‘The Dance’ By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

“Tell me a story of who you are, and see who I am in the stories I am living.
And together we will remember that each of us always has a choice.

Don’t tell me how wonderful things will be . . . some day.
Show me you can risk being completely at peace,
truly OK with the way things are right now in this moment,
and again in the next and the next and the next. . .

I have heard enough warrior stories of heroic daring.
Tell me how you crumble when you hit the wall,
the place you cannot go beyond by the strength of your own will.
What carries you to the other side of that wall,
to the fragile beauty of your own humanness?

Take me to the places on the earth that teach you how to dance, the places where you can risk letting the world break your heart.
And I will take you to the places where the earth beneath my feet and the stars overhead make my heart whole again and again.

Show me how you offer to your people and the world the stories and the songs you want our children’s children to remember, and I will show you how I struggle not to change the world, but to love it.

Sit beside me in long moments of shared solitude, knowing both our absolute aloneness and our undeniable belonging. Dance with me in the silence and in the sound of small daily words, holding neither against me at the end of the day.

And when the sound of all the declarations of our sincerest intentions has died away on the wind, dance with me in the infinite pause before the next great inhale of the breath that is breathing us all into being, not filling the emptiness from the outside or from within.

Don’t say, “Yes!” Just take my hand and dance with me.”

I had this vague goal of writing something powerful, about living in the present moment and being real and authentic to oneself, and then I came across this story, by I person I never knew before now. It silenced me – for the moment, at least, there’s nothing better that could be said.


Your Love Sign: Venus in Astrology

This post is all about your Venus sign – the sign in which your personal Venus falls. A very pleasant re-entry into Pax Mercurius!

Venus rules things like beauty, art, joy and pleasure, clothing and jewellery, sex and chastity (yes, both!) and, less happily, corruption in all its forms. She is named for the Roman goddess of love, whose Greek equivalent was Aphrodite, and who is related throughout mythology to Isis (Egypt), Ishtar (Mesopotamia), and even The Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalen, the goddess-like figures of Catholic/Christian fame.

In astrology, Venus shows us three things – for feminine people and women in general, Venus rules the primary direction their libido takes, and how it is best satisfied. She also shows what a person needs to feel loved and to experience joy and pleasure, and what direction their sensual interests are likely to lie. As Venus also rules corruption, it is a planet which also points out our weaknesses – where we are mostly likely to ‘Fall’, and where we need to cultivate self-awareness to avoid becoming corrupt.

Venus in Aries – this placement indicates a firey, strong femininity, impulsive and quick to act. Women with this placement are often ‘tomboys’, and men with this placement are attracted to them! You gain pleasure through action, exertion and activity. Venus in Aries people should take special care of their kidney and reproductive health and have regular checkups. Your downfall is potentially due to impulsive actions.

Venus in Taurus – Venus’s home sign! This placement indicates a love of the senses and everything they have to tell you. Women with this placement are often strongly sensual, very feminine, and very attractive. Men with this placement seek out ‘earthmother’ figures, and are more tactile and sensual than the average bloke might often be considered to be. This placement usually creates a very fertile individual, both for children and creative projects. Their downfall can come about from over-indulgence and materialism.

Venus in Gemini – This placement gives Venus an androgynous, vivacious quality: women tend to be charming, tomboyish and thought-orientated, while men with this placement can seem a little eccentric, in an intellectual sense. Venus in Gemini people gain pleasure through experiencing a variety of sensual things – new restaurants, multiple lovers, interesting foods, and especially interesting conversation, without which, they would be very unhappy. Their downfall can come from a lack of commitment to the things they begin.

Venus in Cancer – Like Taurus, this is a very earthy, emotionally and physically fertile placement. Venus in Cancer women are very feminine, often busty, and Venus in Cancer men are very attracted to the archetypal feminine in their partners. You gain pleasure from home and hearth most of all, familiar routines, and family (whether that family are literal, or a family of friends!). Your downfall can result from emotional neediness without reciprocation.

Venus in Leo – This is a very dramatic placement for this planet, and she thrives here. Venus in Leo women tend to be larger than life, dramatic and captivating. Venus in Leo men can be quite intense sensualists, charming ladies (and gentlemen, if that is their preference) and sweeping them off their feet. They find pleasure in receiving attention, but also through being generous to others. Their downfall can be through demanding too much of the former, and not offering enough of the latter!

Venus in Virgo – Venus is not at home in Virgo, and people with this placement can often undervalue themselves unless they have a lot of gentle encouragement. This is actually quite an earthy placement: women tend to be quiet, but very attentive, intelligent and sensual, while men can seem a little fussy and even ‘nerdy’, but tend to be highly analytical, with lovely hands. Venus in Virgo people carry their joy deep inside, and often find pleasure in their work and industry, and through study. Their downfall can come from not letting their inner self show to the world, condemning them to being overlooked.

Venus in Libra – Venus’s other home, she is a happy planet when in this sign. Both sexes with this placement tend to be lean and attractive, interested in many things, and find pleasure in socialising, being a part of groups and partnerships, and in all expressions of harmony: music, art, languages, and relationships. Their downfall can be due to failing to make hard, but necessary decisions about their relationships, and through superficiality.

Venus in Scorpio – This is Venus’s most intense placement, and people with her in this sign tend to be darkly attractive, emotionally intense, and even a little obsessive. Women tend to darker features and full bodies, while the men with Venus in Scorpio are often extremely attractive, even if not classically ‘handsome’. People with Venus in this sign gain pleasure through physical and emotional depth and intensity, and are either highly libidinous, or gain pleasure through controlling their libido and keeping it to themselves! Their downfall is through obsession and suspicion. Like Venus in Aries, people with this placement should take especial care with their reproductive health.

Venus in Sagittarius – This is a light-hearted, vivacious placement for Venus, and is actually one of her more chaste placements in the zodiac. Women with Venus in Sagittarius are often sporty, active, but often very traditional in how they want and expect their relationships to be. Men with this placement tend to be intellectually restless, and often idealise chastity – a lot of priests have Venus in this sign. You gain pleasure from varied experience, big-picture philosophies, and in foreign locales. Your downfall can be through a lack of self-awareness and through skipping over necessary details in pursuit of a dream.

Venus in Capricorn – Venus here is like an ember nestled in the heart of a cold fire: hidden, but always ready to ignite a new flame. Women with this placement tend to be very strong, often putting their goals ahead of their desires. Men with this placement are attracted to cool beauty, elegance, and taste in themselves and others. This is a surprisingly libidinous sign, and Venus in Capricorn people often gain much relief from their responsibilities through sex and (classy) entertainment. Their downfall comes when they repress their joy and ignore the joy which the rest of the world also holds.

Venus in Aquarius – Like Gemini, this sign gives Venus a very androgynous character, and (along with Gemini) is a placement common amongst gay and bisexual women. Women and men both tend towards physical androgny, often enjoying the reaction their playful attitude to their own gender causes. They have a hot-and-cold relationship to other people, often preferring the depth of good friendship to sappy romantic commitment. They gain pleasure through using their minds to solve problems and in socially orientated activities. Their undoing can be due to their eccentricity, or their unwillingness to engage with people.

Venus in Pisces – Venus here is vivid and sensitive, and almost always brings about intense creativity. Women are likely to be soft and feminine, even mystical, while men may be inclined to being quiet and soulful, often learning to ‘speak’ in ways without using language – computer programmers often come with this placement! The Venus in Pisces person desires total union with their partners, and their relationships are either transcendental, or tawdry and even base. They find their joy in oneness, peace and quiet, creativity, and deep union with other people. Their undoing can be due to weakness of character, and even addiction.

You can find your Venus sign and learn about the ways you love and the ways your desire for love can be fulfilled by going to a website like http://www.Astro.com for a simple interactive chart, or by having a complete astrology reading with a real astrologer.

Venus teaches that we should love ourselves, and if you use astrology, she is the path through which to get in touch with your inner beauty.

The 2011 ‘Zodiac Shift’ and Ophiuchus, and Why They Don’t Matter

I’ll say it up front: no one’s sign has changed, Ophiuchus doesn’t exist, and this article by Gawker and Huffington Post is a shoddy piece with exceptionally poor research and understanding of how and why astrology operates. There you have it – that’s the short and sweet answer to the ‘2011 Zodiacal Identity Crisis’ right there. It doesn’t actually exist.

The long answer is a little more in-depth, and is divided into two sections:


The movement of the zodiac is well known to astrologers: it is called Precession. The actual constellations have moved – this is true, and the new positions of the stars are what are used in Vedic (Indian) Astrology, also called Sidereal Astrology. However, there is no 13th sign in Vedic or Western, regardless of whether the signs are Sidereal (literal) or Tropical (symbolic).

Western astrology uses the Tropical Zodiac – this zodiac is an ‘ideal’ zodiac, based on ancient positions of the stars which are now symbolic. The reason why we use it like this is simple: because it works. It works really really well. It works so well that Horary Astrology – question astrology – can answer questions about lost and missing objects and people with high levels of detail. Natal Astrology is well developed and again, it just works.

Astrology is a powerful tool due to thousands of years of accumulated symbolism – the operation of astrology is fundamentally subjective, like dreams, and the effect of observation on an environment. Its well known that if you pursue a particular school of dream analysis – Jungian analysis, for example – that your mind will start dreaming in specifically Jungian symbols. Its as if the unconscious learns a language, which it then speaks, and which can be interpreted. Astrology is an unconscious pan-national language in the same way, and on a deeper, more global level.

Vedic/Sidereal Astrology, on the other hand, works with greater collective notions of karma and one’s place in society. Its less individualistic, more practically orientated, and more superstitious in nature, and it is younger than Western astrology – Indian Astrology developed from Ancient Greek Astrology, not the other way around.

We pay attention to Precession on a communal level – the often discussed Age of Aquarius is a result of Precession. On an individual level, the Tropical Zodiac is much more effective in this astrologer’s opinion.


Ophiuchus is not a real sign, and in ancient times, when the zodiac was delineated, it was considered to be a part of the two constellations around it. Contrary to popular belief, the zodiac constellations are not based on their shape-zodiacal symbol association. The constellations are abstract. The way that the Babylonians and Egyptians first delineated it was by observing the effects that happened to them over time in relation to the stars (who they thought were gods) and designing their rituals around those occurrences. They laid a partly symbolic system in place that has continued for going on 6000 years (the Gawker and Huffington Post articles cite 2000 years, another shoddy piece of research.)

In Hellenistic times, Ophiuchus was recognised as a separate constellation, and named. However, the Greeks did not assign it a place in the Zodiac, because it is close to, but not on the Elliptic (where the Sun passes through the sky). Instead, they look at the effects of the individual stars in that constellation, which are called ‘fixed stars’, which is what we also do today.

The use of this ‘sign’ developed in the 70s, during the early New Age movement, and was referred to as ‘Astrology 13’. It has no foundation in history, and the characteristics of this sign embody the old, tired, egocentric  ‘specialness’ tropes of the New Age – you’re a suffering healer, you’re a messenger of light, on and on and on. According to one website, you are also condemned to love plaid for some reason, an assignation this Artist is yet to understand.

To conclude:  Fear not – your sign hasn’t changed, and the only way that signs CAN change is through the Progressed Horoscope. Sidereal astrology has its uses (namely objective global events), but on the individual level, it simply doesn’t work as well. And if you do happen to like plaid (like me), that’s likely not due to your Sun Sign.

Here is an excellent article on the technical details of this whole topic by someone who knows her stuff – http://planetwaves.net/pagetwo/2011/01/13/your-zodiac-sign-is-not-wrong/

A Hopefully Amusing Tale of a Cat, a Plug, and her Pet Astrologer

Tonight, I left my ear buds on my bed in preparation for listening to some music while writing, and came back to find my cat looking very pleased with herself, with a large section of the wire, and more importantly, the plug of the earphones missing, and the rest of the wire chewed up.

Searching for the plug did not turn up anything – concerned, I cast a horary chart: Did Arrumiel Eat the Plug?

Did the Cat eat the Plug?

Did the Cat eat the Plug?

The plug is my object  – Lord 2, which is Mars. All small animals are under the aegis of the 6th House, which is read as the first house of the cat in this instance.

So where is the plug? Mars (the plug) is in Virgo (stomachs) in the 6th house (The Cat’s house). Safe to say, the plug is snug and secure in my cat’s belly right about now.

The question now is, will my cat be okay? The chart says yes. Saturn is the natural ruler of poop – Mars and Saturn, being in the same sign, behold each other. Like people in the same room, they don’t necessarily know each other, but they see each other. The plug and impending bowel motion have a connection through this, somewhat distant right now, because she only ate the plug about half an hour ago.

Mercury is not good, not bad – it holds Saturn in detriment and Mars in fall. Eating the plug was not good for her, naturally. However, as both Saturn and Mars are in Mercury’s sign, Mercury has a lot of power over them. Mercury, the Cat, has power over the plug and its motions, but she isn’t going to enjoy getting it out very much.

When will she get rid of the plug? Mercury is applying to sextile Saturn in about 2 degrees – in a cardinal sign, we are looking at the shorter timeframe. If this astrologer is correct, Arrumiel will evict her melancholy in about 2 days time.

Sextile is a weaker aspect, but it is harmonious enough – the implication of effort seems appropriate for her task. We will have to see – of course, if she shows any sign of discomfort at all, then she will have to go to the vet.

Update: We found the plug itself! She did not eat the inch-long headphone jack, but rather, a whole lot of wire from the headphones – The metal bit of the plug was discovered under the bed, but the rest was consumed. I suppose that’s what Mars trine the Part of Fortune means – I took it as ‘she ate the whole thing but it will be okay’, when it actually meant ‘the situation isn’t as bad as it looks, and she was lucky that she didn’t eat the big pointy metal bit part of the plug’.

She has been sunbaking smugly all day, with no sign of discomfort. Likely tomorrow we will find a kitty tray full of rubber-coated wire.

Update Two: As the chart said, she passed the wire after a couple of days. Hurrah!

Now, never to leave headphones around her again…

The Red Book (Liber Novus)

“From this we learn how the spirit of the depths considers the soul: he sees her as a living and self-existing being, and with this he contradicts the spirit of this time for whom the soul is a thing dependent on man, which lets herself be judged and arranged, and whose circumfrence we can grasp. I had to accept that what I had previously called my soul was not at all my soul, but a dead system… a dead system I had contrived, assembled from so-called experiences and judgements. Hence I had to speak to my soul as to something far off and unknown, which did not exist through me, but through whom I existed.”

– P. 232,  The Red Book (Liber Novus), C.G Jung.

Occult Monasticism: The Why and the How

Monasticism tends to conjure up images of monks in dusty (or airy, depending on the country) cloisters, the product of a by-gone age. Most contemporary, visible monks are found in the Buddhist tradition, with Western monasticism becoming less and less well known. Indeed, in Australia, there is only one extensive Benedictine monastery in the country that can be found online. The only monks in most places are of established dogmatic religions, especially Christianity.

The essence of Western monasticism, once the religious element is stripped away, is a life of study and contemplation with a back-to-basics approach to living.  Monks were and are very productive people – the idea of a monk or nun not ‘doing’ anything is quite out of character for what daily life is like. Christian monks do indeed dedicate much of their life to prayer, but often undertake university studies, volunteer or work in various affiliated institutions, and in many places, engage in creative manual labour. The fundamentals,  really, are balance, discipline, devotion and contemplation.

Sadly, in our day and age, these things are no longer fundamental, to the point of being exotic. What we often see are people seeking the fastest route to anything: a culture of status, instant gratification and fleeting meditations. There is a value in attending classes and seminars on spirituality, for example, but a person cannot find ‘spiritual truth’ in such things.  I have known many genuine and earnest Seekers who are undermined by one thing – a lack of consistency. The superficial gloss (and accompanying sensationalist paranoia) on many New Age principles makes long-term spiritual development very difficult, and is comparable to fad dieting.

Fortunately, people are beginning to realise the value of un-commercialising and slowing down their lives, especially with the immediacy of the Financial Crisis and the looming spectre of another Great Depression. Whether or not it actually comes to be, Western countries in the last decade have had to confront the fragility of our current systems of practise. Financial, environmental…safe to say, we can add spiritual to the list of things we have simultaneously being ‘going over the top’ with, and devaluing .

Combining the basics of monasticism  with a concrete set of spiritual goals – whatever that spiritual path happens to be – is a certain way to get a proper grounding in a particular faith or set of beliefs. It doesn’t have to be religious – a monastic Atheist is entirely possible, if they have a natural inclination to simplicity and study. What is important, in the variations of monasticism, is the principle of dedication.

I honestly do not think that monasticism is necessarily best practised barefoot and in a habit – rather, it is something that must be cultured within life, rather than outside of it. It is possible to live simply and humbly within a Western metropolis. Every park is a potential prayer ground. We can make a choice in how we utilise and respond to our cultures…but this requires a great deal of discipline.

These days, ‘discipline’ is almost a dirty word for many people – the concept of discipline is equated with misery, lack, hard work, and the general idea of ‘not enough’. Where does ‘not enough’ come from in a culture where we have everything within ready reach? Yet if you stop someone in the street and talk to them these days, if you get on the topic of acquisition you will often find within a few minutes that there is a theme of lack.  Listen to a group of school children on a bus: how often are they talking about buying something, doing something, beautifying themselves to…what end? There is no end, and this is the problem.

While in Seattle, I picked up a flyer advertising various New Age classes – all were quite expensive, and many of them were clearly cobbled together of various current fads in that particular scene.  The long-term value of a single ‘singing Tibetan bowl’ session is, in my opinion, probably not substantial.  Then, of course, you have the latest Crystal Quantum DNA Vacumn Healing…but I have to wonder, why not simply use what already works?

Much of the New Age, it seems, is dedicated to trends, and a reinforcement of some kind of ‘specialness’. The Starseed phenomenon, for example, targets those who feel discomfort for the world, and offers a solution…in the fastest and most ego-centred way possible.

What is it that we lack? I think that everyone reading this blog (and writing – self included!) has felt they lack something, or many somethings.  Personally, I have decided – despite all of my fears – to work with something which I love and strongly believe in, which will never earn me a great deal but which may contribute something of value to people. Not to mention, a reaffirmation of the basics: practicality, implicit spiritual worth, and the right to our understanding of ourselves, with my personal frameworks being astrology, mythology and psychology. But how to go about relinquishing this sense of lack? I still cannot really say, but I am in the process of un-learning everything about it that my society has encultured.

Monasticism, as a practise, is not for those who are not of a scholastic or ascetic bent, but its principles can remain a strong foundation for those who would prefer to live more ‘in the world’. But I really do question many New Age ideas as they stand…the focus on lacking something (energy, home, societal place), on needing to be ‘healed’ (what we cannot heal ourselves?) and the absence of actual, concrete action in this often very tragic and unfair world we live in.

I would be very interested to invoke some discussion on this particular topic.

EDIT: On the topic of monks, Kunzang Palyul Choling temple in the USA is being threatened with closure, as they refinanced their mortgage to fund an animal shelter they operate. Now, because of some legal loophole, the banks have demanded that they come up with $250,000 by Thursday.  If you can spare anything, please consider donating to keep the temple alive.


The Mystical Tarot: The Hermit – Joe Ivory

New Monasticism – Community-based Christian Monastics

Cybelian Monasticism – Pagan women monastics

Kingdom of Asphodel – Experimental Eclectic Paganism with elements of monasticism

Universal Insights, and some New Books!

The Universal Insights New Age Expo was held in Ringwood yesterday, and it was wonderful: for all that I am not ‘New Age’ in my practise or my philosophy, I found the participants to be entirely lovely, the other stallholders friendly and helpful. There was no sense of negativity or unfriendly competition, and my stall neighbour, who operates ‘Whispering Hands’ – a tarot reading practise –  was kind enough to return my Eee PC cable to me the morning after. Continuing the grand tradition of absent-minded academic magi, I left it behind at the Karralyka Centre.

The other thing about holding a table at the expo was that I got to do my three favourite things: learn, teach, and help people with sticky problems. I felt that my readings varied between being spot-on and middling-accurate, but those latter ones that I wasn’t wholly happy with proved to be a source of motivation to learn. William Lilly, possibly the greatest of horary astrologers, described himself as a ‘Student of the Art’, and so it is for us all…but the surprised laughter that a precisely accurate and useful reading elicits (and there were more than a few of those!) is heart-warming to hear.

To be a good horary astrologer, you have to be familiar with all kinds of areas and bodies of common knowledge. Health and anatomy, property and the market, relationships and psychology, mechanics, all kinds of things. Medical astrology has been a fascination of mine for years now, and to that end, I have ordered one of the more comprehensive books on the matter: Richard Saunders “Astrological judgement and practise of physic”, written in 1677.  A subscription to a business newspaper may not be a bad idea, either. There’s a lot of study to do on horaries for legal cases, too, a very complex matter that can still be addressed by the Art.

The next Universal Insights Expo that I will be holding a table at is the Peninsula Community Theatre expo on the 23rd of May. The theatre is located on the Nepean Highway in Mornington, so if you are in the area, come along and have a reading or say hello! There may be other venues where I hold tables – possibly an upcoming expo in Berwick.

Upcoming articles on this site will include Sagittarius and Pisces, the Jovial signs, and an article on monasticism as it can relate to the occult tradition and a less dogmatic spirituality. The first of these should be up by the end of the week.

The Mystical Element: Music

A favourite obsession of conspiracy theorists is that the occult, especially Freemasonry* and other related orders, has a presence in popular culture, architecture, music, and other common things. They happen to be right – there is a strong contribution from these groups in our mundane day to day, often blatent or only partially hidden from view. What they are wrong about is that these presences are somehow indicative of conspiracy.

Instead, Occidental (Western) cultures are imbued with the legacies of the many spiritual and religious orders that have been a part of its legacy. These include mainstream religions, Christianity and Judaism, tribal influences (The Teutons and Celts, to name two broad groups) Astrological terms are still in common use – ‘jolly’, for example, derives from jovial, as in, of Jupiter. ‘Saturnine’ and ‘Mercurial’ are still words we use in the day to day. ‘Star-crossed’ can still be found. Less happily, we have ‘Venereal disease’ – the diseases of an afflicted Venus!

Music is a strong outlet for the mystical, sometimes quite explicitly. This song is one of the more powerful recent songs I have heard on the topic, but there are many:

Lyrics can be found Here.

This song has a very powerful metaphor. Recently, I was decoding the Rosicrucian ‘Fama Fraternitatis‘ and the other seminal manuscript of this order, the ‘Confessio‘,  and much of the information contained wherein has some distinct similarity to the message implicit in this song. Can it (or the Fama and Confessio) be taken literally? No. But therein lies the key to the whole of mysticism.

‘We live the life of fools and kings/blinded by the jewels this world brings’ is a direct reference to the imagery and meaning of the Wheel of Fortune, the 10th Key in tarot, and also to the Death card, the 8th Key. Those of you who have a prior understanding of the tarot may know their occult significance, but they have a peculiar significance to the R & C.

The development of compassion and tenderness accompanied by the cycle of literally ‘letting go’ of material sensory reality is a large part of the work of an initiate (or seeker) and much of that is very difficult. Periods of desolation, however, carry a sense of connectivity and transience, which naturally pass to leave the seeker wiser and intrinsically more happy and healthy than they were.

The whole spiritual process is an endless series of goodbyes, but also a continual awakening. We cease ‘living a lie to fulfil our dreams’. It carries the beauty and poignancy of the human experience.

Another simpler, darker, also contemporary song which evokes elements of occultism and the mystical is this one:

“…to tread the unexplored corridors in the hope of finding ultimately a final solution.
It is the lure of the labyrinth…
(We have to see, we have to know.)
…that draws us to our chosen fields.”

And indeed it is.

* – Freemasonry is not an occult order of practising magicians as far as I know, especially these days, but their organisation and their rituals, symbols and operative framework have their roots in the same tradition as the R & C, and other Western mystical orders.

Horary for Serious Purposes

Pax Mercurius returns from holiday! America was wonderful, full of amazing people and experiences. It was a genuine pilgrimage of sorts, and very restoring to body and mind, but especially soul. I will certainly be going back there. The Pacific Northwest was an adventure full of many interesting and profound experiences, but none of them quite effected me like this one, where a horary and some vague premonitions lead to my listening to my intuition, and spotting a serious fuel leak on one of the 747s I was due to fly on during my return to Australia.

I have written one previous article on the use of Horary Astrology – astrology in which the astrologer casts a chart for the moment they ask a given question, or for the moment the question is asked of them. In my first case, the question was a fairly inane one – this one presented in this article was not. This journal is slightly more personal in tone than my entries usually are, but I hope it is enlightening for those interested in the effectiveness of astrology, and the more technical aspects of horary. This is something close to a blow by blow analysis of a horary chart, which helped to prevent one of my flights home from taking off with a massive fuel leak unnoticed by any of the staff.

Before Casting

Leading up to casting this chart, I had a nagging feeling that something was wrong with one of the flights, as I have fairly regular precognitive dreams – these lead to my having deja vu, which has stopped me from getting into trouble several times before. The dreams are something like flipping through TV channels and catching snapshots of events, which I then remember at a later time. I’d had these leading up to the holiday, and was quite nervous. I’m also somewhat phobic of plane travel, so I wasn’t sure if the fear was the phobia, or if it was a genuine premonition, or my imagination.

The question in horary is very important, in that you can expect a literal answer to what you ask. Seeing as I asked ‘Will my flight be okay?’ this sacrificed me some specificity on which flight was the problematic one (there were 4). However, the information was more than enough for the desired result of avoiding a crisis!

Here is the chart:

The Judgement

I am represented by Mercury (Lord 1) and the Moon. The planes are the Sun, the journey itself is Venus.

First thing we consider in horary are fixed stars: they are like the cover of the book, the chart. We have Markeb rising, and Merkalinan culminating – ‘profitable journeys in company with Jovial and Saturnine people, wherein the native is grave and discreet, but suffers much injury, which eventually turns to good.” and “ruin, disgrace, violent death through leisure”. So, something is wrong, but it will turn out okay. Markeb is the larger star, so it takes priority in the judgement. Everything will be alright in the end.

Mercury is in its detriment and fall, cadent in the 6th house of misfortune – I am terrified and essentially feel myself to be powerless. If I had been peregrine, I would also have been panicking and unable to make a decision, but Mercury still has some essential dignity here. It is also applying combust (being burned up too close to the Sun) , which in this case I took to mean as being a nervous wreck, but also, being blind to the actual problem. Makes sense. I wasn’t thinking much past my anxiety at the time. Venus is in a terrible way, being in her detriment and heading for the horizon – a testimony of death.

However, Venus is in Aries, therefore, she loves Mars (Lord 8, the significator of death in this chart) and has power over Saturn, the natural ruler of demise, by rulership. So, again, something is wrong, and its potentially fatal, but the power goes to the journey, not to Death. The Sun (the planes) have rulership over Mars by sign. So no death for the airplanes. But the Sun is peregrine (wandering), so there’s a possibility of something going wrong. Who’s coming to warn the plane of this risk? Mercury is applying to the Sun. Me! I am the bearer of the news. In two and a bit somethings. The unit of time was weeks, so 2 weeks and 2 days…which is exactly right for the timing of the incident.

Being combust at the time, I was unable to see the full extent of what was going on. Blindly, I changed my flight day based on my judgement at the time – ending up on the one that botched, and thereby spotting the leaking fuel before takeoff. And thank goodness for that! By the time of the actual flight, Mercury was free of combustion and I could see clearly, so I was extra alert and less confused by the strange mix mix of premonition and phobia. I moved from my own seat to a window seat, decided that seat wasn’t ‘the right one’, and moved to another, only to spot the leaking fuel. I pointed it out to a flight attendant, and the flight was cancelled.

In hindsight, the nature of the incident is also represented here – 1st house can stand for ‘the ship we sail in’, and in this case, it has Saturn (the ruler of fuel, oil, minerals etc) retrograde (going in the wrong direction) in Libra (an airy sign). Saturn is exalted in Libra, so the plane looked better than it really was. No one in the chart beheld Saturn, and it only had a minor connection to Mercury through reception – a chance relationship between me and the incident. A pretty apt dot-point summary of what was wrong. Essentially, two of the engines were leaking copious amounts of fuel, which is quite serious for a plane as large as a Boeing – the horary, at least, indicates that if the plane had taken off, it could have been unpleasant!

The Reflection

This chart illustrates many important lessons for the astrologer. The importance of the question and the attitude of the querent significantly effects the reading of the chart – serious questions receive serious answers, and should be taken seriously. I cannot (and will not) claim to being able to always predict when something like this will happen, or even that my input was the seal on the way the situation was resolved, but it is certainly a contributing factor.

Also, this reinforces strongly the central idea which informs Horary astrology – that every moment is exactly where it needs to be. Every birth, every question asked, and every frightened, unsure “if-it-was-just-water-leaking-out-of-the-wing-there” student astrologer on the right plane, at the right time! This whole issue is really deserving of its own topic, as it touches on the matter of who can effect fate, how, and the extent to which something like fate potentially operates in our lives.

For those interested in learning about Horary Astrology, I still highly recommend the Real Astrology and Horary Textbook by John Frawley for that purpose, as well as the indomitable William Lilly and ‘Christian Astrology’.

http://www.constellationsofwords.com/Fixedstars.htm –  Fixed Star Reference.

Pax Mercurius is going on Holiday!

I will be on holiday in Seattle for two weeks, to meet up with some awesome friends and some astrology-related people. The blog will be resuming on the 26th of March.

Until then! And if you’re in Seattle and would like a reading, drop an email!

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