The nation has been gripped with concern for the well-being of the American public over the arrival of the Ebola virus to our homeland. On September 20th Thomas Eric Duncan came to the United States from Liberia to visit family. On September 24th Duncan went to Texas Presbyterian Health Hospital in Dallas with a fever and told a nurse he has been to Liberia. But he was sent home with antibiotics and Tylenol. On September 28th he returned to the hospital in an ambulance and was isolated; two days later on September 30 the CDC confirmed that the first patient on U.S. soil had been diagnosed with Ebola. In the days following his hospitalization and eventual death, two nurses involved in his direct care were diagnosed as also having contracted the virus.
When films, or any piece of theater or art, reflect archetypal themes derived from myth or fairy tales, they can have a universal appeal and evoke a catharsis in the observer. Arising from Jung’s ‘collective unconscious,’ these motifs speak to the resolutions of the dramas of the human condition. Many Asclepian healing sanctuaries in antiquity contained Theatres of Dionysos, which suggests that viewing the timeless Greek tragedies was part of the healing cure.
Maleficient, starring Angelina Jolie in a critically acclaimed performance, is “the untold story of Disney's most iconic villain from the 1959 classic Sleeping Beauty." A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman with stunning black wings, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army of humans threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land's fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal - an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces an epic battle with the king of the humans and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom - and to Maleficent's true happiness as well.
This coming Saturday on the Summer Solstice, I will present the next webinar in the ongoing series on each of the twelve astrological houses. The Seventh House illuminates the relationships that we have with the ‘other’ – whether that person is our mate, business partner, opponent, or even our open enemy.
The symbolism of the Summer Solstice, which marks the culmination of the growth of the light force from its awakening at the Winter Solstice, is an apt metaphor for a discussion of the seventh house which likewise marks the polarity point of the growth of the individual’s awareness of self from its emergence in the first house. Deeper reflection about this sector brings us to consider how love and marriage can easily turn into strife and enmity – the dynamic dance of Venus and Mars.
We're pleased to announce the date for Demetra's next webinar on the 7th House. Join us Saturday, June 21. Details below.
This month we're also releasing three new audio programs, including the recent lecture Demetra gave to the New York NCGR chapter on Teresa of Avila.
In this very special program, Demetra does a wonderful job sifting through the remarkable details of Teresa's life to uncover the footprint of the asteroids Vesta, Juno and Psyche. She take an extensive look at her transits and secondary progressions in what proves to be an engaging and illuminating lecture. More details below.
One week after the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, its fate remains unknown. Our prayers are with the passengers and their families in the midst of their tragic grief and unanswered questions. What clues can be found in the chart of the take-off time that might point to where it is and whether the passengers are dead or alive? (March 8, 2104, 0:41 am, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
With each passing day, our hopes for their survival are lessened. Looking to the traditional approach, there are three places in a chart that are the significators of death – the eighth, seventh, and fourth houses.
The first place to look is the eighth house of death and fears. Here we see the presence of Jupiter, the ruler of Ascendant which indicates that the life of the event chart (1st house) is intimately connected with death and immersed in fear of death. While a general rule of thumb is that a benefic planet in good condition (Jupiter is exalted in Cancer) can suppress or prevent the difficult events of an unfortunate house (8th is in aversion to the Asc.), in this case Jupiter does not belong to the sect in favor (this is a nocturnal chart as the Sun is below the horizon), so its benefic power is lessened. In addition, an especially malefic Mars (detriment and retrograde) is applying to a square with Jupiter that will become exact during the Cardinal Cross of April 20-23. Around this time more information, disturbing and frightening in nature, may be revealed to the public about what really happened. Jupiter’s exaltation in Cancer speaks to the prominence of the event captivating the attention of the entire world and the passengers being honored after death or lauded for their courage if alive. Jupiter’s exaltation points to the continued hopes that the passengers have survived and the matter will turn out well in the end.
Many people both within and outside of the astrological community are aware of Mercury’s retrograde transit several times each year and heed the warning to refrain from signing contracts or buying cars or computers. But there is less awareness of the magical qualities of this time out of mind which culminates at the midpoint of the retrograde passage when Mercury enters into the heart of the Sun. This potent planetary alignment occurs on February 15th, the day after Valentines.
Mercury is the swiftest planet in the solar system, and ancient astrologers placed him under the auspices of Hermes, the divine messenger who was the patron god of travelers in both the upper and under worlds. Archetypal Mercury could manifest as the mischievous youth, the wise sage, or the psychopomp – guide of souls into and out of the underworld. For several weeks each year when the planet Mercury turns retrograde, he embodies the qualities of the psychopomp traveling deep within to the heart of the great mystery of death and renewal.
This newsletter comes with my very best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. I am looking forward to connecting with many of you around the world this Saturday (January 11) for my next webinar, this time on the Fourth House: Under the Earth. These webinars will be my primary means of teaching this year, as my travel schedule for 2014 is keeping me close to home. So I look forward to having you join me online.
Today I am sharing some reflections on the next upcoming Uranus Pluto square and how to think about it from a Hellenistic point of view.
As the Christmas season approaches each year, I want to send remembrances to my friends and family. The search begins for the perfect card that acknowledges my childhood roots in Orthodox Christianity, my vocation in astrology, the members of my community who have non-Christian beliefs, and those who celebrate the sacred nature of this solstice time of year in other ways. After combing through endless card displays of Santa with his reindeers, Christmas trees piled high with gifts, nativity scenes, angels playing celestial harps, winter wonderlands and snowmen, agonizing between the greetings of Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, I inevitably come home with the Three Magi Following the Star. This image encapsulates it all, and for friends of astrology, it connects us with an important part of our astrological history.
I have recently returned from my travels in Istanbul, Turkey and southern Italy. One of the greatest joys of a life in astrology has been meeting with members of the international community of astrologers, and experiencing the kindness, enthusiasm, and wisdom of people everywhere who love astrology.
Right now I am busy preparing the next webinar on the Third House: Goddess which we’ll present on Saturday, November 16th. I’ll be including the insights that arose while I was visiting the archaeological site of Cuma on the Bay of Naples with my friend and former student professional art historian Surjeet Anna who lives in Sorrento. This site has long been associated with the subterranean cave of Cumean Sibyl, a prophetess who appears in Vergil’s Aeneid.
This weekend I attended a wedding of a friend's child. Despite my best intentions to avoid offering unsolicited astrological advice, the ‘moment’ of the wedding time turned into one of those mini-dramas that often accompany rites of initiation. In the course of events, I had the opportunity to revisit some reflections upon the art of electional astrology.
Electional astrology is choosing an auspicious moment to initiate an event, such as a marriage, business, a journey, a lawsuit or the founding of a city. It is based upon the belief that how something is at the beginning (like the natal chart of the birth moment) is the seminal code for how it will progress in the course of its life cycle.
Electional astrology seeks to maximize the positive potential outcome of an important undertaking. When pausing to think about what is going on, one of the questions that inevitably arise is: To what extent can a good electional chart override the natal indications that might not support the successful realization of that event? And because there are no perfect charts, one must find the proverbial needle in a haystack with the possibilities available within the given time frame, and then allow fate to take its course. In addition, one must answer the question of what constitutes the real “electional moment”.