly) about sources used which included Persian, Syriac, and Greek)  He was a learned, brilliant and extremely talented man. We wouldn’t expect him to simply make a mistake.

We should not ignore the fact that the chart was drawn up for the Day of Saturn – the Jewish Sabbath. No work is to be done on this day.

We find the Moon in Venusian Libra in the house of the Good Spirit. The Moon can refer to the common people in a Mundane chart and is feminine in any chart. Most interesting, however, is that she is disposited by a Mercurial Venus in the Anorectic degree in the house of open enemies. She is spent.  The benefits we might anticipate with Venus in this placement are such that Mars dominates in the sign of the N. Node’s exaltation.  Mars is doubly dangerous because he is also the Lord of the 12th house in Scorpio – this house is hidden enemies and self-undoing among other designations. Saturn is in his Fall and in a productive house.

I see no useful purpose to further elaborate on this. It is after all entirely speculative, even if plausible. I realize this turns the old enigma on its head, but sometimes an entirely new way of looking at something can be useful.  At the very least, it ought to raise awareness of just how different a chart can appear when the astrologer is using an Ayanamsa that may not have occurred to a modern reader. It also asks the astrologer to consider the cultural differences between practitioners that may very well, on the source be in agreement on virtually everything. This demands that we read far beyond the astrology itself, to the very ground of being which informs us all.


Beginning in 1211, Genghis Khan and his nomadic armies burst from Mongolia and swiftly conquered most of Eurasia. The Great Khan died in 1227, but his sons and grandsons continued the expansion of the Mongol Empire across Central Asia, China, the Middle East, and into Europe.


Note: shortly after publishing this brief article, I became aware of another, written in 2003: The Horoscope of Baghdad: historical, astronomical, and astrological notes by Juan Antonio Revilla. The topic is not identical, but Revilla does well in describing context, methodologies and sensibilities involved in deriving the chart.  He has a familiarity with Sassanian astrology and discusses many things, such as the Tables of al-Kwarizm, which go beyond the limitations of a single blog post.

The Horoscope of the World in the Greater Bundahishn – Part I

This is but a cursory introduction to the Greater Bundahishn which will be followed by articles with a sharper focus.  The work contains a concise narrative of the Zoroastrian creation myth, including the first conflicts between Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu for the hegemony of the world. In the process, the Bundahishn recites an exhaustive compendium on the nature of things, including the properties of the elements and significant astrological material. For those interested, there is a pdf version of the work here.

The Bundahishn exists in two forms, the Greater, and the Lesser. The first is the longer Persian version and the shorter or lesser is an Indian version. Here we will be discussing the former only. The title of the work translates as ‘primal creation”  The work concerns itself with every imaginable question that might be raised about the Creation, including the origin and nature of the dark force and it’s antagonism to the light force, ultimately for a greater good. Compared to comparable works, such as Genesis, it is concise, to the point and quintessentially Persian in its optimistic point of view, even in the face of cosmic adversity.  Although the work is late, almost certainly the ninth century, it harks back to the ancient religion of Zarathustra.

As stated by the author at Encyclopedia Iranica, “it’s a major Pahlavi work of compilation, mainly a detailed cosmogony and cosmography based on the Zoroastrian scriptures but also containing a short history of the legendary Kayanids and Ērānšahr in their days. There is also a Ṣad dar-e Bondaheš, a considerably later (ca. 8th-9th/14th-15th century) work in Persian of a hundred miscellaneous chapters on the Zoroastrian religion, morals, legends, and liturgy.” (Encyclopedia Iranica)

As David Pingree has observed,  “the Sassanian horoscope is quite different from the normal Greek Thema Mundi. with which it has been compared.” (Masha’allah: some Sasanian and Syriac sources. pp. 5) The most immediately noticeable feature of the Sassanian horoscope is that it is diurnal, with Aries, the exaltation of the Sun occupying the tenth house, rather than the Sun with Leo in the second house in the diurnal Thema Mundi. Instead of the planets and luminaries being placed in their respective domiciles, they take the place of their exhalations.  However, there are some interesting anomalies. The Ninth House is occupied by the sign Pisces with Venus and Mercury, the first is exalted in Pisces, but Mercury falls in the sign of the Fishes.

The degrees assigned to the signs and planets is crucial to the overall meaning. We know that Persians translated Greek astrological material. Less often mentioned is the influence of Indian astrology.

Thema Mundi

The Ascendant is in Cancer at the same degree as Sirius, “know as Tishtar in the Khurta (Lunar constellation) Azrarag, which corresponds to the Indian naksatra, Aslesa [9th of the 27 nakshatras in Hindu astrology.] (Cancer 16;40° – 30°)” Pingree p. 5-6.

The other most striking difference is in relation to the nodes, in the exaltation but occupying the unfortunate houses. The house of the Evil Spirit is given to the North Node (Rahu) and Gemini. The S. Node (Ketu) is given to Sagittarius.

However, the exaltation of the Sun in Aries is shown at 19° which concords with the Greek assignment. The Indian degree of exaltation is 9°. The Persian sources appear to be troubled by the Sun being in a nocturnal chart of creation. This makes perfect sense considering the importance and symbolism of the Sun in indigenous Persian religion. The Lunar Mansions and Fixed Stars clearly play a role in the placement of the planets and luminaries but beyond that, we need to refer to the Persian accounts of Creation.

The Hermetic Thema Mundi is an astrological teaching tool and it is also decidedly Platonic in its expression of a perfect world of the Forms to be referred to for those who practise astrological divination. It may very well be more than that, but the Sassanian version is something quite different. It appears, after all, in a text describing every element of creation, according to ancient Persian and specifically Zoroastrianism cosmology:

“According to the spherical model assumed in Sasanian Iran under the impact of Greek and Indian astral sciences, the inferior sphere was called the spihr ī gumēzišnīg “sphere of mixture;” it comprised the twelve constellations (Pahl. 12-axtarān) which were subjected to the “mixture” with the demoniac and evil forces (planets, falling stars, comets, etc.); this sphere, of course, included the Zodiacal belt (see Ir. Bd., II, 8-9; cf. Henning, 1942, pp. 232-33, 240; Belardi, 1977, pp. 125-26) with its 12 constellations (Gignoux, 1988); here a most important battle between astral demons and divine star beings takes place, according to the Pahlavi sources. In the framework of the fight between stars and planetary demons, the Zodiacal constellation were considered as bayān, in its early meaning of “givers” of a good lot in opposition to the planets, who are “bandits” (gēg) and robbers of the human fortune.” (Encyclopedia Iranica)

The Greater Bundahishn is a compendium of ideas that are believed to pre-date Zoroastrianism, but the core is true to the cosmology of that religion. There are also some elements that would indicate knowledge relatively contemporary to its ninth century appearance. It appears to be putting preserved knowledge in one place after the horrific destruction in the wake of the Islamic invasion.

‘Buddha offers fruit to the devil’ from 14th-century Persian manuscript ‘The Jāmi

Hermes : Magician & Psychopomp

Hermes_mercurius_trismegistus_siena_cathedralHermes Trismegistus in the Cathedral of Siena

Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus – Cathedral of Siena

Among the many joys of practising traditional astrology, is the opportunity to fully explore the inner planets. When the going gets deep, the shallow resort to ‘higher octave” delusions. The formula seems to be if it’s deep, make sure it’s as far away from the Sun as possible which strikes me as perverse.

mercury (1)Being personal doesn’t mean it can’t also be universal. Let’s take Mercury for example. Mercury has the be the most skimmed over of all planets. This is really unfortunate because Mercury in his many manifestations has perhaps the richest set of attributes of all.

Everyone interested in astrology knows Mercury is about communication and short journeys and not much else. In fact, he is probably best known for the Mercury retrograde effect.

Let’s begin with the glyph. The Semi-Circle, Luna symbol  is Soul. The Solar circle is Spirit. They are above the Cross of Matter.

Although Mercury is usually referred to in the masculine, *he* is in fact the primal hermaphrodite that takes on the gender of it’s sign and position. However, it’s Mercury’s nature to communicate both the Solar and Lunar Self. As the Magician, he channels this energy to the world of Matter, symbolized by the Cross.

The image of Thoth (below) embodies the nature of Mercury. He has the Solar – Lunar disk above him. He is in the form of the Ibis. There has been much contention about why the Ibis was chosen as representative, but the most important issue is that it represents Spirits of the Air or intellect. No matter which form he takes, whether Mercury, Hermes or Thoth, he is a winged deity.images (7)

Thoth and Hermes were credited with the revelations of writing, mathematics, magic, astrology, astronomy, medicine, and  the almost completely forgotten role of Psychopomp, conductor of souls to the next world.

When we consider all of these, Hermes takes on a redemptive quality. Yet Modern astrologers have ascribed all of these qualities to the outer planets, mostly Uranus and Pluto. Now that he is virtually ignored, or written off in a sentence or two as the most boring planet,  we can see the extent of the loss.

As messenger to the two luminaries, he was held in very high regard. He is also credited with revealing the musical spell to bring Osiris back to life. In the earliest Egyptian sources he is a self created god.


Relief from a carved funerary lekythos at Athen – Hermes as Psychopomp Cconducts the Deceased Myrrhine to Hades C 430-420-BCE-National Archaeological Museum of Athens

There is great import in the seemingly simple sentence :

“Do You not know, Asclepius, that Egypt is an image of heaven, or, to speak more exactly, in Egypt all the operations of the powers which rule and work in heaven have been transferred to Earth below ?” (Asclepius III, 24b.)

These words of Hermes contain the essential dictum of “As Above, So below.” However the precise way that we comprehend this will depend on which model we are using to reference. For example, it is completely in keeping with Plato’s doctrine of the Forms, the idea that meterial, physical reality is not the ultimate one.

If we follow this essential teaching  through the Works of Plotinus, we have a complete system of thought that is mystical. A key image in the Enneads is the fountain of light, from which all originate and ultimately return.


Arabian Hermes

In the magical tradition of Hermes Trismegigstus, Pico dell Mirandola uses the image of Hermes wedding Earth to Heaven.

Mercury is a winged god, renowned for his speed. Sometimes refered to as Quicksilver, the protean shape shifter resembles the mind itself from the point of view of, say, Buddhism. Mercury is also the Triskster. I’m particularly interested in how Hermes was transmitted to Iranian and Arabian culture and the Abassid astrologers in particular

The early Abbāsid court astrologer Māšā allāh (fl . 762–ca 815) has been called the Prince of Astrology by Robert Zoller. He was “an associate of Umar ibn al-Farruxān aṭ -Ṭabarī, cites Hermes as an authority in his own Arabic works. He may well have known works of Hermes in the Middle Persian original; being a learned Iranian Jew, Māšā allāh could have had access toAramaic and Persian sources as well as Arabic’ (Pingee, Masa’ allah 1973. pp. 159 – 62). Several other Arabian astrologers including Al Biruni are discussed in Kevin van Bladel’s The Arabic Hermes: From Pagan Sage to Prophet of Science.

It’s fair to say that Masa’Allah was the most erudite of scholars at the Abbasid court as well as the finest astrologer. How he received Hermes therefore has resonance in European and Arabian astrology, particularly prior to the Renaissance. Their sources were Middle Iranian and not Arabian in origin. The Persians had taken and translated Hermes into their own language, and as is the case in all cross cultural receptions, Persian elements were attached. However, as can be seen by the photo of the “Arabian Hermes” he has all the same attributes, albeit in what contemporary Greeks might have thought an exotic fashion.

First, we see Mercury is winged, holding the Solar and Lunar elements. The downward triangle remains the symbol of descent into matter to this day. There is however nothing to suggest that he is merely ‘Earth bound.” The two heads certainly have a more Persian design, but it’s quite easy to see the reference to the caduceus, with the two ‘serpent’ heads (perhaps birds in this case.)

There is still plenty of room for cultural interpretation. The role of psychopomp will of course differ in understanding depending on belief in the afterlife. For one it might mean ascension and to another successfully crossing the River Styx. However, the role of spirit guide doesn’t have to change. In the words C.G. Jung:

“From the earliest times, Hermes was the mystagogue and psycho pomp of the alchemists, their friend and counselor, who leads them to the goal of their work. He is “like a teacher mediating between the stone and the disciple.” To others the friend appears in the shape of Christ or Khidr or a visible or invisible guru, or some other personal guide or leader figure.” Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious – CW 9i (1934–1954) (1981 2nd ed. Collected Works Vol.9 Part 1)

Alchemical art from the Buch der Heiligen Dreifaltigkeit

Alchemical art from the Buch der Heiligen Dreifaltigkeit

Hermes is much more than Magician and Psycopomp, but I believe these are the most ignored attributes in our time. Finally, we have the beautiful Alchemical illumination from the Buch der Heiligen Dreifaltigkeit on the left.

This has remained mysterious, although of course many scholars have had their theories. The image is very similar to the previous Arabian illustration, certainly not in style but in substance. Here the Mercurial figure is female. As mentioned, Mercury can be both genders, but is rarely portrayed as a woman. The caduceus- like form is there, with the Sun and Moon, but it’s reversed. She forms an ascending triangle. This image gives much to contemplate regarding the feminine attributes of Hermes.

Mundane Astrology & Janus Geminus


The Roman god known as Janus Geminus has a number of attributes, but the most salient is that he has two faces, usually one young and one old, looking into the past and the future at the same time. I find this to be a most apt image to describe the essence of Mundane Astrology, referred to as the jewel in the crown of astrology because it is the most difficult form, requiring many years of practice to master. It is also extremely useful in its predictive capacity.

Prediction, however requires hindsight, or rather, a great deal of knowledge about what is being predicted. To begin with a couple of simple examples: let’s say we want to be able to predict when a volcano might erupt. You don’t have to be an expert vulcanologist, but you do need to know some basic facts about volcanos. With that as a given we need to know what the astrological indicators of volcanoes are. The only way to do this properly is to look at past volcanic eruptions.

I’ve personally had occasion to study major volcanic eruptions of the past, and find that there are recurring themes. You can see my article on Mt. Pelee where I provide some specifics if you wish.

Next, I have to take some geographic notes. It’s pointless to predict anything if it cannot happen. We have expansive zones, such as the Ring of Fire and some which seem more localized. For example Iceland is very prone to volcanic eruptions, while Greenland has none at all. This may sound like a simple matter and it is, but there is no virtue in predicting a volcanic eruption if the geography doesn’t allow for it. So we now have the global ‘where’ The next step would be to localize the event, let’s say Jakarta, Indonesia and environs It wouldn’t hurt to have some knowledge of the tides and other elements800map

This where the greatest astrological skills come into play. Knowing the conditions most likely to coincide with volcanic eruptions, paying particular attention to Eclipses and the visibility of the Eclipse. Which zodiacal degree is most potent in relation to the eclipse? The number and nature of the elements we examine will not be identical each time at all. Each moment has it’s own power.

Doing all this isn’t at all easy and for most cases we would require some hint or change in a volcano so that we can look at a very precise situation. Some years ago, a friend in Mexico was disturbed by the increased activity of a nearby volcano. According to the astrology I used,it wasn’t going to explode and it didn’t

davfullcardio Courtesy Stanford University

Leonardo da Vinci – Anatomical Drawing – Courtesy of Stanford University

Let’s look at another example: we would all consider the accurate prediction of plagues and epidemics to be very useful. This is of course more difficult than predicting eruptions. This is a highly specialized application of medical astrology writ large.  There is no need to rehearse what we have already stated about methodology and volcanoes.

Some of you might be interested in my article on the Astrology of the Bubonic Plague for a practical example.. Certainly a knowledge of medical astrology is required and some knowledge of epidemiology wouldn’t be amiss either. Some resources such as a copy of Grey’s Anatomy, the two volume Oxford Companion to Medicine and of course  Hippocrates’ writings on epidemics. Again, we look back at historical epidemics to prepare us for predicting future ones.

Volcanoes, earthquakes and particular epidemics are extremely destructive of human lives. We know that one plague killed one in every two people in Europe and the Spanish Flu killed more people than WWI. The great effort taken to learn the prediction of epidemics is indeed daunting, but within the purview of astrology.

In all cases we need to look at the past to see the future. But there is a lot more to it than that. Whether or not I’m looking at a coup in Kazakhstan or an earthquake in Chile, I also need to know what planets are related to which parts of the world. Ptolemy mentions several in the Tetrabiblos which can be download free of charge in the File section. Unfortunately that isn’t enough though. Obviously he cannot make mention of that which he is unaware of. This includes the Americas, Australia and good deal more. For these we rely on more modern accounts,  but by ‘more modern’ we mean the Renaissance is some cases

Religions also have planetary association as do ethnic groups. A wonderful source of much material is found in the works of Mash’allah  It is very useful to know that Islam is under the governance of Venus or that Wales is Jupiterian.

Finally, we can see that a Mundane Astrologer should be familiar with a wide range of things. These include history, relevant philosophy, geography and medicine. It is possible to specialize of course, but the various disciplines often overlap. A very simple example would be a war in Thailand: it’s very helpful to know something of the political structure, the history and it’s astrological significations.

Many modern Mundane astrologers treat all areas as if they were the same. Much of Mundane astrology sees the United States as the centre of the world. Check any popular astrological magazine and you will see how this is so much par for the course, that editors take it as it is.  While it’s true that it feels like the centre of the world for its inhabitants, it fosters a perception that would implicitly deny, for example, that a Madagascan may feel the same way about her own country.

Crucially, the use of outer planets is counterproductive if only because of their very slow (apparent) movement. On top of that, the traditional attributes of the planets has been unceremoniously given to the outers.

This does two things. It distorts or weakens the use we can make of reading the traditional planets, which are to many modern astrologers nothing more than a secondary concern. The attributions which are supposed to belong to the new planets have all been stolen from the traditional ones. It ignores an ancient and highly effective system of astrology based on light (see my post “into the Outer Darkness’)

It’s very easy to say after the fact that the Arab Spring was caused by Uranus, but we then have to ask why the effect wasn’t global. Modern astrology cannot answer that because, as already noted, no distinctions are made from one culture or continent to another