I recently had the pleasure of seeing two of Peter Weir’s beautiful early films. Weir is an Australian director who is probably best known today for “Dead Poet’s Society” and “The Truman Show”. His film “The Last Wave” is an apocalyptic thriller involving aboriginal lore which I caught on the solstice. That film didn’t grab my interest until halfway through but was much loved by its finale. “The Last Wave” prompted me to watch “Picnic at Hanging Garden”, an earlier film of Weir’s. The visually stunning images from the cover and booklet art particularly lured me in. I was pleasantly surprised to find the film more and more to be an exploration of the Venusian mysteries.
The main events of the film take place on Valentine’s day, starting with beautiful girls in white flowing and lacy outfits preparing at the college, with valentines, poetry, romantic intrigue between two of the girls, and numerous object of beauty. Most of them go on a trip to a million year old volcanic formation called Hanging Rock with their mannerisms and speech brimming with feminine mystery, intriguing two boys picnicking nearby. The rock causes the watch to stop of one of their head mistresses, who believes it is due to magnetic disturbance. Another lady, glancing at a book of Botticelli paintings (opened to Venus) says something strange about the main figure of intrigue, Miranda, calling her a “Botticelli angel”, while the three girls follow Miranda up and up the rock, until 3 of them are barefoot climbing higher and unresponsive to the heavy unattractive one of them who freaks out and screams running down from the rock.
That is where the mystery truly begins, as the girls in some sort of sexual excitement trot up the rock and truly disappear. I would rather not give away all the plot points, but needless to say there are other points of contact with Venus and much to be appreciated in this film. The beauty, sensuality, romanticism, mystery, and incommensurability showcased in the film all lead me to conclude that it is one of the most Venusian pieces of cinema to have ever been made. Those looking for a taste of the essence of Venus, look no further than “Picnic at Hanging Rock” and its Venusian savior, Miranda.
Note: It is my belief, given my years of studying astrology and meeting astrologers, that no one could have predicted that a horrible school shooting would occur at Sandy Hook in Connecticut on the morning of December 14th. Whether we may ever have that capacity from the reading of astrological signs is something beyond my power to know. Personally, I still feel that the astrological arts are too immature for even the performance of ‘psychic’-style readings as so often observed. However, there is much to be gained by research and data collection, especially in terms of examining the ever-flowing pen of history against those charts highlighted by the original mundane (i.e. pertaining to worldly events) astrologers as providing signs for events in a location over a period of time. That is all that I endeavor to briefly cast light on here.
As a father of two young children, I was deeply shocked and saddened by the recent school shooting in Connecticut. I offer my sincere condolences to the loved ones of the victims. I do not intend this examination of the astrology of the events as a means of implying that things were “in God’s plan” or anything of that sort. My faith in both astrology and God are too frail for me to speak confidently about any purposeful underpinnings of such tragedy. I only stand continually perplexed by recurrence of thematically relevant signs in the sky. I mean the term signs within the astrological interpretative guidelines of horoscopic astrology’s original practitioners.
For specific events affecting a community, we will typically be interested in the chart of the New Moon from that location which projects signs for the significant facets of the month. For very influential events, particularly those involving transformation of the political, cultural, or physical landscape, we look beyond the month to the quarter, the year, and higher level charts reflecting bigger periods.
It is unusual for the US to have two major public shootings in one year. That itself is cause enough to examine the chart of the year, which is the Vernal Equinox of 2012. While it is not a traditional indication, it is intriguing to me that the Sun was conjunct asteroid Atropos (that one of the three fates which brings death) at the equinox this year (Atropos was at 00ARI39 when the Sun hit 00ARI00, the equinoctial point). In my analysis of the shooting in Aurora, IL, I primarily examined the shooter’s chart. A shocking and fascinating parallel exists between the chart of James Holmes, the Aurora shooter, and the timing of the Sandy Hook shooting (which was by a different shooter, Adam Lanza). James Holmes (the shooter in the Aurora shooting) was born on December 13th with his Sun at 21 Sagittarius, conjunct Saturn at 23 Sagittarius. The New Moon (conjunction of the Sun and Moon) that occurred the day before the Connecticut shooting in the Sandy Hook area, occurred on December 13th, Holmes’ birthday, at 21 Sagittarius, with the Sun having reached 23 Sagittarius by the morning of the shootings. Click to enlarge image below.
These degrees have some sort of obvious tragic importance for the year. In fact, a friend of mine was born on December 14th, and filed for divorce on his birthday this year amidst very dramatic circumstances, less than a year after his celebrated wedding. What is it about these degrees for this year? There is much mundane astrological literature still yet to be translated into English and published, so perhaps future study will provide more elucidation. For now, my best guess is that the degree area is marked out as particularly linked to afflictions of Saturn for the entire Air epoch in the Jupiter-Saturn cycle, as the 1980 Vernal Equinox from DC, which projects signs relevant to major events in the US from 1980 to 2159. Saturn, planet of loss and afflictions, was at 23 Virgo in the chart of the Vernal Equinox of 1980 from DC and was in the 7th House which can be a house of enmity, as well as in the bound of Mars, planet of violence. Sagittarius is dominated (i.e. in inferior square to) that Saturn and 23 Sagittarius is particularly afflicted by it as the dominated degree. Still, there are many gaps to fill.
The Shocking New Moon and Event Charts
Turning again to the New Moon which occurred about a day and a half before the Sandy Hook shooting, we see some very striking symoblism. Saturn was out of sect, conjunct the Ascendant within a degree, and in the nocturnal house of Mars, while Mars was in the 3rd House, the main house of schools and primary education, and in the nocturnal house of Saturn, while 4 planets were in dark places disconnected from the Ascendant (Sun, Moon, and Mercury in the 2nd; Jupiter in the 8th).
News reports indicate that the police were called from the school at about 9:30am on the morning of December 14th. Therefore, the violence started some time slightly earlier than this. I use the time of 9:15am in the chart of the shootings below, but the shooting of the man’s mother occurred earlier in their house and the school shootings likely spanned past 9:30am, so this is only an approximation. Of importance is the fact that the majority of the killing, if not all of it, occurred while a Moon-Mars conjunction in Capricorn was rising. The Moon is symbolic of the body and congregation, while Mars is symbolic of violence, so this configuration can potentially signify bodily harm and waves of violence. It is an effective configuration when the Moon and Mars are in the same sign, but even more so when the Moon is applying within 13 degrees according to Hellenistic sources. Here the Moon is applying within 11 degrees, and is actually in a condition of being besieged, as she has separated from the malefic Saturn and applies to the malefic Mars. This is symbolic of particularly destructive occurrences, as the Moon rules the general flow of events, with her applications and separations here indicating a movements from bad to worse (sect malefic to non-sect malefic). For a better understanding of what maleficence means, please check out my early post on the malefics.
I’ve presented a few more examples of the sky saying something that we should seek to understand more deeply. Unfortunately, I have little more to offer at this time and can only hope that a great deal of fruitful research into mundane astrology will occur in the coming decades as we learn more about the techniques of the original practitioners of this art.
One thing that stands out in this examination is the strong relevance of Mars in Capricorn. Mars was also in Capricorn during the 9/11 attacks. This is worth noting because many traditionalists insist on a separation between “zodiacal” state and “accidental” or “terrestrial” state, along lines explored by Morin of the 17th century, in which the planet is basically qualified as pleasant/unpleasant and so forth by zodiacal dignity (among other things) and then directed to pertain to certain sets of affairs more than others and is quantified in strength by terrestrial placement (i.e. house placement). In addition to this doctrine, many believe that a zodiacal state of a planet in exaltation represents an indication of immense power for good (i.e. in the case of a malefic, its transformation into an accidental benefic). On many occasions I have explored reasons why one should abandon the belief that dignity makes for more or less beneficence. For instance, the fact that Dahmer’s character indicators and chart in general is burgeoning with planetary dignity while Ted Turner’s are quite ill-dignified. Additionally, contrary to the doctrine of this division of labor between zodiacal and accidental state, it is the case that accidental indications of sect and place were far more relevant for the assessment of beneficence/maleficence in Hellenistic astrology. We see further support here for my positions on these matters and the dismissal of medieval dignity pointing, the dignity=beneficence theory, and the Morinus separation doctrine. Both this shooting and 911 occurred with Mars in Capricorn (the exaltation of Mars), and the Aurora killer, James Holmes, had Mars in Scorpio (a domicile of Mars), while Dahmer has Mars in Aries (a domicile of Mars). Such events and characters have been in no way representative of a dignified martian expression, but do show a greater prominence of Mars (i.e. augmented quantity), as well as a more malefic expression, possibly linked to the rulership of Mars by a malefic (itself, or in the case of exaltation, Saturn). Zodiacal state and accidental state interact and mix in so far as indications of quantity, quality, and topic with the accidental indications typically providing the more cogent and specific modifications of the natural indications of the planet itself.
On a more personal note, there seem to be a lot of events in my life leading me to explore these matters of brutality more closely. Perhaps this is on account of a return of my own Mars in Capricorn. The masterful film, “We Need to Talk About Kevin”, by director Lynne Ramsay immediately became one of my favorites when I saw it this year. More recently I discovered the graphic novel, “My Friend Dahmer”, by Derf Backderf which was brilliantly done and brought clarity to Dahmer’s troubled origins. I highly recommend those works.
Industrial Symphony No. 1 is a very ethereal musical play created by David Lynch with music by Angelo Badalamenti and singing by Julee Cruise, which was performed in 1989, after Wild At Heart and foreshadowing, musically and thematically, the Twin Peaks series. I missed it on its release to VHS in 1990 but it’s also been released in the Lime Green Box Set and a lower quality version floats around on YouTube, as seen below.
The Moon through a Loud Speaker
The irrational is pervasive in Lynch’s work. Watching his films is akin to a swim through the sphere of Yesod on the kabbalistic tree of life. It is of little wonder to find the Moon as the loudest and most influential planet in his life: the sect light (Lynch was born at night), above the horizon, and in a feminine sign (i.e. in haym); strongly advancing to culmination on the MC (conjunct MC within 2 degrees); in the place of the Good Daimon or Spirit (the 11th house; pertaining to mental, spiritual, and social benefit); in the place of Love (i.e. place occupied by the Lot of Love, one of the 4 principal lots, and actually within 2.5 degrees of the lot); with her twelfth-part in the most important place, the 1st House; with some testimony in the Ascendant (participating triplicity and regard by sextile) and regarding and ruling the lord of the Ascendant (Mars in Cancer); also conjunct the twelfth-part of Fortune. Some of these indications make the Moon more prominent in a general way in the life as a whole, as if her volume has been turned up and she influences all affairs, while other indications pertain more to identity and personal influence.
Lunar themes of vivid depths of subjective experience, the emotive instinctuality and irrationality of the natural world, and the affection of the familiar and habitual (i.e. sentimentality) are also very apparent in his life and work. I am thinking particularly of his repeat use of familiar actors, the non-linearity of his work, the thematic grappling with the gap between the role we create for ourselves and the role we actually play, the complex and paradoxical subconscious evocations of rural life and the wilderness, and the influence of dreams, visions, coincidences, and spiritual experiences on our life events and states of mind.
The Moon is in Virgo, a mutable sign, thus the Moon tends to express through transitory combination and interaction, as if between players, rather than having her primary mode of action through powerful changes (cardinal) or stable developments (fixed). Virgo is an earth sign, evoking the land, tradition, and the body. Virgo’s ruler, Mercury, is the messenger, and is in the 3rd House, the Joy of the Moon, herself a traveler, while Mercury delivers and communicates, adding a lot of movement, interaction, communication, and consultation to the prominent relationship between the Moon and Mercury. Mercury is in phasis and is most directly influenced by Venus and the Sun, with which he is assembled in the third house, Capricorn; Venus pertaining to love and art; the Sun to influence and publicity. This is especially so with Venus, as she is most closely assembled with Mercury and rules his bound (as well as being a triplicity lord of Capricorn). The combination of Venus, Mercury, and the Sun in a place of connection and conveyance is evocative of many important professional aspects of Lynch’s life, from artistic direction of important projects to bold use of music. While the 3rd house is most directly benefic, being occupied by the sect benefic and dominated (right-side square) by Jupiter, Mercury’s applying opposition to both malefics, and rulership by the out of sect Saturn, in the House of God, lend an aura of foreboding ethereal terror over matters of Mercury, Venus, the Sun, and the 3rd House.
The Moon pertains to family and childhood, especially the mother, and the Virgoan Mercurial influence and prominence of the 3rd house fits with Lynch’s mother being an English tutor and his father and agricultural research scientist. The prominence of the 3rd House, the Moon, mutability, and Mercury, all evoking travel and movement also fits with his experience of moving a half dozen times with his family as a child, and embarking on some formative trips as a young adult. The land, tradition, the elderly, fear, and emotional or physical handicap are all very Saturnine themes evoked in his work, as in his chart, as supernaturally lurking in the shadows of, and contrasted with, human innocence.
Malefics in the Lunar House of God Tugging on Venus
When it comes to Lynch’s personality, the main indicators are the lord of the Ascendant (Mars), Mercury, and the Moon. Mars is in sect and in a good place in the chart, but conjunct the out of sect malefic, Saturn, while strongly influenced by both benefics (benefics are in the stakes of Mars), and ruled by the very benefic Moon while in the bound of the benefic Jupiter. The overall sense with Mars is of an ambitious nature and one which can be irritable and rebellious, but is heavily influenced by goodness (sect, good place, benefic influence), and yet touched by the dark, dreadful, or macabre (Saturn). All in all, there is incredible complexity to the character because of all the planetary influences on the lord of the Ascendant. Mars additionally occupies the 9th Place, the House of God, drawing Lynch to spiritual matters.
Spirituality itself is a complex and prominent matter in Lynch’s life. On the one hand, their would seem to be much animosity toward religion given the strong association between spirituality and evil, signified by the presence of both malefics in the 9th, the retreat of Jupiter in the 12th house of the Evil Daimon or Evil Spirit, and the identification with rebellious Mars and intellectual Mercury. However, there is an overwhelming prominence and personal investment in matters of spirituality, truth, belief, and dream in his life, symbolized by 5 of 7 planets occurring in the 9th and 3rd, including both Mars and Mercury, and with rulership of the 9th by the sect light, the Moon, despite their dark associations. While Mercury is strong in some ways, it lacks the overwhelming pervasiveness of the more subjective and irrational lunar influence over the life. Through twelfth-parts we also find the identification with the Moon and Venus, as their parts are in the Ascendant, and we find Jupiter, planet of faith and spirit, playing a more prominent role in career and administrative aspects of the life, being positioned in the 10th of actions and authority.
Fear-inducing (Saturn) and violent (Mars) spiritual entities (9th place) tended over by the irrational Moon, mistress of nature, night, and instinct, comes cropping up frequently in his work. It is little wonder that the influence of the malefics figure prominently in his work, as they oppose and rule his Venus, the goddess of beauty, who rules over works of art. Venus is in the 3rd House, the Joy of the Moon, in the nocturnal house of Saturn (Capricorn), in the bound of Mars, and with the Moon as the primary triplicity lord. Her twelfth-part is in the 1st House, that of the self, in the nocturnal house of Mars (Scorpio), in the bound of Jupiter. Venus is the primary planet pertaining to his aesthetic and it is fitting to find her dominated by subjective and spiritually-tinged maleficence (Mars and Saturn in the 9th, in the bound of Jupiter, ruled by the Moon) and irrationality (Venus in the Joy of the Moon, general pervasiveness of the Moon, Venus and Moon twelfth-parts co-present in the 1st of self and identity). The 3rd house journey/transportation themes also occur frequently in Lynch’s work. Wild At Heart, Lost Highway, and even The Straight Story are road movies, while main characters are often visiting outsiders.
In my opinion, a pivotal year in Lynch’s life was 1966, when he moved to Philadelphia to attend an art school which held more promise than the last one, got his future wife pregnant, created his first short film (Six Men Getting Sick), and became acquainted with the fear of crime-ridden urban living.
He would have been Age 20 at the time, thus the annual profection would have been to his 9th House, Cancer, occupied by the malefics, Mars and Saturn, with the Moon as lord of the year, all key influential planets in the life and especially in terms of relationship and artistic matters (Venus). Lunar years are typically quite varied and eventful, as the Moon is prominent and moves quickly. In this case, the Moon herself profected to the 7th of partnership, ruled by Venus. It was as if in this year Lynch stepped into the house of the Moon, finding Mars and Saturn there creating fear and violence, but with the Moon lording over things and guiding them, in terms of pregnancy, bonds, and the artistic promises of the 3rd house.
At the time of the solar return the Moon was in the 3rd house, conjunct natal Mercury, putting a spot-light on the work of that house. Mars and Venus of the return were both in the 4th of home and family, while Saturn was in the 5th of children just as Saturn’s natal twelfth-part is, signalling weight and apprehension in the house of children.
The importance of a year in terms of one’s professional objectives is primarily seen through zodiacal releasing of Spirit. In October of 1965 the 1st Level of Spirit’s releasing made its first transition from its starting period in Gemini to its new period in Cancer where it would stay until 1990. This started off with a 2nd Level period also in Cancer until October 1967. Therefore, both of the two main levels of Spirit’s releasing were to the 9th House, Cancer, ruled by the Moon, occupied by both malefics, and additionally activated at the Age 20 profection.
The activations by planetary year were also interesting. Age 20 is most prominently a Mercury year, while also a year in which Venus-Jupiter (8+12) relationships come into play, such as his Jupiter in sign and bound of Venus and dominating her, signifying artistic benefit and children (both planets confer children, and both are the main rulers of the House of Children, the 5th, Pisces).
There were many other pivotal years in his career but 1990 stands out as particularly important and prolific. He won the Palme d’Or at Cannes for Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks was hitting TV audiences, he released the Industrial Symphony No. 1, and his early paintings were in exhibition. Interestingly, 1990 marked another profection to the 9th House, Cancer. The Moon, lord of the year, was transiting through the 1st house of the Self at the time of the solar return, which was also a Venus return, as Venus was at 27 degrees Capricorn in the return, almost exactly conjunct her natal position at 26 Capricorn, strongly realizing Venus’s artistic birth promises.
When we look at the releasing of Spirit for 1990, we find that it marked the next major transition of the Level 1 releasing, from Cancer (the period which started in 1965) to Leo, the 10th house, ruled by the Sun. Thus this next major transition in his professional life marked a new period, ruled by the Sun, which is with Venus in the 3rd, and emphasizing the 10th house of actions, honors, and authority. It was as if Lynch had received his throne (the 10th and the Sun both pertaining to rulership/kings).
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Ancient Hellenistic and Persian Astrology in Practice